• About Make Love, Not Debt

    Current statistics state that half of all marriages fail. One of the top reasons for divorce is disputes over finances! This is the story of Him and Her, a recently engaged married (finally!) couple living together in Chicago. They may have a lot of debt (but not as much as we used to), but believe they can conquer it with a little love and a lot of style.

    About Him (currently writing) and Her (on hiatus)

    That was too-wordy tagline of the first incarnation of this blog. Not much has changed, since we launched our first post on January 1, 2006. We’re still in the same apartment in Chicago (!), a little older heading towards the dreaded 30′s, and finally married after too much wedding planning. We don’t have as much debt as we used to; we’ve managed to pay off all of our credit cards in under 2 years, and now use only rewards cards that we pay off every month. A fortuitous windfall helped pushed us into the positive net worth. We keep track of our financial progress, but with less frequency than we used to (the last time we checked in was in April 2009). We’re steadily trudging along but are less focused on pure debt reduction and have moved up to much, much more important financial topics such as how much VIP drinks are at da club, how we make money by having sex, or getting expensive haircuts.

    If you’d like to read about how we got into this mess, you might want to start with Him’s story which will then lead you to read Her’s story. As mentioned above, we’ve come a long was financially. When we started the blog, we couldn’t afford much of a home; now the amount of home we can afford is quite scary! In the early days, much of our extra money to pay off debt came by cutting expenses, reducing retirement contributions, or using coupons.

    Since that time, we’ve been pretty good at controlling our money by not keeping up with the Joneses, whether they be friends or family. These days we spend our money on things that matter to us, such as health, vacations, or even varietal specific wine glasses. We’re also trying to be smart with the money that we save – this year we’ve come up with a comprehensive joint retirement investment plan. We can even afford to purchase a comprehensive family health insurance plan from the most reputable insurance company in the country (health is something that should always be secured in the family). Whew, try and say that 5 times fast.

    About Abby Dalton, current staff writer

    After graduating with a B.A. in English and History in 2008, Abby Dalton made it her goal to avoid living the cliché of the underemployed and financially-inept humanities major. Since then, she’s made personal financial literacy her hobby. She’s worked in publishing and the non-profit sector, first in New York, and now in the Boston area. She currently works on program coordination at a major university in the northeast, where her husband, Brad, is a graduate student. They live with their cat, Norman.

    About Stacy Cowley, previous staff writer

    Stacy Cowley launched the personal-finance blog BirdsandBills.com in 2006, after coming to the startling realization that she was almost out of the post-college credit-card debt hole and had no idea what to do with money other than sending it all to American Express. Happily, her day job is in journalism, which means she’ll never have too much of that pesky cash to worry about.

    Stacy currently works as CNNMoney.com‘s small business editor. Her articles have appeared in publications including the Village Voice, Baltimore Sun, Raleigh News & Observer, San Francisco Examiner and Bookslut.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, BrooklynBallparks.com historian David Dyte.

    Stacy blogged with Make Love, Not Debt, for a short time in 2010. We were glad to have had her contributions!

    We hope that you enjoy your stay, you have a few laughs, and you learn a little about your finances. If all else fails, at least stay for the pie.