Who controls your relationship?

Dogs kissing

I would love to say that relationships are a 50/50 exchange of power, money and support.  But as I get older I am learning that relationships are a lot of things, but being equal is not always one of them.

Being in a relationship is different for everyone.  Back in the day people got married because that’s what they were supposed to do.  Back then people graduated high school, got married as teenagers or in their 20s, had kids and retired from their first job.  That’s just what they did.  That generation may end in divorce because as people grow up they change; the new version of you may no longer be compatible with your spouse.

Nowadays people wait to get married.  We are getting married later on in life (in our 30s and 40s) after we’ve graduated from college and established in our careers.  I would like to think that couples who wait to get married live happily ever after because once you have grown into the person you want to be you can make your relationship work with someone else.

Who makes the decisions?

I recently watched a move called Love Lace starring Amanda Seyfried.  It tells the story of a famous 70s porn star and how she was abused – mentally, emotionally, physically and financially.  Her husband made all the business deals, controlled her money and became violent whenever she disagreed with him.

When Seyfried’s character turned to her parents for support her mother turned her away.  Her mother reminded her that she was married now and her husband knows what’s best for her.  Could you imagine living in a relationship where you had no say in any matters?

Who controls the money?

I know that some people think it’s just easier for one person to control the money in a relationship, but I don’t agree with it.  My Dad lives his life like this and it really drives me crazy.  My Dad gives his wife a lump sum of money every month and he doesn’t ask questions.  He doesn’t know how much their cable bill costs and he doesn’t know the monthly cost for car insurance.

I understand a relationship has to have trust, but when it comes to money you can never be too careful.  I always tell my Dad that he could be paying 70% of the expenses and his wife (who is extremely weird about money) could be completely ripping him off and he would have no idea.

Who leads your social life?

Sometimes when people get into a relationship they completely eliminate their friends.  This personally drives me crazy, but I do understand it.  New love can be exciting and wanting to spend every moment of every day with your loved one is a feeling like no other.  I had a friend who did this and after some time when she reached out to me I was definitely willing to forgive her.  However some of our other friends were not so kind and their friendships will never be the same. It’s too bad for your friends, but they just have to understand that sometimes couples just want to hang out by themselves.

Photo from Flickr

Originally published on DinksFinance.com

Judge Judy Talks Money

Money Wallet

As you know I am really addicted to reality TV.  My latest obsession is judge shows.  Every night at 7 pm I watch Judge Judy.  I avoided watching her for a long time because I thought she was way too harsh on people, but now I’m loving it.

Give your word and keep it…like always

As it turns out Judge Judy and I share a lot of the same values when it comes to money.  I personally feel my personality is a lot warmer than hers, but nevertheless we share a lot of the same views on money.  Judge Judy hates people who are irresponsible and so do I.  I really can’t stand it when people make appointments and don’t show up.  I also hate it when people says they will do something and then don’t live up to their promise.  Judge Judy feels the same way.

Get a job and pay taxes

She absolutely hates people who don’t meet their financial obligations. If you don’t work and you don’t contribute to society Judge Judy will call you out.  She has a zero tolerance for people who live off tax payer’s money and who take advantage of government benefits.  I feel the exact same way.  I understand homelessness and unemployment are very unfortunate (because I’m not a monster) but I absolutely have no sympathy for people who don’t work.  I feel people could get help, find a job and earn a pay check – they just choose not to.  But that’s just me.

An education equals more money

Judge Judy believes in education and so do I.  Going to college wasn’t an option in my family, my parent’s insisted on it.  My parents made sure I went to college for four years but they didn’t pay for it.  I had to work full time while in school, although my parents did help me out.  Any type of post secondary education is a good idea.  Not everyone has to go to a four year college; people can take vocational training or a certificate program at a community college.  Education equals a pay check and people who say they can’t afford it are just lazy.

Where we don’t see eye to eye

One area of money where I actually disagree with Judge Judy is when it comes to getting a receipt for everything.  I am a huge believer in the barter system.  I don’t do everything in my life just to get a receipt and I wouldn’t expect other people to either.  I always get a receipt for major items such as my rent, furniture, electronics and anything else that requires a guarantee.  However when it comes to saving money I will forget the receipt on items such as clothes and food if it saves me a few bucks.

I’m actually learning from Judge Judy

One thing I learned from a recent episode of Judge Judy is that it actually costs money to get evicted.  I had no idea.  I’ve never been evicted and I don’t ever want to be.  On a recent episode a girl was suing her former roommate for $1000 which was half of their eviction fees.  YIKES!

Photo by ScottW

Originally published on DinksFinance.com

3 ways tenants can protect themselves

Landlord Tenant

Last week I was off work on vacation and you know what that means, I spent ten lovely days watching nothing but court room drama TV shows.  That’s right I spent two weeks with Judge Judy and Judge Milian of The People’s Court.  All I can say is I learn something new every time I watch an episode of a judge show.

I’m obsessed with judge shows

Common cases on judge shows involve dogs, neighbours, landlords and contractors.  Over the last few months I have seen several cases about tenants suing landlords over damage from Hurricane Sandy.  I also see a lot of cases about tenants who sue their landlords for return of their security deposit.  Sometimes the judge rules in favor of the landlord and sometimes the judge rules in favor of the tenants.

Tenants protect yourselves when you move out

Let me tell you as a tenant myself I have become super paranoid about my living situation and I am now planning how I will document our move when we don’t renew our lease in October.  After six years of living in our apartment Nick and I have decided to relocate to a new neighbourhood and a bigger apartment come Fall.

The last thing I want is to move to a new apartment and be sued by my previous landlord after we already moved out.  I want to leave just the way we came, peacefully and quietly.  In order to prevent any unlawful law suits I am going to protect us with three little lessons learned from watching judge shows.

These are three lessons learned from The People’s Court and Judge Judy:

Take photos before and after your tenants move in.  It’s too late for us to take photos of when we moved in (ah if I only knew then what I know now), but we will definitely take photos of the condition of our apartment when we move out.  We will take pictures of all rooms including the kitchen, bedroom, living room and bathroom to show that we did not leave the apartment with any damage and that we did leave it clean.

Every visit, every communication.  Landlords can be known to do some shady things.  We once had a landlord who liked to enter our apartment “for emergencies” when we weren’t home, even though we didn’t give them permission to do so.  Now we keep track of every and all communication with our landlord, even for small things such as maintenance and repairs.  I also kept our original lease from six years ago as well as our yearly apartment renewal ever since.

Keep immaculate records.  I can’t even tell you how many cases I have seen have a verdict in favor of the defendant because the plaintiff couldn’t prove their case.  I am not sure why anyone would go to court without proof of their claim except they didn’t actually have any records to show.  This (along with my obsession for organization) is why I always keep records of everything.

Photo by Flickr

Originally published on DinksFinance.com