Don’t be a money moron

by Kristina on March 26, 2014 · 7 comments

“Money morons are the leading cause of ruined relationships.” –Gail Vaz-Oxlade

Good morning Dinks.  As a financial planner I am not a huge fan of money shows from other money experts.  I feel it’s like staring into the looking glass watching myself at work all day and I don’t want to do that.  However on Tuesday nights after The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills the show Money Moron starring Gail Vaz-Oxlade comes on and sometimes I catch the beginning.

Money Moron is a show that features couples who are heading for a breakup because they just can’t get their money right.  Gail Vaz-Oxlade helps couples get their finances in order from paying off debt, saving money, learning to change their money habits and setting a family budget.

Being a money moron can ruin your relationship

As one half of a pretty successful couple I can say that money can be one of the best things in your relationship or it can be the thing that tears you apart.  When my boyfriend Nick and I were broke it took a huge toll on our relationship.  I honestly didn’t know if we would survive it, but we did.  For the rest of my life I will be forever thankful that my boyfriend could see the bigger picture.

Over the last 15 years Nick and I have gone from being broke students, to earning six figure salaries, then being so broke we couldn’t afford to eat.  Now we are in our 30s and living a happy financial life.  We don’t have as high of a family income as we used to but we now have more savings and less debt. So overall we have grown up from being money morons to being a financially well off couple.

3 things couples need to be money happy

Have trust in each other.  We found out that money doesn’t work in a couple when one person controls the household finances.  We have a mutual respect for each other’s spending and savings.  I don’t tell Nick how to spend his money and he doesn’t tell me how to spend mine.  I may not always agree with his purchases, such as the Blu-ray DVD of every single Marvel and DC Comic movie, but he uses his own money to buy them so it’s fine.

Don’t be shy, talk about it.  I am not sure if it’s because I work in personal finance or because Nick and I have been through so many money problems in the past, but we always talk about money.  Before we make a purchase we talk about it with each other and if we both agree then we split the cost.  If only one of us wants something, such as my Justin Timberlake concert tickets, we use our own money.

Save and spend together.  A lot of animosity comes into a relationship when one person is always saving and the other is always spending.  This happens a lot because as one person overspends the other compensates by increasing their savings.  As a couple this strategy works but individually resentment builds up.  To balance out as a couple one person is always sacrificing while the other is enjoying the money and that just doesn’t work.  My advice is to set couple’s goals.  Decide how you want to save and spend your money together and try to contribute equally.

Photo by uberculture

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen @Sprout Wealth March 26, 2014 at 6:56 am

Often it is said the money makes the world go around but it is also the root of many evil that it can destroy relationships. Couples who don’t fight about money are admirable and your story should be an inspiration.

2 Dee @ Color Me Frugal March 26, 2014 at 7:54 pm

I love your tip to save and spend together. It’s so true- if one person is doing all the saving while the other is doing all the spending, you’re going to be headed for problems! Open communication is the key.

3 Retired By 40! March 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm

The trust is hard for me. The Big Guy would never intentionally do something to mess up our financial life, but he is forgetful. Love him to death, but I am afraid that he will forget and not pay a bill, spend too much money on impulse or something like that. we are working on it….

4 Daisy March 27, 2014 at 9:19 am

These are great tips. My fiance and I are getting married and combining (partially) our finances this summer, and we’ve had some talks about money to prepare ourselves for marriage. We have an advantage in that we have lived together for a few years, so we’ve already gotten into a good groove of spending, saving, etc.

5 Tom Alexander March 27, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I’m living this nightmare with my spouse. I’ve been the saver and bill payer. Every time when I bring up the spending habits she puts her head in the sand. The thin plastic credit card has become between us. Frustrating to say the lest

6 debT debS March 28, 2014 at 11:37 pm

I think we are guilty a little of #3. Not in a big way, but blowing our grocery and booze budget drives me nuts. Seems my husband has a love of grocery stores. We’ve introduced no spend or zero dollar days and that has helped a bit, but we just started.

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