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She started her business from scratch when she moved to be with her fiancé. He covers the bulk of their expenses with his $200,000 income.

She started her business from scratch when she moved to be with her fiancé. He covers the bulk of their expenses with his $200,000 income.
  • Kimo Bentley left her NYC med-spa business to move to Maryland, home to her fiancé, Daron Pressley.

  • The couple have a 4-year-old child and split their finances proportionally.

  • Pressley covers the bulk of their expenses with an annual income of about $200,000.

This is part of our series Splitting the Difference, which examines the financial lives of couples.

Kimo Bentley had two children and was running her New York City med spa in 2014 when she met Daron Pressley at an industry event. They took a liking to one another, and at the end of the night, he tried to help her put on her jacket.

"Being from New York, she was like, 'What are you doing? Don't touch me. Don't touch me,'" Pressley said.

"He said, 'Fine, get your arms stuck,'" Bentley added.

The meet-cute reflects the self-sufficient approach they've taken to finances seven years later as a couple engaged and living in Maryland with their 4-year-old child; though they're both fiercely independent and have their own way of doing things, they've also always been drawn to each other, and to helping each other out.

Pressley and Bentley split their finances proportionally to their income, and they rigorously track all their expenditures. They sat down with Business Insider over a video call to explain their finances.

They've always been open about finances

When Bentley moved from New York City to Maryland in 2016 to be with Pressley, she took a risk and had to start her business over from scratch. So Pressley made it clear that he would support her financially and otherwise to make the relationship work. Communication about the financial nuts and bolts of their shared life began early on.

"The conversation started with, 'OK, how do we want to budget out for rent?'" Pressley said.

He sold his apartment, a small one-bedroom, so they could rent a place big enough for Bentley's two older children to stay with them. (They're now 18 and 20 and live on their own.)

Seven years later, "it's really proportional based off of, OK, if Kimo's providing 30% of our income, I'm going to cover that middle ground," Pressley, whose income as a media consultant and freelance marketer varies, said.

They're also conscious of what's coming in all the time and how they're spending their money.

"If we have $5,000 total coming in one month — let's just say it was $4,000 from me and $1,000 from her — this is how we're going to allot that $5,000: 70% going to this bucket, 10% going this bucket, 10% here, 10% here," he said. "And then Kimo will adjust our budget accordingly. If there's smaller items, like groceries or household stuff, kids activities, she would manage that stuff."

They said it helped to keep a high level of transparency in their relationship, though Bentley said she sometimes found Pressley's devotion to itemizing everything a bit maddening.

"We keep really strict accounts of what's coming in, where it's going. She gets annoyed at me. I have a good spreadsheet," Pressley said as Bentley smiled knowingly. "And so if we go out to dinner, I can tell you literally — I can literally tell you this week exactly how much money I spent this week."

Bentley's med-spa business made about $800,000 in revenue this year. The profits from the revenue went to rent, staff wages, utilities, and other running costs.

"I pay myself monthly, so it could be around $4,000 or $5,000 a month," Bentley said. All other profits are invested in the business.

"Her income, in terms of how she's paying herself, is still lower than what I'm earning," Pressley, who contributes his marketing skills to her business, said.

Couple holding hands and sitting together.
Jared Soares for BI

Communicating about money helps them plan

Last year, he made nearly $200,000 himself. As a couple, they're on track to bring in about $260,000 this year.

Tracking their income and being open with each other about finances have been good for their relationship and long-term plans. It's clear the couple are close. Throughout their interview, the two finished each other's thoughts and sentences.

"If it wasn't for the planning, we would be all over the place," Bentley said.

"When you can talk to your partner about finances, and you both understand and can get on the same page about finances, it just makes it so much easier to have one of those conversations that are tough to have," Pressley added.

"A lot of couples don't like to talk about it," Bentley said, sitting closely to Pressley on a sofa on the screen. "That's the elephant in the room."

Business Insider confirmed the couple's transactions and debt.

Read the original article on Business Insider