Jean Chatzky
Women are earning more money than they ever have before, with many even outearning their husbands. So why do some successful women still hide their purchases from their spouses? In the recent New York Times article, "Money Doesn't Talk," a woman purchases a $2,000 handbag with cash in an attempt to hide it from her partner. Jean talks to Dr. Marlin Potash, a psychologist who focuses on relationships and money, about handling money within a marriage.
  • Set up an account in your own name, with your own money, Dr. Potash says. Keep the joint one for shared expenses, but this way, you won't feel as guilty. Determine "your money" using a fair percentage of what you make.
  • Couples might benefit from having a spending account, a savings account and an investment account.
  • Set a number and agree to discuss purchases with your spouse that cost more than that amount, Dr. Potash says. Your magic number should be based on your income.
  • Agree to disagree. It's not about the cost of the handbag, but about respecting each other's financial decisions.
  • Plan financial dates. Sometimes you have to force the conversation to happen, so set aside a time to talk with your spouse about your money issues.
  • Know that while all of these tips are helpful, there is no rule that works for every couple—you need to do what fits your relationship, Dr. Potash says.
The information provided here is general advice and you should always consult your own financial adviser before making major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.


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