The Four Couples When It Comes to Money - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

Look. People are different. Your spouse will never likely be exactly like you and you should be thankful for that. I know it would be a pain to be married to myself, no idea how my wife does it.

When two people who come together and try to figure this money out, I noticed there are four different types of couples that exist.

Couple #1: The Perfect Couple
For some reason there are couples out there who will never fight about money. They are lucky.

This couple is a super rare minority. You probably have better luck seeing a unicorn than you do meeting this couple.

The reason they never fight is because they both like to keep budgets, they love to count every penny together, and be super frugal. If that is you, then this site probably is not for you.

The reason this couple is so rare is because almost nobody likes to keep a budget. I do not have hard numbers for this, but my experience has been that 99.9% of people hate to keep a budget. It is too time consuming and who wants to be restricted to what they can buy?

I know when I tried keeping a budget, I hated sitting down and having to track every expense into my excel sheet with these complex financial formulas that basically told me I was broke and my job is a joke.

How come nobody told me life would be this way? (Sorry, Friends reference).

Seriously, if you happen to see this couple, take a picture, post it to social media, caption it unicorns exist and tag my name in it.

Since this couple does not fight and they love tracking pennies, I am not going to spend too much time on this couple. If you love keeping the budget more power to you. For the vast majority of us, we fit into one of the three other couples.

Couple #2: The Apathetic Couple

My wife and I can be classified as this couple. Both of us hate spending anytime on money. We like to make money, but at the end of the day, money is just a byproduct and tool to get what we really care about. Neither of us have an overspending problem, so we hate keeping a budget. Why even bother?

We just simply do not care when it comes to our finances. Since the day we got married we have put away $100 per month into our investment accounts.

That’s not a lot, but that added up to about 5-10% of our total income our first year. For those who are not good at math, we only made bout $20,000 our first year of marriage.

The only reason I kept a budget when we first got married is because all the financial “gurus” said I should. I hated doing it though and my wife wanted no part in it. This situation caused conflict in our marriage because I felt like the one with the short end of the stick.

It made me feel as if she did not care about us. It aggravated me to spend hours on our budget.

If you are a couple that fits into this category of hating to keep a budget, but you do not spend too much, then set your finance up automatically.

Once we set up our finances to record our budget automatically using Learnvest, and we set-up a system to draw money out automatically, life was a lot more simple. You could also use tools like Mint.

The fighting in our marriage completely stopped after that.

Couple #3 : The Aggravators
This couple, whether it is both couples or one, overspends. They blow past their income and they are consistently finding themselves in debt.

These people need overspend for various reasons, but a lot of it has to do with their money mindset.

A vast majority of money problems stem from addictions such as drugs, porn, alcohol, etc. If you want to stand a chance a stopping your overspending then it is important to get your addicition in check.

The other reason we overspend is because we are accustomed to a certain lifestyle or we want to be perceived in a certain way. Seeking status is normal. It has helped us survive all of these years.

It use to be important to know the status becuase it could mean life or death in the days of cavemen. For this coupld you need to think about and redefine what money means to you.

If you do not think you have any of these problems, then your last solution is to earn more money. Find a way to make more money. It could be another job, a salary raise, starting a business, etc.

Couple #4 The Allowancers
This type of couple is a broad couple and usually has some interesting dynamics going on in their relationships.

For some reason, there money is almost separte. This couple is set up where one spouse is give a weekly allowance, typically the woman, and she is to buy everything needed on this tiny amount of money while the other spouse has more financail freedom and will spend it on themselves.

This causes deep resentment for the other spouse. This is a tricky situation because more often than not the one who has the most money typically works and has the ideas that the money is theirs rather than it being together.

Of course, you could try talking to the spouse about the situation, but this almost always ensues into a fight. Unfortunately most people do not change and talking to them about how they should change will certainly not work.

So the best solution for this couple is for the one with the tiny budget to earn more money. This is typically stay-at-home-moms or other types of spouses.

With the increase of the internet it has become easier for anyone to work where ever and how ever they want. So there are plenty of opportunities to earn more.

Summary

If you are lucky to not fight about money in your marriage, then you are pretty rare. Most people fall into one of the three other categories.

Do not worry though. Rather than teaching you how to fight and communicate about money, I think it can be prevented by controlling the triggers. It comes down to two simple things: Simplifying your finances and earning more money.

What couple best fits your marriage?

The 4 Types of Couples When it Comes to Money

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 03:04 PM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

#5

A couple where one is a chronic underachiever but relentlessly complains about money. Money she has no interest in adding to. And by chronic underachiever I mean a whipsmart educated person with the skills to at least do something that would actually contribute in a meaningful way w/o having to be workaholic or even employed full time. What it reduces to is a relationship where one person works and the other seems to think that money really does grow on trees. Not a spender but a complainer.

Is there such thing as insanity among penguins? - Werner Herzog
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 03:07 PM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

We are the fourth couple- the allowances.

I am a SAHM, but I manage our finances. That means, I invest, pay bills and budget. My husband is given a number he can take out every week. I know what I spend on food and kids/entertainment. Then, I pay our bills and we have a set amount that we invest every week. I also, manage our rentals.

My husband has no problems, because it frees him up to do other things. He hates worrying about money, so I handle everything. I just let him know when he is going overboard and explain why we need to. I think the explaining the whys and the situation, is the reason why he is never resentful. He also, have some play money that I never touch. This way he can buy something without having to ask if he can. I have an account that I put $50 into every month, it's my in case of money. My husband knows of it and understand my reasoning behind it. Large purchases we do together.

I used to give my self an allowance but that ends up going to the kids, so I stop it. I love reading, so I give my self about $20 a week to buy books. Most weeks I go without making a purchase just borrow from the library a few blocks down.

Over the years, when the kids are around I have them help me with the bills. So, they understand where we get our money from and how we spend it. My son is now very thrifty and my daughter likes to save her money but spend ours.

I think the most important thing, is to be open. No secret accounts, no secret credit cards and no doing anything behind the other's back. I have great respect for my husband, I understand that he needs to feel secure with our finances. I understand that our future depends on this and I do my best to make it work for all of us.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 03:24 PM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

None of those quite fit us, but #1 is closer than the others. We don't budget often, but every year or so do a budget and set some priorities and make some plans. We don't track what we spend, but we do put aside as much as we can afford in various investments while leaving enough to indulge ourselves within reason. We're both somewhat frugal, but also quite willing to spend on small indulgences and on larger things that create shared memories or improve the quality of life, such as travel and home improvements. We both avoid large purchases like boats and motorcycles or fancy toys, but will spend on value-adding and life enhancing renovations. We are quite aware of what we can spend, and always consult each other on significant purchases. We have never fought about money, who earns it, who makes financial decisions, who spends it. Money is just a resource we use as best we can.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CELIBACY IS NOT HEREDITARY.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 06:01 PM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

Couple #1: The Perfect Couple


That's Mrs.CuddleBug and I totally.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 06:58 AM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

Like so many issues in life/relationships the OP has some huge generalisations.

In both my major LTRs there has been NO arguments about money and we never budgeted.

Some people just get on with it.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 11:53 AM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

Myself & husband are a cross between #1 and #2...

#1 because we never fight over money..... we're both naturally savers, we knew this long before we married. saving thousands , had our large wedding paid off before we walked down the aisle.. we had a focused vision to how we hoped it would all play out.. home ownership.. kids...we never took out a loan in our marriage other than for our house/ property...then paid that off in 7 yrs.

#2 because we've never sat down and written out an actual budget.. like we had to strictly adhere to some plan.. Just never did this!

It went more like.. we started out with a BIG stash.. we continued to be ultra frugal / savvy shoppers...where a buck could be saved.. we'd found it ..I love credit cards as I make $$ off of them.. always paying in full. I'd do coupons, shopped at discount / thrift stores, ebay, did rebates...always looking for the best deal, I'd do the research.... we both had patience, never one to spend in a hot moment..

But there were exceptions...when it was something we REALLY wanted.. that brings great Joy to our lives.. a soul hobby, family vacations.. buying a new SLR camera... I/ we'd splurge and think nothing of it -get the very best too .. after all money is there to be used for our enjoyment too !

We could do this as we were saving all year long on other things..

We always had a "mental snapshot" of what we had saved for a rainy day, I've always called it more a "torrential downpour" (for those unforeseen emergencies too)... keeping that high..so we felt the freedom to splurge now & then..

We see debt like a noose around our necks.... so if we get close to exhausting this savings.. we'd know we'd have to do something.. my working full time.. cutting back.. to bring that back up.

This is not to say we are a "well to do" family either... Always lived on a blue collar income...with my having smaller side jobs throughout the yrs - to help supplement ... just filling up our suburban takes over $100 a pop... we do have a larger family...
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

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Originally Posted by Runs like Dog View Post
#5

A couple where one is a chronic underachiever but relentlessly complains about money. Money she has no interest in adding to. And by chronic underachiever I mean a whipsmart educated person with the skills to at least do something that would actually contribute in a meaningful way w/o having to be workaholic or even employed full time. What it reduces to is a relationship where one person works and the other seems to think that money really does grow on trees. Not a spender but a complainer.
That is a good one. I think they might fall under the apathetic couple, but yeah that is a constant problem it seems like. I hear a lot of people on this forum talk about that and wonder how to motivate their spouse into doing something.

My sister-in-law is exactly like that. She complains all of the time about how they do not have enough money and they need to budget, yet does lift a single finger.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

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Originally Posted by SimplyAmorous View Post
Myself & husband are a cross between #1 and #2...

#1 because we never fight over money..... we're both naturally savers, we knew this long before we married. saving thousands , had our large wedding paid off before we walked down the aisle.. we had a focused vision to how we hoped it would all play out.. home ownership.. kids...we never took out a loan in our marriage other than for our house/ property...then paid that off in 7 yrs.

#2 because we've never sat down and written out an actual budget.. like we had to strictly adhere to some plan.. Just never did this!

It went more like.. we started out with a BIG stash.. we continued to be ultra frugal / savvy shoppers...where a buck could be saved.. we'd found it ..I love credit cards as I make $$ off of them.. always paying in full. I'd do coupons, shopped at discount / thrift stores, ebay, did rebates...always looking for the best deal, I'd do the research.... we both had patience, never one to spend in a hot moment..

But there were exceptions...when it was something we REALLY wanted.. that brings great Joy to our lives.. a soul hobby, family vacations.. buying a new SLR camera... I/ we'd splurge and think nothing of it -get the very best too .. after all money is there to be used for our enjoyment too !

We could do this as we were saving all year long on other things..

We always had a "mental snapshot" of what we had saved for a rainy day, I've always called it more a "torrential downpour" (for those unforeseen emergencies too)... keeping that high..so we felt the freedom to splurge now & then..

We see debt like a noose around our necks.... so if we get close to exhausting this savings.. we'd know we'd have to do something.. my working full time.. cutting back.. to bring that back up.

This is not to say we are a "well to do" family either... Always lived on a blue collar income...with my having smaller side jobs throughout the yrs - to help supplement ... just filling up our suburban takes over $100 a pop... we do have a larger family...

You sound exactly like my wife and I. We had a wedding for about $5,000 (honeymoon included). Then we saved a ton of money. We kept a budget though at first, but now we just do not care to keep a budget and just live frugally as it is.

This lifestyle is so much more freeing then having to keep a budget or having to live a life under debt.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

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Originally Posted by Holland View Post
Like so many issues in life/relationships the OP has some huge generalisations.

In both my major LTRs there has been NO arguments about money and we never budgeted.

Some people just get on with it.
I think you have to always make generalisation for advice to be applicable to everyone.

These couples fit almost 99% of couples. You might just happen to be the 1% where things just worked out for you.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 05:59 AM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

Wow! I can't believe we're actually the perfect couple, like are u sure 0.1% rare? I thought, our savings and spending habits and practices are actually common.

Well, I actually have a Buddhist-type mindset so I do not really need to spend anything other than essentials. That's why we would actually never fight about money, because the less things I have, the happier I become, like clothes, shoes, gadgets, make-up, etc.. My husband is more normal in this sense, but he doesn't mind keeping and sticking to the budget.

Our only problem is incoming money is really low and the economy is so bad that even if we are saving a significant portion of my husband's salary, it will still take us 5 years to save enough money for a downpayment for us to become house owners. We live in Australia, and we need at least 20% deposit for a house.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 06:44 AM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

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I think you have to always make generalisation for advice to be applicable to everyone.

These couples fit almost 99% of couples. You might just happen to be the 1% where things just worked out for you.
Are you qualified to give financial advice? Is there any evidence that your 4 categories fit 99% of couples. I would be interested to see a study. I find it hard to believe that there are only 4 categories for money management between couples, with so many people on the planet surely the permutations are much higher.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 08:15 AM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

I guess somewhere between 1 & 2. When my wife first got married I kept a budget for us (so I guess closer to 2). We both had the same goals and never had any issues or fights about money. As time moved on and my career progressed there became less of a need to budget. I give my wife a lot of liberty when it comes to spending money, I don't hold any restrictions over her and really just give her a quick nudge if spending jumps a bit. At this point now I would put us to #1.

I have mentioned elsewhere, but I believe a big reason my wife and I never fought over money was how allocated our paychecks (she is a SAHM now but when we got married she worked full time). We know what our monthly bills were, so we would each pay in to our joint checking out a pro rata share (based on each person's income over the total income) to cover all bills. The remaining money would be left in each of our personal checking accounts to do with as we pleased. I never liked the idea of pooling all money together.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 09:54 AM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

These categories don't really ring true for me. My wife and I just generally have the same attitude to money so can get on with it without relentlessly budgeting or making allowances. Works pretty well we just need to invest wisely to maximise our gains.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 03:24 PM
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Re: The Four Couples When It Comes to Money

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Originally Posted by Runs like Dog View Post
#5

A couple where one is a chronic underachiever but relentlessly complains about money. Money she has no interest in adding to. And by chronic underachiever I mean a whipsmart educated person with the skills to at least do something that would actually contribute in a meaningful way w/o having to be workaholic or even employed full time. What it reduces to is a relationship where one person works and the other seems to think that money really does grow on trees. Not a spender but a complainer.
5A - the underachiever doesn't complain, but also doesn't seem to understand or care that the breadwinner feels under appreciated or that the roles/responsibilities are out of balance (or perceived as out of balance).
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