Money allows men you’d never expect to have access to very attractive women – just ask Larry King. But money does not ensure that such a man will be able to keep a woman happy – just ask Larry King’s former wives. Lack of money won’t necessarily kill a relationship, but it can add a level of stress that makes staying together challenging. Whatever monetary resources a couple may possess, they need to have a similar outlook with respect to saving and spending.
Kellie and I have been lucky. There’s been plenty of money and we have managed to accumulate a decent nest egg over the years. Before I met Kellie, I was a Quicken type of guy. Every bank account, every brokerage account, every credit card, every loan, and every bill was meticulously tracked. Each month I reconciled all the accounts. If something didn’t balance, my OCD would keep me busy for hours until accounted for every last penny. Then I met and married Kellie.
Since I was in the Navy and had to go sea, sometimes for several months, Kellie had complete control of the family finances. It was immediately clear that she was not going to track the household budget with the same rigor that I exercised. She was not about to use Quicken, or any other record keeping system for that matter, to track our cash flow. We quickly established a modus operandi for managing money. I would set aside our planned savings each month, and she would get the remainder to dispose of as she saw fit. The only requirement I had: pay the bills on time, especially the mortgage, and as long as cash came out of the ATM when I stuck in my debit card, I would let Kellie manage the money without any meddling from me. Remarkably, the system worked rather well.
Now that I’m retired, our income is only a fraction of what it formerly was. My preference would be to cut back on any unnecessary spending and carefully husband our resources, especially since the outlook for the economy remains uncertain. Kellie agrees that the future is uncertain, but it's not the economic conditions that concern her. Kellie doesn't dwell on the negative, but her main counter argument is that we could be dead tomorrow, or, worse, end up too old and infirm to do much of anything. She prefers to spend our money now while we’re still alive and young enough to enjoy it. She does have a good point. Guess whose preference we’re indulging?