Through stories from real-life couples, Money in Love aims to start conversations about how money works in relationships.
The financial side of romance can be fraught with challenges. In fact, according to Money Advice Service, the average couple has 39 arguments about money a year! One in seven married people have a secret stash of cash, and almost a quarter said their other half would be surprised if they knew the real state of their money.
Meet Fuminori & Jake
This week, we speak to London-based married couple Fuminori and Jake. So they can start saving for a house, Fuminori recently paid off Jake’s debts and keeps a watchful eye on his spending via their joint account.
Tell us about what you do.
Fuminori: I’m a wigmaker for TV and films, like Game of Thrones and Harry Potter. That was one of the reasons I wanted to move to London from Japan.
I was watching a film and I saw there was a wigmaker who worked for the studio. I thought, this is what I want! So I moved to London and now we work together. I’m very lucky.
Jake: I’m an office and social media manager for a creative recruitment agency. I was a recruiter originally, but I hated it. So I asked if I could do something else! Now I design all the booklets and pamphlets, I do all the social media, and I’m the office manager as well. I’m pretty stoked as it means I don’t have to deal with sales.
How did you meet?
Jake: Instagram! I was designing an app at uni that was based on Tamagotchi. And I bought one from Japan to get some inspiration. I put it on Instagram with #tamagotchi, and was bored browsing through different Japanese tags and found Fuminori’s profile. I was like, “Ooh!”
So I liked his picture and eventually he followed me back. Instagram didn’t even have a chat function back then, so we ended up talking on Snapchat.
Eventually he was like, “Well I’ve actually got a visa to come to London for two and a half years, I’m going to be moving to the UK.” And we kind of just went from there. I came down from Leeds to pick him up from the airport.
Fuminori: He doesn’t pick me up from anywhere anymore!
Jake: I downed half a bottle of wine before I met him. Then at the airport, I was approached by ITV. They asked if they could film us and if we would kiss. We’d never kissed before! So we had a kiss in front of this camera, it was such an awkward start to our relationship.
"I got myself into copious amounts of debt, which he’s just paid off for me."
Jake, why does Fuminori say you “love to spend”?
Jake: I got myself into copious amounts of debt, which he’s just paid off for me.
It means I’ve managed to save for the first time in my life. I’ve saved £150 a month for the past two months. For 31 years, I thought that was never going to be something I could do. But I’ve begun and it’s happening!
We don’t have a budget together, but we both transfer £850 a month into our joint account which we use to pay the rent, bills and food shopping. It’s for anything that involves the two of us.
"I thought it was a brilliant idea to borrow £6,000 and buy as much as I could from Urban Outfitters, the new playstation and a MacBook Pro."
How did you get into debt?
Jake: I’m half American and half English, and my family’s from Yorkshire. When I was 19, I was living in Leeds and working full time.
I thought it was a brilliant idea to borrow £6,000 and buy as much as I could from Urban Outfitters, the new playstation and a MacBook Pro.
A few years later I ended up going to university as a mature student and worked at Starbucks at the same time. During that time I met Fuminori and we ended up moving to London. I thought I’d find a job really quickly, but I couldn’t. So I ended up falling behind on my repayments, getting defaults on my credit card and signing up to a debt management programme that helped me for a while.
Now I’ve started using Monzo I can keep track of my finances properly. It’s weird to think that I didn’t used to know how much I’d spent and how much I had left.
I managed to pay off around £2,500 before Fuminori paid the rest a few months ago.
Fuminori: I’ve been saving.
"We want to buy a house together, but his credit score is really bad."
Why did you decide to pay off Jake’s debts?
Fuminori: We want to buy a house together, but his credit score is really bad. I also wanted to do something to help, because Jake helped me when I moved to London. He’s paying me back £200 every month. It’ll take a little over two years.
Having the joint account is amazing because when he spends money, I get a notification. I can see what he’s doing and I’ll be like, “What did you buy?” I give him a little pressure, so he doesn’t spend so wildly!
Jake: It works. Now I don’t have to worry about the debt I’m in to companies and the effect it has on my credit rating. I can just pay Fuminori back. It’s made things a lot easier.
Tell us about your plans to buy a house.
Jake: It’s going to take a few years for my credit rating to improve, and we need to start saving for a deposit.
We’ve got three different options: America, London and Japan. The States are affordable, depending on where you go. But we’ve been looking at California, which is astronomical. I think Japan is probably going to be the cheapest.
Fuminori: Oh as if, Tokyo is expensive!
Jake: We haven’t really looked at Japan to be honest.
Fuminori: It’s still very hard being gay in Japan, there's no same sex marriage. That’s why I wanted to move to a foreign country.
Want to share your story? Email us at email@example.com with a bit about yourselves and your relationship with money. If you’d rather stay anonymous, we can change your names ❤️
If you're thinking of managing money with your partner, open a joint account with Monzo!