Money Questions to Rev Up Your Daily Dialogue with Your Partner

April 9, 2014

One of my closest friends–the kind you do staring contests with on 4th grade bus routes–gave me such a fun present several years ago: The Book of Questions. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do with it at first. Probably a year passed by with it sitting on my bookshelf (my husband jokes that I have a two-year waiting list for books, and I laugh…but to be honest it’s probably closer to three) when I finally grabbed it for a road trip with my aunt and uncle. Why not sit around and ask each other questions, I thought? Questions like: #32: Would you accept twenty years of extraordinary happiness and fulfillment if it meant you would die at the end of the period? #7: Do you think that the world will be a better or a worse place 100 years from now? This provoked great conversation, lively debate, and a few good chuckles. It forced us to make gut-level decisions on ethical and sometimes giggle-inducing questions, and then decide on whether or not to edit our answers as they were coming out of our mouths (a conversation-starter in itself!). It was so fun, in fact, that I decided […]

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Dealing with the Financial Friction in Our Marriage Yielded Surprising Results

April 7, 2014

I want to share a story with you to show that the best planned financial systems for you and your partner often needs tweaking, and may even need a downright overhaul. I know ours did. Picture this: about four years ago we walked down the aisle with, among other things, a solid financial plan in place (don’t hit the snooze button yet). We were just months away from paying off all of our non-mortgage debt and our future was looking bright. After combining our finances into one big pot from where we paid all of our bills, we decided upon an amount of individual spending money that was free and clear to spend on whatever we wanted. Since I naturally gravitate towards finances (you think?), we designated me as Maverick (pilot) and Paul as Goose (co-pilot) in terms of day-to-day finances, with periodic sit downs to make sure we were on the same page. The plan was solid. The execution was pretty good. But then, we started slipping. We got busy, and our periodic sit-downs became about as reliable as that $15 million the guy in Nigeria has been promising me through email. Our communication got a little murky. A […]

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Frugal Confessions Friday – Frugal Living

April 4, 2014

Hello Frugal Confessions Readers! Here is our frugal confession of the week: Last weekend (fortunately before the oil spill in Galveston) Paul and I decided to have a beach day. We packed up our beach towels, blanket, books, and sunglasses (turned out these were not needed as it was eerily foggy and a little chilly all day), and drove an hour and fifteen minutes to the glorious beach. As if being in the sand, listening to the waves and crying sea gulls wasn’t cool enough, a man came by and set up a row of rental chairs right by us…and asked if we would sit in them for free (a $20 value) in order to entice others to rent one! Of course we said yes! I’ve never rented a chair and umbrella before, and have to admit that it was really nice to sit in an adjustable chair while reading, napping, and chatting. What is your confession of the week? I’d love to hear it!

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Shared Medical Appointments…Yay or Nay?

March 31, 2014

What would it feel like to sit in a room full of strangers (re: not doctors) and discuss that funny-looking skin thingy on the back of your neck, out-of-the-ordinary emotions, weight gain, post-holiday surge in cholesterol, or that thing-I-shouldn’t-mention-here? Blabbering through your litany of health issues in front of others is a growing trend in healthcare thanks to something called shared medical appointments (SMAs). The thing is, SMAs are being sold as a way to save money for both patients and doctors. I’m not sure I’m buying it though… Will Revealing the Innards of My Health in a Room Full of Strangers Save Me Money? Cartoon courtesy of Cartoon Resource. I am all about cutting expenses when there’s not much sacrifice involved. But in this case, the savings seem to be more of the unsexy “eat your vegetables” variety: More Exposure to Doctors = Less Serious/Expensive Healthcare Costs Later: The idea is that since you will have much more face time with a doctor (or nurse practitioner) in a 90-minute group session than you normally get with a 10-30 minute individual session, you will learn more health information and avoid serious medical conditions down the road. Greater Accountability to Help […]

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