Husband vs. Wife: When One Salary Dips

Lori and Marek Fuchs have never fought in their 16 years of marriage—except over money. In this column, Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs, a real-life married couple with three kids (ages 12, 7 and 5), articulate their very different approaches to personal finance.

Mrs. Fuchs: Oh boy, I have bad news.

Mr. Fuchs: Wait, let me sit down.

Mrs. Fuchs: OK, good. Well, most-

Mr. Fuchs: Wait, and get a beer…

Mrs. Fuchs: OK. Most-

Mr. Fuchs: And a club sandwich from the ‘fridge…

Mrs. Fuchs: OK, enough. God, any excuse, huh? Look, most of my patients have gone away for the summer, even more than usual. As a result, I’m not going to be pulling in much of an income. What are we going to do?

Mr. Fuchs: Something tells me we should have thought of this ahead of time.

Mrs. Fuchs: We depend on that income for things like music lessons and lot of other essentials and incidentals.

Mr. Fuchs: Well, score another point for bad planning. Glad I can console myself with a beer and sandwich. Anyhow, the interesting thing is that even though we are no longer a nation of farmers, a surprising number of fields are still seasonal, or, at least have seasonal lulls. Psychologist/psychiatrists, your gig, have a classic summer slow period. So do restaurants, at least those operating in non-vacation areas.
Mrs. Fuchs:
As teachers, my parents struggled during the summer months. They tried to spend slowly, but you know how that goes. Michael Kresch, CFP, president of Kresch Financial Services in Islandia, N.Y., says that back when teachers generally didn’t get paid during the summer, there were a lot of hungry teachers come August.

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