Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Finance and Romance--A Tip for Two

When my husband and I were engaged we received good advice from many people but one gem has stuck with us over the nearly fifteen years that have followed.

So many marriages feel stress from financial worries. Debt, bills, spouses working or not working, spending habits, all these can take their toll on romance. But we were counseled that whatever our financial situation each month we budget money as "personal cash." Cash that each spouse gets without strings or obligations, to be spent as he or she sees fit.

While Andrew was in school and I was at home with our two kids this meant about $1.50 a piece--but hey, if you saved up that $1.50 there was no telling what you could do--the world was your our oyster. Now we budget a bit more but it's great to have money to spend on yourself for a treat without feeling guilty.

We've used it for books, clothes, vacations, movies and Moose's Tooth cheese bread. Sometimes we'll even spend it on the other person as the ultimate romantic gesture. To get a gift that was purchased by the other spouse's personal cash--that's true love.

Check in with Rocks in My Dryer every Wednesday for other good tips.

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27 comments:

"Sunshine" said...

My husband is great about having what he fondly calls "mad money". As he keeps track of the financial records in our marraige he's made a point of recording all we spend and where to the penny. It's been a great help and we've come out of debt and built a savings even in the tightest of times. As our finances have continued to improve so have my "mad money" opportunities. I don't have to give him an accounting for this money and it's nice to have that freedom when it's available. It's truly been a good de-stresser in what is typically a stress point in a marraige as you pointed out.

Larae said...

Great advice! Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine's Day! =)

Erica said...

Great tip michelle, we have a similar set up :)

MC Milker said...

Great advice. Thanks for the tip.

girlymama said...

we have the same set up - and it works great. husband cannot understand why i would spend money on a pedicure when i already have nail polish at home. and i cannot understand why he needs another golf club when he already has a full set.

and you're right - nothing says 'i love you' like a gift given out of your personal money!!

Blondie said...

It is so true that you need to have strings-free money for the little things. Great advice!!

Christie said...

That's a really good idea! We might have to try that! Right now, since he keeps track of it all, I call him and say, are we broke? I need a pair of shoes. But the both of us are really pretty good about it, we won't buy anything that's crazy expensive, or if we will, we talk first.

Eagles Wings said...

that's a really cool idea...thanks for sharing.
thanks for stopping by my wordless wednesday as well!

Ma said...

Money is always a part of a marraige and everyday life. It feels good when you can put some aside ti enjoy it in a special way later.

Thanks for stopping by.

wheresmymind said...

I need to set up an account for myself...my wife already has something like this going on

chilihead said...

We do this too. It saves so many arguments.

mar said...

What a sweet post, enjoyed reading your tip!!

dcrmom said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Goslyn said...

We do this too. We each get a monthly allowance, however meager. But its great. Gifts to eachother are always purchased from the allowance, as are clothes.

Barbara H. said...

We received similar advice a few years into our marriage -- for each to have a little cash that they are not accountable to the other for. It's great. :)

Amy W said...

Thanks for the tip, I think it just might work in my house!

Lisa said...

My hubby has always needed what he calls his "walkin' around money." Being that my parents were extremely stingy growing up, we never got "walkin around money."

But it didn't take me long to see that "walkin around money" IS pretty nice. Especially when one buys the movie/popcorn and the other pays the sitter with it. heehee

Susan said...

Sage advice, Michelle. It's so important to be clear and honest about finances in a marriage.

chelle said...

That is an awesome idea ... we are strapped at the moment and my sweet husband has found ways to allow me to have a small yarn budget and always makes room for the blog space ... I love him for that ... Thanks for the reminder to give him an extra hug!

Nicole said...

I totally agree. Money can be a MAJOR stress on relationships. We don't even have a credit card. While some might not think that this is smart, we think it is the best decision we have ever made. We DO have a debit card that can be used as a credit card, but it comes straight out of our account.

I love your tips!

Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) said...

I think that's an awesome idea! At present, it might only be .25 cents, but, golly, it adds up!

Congratulations on being a "Spread The Love" blog awards finalist!!!

Jane said...

That is good advice! Having been single for so long, accounting for my spending was one of the hardest adjustments with getting married.

Jen said...

Moose's Tooth cheese bread?

Kristen said...

This is such a great idea.

Ally said...

Moving to this system saved us a lot of headache. We actually have separate accounts and then move money into a joint household account. Now I can't believe we ever did it any other way.

Amy said...

This is a great idea. We've found if we don't budget this money, it gets spent anyway, then we have to figure out were we can take it from when the bills come due.

Amy said...

I completely agree. My husband & I budget ten dollars a week to spend on what we want. It is so nice to have life's little pleasures without the guilt. Having our own allowance really makes finances a little easier to swallow!