Looking back on my wedding planning, I realize how many of my decisions were to make other people happy. My day was special and I felt like the star of the show, but I had to make sure that I stayed in budget so my dad wouldn’t have an aneurysm, that the menu wouldn’t trigger any allergic reactions from my guests, and that the band’s play list would make for a party to remember. But when it came to the honeymoon, there was nobody to think of except me and my new husband, and the closer we got to the wedding, the more I couldn’t wait to get out of town. Endless time for sex, zero calls about headcounts, and did I mention tons of sex? I totally began to understand why people elope. Keep reading »
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 »
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 »
We all fear discovering an unfamiliar perfume lingering on our man’s collar or a smudge of lipstick that isn’t our shade, but sometimes his cheating isn’t with another woman … it’s with his wallet. Maybe you found a statement for a credit card you never knew existed, or suspect he’s been blowing the cash you thought he was saving for retirement. When your faith in your partner’s honesty and financial fidelity is shaken, how do you keep it from tearing your relationship apart? Manisha Thakor, The Frisky’s personal finance expert for women, offers the following advice for coping after he’s been fiscally unfaithful. Keep reading »
When I began dating my now husband, I already had a little girl from a previous relationship. In order to get serious with me, he had to adjust to the idea of late-night dinners at restaurants to takeout scheduled around bedtime. Luckily, he did so beautifully and won both my and my daughter’s hearts.
One wedding, two successful careers, and a substantial mortgage later, my husband adopted my daughter and we were ready to add another tax deduction to the mix. We were used to having to make adjustments to accommodate life’s surprises, so we thought a baby would cause minimal monetary ripples in our fairly stable life. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Keep reading »
When I planned my wedding for last summer in one of the most expensive cities in the world (New York City) during the worst economic climate since the Great Depression, I picked up a few tips for couples looking to throw a wedding on a budget. I learned how to cut costs and stay sane without compromising too much on what I wanted. If you’re willing to be flexible and open to nontraditional ideas, you, too, can have the “perfect” wedding, whatever your budget may be. After the jump, 15 tips for throwing a budget wedding. Keep reading »
Out in paperback now: the book Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Have Been Duped Into the Romantic Dream—And How They’re Paying For It, by Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake. Forget for a moment that they annoyingly refer to grown women as “girls” in their title and check out their thesis: because, for a variety of reasons, men earn more money than women, it’s a wise move to marry someone who can provide for you and your family. Keep reading »
It’s usually obvious what your partner got from his ‘rents: Mom’s baby blues and cooking talents, Dad’s oddly shaped feet and football fanaticism. What’s less obvious is how much those same parents affected his attitude towards paying his rent. Not since you voted for a Democrat and your man a Republican has there been a fight as polarizing as opposing spending philosophies – unless your man participates in Team Jacob vs. Team Edward debates, in which case you have more serious problems than your approach to budgets.
As much as you like it when you see your man doing his own laundry just like his mama taught him, how do you find balance when he and the old man take turns buying the bar a round after their team wins the championship? If you find yourself wondering if you and your partner’s financial backgrounds are from the same economic galaxy, Mitch Newman, M.A. The Relationship Coach, offers the following advice. Keep reading »
As a little girl, I always imagined Prince Charming’s arrival would be exactly like the Disney movies. There would be ball gowns, chariots, attentive servants – our happy ever after looked embarrassingly like the prom. As a questionably mature 20-something, I just hoped he’d show up with his own 401k and a checkbook at least as balanced as mine. When he finally made his appearance, my Mr. Right managed to split the difference … he had financial stability and won my heart with his thoughtfulness. But that middle ground – somewhere between responsible and stingy – is a fine line to waltz when you’re dating. For tips on dating a man whose grip on his wallet is tighter than yours on the remote during the season finale of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” I consulted Toni Coleman, psychotherapist, dating coach and founder of Consum-mate.com. Keep reading »