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Dear Husbands,

Please never use the word "chores" when referring to things your wife asks you to do around the house. Taking out the garbage is not a "chore." It is, as my wife taught me, "being an adult." When it's your house, you don't call them chores; they're just what you do as a mature husband. Especially one who does not want to sleep on the couch.

Also, when you're asked to take care of the kids while your wife goes out with her friends, don't say, "I'm babysitting." A babysitter is a teenage girl who watches other peoples' kids for a few hours. Fathers "watch their children." You might not think there is a difference between these two ideas, but I assure you, in the mind of your wife, there is. Babysitting and parenting? Two very, very different things, my friend.

And when you're talking about the budget and who spends how much on what, never "keep score." When you keep score, you end up saying things like, "Well, let's add up all your expenses" and "That's one of your expenses, not mine." Careful, friend, careful—you're walking into me vs. you territory.

Spouses don't "keep score," but they do "keep track." A budget is not about keeping score or showing your spouse how much better you are at handling money. Beating debt is a team sport, and if anything, as you keep track—not score—of your money, you'll find your marriage actually becoming stronger.

Keep track, not score.

And now that we've got that settled, get back to washing those dishes and watching your kids. That's not babysitting. I promise.   

Cliff Cottam Insurance Services is Dave Ramsey's "Endorsed Local Provider" for insurance products in Sacramento and Placer Counties. 
Visit him at 
for expert financial advise!

Posted 7:11 PM

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