Our Biggest Money Fight and 9 Lessons Learned
Hello readers, today we are getting up close and personal as usual 😊. We are going to talk about our biggest money fight we have ever had in our relationship.
This was also our first and biggest fight ever. We spent a whole weekend without talking to each other.
We are going to talk about the what it was all about, how and why it happened, how we recovered from it and the 9 lessons learned.
So, what was it about?
It was about:
So how much money did we win in the lotto that caused such a big fight?
A big fat $0.
Yes, you read that right. As a matter of fact, we rarely buy lotto tickets.
In 7 years, we have been together, we have only bought lotto tickets once! And we remember the exact date. It was on 11/11/2011.
Yes, the “lucky” day, where a lot of people and their grandmas lined up to buy lotto tickets. Even people like us who almost never buy lotto tickets.
And the tickets we bought? We actually completely forgot about them, and by the time we remembered a couple of years later, we could not find them, and they were most likely expired.
But this particular fight we are talking about was not about these tickets. It was about some hypothetical question.
Yes, again, you read that right.
Our biggest fight was based on a hypothetical question!
So, what was the hypothetical question?
The hypothetical question was:
What would we do with $5,000,000 in lotto winnings?
Early in our relationship, a few months into the relationship, while chilling, relaxing, and talking about random things, we asked ourselves this question:
Hypothetically speaking what would we do with $5,000,000 net in lotto winnings?
First, we decided we would keep 50% for ourselves, and give away the other 50%. We agreed on this with no hiccups.
We also agreed on how we would spend our 50%. We would buy a decent house cash, and invest the rest into our future kid(s) education fund(s), business(es), stock market and/or real estate market.
And what about the other 50% we would need to give away? 10% would go to charity, and 40% would go to family.
Easy-peasy, right? Not really. Things started getting complicated when we started talking about the 40% (about $2,000,000) that has to go to family.
Like previously mentioned, it was early into our relationship, so we were still about my family, your family, and not our family.
This is how the conversation went:
- Ms99to1percent: That’s pretty easy, 50% should go to my family and 50% should go to your family.
- Mr99to1percent: That’s not fair, my family is larger than yours. My siblings outnumber your siblings by 3 times. Instead of doing 50-50, we should total the number of siblings, and divide equally among them.
- Ms99to1percent: That’s not fair either, because my siblings live in VHCOL (Very High Cost of Living Area) and your siblings live in a VLCOL (Very Low Cost of Living Area).
For example, if they all receive the same exact amount, your siblings would be able to buy a few houses and a few other investments/things, while my siblings wouldn’t even be able to buy half a house.
- Mr99to1percent: Well, that’s not my siblings’ fault that your siblings live in VHCOL. Why should my siblings get penalized for that?
- Ms99to1percent: Well, I also have some extended family members such aunts, uncles and cousins that I’m very close to that I would want to help. You on the other hand, are not too close to your aunts, uncles, and cousins.
- Mr99to1percent: Well, we should only include siblings and parents, otherwise it would cause too much drama.
And I still stand by my opinion that instead of doing 50-50, we should total the number of siblings, and divide equally among them.
- Ms99to1percent: Well, I also still stand by my opinion that 50% should go to my family and 50% to your family
We kept going back and forth, and it turned into a huge fight, and we ended up not talking to each other for the rest of the weekend.
According to statistics, 45% of lottery winners are less happy or experience no effect on happiness after winning; 37% of families claim to be less happy; 5% end up divorcing; and 44% end up spending their entire winnings within 5 years.
Studies have also shown that financial disagreements can lead to relationship breakups or divorces.
For example, Sonya Britt, assistant professor of family studies and human services and program director of personal financial planning at Kansas State University, and her team conducted a study called “Examining the Relationship Between Financial Issues and Divorce” using longitudinal data from more than 4,500 couples.
The study found that arguments about money is by far the top predictor of divorce. It’s not children, sex, in-laws or anything else. It’s money.
The study also found that when a couple is new into the relationship and already arguing about money, there is a good chance they are going to have poor relationship satisfaction.
So, Are We Doomed?
Well, fortunately for us, after not talking to each other the whole weekend, we realized a few things and learned some lessons.
The Lessons Learned from the fight:
- We realized how much precious time we just lost that we will never be able to get back. We missed each other so much after not talking to each other for the whole weekend.
- We should appreciate how lucky we are. It’s silly to be fighting about some hypothetical situation while some other couples are struggling with real financial issues, infidelities, abuse, lies, …
- We shouldn’t be fighting about fights that are not ours. We don’t play lotto, thus why are we even fighting about this? Like an old polish proverb says: Not our monkey, not our circus.
Instead we decided to continue focusing on what we do best. Making money the hard way, with some sweat and equity and since then, we have been able to more than double our annual income from $160K to $400K+ and hope to double it again in the next 5 years.
- We realized we did at least one thing right. We stayed in the same house, none of us left. We realized some of our previous relationships failed because when we would fight, we would leave, and stay gone. You know what they say:” Out of sight, out of mind”.
That weekend, we even still went out to dinner we had reserved. Even though it was awkward, silent, didn’t talk to each other at all, and got strange looks from waiters, but the fact that we still went, and hanged out, made a difference.
- We agreed to no longer think in terms of “my family”, “your family”, that we should think in terms of “our family”. Since then, we consider our 2 families, 1 big happy family.
- Don’t go to bed mad at each other, try to resolve the issue right away when you can.
- Own up and apologized to each other. Hug it out and kiss it out.
- Once you apologize and forgive each other, start over with a clean slate. Never again bring up resolved past issues.
- Don’t have the same fight ever again. Apply the lessons learned, and try not to repeat the same mistakes, errors…If you follow this rule, you end up with less and less fights, and a stronger relationship/marriage as time goes on.
Just like any other couple, we still fight once in a while but we apply these lessons and come out even stronger.
Now when we look back, we find this fight silly and entertaining. And we sometimes ask our married or coupled-up friends the same question “What would you do with $5,000,000 net in lotto winnings?”
One condition though, please don’t fight about it. And the answers are always entertaining.
What about you guys? What would you do with $5,000,000 net in lotto winnings? What’s the biggest or silliest, financial or non-financial fight have you ever had in your relationship or marriage? Any advice you want to share?
Thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment, share and subscribe! We love ya and wanna get to know ya!
Do you want an easier way to manage/track your finances/investments? The Personal Capital app can help. Do you want to start blogging? Bluehost can get you started. Make sure to also check out other resources that we recommend such as books that have helped us get where we are.
Do you want to learn more about us? If so, you can read these other posts:
- About us
- How We Increased Our Annual Income From $0 to $160K to $400K+
- How we live on 15% of our income
- Joining the Million Dollar Club/Challenge and So Can You
- How To Pay Off A Mortgage In 5 Years
- Our Biggest Money Fight and 9 Lessons Learned
- Our 6 Financial Mistakes and 15 Lessons Learned
- How I Paid Off My $40,000 Student Loans Before Graduating
- The resumes that bring in $400,000+/year (Samples Provided)
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Haha, I’m picturing that silent dinner. Do you think the waiters were in the back asking each other what your problem was? 😛
With 5 mil I would be insta-FIRE many times over. I would invest it in great dividend growing stocks and do my charity donations from that angle.
Yes, I’m sure we provided the waiters with some gossip worthy entertainment 😀😀😀.
Yes, now that we are serious about FIRE, our decision would be a little bit similar to yours.
#5 through #8 are pure gold…! Marriage is hard and fights/arguments happen, but there has to be a willingness to apologize, make things right and move on.
That’s for sure. We agree 💯
Oh I’m pretty sure we’ve had similar arguments before. Very good advice here. I agree especially with not going to bed angry. You gotta work stuff out. Nothing worse than letting things fester more than a day.
It’s true. Otherwise, a day might turn into a week, a week might turn into a month, and so on…
I think a lot of marital issues could be resolved if we thought of family as “our family” instead of separating it out.
Mr. Picky Pincher and I also disagree about how we would spend our imaginary lotto earnings. 😛
I would be all for taking the disbursements over several decades, while hubs would want a one-time payout (and a lower amount). I like the idea of getting free money each month to cover expenses, and then socking away my earned money for faster FIRE. 🙂
Hahaha. I think I agree with your husband on this one. A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush 😀
I just started reading your blog and it’s great. Ha Ha, fighting over an imaginary issue. Marital arguments boil down to acceptance and respect. After 14 years of marriage, we’ve learned to fight fair and agree to disagree on some issues. I accept her point of view and she accepts mine. Then we try to give each other more than we take. BTW, she always wins the silent treatment game. I cave.
Thanks for visiting and we are glad you are enjoying our blog.
And of course your wife is going to win the silent treatment game because women invented it 😀😀😀.
Btw, thanks for sharing with us your secret to a long lasting happy marriage. Every couple should follow those tips.
Hahaha, that’s so hilarious.
I think having to share $5M with so many people complicates things.
Maybe if it was $50M, it would be easier 😀.
Yes $50M would def be way easier to divide among so many people.
Mr. G and I have had arguments over this, too. He wants to be very generous to some friends and family who would fritter away any money they got in a heartbeat, and I don’t.
My remedy is to refuse to engage in this conversation. It just ain’t gonna happen with the 1 or 2 times a year we buy a ticket.
#6 is a big deal to me. I can’t do it. I’d need 5 allergy pills to knock myself out if we went to bed angry with each other.
Hahaha your strategy is good. No point of arguing over it if your chances of ever winning are non-existing 😊.
That made me chuckle, a fine post Ms 99to1percent.
I admire your lessons learned list, and appreciate the first four. As for the rest… well “families are complicated”, as you are discovering.
Yes, very complicated. But it gets better with time.
Glad to hear you found the article entertaining 🙂
Hello Mr. and Mrs. 99to1percent. I discovered your blog today when Michelle from Making Sense of Cents sent out her latest newsletter that talked about your recent guest post. I’ve actually thought about this a lot and like you, my hubby and I rarely buy lotto tickets. Even when it gets ridiculously high. In fact, the only time we receive them is as a gift from his bestie and his wife during the holidays. Speaking of which, we scratched the ones they gave us this past holiday and I think we won $500, but haven’t cashed it in yet. LOL He actually admitted to me that he was going to cash it in and not share it with me. O_O WTF? So. Yeah. LOL. You can see where HE stands on that.
Me? I would share with ONLY family and close friends (I’ve only got three), pay off student loan debt, put it in savings, invest, give some to charity…and then go live in a yurt on an island somewhere. Those things are fascinating to me. LOL
hahahahaha, you sound like a fun couple. Question: If you won $1M, how much of that if any, would you give your friends who gifted you the tickets?
Ooh! That’s a good question. I know what HIS answer would be, but mine would be $10K.