Warning: What you are about to read will be disturbing to many. Women and children should leave the room now. Men with a queasy stomach should also take a step back. It’s been two weeks since I dropped the f-bomb. The drought is over. I will use the f-bomb today in its correct dictionary definition to illustrate an important issue. This post is so volatile LinkedIn will not allow you to post this to their site even though your life depends on it. Facebook is good with it, however.
Money is the leading cause of divorce in the United States and in most Western countries. Marriages survive infidelity better than money problems. The worst part is how expensive divorce is and since money issues are the leading cause of divorce, it doesn’t solve the problem.
Then we need to think of the children. They suffer disproportionately. Adults have at least some control over their actions and the outcome. Children are helpless victims in the middle of elevated negative emotions. The damage is significant and lifelong.
Every marriage has its challenges. Forty-one percent of first marriages end in divorce. Abundant data on divorce exists, but there are large discrepancies in some of the data. It is also hard to put an exact number on the percentage of marriages that will end in divorce when the married couple are still alive. Using the number of divorces in a year compared to the number of marriages is useless. Still, many marriages end in divorce, statistics aside. Money is a large factor in divorce and divorce only exacerbates money problems.
The best way to preserve your marriage is to do away with money problems! Divorce is long in the making. Money problems are not a surprise in most cases. Medical issues can cause financial stress. But most money problems are the result of poor planning.
This blog is a good place to start. Not only do I provide powerful financial information to reach financial independence and security, I also have a long-lasting marriage—to the same woman! Twenty-nine years of wedded bliss is no guarantee it lasts. However, proper financial planning skews the odds in my favor.
Several decades ago Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin wrote Your Money or Your Life. Robin has since updated the book and it is available with this link. You can also read a summary from Robin on Your Money or Your Life here.
Much has been reported on the work of Dominguez and Robin over the years. They founded the current FI (financial independence) movement. Following in their footsteps I share why it is so important to embrace their philosophy on money, spending and living. It’s not just your money or your life; considering divorce statistics, it is also about your money or your wife.
Every financial guru at one time or another pulled out their copy of Your Money or Your Life and started preaching. Rarely did they add anything new. But I, yes I, the Wealthy Accountant, will add something to the discussion with my normal way with words and undeniable logic. But it’s going to hurt.
Guys. How can I put this delicately? How does it make you feel to think about another guy plowing your wife, significant other and/or mother of your children? Thought so. Well, I have awesome news for you! When you keep spending beyond your means and piling up debt, you bring money problems into your relationship, increasing the odds of divorce or a break-up, by magnitudes of order. And when the inevitable happens you get to pay child support and/or alimony so some other guy/s can fuck that little woman of yours silly. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it?
Am I too graphic for you? Tough! If you are not saving/investing half your gross income and spending responsibly (no more SUVs, jet skis, boats and other assorted wastes of money until you have ample cash to do it without touching savings or borrowing) you will eventually enjoy the opportunity of watching some slimeball of a guy plowing a furrow down the seam between your wife’s legs. Best of all, you will pay a massive percentage of your hard-earned income to make it happen. It’s the court system’s way of getting you to spend responsibly by taking your money and giving to some dick, I mean your ex, to take care of the kids or her new boyfriend.
Oh, I see I left the ladies out of the conversation. Let me rectify that. Imagine, ladies, some two bit hussy blowing your man. She thinks she’s hot shit and she is, mostly because she’s twenty (or thirty) years younger than you and things haven’t started to stretch and sag on her. I bet you have a word to describe her and it starts with ‘B’. Am I right? Don’t blame me! You did it to yourself. All that fancy clothes on the credit card and top-of-the-line furniture you had to have. Now, just close your eyes and visualize the future. You ain’t in it, but that ‘B’ is and she is all over your man. Get used to it.
I can hear the outcry already. The Wealthy Accountant is talking mean. He said my wife will be doing the bed dance with other men while I pay for it. Mr. Accountant said my man will enjoy a twenty year old hussy while I struggle to pay the bills. GET OVER IT!
I have no intention of playing fair. Got it! If Dominguez and Robin couldn’t get through to you and the army of financial books and blogs couldn’t crack your thick skull, then let me have at it. I am not a nice man. But I will tell you the truth, regardless how much it hurts.
The complaints pour in when I suggest, even suggest, you save half your income. You’d think I was asking you to crush a testicle or slice off a breast. (Interesting choice of words considering the subject matter.) You want it soft, go somewhere else. In my left hand is a bat (right hand too) and I’m willing to use it to focus your attention before the inevitable happens.
My encouragement may not prevent a divorce, but if you keep it tucked and avoid serious money problems the odds of divorce start to look like a losing bet.
When you met your sweetheart, what did you feel? Warm and fuzzy? Right? Me, too! I never wasted a day fighting with my sweetheart about money. Instead of some other guy taking care of business, I did it myself. And it was cheap. Some unmentionable garments and lube and I was a happy guy. (So was Mrs. Accountant by the sound of it!)
So why are you working so hard to screw it up? The 4×4 truck, boat, oversized home, et cetera are not making you happy; it’s turning you into a very unhappy slave. And unhappy people lash out at the people closest to them. That might be your sweetheart, you think? Yeah. It’s no wonder so many lose so much of what they care about the most because they can’t keep the wallet tucked and to a lesser extent an appendage too.
If so much was not at stake I would play nice. But I know you. You love your wife/significant other, guys, now more than ever. They don’t grow old; they grow better. And you’re missing it all by worrying about money. Stop!
Sell the junk, pay off debt, stop spending, save/invest. Get your life back before some other guy is taking care of that for you. You love that woman. I know you do. Hold her. Show her how much you care. Show her how much you care by handling your finances like an adult. Read this blog from post 1 to the end and do it again. Read other FI blogs; I’ve mentioned many in previous posts.
I don’t have all the answers. What I have is a 29 year marriage going strong. Mrs. Accountant and I talk about a lot of things. Worry about money is not one of them. Sure, we are getting older. Like a fine wine Mrs. Accountant is getting better with age. (Personally, I’m a bit more like vinegar, but I digress.) There is nothing in the world more pleasurable than the time I spend with the woman I love and my children. Virtually all the pleasure in life involves them. There is no way in hell I will risk that over a trinket on the credit card. No way.
It’s never too late to start. Maybe you already lost a lover over crazy money habits. Don’t use it as an excuse to repeat the process. You are smarter than that.
Time keeps counting. As father time extracts his fee you will know the comfort of a friendly and familiar face. The woman you love, the girl you meet so many years ago is now old and gray, but more beautiful than ever and by your side. You don’t see the gray; you only see the beautiful girl with silky hair you meet so long ago and nervously asked to dance. Must be the old rheumy eyes. Age, you know.
Or, you can let some other guy take care of that for you. Brutal, I know.