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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...

How Hormones Can Sabotage Your Spending

You may be “lucky” enough to notice some hormone-related changes to your attitude once every 28 days or so. But did you know that the same hormones that regulate your cycle also act on your brain every day, affecting the way you think, act—and...

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...

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...

Open a Joint 'Romance' Account

Maybe thinking about a bank account doesn’t evoke the same kind of flutter you get when you look into the eyes of your darling. But here’s an idea that can rev up your chemistry and your bottom line as a couple:    Open a romance account—a...

Little Luxuries Lift You Up

Five years ago, the economy, my marriage—and my income—all collapsed at once. Then in my late 30s, with two small children, I could barely afford my mortgage, and I was actually ill from financial stress. My mother insisted: Get a treat now. I...

How Botox Made Me Happier

Around about 2010, I’d had it. The recession had gouged my husband’s income and mine—and we were flat-out broke. As a fretful, 40-something breadwinner for a family of five, I did what no one in my position should: I looked in the mirror. Worry...

Pros & Cons of a Stealth Divorce

You don’t have to be a TomKat fan to remember their famous split: 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? In...

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