marriage http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5206/all en-US 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-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/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/13-hacks-to-avoid-burnout-at-work">13 Hacks to Avoid Burnout at Work</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/tips-from-a-hostage-negotiator-that-anyone-can-use">Tips From a Hostage Negotiator That Anyone Can Use</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-worst-mistakes-good-spouses-make">5 Worst Mistakes Good Spouses Make</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> 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-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/6-times-when-its-okay-to-take-a-loan">6 Times When It&#039;s Okay to Take a Loan</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-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</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/back-in-debt-heres-how-to-pay-it-off-for-good">Back in Debt? Here&#039;s How to Pay it Off for Good</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-financial-perks-of-marriage">10 Financial Perks of 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-difficult-conversations-you-have-to-have-with-your-spouse">5 Difficult Conversations You Have to Have With Your Spouse</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-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/the-first-thing-you-need-to-work-on-if-you-want-a-better-relationship">The First Thing You Need to Work on If You Want a Better Relationship</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <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-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-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/10-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</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-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/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/the-first-thing-you-need-to-work-on-if-you-want-a-better-relationship">The First Thing You Need to Work on If You Want a Better Relationship</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 How to Navigate 3 Common Money Arguments With Your Significant Other http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-navigate-3-common-money-arguments-with-your-significant-other <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-navigate-3-common-money-arguments-with-your-significant-other" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_fighting_000033631562.jpg" alt="couple fighting over common money issues between significant others" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Think about your last big argument with your sweetheart. You know the one &mdash; the knock-down, drag-out &quot;heated discussion&quot; that made you wonder if you or your partner (or both of you) were crazy, because there was simply no consensus to be had.</p> <p>Chances are that argument was about money.</p> <p>According to a 2012 survey by the American Institute of CPAs, money is the most common <a href="http://www.aicpa.org/press/pressreleases/2012/pages/finances-causing-rifts-for-american-couples.aspx">reason married couples fight</a>, ahead of children, household chores, work, and friends. Unfortunately, fighting about money on a regular basis also indicates a <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2012.00715.x/abstract">higher chance of divorce</a>.</p> <p>But money arguments do not have to be frequent or vicious, as long as you are willing to recognize that any conversation about money is about much more than just little green pieces of paper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-steps-to-a-blissful-matri-money?ref=seealso">8 Steps to a Blissful Matri-Money</a>)</p> <p>Here are three of the most common money arguments couples have, and how you can navigate them without forgetting what you like about each other.</p> <h2>1. You Spent <em>HOW</em> Much?</h2> <p>This might sound like a classic spender versus saver argument &mdash; you are committed to getting out of debt and your spouse is careless with money, for instance. But whether you are a natural spender or a natural saver, it's likely that you and your partner have each been on both sides of this argument.</p> <p>For example, maybe you regularly spend extra money on your favorite microbrews, which your partner thinks taste about the same as Budweiser. Their complaints about this expense can feel pretty rich to you, considering the fact that they spend what seems like the GDP of a small nation on clothes each year.</p> <p>The disconnect that you both feel about these spending decisions arises because the argument is not about money per se, but about values.</p> <p>Your partner values looking fashionable and thinks it's a waste of money to buy expensive beverages. And you might think buying new clothes more often than once a decade is extravagant, but feel that life is far too short to drink terrible beer.</p> <h3>The Fix: Have Separate Important-to-Me Funds</h3> <p>Many marriage and finance experts recommend that spouses each get separate &quot;fun money&quot; to use as they please. This is a great way for each of you to make purchases the other might see as a completely insane, without it becoming an issue.</p> <p>As long as you and your partner can agree on a budget amount for important-to-me purchases, this strategy will allow you to continue to support your values without having to fight for them financially.</p> <h2>2. It's <em>MY</em> Money!</h2> <p>It's rare for couples to each make the exact same amount of money, and differing income levels can create power imbalances in a relationship. The individual who makes more money might want to have more control over financial decisions, and the lower-earner might feel resentful and excluded.</p> <p>As with the previous argument, this disagreement is not really about money, but about relationship contributions. Our society values money far more than other types of contributions, which means we can easily fall into the trap of believing that the higher-earner in a relationship makes a bigger contribution and deserves more say in how communal money is spent.</p> <h3>The Fix: Make a List of Your Contributions to the Relationship</h3> <p>Ultimately, it's important for partners to view all income as &quot;our money&quot; (with some allotted for each spouse to use as he or she pleases, as outlined above). If either of you have trouble simply accepting that fact, then it's time to sit down together and make a list of what you each do for the overall health of the relationship.</p> <p>This is a peacekeeping tactic that many marriage counselors advise for dealing with housework squabbles, but it works just as well for dealing with money imbalances. Once the higher-earner sees that the other partner does all the grocery shopping or laundry or airport drop-offs (or whatever), it can help to put the high income in perspective. The high-earner would be keeping less of their income if each of those non-financial contributions by the low-earner had to be contracted out.</p> <h2>3. Why Won't You Fund Your 401(k), Track Spending, Etc.?</h2> <p>Opposites attract, and that's certainly true when it comes to money philosophies. Spendthrifts and skinflints can each appreciate the other's financial qualities, because they balance out their own.</p> <p>But living with your financial opposite can also be maddening. The spender might feel nagged and constricted by the saver's financial expectations, and the saver might be overwhelmed by the spender's use of money. In particular, it can be really tough for the saver to see the spender neglect financial chores that seem essential.</p> <h3>The Fix: Delegate and Communicate</h3> <p>The real issue behind this argument is the fact that neither partner can get the other to view money in the same way they do. The spender will never understand the saver's anxiety about finances, and the saver will never understand how the spender can enjoy making purchases when there are unfunded retirement accounts to worry about.</p> <p>The best way to handle this is to allow one partner (the saver) to be the person in charge of finances. This may seem like an odd suggestion, considering the fact that most marriage advice stresses the importance of sharing. However, delegating tasks can often make for a happier partnership, since the person who cares more about the specifics of finances can focus on them, while the more carefree partner does not feel nagged or infantilized.</p> <p>But simply delegating finances to one individual is not enough to avoid this particular fight. It's also important to regularly talk to each other about the financial state of the union. This will ensure that both partners are on the same page and understand what is happening with their money, and it will also provide the non-finance partner the information necessary to take over in case something happens to the current family CFO.</p> <h2>Living in Financial Harmony</h2> <p>Money is the source of a great deal of stress and fighting because it represents so much more than just a way to pay for things. Nipping big money fights in the bud is not easy, but starting from a place of respect for your partner and his or her values, the non-financial contributions you each make, and the strengths you each bring to the table, can help you to navigate solutions to even the thorniest of money arguments.</p> <p><em>How do you and your SO navigate the dangerous waters of money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-navigate-3-common-money-arguments-with-your-significant-other">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/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your 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/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/are-you-doing-bad-things-with-your-money">Are You Doing Bad Things with Your Money?</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/11-tips-and-tricks-for-merging-finances">11 Tips and Tricks for Merging 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/make-love-not-money-sort-of">Make Love, Not Money (Sort Of)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance arguments marriage money relationships spending Wed, 01 Apr 2015 11:00:13 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1360894 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Delaying Marriage or Kids Saves You Money http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-delaying-marriage-or-kids-saves-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-delaying-marriage-or-kids-saves-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_wedding.jpg" alt="married couple on their wedding day saving money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For some, the decision to get married and start a family is as natural as falling in love. But marriage and family are big responsibilities that require emotional and financial maturity. Though there's rarely a perfect time for settling down (love &mdash; and sometimes kids &mdash; strike when you least expect), it's worth considering the financial implications of waiting. Now that many couples are delaying marriage and kids, it's important to know why putting off these major milestones can be good for your financial health.</p> <h2>Debt</h2> <p>Once you tie the knot, you and spouse will share everything, including in some cases, debt. So, sit down together, discuss your combined debt, and map out a smart plan for tackling it. Facing reality and seeing the numbers in black and white might make you rethink your wedding date. Research shows a large number of couples divorce within the first five years &mdash; and problems stemming from debt is the primary reason.</p> <h2>Cost of Marriage</h2> <p>The average wedding cost in the U.S. is $25,000. Some couples spend even more. If you rely on credit cards to finance your wedding plans (i.e. engagement ring, wedding, and honeymoon), you and your spouse will be paying off the debt for several years down the road. It will be difficult to jump-start your new life. Postponing the wedding date, saving for the ceremony, and opting for a less extravagant celebration are all reasonable options for reducing this expense. (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>Cost of Kids</h2> <p>Having kids probably costs more than you expect. The <a href="http://transform.childbirthconnection.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Cost-of-Having-a-Baby1.pdf">hospital delivery cost</a> in America runs between $33,000 and $51,000, on average &mdash; depending on whether it's natural or a caesarean birth. And don't assume health insurance always covers childbirth. Often couples don't realize they're on the hook for these charges until it's too late.</p> <p>WebMd reports that the cost of a raising an infant during its first year increased to $40,000 &mdash; equivalent to the cost of one year's tuition at an Ivy League university. Daycare alone is an estimated $15,000 per year. The total <a href="http://money.cnn.com/interactive/pf/cost-of-children/?iid=EL">cost of raising children</a> until they reach the age of 18 is $245,000 each. Planning your family based on your financial ability can reduce household stress and make for a happier home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-it-costs-to-raise-a-child?ref=seealso">What It Costs to Raise a Child</a>)</p> <h2>Tips to Save Money While Delaying Marriage and Kids</h2> <ul> <li>If possible, pay off any high-interest pre-marriage debt before tying the knot. Paying off your loans early will save you thousands on interest charges and reduce any friction over shared finances.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Do not finance the engagement ring. Consider a less expensive option, instead. Take it from a woman: As long as it has bling and it's not cubic zirconia, you'll probably be fine. You can upgrade it on your five year wedding anniversary, or once you're financially settled.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Stay engaged until you have saved enough money saved to cover all wedding day expenses. Create a budget and stick to it.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Consider living together during the engagement. The money saved on rent, utilities, etc. can be set aside to pay down debt or for the wedding. What you learn about each other &mdash; and your financial habits &mdash; will be priceless.</li> </ul> <p><em>Did delaying marriage or kids save your family money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-delaying-marriage-or-kids-saves-you-money">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/6-ways-to-create-a-great-home-gym">6 Ways to Create a Great Home Gym For Less</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/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending</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/19-frugal-ways-to-entertain-teenagers">19 Frugal Ways to Entertain Teenagers</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-difficult-conversations-you-have-to-have-with-your-spouse">5 Difficult Conversations You Have to Have With Your Spouse</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/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family affordable having kids marriage wedding cost Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:00:09 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1347548 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000048536234_Large.jpg" alt="man proposing to girlfriend" title="man proposing to girlfriend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to pop the question? You'll need a ring before you get down on bended knee, and when it comes to buying jewelry, it's easy to make costly mistakes (especially if you don't know what you're doing). (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> <p>To ensure that you're getting the best value for your budget, here are 12 engagement ring tricks from leading industry experts. Former diamond cutter and third-generation jeweler Anubh Shah of<a href="http://www.fourmine.com/"> Four Mine</a>, and Andrea Novella, creative director at<a href="http://www.gemmajadejewelry.com"> Gemma Jade Jewelry</a>, divulge their insider secrets to help you get the most brilliance for your buck.</p> <h2>1. Buy Diamonds Just Shy of Critical Weights</h2> <p>Carat weight and size are important in the ring-buying process &mdash; at least they are to your girlfriend &mdash; and jewelers know it. That's precisely why most diamonds are cut in half and whole increments, as pricing is based on those thresholds.</p> <p>&quot;Instead of shelling out for the full 1.00 carat diamond, try to find something around 0.95 carat,&quot; advises Shah. &quot;Manufacturers do everything they can to cut to critical weights because the pricing is tiered on those values. If a diamond is cut to less, the value is lost and therefore price can be significantly less.&quot;</p> <p>Novella agrees, calling this &quot;the best tip of all.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Diamond prices increase exponentially for each carat,&quot; she says. &quot;So if you want one carat, buy a .97. If you want 2, buy 1.95. It's essentially the same thing but much cheaper.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Buy Diamonds Online</h2> <p>We buy everything else online these days, so it only makes sense that you can find great deals on diamonds at Internet retailers.</p> <p>&quot;Buy diamonds online, even if you want to browse in store,&quot; suggests Anubh. &quot;Prices are significantly less and selection is far larger. You can see upwards of 20% price differences between online and in-store prices. Online jewelers are extremely price competitive and so the markups are actually very low. Jewelers make their margins on the setting, so buying the diamond loose then having it set in a ring locally is also a great idea.&quot;</p> <p>There's another important tip that you don't want to overlook, and it can save you hundreds of dollars.</p> <p>&quot;Also, buy one from a jeweler that's out of state so you save on taxes,&quot; Anubh adds, &quot;which can be an 8%+ difference.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Plan Your Purchase for the Summer</h2> <p>June through August is unofficially known as wedding season, so you probably assume that's the worst time to buy an engagement ring. The exact opposite is true, in fact, because while the actual weddings are taking places during the warmer months, most engagements are established throughout the rest of the year.</p> <p>&quot;Summers are a good time to buy &mdash; summers are slow for most jewelers and wholesalers so they'll be more price flexible to try and push inventory,&quot; says Anubh. &quot;Pricing is volatile around Christmas and can either go drastically up or down. Avoid the volatility and buy during the summer days. Plus it's wedding season so people aren't generally buying as many engagement rings at that time.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Opt for a Non-Traditional Shape</h2> <p>Would your lady prefer a round diamond? Unfortunately for you, she's in the majority, which drives the price up due to demand. To save some coin &mdash; if it won't leave you single, of course &mdash; look into more non-traditional shapes.</p> <p>&quot;Fancy shapes (shapes other than traditional round) are significantly less expensive and more trendy &mdash; why?&quot; asks Anubh. &quot;Because round is the most popular shape so it's most in demand &mdash; simple economics. Also, a diamond cutter's job is to preserve the maximum amount of weight. Rounds lose much more carat weight than other shapes, so they carry a premium.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Consider Alternative Stones</h2> <p>They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend. But isn't it interesting how there's no famous idiom that equates diamonds to a dude's worst enemy? If you're feeling the pinch on the prospect of buying a diamond, perhaps you can consider alternative stones, like precious gems or even a manmade, eco-friendly diamond-esque stone. (Tough sell, I know, but it's worth a shot.)</p> <p>&quot;Non-conventional brides might want to consider alternative stones to diamonds, or use a diamond setting but another stone for the center stone,&quot; Novella suggest. &quot;Asian cultures highly value imperial green jadeite, for example. It's more rare than diamonds but still more affordable.&quot;</p> <p>(P.S. If your bride is non-conventional, consider yourself an even luckier man.)</p> <h2>6. Go for the Gold</h2> <p>Yellow gold went out of fashion for a while over the past couple decades, but its back with a vengeance now that it has an enviable price tag. And Novella wants you to hone in on it for investment's sake.</p> <p>&quot;Gold provides the best value. Prices have steadily risen over the years so it's a good investment metal, but more affordable than platinum,&quot; she explains.</p> <h2>7. Look for 14k Instead of 18k Gold</h2> <p>While you're concentrating your efforts on gold, you should also know that there's a better value between one karat weight and another. It may seem like 18k gold is the best buy given the higher number, but that's not the case.</p> <p>&quot;Generally, you can consider 18k like a brand name; it's purer than 14k, but adds little to no extra raw value,&quot; says Anubh. &quot;The longevity of 14k is high, and simple 'servicing' (yes, like with a car) can keep it looking brand new. Just polishing out scratches or rhodium plating restores shine as if it were new. Do this once year &mdash; it should only cost about $10 to $20.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Steer Clear of the Brand Name Rings</h2> <p>I didn't have to buy an engagement ring because I married a dude (we're simple like that), so I had no idea that there were brand-name rings. Now that you are enlightened, you should stay far away too.</p> <p>&quot;Avoid brand name rings and branded designs,&quot; Anubh warns. &quot;Any ring can be custom made and any design created as close to the original as possible. There are huge savings when custom making a branded design so I definitely recommend that route if you like something branded outside your budget.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Look for Diamonds in the H/I Color and S1 Clarity Range</h2> <p>Now we're getting into the nitty-gritty of engagement ring buying with a quick lesson on diamond color and clarity.</p> <p><a href="http://www.jewelry-secrets.com/Diamonds/Is-H-I-Color-A-Good-Diamond-Color/H-I-Color-Diamonds-Good-Or-Bad.html">H/I color</a> is an &quot;average color, middle of the road, greatly abundant, and consistent color in nature,&quot; according to Jewelry Secrets. In laymen's terms, the color is a little bit off (a bit of yellow in the mix), but hardly noticeable. The SI clarity range on the other hand includes three levels &mdash; SI1, SI2, and SI3 &mdash; which equate to flawless to the naked eye, flawed to the naked eye, and &quot;This is probably a diamond, but it's definitely not the best one,&quot; respectively.</p> <p>If you want to spend less, this is where you can make some concessions, says Anubh.</p> <p>&quot;Diamonds in the H/I color and SI clarity range offer the best value,&quot; he explains. &quot;The imperfections are rarely visible to the naked, untrained eye and the color is hardly distracting. Round diamonds mask color much better than fancy shapes.&quot;</p> <p>This is another slippery slope, gentlemen, so proceed with caution.</p> <h2>10. Seek Out GIA-Certified Rings</h2> <p>Did you know that there's, like, a governing body on diamonds? There are a few, actually. But the Gemological Institute of America is the only one you need to know.</p> <p>&quot;Only buy GIA-certified diamonds, if you're truly looking for value for money,&quot; Anubh advises. &quot;GIA is the most consistent grading lab and has the highest grading standards. Other labs are inconsistent and carry noticeable discounts for a reason. Don't be fooled!&quot;</p> <h2>11. Put Away the Plastic and Pay Cash</h2> <p>Given the high cost of engagement rings, your plan probably is to pay for it with credit. That's not the best idea for two reasons &mdash; you can easily rack up interest charges if you let the balance drag on, and you may be missing out on savings. A better bet is to hoard cash until you can afford it outright. You'll sleep better at night knowing that you don't have another huge bill looming over your head, it'll give you enough time to make sure this is definitely the right relationship for you, and you'll keep more money in the bank because of a potential kickback.</p> <p>&quot;Buy your engagement ring via bank wire or check from a wholesaler,&quot; Anubh recommends. &quot;There's almost always a discount because no credit card processing fees are involved.&quot;</p> <p>While we're on the subject of diamond wholesalers, Novella thinks you should seriously consider this route over a local jewelry store.</p> <p>&quot;Buy the diamond wholesale or through a broker, and then have it set with the jeweler,&quot; she says. &quot;You'll save on the markup for the center stone, which is the main part of the cost.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Stick to Your Intended Budget</h2> <p>It's really easy to go over budget when you're blinded by love &mdash; but you need to keep it together, man. Set a max amount that you'll spend and make it your goal to find the perfect ring by coming in <em>under</em> that threshold.</p> <p>&quot;Unless you're blowing out your budget, the odds of getting something significantly better for a small increase in budget are low,&quot; Anubh imparts. &quot;It'll make you feel bad in the long run. Stick to a number and stay under. Everyone is happy when they find an extra dollar in their jeans pocket.&quot;</p> <p><em>Did you save a bundle on an engagement ring or other piece of jewelry? How'd you do it?</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/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">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/wedding-dresses-for-under-200">Wedding Dresses for Under $200</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-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry">10 Awesome Sites to Shop for Affordable, Cool Jewelry</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/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</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/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online">Where to Buy Discounted Designer Clothing Online</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-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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping Style engagement ring jewelry marriage ring wedding Fri, 13 Feb 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1289195 at http://www.wisebread.com This One Wedding Trick Will Save You Thousands http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-wedding-trick-will-save-you-thousands <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-one-wedding-trick-will-save-you-thousands" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/winter-wedding-158775641-small_0.jpg" alt="winter wedding" title="winter wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your wedding day should be one of the greatest days of your life. It's a time to celebrate love with your friends and family, a time to create memories that will be shared for many years with you and your loved ones, and &mdash; for many &mdash; a time to rack up debt to pay on long after the honeymoon is over.</p> <p>The words &quot;frugal wedding&quot; may conjure up images of guests crammed into a dank basement beneath a church, sipping orange punch, and swaying to a radio. However, frugal doesn't have to mean that you give up on all the wonderful things that make weddings fun. A frugal wedding can be had with as much pomp as an expensive one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings?ref=seealso">Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings</a>)</p> <p>And while it's possible to have a wonderful, frugal wedding any time of year, it's easiest in the winter. So consider these options when planning your wedding; maybe a winter one is right for you!</p> <h2>The Venue</h2> <p>The economics of weddings are like that of any business; when there is more demand, the price goes up. In the winter months, when there are fewer weddings, many venues will reduce the cost to rent the space.</p> <p>Call around multiple places and get quotes comparing January and June dates, you may find a winter wedding is the perfect way to have the wedding in a location you could not otherwise afford. (Note: It's important that you don't confuse &quot;off season&quot; with &quot;high season,&quot; especially when it comes to tropical destinations. Spots like Hawaii are actually <em>more expensive</em> during the winter, because that's where everyone goes to flee their cold climates.)</p> <p>You can also do a search for destination weddings that offer discounts on their website. Many resorts offer their specials online for everyone to see; don't assume, however, that just because you don't see it, they don't offer one. Perks that can also be thrown in during the wintertime include free parking for guests, extra appetizers, or a free suite for the bride and groom. If you don't see the exact perk you want listed as a &quot;freebie&quot; for booking during the winter, ask the reservation manager if they can work you a deal.</p> <p>The colder the climate, the more likely you are to get a bigger deal. Don't believe me? This bride was able to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lanee-lee/interview-bride-reveals_b_3041129.html">rent out an entire town</a> for less than the cost of an average wedding.</p> <h2>The Decorations</h2> <p>Consider a non-traditional wedding venue like a lodge at a state park or a large bed and breakfast. These places may have a large window over-looking a beautiful location. Views of a countryside covered in white, a frozen lake sparkling at night, or a rolling hillside could save you money by reducing the amount of decorating you need to do to a location. The views are all the decoration you need, while inside something simple (and inexpensive) could compliment what mother nature has given us for free.</p> <p>The winter holidays offer further opportunities for you to save money on decorating for your wedding. Many churches (and some venues) decorate for the holidays with evergreens, poinsettias, trees, white lights, and much more. This is a great opportunity for you to have a gorgeous setting for your vows without spending a dime to make it that way. Some are aware of this perk and will go out of their way to decorate in white and neutral tones, to give you a chance to customize by adding your own &quot;accent colors&quot; on the big day.</p> <p>When you are looking for locations for your big day, ask the pastor, manager, or wedding planner for pictures of how they decorate during the holidays and when those decorations go up and come down. If the decor lines up with your wedding date, you can save hundreds or even thousands on the expense of this complimentary special lighting, garland, and &quot;extras&quot; that aren't available any other time of year.</p> <h2>The Flowers</h2> <p>While weddings usually conjure up images of elaborate floral bouquets, big centerpieces, and maybe even the bride and groom standing under a flower covered <em>chuppah</em>, flowers can be an expensive, budget-busting expenditure. Winter weddings could easily blow any modest budget as most flowers are not in abundance during the cold months. However, the well-planned couple can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars by adapting their image of perfect for their winter wedding.</p> <p>Rather than using expensive roses, consider items like evergreens, holly, mums poinsettias, and other foliage that is available during the colder months. If the bride is set on red roses in her bouquet just before Valentine's Day, when roses are at a premium, consider using a few but mixing the bouquet with ferns and other green plants.</p> <p>You can also choose to arrange your own and save even more money. By using elements from nature (pinecones, twigs, twine) combined with seasonal or living plants, you can be assured that your arrangements will last for up to a week, and you can skip the cost of fresh cut flowers set up by a professional. Compare a poinsettia from a local store for $9.99 with a dozen rose bouquet for $20-40, and you can see how the savings can really add up!</p> <h2>The Food</h2> <p>Everyone is less busy in the winter months. Our schedules just naturally slow down when outdoor activities decrease. Kids are on a break from sports, vacations are on hold until the temperature climbs again, and weekends outdoors are limited. This means that you may be able to call on loved ones to help with parts of the wedding that you may not have been able to do during the summer.</p> <p>When planning for your reception, consider asking your aunt with the great kale salad recipe to make a batch as a gift to you. Your uncle who owns a smoker might be willing to take care of the meat for your entree, and your friends might be willing to make 200 cupcakes for you to use instead of a cake. Many people will be willing to help out to help you save money. They may even feel honored that you asked for that one great recipe they make perfectly and you love so much, you want to have it at your wedding.</p> <p>If you must go with catering, consider a mid-afternoon &quot;light&quot; luncheon of hot soups and and breads. The cozy, warm-you-up offerings will be perfect on a chilly day, and these types of foods generally cost less and go further.</p> <h2>Travel</h2> <p>Don't forget that your guests have to get there, as well. Luckily, the past few years show a strong trend toward airfare being cheaper during the off-season &mdash; with the exception of the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Remember that inclement weather can really put a damper on guests trying to get to the wedding on time. Consider having everyone arrive a day early to give them a chance to get there safely, and rest assured that the lower airfare will help offset the investment.</p> <p><em>Did you have a winter wedding? Tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-wedding-trick-will-save-you-thousands">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/wedding-dresses-for-under-200">Wedding Dresses for Under $200</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/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</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-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</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/40-cheap-or-free-ways-to-make-the-most-of-the-weekend">40+ Cheap or Free Ways to Make the Most of the Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment frugal wedding marriage off-season travel wedding winter wedding Thu, 06 Nov 2014 16:00:08 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1251530 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Tips and Tricks for Merging Finances http://www.wisebread.com/11-tips-and-tricks-for-merging-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-tips-and-tricks-for-merging-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-finances-494780839-small.jpg" alt="couple finances" title="couple finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting married can be a chaotic ordeal. It's one thing to combine household contents (which blender will you keep?) or decide which side of the bed you'll sleep on. It's quite another to go through the hard work of putting together money accounts and arranging for a single budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-money-mistakes-married-people-make?ref=seealso">The 7 Worst Money Mistakes Married People Make</a>)</p> <p>As someone who has been happily married for 12 years, paid off a mound of consumer debt from before the marriage, and has kept an excellent credit score throughout, I've learned a thing or two about what I did right &mdash; and wished I had done right.</p> <h2>1. Take Inventory</h2> <p>This important step is sometimes painful for couples to do. It includes writing down every account you hold, including the balances, as well as all the debt and loan accounts that are owed on. It's best to do this before the marriage, as full disclosure is probably wise before that trip down the aisle.</p> <h2>2. Figure Out Your Net Worth</h2> <p>Next, it's probably a good idea to tally everything up and see what you'll be worth as a couple. Get it out of your mind that there are &quot;his&quot; and &quot;hers&quot; assets. You'll likely own everything together now. (Legally, this is also true in many states. With certain exceptions like trust fund payments and inheritances, some assets may be kept separate. Check with your CFP or attorney for details.)</p> <h2>3. Decide Which Accounts to Keep</h2> <p>Do you really need four checking accounts, 12 credit cards, or two car loans? If it's possible to combine some accounts, do so. Likewise, if credit card payments can be simplified by transferring balances and culling payments down to just four or five creditors, it might be the best solution for both of you. Note: Be mindful of closing any accounts right away. Scrapping lines of credit may be detrimental to your credit score, as it will lower your available credit amount by quite a bit. A more suitable option may be to agree to not use any cards from several accounts until they are paid off and then closed. Or you could choose to keep them all open, but not use them indefinitely.</p> <h2>4. Add Your Spouse to Keepers</h2> <p>Now comes the fun of getting a second credit card or debit card, adding a second name to the checkbook, and putting another authorized user on the online account access. This can take many days, as some banks still require both account holders to come in person with their documentation and papers to sign. Since banking must be done during &quot;bankers' hours,&quot; it may require taking time off of work. Get everything in order before your big day to ensure you don't run into any snags.</p> <h2>5. Pick a Payer</h2> <p>While you'll both be involved in the planning of finances, it is usually wise to pick one person to actually pay the bills. Setting your accounts up for automatic payments can cut down on some of the work, but someone will still need to follow up monthly to be sure payments were made. If you don't want to be saddled with the job for long, you can choose to switch off every few months or so, which is also a great way to ensure that there are no financial secrets between spouses.</p> <h2>6. Set a Budget</h2> <p>Now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty. What financial goals will you set as a couple? What can you expect to live on? What will you do with the extra money every month (if any)? A budget can be as simple as writing two columns for spending and income on a piece of paper, or it can be as complicated as a budgeting software program will allow. The important thing, however, is that you just do it!</p> <h2>7. Communicate</h2> <p>Things change daily in a marriage, and this includes the financial realm of it. A broken belt on the car or a change in work schedule can really throw your best-laid plans into turmoil, but most things can be overcome by talking it out early on. Remember that spouses hate to have things sprung on them suddenly, so pick a safe time to discuss these things each day. Don't have the talk right before bed.</p> <h2>8. Adjust as Necessary</h2> <p>Marriage is a funny thing in that it is never quite like you expect it to be. Personalities can cause conflict, and expectations will need to be lowered quite often. Finances reflect this in that your budget and plans won't be perfect, either. Learn to laugh at mistakes and do better next time.</p> <h2>9. Forgive</h2> <p>Your spouse will screw up royally at least once in your marriage. This will likely have financial consequences. You will, too. Forgive easily, and you'll find grace when it's your turn!</p> <h2>10. Ask for Advice</h2> <p>If all your best intentions have failed, and money merging is still a painful or aggravating part of your marriage, it may help to enlist a neutral third party to help you along. Financial planners can be a good source of common sense in an otherwise emotional conversation. Just avoid employing anyone you both knew well prior to the marriage; it will keep things professional and easy to agree with.</p> <h2>11. Remember What Money Means</h2> <p>Finances should be handled with sensitivity because money rarely just stands for money. Spending can mask hurts that your spouse is dealing with, and trying to solve money issues can be taken personally. If you find that after merging finances the advice of your professional goes unheeded, it may be time to take things to the next level with a marriage counselor that specializes in financial problems. Sometimes, there really is an underlying cause to the money woes.</p> <p>My marriage hasn't been perfect, but it has been one of the most enriching parts of my life. Having the money issues under control has allowed my husband and I to spend our energy on other, more pressing issues, like our six children!</p> <p><em>Did you merge finances when you tied the knot? How did it go? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-tips-and-tricks-for-merging-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-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/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</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/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</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/simplify-budgeting-with-personal-money">Simplify budgeting with personal 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/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance couples and money joint accounts marriage money Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1210858 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Your Partner Financially Unfaithful? (1 in 3 Are) http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-partner-financially-unfaithful-1-in-3-are <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-your-partner-financially-unfaithful-1-in-3-are" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-finances-476200461-small.jpg" alt="couple finances" title="couple finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One in three adults in a combined financial relationship admits to <a href="http://www.nefe.org/Portals/0/WhatWeProvide/PrimaryResearch/ConsumerPolls/PDF/2014%20Financial%20Infidelity%20Survey%20Summary.pdf">financially deceiving their partner</a>, according to a recent poll published by the National Endowment for Financial Education. Even worse, 76% admit that financial deceptions have had an impact on their relationship. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-questions-that-reveal-if-you-and-your-partner-are-a-money-match?ref=seealso">7 Questions That Reveal If You and Your Partner Are a Money Match</a>)</p> <p>Hiding money, bills, or purchases from a partner can have severe repercussions on a relationship, including arguments, broken trust, and even divorce or separation. Why do partners lie about money and what can you do to uncover the fraud? Even more important, how can you rebuild a relationship that's been shaken by a partner who's been dishonest about your combined cash flow?</p> <h2>Why Partners Cheat</h2> <p>Being unfaithful with finances often comes down to a sense of shame or embarrassment about money choices. Men and women don't often see eye-to-eye about the importance of each other's purchases. &quot;I find that women don't see the value in the cost of two sporting event tickets,&quot; says Patricia Nelson, founder of the community outreach program Wise Women Workshop. &quot;Likewise, men are confused that women can spend hundreds of dollars for a pair of shoes.&quot; Those who fear judgement from their partner often choose to hide their financial choices, instead of coming clean.</p> <h2>Tell Tale Signs of Infidelity</h2> <p>Dishonesty &mdash; be it in the bedroom or in the joint checkbook &mdash; can have a detrimental affect on an intimate relationship. &quot;Any behavior that seems out of the ordinary should act as a red flag,&quot; says Nelson. Your partner may be hiding something if you:</p> <ul> <li>Find receipts for purchases you don't recognize (or you haven't discussed as a couple).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Are denied access to the monthly bills.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Witness defensive or withdrawn behavior when you broach the topic of money.</li> </ul> <p>Nelson suggests all couples should pull their credit histories annually, as a matter of course (to monitor for external fraud). &quot;If your partner doesn't want you to have access to tax or credit report information,&quot; she says, &quot;that could be the biggest red flag of all.&quot;</p> <h2>How to Talk About It</h2> <p>While most couples polled were adversely affected by financial infidelity, some used the experience as a springboard for more effective and frequent conversations about money. Eight percent of those surveyed said the experience actually brought them closer together. &quot;If you can find the source of the secrecy,&quot; says Nelson, &quot;you can fix anything.&quot;</p> <p>When broaching the subject:</p> <ul> <li>Know that there will be some sensitivity around the financial infidelity. Your partner may already feel guilty about his or her actions.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Come prepared with the points you want to make. Pivotal relationship discussions won't be effective if they're planned on the fly.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Work together to uncover solutions that will allow each of you to feel financially secure within the relationship. &quot;You need to have the freedom to save and spend,&quot; says Nelson, &quot;without feeling like you're on an austerity diet.&quot;</li> </ul> <h2>Rebuilding the Relationship</h2> <p>&quot;Sometimes talking about money is as uncomfortable as talking about sex,&quot; says Nelson. She suggests a monthly accounting date, where couples can work through bills and budgeting together. &quot;If you set goals together, review progress together, and reach goals together &mdash; you also have the opportunity to celebrate your successes together.&quot; Working together to rebuild your finances gives you the opportunity to restore something equally important to long-lasting couples &mdash; your trust in each other.</p> <p><em>Have you and your partner ever hid money decisions from each other? Were you able to overcome the infidelity. If so, how? Tell us about it in the comments section below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-your-partner-financially-unfaithful-1-in-3-are">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/7-questions-that-reveal-if-you-and-your-partner-are-a-money-match">7 Questions That Reveal If You and Your Partner Are a Money Match</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/4-signs-you-are-teaching-your-kids-bad-financial-habits">4 Signs You Are Teaching Your Kids Bad Financial Habits</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/9-best-free-financial-learning-tools">9 Best Free Financial Learning Tools</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-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family marriage marriage and money productivity saving Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1168483 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-happy-179140387-small.jpg" alt="happy couple" title="happy couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like me, you're 100% human, complete with quirks, talents, shortcomings, and a generous portion of dysfunction. We are all, to put it gracefully, &quot;works in progress.&quot;</p> <p>This is why relationships can be so difficult. We're taking two dysfunctional people and mashing them together. In a relationship, you're not just dealing with your own personal issues. You're dealing with two people's worth of dysfunction! (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-thing-you-need-to-work-on-if-you-want-a-better-relationship?ref=seealso">The First Thing You Need to Work on If You Want a Better Relationship</a>)</p> <p>But don't get too depressed. When approached correctly, a relationship can be the most fulfilling thing in your life.</p> <h2>1. Don't Take. Give!</h2> <p>If you go into a relationship for what you can get out of it, you aren't a partner; you're a leech. If two people enter a relationship looking out for themselves, that relationship is doomed to fail.</p> <p>Regardless of your philosophy on life and love, the simple truth is that relationships don't work unless both partners come in looking to give. When two people decide to devote their lives completely to each other, the relationship is positioned for success.</p> <p>When I know my wife is giving of herself wholeheartedly to me, rather than expecting me to perform for her, it allows me to give myself wholeheartedly to her, and vice versa.</p> <h2>2. Celebrate What They Do Instead of Complaining About What They Don't</h2> <p>We all want to be valued and appreciated. At the same time, we are all lacking in many ways. If you get married in your twenties and live to be 85, over 70% of your life, and thus, your self-development, will occur after you get married.</p> <p>Don't focus on what's lacking. Celebrate who your partner is and the good things he/she does. See the best in your partner. Have you ever had someone believe in you? It really makes you want to be the best you can be. Have you ever had someone despise you or look down on you? It hurts and frustrates, and it does anything but inspire you to be better. The more honored and valued your partner feels, the more he/she will want to work on the weak areas.</p> <h2>3. Value Your Own Needs</h2> <p>This mutual exchange naturally does not work if it's one-sided. If I sacrifice myself for my wife, and she never returns the favor, then my needs go unmet, and ultimately, I shrivel and die emotionally. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage?ref=seealso">Happy and Married: 24 Tips From 24 Years of Marriage</a>)</p> <p>As a human being, you have needs, and your needs are just as valuable as anyone else's. Inevitably, there will be points in the relationship where one partner begins to take without giving. If the other partner reciprocates by withholding love, the relationship will implode.</p> <p>This goes back to our first point. If it's not about me in the first place, I don't quit loving my wife the moment she stops sacrificing for me or meeting my needs. Over the long haul, no one-sided relationship can last, but in the short term, it often simply comes down to a lack of communication.</p> <h2>4. Don't Expect Your Partner to Be a Mind Reader</h2> <p>In my experience, the single biggest reason relationships fail is poor communication. The more we get to know someone, the more we assume, and assumptions in the absence of communication will kill your relationship.</p> <p>If I notice my wife has stopped helping out around the house, I have two options:</p> <ol> <li>Assume she just doesn't care and begin resenting her.</li> <li>Communicate what I'm feeling to her and let her respond.</li> </ol> <p>Choosing to communicate is the first step, but how you communicate is just as important. If I walk up to my wife and say, &quot;You never help around the house anymore. Why are you being so selfish?&quot; her response will probably be defensive. An argument will ensue, in which she'll bring up something I've been doing wrong, and then we'll both be angry and defensive. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Communicate Better Today</a>)</p> <p>If, however, I give her the benefit of the doubt, and simply say, &quot;Hey sweetheart, it seems to me like I've been having to do most of the work around the house lately, and it's making me feel sort of used and unappreciated.&quot; Now I'm giving her the opportunity to value me and restore our connection, rather than instigating a fight.</p> <h2>5. Build and Re-Establish Trust</h2> <p>Obviously, the above doesn't happen without some level of trust. I'm trusting that my wife actually values me in the first place. If trust hasn't been established, it's impossible to grow in intimacy.</p> <p>At the start of a relationship, a certain level of trust must be given. As you get to know your partner's heart, you must choose to extend trust based on that understanding. The partner must then affirm your trust by following through on commitments. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong?ref=seealso">Learn How to Admit You're Wrong</a>)</p> <p>Over the course of any relationship, breaches in trust will be made. How you respond determines the effect those breaches have on your relationship. If both parties are committed to growing together, forgiveness and re-established trust can actually build the relationship stronger than it was before.</p> <h2>6. Be Vulnerable</h2> <p>The goal of any romantic relationship is intimacy. You want to be with someone who knows you completely and loves you consistently as you are. As you build trust with your partner, you must also increase your level of vulnerability.</p> <p>This is one of the hardest things for people to do, and it's a common reason relationships fail. If you've been hurt in the past, it can be difficult to open yourself up for heartache yet again.</p> <p>Ultimately, your partner can never fully love you if he or she doesn't fully know you. I can't value my wife if she doesn't show me what she needs. I can try as much as I want, but until the window into her soul is opened up, my attempts will be in vain.</p> <p>Your trust level absolutely must rise equally with your level of vulnerability, but without that second piece, any relationship is just a facade and WILL eventually fail.</p> <h2>It's Simple</h2> <p>The tenets of a strong relationship are really quite simple. People make it complex by riding their emotions instead of choosing their destiny, but ultimately, it's as simple as a choice. If you choose your partner &mdash; if you choose to give of yourself, value your own needs, communicate well, establish trust, and be vulnerable &mdash; every single day, you really can't fail.</p> <p><em>What are your time-tested truths of relationships? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jacob-mcmillen">Jacob McMillen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work">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-11"> <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-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</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/the-first-thing-you-need-to-work-on-if-you-want-a-better-relationship">The First Thing You Need to Work on If You Want a Better Relationship</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/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning">Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development commitment marriage relationships sharing trust Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:00:46 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1142624 at http://www.wisebread.com The First Thing You Need to Work on If You Want a Better Relationship http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-thing-you-need-to-work-on-if-you-want-a-better-relationship <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-first-thing-you-need-to-work-on-if-you-want-a-better-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-5097920-small.jpg" alt="couple" title="couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to want to be a good partner. After all, doesn't everyone want to be seen, heard, understood, and loved for who they really are? Those things seem fundamental to any good relationship, but particularly to a romantic partnership.</p> <p>However, in order to find these things, it turns out that we need to be able to offer those things to others. No one is going to want to expend the effort to understand a person who doesn't try to understand them and, at least over the long term, no one is going to try to love a person who doesn't make an effort to love them. In order to have a good relationship with a partner, then, we need to learn to be better partners ourselves.</p> <h2>Happy Relationship, Happy You</h2> <p><a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-happiness/201202/does-marriage-make-us-happy-should-it">Marriage and happiness go together</a>. While scientists aren't exactly sure how they work together, the science shows us over and over again that people in strong and long-term romantic relationships are happier than those who are not.</p> <p>Add that to the fact that close and supportive relationships in general, whether romantic or not, <a href="http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/connecting/connection-happiness">improve our overall wellbeing</a>, and that's strong motivation for making our partnerships as good as they can possibly be. Being a good partner can involve a lot of hard work, especially when it means changing behaviors that are deeply ingrained, or choosing to change in the context of a relationship that is already difficult.</p> <p>If making those changes can lead to long-term happiness, though, it seems like they should be worth the effort. And you may not have to change as much as you think. Instead of starting with external actions, start by thinking differently.</p> <h2>Know Yourself</h2> <p><a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-happiness-project/201206/want-know-yourself-better-ask-yourself-these-questions">Knowing yourself is the basis for all of life</a>, let alone for any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Most of us think we know ourselves pretty well, but the truth is that there is always more to know.</p> <p>Knowing yourself is also <a href="http://www.ohrd.wisc.edu/onlinetraining/resolution/step1.htm">the basis for good conflict resolution</a>, which is essential for every relationship. After all, any time there is more than one person involved in a situation, it's only a matter of time until there is disagreement.</p> <p>Taking the time to work through the questions listed at the link at the beginning of this section can help you think about aspects of yourself that you may never have pondered otherwise. Most people find that questions like these are just a jumping-off point for deeper and more intense self-knowledge.</p> <h2>Accept Yourself</h2> <p>I don't know a single person who, in the course of getting to know themselves, has not encountered something that they didn't really like. We are all human, we all make mistakes, and we all have negative characteristics and habits that we aren't proud of.</p> <p>We can beat ourselves up over these things, or we can accept them. While accepting them is the harder road, it is also the one that makes us better partners, because it leads us to being secure in who we are.</p> <p>When we are secure, we aren't looking for a partner to give us that, and we are free to simply be ourselves with someone else who is secure in themselves. This takes a lot of pressure off the relationship and allows it to simply be what it is.</p> <h2>Know Your Partner</h2> <p>Many of us <a href="http://www.wired.com/2010/10/love-ignorance/">don't know our partners</a> as well as we think we do. People change, or we simply don't bother to really get to know them in the first place.</p> <p>John Gottman, one of the leading researchers into what makes relationships work, calls knowing your partner &quot;<a href="http://www.gottmanblog.com/2012/11/the-sound-relationship-house-build-love.html">building a love map</a>.&quot; When you know someone well, you know how to love them. You know what things mean to them, what is happening when you say one thing but they seem to be hearing another, and which things seem like they would indicate love but, for whatever reason, don't do that for your partner.</p> <p>Have fun and learn more about your partner by playing Gottman's <a href="http://www.gottmanblog.com/2011/11/love-maps-20-questions-game.html">20 Questions Game</a>. Even if you don't do very well, you will learn about your partner and can do so in a fun, low intensity way.</p> <h2>Accept Your Partner</h2> <p>Once you know your partner, you have to accept them. It's much easier to get to know someone, choose several things you'd like to change about them, and set about that task. However, you <a href="http://www.embracepossibility.com/blog/how-to-get-along-with-your-spouse/">can't change someone</a> who doesn't want to change. Trying to do this will exhaust and frustrate not only you, but your partner as well.</p> <p>Accepting someone starts when you realize that your partner, too, is human. They aren't perfect, because no one is. And this will be true no matter who you are with. There will always be something about your partner that you wish was different.</p> <p>If you have already worked to accept yourself, this will be an easier task. When you know where your own humanity is frail, it is easier to accept the frailties of others.</p> <h2>Listen and Share</h2> <p>Listening to your partner, accepting them, and then sharing yourself with the trust that they will also accept you, <a href="http://www.yourtango.com/experts/dr-margaret-paul/recipe-intimacy-revealing-and-accepting">is the path to intimacy</a>. You have work on both the giving and receiving sides, though. If you just work one side, the relationship will be lopsided, and neither you nor your partner will be happy.</p> <p>Learning how to listen and how to share can be an awkward path. Every relationship is different, and so there will be times when it is appropriate for you to listen and other times when you will need to share. It can help to be open with your partner about this awkwardness. You can begin by simply asking them if it is a good time when you want to talk, or inviting them to share when you realize you haven't listened in a while.</p> <p>Being a good partner isn't something that you can achieve overnight. It takes work, intention, and opportunity to learn how to love another person well. When you put your relationship first and give yourself time, many of these things will fall into place as the days, weeks, months, and years pass.</p> <p><em>How do you strengthen your relationships? Please share in comments!</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/the-first-thing-you-need-to-work-on-if-you-want-a-better-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-12"> <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-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</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/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy">100 Small Things That Can Bring You Joy</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/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</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/11-things-scientists-say-will-boost-your-happiness-today">11 Things Scientists Say Will Boost Your Happiness Today</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-worst-mistakes-good-spouses-make">5 Worst Mistakes Good Spouses Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development happiness marriage partnership romance Wed, 14 May 2014 08:00:28 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1139231 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways Getting Married Is Good for Your Finances http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-getting-married-is-good-for-your-finances <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-getting-married-is-good-for-your-finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wedding-3645941-small.jpg" alt="wedding" title="wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Regardless of whether you believe in marriage, walking down the aisle has its benefits. On average, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/happy-marriage_n_3990914.html">married couples live healthier lives</a> than those not married; and there's evidence that underprivileged children are &quot;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/10/marriage-makes-our-children-richer-heres-why/280930/">more likely to graduate college</a> and earn more if raised by two married parents.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/happily-ever-after-how-to-stay-married-for-29-years-and-counting?ref=seealso">How to Stay Happily Married for 29 Years</a>)</p> <p>But the potential benefits don't stop here.</p> <p>Some couples don't live together until after marriage. And for those in this category, newly combined incomes can provide some amazing financial benefits.</p> <p>Not that you should marry only for financial reasons. But if you and your partner are contemplating marriage, here are nine possible benefits.</p> <h2>1. Better Auto Insurance Rates</h2> <p>Auto insurance companies typically offer discounts when there are multiple vehicles under one policy. Therefore, consolidating your insurance policies might be cheaper than paying two separate policies.</p> <p>After getting married, ask your insurance carrier to provide rate quotes for adding another vehicle to your policy. Also, if you purchase a home or rent an apartment, you can enjoy additional savings by acquiring your homeowner's insurance or renter's insurance from the same company that handles your auto coverage.</p> <p>Unfortunately, a cheaper auto policy is only possible if both of you have good driving records. If your spouse is a high-risk driver, consolidating policies can raise your premiums. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance?ref=seealso">Avoid These Mistakes When Shopping for Auto Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Increased Financial Stability</h2> <p>If you lived alone prior to marriage, getting married might increase your household income, thus increasing your financial stability.</p> <p>Job loss can happen. But with both spouses working, a job loss doesn't always mean financial ruin. Even if the working spouse doesn't earn enough to fully support the family, some income is better than none; and this income might cover the majority of expenses until you're able to secure employment.</p> <h2>3. Access to Health Insurance</h2> <p>Once you say, &quot;I do,&quot; your spouse can add you to his or her employer health plan, and vice versa. Coverage is typically available within 30 days of tying the knot, and you don't have to wait for open enrollment periods. This is a major perk if you can't get health insurance through your employer, or if you're self-employed and can't afford coverage.</p> <h2>4. Easier to Secure a Mortgage Loan</h2> <p>Qualifying for a home loan on your own can be a real challenge, especially if home values are through the roof in your local market. But as a married couple buying your first place together, the lender uses your combined income to determine whether you qualify for financing and how much you can afford. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-the-right-mortgage-loan-15-or-30-years?ref=seealso">Choosing the Right Mortgage Loan</a>)</p> <h2>5. Cheaper Loan Rates</h2> <p>If you have a low credit score and your spouse has a near-perfect credit score, mortgage lenders will likely use the <a href="http://business.time.com/2012/02/13/5-credit-facts-for-couples/">lower of both scores</a> to determine your rate, which can result in paying more for your house. However, if your spouse applies for the mortgage alone, you'll receive a better rate.</p> <p>Since the bank will only use one income to determine affordability, this reduces how much you're able to spend on a property. And although your name isn't on the mortgage loan, you're still allowed to be on the mortgage title.</p> <h2>6. Additional Resources to Pay Off Debt</h2> <p>As much as you wish to pay off your credit cards, it's often challenging on a single income. If you and your spouse didn't live together before marriage, combining your income after marriage and sharing household expenses increases your disposable income. Use the extra cash to pay off credit cards and other loans.</p> <h2>7. Opportunity to Build a Savings Account</h2> <p>Not only can disposable income pay off debt, there's the opportunity to start or grow your cash reserves. Save up for a down payment for a house, make home improvements, or get a jump start on retirement planning.</p> <h2>8. Reduces Your Tax Liability</h2> <p>As a married couple filing jointly, you can pay <a href="http://www.learnvest.com/2013/03/which-costs-more-being-single-or-married/">less taxes than you would as a single person</a>. This is because combined earnings might push you into a lower bracket, more so if one spouse earns considerably more than the other.</p> <p>&quot;A single person earning $40,000 a year pays $6,181 in taxes on that income, while a married individual with the same income pays only $5,162 &mdash; a <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/01/the-high-price-of-being-single-in-america/267043/">savings of more than $1,000</a> annually,&quot; reports The Atlantic.</p> <p>There are, however, exceptions to this rule. Because of the marriage penalty, some high-earning couples who file a joint return move to a higher tax bracket, and end up paying more in taxes than if they were single. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-tax-moves-you-can-make?ref=seealso">Worst Tax Moves</a>)</p> <h2>9. Assistance Buying Household Items</h2> <p>When planning marriage, most couples also plan a ceremony. They can say their vows in front of close family and friends, and then celebrate at the reception.</p> <p>Gift giving is customary when a couple ties the knot, and guests are generally happy and eager to bring a present. Just to be clear, you shouldn't get married just for the gifts. But if wedding plans are already in the works, a gift registry can be a lifesaver &mdash; especially if you're young and moving into your first place together.</p> <p>The cost of moving into a new place and starting a life together adds up quickly; but with friends and family assisting with common purchases &mdash; glassware, a microwave, inexpensive home furnishings, bath accessories, and other household items &mdash; you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-saving-gifts-to-put-on-your-wedding-registry">get the things you need</a> without going broke. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-put-on-and-leave-off-your-wedding-registry?ref=seealso">What to Put on Your Wedding Registry</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you know of other financial benefits to marriage that you'd like to share? 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/9-ways-getting-married-is-good-for-your-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-13"> <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/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your 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/how-to-deal-when-your-spouse-is-suffering-from-burnout">How to Deal When Your Spouse is Suffering From Burnout</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/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Life Hacks family finances finances marriage taxes Fri, 25 Apr 2014 08:24:20 +0000 Mikey Rox 1136815 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Difficult Conversations You Have to Have With Your Spouse http://www.wisebread.com/5-difficult-conversations-you-have-to-have-with-your-spouse <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-difficult-conversations-you-have-to-have-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-177789354.jpg" alt="couple" title="couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As most people in long-term, committed relationships can tell you, open communication is essential to a successful relationship. The good side to this is that you&#39;ll know what&#39;s going on with your partner and what they&#39;re thinking and feeling. The bad side to this is that those thoughts and feelings aren&#39;t always positive. Even if it&#39;s negative, sometimes it&#39;s just better to get it out in the open, rather than letting it fester. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/happily-ever-after-how-to-stay-married-for-29-years-and-counting?ref=seealso">How to Stay Married for 29+ Years</a>)</p> <p>If you&#39;re feeling that there is something amiss in your relationship, it may be one of these topics. Here are some tips on how to bring them up and have a positive and constructive conversation.</p> <h2>Finances</h2> <p>If you&#39;ve never heard of the term &quot;financial infidelity,&quot; it essentially means lying (or simply never letting on) to your spouse about debt or financial difficulties. Hiding your debt from your spouse can be a quagmire waiting to happen, especially if your job security becomes compromised. Letting them know that you&#39;re in trouble and, most importantly, are trying to work on it (please try to work on it!) may help alleviate stress in your life, as you&#39;re no longer hiding things from your partner. Letting them in on your financial black marks may also help give you a new perspective on how to climb out of debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snowballs-or-avalanches-which-debt-reduction-strategy-is-best-for-you?ref=seealso">Which Debt Reduction Strategy Is Best for You?</a>)</p> <p>If you&#39;re on the other side of this, however, and have suspicions that your spouse may be spending more than you two are able to support, you need to sit them down and discuss your concerns before it boils over into a screaming match about the latest new purchase coming in the door.</p> <h2>Your Job Situation</h2> <p>Many couples will try to keep bad things in their lives from their partners as a way of protecting the spouse. When it comes to job security, this is a topic that should be brought up at the first definitive signs that something is about to change.</p> <p>If you&#39;re feeling that a layoff may be inevitable, your spouse deserves to know ahead of time so that you two can begin to put a plan into action that makes sure you&#39;re financially and mentally prepared if it does happen. Telling a partner when it&#39;s too late, especially if you&#39;ve known this was coming, is like pulling the rug out from under them and will only lead to trust issues further down the road. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-things-you-need-to-survive-a-job-loss?ref=seealso">How to Survive a Job Loss</a>)</p> <h2>Kids</h2> <p>Some people were just made to be parents. They love kids, they love being around them all of the time, and they understand that parenting is a sea of ups and downs. Then there are the people that have no patience for children and prefer a lifestyle that is less conducive to raising children.</p> <p>If you&#39;ve become committed to a person that is on one of these sides while you&#39;re on the other, it&#39;s important to bring up your feelings sooner rather than later. Hoping that they&#39;ll eventually come around may leave you waiting for a day that may not come and can leave you feeling bitter and resentful. If their stance is unwavering, then it&#39;s time for you to decide if this relationship is going to leave you feeling fulfilled, or if you need more from life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-it-costs-to-raise-a-child?ref=seealso">What It Costs to Raise a Child</a>)</p> <h2>Appearance or Lifestyle Habits</h2> <p>&quot;Lifestyle habits&quot; is a nice way of saying that your partner has changed their physical appearance in such a way that you&#39;re no longer attracted to them. This is possibly one of the most difficult conversations to have, as you don&#39;t want to hurt their feelings, but you need to let them know that this is not what you signed up for, and that you&#39;re concerned these changes are putting a negative effect on your love life and their health. Try your best to approach this from a place of love and speak calmly, trying to keep anything resembling a judgmental tone out of it. Think about your words and try to use &quot;I&quot; and &quot;me&quot; more than &quot;you&quot; so that your partner does not feel attacked and become defensive.</p> <h2>Intent vs. Impact</h2> <p>In college I worked for an environmental group that had a progressive workplace policy. One of the key points of the policy was to make sure you were aware of what you were saying (intent) and how it affected others (impact).</p> <p>In life there are emotional needs that everyone has, and more importantly, deserves to have. The needs to feel loved, to be safe, and to feel important are reasons why a person will seek out a companion, and they deserve to feel that these needs are being met. If you feel that your emotional needs (impact) are being neglected, either purposefully or accidentally (intent), then you need to make it clear that something is lacking in your relationship. This can be a delicate subject, as your partner may not even be aware that they&#39;re hurting you. Like the Lifestyle Habit conversation, keeping your side of the conversation to &quot;I&quot; and &quot;me&quot; instead of &quot;you&quot; will help your partner understand that you have feelings that are being hurt, rather than directly accusing them of withholding from you.</p> <p><em>Have you had to have one of these challenging conversations? How did you broach the subject?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/megan-brame">Megan Brame</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-difficult-conversations-you-have-to-have-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-14"> <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/4-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending</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/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/heres-how-delaying-marriage-or-kids-saves-you-money">Here&#039;s How Delaying Marriage or Kids Saves 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/make-love-not-money-sort-of">Make Love, Not Money (Sort Of)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family big talk difficult conversation marriage Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:48:40 +0000 Megan Brame 1115686 at http://www.wisebread.com Say No! 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Get Married if You're in Debt http://www.wisebread.com/say-no-7-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-get-married-if-youre-in-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/say-no-7-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-get-married-if-youre-in-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/finances-dv1054008.jpg" alt="stressed couple" title="stressed couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Few things in life bring as much joy as an impending engagement and marriage. The anticipation, the planning, the celebration &mdash; the promise of marriage &mdash; bring out the very best in friends and family. But for young couples in debt, that promise can be soured by the realities. If marriage is part of your short-term plans, here are seven reasons to avoid tying the knot until you&#39;re both debt-free. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/happily-ever-after-how-to-stay-married-for-29-years-and-counting?ref=seealso">How to Stay Married for 29 Years and Counting</a>)</p> <h2>1. Debt Is Stressful</h2> <p>Though the realities of marriage are often clouded by the rosy blush of love, the logistics of partnership can often be a challenge, especially for younger couples. Sharing a space, building relationships with in-laws, and managing new demands on your schedule can be stressful at times. Why add to it by bringing a load of debt into the marriage too?</p> <p>According to the results of a survey conducted by The American Institute of CPAs, <a href="http://www.aicpa.org/press/pressreleases/2012/pages/finances-causing-rifts-for-american-couples.aspx">money is the number one topic that couples fight about</a>. Money conflicts outrank fights about kids, career, household chores &mdash; even sex. With eye-opening insights like this, getting off on the right foot financially is a big step in the right direction.</p> <h2>2. Weddings Are Expensive</h2> <p><a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/life/weddings/2013/06/average_wedding_cost_published_numbers_on_the_price_of_a_wedding_are_totally.single.html">The median price of a wedding in 2012 was $18,086</a>. That means that 50% of couples in the U.S. spent more that $18,086 on their weddings and 50% spent less. Faced with those numbers, being debt-free in all other financial areas, can help couples save for their wedding and avoid tapping a line of credit just to say &quot;I do.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shave-5000-off-your-wedding-expenses?ref=seealso">How to Save $5000 on Your Wedding</a>)</p> <h2>3. Marriage Takes Money</h2> <p>Don&#39;t assume combining households will always be a money-saving move. After the florist is paid, a piece of the wedding cake is frozen, and the thank-you notes sent, your expenses as newlyweds are just beginning. You&#39;ll probably need a larger apartment or want to purchase a starter home, be tempted to buy a few key pieces of new furniture, become more social with other couples, or need another car for separate commutes. And it all takes money. Couples who are in the best position at the start of their marriage realize this beforehand, erase their debt, and are ready to invest in their future from day one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-things-new-homeowners-dont-prepare-for?ref=seealso">9 Expensive Things New Homeowners Don&rsquo;t Prepare For</a>)</p> <h2>4. Babies Happen</h2> <p>In spite of our best intentions and most meticulous family planning efforts, sometimes babies just happen. And though these new additions to our world are wonderful surprises, they carry a host of new expenses and financial obligations. From diapers to formula and from childcare to clothes, those little bundles of joy cost a bundle, too. Couples who choose to marry only after they are debt-free are much more prepared to handle whatever the world throws (or the stork drops) their way. And as with any partnership, that kind of positive beginning can sometimes make all the difference in the world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-it-costs-to-raise-a-child?ref=seealso">How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Debt Can Be a Sign of Deeper Issues</h2> <p>Not all debt is created equal. Some debts are the result of circumstances beyond our control; a sudden job loss, health problems not covered by insurance, and other emergencies can put us in the red in short order. Other debt is strategic and constructive; taking out a loan to invest in property or to get a specialized education to qualify for career advancement usually makes perfect sense.</p> <p>But chronic debt can be an signal of deeper issues like <a href="http://www.debtorsanonymous.org/help/signs.htm">compulsive behavior</a>, lack of fundamental fiscal understanding, or misaligned goals. It&#39;s important to understand how you or your partner&#39;s debt originated, how you each feel about it, and what each of you intends to do about it. Without this basic information, it&#39;s impossible to know if your marriage will be a new beginning or the start of a lifetime of debt servitude and financial struggle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk?ref=seealso">5 Money Questions That Couples Should Ask</a>)</p> <h2>6. Debt Is Shared</h2> <p>Any debt held before marriage is the responsibility of the individual who incurred it. But since most couples typically combine accounts and share expenses, old debt has a way of draining new budgets almost immediately. Over time, paying down our partner&#39;s debt can build resentment and replace marital bliss with marital stress.</p> <h2>7. Debt Is a Lasso</h2> <p>At the risk of sounding cynical, I have to include this important reality: Sometimes marriages don&#39;t work out. Every couple hopes to defy <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm">divorce rate statistics</a> when they walk down the aisle, but often in spite of their best intentions and efforts, it&#39;s necessary to part ways. Though debt shouldn&#39;t prevent a divorce, it often does. Heavy financial burdens and debt can be a lasso that keeps couples tied together and stuck in unhealthy relationships for years. It sounds starkly pragmatic, but it&#39;s true: Being debt-free before marriage (and working to avoid high-interest consumer debt during marriage), can make transitions like legal separation and divorce much easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/post-divorce-finances-7-steps-to-rebuilding-your-financial-house?ref=seealso">How to Rebuild Your Financial House After a Divorce</a>)</p> <p>Granted, money might not seem like the most romantic topic, but it&#39;s an essential one for couples to discuss thoroughly. Paying off debt, getting on the same page financially, and establishing clear and common goals for the future can help set you and your significant other up for a lifetime of success. And when you think about it, isn&#39;t that pretty romantic after all?</p> <p><em>Were you in debt when you married? What advice do you have for young couples trying to pay off debt before their big day?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/say-no-7-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-get-married-if-youre-in-debt">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-15"> <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/these-choos-were-made-for-walkin-an-interview-with-a-modern-urban-nomad">These Choos were made for walkin&#039;: an interview with a modern urban nomad</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-erase-your-medical-debt">How to Erase Your Medical Debt</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-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in 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/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</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-ways-to-stop-your-spouse-from-overspending">4 Ways to Stop Your Spouse From Overspending</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management debt finance marriage Thu, 12 Dec 2013 10:31:17 +0000 Kentin Waits 1099002 at http://www.wisebread.com