My husband recently approached me with an idea for our money. He wants us to set up an account where we both put 10 percent of our income for discretionary spending. My husband makes more money than I do, and because of this, he says it is fair that he would be able to spend more than I would. How do you feel about this?
I’m sure deep down he’s a decent guy and he loves you very much. But he’s looking at this all wrong. Right now, he’s being pretty immature and selfish about the whole situation. It’s a bad plan.
Let’s look at this from another angle. There are lots of families where only one person works outside the home and generates an income. Would it be fair, then, to say only the person making money is allowed a little cash to spend for fun once in a while? Of course, not.
When two people are married, they are pronounced “as one.” That means even if you only have one person with an income, it becomes our income. If you have kids, they become our kids. See where I’m going with this? Marriage is not a me thing, it’s a we thing. Always.
Before or after?
When it comes to paying off credit cards and getting out of debt, I’ve heard you talk about cutting up the cards and closing the accounts. Should I pay off the balances before or after I close the accounts?
I like the idea of cutting up the cards and closing the accounts first. Sometimes credit card companies will respond to this by jacking up the interest rates, or doing other shady things, but the point is to get them out of your life as quickly as possible and stop using the stupid things.
Personal finance is 80 percent behavior. Ridding yourself of credit cards, and getting credit card debt out of your life for good, is a great first step in learning to behave with your money. You don’t build wealth or save money by using credit cards, no matter what anyone says. If you’re naïve enough to think you’re going to play around with a multi-billion-dollar industry and beat them at their own game, you’re sadly mistaken.
The only way to win against credit card companies is by refusing to play their game!