Jean talks with Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell, co-editors of Money Changes Everything: Twenty-Two Writers Tackle the Last Taboo with Tales of Sudden Windfalls, Staggering Debts, and Other Surprising Turns of Fortune. This collection of personal stories, written by people from all different walks of life, seeks to explore the role that money has played in their lives, say Jenny and Elissa.
Jean also speaks with two of the book's contributors, Fred Leebron and Kathryn Rhett. Both are writers and college professors who have been married 17 years. In the book, they each wrote an essay describing how money has affected their relationship. In his piece titled "For Richer," Fred reveals his somewhat frugal attitude, while Kathryn's essay "For Poorer" details her take that money shouldn't rule your life. They talk to Jean about how to make varying money styles mesh in a marriage.
Know that children may make all the difference. Fred and Kathryn thought their views on money were aligned until they decided to get pregnant. Fred really felt the pressure to financially provide for the child.
Ignorance is bliss. Fred chooses not to look at how much the family spends on certain things, such as holiday gifts.
Evaluate your differences. Small disagreements can work themselves out, but it's the larger, more complex issues that may cause problems. If your partner is spending a little extra on shoes each month, you might try to ignore it. But if he's off gambling your money away, that's a different story.
Choose a plan that works for you. Some couples agree to share bank accounts; others maintain their own.
Talk to your partner before making large purchases. Kathryn says she would never buy anything expensive before discussing it with Fred first.
Printed from Oprah.com on Thursday, December 12, 2013