Monday, May 9, 2011

Money, Money, Money

Money is one of the big things that couples fight about, right? Yes. I'm right. Admit it. You two argue about money just like everybody else. Anytime we've got two people with finite resources and infinite ways to spend them, we get tension. So, what to do about it?  Make a plan.

Men: in many cases, I think this is your job. There are a lot of women who do the day-to-day financial managing. In a lot of cases, I think they do a better job than their male counterparts! But, what I have noticed during many conversations is that lots of women don't like to come up with the plan--especially during times of transition where perhaps some things need to be cut. So, let's play to our strengths. In my family, this works best when I make a preliminary plan. I make decision about what I think we should cut and I make a plan that works, i.e. a plan that spends 100% of the budget, or less.  Then, Mrs O and I can sit down and talk about it together.

Why is this my job? Mrs O can budget, right? Yes. She does a fine job at it. Making budget cutting decisions is stressful for her, though. I can give her a gift by absorbing that stress. I call it slaying her dragons(with little boys at home, we frequently have a 'knight in shining armor' theme!)  By slaying dragons, I mean that I can respond to the things that cause her tension.  It's not that she can't do it herself, but simply that she feels supported, protected, and secure if I respond to her fears and stressors on her behalf.

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