love and money

Marriage and Money

Our latest guest, Belinda Luscombe, would rather have had her eyes put out than read a book about marriage; they all seemed full of advice that was obvious, useless, or bad. Plus they were boring. 

But after covering the relationship beat for Time magazine for ten years, she realized there was a surprisingly upbeat and little-known story to tell about the benefits of staying together for the long haul. Hence her recently released book, Marriageology: The Art and Science of Staying Together.


Casting a witty, candid, and probing eye on the latest behavioral science, Luscombe has written a fresh and persuasive report on the state of our unions, how they’ve changed from those of our parents’ era, and what those changes mean for the happiness of this most intimate and important of our relationships.

In Marriageology Luscombe examines the six major fault lines that can fracture contemporary marriages, also known as the F-words: familiarity, fighting, finances, family, fooling around, and finding help. 

She presents facts, debunks myths, and provides a fascinating mix of research, anecdotes, and wisdom from a wide range of approaches, from how properly dividing up chores can result in a better sex life to the benefits of fighting with your spouse to whether or not to tell your partner that you lost $70,000. (The last one is from firsthand experience.)

Marriageology offers simple, actionable, maybe even borderline fun techniques and tips to try, whether the relationship in question is about to conk out or just needs a little grease and an oil change. The best news of all is that sticking together is easier than it looks.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman,

CBS This Morning: Money and Love

According to the planning website The Knot, couples spent an average of nearly $34,000 on their wedding last year. And while 80 percent of couples say they set a budget, 45 percent report going over it. I joined CBS This Morning to share tips on how to plan a wedding without breaking the bank, and how to prepare for a sound financial future.

Marriage and Money

Marriage and Money

Wedding season is upon us and with the national average cost of a wedding at nearly $34,000, according to The Knot's annual survey, newlyweds are getting a crash course in personal finance. Gone are the days when someone else pays for the nuptials, 91 percent of the respondents contributed some dough to the big event and 80 percent created a wedding budget, more than half who did so, spent more than the allotted amount.

Love and Money


Just in time for the Valentine’s celebration, released a report that was sobering. 13 million Americans have committed financial infidelity by hiding a bank or credit card account from a spouse or partner. Maybe you can get away with your financial infidelity for a period of time, but just like the other kind of infidelity, chances are that the act itself is likely covering up a major issue: you and your honey have not had an honest conversation about money. Of course it’s tough to do-money discussions often bring up core issues about how we were raised or fear about the future. That’s why money can be so loaded and often leads to heated battles. According to Money Magazine, seventy percent of couples fight about money—that’s more than brawls about household chores, togetherness or sex!

Trying to have a meaningful conversation about money amid a heated argument is fruitless. Instead, to break the cycle of non-communication, set aside a specific time and place to talk about the dreaded topic. You can reduce emotions by setting ground rules: No judgments -- just open dialogue.

During this opening conversation, you should share information, like outstanding debt or any secret bank or investment accounts that may be floating around. If you have never created a balance sheet, this is a perfect time to do so. Figure out what you own and what you owe. While you are at it, you should also create the master list of documents necessary to organize your estate, so make sure to note in whose name the asset is held or whether it is jointly owned. Include your bank accounts (as well as user names and passwords for online banking), the contents of any safe deposit boxes (and where the key is located), 401(k) accounts, IRA’s, Roth IRAs, annuity contracts, brokerage account information (with the broker’s name and contact phone number) and a detailed list of savings bonds (or login information for Also list your house and vehicles (make sure you have deeds and titles) and any debts that are outstanding in your names.

You should also make sure that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to financial priorities -- check in on retirement, college planning and cash flow management. Do you want to keep separate bank accounts and then both contribute to a joint account? There is no “right” answer on this one!

After you have that conversation, it’s time to divide financial responsibilities. Work toward each partner’s strength. If one is an app queen and likes to track money, perhaps she should manage the day-to-day bill paying. If the other is more inclined to manage the investments, that’s ok too…again, the main point is that you must understand the game plan together and then allocate the tasks appropriately.

If one spouse is completely uninterested in all of this stuff, especially the investments, you still need to have quarterly meetings to walk him or her through the most recent statements. Start with the overall objective, like “we have a balanced portfolio, which means that we split the risk between stocks and bonds”, and make sure that you explain the different parts of the statement itself. Often times, one person is more comfortable with risk than the other. Instead of “winning” that argument, you might benefit from working with a professional to determine what level of risk is appropriate, given your goals and objectives.

Just like most issues, communication and empathy are the go-to tools that will help you navigate the process.