Tag Archives: couples and money

Cash & Coupling: How To Plan A Honeymoon On A Budget

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 »

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 »

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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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 »

Cash & Coupling: How To Handle Financial Infidelity

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 »

Cash & Coupling: How Having A Baby Changed Us — Financially

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 »

Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Makes A Lot More Than I Do, But Wants To Split The Bills Evenly”

My boyfriend and I have been together for three years, living together for about half of that. We have a fantastic, loving relationship with definite plans for marriage in the future. We’re in the middle of trying to find a new house to rent and are having a tough time based on our budget and specifications (we have two dogs). Here’s the problem: even though my boyfriend makes about $15k more than I do, he wants us to split the rent 50/50, which limits our affordable housing options quite a bit. I have asked him to consider contributing more for rent — not a lot, just a little more — and he kind of laughed at the suggestion and said, “I don’t think so.” I wouldn’t even have asked him, but our lease is up soon, and all we’re finding to move into is sub-par. We both work full-time, and I also have another job on the side. I’m underpaid at a job I probably wouldn’t have taken had it not been for the economy, but I’m making the best out of it. Note that we don’t share a checking account because he doesn’t like the idea of it; our finances are separate and we split everything down the middle. Should I be concerned at his attitude? Or should I just chalk it up to him wanting to save money for our future? I do tend to be all about equality in relationships, so maybe he takes that as a sign that everything has to be equal? — Poor House

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Dear Wendy: “My New Boyfriend Disapproves Of How I Handle My Ex”

I recently separated from a boyfriend of several years and am now dating someone new. Long story short, I separated from the ex because I always had to pay for everything. I feel stupid and angry at how long I accepted no progress with him. The separation so far has been reasonably amicable and I’m trying to keep it that way. New guy knows the situation and that I am still settling some financial items. I own the cars, for example, including a truck the ex put 1/3 of the money into. At first, I was willing to just let him have the truck, which he really wants, and I would take the other cheaper car, but the new guy doesn’t agree with me on this. Basically, he feels I’ve paid more than enough into the relationship and should at least get some money from the truck. I agreed, and so I told the ex; he balked, but agreed to pay me some more for the truck (but not its full value). He doesn’t have a job though, and the insurance is coming due; I want it transferred to him already but I’m worried he’s not going to pay me for it. New guy would not be happy if he found out ex got away with the truck, but deep down, I just want to put this all behind me. I’m worried, though, that he’ll assume if I don’t stick it to the ex like he deserves, that means I’m still okay with being walked all over. Am I being a pushover still? What do I do? — Possible Pushover

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Girl Talk: More On Marrying For Money

Of all the personal essays I’ve written, “Why Marrying For Money Isn’t A Totally Bad Idea” has provoked the biggest response. It has actually run twice on the Frisky site: once about a year ago and again in June for our Cash & Coupling feature. Due to all that exposure, it has racked up comments numbering in the hundreds and been written about (90 percent negatively) on dozens of blogs. Someone even sent me an email calling me a “yeast infection”!

Some of the things written about the post, and about me, are so untrue that I’m not sure the author actually read the essay all the way through. But it’s clear to me — both from the tone of the comments and from seeing the piece run with “fresh eyes” for a second time — that I did not explain myself and my beliefs very well. I think that instead of being speculative, I should have gotten more personal.

So. Here we go, again … Keep reading »

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