The Four Letter Word that Could End Your Marriage

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This headline reeled me on in today on AOL and I’m super glad I clicked. This video features TODAY Show Financial Editor Jean Chatzky discussing the four letter word all couples should beware of if they want to increase their chances of having a successful marriage. I thought it was FICO (as in score), but it’s not. The answer might surprise you. Watch, then let’s chat about it below.

“If it’s 50 percent off, that means it’s still 50 percent on!” Love this. That’s going to be the mantra I write inside my hand before I go shopping from now on. You weren’t thinking “sale” right? Neither was I, but Jean has a smart point.

The Man and I spend a lot of time trying to figure out where our money goes. This scares me a lot of times because I think back to the one thing that my father always stressed when it came to marriage advice: “Finances will destroy a marriage. Even a loving one.” Since we’re nowhere near masters of the finance game, but we have a lot of love, these words sit with me often. Money is something we know we need to work on and we’re working together now to discover new ways to take on debt and spending that work for us.

Interestingly enough, I think the first step in doing this is recognizing what you’re not willing to comprise on, and why. For instance: My husband pointed out that I spend like $20 a week on large iced teas from Dunkin Donuts and that’s money we could be saving. True, except, I need that tea like coffee addicts need their morning cup. It levels me out and it makes me happy. A happy me, makes for a happier marriage, so I’m not going to give up my iced-tea splurges. BUT, I am willing to discuss cutting back on newsstand magazine purchases and random gifts for The Dog. To me, it’s compromises like this one that will help us find a financial plan of action we can live with. Everything ain’t for everyone, right?

Do you and yours have smart shopping habits? Do you believe finances can do your happy marriage in? Is the sale rack your enemy?

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17 Responses to The Four Letter Word that Could End Your Marriage

  1. I agree. The sale gets a lot of people. Especially if you don't need it, seriously why buy it. I confess we have gotten into some problems over that 4 letter word, and we are working it out. It can be a stressful, but I suggest coming up with a plan and sticking to it. Budget is key, even if it hurts sometimes. I am not perfect at keeping the budget, I was just in a store and made a purchase because of the price. Did I really need it? Well, not really. That just goes to show I am still a work in progress. However this post and video definitely have me back on track. Thanks.
    My recent post Did I Fart or Something?

    • ManWifeDog says:

      If I just had one dollar back for every time I bought something on sale I knew I shouldn't of, I'd still be better off. It's sad how much I'm sucker for a good sale. I really, really, really plan to recite this "50 percent on" mantra before I head out to ANY retail store…simple,yet so real!

  2. princessofgeekadonia says:

    Managing your finances is super important in a marriage, especially if you and your spouse have different attitudes toward money. Working together to become debt free early on in our marriage has spared us a lot of drama and heartache – especially in these terrible economic times!

    • ManWifeDog says:

      How did you two work together to become debt free? Did you make a plan to pay down your credit card bills together? Did you share the payments. Preach and teach please. We could use the tips! Really, I'm asking.

      • princessofgeekadonia says:

        How much time do you have?! LOL This is a subject I'm passionate about! We made a list of all our combined debts to see what the grand total was. Then we listed them from smallest to largest and began a debt snowball. You basically take your smallest payment and attach to it whatever additional money you have left over after your bills are paid. So for example, if you gave up the iced-teas (hey, it's just an example! LOL) and your minimum credit card payment is $15, add the $20 from the teas to make the payment $35. Do that until you pay that card off. Then you add that $35 onto your $50 a month Macy's card, turning that into an $85 payment. We did this until everything was all gone!

        We strictly followed the plan in Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover." That book was the best $25 we've ever spent! My husband lost his job two years ago (d*mn recession!) but we were still able to pay cash for my master's degree on one income because we are debt free. It's an amazing way to live. Talk about peace and harmony? I'm all about it. Hit me up if you want to know more!
        My recent post “It is what it is” and four other abused phrases

        • ManWifeDog says:

          Thank you so much. It's so helpful to hear how other couples have gotten rid of debt and I'm feverishly taking notes over here. I love the iced tea example. You're so right. It will take patience but it really is about the baby steps. I think I'm going to start posting about my progress so I can force us to be accountable to our readers and therefore ourselves. Girl, you've inspired me tonight. Stay tuned for an update!

  3. I.White says:

    Money problems create a lot of issues so it is best to be ont he same page with your spouse. If not, you end up playing the blame game and that is no fun. It will end up spreading to other areas of the marriage and also lead to resentment. Finances are something that a couple should work on together from the very beginning, not when you realize that you are hundreds of thousands in debt and have nothing to show for it.
    My recent post 1st Day #2

    • ManWifeDog says:

      I agree. It's not something people always want to talk about in the beginning but they most certainly should. It's a must-have sort of conversations.

  4. myloverswife says:

    My parents, like your dad, delivered a similar message to me when I got married. Money and how it is handled is my biggest marriage fear. My husband and I have different perspectives on money. I fear that I am too aware and that he is not aware enough about our finances. I'm learning to be a team player without trying to be team captain.

    • ManWifeDog says:

      Being a team player without being a team captain is a HUGE dilemma for me. The Man isn't as in tune with our finances as I'd like him to be but I fear that in trying to get him there sometimes I'm way too pushy. It's really a tough scale to balance. Please share your tips/secrets/tricks any time — ha! Seriously!

  5. fran says:

    This post is sooo true! I am a spend a holic and my husband is frugal. Even though I pay the bills for the household I let him take the lead. I also try and stay out of the malls and AWAY from the Internet!!
    My recent post Talking Tuesdays..Why I Can NEVER Rock a Mini Van..

    • ManWifeDog says:

      The internet is my guilty pleasure. Seriously it just makes it too damn easy to spend money while at work. The sale emails that come into my inbox are just too tempting — I call them messages from the devil! Every day they taunt and tempt me to do wrong. I'm so weak.

  6. Cam says:

    I think openly discussing your financial goals is really important. Seeing where you both stand and what you're willing to do to reach those goals helps. Checking in to see where you are on those goals helps too. I think like everything else in a relationship communication is key or yes, finances can do you in.
    My recent post Down the Aisle

    • ManWifeDog says:

      Yes, it's the check ins that count, for sure. It's a must! Money meetings should be a requirement in every marriage. We often plan to have them and don't. The discipline isn't there, but we're constantly trying to get there. If we force ourselves to be accountable each week, change is imminent.

  7. ha – treats for the dog.. It drives my husband crazy that I always come home with treats/toys/collars/snacks/stuffanimals/bones/rawhides- i could go on.. Well, I guess I will look at it that way, maybe I do go over board… LOL
    My recent post Life Before Kids

    • ManWifeDog says:

      Lord knows I do. I was shut down recently when I brought her home a doggie shawl — LOL! Overboard = me! Did you get your Twitter problems handled?

  8. essay center says:

    We do not have to everything harsh and quickly especially when we are feeling the anger about these kinds of the decisions. These are the head matter but in these days our new generation is never caring about them.

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