About a year ago, I wrote a post about money and marriage problems that I’d like to update since my own financial circumstances have changed a little bit since then with an ever increasing list of work from home jobs part time:
An article at Yahoo Finance brought up different money problems that arise in marriages. Here is what I wrote a year ago followed by my views now.
1. Paycheck Envy – I don’t know about you all, but my husband would dance a jig if I made more than him. If you and your spouse truly see your money as joint money, than who makes more wouldn’t matter, right? Feel free to explain something I’m missing…
For the last 3-4 months, I really have made more than my husband thanks to the combo of my day job and making money online blogging. I can honestly say now that Mr. BFS doesn’t mind in the least. He hasn’t danced an actual jig yet, but he has done little happy dances when I give him money updates, lol.
2. Debt – I can understand fighting if one person keeps accruing debt while the other keeps trying to pay it off. In that case, I’d have to leave…I can’t stand lies and fighting joint progress feels like a lie of some sort.
I can also understand a general feeling of helplessness that leads to lashing out at each other. Both of these scenarios sound like a living nightmare to me. If hubby and I had high interest debt, I’d probably get a little pissy in general, but we’d sit down and make a payoff plan. Taking action sounds way better than fighting about it.
Wow, I was in a good mood when I wrote that. I’d be absolutely ticked if my husband was building up high-interest debt behind my back. I wouldn’t kill him, but yes, I would probably leave. If we built up that debt together, our bodies were switched out with aliens and we’d fight about it for sure. He better start doing some more stay at home dad jobs and paying this off quick.
3. Bills – The article says that fights occur because one person usually pays the bills and is unhappily surprised by the other one’s spending. I can tell you from a recent personal experience, this does happen once in a while for us. I’m the bill payer since hubby had no interest in the details, but that means that the weeks he splurges on fast food annoy the crud out of me. I am slowly learning to ease up on the control freak behavior…hubby is a patient man.
I have successfully backed off thanks to our fun money accounts. Anytime we decide to splurge, the extra comes out of the appropriate fun money account. We haven’t fought/argued/nagged each other over a bill for more than a year, woot!
4. Saving – A thrifty person married to a spendthrift is going to lead to problems. Even though hubby spends more than me, I can easily say he is no spendthrift. Thankfully. I just don’t see how it would work out very well. Does anybody have any personal experiences with this? Did any of those end well?
I still think it would be hard to make a marriage work with two people with obviously different priorities. No change here.
5. Investing – Okay, I can totally see this as being a little problem. I don’t personally care much about the specific stocks we are invested in, but I much rather invest in target date mutual funds than individual stocks anyway. Hubby would rather invest more in high dividend equities using make money apps like Acorns. We have reached a compromise that works for us – my 401(k) and our Roth IRA are in target date funds and we have a Scottrade account for specific equity investments that my husband is in charge of. So far, this is working out really well. Have you ever had these types of issues? How did you work it out?
We’ve continued this compromise and even opened a 2nd Roth IRA that is invested in individual high-divend stocks by Mr. BFS. This is actually working very well for us – simple target date mutual funds for me and individual stocks for him. Yay for compromises that actually work!
6. Differing Expectations – This isn’t just a fiscal problem…if each spouse has different expectations, there will be fighting. Hubby and I met when we were 18. There is nothing more eye-opening than developing into an adult while being engaged for 4 years. We have learned over the years to voice our opinions and expectations instead of assuming the other one will just know. See, you’d think that would be obvious, but selfish kids do not understand that everybody doesn’t think the same way they do, lol. Ah, the importance of communication.
I stick to my original answer. Communication has been absolute gold for my marriage.
7. Secret Stash – This screams “issues” to me. I would understand squirreling away money for a surprise gift or something like that, but just having “backup” cash seems hinky. Again, if there’s something I’m missing here, please give me a heads up.
After finding another article about hiding spending, I have definitely decided that it’s disgusting. Hiding something for non-sweet reasons is a form of lying. It’s a betrayal of trust that would infuriate me.
What do you think? Any suggestions or comments about the above?