marriage http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5206/all en-US 4 Ways an Income Gap Can Strain Your Relationship http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_breaking_up_000043320308_1.jpg" alt="Couple learning ways income gap can strain their relationship" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money is the <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/04/money-is-the-leading-cause-of-stress-in-relationships.html">leading cause of arguments</a> in married couples. Income disparity, when one person makes much more than the other, can be a surprising source of stress. If you're one of these couples, be on the lookout for these four ways an income disparity could harm your relationship.</p> <h2>1. Holding on to Old Gender Roles</h2> <p>Women are more and more likely to have higher education and a&nbsp;<a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/how-many-women-earn-more-than-their-husbands/">higher paying salary</a> than their significant other. However, in heterosexual relationships in which women are the &quot;breadwinners,&quot; the women are actually <em>still</em> doing more housework than men. That doesn't sound like an equal partnership. That might also be why the divorce rate jumps 50% for couples in which the woman earns the higher income.</p> <p>So much inequality comes from not being comfortable to speak up, and worse, tacitly defaulting to your parents' roles. Having a deep and meaningful conversation about gender and money is important in a relationship &mdash; find each other's biases and challenge them. Outdated and unreasonable gender expectations should not dictate what happens in your relationship.</p> <h2>2. Using Salary as Leverage</h2> <p>For many, money equals power. So when one partner earns more than the other, the higher earner can easily become the de facto decision-maker in where to vacation, what to buy for dinner, the kind of house you live in, and what kind of hobbies you partake in. This is precisely the kind of power imbalance that leads to highly toxic relationships.</p> <p>Resolve to discuss medium-to-major expenditures with your partner before making them. As long as you share your household, it's always half theirs. It's also key to encourage your partner's goals. Aid them generously, in faith that s/he would do the same for you if the roles were reversed.</p> <h2>3. Acting Defensive Over Earning Less</h2> <p>Earning less than your partner can make you feel as if you don't matter, because one salary is floating most of the household. This can lead to resentment, or worse, a childlike attachment and dependency on the other to help you financially.</p> <p>Just because your income accounts for a smaller percentage of the household finances doesn't mean that your role in the relationship is smaller. This comes up a lot when one person decides to stay home to take care of the kids. But remember that contribution to the household is not measured by income.</p> <h2>4. Letting Money Determine Your Partner's Worth</h2> <p>The easiest way to avoid fights is to assign financial contributions on a sliding proportion scale. Instead of letting your partner struggle to pay 50% of the utilities, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/create-your-first-shared-budget-without-blowing-up-your-relationship">find a shared budget</a> that allows him or her to pay what they can afford. Or, agree on new terms &mdash; like one being in charge of all groceries and utilities, while the other pays the rent or mortgage.</p> <p>Also, it's time to ban the word &quot;breadwinner.&quot; Not only is it divisive, it assigns a &quot;winner/loser&quot; dynamic, which has no place in a loving domestic relationship. If you think less of your partner for doing the dishes, or if you think more of a partner for earning more material wealth, you have set yourself up for trouble.</p> <p>It's time to stop being combative about status. Feeling more or less important is only true if you believe it.</p> <p><em>Is there an income gap in your relationship? How do you get over it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-an-income-gap-can-strain-your-relationship">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-an-above-average-life-for-below-average-prices">How to Have an Above-Average Life for Below-Average Prices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/long-hours-and-other-employer-demands">Long Hours and Other Employer Demands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-before-moving-in-with-someone">What to Do Before Moving in With Someone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy">How to be happy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Breadwinner budgets gender Households income marriage work Tue, 03 Nov 2015 19:15:54 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1603576 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Fears and How to Squash Them http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-fears-and-how-to-squash-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-fears-and-how-to-squash-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nervous_man_000050240320.jpg" alt="Man with money fears learning how to squash them" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Remember when you were afraid of the bogeyman? We all knew he wasn't real, but that didn't stop our fears. For most of us, that same bogeyman is alive in our finances. If you've had a bad month, or even a bad year or two, it's really easy to let fear take over.</p> <p>Below are five irrational (although they might feel very real for you) money fears and some simple solutions to squash them.</p> <h2>1. I Lost My Job; I'm Never Going to Make It!</h2> <p>Even if you have the most &quot;perfect&quot; job and your boss loves you, there is always a chance that you could lose it. The company could have a bad year and need to lay off staff. They might downsize. Or, maybe they get bought out and decide they don't need you on board.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>Preparation is key to squashing this money fear, which means preparing <em>before</em> you lose the job. Make sure you button up your emergency fund savings with at least three to six months of your monthly expenses, and keep it in a high-yield savings account (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Online Savings</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-360-review">Capital One 360</a>). As the name implies, an emergency fund will help you breeze into temporary unemployment and keep you from having to turn to your credit cards to pay your monthly expenses.</p> <h2>2. My 401K Lost 5%, I'll Never Be Able to Retire!</h2> <p>For those who had money in a 401K during 2008 and 2009, losing just 5% would have seemed like a miracle. Depending on their exposure, retirement investors lost 25%&ndash;30% (or more) of their account values in a really short period of time. Now that's a bad day! A 401K, like any investment, is going to have good times and not-so-good times.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>The best way to squash this fear of never being able to retire is to commit to a monthly investment amount (called dollar-cost-averaging), rebalance your funds annually, and for heaven's sake, don't look at your account every day. With dollar-cost-averaging you'll be buying some funds during the good days, and some on the not-so-good days &mdash; but the objective is that it evens out and keeps you marching towards your retirement goals.</p> <h2>3. My Spouse-to-Be Makes More Than Me &mdash; It's Not Fair!</h2> <p>Rarely do you find a relationship where both people make exactly the same amount of money. When you pile getting married on top of that all, it can be a real recipe for disaster.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>Having open communication with your future spouse is key before you get married. Come up with a game plan together about how you will allocate your funds for things like savings, paying off debt, and the goals you are trying to achieve. Another way to squash this fear is to create two separate &quot;fun&quot; funds. In each fund, put the same amount of money each month, so each person can spend their money as they wish with no questions from the other.</p> <h2>4. I've Made Too Many Money Mistakes!</h2> <p>Money mishaps can really keep us from making positive strides in our finances. The truth is everyone has financial setbacks in life, but the key is in how you recover and what steps you take to prevent them from happening again.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>To get better at anything, you've got to learn from your mistakes, but more importantly, forgive yourself. Take out a piece of paper and write down all of your money mishaps without censoring yourself in the next five minutes. Once you are done, take a look at them all, remember what you've learned, and then tear up the piece of paper. They are in your past.</p> <h2>5. I Won't Be Successful if I Don't Own a House!</h2> <p>Owning a house is the American dream. The problem is not all of us can <em>afford</em> a house, and certainly not a $15 million dollar stunner like you'd see on an episode of the Kardashians.</p> <h3>Squash It</h3> <p>Owning a home is great. However, it isn't for everyone. If you want to own a home, the most important thing you can do is to work with a mortgage broker before you go shopping, find out what you can afford, and then take a serious look at your budget. If you plan on staying put for a few years and the numbers work, then go for it. If not, take this money fear off the table and be happy that if you decided you wanted to move to Berlin tomorrow, you could pack your bag and be on a plane in an hour.</p> <p><em>How do you squash your money fears?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-fears-and-how-to-squash-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-can-you-really-live-on-unemployment">How Long Can You Really Live on Unemployment?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-always-dispute-mistakes-on-your-credit-report">Should You Always Dispute Mistakes on Your Credit Report?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-never-do-when-sharing-finances">6 Things to Never Do When Sharing Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-tips-for-the-newly-unemployed">Seven Tips for the Newly Unemployed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance irrational fears marriage Mistakes owning a home unemployment Mon, 26 Oct 2015 17:15:24 +0000 Shannah Game 1598510 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things to Never Do When Sharing Finances http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-never-do-when-sharing-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-to-never-do-when-sharing-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_couple_piggybank_000055685026.jpg" alt="Couple learning what no to do when sharing finances" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting married or moving in together implies that you're ready to share your life and living space with another person. It also usually means sharing finances.</p> <p>Merging your income with your partner's is by far one of the fastest ways to upgrade your lifestyle. If you were struggling to make ends meet on your own, you might finally have a chance to get ahead &mdash; or at least catch up. But while combining your incomes and sharing finances has its benefits, success is all in how you approach the plan.</p> <p>Every couple has to come up with a strategy that works for them. There are no hard-and-fast rules, and a system that works well for one couple might not work for another. To give yourself a fighting chance of striking the right balance, here are six things you should never do when sharing finances.</p> <h2>1. Don't Think an Even Split Is Always the Answer</h2> <p>Some people think a 50/50 split is the most reasonable and simplest way to share finances, like when couples open a joint account and then contribute equal amounts toward their shared expenses. Sounds pretty fair, right? Except 50/50 isn't also an equitable solution, and it really depends on how much you earn in comparison to your partner.</p> <p>An even-split might work if you and your partner earn roughly the same salary. But if one person earns considerably more than the other, an even-split can create an unfair balance, where one has a lot of disposable income, and the other can't keep his or her head above water. Before you can share finances, you have to discuss what's coming in and what's going out (including what each person spends on personal expenses). With everything on the table and all your expenses written down, you might conclude as a couple that a 50/50 split isn't realistic and choose a different approach, perhaps a 60/40 split or another breakdown that works for you.</p> <h2>2. Don't Lie About How Much You Owe</h2> <p>You need to be perfectly honest about how much you owe before sharing finances; this isn't the time to be embarrassed about your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-lessons-women-learn-in-their-30s">credit card debt</a>. Coming up with a system that works requires that both of you are upfront about personal expenses. Sugarcoating your debt and saying you owe less than you actually do can throw off the entire household. And if you're hiding monthly payments, your partner might eventually question where your extra money goes.</p> <p>Furthermore, lying about debt can destroy the financial trust in the relationship. In my opinion this is something that should be discussed when the relationship gets serious &mdash; not just when you've decided to open a joint account. If you're talking engagement, you should also be talking about your financial past &mdash; bottom line. Not the most romantic of subjects, granted, but still necessary.</p> <h2>3. Don't Lie About How Much You Earn</h2> <p>Understating how much you earn can also break the financial trust between you and your partner just like lying about how much you owe. If you're splitting expenses based on your incomes, don't lie and say you earn less than you do to avoid paying your fair share of the expenses. You might be able to get away with this lie for a bit, but your partner will most likely uncover the deceit. The truth will eventually come out if you apply for a mortgage together and have to disclose your accurate income, or if you decide to file a joint tax return down the road.</p> <h2>4. Don't Give One Person Control of the Money</h2> <p>It doesn't matter who's better with money, it's important for both of you to have an active role in managing shared finances. Putting one person in complete control of the money is dangerous and can trigger a financial imbalance. If it's easier for one person to write all the checks, fine. Just make sure you both have an accurate picture of the finances, and no one should be left in the dark. Don't wait until your credit score tanks to question whether your partner is making on-time payments. Both of you need access to the checkbooks and online accounts so you always know what's going on with your money.</p> <h2>5. Don't Forget to Leave a Buffer</h2> <p>Dollar signs probably will pop into your head after moving in together and combining your incomes. But just because you now have a combined household income of $70,000 doesn't mean you should spend $70,000 a year. Whether you're paying your own way or sharing expenses, never live at your max. Instead, think about how you can live off half or 3/4 of your combined income and plan to save the rest. This can help you build a sizable cash cushion for yourselves, and you wouldn't have to worry about living paycheck-to-paycheck.</p> <p>Since money is one of the biggest causes of arguments in a relationship, this strategy can help keep those at bay if both of you are on the same page and committed to your partnership's financial success.</p> <h2>6. Don't Immediately Share Credit Cards</h2> <p>Sharing finances doesn't mean you have to share everything &mdash; at least not immediately. You also need to protect yourself financially. So before applying for a credit card together or adding your partner's name to your credit card, seriously consider his or her shopping habits. When you share a credit card with your partner, you're just as responsible for debt he or she incurs. And if you let your partner borrow your credit card, you're ultimately responsible for any and all charges on this account. Sharing a credit card isn't the worst thing in the world, just make sure you're both willing to take responsibility for the balance, regardless of who charges what.</p> <p><em>Do you have more suggestions on what not to do when sharing finances? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-never-do-when-sharing-finances">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-before-moving-in-with-someone">What to Do Before Moving in With Someone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk">5 Questions Couples Should Ask in the Money Talk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-navigate-3-common-money-arguments-with-your-significant-other">How to Navigate 3 Common Money Arguments With Your Significant Other</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance marriage moving in together relationships sharing finances sharing money splitting bills Fri, 02 Oct 2015 11:00:29 +0000 Mikey Rox 1573086 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much Engagement Ring Can You Actually Afford? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_proposing_marriage_000048387844.jpg" alt="Man learning how much he can spend on an engagement ring" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping for and purchasing an engagement ring is one of the most important decisions a young couple can make. It can be easy to get carried away with the ring, but it's important to remember that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-costs-that-could-ruin-your-wedding-budget">wedding</a>, honeymoon, and first year of marriage will also be very expensive. Fortunately, we've found some simple ways to help you figure out how much you can afford to spend on the ring.</p> <h2>1. Evaluate Your Finances</h2> <p>Before making the purchase, you should first get a handle on your finances so you can determine how much you make, how much you can finance, and whether a certain amount is worth it. The average <a href="http://www.weddingstats.org/average-cost-of-an-engagement-ring.html">cost of a diamond engagement ring</a> has risen from just under $4000 to just over $5000 in 2015, but that doesn't mean you should be spending exactly that. You are the only person who can decide what the right amount is to spend on an engagement ring.</p> <h2>2. Forget the Two Paycheck Rule</h2> <p>Most people still abide by the two paycheck rule, which states that two months' worth of earnings is a good amount to spend on a ring. However, with the current economic situation and more savvy shopping techniques, the estimate has fallen to one month's worth of earnings.</p> <h2>3. Finance It</h2> <p>At the end of the day, financing is always an option. By financing the ring, you will have time to pay it off, but will likely have to pay a fee and/or interest. If you are able to finance the ring with 0% APR, then it may be worthwhile. If you already have enough debt under your name and don't want to add another bill right before you're married, then you should avoid financing altogether.</p> <h2>4. Find Something Sentimental</h2> <p>Something sentimental trumps something expensive every time. If you have an item that means something to your family or your partner's, include it in the engagement. For instance, giving your fiance your grandmother's engagement ring can show them that you're serious about sharing your family with them and can take the pressure off of finding the &quot;perfect&quot; engagement ring. Giving him or her a sentimental item will make your engagement ring seem more special, or can serve as a second engagement ring or wedding band.</p> <p>Often, men will give their family heirloom as the engagement ring itself, which can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars &mdash; all of which can be put towards the wedding or honeymoon.</p> <h2>5. Figure Out Your Partner's Style</h2> <p>The national average carat size is only 0.4, so don't feel obligated to purchase a two-carat engagement ring. In fact, extravagance may not even be your fiance's style. You need to first ask yourself what you think they would like before making the purchase. Their preferences will affect the price of the ring, so taking their taste into account will help you determine the right budget.</p> <p>Engagement rings can be found in gold, white gold, platinum, silver, and more. While diamonds are the most popular engagement ring stone, you may want to consider other unique options, like an emerald, sapphire, or ruby. Each type of metal and stone comes with its own advantages and price point, so you should know what type of jewelry they normally wear. For instance, does your spouse-to-be tend to go for classic or extravagant jewelry and designs?</p> <h2>6. Visit Your Jeweler</h2> <p>To ensure that you get the most from your investment, make sure to take the time to find your fiance the right ring. Visit your local jeweler to ask questions and see some examples of rings in your price range. Make sure to keep the four Cs (cut, color, carat, clarity) in mind when choosing a diamond, but don't get carried away with the stone.</p> <h2>7. Purchase Online</h2> <p>Visiting a jewelry store and speaking with a professional about your needs doesn't require you to purchase the ring at the jeweler. In fact, you can actually cut the cost of your ring by as much as 50% by simply making the purchase online and doing your research. Sites like <a href="http://www.bluenile.com/engagement-rings">Blue Nile</a> offer beautiful engagement rings, for a huge discount, and can even help you create a custom ring just for her.</p> <h2>8. Upgrade the Ring Later</h2> <p>If you simply cannot afford to purchase the ring you'd like to get, then consider upgrading later in life. After all, after you pop the question, you'll be together forever, right? That gives you plenty of time to upgrade the ring later. Most importantly, remember that the ring you choose won't have any effect on your relationship. There are bigger things to worry about and bigger expenses on the horizon, so try not to get too caught up on the ring. Remember, getting engaged is about planning to share your lives together, not about giving them a fancy present.</p> <p><em>Have you purchased an engagement ring? How did you determine how much to spend? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-engagement-ring-can-you-actually-afford">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-greatest-story-ever-sold-is-a-fantasy-covered-in-blood">The Greatest Story Ever Sold is a Fantasy Covered in Blood</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/who-pays-for-the-bridesmaid-dresses-when">Who Pays For the Bridesmaid Dresses When . . . ?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-resist-a-splurge">6 Ways to Resist a Splurge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry">10 Awesome Sites to Shop for Affordable, Cool Jewelry</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping diamonds engagement rings jewelry marriage proposals weddings Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1561395 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_tracking_finances_000054290340.jpg" alt="Couple finding ways to split bills and finances evenly" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Even the happiest couples have arguments: Disagreements on how to raise the kids (I vote for boarding school), how to divvy up household chores (&quot;Oh no, honey, let me clean that for you&hellip; again&quot;), or even where to live (like as far away from the in-laws as possible). But those arguments are child's play compared to the mother of all head-butting in a relationship &mdash; money.</p> <p>Managing dual incomes and household expenses gets tricky, and there's no one foolproof strategy that'll work for everyone. If one spouse works while the other stays home, there typically isn't an issue of who pays what and how much they contribute &mdash; the working spouse usually handles it all. But when both spouses work and split expenses, coming up with a fair and reasonable plan is important if you want to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spouses-and-debt-whos-really-on-the-hook-for-those-bills">prevent financial resentment</a> and money fights from ruining your relationship.</p> <h2>1. Take Inventory</h2> <p>I think it's funny how some spouses can talk about everything under the sun, yet clam up when the discussion turns to money. Sometimes I just want to shake 'em. If I'm talking about you, listen up: You can't keep your head stuck in the sand. For a happy financial life with your spouse, you have to get candid and have these conversations, even though they may be uncomfortable. This isn't the time to be embarrassed about your credit card debt or the fact that you bring in considerably less. Before you can even think about splitting bills, you have to know what's coming in and what's going out.</p> <p>&quot;Sit down with your spouse and take inventory,&quot; says Ashley Feinstein Gerstley, CPC Certified Coach. &quot;While some bills will be different each month, you should be able to come up with a realistic range.&quot; This includes adding up your combined income, plus the total cost of fixed and variable household expenses, such as the rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, transportation, insurances, etc.&quot;</p> <p>In this discussion, you also should decide which expenses to include in the split. You might agree to only split household expenses and make each of you responsible for your own personal expenses like student loans, credit cards, haircuts, or manicures. Which I recommend, by the way. You'll resent your spouse the first time he or she holds these expenses over your head if they're the one footing those bills. Cut back or man up; those are the only two choices you have.</p> <h2>2. Have Realistic Expectations</h2> <p>When splitting bills with your spouse, problems can arise when there are unrealistic expectations. It might seem logical to have a 50&ndash;50 split, with each spouse contributing an equal share to joint expenses. But this approach only works when both parties earn similar incomes. Think about this: If you earn $7,000 a month, your spouse earns $3,000 a month, and your shared expenses come to $3,000 a month, splitting the bills down the middle doesn't make a whole lot of sense. This approach ends with your spouse spending half of his or her income on household expenses while you only spend 20% of your income.</p> <p>David Bakke, a personal finance expert at <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com">Money Crashers</a>, recommends a different plan.</p> <p>&quot;A more fair way to split bills is for each spouse to pay a percentage according to how much they make,&quot; he says. &quot;If one spouse makes 65% of the total household income, that's how much of the bills he or she is responsible for.&quot;</p> <p>This strategy ensures there's enough cashflow to cover household expenses, but allows each spouse discretionary income for personal expenses and building their personal nest egg, whether it's preparing for retirement or increasing their personal savings account.</p> <h2>3. Shared Expense Account or Separate Bills</h2> <p>Once you decide how much each person will contribute, the next step is deciding whether you'll have a single account for shared expenses, or pay your own set of bills from your own personal accounts. There's really no right or wrong way to handle this.</p> <p>With a shared expense account, you both contribute a set percentage and pay all bills from one account. It can work &mdash; just know that having a shared expense account means a lot of back-and-forth communication. There has to be enough money in this account at all times to cover your bills, and you must trust that your spouse doesn't take from this account unnecessarily, which can result in insufficient funds and overdraft fees.</p> <p>Another strategy, which can be just as effective, is deciding which set of bills you're responsible for, and then paying these bills from your own account.</p> <p>&quot;Under this strategy, each person maintains his or her own separate account and identifies which expenses each spouse will be responsible for, thereby, keeping a black curtain over accounts and maintaining maximum financial independence,&quot; says Andrea Rizk, founder and CEO of Risk Public Relations.</p> <p>This doesn't mean you're out of the loop with regard to expenses you don't pay. Some couples avoid this strategy because they feel financial problems can easily fall under the radar. If their spouse gets behind on a utility payment or the car payment, they want to know as soon as possible. This is perfectly understandable.</p> <p>So that you don't have any surprises later on, you and your spouse can agree to have your own set of bills, but also agree to manage all shared expenses online. You'll both hold the passwords to these accounts, giving you the freedom to check the payment status of accounts at any time.</p> <p><em>Do you split bills with your spouse? How do you make it work in your house? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-never-do-when-sharing-finances">6 Things to Never Do When Sharing Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-before-moving-in-with-someone">What to Do Before Moving in With Someone</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-expenses-to-ditch-after-age-30">5 Expenses to Ditch After Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle expenses living costs marriage sharing money splitting bills spouses Tue, 15 Sep 2015 17:00:23 +0000 Mikey Rox 1554838 at http://www.wisebread.com Spouses and Debt: Who's Really on the Hook for Those Bills? http://www.wisebread.com/spouses-and-debt-whos-really-on-the-hook-for-those-bills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/spouses-and-debt-whos-really-on-the-hook-for-those-bills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000033584728.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your spouse has run up thousands of dollars in credit card debt that you didn't know about. If your partner can't pay back this debt, are you responsible? Can the financial institutions behind this debt come after <em>you </em>for their missing payments?</p> <p>The answer depends on where you live, whose name is on the credit card agreement, and whether you acted as a co-signer on that card. But that's only the technical side of the question. When it comes to the practical side, the answer is easy: When your spouse racks up loads of credit-card debt, the odds are it's going to affect your life, too.</p> <h2>The Legalities</h2> <p>Speaking in the strictly legal sense, though, the odds are high that your spouse's credit card debt is not technically your problem, as long as your name isn't on the credit cards that your partner used to rack up this debt. However, if your spouse ran up debt on credit cards that are in both of your names, you are just as responsible for paying off that debt. The same holds true if you are co-signer on any of the debt-ridden credit card accounts.</p> <h2>Common Law States</h2> <p>The other factor that matters is the state that you call home. The vast majority of states &mdash; all but nine of them &mdash; are considered <em>common law</em> states. In common law states, you are only responsible for credit card debt that is in your name. If the credit cards are only in your spouse's name, you are technically not responsible for the debt on them.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that your spouse's credit card debt won't eventually hurt you. Say you and your spouse own a home together, with the title of the home in both of your names. The credit card company, if it is never paid, could force the sale of your home so that your spouse would have the funds needed to pay off the debt.</p> <p>Your spouse's credit card debt could also make it more difficult for you to apply for auto or home loans, if you want to apply jointly with your spouse. When applying for a mortgage loan, for instance, lenders will consider only the lowest middle credit score between you and your spouse. You and your spouse each have three credit scores &mdash; maintained by the credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If your scores are 740, 770, and 730, but your spouse's are 620, 630, and 640, lenders will base their lending decisions only on your spouse's middle score, 630.</p> <p>Lenders, then, will toss out your higher score. This means that if your spouse's score is too low, lenders might not approve you for a loan. If they do, they'll charge you a higher interest rate, making your monthly payment a higher one.</p> <h2>Community Property States</h2> <p>In community property states, you are responsible for your spouse's credit card debt legally. Debts that your spouse rack up during your marriage are considered community debts. This means that you and your spouse might both liable for it. The community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.</p> <p>However, the law isn't so simple in community property states. Extenuating circumstances might mean that even if you live in one of the nine community property states, you're still not responsible for your spouse's credit card debt. If the debt that your spouse racked up was for purchases that benefitted both you and your partner, the odds are high that you, too, will be responsible for it. If the credit card debts only benefitted your partner, it is more likely that only your spouse will be held responsible for them.</p> <p>Community property rules also only matter for debts that your spouse has incurred during your marriage. You are not responsible for debts that your spouse has generated before or, in the case of divorce, after your marriage.</p> <p>Spousal credit card debt can be a touchy subject. Make sure you understand the laws in your state, in order to stave off unnecessary headaches.</p> <p><em>Has your partner ever run up massive debt? How did you deal with it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spouses-and-debt-whos-really-on-the-hook-for-those-bills">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-can-t-stick-with-a-budget">Why You Can&#039;t Stick with a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-people-with-good-credit-never-do">8 Things People With Good Credit Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reduce-your-credit-limits-to-manage-your-spending">Reduce Your Credit Limits to Manage Your Spending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management co-signer common law community property debt marriage spouse Fri, 11 Sep 2015 11:00:12 +0000 Dan Rafter 1553988 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Protect Your Business During a Divorce http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/divorced_couple_000027585457.jpg" alt="Business owners trying to protect themselves through divorce" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting a divorce can be one of the most emotionally devastating times in your life. Combine this with running your own business and next thing you know, your life has become extremely stressful. I know, because I've been there.</p> <p>If you're <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/can-a-failed-marriage-lead-to-business-failure">going through the a divorce</a>, here are some important financial steps to take to protect yourself and your business.</p> <h2>1. Get Organized</h2> <p>The first step when dealing with a divorce as a business owner is to get organized and find a lawyer who can help you take the right steps.</p> <p>Gather all your financial documents, business and bank statements, agreements, and other information that pertains to your business and marriage. Any debts and assets you and the business owns will have to be calculated and divided up. Examine all the bank accounts and documents, as you don't want to be out of the loop in a situation like this.</p> <p>Depending on the state you live in, and whether or not you signed a prenup, you and your spouse could be forced to split the business profits &mdash; and everything else &mdash; 50/50. If you and your spouse work in the business together, the operating agreements should outline directions for each spouse to protect themselves during a divorce or other separation.</p> <h2>2. Fill In the Details</h2> <p>What assets or savings did you bring into the relationship? How much do you have personally invested into the business? What are the balances of your personal, joint, and business accounts, investments, credit cards, and loans?</p> <p>Work with your spouse (or a lawyer if you need help mediating) to fill in all these details. Put the information on paper, or in a spreadsheet, so you're both on the same page. Ask your accountant for all the financial reports, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets for the business, too. Everything needs to be accounted for.</p> <h2>3. Protect Yourself</h2> <p>The next step involves dividing up the assets and agreeing on whether to sell the business, dissolve it, or keep it up and running. If you jointly own a home, the mortgage will have to be refinanced into your or your spouse's name, unless you both agree to sell it.</p> <p>By the end of the divorce process you want all of your assets divided fairly. Leaving joint accounts after a divorce can lead to credit reporting inaccuracies and even fraud.</p> <p>Take steps to protect yourself and your business during this process by separating all joint accounts, assets, and debts. Until a property is sold or refinanced into your name, you're still liable for the entire mortgage or rental payment &mdash; whether or not your spouse helps split the bill.</p> <h2>4. Keep a Paper Trail</h2> <p>Any conversations you have with your spouse need to be in writing. Save all your emails, notes, and text messages. This is especially important when it comes to figuring out the important details of how you'll handle the business together.</p> <p>In the event that you and your ex can't discuss things in a calm fashion, you'll need written proof of what each other has agreed upon so you can move forward with the divorce. Keep a paper trail of all the bank accounts you've dissolved, assets you sell, debt settlements, loan refinances, and any other financial paperwork. You may need written proof of these transactions in the future.</p> <h2>5. Start Fresh</h2> <p>Continue protecting yourself as you move forward and rebuild your life. This means opening up new bank accounts in your name only, for both personal and business, and making a plan to get back on track.</p> <p>Check your credit report using a secure site like <a href="https://www.annualcreditreport.com/">annualcreditreport.com</a>, to make sure everything is accurate. If you see any incorrect accounts, numbers, or names, reach out to the top three credit bureaus and get it corrected.</p> <p>When my divorce was finalized I was left with over $14,000 of consumer debt that we accumulated during our marriage. I had to find a new job and start making a plan to pay it down. Our credit was also conjoined since we had shared accounts, and these took some time to separate. It was rough to say the least.</p> <p>You don't have to lose your business just because you and your ex aren't on speaking terms. Work with a legal representative you trust and make sure everything's in writing.</p> <p><em>Have you ever gone through a divorce as a business owner? What was your experience?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-protect-your-business-during-a-divorce">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-love-not-money-sort-of">Make Love, Not Money (Sort Of)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-tips-to-good-business-management">Six Tips to Good Business Management</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Family business owners dividing assets divorce marriage pre-nup small business Tue, 01 Sep 2015 09:02:44 +0000 Carrie Smith 1538268 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Regular Budget Meetings Might Save Your Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_budgeting_000047207918.jpg" alt="Couple having regular budget meetings to save their marriage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your spouse just spent $700 on a new laptop, without checking in with you first. Or maybe you're the culprit, racking up $250 of new credit card purchases last month that weren't in your household budget.</p> <p>Whoever is at fault, such unexpected financial missteps are a leading source of tension in any relationship. But there is a way to eliminate these unwanted financial surprises: regular budget meetings between you and your partner.</p> <p>Holding a weekly or monthly budget meeting doesn't sound like the best way to spend an evening. But such meetings are important. Regular budget meetings can help couples stay on track when it comes to paying off debt, building savings, and stowing away dollars for retirement.</p> <p>&quot;I find that couples who get along the best financially speaking are those who communicate openly and freely when it comes to their finances,&quot; said Kevin Murphy, senior financial services consultant with McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union in East Windsor, New Jersey. &quot;Couples should discuss their goals and set a plan together.&quot;</p> <p>Married couples argue about a host of subjects. But <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-delaying-marriage-or-kids-saves-you-money">financial matters</a> often top the list, which is why a regular budget meeting can make your marriage a happier one. These money meetings increase the odds that you and your partner will be working toward the same financial goals, and that one or both of you won't be overspending on a regular basis.</p> <p>The best news? These budget meetings don't have to be unpleasant. Here are some tips on holding successful budget meetings.</p> <h2>1. Set a Regular Time</h2> <p>Agree to hold your household budget meetings at a regular time, whether it's every Thursday night, every two weeks, or once a month. If you don't schedule your budget meetings as you would any other appointment, life will get in the way. If you're like most couples, you'll sit down to a Netflix movie and blow off the money meeting. Try to aim for meeting once a week or, at the least, once a month.</p> <h2>2. Give Them a Time Limit</h2> <p>Your partner might imagine a budget meeting lasting into the wee hours of the evening as you both pore over every credit card purchase and ATM withdrawal. No one wants to talk money for hours. Instead, put a set time limit on your regular budget meetings, perhaps limiting the meeting to a maximum of one hour. If you meet frequently enough, 60 minutes should be more than enough time to go over your household finances.</p> <h2>3. No Blame Game</h2> <p>Some people are better at sticking to a budget. That's a fact. Partners who make those extra purchases every month might shy away from budget meetings because they don't want to be lectured for an entire hour on their recent financial missteps. Refrain from using budget meetings to blame each other for financial setbacks. Instead, use the time to craft a budget that works for everyone. If your partner is regularly blowing the budget, ask what you both can do to resolve the problem.</p> <h2>4. Make It Realistic</h2> <p>Maybe your partner overspends each month because your household budget is too tight, and doesn't leave any room for fun or unnecessary purchases. Use your regular meetings to tweak your budget so that it works for your household. A household budget is always a work-in-progress. It's okay, and even advisable, to make regular changes to it. If your household budget isn't working, use your meetings to adjust it so that it does.</p> <h2>5. Come Prepared</h2> <p>You'll need actual numbers to hold a successful budget meeting. So print out credit card statements, bank statements, and other important documents. Bring bills that need to be paid in the next several days, too. Armed with this information, you and your partner can make the best financial decisions for the weeks ahead.</p> <h2>6. Eliminate the Distractions</h2> <p>It's not easy holding a budget meeting when your kids are asking for snacks or your dog is whining for a walk. Finish the household chores before your budget meeting. You want a quiet block of time so you can focus. If your meeting is interrupted by too many distractions, you'll be tempted to cut it short before you address your family's most important financial matters.</p> <p><em>Do you and your partner hold regular budget meetings?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-navigate-3-common-money-arguments-with-your-significant-other">How to Navigate 3 Common Money Arguments With Your Significant Other</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-worst-mistakes-good-spouses-make">5 Worst Mistakes Good Spouses Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk">5 Questions Couples Should Ask in the Money Talk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Personal Development marriage meetings money relationships spouse Fri, 21 Aug 2015 15:00:33 +0000 Dan Rafter 1526967 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Have a Great Wedding if You Haven't Saved Enough http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wedding_newlyweds_000027019379.jpg" alt="Couple having great wedding without saving enough" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're getting married! Congratulations!</p> <p>If you're reading this article, I'm sure you've heard that a lot already. Now you're getting down to the nitty gritty. Maybe you're even starting to panic, like so many couples do when they realize just <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budget-bride-131-savvy-ways-to-cut-wedding-costs">how much a wedding can cost</a> and how little savings they have.</p> <p>Stop.</p> <p>Breathe.</p> <p>Even if you haven't saved enough money, even if you don't have a massive budget, you can still have a lovely wedding that will represent you both as a couple and that you can be proud of. And you don't have to borrow or beg. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Choose What Matters Most</h2> <p>The most important thing you can do to save money on a wedding is to figure out what is important to you. Some couples care a lot about their venue, but they don't need a video of the day. Others have to have a video, because they will watch it on every anniversary forever and ever, but they don't care much about flowers.</p> <p>You need to choose what is important to you. Pick two or three of the most important things (maybe your dress, your photographer, and your caterer), and plan to put the majority of your budget toward these. It's not that the rest doesn't matter, but that these are the places where you want to invest your time, your energy, and your money. These are the things that will make your wedding yours.</p> <h2>2. Register for a Honeymoon</h2> <p>Didn't save enough for your honeymoon? No problem! You can <a href="http://www.honeymoonwishes.com/">register for a honeymoon online</a>, and people can contribute knowing that their money is secure and they are helping you have a trip you'll never forget.</p> <p>This is particularly useful if you don't need very much to start your household. If you have been living together, or each living on your own, for a while, you'll have most of what you need as far as cooking, cleaning, etc. goes. Let guests contribute to your honeymoon, and you'll not only save money, but you won't have to return as many gifts afterwards!</p> <h2>3. Keep it Simple</h2> <p>If it isn't important to you and it isn't making the wedding uniquely yours, keep it simple. If you don't care much about photography, let a friend take the photos and pass around some disposable cameras during the reception. If you like your venue as-is, don't spend money you don't have on elaborate centerpieces.</p> <p>Again, this will look different for each wedding. But keeping simplicity in mind from the get-go will help you stick to your budget, no matter how little you have saved.</p> <h2>4. Keep it Small</h2> <p>One huge way to cut wedding costs is to limit your guest list. This can be so hard, especially if you have a lot of family and friends or business contacts. You may even choose to make the day family-only, though that is a little extreme. Let your heart be your guide. Only invite people with whom you have intimate relationships and truly want to have by your side on that big day.</p> <h2>5. Ask for Help</h2> <p>Most of us know people who can help in some way with a wedding. Maybe your sister is a graphic designer or your brother a video ace. Don't hesitate to ask them for help. Even people who don't have a useful area of expertise can help you tie bows, staple programs, etc.</p> <p>If you need more help than you're comfortable asking for, let it be known that you would love to have aid in lieu of a wedding gift. Allowing people to give time rather than expensive gifts means that even friends and family who can't afford much will be able to give you a lovely, valuable gift, and you won't have to spend as much of your limited savings on your wedding day.</p> <h2>6. Remember the 99 Cent Store</h2> <p>Some people think the 99 cent store is tacky, but many brides actually find decent candles, vases, and other pieces for their centerpieces and decorations there. Sure, you might have to try a couple of these stores before you find something you can use, but when you have all of your tables decorated for less than $50, you'll consider your time well spent. And you won't feel like you have to clean and save the pieces either, which will make for much less stress after the event.</p> <h2>7. Skip What Isn't Necessary</h2> <p>There are very few things that you have to have for a wedding, these days. Besides two people who want to marry, a license, an officiant, and two witnesses, you really don't need much else.</p> <p>You don't need a bridal party. You don't need professional hair and makeup. You don't need alcohol, or favors, or a caterer. If it isn't important to you and didn't save enough to pay for it, you don't have to have it.</p> <p>Instead of feeling like your wedding is lacking, think of these as things that make it stand out. People remember things that are different and, as long as they have fun, they will remember your wedding as a great day even if it doesn't have all of the standard features.</p> <h2>8. Make it Unique</h2> <p>More than anything else, you want your wedding to represent both of you and who you are as a couple, and you can usually highlight these things without spending a lot of money. I know a bride who was an ace softball pitcher, so she incorporated some of her old balls, gloves, and even trophies into the table decorations, and the whole effect was fun, quirky, and entirely them. Another couple I know put together a photo booth with some funky items they had laying around the house. It was a blast to do, didn't cost them much, and it made everyone laugh.</p> <p>Plan to use at least some of your budget, no matter how limited, on things that really represent you, and you won't be sorry. In fact, people will probably remember your wedding for a long, long time, because you made it stand out.</p> <h2>9. Have Fun</h2> <p>If you have a great time, it won't matter how much or how little you spend on your wedding, because you and your guests will have fabulous memories no matter what. Remember what is important: You are getting married! Let the little details fall by the wayside, and let yourself be alive. Cry during the ceremony, saunter out the door with your beloved, dance with all of your heart, and drive away to the cheers and well-wishes of those you love the most. The greatness of the day lies in what is happening, not in how it looks. Even if you have almost nothing saved for the wedding, this will make for a wonderful day!</p> <p><em>How did you try save money on your wedding? What made your day great?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-the-right-way-to-save">What&#039;s the Right Way to Save?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-more-is-less">When More is Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-year-money-resolutions-anyone-can-keep">10 New Year Money Resolutions Anyone Can Keep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/unusual-ideas-to-save-an-extra-100-a-month">Unusual Ideas to Save an Extra $100 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-your-frugal-bliss">Follow Your Frugal Bliss</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living budgeting marriage saving money weddings Mon, 15 Jun 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1454531 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newborn_baby_000046762652.jpg" alt="Man getting life insurance to protect his child" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life insurance isn't your average dinnertime conversation &mdash; no one likes to even talk about it. After all, life insurance is something that you only have to think about when you are old and grey, right?</p> <p>But nothing could be further from the truth. Life takes unexpected turns, and at any age it could be just as important as having a strong emergency fund or funding your retirement.</p> <p>Still need proof? Here are five compelling reasons why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison">life insurance</a> isn't just for old people.</p> <h2>1. You're Young and Healthy</h2> <p>Life insurance doesn't pay out until you die, but the best time to buy it is when you are young and healthy, since it's issued on rating scale. The healthier you are, the better the rating. The better the rating, the lower the price.</p> <h2>2. You Want to Boost Your Retirement Funding</h2> <p>401(k), IRA, ROTH, SEP-IRA &mdash; they are all great retirement options. But there are also hefty fees if you want to withdraw early from retirement accounts. Life insurance is the yin to retirement accounts yang. There are two kinds of life insurance: those that expire (term), and those that generate cash value (permanent). If you structure a permanent life insurance policy properly, you can actually use the cash value during your life to help fund your retirement, and even better, the benefits can be tax-free to you.</p> <h2>3. You Got Married</h2> <p>Being single can have many benefits. However, right after you say &quot;I do&quot; is probably the best time to start thinking about life insurance. What if one spouse works, while the other spouse might stay home? Or, maybe one spouse makes a lot more money than the other. However you slice it, life insurance can provide a very valuable asset if something was to happen to the higher-earning partner. You want to make sure you have enough life insurance to cover all your expenses, and then some.</p> <h2>4. You're Having a Baby</h2> <p>If you didn't think getting married was a compelling reason enough, that little bundle of joy should surely spur on the need. Kids bring on a ton more expenses &mdash; day care, education, clothes, food, and not to mention college. Tax-free life insurance benefits can become an important life preserver and ensure your child's well-being.</p> <h2>5. You're Open for Business</h2> <p>So, you've got a rock star business concept and are ready for world domination. If you've got a business partner, then life insurance should be your next step. You share expenses, knowledge, and more. What if something happens to one business partner? You've also got their family, their business interest, and the loss of a partner to think about. Business owners usually opt for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/business-succession-planning-part-2-how-life-insurance-will-insure-the-life-of-your-business">life insurance on each other</a> in what is a called a &quot;buy-sell agreement.&quot; This agreement drafted by an attorney states who gets what when something happens. The most common form of currency to &quot;fund&quot; a buy-sell agreement&hellip;you guessed it: life insurance.</p> <p><em>Do you own life insurance yet? If so, why or why not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-life-insurance-policy-for-cold-hard-cash">Selling Your Life Insurance Policy for Cold, Hard Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-financial-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-age-40">6 Financial Mistakes to Stop Making by Age 40</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-women-need-life-insurance-and-what-to-do-about-it">Why Women Need Life Insurance — and What to Do About It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-will-life-insurance-cost">How Much Will Life Insurance Cost?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-the-life-insurance-application-process">What Is the Life Insurance Application Process?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance business death family life insurance marriage retirement Thu, 11 Jun 2015 17:00:21 +0000 Shannah Game 1447185 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Unexpected Costs That Could Ruin Your Wedding Budget http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-costs-that-could-ruin-your-wedding-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-unexpected-costs-that-could-ruin-your-wedding-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wedding_married_couple_000057036094.jpg" alt="Married couple dealing with unexpected costs that ruined their wedding budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Walking down the aisle is quite possibly the most expensive party you will ever throw in your life. In fact, the national average <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budget-bride-131-savvy-ways-to-cut-wedding-costs">cost for a wedding</a> in 2014 was a staggering $31,000, according to a survey conducted by wedding guru site, TheKnot. That's enough money for a respectable down payment on a house in many parts of America.</p> <p>Just where is all the money going? Here are seven costs that are sure to ruin your wedding budget if you aren't careful, and a few tips to avoid that from happening.</p> <h2>1. Location, Location, Location</h2> <p>This term is often used in real estate, but also applies when it comes to planning a wedding. Locations can be fancy, like grand hotel ballrooms, or simple like casual backyard affairs. Just where you decide to have your wedding can take up a sizable portion of your wedding budget. According to TheKnot, wedding venues take up over $14,000 of that $31,000 average.</p> <h3>Saving the Dough</h3> <p>If you are looking to save money, ask around and find someone who is willing to rent you their nice backyard for a small fee, or negotiate a discount with a more traditional wedding venue for an off night, like say a Monday or Wednesday. Another option is to try for an alternate time of year, say winter when weddings aren't as common. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-wedding-trick-will-save-you-thousands?ref=seealso">This One Wedding Trick Will Save You Thousands</a>)</p> <h2>2. Peek-a-Boo Costs</h2> <p>Many people forget to budget for expenses that seem to come out of nowhere. For example, it's customary to tip the staff at the venue 10%&ndash;20% at the end of the night. That's on top of the fee you've already paid them. Or what about alterations to make that wedding dress perfect? Those can run into the hundreds. Another peek-a-boo cost is parking fees. Your guests are going to need a place to park, and if you're having a VIP moment and want to pay for all the parking, be sure to add $250+ to your already exploding budget.</p> <h3>Saving the Dough</h3> <p>Cut out the extra expenses that guests don't expect you to pay for like parking, call on your Aunt Nancy who's a great seamstress for alterations to the dress, and use friends as servers if possible.</p> <h2>3. Roses Are Red</h2> <p>There is no doubt that flowers are magical. Not only do they smell amazing, but they also add a certain polished quality that every wedding longs for. Roses, the most favored wedding flower, also happen to be the most expensive wedding flower. A dozen roses can cost upwards of $20. Don't forget bouquets and boutonnieres.</p> <h3>Saving the Dough</h3> <p>Find a local flower mart where you can purchase flowers the day before your wedding for a significant discount. Many florist shops will also have last minute deals on the flowers that are left over, which would make equally amazing tabletop decorations at a fraction of the cost.</p> <h2>4. Say Cheese</h2> <p>Spending $5,000 on wedding pictures is so 2014. It's a given that you will probably spend the first year looking back over your thousands of pictures and reminiscing. However as time goes on, the urge to recount every last detail captured in pictures is somewhere near the bottom of the to-do list. With social media sharing, and every wedding guest essentially being a private wedding photographer, it's easy to still capture every moment, without the hefty expense.</p> <h3>Saving the Dough</h3> <p>Use a wedding app like <a href="http://www.wedpics.com">WedPics</a>, where you can create a free app that will let your guests upload unlimited wedding pics and videos to your own personal site. This way you can still capture Uncle Bobby's long-winded wedding speech, but do it on a budget.</p> <h2>5. Cheers</h2> <p>The endless debate rolls on whether a wedding requires an open bar, or a cash bar. It's obvious that the open bar can be a silent budget killer. Inevitably, there are one or two guests that have waited until this moment to see how many martinis they can drink in a five-hour span. The most expensive drinks at a wedding are anything that is classified as a mixed, or specialty drink, that requires hard alcohol.</p> <h3>Saving the Dough</h3> <p>If you don't have the stomach for a cash bar, think about drinks that aren't expensive like beer and wine. If possible, cater in your own alcohol that you can purchase from a discount merchant like Costco or Sam's Club. Better yet, have an open bar for a few hours, and then switch to a cash bar.</p> <h2>6. Plus One</h2> <p>If there was ever a time to RSVP, it is for a wedding. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the importance, and instead show up without RSVPing or, worse yet, they RSVP for one, and bring a guest or two. Wedding budgets everywhere just throw their hands in the air. At $50&ndash;$100 a head, if 10 extra people showed up, that's an extra $500&ndash;$1000 in costs that weren't accounted for.</p> <h3>Saving the Dough</h3> <p>Make RSVPing easy for guests by offering online options like <a href="http://www.rsvpify.com">RSVPify</a>. Another idea is to add a healthy pad into the wedding budget of 15%&ndash;20% so you are prepared for any plus one catastrophes.</p> <h2>7. Where's the Beef?</h2> <p>Right behind location costs, food costs are the second highest expense. Why do we feel the need to always serve guests a gourmet five-course meal at $100 a head? Just because it's common, doesn't mean it's good for your budget. Guests are also used to having choices at weddings. Would you like the chicken, fish, or beef? It doesn't take a genius to figure out that beef is the highest priced entrée on the menu. On average, beef costs $8&ndash;$10 more than its chicken or fish counterparts, and yet beef happens to be the most requested dish on any wedding menu.</p> <h3>Saving the Dough</h3> <p>The easiest solution is to obviously avoid serving beef. However, there are many options to incorporate beef that will still offer the luxury feel, without the luxury price. Try serving a beef appetizer, where one steak will serve many.</p> <p><em>Do you have any wedding saving tips? Tell us about them. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shannah-game">Shannah Game</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-costs-that-could-ruin-your-wedding-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ten-tenets-for-arranging-your-rich-part-1-rich-is-relative">Ten Tenets for &quot;Arranging Your Rich&quot; - Part 1: Rich is Relative</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-wedding-trick-will-save-you-thousands">This One Wedding Trick Will Save You Thousands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-one-touch-approach-to-managing-household-finances">A One Touch Approach To Managing Household Finances</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Budgeting celebrations events marriage parties wedding Wed, 03 Jun 2015 15:00:09 +0000 Shannah Game 1438457 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Deal When Your Spouse is Suffering From Burnout http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-when-your-spouse-is-suffering-from-burnout <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-deal-when-your-spouse-is-suffering-from-burnout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_couple_sunset_000041204266.jpg" alt="Woman and man who is suffering from burnout" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Burnout can be brutal. It kills your productivity, it makes you feel stressed all the time, it leaves you exhausted and detached, and it can make you question whether you have ever or will ever do anything of value.</p> <p>It's bad enough to find yourself in such a state, but it can be as bad or worse to find someone you love there. When that person is your spouse, someone you love deeply and with whom you are walking through life, it can cause all sorts of difficult feelings.</p> <p>You don't have to get stuck there, though. There are good ways to support yourself and your spouse when he or she is walking through a season of burnout.</p> <h2>1. Recognize It</h2> <p>Burnout can be misdiagnosed as depression (which often goes alongside it), anxiety, and other disorders. At its most basic, burnout is <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/high-octane-women/201311/the-tell-tale-signs-burnout-do-you-have-them">a state of chronic stress</a> that, over time, leads to a whole host of other symptoms. Depression and anxiety can be part of those, but stress is at the core in burnout.</p> <p>Learn to recognize when your spouse is stressed. Different people respond differently to stressors, but you are in a position to know how your spouse responds. When you see this sort of stress over a period of time, tell your spouse what you have observed. If you can't do that, recognize that burnout may be on the horizon.</p> <h2>2. Don't Panic</h2> <p>Having someone close to you experience burnout can be terrifying. When they lose productivity, when it takes them forever to do something they once did easily, like write an e-mail or empty the dishwasher, it's easy to wonder if that person you love will ever come back, or if this is your new normal.</p> <p>When these feelings come, remind yourself that they are normal but that you don't need to panic. Burnout is serious, but it is a condition that rest and wise counsel can do much to alleviate. It may take a while, but your spouse will return. Hopefully, they will be happier and healthier on the other side of burnout, because they will have learned to care for themselves better.</p> <h2>3. Get Support</h2> <p>Walking through a spouse's burnout isn't easy, and you will need people to walk alongside you as you offer support, if you want your marriage to survive and grow. These can be friends, relatives, or even mental health professionals. In fact, you might be best served by getting support from all three.</p> <p>You will have a lot to talk about when it comes to your spouse's burnout, and it's important that you don't put too much of that on any one person, or that you ask friends for solutions or suggestions that only counselors can give. A counselor can help you figure out what you can and cannot offer your spouse during this time, what you need to do to take care of yourself, and whether there's anything you can change in your marriage that might help your spouse. Friends and family can help you implement these ideas, and can listen to your feelings.</p> <p>Occasionally, it may be appropriate for you to seek help for your spouse, too. If he or she is so burnt out that they can't even search for a counselor or figure out what the next step is, you may need to do that for them. In the end, though, it will help your spouse to seek out their own solutions, so do as little as possible in their name. Instead, encourage them to act on their own.</p> <h2>4. Encourage Them in Positive Directions</h2> <p>What your spouse needs will depend a lot on the details of their burnout. As their spouse, you can encourage them to move toward what they need. Maybe an extended vacation would help them get the rest they need, or spending more time with friends would help them leave their stress at work. Maybe they need to join a gym or a bowling league or a reading group.</p> <p>Whatever they need, you can encourage them in that direction. That doesn't mean you sign them up for things you think might be helpful, but that you listen to them (and to their therapist, if that is appropriate) and help them remember to take steps toward rest and relaxation rather than deeper into stress.</p> <h2>5. Don't Take Responsibility</h2> <p>Even though you want to do as much as you can to help your spouse, you need to remember that neither their descent into burnout nor their recovery depends on you. You are there to be a companion, to help them walk this hard road and to walk alongside them as appropriate, but it's not your fault. They aren't burnt out because of you and their recovery isn't in your hands, either.</p> <p>If you are doing well, it will be easy to try to drag your burnt out spouse up by their bootstraps to join you. This is taking too much on yourself, though. In the end, they need to walk through this dark place and come out of it on their own. If you do it for them, they may get better but they won't really recover. The truth is, they got themselves into this place and they need to get themselves out. Being their companion will help, but being their savior will not.</p> <h2>6. Take Care of Yourself</h2> <p>Having a spouse with burnout is hard. It's stressful for you and that takes its toll. If you are not careful to alleviate that stress, you risk falling into burnout or depression yourself. So figure out what you need to do to take care of you and then do those things, which may include exercising more, sleeping a little more, or spending intentional time with your friends.</p> <p>Going through a time where your spouse is burnt out can actually strengthen your marriage. In the end, you will both be stronger people and you will know that your relationship can survive hard things. Work toward this and that time of burnout doesn't have to be wasted time.</p> <p><em>Has your spouse suffered burnout? What helped you deal?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-deal-when-your-spouse-is-suffering-from-burnout">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage">How to Be Happy and Married: 24 Tips from a 24-Year-Old Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-ways-to-reduce-workplace-stress">10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-through-a-tough-financial-emergency">How to Get Through a Tough Financial Emergency</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-signs-youre-burned-out-and-how-to-recover">4 Signs You&#039;re Burned Out (and How to Recover)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks anxiety burnout marriage relationships stress Mon, 04 May 2015 17:00:23 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1410063 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money_saved_piggy_banks_000055929726.jpg" alt="Learning how to keep your spouse from overspending" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Spouses aren't always honest with each other when it comes to money. A study released earlier this year by CreditCards.com found that nearly one in five U.S. consumers have hidden purchases of $500 or more from their live-in partners or spouses. The same study found that nearly 7.2 million people have hidden a bank or credit card account from their spouse or partner.</p> <p>It's no surprise, then, that partners often butt heads over spending decisions. One partner wants to save. The other likes to spend, and will spend enough each month to break the household budget, often hiding these purchases until they show up on next month's credit card statement.</p> <p>What if you are the financially responsible partner in a relationship? Is there anything you can do to stop your partner from blowing your household savings on video games, clothes, or expensive electronics?</p> <p>There might be. Changing a partner's bad spending habits requires plenty of work and even more communication. To start, check out these four tips for changing your partner's free-spending ways.</p> <h2>Set a Regular Money Meeting</h2> <p>Robert Stammers, director of investor education at the CFA Institute &mdash; a trade association serving investment professionals &mdash; says that couples need to be willing to talk about money. Unfortunately, too many couples never hold these financial talks.</p> <p>This isn't surprising: Money often scares couples. A survey released in early 2015 by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 47% of couples say that money disagreements are the most common <a href="https://www.nfcc.org/press/multimedia/news-releases/january-nfcc-survey-reveals-top-financial-relationship-stressors/">cause of stress</a> in their relationships.</p> <p>But not talking about money as a way to avoid these disagreements is a mistake. A partner who overspends needs to realize the consequences of this behavior. That can't happen if partners never talk about money. Stammers recommends that couples set a regular meeting date &mdash; maybe once a month &mdash; to talk about money issues.</p> <p>&quot;No two people have the same ideas and philosophy about money and investing, so it is important to determine upfront what is important to the both of you,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>Set Aside Some Fun Money</h2> <p>Creating a separate bank account for fun money might be a solution, says Kelley Long, resident financial planner for El Segundo, California's Financial Finesse, and a spokesperson for the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.</p> <p>This account will give the overspending partner a bit of financial freedom, and might prevent this spouse from breaking into a couple's main account set aside for paying the mortgage, car payment, and other bills, Long claims.</p> <p>&quot;This money can be spent without restriction or comment,&quot; Long says. &quot;When the money in the account is gone, the spender has to wait until the next payday to spend again.&quot;</p> <p>If the overspending partner raids other accounts after cleaning out the &quot;fun money&quot; account? Then a relationship has more serious trust issues that must be addressed, Long says.</p> <h2>Don't Let the Money Come Home</h2> <p>Michael Chadwick, chief executive officer of Unionville, Connecticut-based Chadwick Financial Advisors, has a more practical solution: Send more of the money you're earning into a retirement account and less of it into your savings account. Your overspending spouse can't spend the money you've stashed in a 401(k) account.</p> <h2>Let the Spender Take Control &mdash; For a Month</h2> <p>It may be counterintuitive, but it might help to have your free-spending partner pay the bills and manage the budget for at least a month. As Chadwick says, this might provide your partner with some insight into why wasting money on unnecessary purchases is such a problem.</p> <p>If none of these tips work? Your overspending partner might have a more serious issue, one that perhaps only counseling can solve, Chadwick says. &quot;Spending and shopping when out of control are no different than smoking, drugs, or alcohol.&quot;</p> <p><em>How do you and your spouse or partner manage money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-perks-of-marriage">10 Financial Perks of Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spouses-and-debt-whos-really-on-the-hook-for-those-bills">Spouses and Debt: Who&#039;s Really on the Hook for Those Bills?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management Family couples finances marriage Spending Money Tue, 28 Apr 2015 13:00:28 +0000 Dan Rafter 1399139 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking http://www.wisebread.com/10-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_couple_heart_000043736474.jpg" alt="Happy couple breaking common love and relationship rules" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know what it was like to be in a serious relationship back in the day &mdash; pre-social media, I mean &mdash; but I can imagine that it was much easier than it is in 2015. So much has changed over the past 20 &mdash; heck, even 10 &mdash; years that some of the most trusted and seemingly infallible relationship rules are now all but obsolete. The new school of thought on the issue? Adapt your relationship to today, or face certain doom.</p> <p>To catch you up to speed, here's a look at some of the most prominent relationship rules of yore that you should start kickin' to the curb.</p> <h2>1. Not Going to Bed Angry</h2> <p>My parents still adhere to this rule &mdash; or at least this is a piece of advice that my mother gives me when my marriage hits a rough patch &mdash; but I don't buy it. When we first started out, we tried to resolve the issue at hand before bed, but it rarely resulted in a truce, and the more time wore on, we were just like, screw it, I'm tired, let's resume our battle stations in the morning.</p> <p>I know we're not alone.</p> <p>&quot;If you follow this rule, it could mean a lot of late nights, and nothing escalates an argument more than sleep deprivation and mental exhaustion,&quot; says Dr. Jared DeFife, a clinical psychologist and relationship coach. &quot;I see couples in my practice who feel like they have to adhere to this rule or resolve an argument right away, leading them to drawn-out disputes where nothing gets accomplished and everyone's nerves are fried. When it comes to arguments, it's ok to take a break; in fact, it might even be necessary. You can use that time to calm down, understand your emotions, and return with a level head and a more nuanced perspective.&quot;</p> <p>And hey, there's always the possibility of make-up sex in the morning!</p> <h2>2. Thinking That Love Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry</h2> <p>Excuse while I LOL at this one. Whatever narcissistic dude came up with this (and I'm 100% certain it was a dude) was smokin' the good stuff &mdash; and I want some. Because the truth is, sometimes we're real capital Bs to our partners, and apologies are absolutely necessary.</p> <p>&quot;Nobody's perfect,&quot; Dr. DeFife reminds us. &quot;Sometimes we're grumpy or short-tempered or do the wrong thing. The mark of a good partnership is not in never screwing up or having conflicts, but in being able to recognize those concerns and to effectively make repairs when things go awry. A well-thought through and meaningful apology can actually strengthen a relationship in areas of discontent or disconnection.&quot;</p> <p>I think I'll have that quote printed on a stack of Post-it Notes and hide them in my husband's desk.</p> <h2>3. Playing Hard to Get</h2> <p>Playing hard to get can be fun. But giving the guy or girl the runaround for an extended period of time so you can feed your own ego as they try harder and harder to get your attention also can be dangerous.</p> <p>&quot;This includes waiting an X amount of days or minutes before calling or texting, dumping men who do not initiate contact, and only scheduling activities on certain days or times of the day,&quot; explains Dr. Carolyn C. Ferreira, a licensed clinical psychologist. &quot;Playing hard to get is unattractive to both sexes, and it also prohibits people from being their real selves and expressing their true feelings, which is an overall bad way to begin a relationship.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Waiting a Set Amount of Time After a Breakup</h2> <p>Breaking up or getting a divorce can sometimes feel like somebody died. You've spent most of your time with your partner for however many months or years you were together, then all of a sudden, they're gone. If this was a serious relationship, grieving this loss is a normal emotional reaction, but you shouldn't let other people dictate how long you take to heal. Whenever you feel like you're ready to get back out there and find your next future ex, put on your going-out pants and get back in the game.</p> <p>&quot;People grieve loss at their own pace; someone may be over a divorce in a month, whereas it might take someone else six months,&quot; Dr. Ferreira says.</p> <h2>5. Perpetuating Gender Stereotypes at Home</h2> <p>My husband and I have battled with this since the day we moved in together &mdash; and we're two dudes. Speaking as a man then, it's kind of insulting when someone expects that you'll do the cooking and cleaning because that's traditionally what the female in the relationship does. Not that I mind doing it &mdash; for the most part &mdash; but I don't want it to be an expectation because I'm the smaller, more creative partner in the relationship. I still have dude parts, dude. This type of thinking applies to any scenario, and as far as I'm concerned you can take that &quot;Honeymooners&quot;<em> </em>BS and shove it.</p> <p>&quot;Adhering to household tasks based on gender roles and stereotypes should also be reconsidered by couples,&quot; adds Dr. Ferreira. &quot;Instead of completing tasks because you're the man or woman, couples should look at their strengths and weaknesses as a couple in order to decide who does what. For example, it does not make sense for the man to take care of the finances if he does not know what an Excel spreadsheet is, but his wife does because she's a business owner.&quot;</p> <p>Might be time to start shakin' things up on the homefront, eh?</p> <h2>6. Believing That Fighting Is Healthy</h2> <p>Having lovers' quarrels every now and then is okay; it's good to get issues off your chest. Screaming in each other's face on a regular basis isn't. It's wise to note too that the term &quot;fighting&quot; is relative, and it behooves you to keep your definition of it in check to avoid a dangerous downward spiral.</p> <p>&quot;There are many myths and expectations about fighting in marriage,&quot; says Dr. Tina B. Tessina, psychotherapist and author of &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1598693255/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1598693255&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UA6JX7TPBBEN43YK">Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage</a>.&quot; &quot;Couples come into my office frequently believing that fighting is a necessary part of being a couple, that all married couples fight, and it's a normal part of marriage. But the fact is that fighting accomplishes nothing, and it isn't necessary for couples to argue, to yell, or to have heated discussions to get problems solved. Hanging on to these ideas makes it difficult to let go of fighting.&quot;</p> <p>P.S. Don't ever let anybody hit you. Ever. It's not your fault, and you don't deserve it.</p> <h2>7. Searching for Your Soulmate (When You May Not Have One)</h2> <p>What if your soulmate died before you had a chance to meet? Too depressing? I'll let Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels, relationship experts and co-authors of &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1627780289/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1627780289&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WLVCALKVABMAJAMI">Partners in Passion</a>,&quot;&nbsp;explain why you may not have a soulmate in a more palatable way.</p> <p>&quot;In contemporary society, there is a very common superstition that finding one's soulmate &mdash; sometimes called a 'twin flame' &mdash; is the key to having a true pair-bond, and that in the absence of this 'other half,' no intimate relationship will be fully satisfying,&quot; Johnson and Michaels say. &quot;Two very damaging concepts are implicit in this belief: first, that there is a single, ideal partner out there in the world for every individual, and second, that people are incomplete until they find their 'other half.'&quot;</p> <p>In other words, stop holding out and start living more. You never know who you'll encounter along the way.</p> <h2>8. Accepting That Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus</h2> <p>Society &mdash; especially American culture &mdash; wants us to believe that men and women are so different that it's like we're each from separate planets. Yes, we have differences, but we also have many similarities that nobody ever seems to want to talk about because it's not interesting enough to sell 50 million books worldwide.</p> <p>&quot;We're not the first to observe that people of all genders are from Earth,&quot; Johnson and Michaels explain. &quot;Beyond that, men and women have more in common with each other than with any other creature on the planet. To make blanket generalizations is not helpful except on the most superficial level. This model builds on older myths &mdash; the concepts of 'opposite sexes' and 'the battle of the sexes' &mdash; and reconfigures them in therapeutic terms. Despite this reframing, the model is still an adversarial one, and adversarial models are not optimal for nurturing harmonious relationships or fueling sexual passion, except in very small doses. Having the sense that you're on opposing teams will only foster conflict.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Assuming That Monogamy Is Natural and Optimal</h2> <p>So I don't get in trouble down the road for providing my personal opinion on long-term relationships and monogamy, I'll let Johnson and Michaels give you theirs.</p> <p>&quot;If human biology inspires us both to form intimate pair bonds and to seek contacts outside of those bonds, then what makes for a healthy relationship is considerably more complex than dogmatic advocates of monogamy (or non monogamy for that matter) would have us believe,&quot; say the pair. &quot;At the same time, the impulse to bond deeply with another is not something that should be dismissed lightly. Our species varies a great deal, and it's a mistake to think about absolutes when it comes to monogamy and non-monogamy.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Dating Within Your Type</h2> <p>Just like I don't want all skinny, redheaded, melanin-free friends, I don't think it's very interesting to pursue a certain &quot;type&quot; of person in a romantic capacity. I've dated all types of guys &mdash; white, black, Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Latino &mdash; and it has only served to broaden my horizons. Still, I have plenty of friends &mdash; especially the religious ones &mdash; who refuse to date outside their race or faith. To each their own of course, but I totally think they're missing out.</p> <p>Relationship expert April Masini agrees.</p> <p>&quot;One of the best ways to get out of a dating rut is to date a Republican if you're a Democrat, or someone rich if you're poor, or a creative type if you're by the book,&quot; she says. &quot;Date out of your religious or racial group. Date someone your mother wouldn't fix you up with &mdash; were you to let her. It'll shake up any rigidity you've succumbed to, and it's a great way to find love. It also expands your resources and gives you a bigger dating pool.&quot;</p> <p><em>What are some of the relationship rules that you think we should be breaking? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-6-relationship-moves-now-or-youll-regret-it-in-20-years">Make These 6 Relationship Moves Now or You&#039;ll Regret It in 20 Years</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage">How to Be Happy and Married: 24 Tips from a 24-Year-Old Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work">6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage">6 Ways Regular Budget Meetings Might Save Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk">5 Questions Couples Should Ask in the Money Talk</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development couples Dating love marriage partnership relationships rules Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1382352 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Worst Mistakes Good Spouses Make http://www.wisebread.com/5-worst-mistakes-good-spouses-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-worst-mistakes-good-spouses-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_000019703451.jpg" alt="Young couple who make common marriage mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Marriage is hard. Almost anyone can tell you that. It takes constant effort to nurture this relationship so that it remains close, connected, and dedicated as the years pass.</p> <p>&quot;But,&quot; you say, &quot;I'm a good spouse. I don't cheat. I love my partner. I accept their faults and I work on my own. Won't my relationship last?&quot;</p> <p>Well, I don't have a crystal ball, but I do know this: Even good spouses aren't perfect. Even with a huge amount of love and the best intentions, it is easy to make mistakes that can hurt your relationship.</p> <p>But the first step is knowing what to look out for. Specifically, this list of the most common mistakes that good spouses make.</p> <h2>1. They Stop Putting in the Effort</h2> <p>When you feel lovey-dovey about your partner, it's easy to do the little things that make them happy. Maybe you prep his coffee pot for the morning, or bring her a glass of wine in bed. With that loving feeling, these things seem to come naturally.</p> <p>Fast forward a couple of years down the road, though. Your job is hard. Your spouse is stressed about money. Even the best spouses have days when they come home and collapse on the couch. When this happens, not only are you not thinking about the coffee or the wine, but you don't even want to make dinner.</p> <p>When you're stressed and tired, it's easy to let the little kindnesses, the things you do just because they make your spouse happy, slide. However, while you may not be able to do all the things you once did for your partner, you can still put forth the effort to show them that they're valuable.</p> <p>Be the one who offers to make (or pick up) dinner. Set an alarm on your phone so you remember to make the coffee. Surprise your spouse, even if it's only with takeout from their favorite restaurant. These little efforts remind your spouse that they are important to you, even when things are hard and busy.</p> <h2>2. They Speak Disrespectfully</h2> <p>Good spouses respect their partners. They listen when their partner speaks and they honor what is said, even when they disagree.</p> <p>Even good spouses, though, can lose respect for their partner in the middle of a heated conversation. This comes through in the tone of voice they use, the things they say about their partner or their partner's ideas, and whether or not they can give their partner the benefit of the doubt. It can even come through in what they say about their partner to other people, later on.</p> <p>Even if the argument is really and truly over and you're exaggerating or kidding around later, talk to and about your partner respectfully. If you can't do so, ask for a break until you feel like you can again.</p> <p>Even if you do respect your partner and you're just upset, speaking disrespectfully can harm your relationship. It can cause your partner to doubt your respect for them overall, and if that becomes a habit, it can change the way you think about your spouse in general.</p> <h2>3. They Believe Their Happiness Depends on Their Partner</h2> <p>Sure, you're close to your spouse. After all, you're a great partner. But there's a difference between being close and depending on someone else for your own happiness. Whether you feel like you need your partner to change in order for you to be happy, or you feel like everything is chugging along just fine until your partner falls into an illness or a depression; giving someone else that much control over your happiness is never a good idea.</p> <p>Instead, focus on yourself. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Work towards your own goals and you will be happier than if you hand over control of your satisfaction to someone else.</p> <p>Also, being in charge of your own happiness makes you an even better spouse. Your partner won't feel like they have to be someone or something they're not just for you. And they will know that, whatever happens, even if they get depressed or seriously ill, they won't take you down with them.</p> <h2>4. They Wait Until They Feel Like It to Have Sex</h2> <p>Sure, you like sex. Sometimes you even love it. And you're a great spouse, so you make sure your partner enjoys it, too. But the longer you're with your spouse &mdash; even when you love them dearly &mdash; the easier it is to let other things get in the way of physical intimacy. And it's even easier when you tell yourself that it's better to wait until you're in the mood.</p> <p>However, physical intimacy is important to a marriage. While it doesn't feel romantic to approach your spouse (or let them approach you) sexually when you're tired, stressed, and really just want to watch TV, your marriage will be better if you do it.</p> <p>Remember that you enjoy sex, even when it's not the first thing on your &quot;Want&quot; list, and choose to engage your partner on this level. Take it slow, and you may find yourself enjoying it a lot more than you thought you would, even if you weren't in the mood.</p> <h2>5. They Let Arguments Get off Topic</h2> <p>Even good spouses get upset sometimes. I mean, anytime you have two people together in the same space for longer than a couple of hours, they're likely to disagree. The fact that you and your spouse sometimes argue has nothing to do with how good of partners you are or how much you love each other.</p> <p>When you do argue, though, try to stay on topic. Work through one issue at a time. If things are so heated that you or your partner keep bringing up other issues, step back for a while to cool down and refocus.</p> <p>If things come up that you really want to talk about, write them down. Then you can bring them up after the original issue is settled, or later on when things are cooler between the two of you. It's perfectly fine to talk about all of your issues, but best not to talk about them all at once.</p> <p><em>Do you consider yourself a good spouse? What mistakes have you made in your marriage?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-worst-mistakes-good-spouses-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work">6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-navigate-3-common-money-arguments-with-your-significant-other">How to Navigate 3 Common Money Arguments With Your Significant Other</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage">6 Ways Regular Budget Meetings Might Save Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk">5 Questions Couples Should Ask in the Money Talk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development arguments household marriage partnerships relationships spouses Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:00:02 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1376576 at http://www.wisebread.com