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The Serviette Strategy

Date: 1 November 2012

Location: Romsey Pub (Romsey, Victoria)

‘Here's how we're going to manage our money,' I announced to Liz (on our very own Barefoot Date Night).

‘Oh really?' she said, eyebrows raised, head cocked to one side.

See, during the years that Liz and I had been ‘living in sin', as my grandmother put it, we'd kept our money separate, splitting things roughly down the middle.

But a month out from our wedding I knew it was time to have ‘the talk'.

To succeed over the long term, I knew I had to come up with a simple, hassle-free plan that operated on autopilot (for Liz) yet moved us forward and built our wealth (for me).

‘You're talking about putting us on a budget, aren't you?' said Liz, folding her arms.

‘Well …'

‘Let's get one thing straight right here. I will not have you dictating every last dollar we spend,' she declared, giving me a factor-10 stink eye.

We are not stingy people. You know the type: they never bring wine or beer when they come for dinner (but always happily drink yours). They often complain about the cost of their kids' (free, public) schooling. And they put in the exact change when you're out to dinner: ‘Our mains were cheaper, so our share of the bill is ... $45.40' (and then they put in $45 and four 10-cent pieces).

I assured Liz that I wasn't advocating we cut our own hair or wear acid-wash jeans from Best & Less (though ...

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