When One Person Earns More Than the Other in a Relationship

Things are not even in most respects, and I get that.

My Cruise Ship Love Affair

Darlene and I met while working in the entertainment department of a large cruise ship sailing the Western Caribbean Sea. Darlene danced in the not-quite-Vegas-style stage productions, and I hammed it up on the mic as a host of not-quite-high-concept spectacles such as the Men's International Hairy Chest Competition and Late Night Adult Dodgeball.

The Things About Money We Hide Behind Our Doors

I had a lot of guilt growing up in the Philippines, one of the poorest countries in the world, and going home to a massive six-bedroom house with two cars in an open garage. I recently read about spite houses, and I thought about how appropriate it was to call my childhood home the "house of spite." My neighbors constantly gawked at the sight of our house, and I was always so ashamed to be seen as that girl who lived in that house. People walked by our house and talked loudly about how great life would be if they lived in that house. It would have been great if the mistress of this house didn’t fill her long empty days with absolutely nothing.

“A Currency for Paid Friends”

I don't know what to make of this at all. It's like an alternate universe to me. I'm just going to leave this here.

When There Are Different Points of Views About Money in a Relationship

Scenario: You have an extra $5,000 in your bank account. You're up-to-date on all your bills, and you're on track for savings goals, so you get to choose where to put that $5,000. You'd like to pay off the $5,000 remaining balance on a loan and get it over with. Your spouse wants to use $2,000 of it to get something for the house. Who's right?

Soulmates: Ruining the Economy As Per Usual

It’s a classic story. Boy meets girl in college. Girl dislikes boy, but then asks to be friends five years later. Boy says no, but changes his mind mind after they both go through bad breakups. Girl and boy start falling for each other. Boy freaks out after they finally act on their sexual tension. Girl doesn’t want to see boy anymore. But then boy confesses his love, and they live happily ever after—with two nice incomes.

Marriage has changed, because women’s opportunities have changed. Women graduate more, they work more, and they earn more than they used to. These are all good things. But marriage has also changed, because people want new things from it. Men don’t want a homemaker, and women don’t want a provider. Men and women both want a partner, someone who can help with their emotional and financial needs. So they wait until they’ve settled into their careers to tie the knot, and they try to find someone who’s doing the same. This is also a good thing.

But the consequence of all these good things is more inequality.

For the Atlantic, Matthew O’Brien discusses a new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research that shows “assortative mating” — partnering with people who are like you — is on the rise and has contributed to a 25% increase in income inequality. In the end, it is the fault of women, who keep going to college and wanting to marry for things they learned watching too many romantic comedies (love, etc.).

Buying Gifts While Sharing an Account

In the Wall Street Journal, Katy McLaughlin talks about gift-giving in a relationship where both partners pool and share their money (basically, surprises are hard to pull off) She just opened up her own credit card account so she can surprise him this year, though writing a column about it and publishing it on the internet may let some of the cat out of the bag.

The Cost of Love

I asked some Billfold pals if they had ever spent too much money on love. They had.

On ‘Dating Up’

The only other person I dated with some link to money came via my ex-boyfriend. His father owned a TV station in Utah and his mother clearly enjoyed the privilege—she dripped with jewelry and talked non-stop about their money.

Sickness, Death, and Money

My mom passed away when I was a junior in college, and she got sick when I was in high school. There were a lot of trips to doctors, many close calls at the ER, and many out-of-pocket medical expenses.