×

Attention, Desperate V-Day Shoppers!

( 1 vote, average: 4.8 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
roses left!" Slapping your forehead against your computer monitor before Googling "last-minute Valentine's Day gifts in (insert your city)." Smugly savoring a Necco Valentine candy, while other poor schlubs curse Hallmark.

Want some help out of the schlubhouse on this holiest of lovers' days? Go home early and present your sweetheart with a newly balanced checkbook and organized financial paperwork.



No, this is not a setup. While there may be more conventionally romantic ways to shower your loved one with proof of your everlasting devotion, roses and massage gift certificates expire a lot faster than do lovingly reconciled account statements. And there's no bigger turnoff than a desperate Valentine's Day gift.

When your significant other fails to find the words to express his thanks for your thoughtfulness, simply explain that although money issues continue to be the No. 1 cause of divorce in the United States, you're not going to let that happen to you two lovebirds.

Reel your "Sig-O" in. If your better half isn't interested in talking finances, lure him in with an enticing reward. What kind of couch, vacation, home, retirement, plasma TV does he envision? When you explore the possibilities that well-managed finances could afford, your reluctant partner is more likely to become a willing participant.

Split up ... your financial tasks, that is. Managing your money relationship is a two-person job. (Couched resentment is very unbecoming and not good for your skin.) Take equal responsibility for keeping your joint finances on track. If you balance the checkbook, have him gather and organize those ATM and grocery store receipts you put in the fishbowl by the front door every day. Or consider an equitable distribution of other chores, and have your shmoopy take on some house task that ruins your manicures.

Schedule a summit. The financial world is fond of quarterly reports — go ahead and set a date for the inaugural event. Your State of the Union address should cover (1) the amount of money you currently have together, (2) the percentage of change from the previous quarter, and (3) any transactions (buying, selling, saving, overspending, getting a puppy). Doing this on a regular basis will keep him in the loop and inspire more paperwork discipline for yourself.

Build a budget for two (or more). There are no hard-and-fast rules to budgeting that you must follow till death do you part. There are some rules of thumb, though. A personal favorite on budgeting is "The 60% Solution," proposed by author Richard Jenkins. It's a simple way for math phobics like me to help organize spending. He proposes that 60% of your income should go to "committed expenses" (mortgage, food, utilities, etc.), 10% for "fun money," another 10% for irregular expenses (your short-term savings), 10% for retirement savings, and 10% for long-term saving and/or debt reduction. Consider this a starting point for your own budget; bend the rules to fit your own situation.

Along the way, come up with rewards for meeting some of your savings goals. Get creative. Oh, all right: Make it fresh flowers (or a heated bra), if you must.

Don't Let Money Mangle Your Relationship
Marry for Looks and Spend Frivolously
Bouncing Bundle of Potential
Touchy-Feely Finances. Ew.

Dayana Yochim is the author of The Motley Fool's Guide to Couples & Cash, which is chock-full of ways to prevent bedtime money blowups.

This feature may not be reproduced or distributed electronically, in print or otherwise without the written permission of uclick and Universal Press Syndicate.


Featured Testimonials

LawCrossing is the best jobsite I have ever come across.
Kristen


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #52: Because LawCrossing is an exclusive job board, users find jobs they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

 
Let's Do It!
Email:

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

LawCrossing is great at picking up all of the legal listings everywhere across the internet. I could have gone to three different sites to search, but you had them all on your site. That was extremely helpful. LawCrossing is a one stop shop!
  • Eileen Baca-Penner New Mexico