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, 8 and 5), articulate their very different approaches to personal finance.
In this round, she says: a cleaning lady was too expensive, that’s why we cut back. He says: not having help costs us money—especially with your work strike.
Mr. Fuchs: We speak to financial planners on issues like insurance and college savings until I want to plug my ears, but what can they tell us about cleaning help? Nothing. Zip. Zilch. And in our lives, at least in the short run, that’s all that matters.
Mrs. Fuchs: Ah, the cleaning lady. With journalism imploding and my psychology practice down because of he economy, we had to cut back and stop using one.
Mr. Fuchs: But with three kids and two dogs who kick up dirt and dust around the clock, I swear it's losing us money long-term. To me, it seems a metaphor.
Mrs. Fuchs: To you, everything seems a metaphor.
Mr. Fuchs: No, hear me out. Because if you work for yourself and if more work can bring in more money, you should probably be careful that you don’t cut back in areas that’ll cost you more time. Time is money, quite literally. If, for example, we keep the house six degrees cooler this winter, that might be a better way to save money. That doesn’t cost time.
Mrs. Fuchs: I can’t type when my hands have the chilblains you know.
Mr. Fuchs: Chilblains? I suspect you have a good point, but what are chilblains, a bean dip?