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 replacing their recently stolen car with an expensive one. No, a cheap one. No, an expensive one.
Mr. Fuchs: Since our car was recently stolen out of our driveway, we have to get a new one. I vote for a Hyundai.
Mrs. Fuchs: You want to replace my beloved Acura with a Hyundai? I don’t get it.
Mr. Fuchs: You never do, Big Spenda. The point is, this is an opportunity to pare our costs down. It seems I’m willing to take those opportunities, even at the expense of style and you, well...
Mrs. Fuchs: Just because I occasionally like to get a new pair of shoes hardly makes me a big spender. And I loved my Acura!
Mr. Fuchs: Who needs new shoes? I’ve been wearing the same ones since the Berlin Wall fell. Look, since in addition to being a financial columnist, Dr. Mrs. Fuchs, you do couples therapy, I ask — do you think couples with different spending styles are at a permanent and unfixable impasse? Or do you think the Yin and Yang of coming from different vantage points is important for balanced decision making? With some drama, our styles seem to balance each other, but we have friends in New Jersey who say categorically that Yin and Yang don’t work when it comes to innate approaches to spending. You are either a matched set, they say, or destined for a split. Ouch.Mrs. Fuchs: It all depends on the communication between the couple. Sometimes a Yin/Yang balance can be helpful — if it isn’t flavored with control issues and resentment.
Mr. Fuchs: That sounded really smart. I’m just not sure what it meant. Can you explain?