Category Archives: Money

Cash & Coupling: Agreeing On Household Utilities When You Want HBO And He Wants Netflix

There are necessities, like running water, and then there are “necessities,” like HBO and a weekly pedicure. When you’re single and supporting only yourself, you have every right to declare keeping your toes in the latest shade of blush a priority. But once you join budgets with your partner, it’s important that you both agree on which expenses qualify as non-negotiable.

When my husband and I recently re-evaluated our budget, I was ready to slash the cable bill – we have Netflix, and I tend to watch shows a season or two behind. He balked; he’s an avid Atlanta Braves fan and I didn’t realize that without extended cable he couldn’t catch the games during the (never-ending) baseball season. Similarly, he was willing to eliminate our home telephone, while I hesitated at not having a landline in case of emergencies. Having to make these kind of joint decisions just comes with the territory of a shared address, but compromising can be tricky. Toni Coleman, licensed psychotherapist, relationship coach, and founder of Consum-mate.com, offered this advice about creating a household budget you – and your partner – can live with. Keep reading »

Would You Give Away All Your Stuff?

At one point in her life — when she owned a two-bedroom condo, two cars, and enough wedding china to serve two dozen people gazpacho at the same time — Tammy Strobel, 31, asked herself if all that “stuff” actually made her and her husband, Logan, happy.

Then, she gave it all away. Read more Keep reading »

Girl Talk: Losing My Job Was Good For Me

“We’ve restructured your job and structured you out of it,” Louis said quickly, as though this thought were all one word.

Immediately, I felt the floor drop and ceiling soar, while I, not tethered to either, floated between. I was surprised, though I’d foreseen this bad news; I‘d brought an empty brown duffel bag to work that Friday rather than my usual Louis Vuitton purse. I had been telling my mother and coworkers for weeks, as I snooped while sorting Louis’ emails, that I was going to be let go. Keep reading »

My Two Cents: I Used A Credit Consolidation Agency To Crush My Debt

When I was 27, I finally took my head out of the sand and did what I had been dreading for months. I added up the balances of my credit cards and discovered that they had skyrocketed to over $15,000! By looking at the statements separately, I had tricked myself into believing my debt was much less. I was blindly writing checks each month, just enough to pay the minimum required. Every time I opened the mailbox, I felt a little queasy. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: We’re Buying A Home — But I’m Covering The Down Payment

Maybe you want to put a monogrammed welcome mat outside the door of a cute Craftsman cottage, or maybe you’re searching for a loft with a view. No matter what kind of digs you’re shopping for, if you’re in a committed relationship you’re probably shopping with the idea that the one permanent fixture is gonna be your significant other. Buying a home with the one you love is a huge commitment – one that can be even harder to get out of than marriage vows. You’re putting your credit score, your savings, and your personal space on the line. You might not be expecting your man to bring much to the decorating table – in fact, you may be desperately hoping he won’t – but realizing that he’s coming to the closing table empty-handed can be even more frustrating than his insistence on keeping that recliner.

If you’ve been following The Frisky’s articles on buying a home, you know to expect to put down 3.5 to 20 percent of the purchase price, and it can be discouraging to realize you’re the only one with cash. We talked to Dr. Tina B. Tessina, psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things that can Ruin Your Marriage, about how to approach a home purchase when the whole down payment is coming from you. Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Is Too Broke To Take Me Out For My Birthday”

I’m 25 and have been dating a 28-year-old guy for seven months. He’s really fun, sweet, and a generous lover (he won’t be done until he’s gotten me off at least twice!). We recently said the L word — which was HUGE for him because he’s never said it before in a relationship. The issue is he’s a freelance music engineer, and basically earns only enough to make rent and go to a bar here and there — nothing extra. Last week was my birthday and he was going to take me out to a restaurant, but he didn’t make enough at the pawn shop to afford it. Later in the week he manages to make $20, so he goes out to buy pot with it. I’m all, “What about dinner?” And he says, “Well, it wasn’t enough to get food anyway,” and leaves it at that. Then, last night, I ask him about the jobs he said he was applying for and he point-blank says, “I’m not looking.” I ask why and he says he likes his freedom and “makes enough” freelancing, which is true, he does — for himself. So basically, I’m dating a grown man who lives with younger guys in a frat house-type setting and can’t afford to take his girlfriend out to dinner for her 25th birthday. I don’t want to tell him to get a job or I’m leaving him because he’s treating me well, but I’m worried about what kind of future I can have with him. What’s your outside perspective? — Blinded by Love

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Therapy For Your Pocketbook Episode 8: “The Shredder”


In the latest episode of “Therapy For Your Pocketbook,” Diane, an entrepreneur, splurges a bit on her new business, but — $200 for a cappuccino maker?! Finance Expert Manisha Thakor suggests a formula when buying: break down your yearly income into an hourly wage to determine how much “time” each purchase will cost you. Suddenly that cappuccino maker isn’t looking so hot. [Therapy For Your Pocketbook]

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Money 101: How To Buy Your First Home

Buying your first home can be a terrifying experience that may transform you from a financially stable go-getter to a jittery, nervous wreck.

I remember lying awake, staring at the ceiling the night before our closing. I pondered the longevity of this decision. How could I sign a 30-year financial commitment when I couldn’t even commit to a color to paint the walls in our soon-to-be new home?

We’ve already told you how to start saving for a purchase this large and momentous. Once you’ve got the money in the bank, where do you go? A good realtor should hold your hand and walk you slowly through the myriad of steps required to buy your first home. In the meantime, we asked 20-year-veteran Atlanta realtor Kristen Crisp to give us the abbreviated version for first-time home buyers. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: Who Pays For What On Your First Vacation?

Whether you’re heading to Colorado or Cabo, thinking about your first vacation with your man likely has you more hot and bothered than the new season of “True Blood.” From the moment you compared calendars, visions of couple’s massages and romantic dinners have probably been all you can think about. But before you make a single reservation, take a step back to consider how you and your significant other – as a couple – are gonna pay for the trip. Discussing who’s paying for what may feel awkward, especially if this is the first time you’ve ever had to talk money as a twosome, but it can be great practice for your future together. With this advice from Nicholas Aretakis, author of Ditching Mr. Wrong, you can breeze through vacation planning and ensure there won’t be money trouble in paradise. Keep reading »

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