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, 8 and 5), articulate their very different approaches to personal finance.
This week, the Fuchs talk about making financial planning resolutions for New Year’s. Should a married couple go it alone?
Mr. Fuchs: Time for New Year’s resolutions. As your husband, I’ll let you know mine — no more full pints of Ben & Jerry’s (Stock Quote: UN). It goes straight to my hips.
Mrs. Fuchs: New Year’s already? I wish you’d plan this far ahead when it comes time to buying my birthday present! Any other resolutions or just the ice cream one (which I believe you made last year too)?
Mr. Fuchs: Well, I’ve made my financial planning resolution already.
Mrs. Fuchs: Come again?
Mr. Fuchs: I’ve made my financial planning resolution for the coming year. I’m going to —
Mrs. Fuchs: Is this a resolution about your own spending or are you making a financial decision about our family finances?Mr. Fuchs: What’s the difference?
Mrs. Fuchs: Well, there is a big difference don’t you think? You’re more than welcome to resolve to stop spending $8 on the Frappuccino (Stock Quote: SBUX) things you love but shouldn’t we work together to resolve how to spend our big bucks next year together?
Mr. Fuchs: I’ve never spent more than $7.50 on a cup of coffee. Besides, even if I make big plans, what’s the difference if I stick to my resolution and it works? Even Deborah Knuckey, who writes books on couples and personal finance like "Conscious Spending for Couple: Seven Skills for Financial Harmony" (Wiley), says there are circumstances in which solo resolutions within a marriage are cool.