I hope you had a Happy 4th of July filled with fireworks, good food, and family. The celebration continues for me because Easy on the Eyes will be hitting shelves in just two weeks! Until the big day, the countdown continues with week 9 of my online book club! We’ve been talking about Odd Mom Out and Mrs. Perfect—my two books that feature some of the same characters from Easy on the Eyes. I love having a forum for your opinions and questions, but here’s the best part for readers: your comment on each book club question enters you to win an Advanced Reading Copy of Easy on the Eyes. This week is your last chance to win it before you can buy it, so please chime in!
Last week we discussed Odd Mom Out. This week let’s pull a question from the Reader’s Guide for Mrs. Perfect:
Nathan sugarcoated the true nature of the family’s finances for a while until he was forced to admit the truth to Taylor. Her reaction was a mixture of emotions. How realistic were their reactions to the situation? Should one person be solely responsible for the family finances? Was Nathan the right one to handle the finances?
Feel free to contribute without having read Odd Mom Out, but be warned that the comments that follow may contain spoilers.
For more Odd Mom Out, read an excerpt, download the whole Reader’s Guide, check out some book extras, and order your copy from Amazon!
About TIMING of PRIZES: The winner will be drawn (randomly, of course) shortly after the next book club gets posted. So, sometime next Monday, when I find a sliver of time between sleeping and caring for a itty-bitty baby, I will do the winner thing. If it waits until Tuesday, no one stress, okay? Thanks! And thanks for participating!
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23 Comments / Add Your Comment →
I think it’s normal for one person to handle the finances but it’s not right for the other to know nothing…I live that way and it’s not fun. You should know what’s going on at least to some point. How do you spend money and deal with everyday expenses that are necessary like gas or groceries and not know that you don’t have the money to cover it? I think there should just at least be a code…like when my hubby says…money is tight this week..nothing extra…I understand that and go with it…Respect and communication go a long way.
Hope your 4th was good!! I had a fabulous weekend with good friends down at the beach full of JP discussions since my friend has finally returned to the reading world:) I will escorting her to B&N to purchase all the JP books we can find:)
Every couple has to divide the labor, but both are equally responsible and, therefore, must be in the know.
I thought Taylor’s reactions were very realistic. I also thought the entire story was a realistic cautionary tale for living paycheck to paycheck to keep up with the Joneses.
Yes, I think it’s normal for one person to be in charge of the bills, but you definitely have to have a budget and be aware of the whole picture.
I also strongly feel that it’s important that husband and wife make their investment decisions together, no matter who the “bread winner” is.
Having said that, I acknowledge that it would be fairly easy for one person to hide or sugarcoat the details of personal finances if there was a problem, like in Taylor and Nathan’s case where he thought he could rebound before it became an issue…
I think that both should be aware. Even before I worked outside the home, my husband would have us both sit down and go over the bills. I didn’t like, still don’t, but it is important, especially when you think of Taylor and Nathan’s situation. IF there had been better dialogue, things would have been different, however, not as engaging to read.
I think usually one spouse does the bills and handles finances but both should have an idea of what is going on. And big purchases should be discussed by both. I thought it was realistic the trouble they got into but couldn’t believe how long Nathan let it go before he told Taylor. But then again with Taylor’s personality, it was credible. Finances are a sticky situation!
I take care of the finances in our house, but my husband is informed of what is going on with everything. He teases me because he has a really good credit rating, but I always pay his bills. That said, I know a couple where the husband does all of the finances and the wife knows nothing about what is going on. She does not work and I know that she thinks that he is always stressed about bills, but never do they share in the worry or decisions about their finances. That seems extremely scary to me and I would never be comfortable with that kind of situation.
Unfortunately, it IS pretty normal for one person in a relationship to be “in charge” of the finances. And, that person is usually the husband, not the wife (ladies, don’t get your panties in a bunch; I know some of us manage the finances in our households, but we’re in the minority). Do I agree with this? No!
Not to be morbid, but people need to think in terms of “what if”, i.e. what if my spouse passes away? If the person who passes was in charge of the household finances and there was no information sharing with the other spouse, there is so much more stress on that surviving spouse!
Share the household financial info, have the honest (and sometimes uncomfortable) discussions about money…you’ll be a stronger couple for it.
I think both should know what is going on because my Mom’s cousin passed away and his wife found out that there was no money left; she had not been privy to the finances in their marriage and she was so shocked to say the least.
Dh and I are both involved but I do pay the bills that we pay over the phone and whoever is going out and a bill needs paying one or the other will do that.
Money is indicative of the power balance in a relationship, and in a good one there should be open discussion and knowledge about finances. I found it hard to believe her husband could pretend to have a job as long as he did and how oblivious Taylor was to how much she spent buying things she didn’t need. I figured it must be true, the rich are different, but then when they began to change I could relate to their struggles and I felt sympathy for them and admiration, too. I thought their daughters were growing up to be spoiled rotten snobs and that they painfully learned some better values by having to move from their mansion. I sometimes drive by those mansions that I always envied and I wonder now if the people inside are happy or are they full of things but empty of values.
I’m actually about halfway through the book right now (loving it by the way). I actually know people that their situation is like Taylor and Nathan’s – where one person handles all the finances. And I think the reactions are realistic, mostly because you realize that they have a breakdown of communication. Taylor is thinking that it’s a recent thing and thinks she’s losing Nathan but really it’s been going on for a while. They’re both kind of dancing around what they need to talk about as if, if they don’t discuss it, it will go away or not be real. And I think lots of couples fall into that trap.
I think it’s okay for one person to handle finances, as far as only one person paying the bills, etc, BUT I don’t think they should do it in a vacuum – both parties should know what’s going on although I don’t think that’s always the case.
Was Nathan the right one? Hard to say. He did at least handle them in the way he thought best, even selling his beloved boat, but once Taylor becomes aware of the situation, she’s kicking tail on trying to get things back in order.
Once I’ve finished the book my mind might change but at this point in the story, that’s what I’m thinking. 🙂
I handle the finances in my home because it is just me. But way back when I was married, I still handled the finances. But I still kept him informed as to what was what. In Taylor’s case, she had her head in the sand but it wasn’t her fault – she trusted Nathan. Remember, he rescued her from her past life. She had no reason not to trust him. What he did was so wrong, wrong, wrong! I was so disappointed in him when she was forced to literally pinch pennies. And she did it and made do and turned out to be the stronger of the two.
I think both Taylor and Nathan contributed to their financial mess – he by not being honest with her from the get go and her by continuing to spend excessively when he let her know they were spending too much.
My husband and I split the bills and each take responsibility for certain ones each month. Early in our marriage we didn’t have a good system and I go nuts not knowing exactly where I stand so splitting them worked for us. No way could I be in a relationship where my husband had 100% control of finances.
The husband and wife both need to be aware of their financial situation so there won’t be any surprises. It is not good to keep secret accounts or credit cards.
Can’t wait to read the book.
I have not yet read the book and it is actually on its way to me. I can’t wait. But from past experience the handling of finances should involve all parties involved. Both should take responsibility and understanding of how things are balanced. And if for some unforsaken reason one should no longer be able to contribute the other is not left in the dark. Secrets in a relationship are not healthy.
I strongly believe handling the finances should be a shared thing in a marriage. Sure, the big part of paying the bills etc. is usually handled by one, but the other should always be on the loop, as I agree, you also have to think of the what if.
My Mom passed away suddenly in a car accident and my father, who worked abroad for years, felt it was easier to leave everything in her hands. However, for weeks after her death he was obliged to go from bank to bank to assess the situation as he didn’t even know where the money was. That was extremely stressfull for him and it taught us kids to take another approach to the finance situation.
Loved the book Jane and thought that if Taylor was not coming from more humble beginnings she would have not been able to cope as well as she did.
I handle the finances but I would never think about holding back information from my husband. We have a very honest relationship; I am just better at the financial end.
My husband takes care of all the finances and keeps me informed. I am quite happy he does and say that its my job just to spend the money! 😉 And I do agree with Kathygee–it is an indicator of teh power of the relationship who handles the money. But my hsuband will say we have these bills to pay so we are tightthis week or no using the credit card this month. He is very good fiscally and we are secure becuase of it. He had to break me the firs t year we were married of my bad habits by taking my credit cards away! I am glad that he made me more fiscally responsible because when he lost his job we were okay since we were used to living carefully. That can backfire though too since sometimes I will be too cheap to buy something! LOL
I think Nathan felt that he owed it to Taylor to give her the life that she expected and thats why he never told her anything, although he should have. He didn’t want to disapoint her that he couldn’t keep her in the style that she had become accustomed to and didn’t want her to leave him or think that he had failed her. They were both such poor communicators and self-absorbed.
Hope you had a great 4th of July! My kids each had two parades with their marching bands and we went to our bff’s for a party afterwards! Take care!!!
I think you did a great job of portraying the emotional stages that Taylor went through when she realized they had know money. Also, I think Nathan’s behavior of hiding the truth was spot on for someone like him. Well done (as usual!)
I think it is normal for one person to handle all the finances. I handle ours, but I also make sure my husband knows our situation. I think both partners in a relationship need to be aware of what is going on. If they aren’t, you are just askng for trouble! I can’t comment on Nathan’s situation much, since I have not read the book yet.
I think finances should be an open book for both in a relationship. Taylor and Nathan’s relationship was a facade all the way around. Nathan kept Taylor in the dark and Taylor accepted it without question. She should have been asking the question instead of having Nathan shoulder all the responsibility. Nathan, on the other hand, should have involved Taylor. I still love the way everything turned out in the book. It is still one of my rereads.
I think it is normal for one person to handle the finances however I think both need to be involved.
I don’t know if its right for one person to handle all of the finances, but its that way here. My husband doesn’t want any part of it. If anything ever happened to me my dear husband would be up a creek because he wouldn’t know where to start.
I think one person (me, in our case!) should be responsible for the routine finances such as paying bills on time. But, I think my husband should at least know where everything is & how everything is handled in case something happens to me. Any other financial decisions, such as investments & major purchases should be a shared responsibility.
Blog Book Club Contest Winner!
Good afternoon, everyone. I’ve randomly drawn a name out of a hat and this is what I got:
Congratulations to #20 Michelle, you are this contest’s winner. Please send me a private email with your address and we’ll get your ARC of Easy on the Eyes out in the mail to you.
Thanks to everyone for discussing the novel and I have really enjoyed our book club discussions! I hope to see everyone’s reader reviews online (at your blog, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble, Facebook…).