On a scale of 1 to 10, how much stress does money put on your relationship? Has it changed since the beginning of your marriage? How do you handle your finances as a couple? What do you think you could do to improve the way you handle your finances?
On a scale of 1 to 10, finances are a 2 right now. Up until the the beginning of the year, it was more of an 8 for me and a 6 for the Mr.
Since we were engaged, we have had separate our money into several different accounts: we each have a personal checking account, and then we have a joint checking and savings accounts. When we get paid, an equal dollar amount gets deposited into our separate accounts, with the remainder (a much larger proportion) in our joint. We use our personal money for gifts for each other, dinner or drinks with friends, and frivolous items ourselves, like fun shoes for me or video games for Mr. Dahlia. All of our finances: retirement accounts, bank accounts, frequent flier accounts, savings bonds, etc., are tracked online through yodlee.com. (I know that mint.com is the more popular choice—it is “GUI-er” and has a prettier interface—but I’d rather have the greater functionality of Yodlee.)
For the money in our joint account, twice a month money is automatically withdrawn into our savings account (currently held at SmartyPig.com), where it is dispersed among several short and medium term goals. (Everything from funding our emergency fund to our downpayment savings to vacations and Christmas gifts and our renter’s insurance). The remainder is what is left for spending that month. We typically pay for things with a credit card (since we get cash back) but pay it off in full every month. We both contribute a significant portion of our pretax income to our 401ks.
Since we were engaged, I was the one who managed our finances and paid our bills…I like to think it is because I am more savings focused, but I’m also a bit of a, let’s say, control freak. But this year, we’re tackling it as a team (part of our 2011 New Year’s resolutions). We’ve read a couple of financial planning books together, including David Bach’s Smart Couples Finish Rich, after one of the bees (Mrs. Bird of Paradize?) recommended the author.
As part of our tackling it as a team, we’ve started Saturday Morning Family Meetings (which are, content-wise, the opposite of our Friday Night Date Nights), where we go through our savings/spending, retirement investments, savings goals, and general household organization (including travel schedules—both of us are on the road so much for work, it’s hard to know who will be in what time zone when.) Having this weekly planning time scheduled also means that we no longer spend Date Night on household planning and can enjoy each others’ company instead.
Mr. Dahlia read through this note, and wanted me to add that these Saturday morning meetings have really made a difference for us. They have made our marriage so much better—to have talked through our financial goals, and figured out when (and how!) we can achieve them. It’s pretty awesome.
On a scale of 1 to 10, money is about a 5 stressor on our relationship, even though it’s a 9 on me personally. I’m a planner and a worrier; he knows it will all be alright in the end. I think we’re both right. The thing we most need to do to handle our finances better is have regular “budget talks”: when we are both on the same page about what we are spending and what we are saving (and what we are saving for), I am much more at ease, and he is much more motivated to make our goals happen. Communication is, cliche or not, key.
When I read this question, I thought “2? No, maybe 1.” Then I asked Mr. Mary Jane about his rating and he said “Can I say zero?” I guess we’re on the same page there. One of the reasons we “click” so well is that our goals (present and future) are so similar. So it’s not too surprising that we have similar goals for our money: We want to be debt-free and have a large nest-egg for our future family and retirement, but we don’t want to live penniless now in order to achieve those goals.
We save 35% of our combined income each month with the rest going toward our necessities, future travel, and any reasonable desires we may have. Our savings push is the big change since the start of our marriage because right around the time of our wedding, we thought one of us was going to get laid off. It didn’t happen, but it did rattle us into taking a hard look at our financial structure and reorganizing our goals and spending choices. Still, we’re not strict with our spending money– we just pay into our goals before having fun with the rest. Because we agree about money, we rarely (if ever) quarrel about it. And that’s awesome.
To be brief, our budget works as follows. Each of us makes 50% of the income. Each of us deposits approximately 35% of their income into savings monthly. Then I pay our mortgage, utilities, car insurance, medical/dental/snow removal, and pretty much any other “stable” bill we get. Mr. Mary Jane pays the variable stuff. Our groceries, gasoline, entertainment, shopping, gifts for people, etc. (Yes, I said shopping. He buys my shoes and handbags, but I keep the roof over his head! Fair trade, right?!)
One thing I do think we need to do in the future? Combine our finances. Currently our accounts aren’t even at the same bank and the banks aren’t in the same part of the city! It’s a bit of a hassle, but doesn’t bother us too much because we’ve worked out our budget in such a way that we rarely need to write checks to each other. Also–since I pay the stable bills and he pays the variable ones–you can imagine that our budgeting and account-handling styles differ a bit. I’m the gal who is all paid up but has 3 bucks in her checking. He’s the guy with the padded checking account, prepared for that month we go out to dinner 15 times or I decide I need to throw a friend a baby shower. When we eventually do combine, I venture to say our money stress rating might rise to a 2 or 3 while we work it all out! Still though, I think we do a pretty good job with money. I’ve written more about it here.
Finances as stressor? A 4 at the worst, usually hovering around 0. We fight about money only when I worry we’ve been spending too much on food or drink, or going out of town (our main vices). But it’s all very minor.
Finances are, however, seemingly a bigger deal now that we’re married, but we’ve shifted from wedding-savings mode into nice long-term goals: increasing our retirement savings and possibly trying to buy a condo in SF if we can swing it. All while continuing to travel as much as we can. Wish us luck.
We have a joint account for savings (for trips, food, presents for others, etc.) and individual accounts for all the boring stuff like cell phone bills and student loan payments. We could realistically just meld funds, because we really do see it as all the same now. But, for the moment, we just do payday money-dumps into the joint account, and it has been growing way more than it has been shrinking. Whew.
Finances are generally a 3 or 4 for us as a couple, though individually, we have each had our “8” or “9” days. Luckily, it seems that these stress-days rarely, if ever coincide, so the non-stressed partner can steady and assuage the other. 100% of our money is combined, and has been since we got engaged. Only one of us has ever been working at a time, supporting us while the other is in school, so it just made the most sense for us. We have a policy about been totally honest about money, and if something is troubling us, we discuss it immediately. I take care of all the regular finances, and Mr. HC trusts me to let him know if something is funny. If birthdays or holidays are coming up, we can let the other one know to not check the online account within a certain time frame. We also made an agreement to have credit cards but not to use them unless in an emergancy, and we are lucky to be debt free at this point in our lives. In terms of regular spending, we are candid and trust each other to use the money wisely—with one income in NYC, we have to be conscious about our spending. Now that we are settling into a routine, and getting closer to being a two-income house, we are looking at longer-term savings and retirement options.
I would say it’s probably a 5. Although at times I definitely hold it at 10 for myself. I’m a worrier and I freak out sometimes.
Since our wedding, we’ve combined all our bills into both our names (except for individual credit cards and student loans) and have one checking and one savings for the both of us. It’s actually nice to be able to go out and not worry about whose turn it is to pay; all our money comes from the same place now!
The biggest deal is that we are aggressively trying to pay our debt down so we’ve become very organized in killing our debt together.
We’re a 4—and I’ll have to call it an “incredibly irresponsible 4.” I say we’re pretty low on the stressor scale because we do NOT handle our finances…at all. Mr. Peng and I have not combined our finances, although we share our biggest expense (mortgage) 50/50. Typically we decide on who pays for what based on whether I can write it off for tax purposes, or “who feels like they have more money in checking at the moment.” We don’t budget as a couple, and we don’t talk about money a lot. I think it’s one of our greatest weaknesses. I’ve mentioned once or twice that I’d like to try living off of one of our incomes—or at least to see if we can pay for all of our recurring bills (mortgage, cable, car, etc.) on ONE of our incomes and only use the 2nd for discretionary spending and saving—and he shot that down. (I think he was afraid I was trying to test the waters to becoming a housewife? Which I was not…but I don’t know.)
Anyway, the handling of our finances needs major improvement, and has not changed in the slightest since we got married. We need a complete overhaul, quite honestly. We need to sign up for a spending tracker like mint.com and we need to set budgets and limits on extraneous expenses like going out to eat and non-business related travel. Luckilly neither of us have hobbies that we like to spend on (outside of eating out, which yes, is quite a hobby in our household) so we don’t have issues with being mad about each others’ personal spending (since we don’t have much). We need to set a budget and we need to get serious about saving for a rainy day outside of what we put in our retirement funds. We both have our own sizeable emergency funds (I hear the recommended amount is something like 3 months of your income? Some say 6?) but I’d like to save beyond that and start investing the money.
Finances are currently at about a 6 or a 7 for us, I’d say. We’re at a somewhat strange place in our lives, as I’ve just started my first real, “grown-up” job, and Mr. Cardigan is finishing up school and working part time. It’s definitely an adjustment going from being in college and having parents help out to being married and…not having them help out, but we’ve transitioned pretty smoothly so far!
Mr. Cardigan and I have a very “what’s mine is yours” attitude when it comes to money—we share all of our finances and chat pretty openly about how we’re spending our money. We’re currently in a big saving mode, as we’re hoping to buy a house in a few months when we move back to Austin. So, I’d say that we definitely aren’t in a super comfortable, spend as we like time, but we’re definitely on the same page when it comes to our finances and we haven’t had any big troubles yet!
In the next few months, we plan on trying to set up a more concrete budget, hopefully using an online program like Mint, as I’ve heard it’s really great. I’m a big fan of organization and it will be super helpful to know exactly where our money is going and how much of it we’re spending vs. saving. We definitely have a long way to go when it comes to actually organizing our money, so hopefully we’ll get a handle on that soon so we can actually begin building our house savings!
I’d say we are very low on the financial stress scale—maybe a 4. If anything it has gotten better since we’ve merged our finances because Mr. G was having trouble paying off his debt single handedly. We are in a very different place financially because we are unemployed, so we live very frugally. You would think that would be more stressful but it’s pretty simple. NO new clothes, NO eating out, NO individual spending unless discussed beforehand, NO treats unless we really deserve it. It’s kind of enlightening living with half of what we used to do.
When we did have a comfortable income, we kept all of our finances together and gave ourselves the same dollar amount “allowance” for whatever we wanted to spend money on each month. We wouldn’t have to talk about what we wanted to use the money for and could use that money at our own discretion. Everything in our mutual account was spent on rent, bills, groceries, date nights, etc. There are some grey areas to this; we agreed that anything that was completely indulgent “for me only” purchases came from the allowance account and things like “present for my best friend” or “my pants have holes in them and need to be replaced” would come from the mutual account whereas things like “girls night out” or “new dress because I want it” definitely came from my own allowance.
Getting married youngish can have its stress elsewhere, but here’s the thing: we don’t have a house to pay off (we rent), we aren’t even thinking about babies, and we’ve got some fun expendable income! When I’ve got my big girl pants on I think finances will be a much bigger stress in our lives.
I would say we’re rating about a 2 or 3 right now in regard to our finances. Mr. Socks and I are fortunate to not be struggling, but our main financial stressor is how to save money for our future children. Right now, it’s not our highest priority since we don’t have children, but I see the stress climbing the closer we get to children.
We have very different approaches to tracking our fianances, but in a way that works for us. We agree to live within our means, pay off our credit cards in full each month and we’re chipping away at my student loans and our mortgage. While Mr. Socks keeps spreadsheets of every transaction and provides a weekly budget, I take the approach of “keep an eye on the account, don’t spend wildly, and we’ll be okay.” If there is ever a discussion needed about money, we’ll talk it through and set realistic goals and expectations for ourselves.
I think that for our current lifestyle, our spending habits suit us—if we need it, we’ll buy it and work it out in the budget. I think as we grow older and have children to consider, we may have to put more thought into how we spend our money, but with the way we both agree on how to handle and spend our money, it hopefully shouldn’t be a huge stressor in our lives as long as we are fortunate enough to keep our jobs and keep lines of communication open.
Our financial stressor “score” is usually about a 5, but of course once a month when we get our credit card bill, it probably spikes to a 6 or 7. I feel very lucky that it’s not a huge stressor right now, but we could definitely improve tracking our spending in a more detailed manner. One big thing we’ve done is set up a joint retirement savings account, which I feel really good about, but I’m anxious to see it grow! I think that in the next few years, if we start considering having a family and moving into more of a “forever” home, the score will probably go up to 8 or 9. Yipee.
In the first few years we lived together, we kept our money completely separate, and because we both had good jobs in a fairly cheap city, our financial stress was very low, maybe a 2.
Since we’ve moved to Boston, our cost of living is much higher and our current career situation is far from ideal, so I’d say our financial stress is now an 8. Our stress isn’t with each other, just with the general suckiness of being borderline-broke all the time. We’ve also combined our finances now. I’m the money person in our house–Mr. Octo is pretty disorganized and scatterbrained, so it works better for me to manage it, while regularly checking in with him and keeping him in the loop. Does anyone else have a partner who is physically not capable of keeping track of their money? Once I was doing the laundry and found $120 in small bills scattered throughout his pockets. SIGH.
Anyway, the way I manage our money right now is definitely an inexact science. We have a joint checking account, and we each have our own checking accounts as well. Basically, I keep most of our money in the joint account, while keeping a small balance in each checking account for personal stuff. He is generally more spending-inclined than I am, but we trust each other’s judgment, so I don’t pay a lot of attention to what he buys. I know he’s being responsible. We’re both very clear on the fact that we’re in necessities-only spending mode right now anyway, so like Glasses said, there’s not actually a whole lot to track. Once our income gets a little more stable (and, um, plentiful), I definitely plan to re-work the budget and factor in both savings and a clear budget for discretionary spending.
(I should note that this all only counts for the last four years, when we’ve been what you might call “grown-ups.” College was a whole different story. Once he decided to decorate his apartment, got caught up in an eBay bidding war, and ended up dropping $130 on a six-foot-tall fake ficus tree. I got really mad because I felt that if he was going to spend $130, he should have spent it on a present for me, or on taking me out to dinner. Oh, young Octopi.)
I’d say a 3 most days, although I have my moments of freaking out! We joined most of our accounts right when we got married, although we each maintained a separate checking account for individual purchases (e.g. my haircuts and his ski gear—neither of us wanted to know how much the other was spending in those areas!) and gifts for each other. Two years later we’ve let the individual accounts go because they were more hassle than they were worth now that we’ve gotten used to each other’s spending habits. I handle the bill-paying because a. I’m a control freak and b. he’s not great on deadlines. Like everyone, we could use a lot of work in sticking to our budget and saving more for the future, but at least we are on the same page and working together on that. With a baby on the way we’ve both gotten a lot better at forgoing some of the fun stuff in order to set aside a bit more for Baby Tiramisu.
While we have had our share of financial stress, it actually hasn’t affected our relationship. I’d say for the most part, we are at a 1 or 2. Within the past three months, we’ve had three really large unexpected expenses. They were all stressful situations, but instead of blaming each other or freaking out, we communicated. We sat down and looked at savings and other factors and figured out how we can make things work. I’ve learned that communication, teamwork and taking precautions (having a rainy day fund) can go a long way. We went through a period with one of us unemployed and this is what got us through it.
I’d say finances are about a 6 for us. As I mentioned during wedding planning, I’m definitely the budgeter in the family. I scrimp and save, and most of the time just go without. Mr. SD, however, is very much a spender, and wants wants wants all the time. I hate being the one who has to tell him no, when things just aren’t going to work in our budget. We made an agreement that his salary supports the household, while I concentrate on building up a startup marketing company with my partner. The deal was that I supported him for a year and a half before we got married, and now I get a year and a half to try to make this business work. It gets sticky at times, when he’d love to go on a big hunting trip, and we don’t have the money to fund it. But not once has he tried to go back on our arrangement. He’s fully supportive in my dream, and every month we get closer and closer to making it happen. To have that kind of belief in me is invaluable.
He also discovered a new sense of pride when he realized that his salary alone supports all our household expenses, and then got a raise just when we found out we were pregnant, which covers all our medical bills. We still struggle to strike a balance between responsible married life, and free-wheelin’ bachelor days. He’s making big strides, and trusts me to be the one to manageall our finances and just let him know what we can afford. It’s a system that works for us, and hopefully very soon we’ll be back in a two-income household where we can focus on the big picture while increasing our standard of living to be able to afford a few fun trips each year.
Money was a 8 for me and 4 for Mr. SP because I handled everything. When the finances scale increases, the twister scale decreases. Can I get an Amen? In the beginning, if the money was in the account then we spent it/paid it, but I always had to do the balancing and it was stressful because we all wanted things and the house needed things. Recently, we’re using a system that really works for us both, and it’s more like a 2 now.
Just to set it up: We haven’t used a single credit card, line of credit, or loan in four years. We earn about the same. We max out our retirement contributions. We have individual healthcare plans through our jobs. Our goal was to put away 30% into savings and cut our expenses down to the equivalent of one person’s income (preferably the one who makes less).
Here’s how it works and why it’s working so well for us: We have TWO joint accounts: J1 and J2. Using an Excel sheet, I keep track of our bills and goals. J1 is for fixed bills (mortgage, student loans, cell phone, car insurance) and nearly everything comes out automatically. J2 is for commuting expenses, groceries, and entertainment. Mr. SP drives to work, likes to spend, and doesn’t want to balance, so he uses J2. When there’s nothing left, he can’t spend anymore, but it never dips into J1 and I don’t have to tell him no. I no longer have to worry about balancing things. His pay is automatically split into J1 and the remainder into J2. This gives him an incentive to work overtime because he’ll see the extra in J2, but he also takes pride that most of his pay goes in J1 to cover the household. My pay is also automatically split with part going into J1 and 30% going into an ING Savings account with a little in my own account. We still have our individual account for personal spending (hair cuts, etsy, video games, gifts for friends) and they are funded by freelance work.
I feel like a slacker reading all these posts about bees saving 30% of their salary and setting up retirement funds—that’s so impressive!
Although you’d think from my statement above that money would be a big stressor, it’s not. Probably (maybe) a 2 on the scale. We have a joint checking account and a joint savings account and then each have individual accounts as well. But honestly, we don’t have a set budget and we don’t break down who pays for what. We just pay whatever needs to be paid by whomever gets to it first.
I have my own plan for saving and he has his own plan and to be honest, I have no idea what it is. In short, money is just that to us, money. It pays our bills and we have enough leftover for some fun stuff but neither of us lead very extravagant lifestyles.
Now that we have a child, money is a bigger stressor than it was before, making it a 7 for us, and an 8 for him (since he earns more, but is technically employed less due to his profession as a teacher). It’s no longer just the two of us eating ramen for a few days if we haven’t spent well that month. So we budget better and spend less recklessly than we had when it was just the two of us.
Unlike before we were married, we have savings accounts, IRAs and fantastic medical plans to account for all the what-ifs. We each know which bills we are responsible for, and which come out of the joint accounts, and which come out of our personal ones. I am usually responsible for paying the bills, writing the rent check, but it’s with OUR money combined, the only reason I’m in charge of it is because I have more time during the day to spend doing that.
Finances. Boo. OK, but seriously, we differ when it comes to finances. If you ask me the number, I’d say 2. If you ask Mr. Fro Yo, he would say 8. But, the thing is, he would have said 8 before we were married. He is a lot more frugal than I am and finances will probably always be stressful to him.
But, all that said, I think we’re both moving a little more to the middle. I contemplated taking a vacation for my 30th birthday (this year!), but then thought that since we had other trips planned this year, maybe I shouldn’t also take that one. It’s something I would have never done before I was married. And, Mr. Fro Yo said that I should take the vacation even though we had other stuff planned. What?? That would have never happened before. So, I think we’re learning from each other, and experiencing a nice balance. We are mindful of each other when we make purchases or spend money, and to me, that’s what is important.
I’m not sure where it is on a scale of 1-10, but I can say that it is probably the biggest stressor in our marriage. Part of it is because, for the majority of our relationship, only one of us has been employed. The bigger part, though, is that we have such different approaches to money, and I have to say that recognizing and articulating this has been an enormous help in making finances less stressful. I associate money with safety; we use it to keep ourselves safe and secure in our homes and lives. Fancee associates it with self-care, and ways to soothe herself (say, thoughtful retail therapy). She’s not thoughtless at all, but our spending styles clearly differ.
Getting married has improved our financial lives immensely. Now that we’re officially a team, we’re more able to talk about “our” money. We combined everything and make decisions together, and try to recognize when she needs to splurge a little and when I need to save a little. Knowing we’re in it for the long haul made it easier for me to decide to leave my job and try my next big adventure and for her to be willing to support us both, but it was definitely a challenge to go from *my* money to *our* money, and I’m so proud of us for how far we’ve come.
We talk about our finances all the time, but it’s rarely a stress on our relationship. I don’t think we’ve ever fought about money. But we do tend to obsess over every detail of our budget. Luckily, the Dude loves spreadsheets, so he keeps track of our budget and spending. We each get an “allowance” each month that can be spent on whatever we want. We don’t have to check with each other, so we can each shop for what we want guilt free. The only catch is, the allowance has to cover any money that we spend on entertainment for the month: movies, drinks, eating out. So sometimes we can blow through it pretty quickly. But we stay within our budget each month, and we don’t accumulate new debt—probably the first time I can say this since I got my first credit card at 18.
My favorite part about this new arrangement is that I let the Dude deal with the logistics; when I get too close to the finances, I tend to stress more over them. But he keeps me in the loop and always asks for my input on how to allocate our money, so I don’t feel like I’m clueless about where our it’s all going.
Where there’s room for improvement is our savings account. It’s pretty pathetic for the time being, but we’ve been aggressively paying down debt over the last several months, so I don’t feel too guilty about it. Our next goal is to save at least three months’ expenses. We’ll get there eventually!
I regret that we never really got around to combining financial accounts. We live within our means and don’t stress about finances, but it would be nice to have “our” debt, “our” home, and “our” retirement funds, rather than “my” student loans, “his” mortgage, and our individual savings. Even if the division doesn’t matter in a practical sense, the psychology matters.
As a couple, finances do not act as a stressor on our relationship. On any given day, we jointly consider our financial future at a stress level of about a 5. Together, we take money seriously and have similar goals, ambitions and desires. The 5 comes from the fact that we still have work to do before we’re where we hope to be. That said, since getting married my level of “financial stress” is through the roof. Merging accounts has undoubtedly been the hardest part of marriage for me. I hypervigilantly check our bank accounts, have developed an inability to buy anything for myself, and then when I finally do buy something I am ridden with guilt. My anxiety over our financial future has caught me by surprise, and I’m sure it will ease over time, but for now it’s been the most difficult adjustment I’ve encountered.
On a scale of 1-10, our financial stress level is probably a 2. We rarely stress about money, and never fight about it. And this is definitely not because we have more money than we know what to do with. (That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Haha…) Currently, I am working full time to support Mr. Turtle as he attends grad school. After he graduates, he plans to work full time to support me while I attend grad school. It’s all about compromise. We live very simply, rarely eating out or treating ourselves to nice things. The current condition of the economy makes it an interesting time to be in your 20
s. We’ve learned to recognize that we can’t necessarily get our dream jobs straight out of college, and we may never live as comfortably and as financially stable as our parents. But I honestly think this recession has been an unexpected blessing to our generation. A little disillusionment with the “American dream” just might be a good thing for us. It’s taught us to value the simple things, like good health, nature, family, and friendship more than success and material possessions. The only times Mr. Turtle and I begin to stress about money is when we start to look toward our future goals of owning a home and providing for our future children. But we trust that things will work out somehow, that God will provide for us as He has so far. Other than that, we just try to live by some great words of wisdom that Mr. Turtle’s father (an economist) gave us: “Give 10%. Save 10%. And spend the rest with joy and thanksgiving.”
I would say we’re at 1. We do think A LOT about finances, but I don’t think it stresses our relationship out. We combined incomes and bank accounts (except savings) before we got married and now we’ve combined our long and short term savings.
One change I’ve seen in me is that now I am concerned about his retirement. I’ve been putting money away for my retirement for a several years but only recently have I started paying attention to his retirement. My employer has better retirement benefits than his, and we’ve been coming up with other ways to save for OUR retirement.
We also pay for medical bills and his student loans jointly. We never did that before. It’s a small but significant change.
I still handle 95% of our finances but I think I like it that way. I’m more detail oriented about keep track of our accounts than he is.
I think we’re lucky though. We’re both employed. We don’t have credit card debt that can’t be paid down monthly. Mr. Joey’s student loan payment is small and we have a great interest rate. Our car payment is managable and the interest rate is amazing there too and our mortgage is pretty small compared to what the house is valued at. We over pay each month because we can. We’re working on saving more but then the addition of a dog, the replacement of a car and work needed on the house does help us save more than what we budget for monthly.
Of those bees that reported a number, here are the percentages:
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being low), the stress that money puts on our relationship is:
- 1-2: 32%
- 3-4: 27%
- 5-6: 32%
- 7-8: 9%
- 9-10: 0%
What about you? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much stress does money put on your relationship? Has it changed since the beginning of your marriage? How do you handle your finances as a couple? What do you think you could do to improve the way you handle your finances?