Skip to content

    Health & Sex

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Dr. Phil & Robin's Do-It-Yourself Marriage Makeover

    Problem 2: Money Miseries

    Dr. Phil: Couples just don't know what to expect when it comes to handling money in a marriage. They don't realize what it takes to set up a household. They don't realize how expensive it is to have children. And so before long, racking up debt has become a way of life, and they're so mired down that it can feel hopeless.

    But the answer is, they've got to come up with a plan that they'll commit to, and have the emotional integrity to stick with that plan. Look, it's math, it's not magic. It's not: We need this, we deserve this, we want this. You either have the money or you don't. I mean, I grew up really poor, and so did Robin, so we were on a cash basis growing up. It was: You work today, you eat today. You don't work today, you don't eat today. It's just that simple.

    So first, you have to get real about what a fixed expense is. Because frankly, there aren't many. Food and shelter, that's about it. Cable TV is not a fixed expense. Your cell phone is not a fixed expense. Internet access is not a fixed expense. If you're trying to get out of debt, you have to be willing to treat everything as expendable.

    Then sit down and say, "OK, here's how much we have, and that leaves discretionary income of X, whether it's $10 a week or $100 a week." If you say you've got $60 a week to spend on groceries, do not wind up spending $80. And be in this together: You make the plan together, you negotiate it, you execute it, and you live by it together. Don't make it about how he has to stop spending so much or you need more money for your hobbies. Be in it together, and come up with a realistic plan. And if you can't stick to it, sit down with your spouse and renegotiate. Don't make it about blame or recrimination. Make sure you both realize that you're in this together.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

    Today on WebMD

    couple not communicating
    How to tell when you're in one.
    couple face to face
    Get your love life back on track.
     
    couple having an argument
    Turn spats into solutions
    couple in argument
    When to call it quits.
     
    Life Cycle of a Penis
    Article
    HIV Myth Facts
    Slideshow
     
    How Healthy is Your Sex Life
    Quiz
    Couple in bed
    Video
     
    6 Tips For Teens
    Article
    Close-up of young man
    Article
     
    screening tests for men
    Slideshow
    HPV Vaccine Future
    Article