Now that they're in their mid-40s, Janice and Jason's main priorities include saving for college and retirement. Janice, who's now back in the workforce, has become more easygoing about personal spending. Jason, on the other hand, still saves carefully: "I always feel a burden to support my family, and I feel it's my responsibility to ensure that everyone has what they need." They continue their weekly status reports, hashing out budgets along with their schedules and other responsibilities.
For their personal entertainment budgets, they both keep any five-dollar bill that passes through their hands. "If we ask our friends to come out with us, they'll ask, 'Do you have a bunch of fives burning a hole in your pocket?' " Janice says. "It's an easy way to have fun with saving -- and it makes going out less painful financially."
Daphne and Fred Cohn, Davis, Calif.
"For many years, we never talked about finances," Daphne admits. "That started to change as we saw how unhealthy it was for our relationship."
Fred, now 57, was a disciplined saver, while Daphne, 41, felt that budgeting "sucked the fun out of life." She hid some of her spending, but soon realized that it eroded their mutual trust.
Since Fred is closer to retirement age, he is more focused on ensuring their financial freedom in the years ahead. "I have a much deeper appreciation of just how much savings will be required to maintain our current lifestyle," he says.
After 13 years together, they now agree on key financial goals, such as school tuition for their children and their retirement savings. They talk through their financial plans every month, as well as when they're considering any big purchase. The more they do this, Fred has found, the better it gets. "Our easiest talks are when we schedule regular reviews of our 'books,' " Fred says.
"Now we sit down together, each with our laptop, and look over our bills and incomes," Daphne adds. And while she still finds budgeting a chore, she admits that it helps to set a relaxing mood: "We put on soft music, light candles and have a glass of wine. This makes the whole thing more enjoyable."
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VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Budgeting and discussing finances is critical for any relationship.
also important is working towards your financial goals together. having common goals can really help to unite a couple.
In my experience, the further apart people are on there habits and goals the more difficult it can be to be a successful couple. I was brought up with the "pay yourself first" philosophy. By that I mean, pay your basic needs, fund your retirement, and pay or pay-off your debts. My son's mother nearly gave my mother a heart attack during a conversation about pension plans and 401ks when she made the declarative statement that we don't need to put money away for the future because that is what Social Security is for. She also had the belief that what is hers, is hers, and what is mine, is hers.Twenty five years later she is on her 5th husband, her 2nd bankruptcy, and still has nothing planned or saved for the future. I also was recently involved with someone that for some reason believed that a bank account had to be at zero the day the next paycheck came in for deposit. I am not a complete tightwad but I do only buy things I know I can pay for quickly or pay cash for. With that being said I travel occasionally and have very good material things that are all paid for. I have been working on my Bucket List and part of that Bucket List is to only do the things on the list as money becomes available. This is an accomplishment that is hard to do but I take great pride in being able to do this along with the other things. I'm sure there are couples that work well together and may even have different spending habits. I just haven't been able to find someone with similar beliefs no matter what their spending habits are.
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