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Don’t Let These Money Mistakes Ruin Your Relationship

Don't Let These Money Mistakes Ruin Your Relationship

What’s your relationship status when it comes to money?  Is it “it’s complicated”?  That can be the answer for both older and newlywed couples alike.  Sometimes you can be the perfect match when it comes to everything and then money can throw a curve ball into your relationship.

Talking about money is the best way to stay on the same page, but there are also those little quirks that can have your sweetheart seconding guessing your relationship when it comes to money.  Don’t let that happen.

Whoever said being a relationship takes work was right.  The easiest thing you can do is eliminate all the outside noise so you can your spouse can just focus on being a couple.

Here are some money mistakes that can ruin your relationship:

Trying to manage the household expenses alone

When it comes to money and relationships, it’s always better to do it together.  When the burden of being the only breadwinner or being the sole money manager in the family gets to be too much it can lead to big trouble in the relationship.

Even if one spouse brings in an income and the other doesn’t sit down and make money decisions as a couple.  A relationship is stronger when both contribute to major decisions.

 

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Lack of saving for the future

If you live for today your spouse can mistake  your lack of seeing into the future as not wanting to plan a future together.  Although the two aren’t necessarily related, you can see how it may be misconstrued.  Talk about your individual and couples goals and set at least one joint goal in the future that you can both work and save towards.

Don’t take on your spouse’s debt

According to popular finance site Go Banking Rates co-signing for your spouse’s loan is a big no-no when it comes to relationships and money.

“It may seem romantic to buy a car or home together, but it can really mess up your relationship and finances. Most loans last for quite a long time.  You don’t want your loved one’s loan lasting longer than your relationship. Your significant other might seem financially secure and responsible, but you will be held accountable for repaying back any debt if they decide to stop paying back the loan.”

Micro managing your spouse’s money

If you are very responsible with your money and your spouse is not quite on the ball don’t put them under a microscope.  You can definitely talk about money, but don’t treat your spouse like your child when it comes to saving and spending.

A better way to go about it is to talk about your goals and plans for the future.  When you set a savings plan in place to work towards those goals your spouse will need to change their habits in order to help achieve them as a couple.

Using a goal tracking system or app can help you track the progress together and in time your spouse’s habits will change…hopefully.

Do you think there’s one mistake couples make when it comes to money?

 

 

How to Plan a Wedding on a Small Budget

If You're Planning Your Special Day Here's How to Plan a Wedding on a Small Budget

If you’re planning on getting married this spring you may be trying to plan the best party the most economical way possible.  Let’s not kid ourselves, weddings and everything that comes with them can be expensive.  So how can you plan a wedding on a small budget?

The secret is to plan ahead, don’t rush, try to DIY what you can and after you’re done planning your dream wedding with all the trimmings just cut, cut, cut until you have a plan that fits into your budget.

Here are some tips to help you plan a wedding on a small budget:

Don’t get married in the spring or summer

If you want to get married in peak wedding season you’ll have to pay a hefty price for the church, hall, flowers, photographer and DJ.  Keep in mind that your happily ever after doesn’t have to start right away.  Putting off your wedding date for a few months can help save big bucks.

Consider a destination wedding

If you plan a destination wedding the price tag won’t be any more (or won’t be much more) than the price of a trip for two.  You can also stay at the destination after your family and friends leave and enjoy your honeymoon.  There are resorts who cater to brides and grooms, so shop around or ask a travel agent to help find a destination wedding that you can afford.

Skip the big poufy dress

Don’t say yes to the dress.  Why someone would pay thousands of dollars on one piece of clothing that they are going to wear only one time is beyond me.  I understand that you want to look beautiful while walking down the aisle wearing your wedding dress, but that only lasts a few seconds.  The aftermath of being in debt once your wedding is over can last a very long time.

DIY your wedding invitations

Save the dates, wedding invitations and RSVPs can be expensive.  Let’s save all that money and spend it on something that you really want to be great such as the DJ and food at the reception.  Wedding invitations don’t have to cost a fortune, if you have a Saturday afternoon to spare they can actually be quite inexpensive to make.  Grab your friends and have  a DIY wedding invitation party to help cross that task off your list.

Decorate with your bridesmaids

A hall doesn’t need to be lit up with diamonds and gold chandeliers.  If you add flowers, candles and bright table cloths to match your wedding party colors the ambiance can look like a million bucks on a small budget.  Ask your bridesmaids to help decorate the hall before your big day.

It shouldn’t take too long and all it will cost is the price of materials.  I especially appreciate a handmade centerpiece.  There’s nothing worse than a big vase of flowers in the way while trying to make conversation with other guests over dinner.

If you have taken all these tips on how to plan a wedding on a small budget and you still have a soiree that you can’t really afford the only thing left to do is cut down your guest list.  Think Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie.  Trust me they will understand.

 

How to Manage Your Money as a Newlywed Couple

4 Ways to Manage Your Money as a Newlywed Couple During The First Year of Marriage.

Wedding season is upon us and that means couples all around the country are saying “I do” and starting their happily ever after.  As your lives merge from two into one you’ll need to decide where to live, how to raise your children and most importantly how to manage your money as a newlywed couple.

Money is the backbone of any good relationship.  Why?  Because everything we do in life from how we live, what we eat and where we travel revolves around money.  Not all couples are wealthy, the majority probably aren’t.  But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to manage your money together.

If you’re a newlywed, here are some tips on how to manage your money:

Do it together

Some couples choose to keep their money separate in individual accounts and each contribute towards the monthly household expenses.

That can work for some couples, but as a financial planner and one half of a long time couple I feel that doing things together makes a stronger couple.  If there are conflicts you can work through them together and your money as well as your marriage may be better because of it.

Be open about differences

The worst thing you can do for your couple’s money is try to push your habits onto someone else, that only works for children.  Adults have already grown into the person they are going to be and trying to change them can only put a wedge between the two of you.

Be open about your differences and be willing to lend a helping hand, but let your spouse figure out how to change their habits on their own.  That could mean talking to a professional at your local bank about investing, getting advice from a credit counsellor on how to pay off debt or signing up for a budgeting tool to track your spending.

Talk openly about your goals

If you want to work towards a goal such as buying a new car or new furniture for your home talk about it so you can save together.  Sometimes conflict arises when one spouse carries the financial burden on their shoulders.

If you are open about your expectations there will be no surprises when it comes to spending money.  It’s also always better to over communicate, sometimes to the point of annoyance.  That’s how I prefer it.

Make big decisions as a couple

Whether it’s buying new appliances or applying for a new credit card talk about your goals with your spouse and make big decisions as a couple.  This is why it’s important to be open about your saving and spending habits as well as your short term and long term goals.

The last thing you want is to make a big decision that affects you both financially and your spouse isn’t on the same page.  That can lead to misunderstandings, conflict and resentment.  After you say “I do” just remember that there is no more “I” in your newlywed couple.

 

Do You Budget Better Than Your Husband?

The odds are someone in your relationship knows how to budget better than other other.  That's fine.  Here's how to work on it together.

Couples.  Two people who merge their lives into one.  That also includes merging your money.  It’s very rare that two people will get married and earn the exact same income and have the exact same spending and savings habits.  So with that being said let me ask you a question, do you budget better than your husband?

The truth is people are different and one of you probably saves more than the other and one of you probably spends less than the other.  That’s just the way relationships go.  One of the great things about being in a couple is that your better half can balance out your shortcomings and help you learn to budget better or better manage your money.

Who budgets better in your household?

Spending priorities

The way people spend money depends on two things: habits and goals.  If you didn’t learn amount money as a kid you may not have grown up to be a budget savvy adult.  That’s O.K.  There are several ways someone can learn to budget such as talking to a financial advisor, tracking their spending and using a budget software such as Mint.com or YouNeedABudget.com.

Savings goals

It’s easy to stop spending when you have a reason to save.  When I was broke and living beyond my means I didn’t stop spending until I had a reason not to.  I knew I wanted to start travelling and probably someday buy a house so I stopped spending money on Starbucks, clothes and eating out.  I started saving towards things that I really wanted and that truly made me happy.

Monthly expenses

Helping your spouse budget better will help your overall relationship.  When the financial responsibility falls on one spouse it can cause resentment within the relationship.  It’s no secret that when a couple does things together, equally, they are a better, stronger couple for it.

Talk about your expenses and discuss who is going to pay what bills.  If one person earns more they may contribute a larger portion to the monthly bills, but it doesn’t mean everything has to fall on their shoulders.

Fun money for yourself

What do you really want to do with your money?  Actually let me ask you another question, if you were single what would you be doing with your money?  Would you travel?  Would you relocate?  Would you go back to school?  Think about that for a moment and whatever it is that you truly want to do set a little bit of your budget side for fun money.

So often people lose themselves in a couple and it’s so important for your relationship and personal well-being to think about yourself every now and then.

If you think your spouse spends too much ask them to review their bank account and credit card statements over the last month.  Maybe they don’t know they’re spending so much or maybe they don’t know how to stop spending money.

Tracking your spending is a great way to learn where you’re spending money and to spot where you can make cuts.  From there you can allocate your savings to something else – maybe towards something you can enjoy as a couple.

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