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Now's your chance.

Make meaningful improvements to your finances every week.

Now's your chance.

Make meaningful improvements to your finances every week.

Getting Your Significant Other On Board Financially with Laura Fiebert

 

Fights over money are a leading cause of divorce. Andrew’s wife Laura joins us to talk about getting a reluctant spouse on board financially.

Laura does a lot behind the scenes for LMM but this is her first time on the show! She was the spender to Andrew’s saver when they met. But after a few years, he whipped her into shape.

Laura’s parents aren’t bad with money but they didn’t teach her enough growing up to be good with money. By the time she met Andrew, her wages were being garnished.

When the couple moved in together, Andrew said one thing he never wanted to fight about was money so they needed to communicate openly and often about it.

Strong arming any topic, especially money, is a fast way to fail. A crash course in what someone should have learned over a few years isn’t helpful either. Addressing money issues as they come up is less contentious and less intimidating.

Sometimes it's not worth the fight.

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If one partner has a business the other is not involved in, large business expenses can cause problems. You’ll need to “open your books” and help your partner understand things like return on investment for those big expenses.

Money inequality can cause resentment on both sides and poison a relationship. This is why communicating often about money is important, to talk these things out before that resentment starts to build.

How Money Inequality Can Hurt Your Relationship

Money is a big point of contention for a lot of couples. We think of two people who are both scraping by and lack of money is a point of stress.

Money isn’t the only way to value things. If one partner takes care of things like cleaning, laundry, cooking, home repairs, the other spouse is getting those things for free. Things like those have value too.

Sometimes the problem is one partner thinks about the future much more than the other. If this is the case, show your partner what the future could be like if you’re on the same page with money: early retirement, exotic vacations, starting a business.

No relationship should end over something like money. Communicate with your partner, show them why you manage finances the way you do. To help you to both have a better future.

Show Notes

Betterment: The easy way to invest.

Jabbercast: A new way to listen to LMM!

 

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  • Andrew M

    What kind of word could you possibly say that would be bleeped on this show? I MUST KNOW!!!

    • Candice Elliott

      Ha, I was wondering that too and I work for LMM. Down with censorship!

      • Yea yea, we’re uncensored. The dude’s tweet had “****” in the place of our beep so we felt we needed to stay true to who we were quoting.

        Actually, just thought it would be funny cause we’ve never had a beep before :P

  • bythedog

    Great episode! I personally wouldn’t mind hearing Laura co-host from time to time in order to balance out you two finance nerds (I call you that in the most affectionate way). As someone who has just recently started to tackle his own personal finance, it’s good to hear from someone else who is brave enough to admit she doesn’t know everything!

    • Thanks bythedog, I made sure Laura read your comment because she’s been afraid for awhile to come on the show. We’re absolutely going to try and have her on more, I think we that fresh (and female) perspective!

  • Corwin Lemon

    Guys (and Gal!): Thanks for a great episode. I’ve been seeking ways to bring my wife onboard with a Financial plan for some time, and I’m glad to get another opinion on it. I’m very analytical, and she’s very fluid/adventurous. This works great in other aspects of our lives, but can be a struggle in our finances at times. So a quick follow-up question:

    Laura mentioned she was NOT the spender in the relationship. I realize that, in a relationship, you are financial “partners,” so I hope I don’t step on any toes here… but I know that at one point Laura made less than Andrew when your finances were more separate. So, do you think the dynamic changes when the primary breadwinner is the saver, and the individual making less is more of the carefree spender? Especially if you are keeping earnings separate? I sometimes feel guilty in my own relationship, as I realize my wife WANTS to save, but is not due to her spending habits, whereas I steadily see my savings rise. Furthermore, as the spender, she will often spend her assets on me, and I feel more “stingy” in spending on her. This makes me feel very selfish at times, but I know that one of us needs to save. How do you guys feels about this?

    • Ok, first of all there are no toes to step on because we do it all ourselves. Maybe that’s the secret sauce.

      I’ve always maintained that fighting is both important and healthy so while we talk about half our issues, the others come out in long drawn out multi-hour fights.

      I’ve been similar in those feelings and I think there are two things you need to think about.
      1. Does she know you feel this way? Fights are a way to renegotiate parts of your relationship so unless you don’t want it known, you should say something.
      2. With great power comes great responsibility. You earn more so things are more difficult because at a minimum more is expected from you. You need to be considerate and fair so if it’s ok for you to spend $100 and you make twice what she does, she should be able to at a minimum spend $50 if you’re not married and $100 if you are. Some of that money will come from you.

      There are a million things to fight over in a relationship, we strive to make sure money isn’t one of them. We still fight over it but much less than we would if we weren’t conscious about our approach to it in our relationship.

  • Jeremy

    This is a great Episode. I have been binge listening and love the show.

    Listening to Laura, I couldn’t help to want to mention what my wife and I did. We have a joint account (actually several), but we pay each other an allowance – equal amounts. This money is transferred at the beginning of the month to our separate accounts. Now there are rules in place with these accounts. 1. Equal amounts, always, regardless of who brings in more. 2. The other person cannot say anything about what is purchased using this money.

    This has been one of the best things that we did, because it allows us to feel like we are not tied down to such as strict budget. It also allows us to have the freedom to purchase the things we like without having to justify to the other. I like electronics and she likes clothes. The other good thing is that it has help teach her how to save and to grow her knowledge in money. Now she can choose to blow through it in an single weekend or wait and spend it gradually.

    The other benefit is that we can eliminate budget categories. Instead of clothing, or electronics, or hobbies, it is all rolled into the allowance account. Since it is a fixed amount, these separate accounts are not tracked in Mint. Additional advantage is that she or I can get a gift for the other and it will not allert the other in mint.

    It is funny how our conversations go now…She says “Hey look what I got… WITH MY MONEY” which at that point i can enjoy knowing that it did not come out of the family’s operation account and she enjoys getting what she wants when she wants it.

    Thanks guys for the great content.