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Finance

Wisdom For Finances In Relationships

There is no right way to share finances in relationships. It really depends on what feels comfortable for both. But there are some strategies that will help you and communication is crucial.

Be open and honest about finances. Before you marry, when you know that you are serious, discuss your personal finances. After you are married continue to be open and honest about finances. Keeping financial secrets can destroy the trust in your relationship.

Remember money is a tool. It is entirely possible that you may have different opinions about money and different spending styles. This does not have to be a problem for your relationship as long as you keep the communication channels open. Talk regularly and be creative in finding solutions that will work for both. It is important to be respectful of each other’s feelings and opinions about money.

Keep track of where your money is going. It is far is far too easy to nickel and dime yourself to death financially. Consider the yearly cost of having that latte everyday. It is also extremely important to calculate the real cost of anything you purchase with credit. Knowing where your money is going, makes it much easier to find ways to reach your financial goals.

Set financial goals together. Discuss what is important to each of you. One of you may long to travel; the other may want to buy a house. Stick with it until you find priorities that work for both. Develop a plan that allows both of you to reach for your dreams.

Set something aside for a rainy day. Although it may not seem like the fun thing to do, this can reduce much unnecessary stress. It is inevitable that something unexpected will come up at some time. Aim for saving 10% of your income. Creating a financial cushion will help you weather tough times.

Set something aside for couple getaways and entertainment. It is important to include fun in your life. Fun is as much an attitude as anything else. But planning and saving for a vacation can help you bond and reduce the stress of worrying about how you will pay for it after you get home.

Be firm with yourselves and know the difference between wants and needs. Sometimes we can convince ourselves that we need that new car, television, ipad, phone and the list goes on. It can be tempting to fall for the buy now and pay later ads. Know that your life will be 100% less stressful if you wait to purchase ‘wants’ when you have the money to pay for them. Living debt free brings much of peace of mind.

Money Matters in Marriage

Financial issues are one of the main causes of conflict in marriage. Possible reasons could include the fact that almost half of married couples admit to not discussing finances before marriage. Avoiding the topic of finances makes it difficult to make plans or resolve issues.

Couples must decide whether to share finances or keep them separate. There are many options and no right or wrong choice. This decision will depend on their preferences. Some feel that separate accounts allow for more autonomy, others appreciate the simplicity of a joint account. A great deal of trust and accountability is essential for completely joint finances to be problem free. There is the third alternative of having both a joint account and separate accounts. The joint account can be used for common or family expenses like, rent or mortgage, food, bills and the separate accounts can be used for personal expenditures.

Couples also have to consider spending styles. Are they savers or spenders? If the both have similar spending styles, there will probably be less conflict about money. It is possible that if both are savers, they may have a big bank account and not a lot of excitement in their life. It is also possible if both are spenders that they may too frequently teeter on the edge of financial ruin. Taking on too much debt, credit card or otherwise, can put a lot of stress on the relationship.

Whatever the spending styles, it helps to have written financial goals. It also helps to decide how much each can spend without consulting the other. Some couples choose to have slush funds that they can each spend however they wish.

Money means different things to different people. To some money equals security; they find that they need to have their financial cushion in order to feel safe. To others money represents status or fun, they either need to spend money on things to feel important or experiences to enjoy life. Understanding what money means to you and your partner; may help you to take a step back and recognize the emotions behind the money. When couples take the emotion out of the picture, money can become a tool that they use together to help them create the life they want.

Some advice for financial bliss in marriage:

  1. Keep track of spending (budget) – this allows for informed decisions about finances. If you do not know where your money is going, you will not be able to fix possible problem areas.
  2. Talk regularly about money – it is important to work together as a team.
  3. Save consistently – a good rule of thumb is to save 10%.
  4. Spend less than you earn.
  5. Avoid debt as much as possible.
  6. Be open and honest – avoid hiding purchases or keeping financial secrets.
  7. Make an effort to see money as a tool to help you reach couple and individual goals.
  8. Count the real cost of purchases – when deciding to get that new TV on credit, make sure to calculate all the interest charges and make a decision based on the real cost.

Whatever choices couples make about how to arrange and spend their money, seeing money as a tool, working as a team and talking about their finances, can increase their chances for marital bliss.

Financial Stability Preparing for Hard Times

Financial Stability Preparing for Hard Times

Financial difficulties and hard times can put a lot of stress on your relationship. Decide now that you will work together to prepare and to handle any difficulties that may come your way. The following are three tips to get you started:

1. Be Prepared: Hoard a Little

You may have to do this over time, but try to get to the point where you have a two month supply of the necessities. Enough food that you could feed your family for two months without having to go to the store if need be. Don’t forget toilet paper. Every time you shop for food and necessities, take home a couple of extra things and start your own personal stock pile. The strain on your family will be far less when you are prepared.

2. Start Saving

Putting some money away, will help you to be prepared if the worst should happen and you find yourself unemployed for a period of time. If you haven’t already, start putting at least 10% of your income away for a rainy day. Chances are the rainy day could come sooner than you think. Build up your savings until you have at least enough to pay your bills and survive for several months. Having some cash on hand hidden in a safe place is also a good idea, especially in the event of bank failures. Again if you are prepared for the worst then you will be less stressed. This is not something to get frantic or fanatical about, just start saving what you can.

3. Spend Less Than You Earn

If you spend less than you earn you will have financial stability and the peace of mind that comes with financial stability.

If your income is reduced for some reason, reduce your spending accordingly. Downsize to a home that you can afford the payments on immediately. This may be less convenient, but the peace of mind will be worth it. And when your income increases it will be far easier to upgrade when your credit rating is still intact.

Consider the things that you regularly spend money on and be creative in finding ways to reduce the cost of each. There may be some that you can eliminate altogether and others that you can buy less of or find a less expensive way to do the same thing.

Avoid debt wherever possible. Credit card debt is particularly deadly. Avoid putting anything on a credit card that you do not have the money to pay. The outrageous interest rates add up quickly and you can end up drowning in an unpayable debt. If you already have credit card debt, pay it down as quickly as you can. If possible get a line of credit or some other lower interest loan to pay off your credit card, then destroy them if you cannot control them. Pay off all debts as quickly as you can. When hard times hit, it will be far easier if you are not carrying a heavy debt load.