September 14, 2006

 Navigation

   Home Page

 News & Features

   News

 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note

   Boomers

   Pinings

   Longshots

   Techie

 Pop Culture

   Film

   TV

   Books
   Video Games
   CD Reviews

 Living

   Food

   Wine

   Beer
   Grazing Guide

 Music

   Articles

   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts

   Bandmates

 Arts

   Theater

   Art

 Find A Hippo

   Manchester

   Nashua

 Classifieds

   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad

 Advertising

   Advertising

   Rates

 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover


Pinings: Dollars and sense
by Sherry Hughes sah103@hotmail.com

Dear Pinings,
My boyfriend and I suck with money. We are always scraping to find money for rent, bills, car payments. Both of us work full-time jobs and it doesnít seem as if we have enough fun or buy enough stuff to have so many bills. Itís not like we have a huge amount of debt but we are barely keeping our heads above water. This means we fight all the time about little stuff. We love each other, but it feels like this is really stressing us out.

We are both 25 and have student loans. His car is new, mine is sort of a beater. Weíve thought about getting rid of one and sharing Ö but Iím afraid that will just create new problems. I suggested we ask our parents for small loans, just to make things easier for a while, but he doesnít want to do that.

Help.

Zoe

Dear Zoe,
I think itís normal to struggle financially at some point in your life. It builds character. And I donít mean that to sound trite, because I believe itís true. What you need to look at is whether you are truly bringing in enough money to make ends meet. If you are, Iíd say you are just struggling Ö and you may find a way to trim your spending a bit (get rid of cable? stop eating out?) and see if you have more breathing room. If your monthly debt is higher than your monthly income, however, you really need to start thinking of ways to earn more and/or spend less.

Go over all of your bills with your boyfriend and how much you spend each month. When you do the math, try and look at ways you might come up with more cash in your pocket. Can you spend less on groceries? Gas? Can you go to the dump rather than paying for trash removal? All of the little things add up. If you pare down your cable bill (and trust me, Iíd really struggle with that one, so I know how painful it sounds), you might be able to save $25 or $35, which would pay for Ö.well, pizza and a movie one night or half of another bill or you could just put it away for a rainy day. Itís all about planning and execution. You have to be diligent and serious or else youíll stay in the same pattern.

Money stuff is hard on couples.

Once you establish your priorities (yours and his) and talk about your relationship with money (yours and his) youíll be better equipped to handle the issues and stay out of the boxing ring.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers at sah103@hotmail.com


Comments?†Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com



09/07/2006 I know what boys like
08/24/2006 Act the part
08/17/2006 www.addicted.org
08/10/2006 Cousel-ation prizes
08/03/2006 Bridezillas
07/27/2006 Office space
07/20/2006 Dream a little dream
07/13/2006 Hanging on the telephone
06/29/2006 Lets get it on
06/22/2006 A dubious proposition
06/15/2006 Fighting Fair
06/08/2006 Dogged by guilt
06/01/2006 Itsy bitsy
05/25/2006 Lovey dovey couple
05/18/2006 Simple questions
05/11/2006 My racist friend
05/04/2006 Secret nostalgia
04/27/2006 Making connections
04/20/2006 Live a little
04/13/2006 Live a little
04/06/2006 Torn
03/30/2006 Disagreements
03/23/2006 The simple life
03/16/2006 I thought it was love
03/09/2006 Alone but not lonely
03/02/2006 Compatability?
02/23/2006 A rock and a hard place
02/16/2006 A whole-hearted agreement
02/09/2006 Growing apart
01/26/2006 Tuning out?
01/12/2006 Under pressure
01/05/2006 Sex isn't everything?
A Few Words From Sherry

A LIttle Joy, A Little Heartbreak
Abusive Relationship
Abusive Relationships
Advice to young mother
Annual Tips For Avoiding The Holiday Fight
Any Way To Return To 'Just Friends'?
At The Women's Expo

Back In The Same Place
Back Off, Buddy
Bad Breaks
Being Patient
Blog, Blog, Blog
Broke up

California Dreaming
Changing My Mind
Clearing It Up
Cooking Help
Confused and Angry
Consumed By The Internet
Crying All The Time
Dating Again
Ex-Cooperation
Falling Short
Family Friction
Friend, With Benefits
Friends
Friendly Secret
Gift-Giving Season
Go to Funeral?
Homesick
Hunting Season
In Love and Confused
It's the most "beautiful" time of the year...
Keeping Things Secret
Just Sex
Lying, But Not Cheating
Might Get Married
Move Back Home?
My Boyfriend's Computer
My Roommate's Family
Mutual Intrigue
Needs Support
Newly Single Mother
No Explanation
Nosy Neighbors
Nothing Happened
Oh, Grow Up

On Her Way To 'Trouble'

Our Pal Al
Pretty Tight
Publicity Stunt?
Quiet, Please
RSVP, Please
Ruthie's Secret
Should I Stick or Should I Run
Should I Tell Him
Shy Girl
Splitting and Sharing
Stuck In A Sticky Situation
Sucky Gifts
Taking advantage
The Boyfriend & The Friend
The Difficult Coworker
The Letter
The Pain In Spain
The Sad Bride
The Ultimatum
Two Men At The Same Time
Vacation, Not

Why would anyone stay?