McKee Financial

McKee's Weekly Newsletter 10-26-2020

I think we are all tired of hearing anything that has to do with the upcoming election.  I know I am over hearing about every aspect of it.  With that said, I’m going to apologize in advance for reminding you one last time this election cycle to GO VOTE and don’t undervalue the impact your local elections will have on your life.    


Money and Marriage: 7 Tips for a Healthy Relationship

Do you think combining money and marriage is a recipe for disaster? You’re not alone. Money is the number one issue married couples fight about, and it’s the second leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity.1 When we talk about money in relationships of any kind, we’re bound to find some frustration and tension.

No matter how much you love your spouse, trying to merge your lives—and your money—can be a bumpy (but still beautiful!) ride. After all, you both are coming from different life experiences, and the way you perceived and internalized those experiences was probably very different. That’s why you sometimes have two very different views on money!

So, give each other grace. And use these seven steps to build bridges, not burn them:

1. Keep a joint bank account.

Some couples think the best way to avoid money arguments is to keep separate checking accounts. His paycheck goes into one account, hers goes into another, and they each pay bills separately. No harm, no foul, right? Wrong. This lays the groundwork for major problems with your money and marriage.


But you guys, marriage is a partnership. The officiant said, “Two become one.” Separating the money and splitting the bills is a bad idea that only leads to more money and relationship problems down the road. Don’t keep separate accounts. Put all of your money together and begin to look at it as a whole.

2. Discuss your lifestyle choices together.

Let’s say you’re perfectly content shopping at Goodwill when you need to update your wardrobe, but your spouse loves to buy name-brand items at full price. If you have an income that doesn’t support expensive taste, that’s going to be a problem.

Marriage is all about compromise. If one of you has more expensive taste, consider shopping at an outlet mall to snag those name brands at affordable prices.

Because the bottom line is: Your lifestyle needs to line up with your actual income—not what you wish it was. You might want to live like a perfectly curated Instagram post, but don’t let yourself fall down that rabbit hole. Especially when there aren’t enough zeros in your bank account.

3. Recognize your difference in personality.

Everyone’s money mindset is different, and opposites tend to attract. Chances are, one of you loves working with numbers (the nerd) and the other one would rather not be tied down by what the numbers show (the free spirit). One of you might be the saver and the other is more inclined to spend.

Are you a nerd or free spirit? Do you value safety or status? Take my new money quiz to discover your unique set of money beliefs!

While personality differences cause some marital problems, it isn’t the real root of your money and marriage issues. The source of the problem is whenever one of you neglects to hear the other’s input, or when one of you bows out from handling the finances altogether.

Listen up, financial nerds. Don’t keep the money details all to yourself. And stop using your “knowledge” to boss around your free-spirit spouse.

If you’re the more carefree spouse, don’t just nod your head and say, “That looks great, babe.” You have a vote in the budget meetings! Give feedback, criticism and encouragement.

News flash: You’re both on the same team here, so work on the budget together! Use your personality differences to become a stronger, more united team.

4. Don’t let salary differences come between you.

For most couples, one of them probably makes more money than the other. Rarely will you both be making the exact same salary. But whether the amount comes to $50 or $50,000 more a year, the same problem can arise.

Instead of seeing the full pot as “our money,” you might think you have leverage over your spouse—all thanks to a few extra digits on your paycheck. Sometimes the spouse bringing in the most money can feel entitled to the most say. Don’t even go there. That’s just asking for more money and relationship troubles.

It’s not yours or mine—it’s ours. There’s no reason to hold a higher income over the other’s head. You’re on the same team. Start acting like it.

On the other end of the spectrum, the one who makes less or stays at home with the kids might feel like they shouldn’t have as much say. I’ve heard many stay-at-home moms tell me they feel guilty for speaking into the budget or even spending money on anything more than the bare necessities. But remember, you’re on the same team. You have equal say in your money and marriage. And don’t even get my started on the value stay-at-home parents provide—you’re already saving your family money in so many ways!

5. Keep purchases out in the open.

Being unfaithful to your spouse doesn’t always involve an affair. Sometimes it’s when you’re unfaithful to a shared financial goal by opening a side bank account or stashing away cash. That’s deceitful. The same applies if you have a credit card your spouse knows nothing about.


It’s crucial to be open and honest about any side checking or savings accounts or secret credit cards you have. It’s time to own up to the truth and clear the air. Then, work toward establishing financial trust again. Recommit to your shared financial goals and remember why you’re doing it. You’re in this together!

 6. Set expectations together.

When it comes to money and relationships, unmet expectations can cause a lot of conflict. [AP4] The quickest way to feel unfulfilled and unsatisfied with your spouse is when you expect things to go a certain way, only to find out reality is a bit different.

If you’ve always thought you have to immediately buy a house after getting married, you might feel let down when you celebrate your first anniversary in the apartment you’re renting. Don’t let your unrealistic expectations pave the way for money and marriage problems!


There’s no rule stating married couples have to buy a home, start a family, or go on a trip to Paris during their first year of marriage. If those things aren’t feasible for you right now, stop worrying. Get your money in order now so that later you can make your dreams a reality.

7. Don’t let the kids run the show.

Your kids are begging you for the latest video game. You think about how well they’ve behaved lately and figure, why not? But your spouse is upset because it isn’t in the budget. Hello, Impending Money Argument! Would you like to take a seat right between Unmet Expectations and Personality Differences? We’ll be right with you.

Whether it’s buying them toys, giving them an allowance, or just paying for their sports equipment, kids have a way of bringing out the way couples view money differently.

You need to come together, talk about it, and make a plan. Decide together how to budget for the things your children need. But what about all of their pesky wants? Discuss the possibility of establishing chores and a commission (or allowance) for the work they do. This can help them establish a great work ethic, all while teaching them how important it is to wait for the things you want in life!

Money and Marriage Should Go Hand in Hand

It’s time to stop making these money mistakes and find common ground. Because, listen, cultivating a solid marriage takes time and work. It can be an awkward or even frustrating process, but you can learn how to discuss your finances in a more productive way.

And if you guys really want to stop making the same mistakes with money, I want you to check out my new book, Know Yourself, Know Your Money. In the book, I reveal the everyday tendencies that keep people stuck in bad money habits. Then I’ll show you and your spouse how to overcome your hang-ups around money. This will be a game changer for your money and marriage, and it will help you create a life you love together.

And remember, you married this person for a reason. Believe it or not, you need their skills, insight and perspective—especially the ones you don’t have. That free spirit or nerd can bring valuable insight and knowledge to the table. They’re your teammate, and it’s time to start treating them like one.




Interesting Economic Facts

WAY UP - During fiscal year 2019, US government outlays for “Income Security,” a category that includes federal unemployment benefits and the nation’s “food stamps” program, were equal to 49% of the outlays made for Social Security benefits. During fiscal year 2020, US government outlays for “Income Security” w ere equal to 115% of the outlays made for Social Security benefits (source: Treasury Department).

JUST FIVE SURPLUS YEARS - The budget deficit for the United States in fiscal year 2020 (i.e., the 12 months that ended 9/30/20) was $3.1 trillion. The United States has run a budget deficit in 55 of the last 60 fiscal years, i.e., 1961-2020. The only surplus years were 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 (source: Treasury Department).

BACK IN TIME - The cover story for Time Magazine on 3/05/84 was “That Monster Deficit, America’s Economic Black Hole.” The article, written by Charles Alexander, chronicled how the nation’s 1984 budget deficit threatened to derail the country’s economic recovery. The fiscal year 1984 budget deficit was $185 billion, or 6% of the size of the fiscal year 2020 deficit that reached a record $3.132 trillion (source: Time Magazine).

NO BOSS - 20% of American workers between the ages of 18-49 are self-employed. 46% of American workers between the ages of 65-69 are self-employed (source: National Bureau of Economic Research, September 2019).

DOUBLE IN THIRTY YEARS - It would take $1,961 in September 2020 to have the same purchasing power as $1,000 in September 1990 (source: CPI Inflation Calculator, Bureau of Labor Statistics).

WOOD - The price of lumber increased nearly 50% from 4/30/20 to 8/31/20, the largest 4-month increase ever in the cost of lumber based upon data maintained since 1949 (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).

NOT ALL INCOME - The maximum taxable wage base subject to the social security payroll tax will be $142,800 in calendar year 2021. An estimated 82.5% of earnings of all US workers will be subject to the social security payroll tax next year, a levy that is 6.2% for employees and 6.2% for employers (source: 2020 Trustees Report).

WAS IT WORTH IT? - 56% of the $1.54 trillion of student loan debt in the United States is held by individuals with graduate degrees, i.e., beyond a bachelor’s degree (source: Federal Reserve, 2019 data).

MAKING MONEY IN OIL - The price of oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at $39.85 a barrel on 10/23/20. The breakeven price for oil produced in the Permian Basin is estimated to be $50 a barrel. The last time oil closed above $50 a barrel was on 2/24/20 or 8 months ago. The Permian Basin is a 90,000 square mile stretch of land from West Texas to New Mexico (source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas).

KIDS COST MONEY - The United States had 3.79 million births in 2018, the latest calendar year for which data has been released. On 6/15/20, the Brookings Institute forecasted that the COVID-19 virus and subsequent US recession will result in a drop of births in 2021 by 300,000 to as much as 500,000 (source: Brookings Institute).

SLIPPING - From 1978 to 2013, the United Kingdom’s credit rating was Aaa by Moody’s, its top ranking. On 2/22/13, the UK was downgraded to Aa1. On 9/22/17, the UK was again downgraded to Aa2. Just 10 days ago (on 10/16/20), the UK was downgraded to Aa3. As of today, there are just 12 countries in the world that have a top Aaa rating from Moody’s, including the United States (source: Moody’s).

BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE - The Canadian government extended its closure agreement with its US border on 10/19/20 for an additional month to 11/21/20. The ban originally became effective on 3/21/20. It prevents any non-essential vehicle travel across the US/Canadian border. The estimated 300,000 Canadian “snowbirds” that come south for the winter will be forced to fly into the US instead of driving a car or an RV across the border (source: National Post).

OF COURSE HE IS - Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the world’s richest person (worth $189 billion as of Friday 10/23/20) was Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 1999. Time Magazine’s 12/27/99 cover story declared “E-commerce is changing the way the world shops” (source: Time).

WINNER TAKE ALL – MLB’s American League Championship Series and the National League Championship Series both went 7 games in 2020, the first time that has happened since 2004 (source: MLB).

...and for the History Lovers... This Week in History


October 26, 1774

The first Continental Congress, which protested British measures and called for civil disobedience, concludes in Philadelphia.


October 27, 1988

US President Ronald Reagan decides to tear down a new US Embassy in Moscow because Soviet listening devices were built into the structure.


October 28, 1965

Construction completed on St. Louis Arch; at 630 feet (192m), it is the world's tallest arch.


October 29, 1945

The first ball-point pen goes is sold by Gimbell's department store in New York for a price of $12.


October 30, 1950

The First Marine Division is ordered to replace the entire South Korean I Corps at the Chosin Reservoir area.


October 31, 1998

Iraq announces it will no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.


November 1, 1967

The first issue of Rolling Stone hits the streets.


Notable Dates in October

  • October 9 is Leif Eriksson DayWho was Leif Eriksson and why was he important?
  • October 12 is a busy day, with three holidays packed into it:
    • Canadian Thanksgiving. This holiday shares many similarities with its American equivalent. However, there are a number of things that set the Canadian Thanksgiving apart!
    • Columbus Day (U.S.), a federal holiday, is observed on the second Monday in October. It was on October 12, 1492, that Christopher Columbus landed on a small island in the Bahamas, convinced that he had reached Asia. Read more about Columbus Day.
    • Indigenous Peoples’ Day (U.S.)—a holiday that celebrates the history and cultures of indigenous peoples native to what is today the United States. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is celebrated in cities and states across the country, often as an alternative to Columbus Day. 
  • October 18 is St. Luke’s Little Summer. This is a date steeped in folklore. Traditionally, around Saint Luke’s feast day, there is a period brief period of calm, dry weather. Learn more.
  • October 24 is United Nations Day, which aims to bring awareness to the work of the United Nations across the world.
  • October 31 is Halloween (All Hallows’ Eve)! Do you know the true history of Halloween? It’s not as frightful as you might think… Learn about the origin of Halloween.


Oct. 4: International Ships-in-Bottles Day
Oct. 6: National Noodle Day
Oct. 16: National Fossil Day
Oct: 24–Nov. 11: World Origami Days
Oct. 25: Frankenstein Friday








Moist and tart, Apple Cider Bread can be made as muffins, too. The apple cider with cinnamon adds plenty of fall flavor—and makes your house smell like fall, too! 

Use high-quality apple cider for a high-quality bread.




1 cup butter

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

4 cups flour

1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups apple cider

2 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped




Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 loaf pans or 18 muffin cups.

In a bowl, combine butter and 1-¼ cups of the sugar and beat until creamy. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1-½ teaspoons of the cinnamon and add to the egg mixture, alternating with the apple cider. Stir in chopped apples. Divide the batter between the loaf pans or pour into the muffin cups. Combine the remaining sugar with the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon in a small bowl, and sprinkle it over the batter. Bake for 50 to 70 minutes for bread, or for 30 to 40 minutes for muffins, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

The flavor of this recipe improves if the bread is allowed to rest 24 hours after it is baked.




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