Tag Archives: couples and money

Hitched: We’re Married, But Our Bank Accounts Aren’t

One of the things I’ve learned, over my many years of roadtripping in and across Texas, is that hell is being stuck going 50 miles per hour behind a recreational vehicle. But recently, I’ve come to wonder if heaven might be being behind the wheel of one.

I don’t generally dream about buying big-ticket things like cars and houses. I’m a freelance writer, after all. At this point, saving even a few hundred dollars a year is a struggle — though that got significantly less stressful once I moved in with, and later married, my husband. Splitting rent and groceries and bills has taken significant pressure off my wheezing bank account — even more so than living with roommates.

So maybe that’s why I started letting myself fantasize about taking long trips to Marfa in a giant vehicle with a wildcat or a wolf emblazoned on the back. When I proposed this to Patrick, he was, as we say here in Texas, “raring to go.” Some couples dream of outfitting a nursery. Patrick and I dream of converting an engine to biodiesel and training the cats to ride shotgun. Keep reading »

On Marrying Up
Let's be realistic about the finances it takes to raise a family. Read More »
Cash & Coupling
Advice for when your S.O. takes a paycut. Read More »

Cash & Coupling: Are Your Gift-Giving Styles In Sync?

Holiday Gift Guide
Everything you'll ever need for your holiday shopping. Read More »
1st Holiday With His Folks
10 things not to do at your first holiday dinner with his folks. Read More »
Gifts For Him
What should you get the guy you just started dating? We've got ideas! Read More »

My husband is like a child when it comes to giving gifts. He shops big – both big price tags and big impact — and he’s usually even more excited about giving me my gifts than I am about getting them. They’re always really nice – for my 30th birthday I got an iPad – and he literally can’t wait to give them to me. (I got the unwrapped iPad weeks before my actual birthday.) I, on the other hand, gravitate towards thoughtful gifts with smaller price tags. The money he puts behind my (often bling-y) gifts caught me off guard earlier in our relationship, and it’s taken me almost six years to convince him that every holiday doesn’t require an over-the-top gift. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: Seriously, Ladies, Get A Damn Prenup!

Prenups are a backup plan. Like any other backup plan — the fold-up flats in your purse, tampons in your desk drawer at work, the rape whistle on your keychain — you don’t expect to use it, and you really hope not to, but thank God it’s there when you need it. For women, divorce is financially dangerous, and you’re necessarily subject to a 50 percent chance of suffering from it if you marry. After the jump, I’ll debunk popular excuses for avoiding a prenup. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: How To Make A Divorce Suck Less Financially

Last time in Cash & Coupling, we covered how to go into a marriage making financial choices that would benefit you in the event of a future divorce. But what about after disaster strikes and the marriage is over? (I know, we’re thinking real positive around these parts.) Here are five tips designed to help new divorcees keep as much of their finances intact as possible as they bid their husbands adieu. Keep reading »

Dear Wendy Updates: “Money Isn’t Everything” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Money Isn’t Everything” whose newish boyfriend felt uncomfortable with the amount and type of gifts she was giving him and his family. So, has she curtailed her gift-giving? Has he become more comfortable with her expressions of affection? Find out after the jump. Keep reading »

Cash & Coupling: Divorce In Your Future? Here Are 4 Steps To Take Before You Tie The Knot!

When I think prenup, I think Donald Trump protecting his vast fortune from gold-digging spouses. But this is an outdated point of view. Getting a prenuptial agreement is actually a very savvy move for a pragmatic couple. Prenups are an example of one of the important financial choices women can make from the outset of a marriage to minimize the financial upheaval in the worst-case scenario: divorce. Though few of us see ourselves as future-divorcees, I’ve come up with a few recommendations for preemptive, defensive financial management, just in case. Divorce still typically incurs much more financial harm to women than men. These four tips offer basic, fundamental financial safeguards that are only logical in an age of high divorce rates. Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Abandoned Me. Should I Move On?

I’m 31 and had been in a very loving, fun, and supportive relationship with my guy for almost two years and living together for a little over a year. He started talking about marriage and getting engaged about a year into our relationship, and I was so excited at the prospect of being his partner for life. But months passed by, and it became clear that he was homesick for his family. Even though they’re only a two-hour plane ride away, he had been depressed for the last six months about being away from home, and told me that if we married, it would mean he was choosing to never live in the same town as his family again. I told him I’d be happy as long as we were together, but he kept saying “I don’t think you’ll be happy there.” About a week ago when I came home from work, I found that he had moved out of the apartment we shared and had driven back to his home town to be with his family, and merely left a note! What kind of person does that sort of thing? To make matters worse, he called me once he arrived at his hometown and said (while sobbing uncontrollably) he wasn’t ready to break up and wanted a month to think about things. Part of me loves him so much that I want to give him the time he asked for. The rational side of me says, “This jerk abandoned you. Even if he wanted to work things out, are you really going to let him do this to you again?” I’m so torn. Should I just end it now and move on? — Shocked and Awed

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Dear Wendy: “I’m Afraid To Date Because I’m $190,000 In Debt”

I’m a 31-year-old, single guy in Chicago. I’m at a point in my life where I’d like to find a great woman and think about settling down and perhaps start a family in the not too distant future. Unfortunately, I have a terrible secret that is making it difficult for me to get close to women: I have $190,000 in student loan debt (no, I am not a doctor). Aside from that scary number, I am financially responsible and have a promising career with a high income trajectory ahead of me. How I arrived at that $190,000 is moot, but what isn’t is the psychological handicap I’ve developed. I am ashamed and embarrassed to be burdened by such student debt, and I can’t help but feel most women would be scared off by it. As a result, I’ve basically stopped dating or even trying to meet that special someone. I can’t bear the prospect of getting close to someone only to scare her off because of my debt. I feel like a leper. But, am I over-reacting? If so, what advice would you give about broaching the topic with a potential girlfriend (timing, method, etc)? — Debt Leper

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Cash & Coupling: How To Establish A Wedding Budget

If you have been engaged for more than five minutes, you’ve probably purchased every current bridal magazine and dog-eared the pages with ideas you swear someone thought up just for you. Before you look at pictures of another celebrity wedding and set your sights on a dress only Beyonce could afford, you need to have a serious talk with your fiancé. This, my friend, is the “How the hell are we going to pay for this?” talk. Maybe you’re assuming your parents are going to foot the entire bill. If they are, lucky you! But chances are, both sets of parents have some assumptions of their own, and you need to know who’s expecting to pay – or not pay – for what. For advice on how to determine this combined wedding budget, The Frisky talked to Aimee Manis, author of 52 Things Brides On A Budget Should Know. Keep reading »

Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Is Cheap!”

My boyfriend and I recently got engaged and moved across the country together for his job. We’ve been dating for about two years and known each other for about three and a half. I’ve always known him to be a very generous, giving person, but since our move, he’s been glib about expenses. For example, he’ll go shopping for clothes and then state that he can’t afford food for the upcoming week (leaving me to foot the grocery or restaurant bill). Or, we’ll go out with friends and he’ll make a show of paying for me at the table, but then ask me to pay him back later! Recently, he suggested that we get an animal together, but then stated, “but I don’t want to pay for any of it.”

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