Lori and Marek Fuchs have never fought in their 16 years of marriage—except over money. In this column, Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs, a real-life married couple with three kids (ages 12, 7 and 5), articulate their very different approaches to personal finance.
Mr. Fuchs says: Its fun in the sun time, Honey. We’re going on vacation and that means giving in to the temptations to let loose, right? Loosen up on everything from bedtime for the kids to diets to budgeting! Temptation is in the air! Break out the bubbly! High end bubbly too!
Mrs. Fuchs says: Wow! That sounds like fun. I’m on board. But wait – have you figured out how we are going to pay for all this frivolity? The bills will come when we get back you know.
Mr. Fuchs says: Worry about bills? We don’t need to worry about no stinkin’ bills.
Mrs. Fuchs says: Been there, done that.
Mr. Fuchs says: Don’t remind me. Actually, I was just trying to get your attention, Honey, forgive me. I got carried away. Look: I know what you are saying. Many families scrimp and balance all year long, only to see the fruits of their labor get swallowed up by an oversized beach rental and frequent lobster dinners. It’s happened to the best of us, right?
Mrs. Fuchs says: I know and it gets all mixed up with that feeling that we’ve worked hard all year and therefore “deserve” our indulgences.
Mr. Fuchs says: Is this column really that hard?
Mrs. Fuchs: Don’t get us in trouble. Instead, listen to Tony Taddeo, the director of financial planning at Financial Planning Associates in Tarrytown, N.Y, who says that indulging yourself on vacation is very “psychological,” a basic human instinct. But it’s an instinct you need to take care to guard against, or it’ll throw your whole yearly budget off. “Broken down in its most simplistic terms: whether you are a multimillionaire or someone starting out in life, give it thought,” he said, adding that many don’t or, worse, underestimate the price of a vacation, so they won’t feel guilty about going, then tell themselves while they are there that they will pay it off when they get home.