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Love & Money

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Try the Dual-Income System

Couples often ask me whether they should combine finances or not. My personal answer is yes…and no.In other words, what my husband and I have found (and what many studies show) is not just that money fights can wreck a marriage, but the underlying...

In Praise of Outsourcing

My husband and I have been squabbling over outsourcing for years: laundry, housecleaning, lawn care. For him, it’s about money. For me, it’s about time.    The details change, but the logic is the same: He argues that the $120 per month we’d...

Child Care—A Vital Investment

In the seven years that my sons were in child care—a period that began when my oldest was three months old and ended when my youngest hit kindergarten—I shelled out upwards of $80,000. It was worth every penny. Handing over that last check, I...

On Not Springing for an Engagement Ring

There's nothing more romantic than getting engaged during the holidays, complete with a glistening diamond ring. But is that really where you want your soon-to-be married money to go? For millennia, couples exchanged property as part of their...

A Joint Holiday Solution

You and your mate own your share of financial friction, but you hate it when money tension messes with your holiday spirit. Solution? Join our Date Night Extravaganza! By pledging to set aside a little togetherness time in the coming weeks—just...

Be Prepared for Life (and Death)

If you die, the people who are dependent on you suddenly will be suddenly bereft of you and your income.   So claim open enrollment season for yourself—whether you have job benefits or not—and invest in one of the cheapest ways to sleep better:...

Ground Rules for a Stealth Divorce

In my post last week about whether a Katie Holmes-style secret divorce is smart, I advised against it—unless you feel you’re up against a physical, emotional, or financial threat from your spouse. If that’s the case, and secrecy is best, here’s...

Should You Hide Divorce Plans from Your Spouse?

Katie Holmes used a disposable cellphone to talk secretly to her lawyers, and filed for divorce in Manhattan while Tom Cruise was on location in Iceland. Is this the way to go? Usually not—but it depends. There are three main reasons to let your...

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