Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How they do it, Part II

(This picture has nothing to do with anything. I just liked the colors.)

How do the Mister and i keep the love alive after all the many many many looooong years? Or, more realistically, how do we keep from killing each other. Here’s a tip.

The Mister has a car problem. He likes to buy them and then drive them around in circles really really fast. This costs money, sometimes lots of money. That used to piss me off.

Now, at the suggestion of a couple’s therapist that we used to see, we each have our own mad money account. We started with $500 each. The spending of this money is with full disclosure and no comment from the other spouse. At the end of 6 months, we reimburse the same amount to each account, in order to bring the account with the least money back up to $500.

He always has $0 left, and i usually haven’t spent any.

The end result of this is that i have an account with lots of money in it. (I am a saver, so this makes me happy.) And the Mister has……um…..lots of good memories.

Now when he wants to spend some money on his little problem, i say “That’s great honey, i’ll transfer some money into our accounts.”

No more pissed-offedness.

We paid someone $130 an hour for this advice, which i am dispensing to you for free. That’s what friends are for.


thailandchani said...

Thanks! I'll keep it in mind if I ever find someone worth marrying again.. LOL


Thailand Gal

amusing said...

Okay. I've filed it away. Perhaps I'll even pass it along to Mr. X -- I suspect he and the Mrs. could use some help figuring out money issues.....(tee hee, not my problem!).

SUEB0B said...

That is a fabulous idea. If I ever get back to a full-time relationship with Mr Stapler, I will definitely use it, because I am frugal as hell and he loves to spend money on high-ticket items like vintage guitars and watches.

Lucia said...

Money, money, money. The great thing is that couples can figure things out in al sorts of ways. I've been married for many years, and although we co-own property, we have never had a joint account. He wants to fill a room with expensive computer equipment or go to Antarctica? No problem. Not my money. No stress for me. (A lot of things have worked out with us less than conventionally, but without a lot of work.)

Marshamlow said...

For some reason we never fight about money, I think we have very similar spending styles and we both like to be very frugal except when it comes to travel. Very convenient. We fight about the division of labor. I don't think he does enough and he doesn't think I do enough, kids, housework, working outside the home, etc. I believe he spends way too much time in pursuit of leisure and he thinks that is entirely my problem. We need separate leisure time bank accounts. Every time he goes out to watch football with his friends I get three hours in my account. Which I will save until I have a year off, and run away to Mexico. Any advice on this one?

Liv said...

Oh, Thailand Gal, I just want to copy and paste what you said. It bears repeating:

"Thanks! I'll keep it in mind if I ever find someone worth marrying again.. LOL"

meno said...

thailand gal, good luck with that one.

amusing, you're too stinking happy to need advice right now. But feel free to pass it on to the X and the AS.

suebob, it really is a good idea! If the Mister wanted to buy a Ferrari right now, i'd say "Great, i'll transfer the same amount to each account." :)

lucia, we were so young when we got married that we did lots of things the way they are "supposed" to be done. But there are many other ways to make it work. For example, i think it might be cool to have separate apartments, 6 blocks away.

marsha, we used to struggle more with this one. It's easier now, not because either of us has changed, but because Em is older and there is less to be done. But when we sit down on the weekends to talk about what needs to be done, his list is all his things and mine are all us things. But then again, to be fair, i have more time during the week to do my stuff. No advice from me, although the time bank sounds like one idea.

liv, TG is a smart, funny woman all right.

sari said...

This is a fine idea. I'm going to keep it for a rainy day, n the future.


thailandchani said...

Liv and Meno, thanks for the compliment. Actually there is someone I am interested in (and I shouldn't be putting this out on the internet... LOL) and he lives 3000 miles away. It might just work. We can meet in Kansas once every few months, have wild sex for a few days and then go to our own corners.

Sorry. I don't mean to be so cynical.. but, hey... I'm cynical.



Dick said...

I guess that is one way to do it. We rarely had disagrements over money or anything for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I want to be you in that scenario. But something tells me I would be buying cars to race around in circles. Even if they were matchbox cars.

karmic said...

Thank you for the free advice. :) After mroe than a doz yrs we still have joint accounts. We just communicate about these things and neither of us is the type that spends too much so. It works out ok.

Lynnea said...

I love this idea! We have an agreement that anything spent over a certain amount we discuss first. And we have separate spending money we each get in cash every week. We don't fight much but you know, money troubles are a stresser even when we agree on what to spend things on, because, well money is money and raising a family requires it.

urban-urchin said...

this is one of our biggest fights- I'm a saver and hyperventilate when the bill at Costco is over $100. He's a spender with a capital S. We are working on it.

Josephine said...

Why, thank you Meno!

Anonymous said...

Sage advice. At this house, the guy is more of a spender and the chic can deliberate for weeks at a time about an iTunes purchase. Go figure.

I heard about a couple who did the separate apartment thing a few years ago. They had both upgraded to Marriage 2.0....I guess they were more cautious after the first install failed.

meno said...

sari, it's raining here today. :)

thailand gal, cynical? That sounds more like realistic to me (said a fellow cynic).

hi dick, we didn't really fight about it, but i did get resentful. Hope you are still having fun and staying dry.

kerrianne, In high school i had a friend who gave me a matchbox car that was a Mercedes 450 SL. He told me that if i watered it everyday, it would grow into a real car. You could try it. :)

D-man, good move. Now, what about all those knives in the kitchen?

sanjay, if you are both savers, then it all works out well. If not, sometimes other arrangements need to be made.

maggie, We have that agreement too, about the joint money. It's just the mad money that we can spend without consulting one another.

urban-urchin, i am fully convinced that the money i have saved in my account will someday prevent the whole family, including the 3 cats, having to move into a single room at the YMCA. Which is silly, but i still feel more comfortable w/my little nest egg.

hi josephine!

patches, that sounds like here! How's it working out with the separate apts?

Girlplustwo said...

ahhh. while we have our shit, money isn't one of them - we are on the same page (probably b/c we both want to save enough money to move to Belize)....but yes, it's a touchy subject, and you've found a way that works well. good for you.

Princess in Galoshes said...

Good advice. Although I am definitely the Spender in our relationship. Bah. A nice savings for an exotic trip sounds so lovely, but in the meantime there is so much junque to be bought I just can never make it happen...!

Gretchen said...

That is why I have my own checking account...

Good job on finding a solution.

Does he ever ask you for your fun money? No, I'm sure he knows better...

meno said...

jen, when you have a common goal like that, it's not an issue. I selfishly hope there is internet in Belize.

ss, when we were broke, we really didn't have this issue. There was no question of him spending large amounts on any of that stuff.

princess, junque is always a temptation. I just think of the land fill in which it will all end up and i am less tempted.

gretchen, he wouldn't ask. Although he sometimes negotiates for more $, it's money that we both get.