• 12 Ways My Wife Quietly Makes Our Life Work

    Quite often on The Simple Dollar, I’ll discuss some aspect of my personal finance life and I’ll say that “I” did this or that “I” did that. Well, for every mention of the word “I,” my wife is there in the background, doing something little to make sure it all happens. She’ll cook a great …

  • A Reasonable Marriage

    This is the final entry in a five part series this week on the stages of a relationship and how you can make financially sound choices throughout. Other entries include courtships;, engagements;, weddings, and honeymoons. You’re now a married couple, settling into a long life together. Now what? It’s easy to fall into routines in …

  • A Reasonable Wedding

    This is the third entry in a five part series this week on the stages of a relationship and how you can make financially sound choices throughout. Other entries include courtships;, engagements;, honeymoons, and marriages. Weddings are a traditional sinkhole of a new couple’s money. In fact, I’ve actually written about it before, denoting eighteen …

  • A Reasonable Engagement

    This is the second entry in a five part series this week on the stages of a relationship and how you can make financially sound choices throughout. Other entries include courtships, weddings, honeymoons, and marriages. At some point in a relationship, it becomes clear that the people involved are interested in tying their lives together. …

  • Some Thoughts on Building a Successful Marriage

    From my perspective, once you enter into the realm of marriage, building and maintaining a successful marriage is actually a big part of personal and financial success. A solid marriage not only results in people sharing resources together, but a marriage also provides a lot of emotional support, cheerleading, and encouragement to succeed. In the …

  • Ten Vital Tactics for Making the “Money Talk” Work

    Let’s face it: talking about money can be very, very difficult. I’m speaking from experience here: when my wife and I first started addressing our financial situation, it was extremely challenging to talk about money. We’d look at our financial state, see that we weren’t where we wanted to be, and would seek someone or …

  • Some Thoughts on Anniversaries and Their Requisite Gifts

    On our first wedding anniversary, I didn’t get my wife a gift. Quite frankly, I considered the idea, but shelved it because it didn’t seem like a major situation. I believed that sometimes it’s nice to get a gift for a “major” anniversary (one ending in a 5 or a 0), but for other anniversaries, …

  • Eighteen Tips for a Frugal (Not Cheap) Wedding

    “Angela” writes in: What advice do you have for a frugal wedding? We’re getting married in the fall of 2010. Since we are both in our early twenties and don’t have a lot to spend we were hoping to keep our wedding as small as possible. We were thinking no more than six to eight …

  • Our Path to (Finally) Merging Our Finances

    After six years of dating followed by five years of marriage, my wife and I finally decided to merge our finances together into the same accounts. We’re going to use a local bank for teller purposes and paper checks, and stay with ING Direct for much of our checking and savings purposes. Why did this …

  • Review: Financial Infidelity

    Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book of interest. Financial infidelity – in other words, the situation in which dishonesty creeps into a relationship due to money – is probably the most common source of emails that I receive. I’ve heard some incredibly devastating tales of woe – suddenly discovered five-figure credit …

  • How to Deal with a Partner That Hides Money Problems

    It’s a sad story that I hear time and time again. One spouse is trying very hard to get their financial life back on track, while the other one is hiding a bunch of spending under the table. When it comes out – a misplaced bill is found, a credit card is rejected, a check …

  • You Can’t Buy Love

    About two weeks ago, I did something incredibly stupid. Without even really thinking about it, I let my wife down. I made one of those careless, thoughtless little mistakes that when you realize what you’ve done, you might want to slap yourself in the head about it, but a mistake can’t be undone. My first …

  • Review: The Big Payoff

    The Simple Dollar book reviews are back again! Each Friday for the foreseeable future, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. After a long stretch of focusing in on Born to Buy, I’m looking forward to writing a whole lot of book reviews over the next several months. And I’ll start off with a …

  • Holding a Monthly Family Financial Meeting … And How It Can Benefit Your Marriage and Educate Your Children

    Prior to our financial meltdown, my wife and I simply never sat down and talked about our finances. Right after our meltdown, we talked about things almost every day, but through our recovery, our discussions have slowly reduced themselves to the point where we’re effectively already having monthly family financial meetings. And these meetings have …

  • Twelve Important Things To Talk About When Your Relationship Gets Serious

    One thing that I feel I did very right earlier in my life was building a strong, communication-based relationship with my wife in the years before our marriage. We talked about everything, building up to a point where no topic was off limits between us and we could expect a truly honest answer from each …

  • Potential Pitfalls For Paying Off Someone Else’s Debt

    I received a really interesting story from a reader named John. He has his financial head in the right place, but some other pieces of his overall life puzzle aren’t quite in alignment. Take it away, John: I am 29 years old and I have just recently started to jump into real estate investing part …

  • Ten Financial Matters I Wish I Had Discussed With My Wife Before We Got Married

    I adore my wife – she’s a wonderful woman and a wonderful mother. We go together like two peas in a pod on most things, except for money (and cats, but that’s entirely off topic). We’re both frugal, but she’s never been into any sort of financial planning at all, and this has led to …

  • Marriage and Mortgage: A Reader Wants To Know

    A reader wrote in recently asking whether or not wedding bells should be in his future. What do you think? My fiance and I are considering marriage. However, it seems like financially, marriage is a mistake. We both work full time and it seems like a greater proportion of our incomes would now go into …

  • Separating The “Wants” From The “Needs”

    My wife and I have a monthly financial review meeting where we sit down with all of our bills, credit card statements, and so forth. We go through everything together, item by item, and try to figure out where we can trim our spending. Most of the time, we’re in pretty clear agreement on things, …