Spring is in the air, and as Alfred, Lord Tennyson famously said, it’s the time when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. Truly, this is an optimistic moment: buds are bursting through frost, fans of lousy baseball teams feel improvident hope, and in all matters romantic, we cannot help but think of the good things yet to come—the spark of new attraction, the idyllic domesticity of a shared apartment, the stomach-flutteringly massive notion of getting married. So let me bring you down to earth: There's a good chance you're going to get divorced, by which time you may have kids, and on top of all the other heartbreaks, you may embark on a lifetime of difficult conversations about money. Let’s talk about this.
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?
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.
I was raised in a family where talking about money was not taboo. My father did a good job of raising two girls on a variety of incomes—money, was tight, and because of this, I was always aware of what we did and didn’t have.
The cost of a relationship, starting with two coffees.
Where and how did you live, Josh?
We broke up. The worse news is that we were five months into a year-long lease that's in both our names (neither of us is the primary person on the lease), and now we have to figure out how to talk to the landlords about what's going on, and convince them to let us either change the lease, or break it altogether.