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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday's Topic: Marriage & Money

It's been said that the majority of marriages that end in divorce do so because of money issues (for some reason I doubt that but maybe it's true!).
With that said, do you think couples need to be accountable to each other for what they spend? Is there a "magic number" of what you can spend without consulting your spouse? Do you agree that money is one of the biggest issues in a marriage?


  1. My husband and I agreed that if we spent more than $100 on anything we would have to agree on it. After 30 years of marriage it has worked!

  2. My husband and I have very similar spending habits, both very frugal, so we get along famously on that topic. I could see how if we were different it wouldn't work out so well.

    We tend to talk about purchasing decision. There is a specific amount. I think it depends on whether it's discretionary or not.

  3. I always say that we never fight about money because we don't have any to fight about! LOL!

    Seriously...I think the best thing we ever did was to regard whatever money that comes into the house as OURS. We don't have separate bills or bank accounts. This helps tremendously, because while I bring in a little money tutoring at night and babysitting during the day, he makes the bulk of the homehold income. Not once has he ever made me feel bad or guilty about not contributing more to our income, because we both believe that me staying home with our kids during the day is what works best for our family.

    In turn, I try to be a good steward of what money we do have. I plan our meals around what's on sale, I use coupons for grocery and other purchaes, and I try to come up with creative ways to get what we need without spending money, like bartering clothes and growing vegetables and fruit.

    We usually don't consult each other before buying things that the kids need, but we communicate enough to be aware that the other spouse is going shopping for shoes for the kids, or that baseball registration or school tuition is due. We have a monthly budget, which I keep track of. $500 of our budget is for "extras", which, to us, means that it's money that isn't going to pay the mortgage or other bills, or food. That $500 needs to be used for sports and camp registrations, medical expenses, birthday gifts, party supplies if one of our children is having a birthday, clothing, haircuts for me (since I cut everyone else's hair), household items, office supplies, etc. etc. etc. Dentist visits and school tuition comes out of savings. Usually, if DH wants to buy something over about $10 during the day, he will call me and ask if we have the money for it, or if he should wait till next month.

    So, to sum up my long-winded answer- no. Money is not an issue in our marriage, but I can see how it could be if one spouse was spending beyond the couple's means, or if one spouse was making the other spouse feel guilty about the amount of money he/she does/doesn't make.

  4. If it's true that nearly 50% of all marriages end in divorce, then I have a hard time believing that the majority of marriages fail because of money. I do think money (the lack of) can cause a great deal of stress in a marriage. If you are constantly worried about how you are going to pay your bills then that worry will affect other aspects of the marriage and yes, some people would end up getting a divorce, but others would not. I guess it just depends on the people and the circumstances. I have been married 42 years and I would never go out and spend $1000 without telling hubby, but a few hundred--sure, I've done that lots of times. I have never felt the need to explain how I've spent every penny and he's never asked. We've been lucky. We've never had to pinch pennies and we've never had to worry about how the bills were going to be paid. That's my story. If things had been more difficult, we would have worked our way through it. I can't imagine we would have let money destroy our marriage.

  5. Fights about money are really fights about priorities. If I would rather have the security of more money in the bank than a vacation, that is a discussion about priorities.

  6. I think Nicole has it spot on in her last paragraph.
    We have a joint account for essentials and each have an account for 'spending without question'.
    We don't have a huge income as we both work part time in order to be home with the children on our days off.
    I am glad that I am married to someone who is also careful with money and hates being in debt.

  7. We have never fought about money. We both are so tight with our money that we squeak when we walk! :) My husband brings home the check and I manage the money by paying the bills, buying what I need for the house & children. We discuss any out of norm spending with each other. We both are on the same page and trust one another, so there is no issue. I believe communication is the real answer though. We share and discuss everything. We truly are one body.



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