marriage http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5206/all en-US 4 Ways Millennials Are Changing Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-478191992.jpg" alt="here&#039;s how millennials are changing marriage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the Gallup, 59% of Millennials have <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/191462/gallup-analysis-millennials-marriage-family.aspx">never been married</a>. Raise your hand if you're a 20- or 30-something and your parents are hounding you to settle down and give them grandchildren. Oy, that's a lot of hands. Make sure they understand the four ways Millennials are changing marriage.</p> <h2>Marrying Later</h2> <p>It should be no surprise that the <a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/163802/marriage-importance-dropped.aspx">youngest generation is marrying later</a>, as this has been a steady trend over the past few generations. However, the number of people born between 1980 and 2000 who are married is even lower than expected. </p> <p>Why wait? Wages are stagnant. More young people are saddled with college debt. More young people are taking longer to earn enough money just to leave their parents' home. More young people are dating longer, and waiting for the right one. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-pitfalls-when-moving-in-together">Couples are living together</a> longer while putting off a wedding. When you don't have a lot of money, support, or time, the idea of spending a ton of time and money planning a wedding doesn't sound so romantic and fun.</p> <h2>Marrying Interracially and LGBT</h2> <p>It's crucial that we see where Millennials are pushing the ball forward, and one of those areas is in continuing the fight against <em>assortative </em>mating, which likely <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2014/02/10/opposites-dont-attract-assortative-mating-and-social-mobility/">deepens economic inequality</a>. One of the best ways to track this is with interracial dating and marriage.</p> <p>Pew Research Center in 2013 learned that <a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/12/interracial-marriage-who-is-marrying-out/">6.3% of all newlyweds</a> married a person who was outside of their race. While America has a long history of structural racism that Millennials also take part in, it is worth pointing out the big gains this generation has made in making marriage about love and not rules based on prejudice. </p> <p>It's also worth pointing out that 71% of American Millennials now <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2016/05/12/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/">support same sex marriage</a>, in contrast to only 55% of the general population overall. Marriage is getting more open and inclusive of all types of Americans, and you can thank Millennials for helping that happen faster.</p> <h2>Marrying With Prenuptial Agreements</h2> <p>This may not be relevant to your average couple living within the median income bracket, but it's an interesting one. According to some lawyers, more Millennials are cool with locking in a contract before the big day. Apparently, just over half of <a href="http://time.com/money/4549526/prenups-millennials-marriage/">lawyers in a poll</a> cited that they saw an uptick in prenuptial agreements in young couples, and only 2% of lawyers cited a decrease in prenups.</p> <p>Why could that be? One theory is that Millennials are entering marriages older and are more willing to have the tough pre-nup conversations. Another is that they are more protective of whatever wealth they have managed to hold onto, and are worried to repeat the mistakes of their parents. Whatever the reason and however you feel about prenups, it's sign that Millennials are more responsible than the media makes them out to be.</p> <h2>Not Marrying at All</h2> <p>Gasp! Clutch your pearls, but marriage is just not going to happen for a lot of people. According to the Olin College of Engineering, the number of both men and women projected to stay unmarried <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161017124248.htm">continues to increase</a>. Professor Downey found that if men were born in the '90s, 30% of them will be unmarried by age 43. For women born in the 1990s, 36% of them are expect to be unmarried by age 43. That's in comparison to 17% of both men and women who were born in the 1970s going unmarried by the same age.</p> <p>Why? Marriage is very personal, and everyone's reasons could very well be different. That said, it's likely that the reasons many Millennials cite for delaying marriage would be the very same reasons some never do it at all. We've learned through myriad surveys, polls, and studies that most Millennials claim to have inherited a less economically stable world than their parents. Since marriage itself is in many ways an economic arrangement, how can we blame them?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-millennials-are-changing-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/5-when-youre-rich-dream-buys-that-arent-that-great">5 &quot;When You&#039;re Rich&quot; Dream Buys That Aren&#039;t That Great</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/this-is-how-americans-spent-their-money-in-the-1950s">This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s</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-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough">How to Have a Great Wedding if You Haven&#039;t Saved Enough</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-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-saving-tricks-i-learned-planning-an-elopement">Money-Saving Tricks I Learned Planning an Elopement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Lifestyle Dating Economy getting married marriage millennials saving money Spending Money wedding wedding dress wedding fund weddings Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:30:10 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1844261 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/rope_cash_stretched_23510828.jpg" alt="Learning how to manage your money during a spousal separation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When your marriage isn't working out, a separation might be in order. While you might not be certain whether you'll reconcile or move forward with a divorce, there is still an important matter that needs to be addressed together &mdash; your finances.</p> <p>Dealing with finances in a separation can be messy and lead to a lot of arguments. Use these tips to help you and your spouse manage your money during a difficult time.</p> <h2>1. Don't Be Afraid to Get Help</h2> <p>If you and your spouse cannot sit down and talk about your finances without raising your voice, then seek help. A marriage counselor can help you hear each other out and keep the room calm.</p> <p>Talking with a family law attorney can help you understand how costly a divorce can be and give you both a better idea of where you would be financially if you made your split official.</p> <p>Finally, a financial adviser can provide insight on the ramifications of separation and divorce. The goal is to leave both of you in a stable financial situation if you do make your split final. Look for a financial adviser that has some experience dealing with separation or divorce cases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced?ref=seealso">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a>)</p> <h2>2. Establish a New Budget</h2> <p>It is important to establish a new budget together. For couples without children, this should be relatively easy. You should each be responsible for half of all shared bills, and agree to take care of your own food and shopping needs.</p> <p>When children are involved or when one spouse does not earn income, then establishing a new budget can be tricky. You have to both admit that you cannot enjoy the same luxuries during this time of separation. Basic bills need to be paid, and of course, all of your children's needs should be met.</p> <h2>3. Aim for Financial Independence</h2> <p>Close as many accounts possible that contain both of your names. If you pay off and cancel credit cards in both of your names, it can protect you from taking on further debt if you move forward with divorce.</p> <p>Having separate checking accounts can also make life easier. If both of you earn a paycheck, set up direct deposit into each of your own accounts.</p> <h2>4. Deal With Mutual Debt</h2> <p>If you decide to move forward with a divorce, know that your debt might be split down the middle along with your assets. Any debt, including student loan debt that was taken on after saying &quot;I do,&quot; is considered mutual property. This means you can get stuck paying off debt that your spouse essentially racked up.</p> <p>While you are still together, make it a goal to tackle your debt. Agree on an amount that each of you should pay toward the debt each month. If money is tight, try putting saving goals on hold for a few months.</p> <p>If managing mutual debt payments is becoming a hard task for you, both of you can apply for a free or low-fee <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal">balance transfer card</a> to split up the debt in your own name. You can do this with a personal loan, as well. The point is to split the debt and put it in each of your names so that you can eventually close out accounts that are in your shared name. This can prevent your spouse overusing a credit card for revenge purchases.</p> <h2>5. What About the House?</h2> <p>If your house is too expensive for either of you to keep separately, then you need to consider selling it. Taking your home into a divorce can be messy and complicated. A divorce can also put a tight deadline on both of you to sell your home, causing you to get less than the full value for it.</p> <p>If you cannot sell your home for the value of the property, try renting it out to pay the mortgage payments. This can take a huge burden off your shared financial situation and you can wait to sell at a better time. If you end up staying together, your home is still there for you to live in.</p> <p>If you both want to live in the house while separated, then you need to know your state's laws. When you file for a divorce, you will need to establish a point of separation. Some states count that point as when one spouse announces they want to pursue divorce, while other states require proof of living separately. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-to-a-mortgage-in-a-divorce?ref=seealso">Here's What Happens to a Mortgage in a Divorce</a>)</p> <p>Nothing about separation or divorce is ever simple. Every couple's situation will be different based on finances and personalities. Dealing with a hard spouse is not easy, but going through a divorce isn't always the quick fix that it appears to be, either.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">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/reach-your-money-goals-faster-with-a-simple-naming-trick">Reach Your Money Goals Faster With a Simple Naming Trick</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/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans">Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loans?</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-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</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-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</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-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Family advisers budgeting counselors debt divided assets divorce financial help loans marriage separation Fri, 11 Nov 2016 10:00:08 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1830852 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_sailboat_89092071.jpg" alt="Couple asking questions before retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What kind of retirement do you imagine? Do you picture taking a long cruise, traveling to international destinations, and racking up the frequent-flier miles? What if your partner is dreaming about a retirement of lazy days spent reading books, watching movies, and visiting the grandkids?</p> <p>Those retirements are two very different kinds. And if you and your partner can't agree on a version of your after-work years that satisfies both of you, your retirement might be a stormy one.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can boost the odds that you and your partner will enjoy your retirement years by asking five key questions before you leave the working world.</p> <h2>1. What Kind of Retirement Do You Want?</h2> <p>This is the most basic of questions, but it might be the most important. Couples need to hammer out exactly what kind of life they want to lead after their working years are over.</p> <p>When you're working, much of your life is planned out for you. You know when you have to be on the job, for instance. If you're raising kids, your weeks are often filled with band practices, soccer games, and gymnastics meets. You and your partner might not even spend much time together during an average week.</p> <p>But when you retire? That all changes. Those hours in the office are now hours spent at home. You and your partner need to determine what you want to fill those hours with. You might want to travel and take on new hobbies. Your partner might prefer quiet days with favorite books.</p> <p>The type of retirement you want also impacts how much money you'll need to save. You'll need more money if you plan to travel the globe and less if you picture quiet nights in your existing home.</p> <p>If you discuss this before retirement, you might be able to work out compromises. Maybe you agree to take two trips a year. Maybe you agree that you'll investigate a new hobby while your partner plows through <em>War and Peace</em>. But you won't be able to agree on anything if you don't first talk about what your ideal retirements look like.</p> <h2>2. Where Do You Want to Live?</h2> <p>Do you want to stay in your current home? Or perhaps you'd like to sell your home and move into an apartment in the middle of downtown? These are both good choices. But you and your partner need to discuss them before you retire. You don't want to be dreaming of a downtown apartment if your partner is making plans for a new sunroom in your current home.</p> <p>And what about your grandkids? Do you want to move closer to them? Or do you want to stay put? This, again, is another conversation that you must have before retirement.</p> <h2>3. When Do You Want to Retire?</h2> <p>You might plan on working late into your 70s. Your partner might be counting down the days to 67. Make sure you and your partner discuss when you both plan on retiring.</p> <p>Your partner might expect that you'll both retire at the same time. Don't make it a surprise that you want to retire earlier or later. The timing of your retirement plays an important role in how much you have to save each year to meet your retirement goals. So talk about this choice early and often.</p> <p>And if you change your mind? Don't keep it a secret from your partner.</p> <h2>4. How Much Money Do You Need?</h2> <p>This might be the most perplexing question of all to couples. It's also the one that couples need to talk about early in their relationship. Couples need to agree on how much money they'll need each year to live a comfortable retirement. If they don't? The odds are high that money issues will be a constant source of tension.</p> <p>How much money couples need in retirement varies depending on the lifestyles that they want. Couples who want to travel during their retirement will need more money. Those who want to spend their time visiting their grandkids will need less.</p> <p>Those couples who plan on living in a pricey seniors' center or an urban apartment building will probably need more money than those who plan to live for as long as possible in a home that they have already paid off.</p> <p>There are plenty of formulas for determining how much money couples should save during retirement. Your best bet, though, might be to meet with a financial adviser who can help you and your partner work through your retirement goals and determine the best way to save for them.</p> <h2>5. Who Will Do What Chores?</h2> <p>You might have been happy with being the home's main cook if your partner worked longer hours. But what about when you are both retired? Will you still want to handle the bulk of the cooking chores then? Maybe not.</p> <p>It pays to talk with your partner about who will handle the bills, cook the meals, clean the house, and mow the lawn once retirement arrives. The old ways of splitting these chores might no longer make sense after you both settle into retirement.</p> <p>Again, not talking about this issue could cause tension. You might not be thrilled to serve your partner dinner if that partner spent all day watching TV or reading a book. So don't be shy about the chores conversation. It might be time to work out a new household schedule.</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/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">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/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-worst-states-for-retirees">The 10 Worst States for Retirees</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-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</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/4-ways-couples-are-shortchanging-their-retirement-savings">4 Ways Couples Are Shortchanging Their Retirement Savings</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/heres-how-much-life-in-the-big-city-will-cost-you">Here&#039;s How Much Life in the Big City Will Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement chores couples family grandchildren lifestyle marriage moving relocating retirement planning saving money traveling Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 1830271 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loans? http://www.wisebread.com/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/broken_heart_cash_25865628.jpg" alt="Learning if divorce affects your student loans" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Going through a divorce can get messy, especially when there are a lot of assets to divide and financial matters to take care of. Even worse, couples often forget that debts &mdash; and not just assets &mdash; must often be split. And student loan debt can be especially hairy. Understanding the ramifications of divorce on student debt is essential to negotiating a mutually beneficial split. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-to-a-mortgage-in-a-divorce?ref=seealso">Here's What Happens to a Mortgage in a Divorce</a>)</p> <h2>When Did You Take on the Debt?</h2> <p>If you took on your student loan before marriage, then the debt is considered separate property, and you are solely responsible for it. Similarly, you won't be held responsible for any debt taken out by your spouse before marriage.</p> <p>However, if you or your spouse took on student <a href="https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/debt-marriage-owe-spouse-debts-29572.html">loan debt while married</a>, then the debt is considered your shared property. As a matter of fact, any debt taken on in a marriage is considered shared property, including the following:</p> <ul> <li>Mortgages</li> <li>Car loans</li> <li>Personal loans</li> <li>Sometimes business loans</li> <li>Credit card debt</li> </ul> <h2>It All Depends on Your State's Laws</h2> <p>Many states are <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_property">community property states</a>, which means everything is split down the middle. If you live in a community property state, the student loan debt (along with all other debt) will be split 50-50. Even if one party will suffer financial hardships from the split debt, the court will still hold them liable for half of it.</p> <p>Of course, it is the court's discretion how they split marital property, and each state has unique rules in place. In <a href="https://www.legalzoom.com/knowledge/divorce/topic/equitable-distribution-community-property">equitable distribution states</a>, such as New York, each divorce is weighed differently. According to The Wall Street Journal, &quot;If it seems like one spouse will have high income after a divorce and another will struggle to make debt payments, the higher earner may end up having to fork over some <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304626804579363253873904162">temporary spousal support</a> to cover the ex's debt payments.&quot;</p> <h2>Consolidated Student Loans</h2> <p>Before 2006, married couples were able to consolidate their loans. Many couples did this to get a lower interest rate and save money &mdash; but for couples that did this, they had to permanently attach themselves to the loan.</p> <p>Unfortunately, if one party does not pay their assigned portion of their loan, the other party will still be held fully responsible. Married couples can no longer consolidate their student loans, so if you were married after 2006, then this does not apply to you.</p> <h2>How to Avoid Problems Before Marriage</h2> <p>No couple wants to think about divorce before they get married, but if student loan debt is worrisome to you, there are a few things you can do before tying the knot. First, it is important that both you and your potential spouse know how much debt you each have. Everything should be laid out on the table. Secondly, to protect yourself, sign a prenuptial agreement that states how debt is supposed to be split in the case of a divorce. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances?ref=seealso">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a>)</p> <h2>So How Much Student Loan Debt Will I Be Responsible for After Divorce?</h2> <p>When it comes to figuring out how much student loan debt you will be responsible for after a divorce, it all depends on your case and the state you live in. It is important for you and your spouse to know <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-after-bankruptcy-whats-next">the financial weight of your divorce</a> before committing to one fully. Talk with a divorce attorney to find out more information that relates to your specific case.</p> <p>If the court does hold you responsible for your spouse's student loan debt after divorce, then it is important to pay it. If you don't, you will be held liable, your wages could be garnished, and your credit score can suffer.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans">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-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-every-parent-should-know-about-the-new-college-financial-aid-rules">What Every Parent Should Know About the New College Financial Aid Rules</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/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</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/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</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-ways-to-pay-off-your-student-debt-faster">5 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Debt Faster</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Education & Training consolidation court divorce loans marriage state laws student debts Tue, 08 Nov 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1827231 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old_couple_retirement_78209735.jpg" alt="Couple boosting their social security payout before retirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, <a href="https://www.ebri.org/pdf/briefspdf/EBRI_IB_422.Mar16.RCS.pdf">84% of U.S. workers</a> expect their Social Security benefit to be a significant source income during retirement. So, let's plan ahead with these six smart ways to boost that monthly Social Security check before retirement:</p> <h2>1. Check Reported Earnings on Your Social Security Statements</h2> <p>In September 2014, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began mailing Social Security Statements to workers at ages 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 and over, who aren't yet receiving Social Security benefits and don't have a <em>my Social Security</em> account. You should receive those statements about three months before your birthday at each one of those ages.</p> <p>Once you receive one, check your reported earnings for each year to make sure they match your W-2 forms. The SSA uses your average earnings over your lifetime to calculate your benefit amount, so any errors on reported earnings may alter the benefit to which you're entitled. Since you may have many employers during your lifetime, you're the only person who can look at your earnings history and know whether it's complete and correct.</p> <p>If any earnings before the previous year are missing or shown incorrectly, contact the SSA right away at 1-800-772-1213 (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on your local time). Have your W-2 or tax return for those years available when you call.</p> <h2>2. Sign Up for a my Social Security Account</h2> <p>There's no need to wait five years before getting your next Social Security Statement. By creating you're my Social Security account at <a href="http://www.ssa.gov/myaccount">www.ssa.gov/myaccount</a>, you'll be able to check your reported earnings once a year to verify that those posted amounts are correct.</p> <p>Additionally, you'll receive updated estimates of your future retirement, disability, and survivors benefits. If you meet certain requirements, you'll also be able to request a replacement Social Security card through the my Social Security online portal.</p> <h2>3. Reach Full Retirement Age</h2> <p>When you have earned the necessary 40 credits (individuals with disabilities, recipients of survivor benefits, and some minors may need fewer credits) to qualify for retirement benefits, you can start receiving those benefits as early as age 62. Whether you receive a digital or paper copy of your Social Security statement, you'll receive an estimated benefit of your retirement benefits at age 62.</p> <p>You'll quickly realize that the estimated benefit at age 62 is much lower than the one at your full retirement age. For example, if you were born between 1943 and 1954, your full retirement age would be 66. If you were to start getting retirement benefits at age 62, they would be <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/1943.html">reduced to 75%</a> of what they would be four years later. For every month that you delay retirement past age 62, you would gain an additional 0.4% in retirement benefits until you reach your full retirement age. Depending on your birth year, your full retirement age ranges from <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/retirechart.html">65 to 67</a>.</p> <h2>4. Obtain Delayed Retirement Credits</h2> <p>According to estimates from the SSA, about <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/lifeexpectancy.html">one out of every four</a> 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past age 95. If you have a family history of longevity, consider delaying retirement until age 70.</p> <p>Individuals born 1943 or later receive an extra <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/delayret.html">2/3 of 1% increase</a> on their retirement benefits for every month that they delay retirement past full retirement age. If your full retirement age were 67, you would increase your retirement benefit to 132% by waiting until age 70. You can only gain delayed retirement credits until age 70.</p> <h2>5. Evaluate Spousal Benefits</h2> <p>Spouses can claim retirement benefits based on their own earnings record or receive up to 50% of the higher earner's benefit, whichever is higher. For example, if your own retirement benefit and your spouse's were $600 and $1,800, respectively, you would receive $900 (50% of $1,800).</p> <p>However, taking the spousal benefit as early as age 62 reduces your payout. A spousal benefit is reduced 25/36 of 1% for each month before full retirement age, up to 36 months. If the number of months exceeds 36, then the benefit is further reduced 5/12 of 1% per month. For those born 1960 or later, a $900 spousal benefit would be reduced to $585 when taking it at age 62.</p> <p>If you're divorced from a marriage <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html">lasting 10 years or longer</a>, remain unmarried, and have a retirement benefit smaller than the one you would receive from your ex-spouse, then you can receive spousal benefits on your ex-spouse's record even if he or she has remarried. However, you'll only be able to keep collecting benefits if you keep single. To learn more details about spousal benefits for divorced spouses, consult the SSA website.</p> <h2>6. Plan Ahead With Your Dependents</h2> <p>Talking about relationship updates later on in life, keep in mind that you can receive additional Social Security payments when you have dependent children <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/yourchildren.html">under age 19</a> living with you during retirement.</p> <p>As long as your biological child, adopted child, stepchild, or dependent grandchild is unmarried and under age 18, then he or she can receive up to one half of your monthly retirement benefit. The benefit can extend until graduation date or two months after the 19th birthday of a dependent who is a full-time student (no higher than grade 12), whichever is earlier.</p> <p>While each one of your qualifying dependent children can receive a benefit, generally the total amount you and your family can receive is about <a href="https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/yourchildren.html">150% to 180%</a> of your full retirement benefit. Depending on your child's age, you may find it advantageous to retire earlier than you originally planned to take advantage of a higher total family benefit.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement">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/stop-falling-for-these-6-social-security-myths">Stop Falling for These 6 Social Security Myths</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-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</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/13-crucial-social-security-terms-everyone-needs-to-know">13 Crucial Social Security Terms Everyone Needs to Know</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-plan-for-retirement-when-you-re-ready-to-retire">How to Plan for Retirement When You’re Ready to Retire</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/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes">Can Your Spouse be a Dependent on Your Taxes?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement benefits dependents full retirement age marriage payout social security spouses ssa Wed, 12 Oct 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 1810488 at http://www.wisebread.com Can Your Spouse be a Dependent on Your Taxes? http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_calculator_bills_17400550.jpg" alt="Couple learning if a spouse can be added as a dependent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a common scenario: One person in a relationship brings home a much higher salary than the other. For couples in this situation, the higher earner typically handles the majority of the expenses.</p> <p>To lower their tax burden, some may want to claim their lower-earning spouse as a dependent. In other situations, the earner's spouse is disabled and unable to contribute to the family's income. However, while you might think that labeling a spouse as a dependent is a smart decision, it's actually not allowed by the IRS.</p> <h2>What the IRS Says About Dependent Spouses</h2> <p>According to the <a href="http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf">IRS Publication 17</a>, your spouse can never be claimed as a dependent. Other people, such as siblings, children, or other relatives can be dependents, but no matter the circumstance, your spouse cannot.</p> <p>In the IRS' eyes, a dependent is defined as a child or qualifying relative. The person does not have to be related by blood &mdash; they just had to live with you for the year and not have gross income.</p> <h2>Spousal Exemptions</h2> <p>While a spouse cannot be a dependent, you may be able to <a href="https://www.irs.gov/uac/can-i-claim-my-personal-and-or-spousal-exemption">claim an exemption</a> for your spouse, thereby lowering your tax burden. You can go this route if you are married, and your partner has no gross income to report.</p> <p>If your spouse is physically challenged, you may be able to claim credit for expenses related to the care of your spouse. This option would be a possibility if you needed to hire help to care for your spouse so you could go to work or search for employment.</p> <h2>Marriage and Taxes</h2> <p>To minimize how much you owe on your taxes, it often makes the most sense to file jointly, rather than separately. To encourage couples to file together, the IRS gives joint filers some of the largest standard deductions, allowing them to deduct a big amount from their taxable income.</p> <p>Joint filers can typically claim two exemptions and more easily qualify for other tax credits, including:</p> <ul> <li>Earned Income Tax Credit</li> <li>Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit</li> <li>American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning Education Credit</li> </ul> <p>If you file jointly, there is also a higher threshold for taxes and deductions, meaning you can qualify for more credit and tax breaks for a higher income than if you filed separately.</p> <h2>When It Makes Sense to File Separately</h2> <p>Filing separately only makes sense in very specific circumstances, such as in the case of large out-of-pocket medical expenses. Because the IRS only allows you to deduct 10% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), filing separately can help you save more money.</p> <p>While you may hear some professionals recommend claiming your spouse as a dependent, it is not permissible by the IRS. Instead, you can claim your partner as a personal exemption in particular circumstances. To lower your tax burden, consult with a tax professional to make sure filing jointly makes the most financial sense for your situation and get all of the deductions and tax breaks you are entitled to.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-your-spouse-be-a-dependent-on-your-taxes">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/4-ways-student-loans-impact-your-taxes">4 Ways Student Loans Impact Your Taxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-toughest-tax-season-question-all-married-couples-must-ask">The Toughest Tax Season Question All Married Couples Must Ask</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/dont-miss-these-7-great-tax-deductions-for-parents-and-caretakers">Don&#039;t Miss These 7 Great Tax Deductions for Parents and Caretakers</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-smart-ways-to-boost-your-social-security-payout-before-retirement">6 Smart Ways to Boost Your Social Security Payout Before Retirement</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-tax-mistakes-new-parents-make">4 Tax Mistakes New Parents Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes deductions dependents exemptions filing jointly filing separately marriage spouses tax credits Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:00:07 +0000 Kat Tretina 1796981 at http://www.wisebread.com Live a Longer and Happier Life With These 8 Frugal Buys http://www.wisebread.com/live-a-longer-and-happier-life-with-these-8-frugal-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/live-a-longer-and-happier-life-with-these-8-frugal-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_74523869_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="these items help you live longer" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Life has its ups and downs. Despite the problems we face, most of us would give anything to maximize longevity. Fortunately, there's plenty you can do to have a long, fulfilling life. Some things are fairly obvious, such as quitting a bad habit like smoking, and avoiding life-threatening behaviors. What you might not realize, however, is that certain purchases also have a hand in extending your lifespan. Here are eight things you can buy to help you live longer.</p> <h2>1. Books</h2> <p>After finishing high school or college, maybe you vowed never to pick up another book again. Reading was no doubt a grueling chore while you were cramming for an exam, but there are benefits to making reading a regular routine. According to a new study, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/08/book-up-for-a-longer-life-readers-die-later-study-finds">reading can boost cognitive function</a>, and people who read for at least 30 minutes a day can extend their lives and live two years longer than those who don't read.</p> <h2>2. A Cat</h2> <p>If you're thinking about getting a pet, don't automatically assume a dog is the better choice. Some cats aren't as social or playful as dogs. Nonetheless, owning a cat can be good for your heart and have a positive effect on your life. The National Health and Nutrition Examination study followed 4,500 men and women over a 20-year period. More than half of the <a href="http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20080221/owning-a-cat-good-for-the-heart">participants owned a cat</a> during their lives. The study found that people who never had a cat were 30% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than those who had owned a cat.</p> <h2>3. Floss</h2> <p>Brushing your teeth at least two times a day contributes to oral health. But if you're looking to add years to your life, don't forget to <a href="http://amzn.to/2cf5qo2">floss</a>. The American Dental Association recommends daily flossing, and for good reason. Flossing &mdash; which helps remove particles of food from places a toothbrush can't reach &mdash; can add as much as six years to your life. The <a href="http://www.today.com/health/there-s-little-proof-flossing-protects-your-teeth-or-gums-t101389">benefits of flossing</a> have recently been hotly debated, but not flossing increases the risk of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). Gingivitis can lead to heart disease, stroke, and infection.</p> <h2>4. Sunscreen</h2> <p>Whether you're at the beach, an amusement park, driving in the car, or working in your garden, it's important to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays with <a href="http://amzn.to/2cf4K2j">sunscreen</a>. Sunshine is an excellent source of vitamin D, but too much exposure can be deadly. Having more than five sunburns can double your risk for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Therefore,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/sunburn/five-ways-to-treat-a-sunburn">always apply sunscreen</a> before exposing your skin to the sun, and reapply as directed.</p> <h2>5. Coffee</h2> <p>You don't have to feel guilty about starting your morning with a cup of Joe. Coffee can provide a much-needed energy boost to get through the day, and it can help you live longer. Researchers found that <a href="http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-your-coffee-habit-help-you-live-longer-201601068938">coffee has antioxidants that protect our bodies</a> from damage. The beverage can reduce the risk of cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and type 2 diabetes. But it's important to drink in moderation. Too much caffeine also increases blood pressure and can cause sleep problems.</p> <h2>6. Bike</h2> <p>One or more days a week, ride your bike to work or while running errands. And if you have a regular exercise routine, incorporate cycling a few days a week. Researchers have found a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.uu.nl/en/news/dutch-bikers-live-six-months-longer">link between riding a bike and living longer</a>. For every hour you bike, you can add one hour to your life.</p> <h2>7. Blood Pressure Monitor</h2> <p>You probably don't give your blood pressure a second thought &mdash; but you should. High blood pressure is a silent killer because it increases the risk of stroke and heart disease. Rather than wait for a health crisis to learn you have high blood pressure, invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2cIGCXS">blood pressure monitor</a> and regularly check your levels to ensure they remain within a healthy range (less than 120/80 mm Hg).</p> <p>Blood pressure can fluctuate throughout the day, and you may have higher than normal readings after exercising or eating. If your numbers are consistently high, talk to your doctor. With lifestyle changes or medication you can lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of early death.</p> <h2>8. A Wedding Ring</h2> <p>Maybe you're happy living a bachelor or bachelorette life. Even so, there are benefits to tying the knot. Not only can you enjoy companionship, a study conducted by Duke University Medical Center found that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/marriage-research_n_2450639.html">people who never marry</a> were &quot;more than twice as likely to die early in life than those people in long-term, stable relationships.&quot; The study followed 4,800 people born in the 1940s. These findings support other studies, which found that married people had a lower risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.</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/live-a-longer-and-happier-life-with-these-8-frugal-buys">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/4-surprising-places-to-find-deals-on-health-care">4 Surprising Places to Find Deals on Health Care</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-resistance-bands">The 5 Best Resistance Bands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</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-5-best-kettlebells">The 5 Best Kettlebells</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/ready-to-buy-some-exercise-equipment-read-this-first">Ready To Buy Some Exercise Equipment? Read This First.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping entertainment exercise extend your life green living health care Live Longer longevity marriage pets Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1794518 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/husband_wife_high_five_91622835.jpg" alt="Woman putting her spouse on a budget without ruining marriage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The quickest way to sour a marriage is to nag your spouse about money and try to control every cent they spend. However, keeping mum about your finances can lead you and your spouse into a lot of debt or overall poor finances. Here are ways to get your spouse on a budget, without ruining your marriage.</p> <h2>Counseling Is Okay!</h2> <p>Many couples make the mistake in thinking that marriage counseling is only for marriages that are in trouble. However, counseling can be a helpful tool even when your marriage is healthy. Having a mediator help you navigate financial woes can even be desirable, so that both you and your spouse feel like they are heard.</p> <p>To seek out counseling for your finances within marriage, you can talk with a financial adviser that has your best interest in mind, a marriage and family therapist, a pastor, or even an older couple who you consider wise and financially stable. It might seem embarrassing to reach out for help, but it could be the wisest step to keeping your marriage and finances strong.</p> <h2>Set Up Budget Dates</h2> <p>Just as you would set up regular date nights, set up monthly budget dates. Treat your spouse to their favorite coffee drink and discuss the numbers for the month, as well as goals for the next month.</p> <p>Budget dates should not be a time where you point the finger. It should be a time for mutual discussion and growth. Depending on which financial area your spouse is in charge of, ask for their feedback. For example, if your spouse does the grocery shopping, did they feel like they had enough money that month or was it too tight? If your spouse is requesting more money for the grocery budget, you can decide together what to cut to accommodate.</p> <p>Sometimes it is a good idea to invite your children to these meetings, especially if they are older than 10. Kids need to see the &quot;why&quot; behind the reasons they can't go to camp all summer long or get everything they want. Also, allowing your kids see and experience how you budget successfully only sets them up for budgeting success later on.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married?ref=seealso">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></p> <h2>Find What Inspires Them</h2> <p>Sometimes it can be hard to scrimp and sacrifice just for the sake of saving money. We all need a purpose to have the motivation to work at something. Whether it's for the dream vacation or just finally being able to live debt-free, find the goals that both of you want to achieve and set the budget that will make it happen. Show that if you both tighten up your spending and stay the course, the reward will be waiting at the finish line.</p> <h2>Keep Things Fun</h2> <p>Find ways to lighten things up and make staying on budget fun, so it doesn't get tedious or simply boring. You don't have to wait until you've saved enough for the dream vacation to enjoy a reward for your hard work. Add milestones along the way that allow the two of you to celebrate. Turn it into a game to see who can find the best deals or other challenges that keep both of you interested. Don't forget about creative ways to make extra money, too. Perhaps you two can do something together that will earn extra cash.</p> <h2>Practical Tips to Get Your Spouse on a Budget</h2> <p>So far, the marriage budgeting tips have been about the mentality behind savings. Once you get your spouse on board with your budget, then use these practical tips to stay successful.</p> <ul> <li>Budget for you and your spouse to have &quot;mad money&quot; each month. This can be $25 or $500, depending on your budget. However, this money can be spent however your spouse wants. This allows both of you to spend on yourselves without guilt.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use an easy-to-use budgeting app that connects to your accounts and syncs with each of your phones. Encourage your spouse to look at it and track spending daily.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have savings taken out automatically. If you wait until the end of the month to put money into savings, you might find you end up short each month. Make savings a priority or take advantage of debit cards that round up purchases and deposit the extra into your savings account.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Stop using credit cards if they are too hard to control. Taking them away for a few months can help you get back on track.</li> </ul> <h2>Separate Accounts</h2> <p>Separate accounts can be useful for managing expenses and ensuring there's no opportunity to overdraw for a budget. If you split the financial responsibilities of a household, it makes sense to manage your own accounts for your assigned budgets. Just make sure there's accountability and transparency.</p> <p>Marriage is hard, and budgeting is just as difficult. Put them both together, and you could have a recipe for disaster. It's important to be open and honest so that you don't end up in a financial disaster.</p> <p><em>How do you and your spouse stay on a budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage">6 Ways Regular Budget Meetings Might Save Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Family agreements bank accounts compromise counseling marriage paying bills relationships spending spouse teamwork Tue, 09 Aug 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1767118 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_hands_heart_29104258.jpg" alt="Couple making money moves when they decide to get married" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There is nothing more romantic than the giddy days after you ask your sweetheart to marry you. But now is also the perfect time to start preparing for one of the most important aspects of a successful marriage: money.</p> <p>Before you groan that bringing money into the marriage equation is going to be the death of romance, remember that money problems are cited as one of the top reasons for divorce, just behind infidelity and communication issues. If promising fidelity and good communication aren't romance-killers, then preparing financially shouldn't be one, either. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity?ref=seealso">8 Signs You're Committing Financial Infidelity</a>)</p> <p>Here are the top five money moves you and your betrothed should make the moment you decide to get married:</p> <h2>1. Share Your Money Backgrounds</h2> <p>Just as you and your fiancé should know about each other's health, family, romantic, and work backgrounds, it's important that you share financial backgrounds with each other. This starts with the obvious, such as outstanding debts and current assets. It's not possible to move forward financially as a couple if you don't already know where you are &mdash; and keeping financial secrets from each other is an emotionally dangerous way to begin a marriage.</p> <p>But understanding each other's money background also includes knowing how you each think and feel about money. The way you view money is generally unconscious and tied to how you feel about everything from relationships to success. It's a good idea to recognize the way you and your spouse-to-be differ in those unconscious beliefs. In particular, start by answering the following questions, suggested by Terri Orbuch, marriage and family therapist and author of <a href="http://amzn.to/29GqG5o">5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great</a>:</p> <ul> <li>How did your parents deal with money growing up?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>What did money mean to you (and your parents) when you were growing up?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>How have you dealt with money in previous relationships?</li> </ul> <p>Your answers can both illuminate attitudes you may not realize you carried, and help you understand where to expect (and prepare for) potential financial friction in your marriage.</p> <h2>2. Start a Wedding Fund</h2> <p>A wedding is a joyous event, but the finances can create some complications. This dynamic can get even more pronounced when the extended family is paying for some portion of the wedding.</p> <p>To minimize this friction, create a wedding fund, and transfer money to it regularly.</p> <p>This will help you create the financial freedom necessary to say no to those who attach strings to wedding money.</p> <p>In addition, it's easier to keep a saving habit than it is to start one. So once you're home from the honeymoon, you can just change the name of your wedding fund to your house fund (or start sending the money to your retirement accounts) and keep the regular saving habit in place.</p> <h2>3. Set Financial Ground Rules</h2> <p>There are few couples in the world who aren't driven a little crazy by each other's financial habits. For instance, my husband tends to splurge on himself with large purchases about once or twice a year, whereas I tend to make smaller purchases for myself two to three times a month. Even though he is spending several hundred dollars on a video game system and I am spending $15 here and $20 there on books or manicures, the amount we each spend is pretty equal. But when we first got married, each one of us thought the other was being frivolous with money.</p> <p>The thing is, neither one of us was wrong (even though we each took turns trying to prove the other one was completely misguided, which worked about as well as you could expect). We just had different expectations for fun money.</p> <p>What helped was for us to set up financial ground rules. We each have a certain amount of splurge money that is ours alone. As long as we are spending from that splurge money and not dipping into shared funds, then we can splurge on whatever we like.</p> <p>Financial ground rules allow you to both feel comfortable within the framework of your finances. You might also set rules on spending thresholds over which you have to discuss issues before spending the money, or how you might use joint accounts.</p> <h2>4. Think About Worst-Case Scenarios</h2> <p>Marriage is a common time for people to acquire or update their life insurance and wills. These are important to have in place in order to protect yourself and your spouse in case life takes a turn you don't expect. Whether you don't yet have life insurance or a will, or you need to change your beneficiary to your spouse. Taking the time to make sure these documents are thoroughly completed, updated, and signed can give you both some peace of mind.</p> <p>But there are other scenarios you might want to prepare for. Getting adequate renter's or homeowner's insurance is always a great idea. It's also worth talking with your spouse-to-be about a prenuptial agreement. Unless you're both hollering &quot;We want prenup!&quot; such conversations can be pretty difficult to broach. But the issues you would hammer out in a prenuptial are important to discuss before you get married, even if you are not couching them in terms of what would happen if you divorce. According to Mandi Woodruff, writing for Business Insider, there are typically <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/10-ways-to-bring-up-a-prenup-without-getting-dumped-2012-1?op=1">five pillars to every prenuptial</a>:</p> <p>&quot;How to handle the income each partner makes before marriage, how to handle your prior assets (businesses, homes, etc.) and liabilities (such as student loans), division of property acquired during the marriage, your retirement plans, and how you'll handle spousal support.&quot;</p> <p>Discussing these issues in terms of both an estate plan and a prenuptial agreement is an important part of planning the financial side of your marriage together.</p> <h2>5. Adopt a Team Mentality</h2> <p>One of the best ways to build a strong financial foundation for your marriage is to adopt a team mentality for your money. It can be very easy to see money as &quot;yours&quot; and &quot;mine,&quot; particularly if you have each been out on your own for a while. But keeping your money separate in your mind can be the first step toward bean counting and money fights. This is especially true if you have varying income levels or different money priorities.</p> <p>Getting on the same team financially means seeing money as something you share &mdash; which means that you also share your decisions about money.</p> <p>There are many ways to adopt a team mentality, from mingling all funds into a joint checking account to setting up a yours-mine-and-ours system. But the important thing is to recognize that you are in the same financial boat and to treat the majority of your money as shared.</p> <p>Marriage and money go hand-in-hand, and taking the time before you wed to discuss finance is an investment in your long and happy married life.</p> <p><em>What money moves did you make to prepare for marriage?</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/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">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-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your 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/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-you-save-money-by-subscribing-to-an-addictive-game">Could you save money by subscribing to an addictive game?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</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-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle agreements compromise ground rules marriage money matters saving spouse weddings Mon, 18 Jul 2016 10:30:12 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1753206 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You're Committing Financial Infidelity http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_sad_face_90980753.jpg" alt="Man committing financial infidelity and how to stop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's often said that honesty is the key to a good relationship. But are you totally honest with your spouse or partner when it comes to money?</p> <p>Lies about finances can be some of the most damaging in any relationship, but they are surprisingly common. Two out of every five Americans have admitted to committing financial infidelity in the past, according to a February survey from the National Endowment for Financial Education. That's up from one-third just a couple of years ago, even though 75% of survey respondents admitted the dishonesty had a negative impact on their relationship.</p> <p>Here are some clear ways you are being dishonest about your finances with your partners &mdash; and tips on how to get back on the right track.</p> <h2>1. You Have Secret Bank Accounts/Credit Cards</h2> <p>There are different trains of thought about whether couples should combine their finances or keep separate accounts. But one thing that's definitely not okay is having bank accounts or credit cards that your partner isn't aware of. Depending on where you live, your spouse could be held liable for debts you incur during your marriage, even if they are only in your name.</p> <p>It's best to be honest about the accounts and credit cards that you have. Literally lay them out on the table for your partner to see. Come up with a plan to pay off those with the highest interest rates. Then, together, decide on which credit cards you plan to use.</p> <h2>2. You're Using Cash and Not Recording the Purchases</h2> <p>I will admit to being guilty of this. Cash has its advantages, but when you use cash to pay for things, there's no easy way to track your spending. Your partner may know you withdrew cash from an ATM, but is probably not going to interrogate you on how you plan to spend the cash. So you're more or less free to buy lunch, drinks, or any other sundry items you wish.</p> <p>To break this habit, use a debit card or credit card for most purchases, so it's easy for you and your partner to track your spending, budget appropriately, and keep each other in line. As long as you're honest about what is being spent, it's even okay to give each other a small amount of &quot;fun money&quot; on a monthly basis that you can spend on anything you want.</p> <h2>3. You Have a Gambling Problem</h2> <p>It may have started with a couple of horse races, or a fantasy baseball league or two. Then it expanded to big bucks bets on games, with money in offshore accounts and bookies calling your cell phone. Soon, checks are bouncing and your spouse can't figure out why.</p> <p>Time to 'fess up. Your partner will want to know about your gambling problem, but more importantly, they'll want to know that you have a plan to stop. Gamblers Anonymous is one major resource that's been proven to help people stop. It may also be worth talking to a mental health professional to learn how to deal with compulsive behavior.</p> <h2>4. You're Investing Without Talking It Over With Your Partner</h2> <p>Your partner may be vaguely aware that you have an investment account, but do they know what you are invested in? If you are buying and selling stocks frequently, is it part of an overall strategy that you discussed together? If not, this is a form of financial infidelity. While it may be common for one spouse to be more investment-savvy than the other, it's not wise to place money in the markets without discussing your goals.</p> <p>Are you saving for retirement, or for something in the nearer future? Are you placing money in a college savings account? Do you have the same tolerance for risk? All of these questions should be answered and discussed with your partner before you invest.</p> <h2>5. You're Hiding a Job Loss</h2> <p>It's understandable. You're hurt, maybe even humiliated, that you've found yourself unemployed. But continuing to act as if you still have a job is not going to make things better. For one thing, your partner will eventually wonder where all of your income went. And they'll be furious when they learn that you've lied.</p> <p>If you find yourself jobless, remember that even the best of people lose their jobs for reasons beyond their control. And any respectful partner will understand this, and will want to play a role in ensuring your family remains financially stable while you look for a new job.</p> <p>To keep this situation from occurring, establish a pattern of talking to your partner about your career. If your company is in trouble, or if you are at risk of being downsized, that's information you should share. This communication will make it less of a shock when the hammer drops.</p> <h2>6. You've Kept Outstanding Debt a Secret</h2> <p>This can really be a relationship killer. Imagine entering a relationship believing that your finances are in good order, only to find that your partner has thousands of dollars in debt you didn't know about. This could impact everything from your ability to pay for a mortgage, get a decent rate on an auto loan, and invest and save for the future.</p> <p>If you're guilty of this, it's time to 'fess up. It's also time to recognize that your partner can play a supportive role, both financially and emotionally, in helping you pay off the debt. Having debt doesn't make you a bad person, so there's no reason to hide it.</p> <h2>7. You're Not Being Honest When You Rationalize Purchases</h2> <p>You say you bought tickets to the basketball game to &quot;entertain clients&quot; when that client is really just an old buddy of yours. You convince your partner that your smartphone desperately needs to be replaced, when it fact it's working perfectly fine and you just felt like buying the newest version. Even if you aren't hiding purchases from the ones you love, you're committing financial infidelity if you're making up reasons to buy things you don't need.</p> <p>To remedy this problem, start being more honest with yourself when you have the urge to buy things. Before any purchase, ask yourself: Do I need this item? More often than not, the answer will be no.</p> <h2>8. Your Partner Has No Idea What You Earn</h2> <p>You may like the idea of having separate accounts, but when one person in a household doesn't know what the other is earning, it makes budgeting impossible. What if your spouse assumes you earn more than you do and then makes a big purchase? If you are planning for things like buying a home or cars, financing children's education or your own retirement, it's imperative that both partners know what the net household income is.</p> <p>The easiest way to avoid this problem is to operate using joint accounts. But if you decide to keep money separate, at least share account statements, paystubs, and tax information.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been victimized by these &mdash; or other &mdash; acts of financial infidelity?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-committing-financial-infidelity">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-make-the-most-of-your-student-loan-grace-period">4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Student Loan Grace Period</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/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married</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/plan-for-your-wants">Plan for your wants</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance budgeting infidelity lying marriage planning shared finances spouses Fri, 01 Jul 2016 10:00:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 1738701 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Things I Learned About Money After Getting Married http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/married_couple_game_000017059049.jpg" alt="Learning things about money after getting married" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Marriage comes with its fair share of life lessons, and money is among the most prominent of these. Here's what I've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-getting-married-is-good-for-your-finances" target="_blank">learned about money while being married</a> &mdash; for better and worse.</p> <h2>1. Credit Scores and Debt Should Be Laid Bare While You're Still Dating</h2> <p>Money is a taboo subject, in general, and couples &mdash; especially new ones who are still navigating the muddy waters of a blossoming relationship &mdash; don't like to talk about the financial predicaments they may be in. But these conversations are necessary.</p> <p>My husband and I were sort of forced into the conversation as we bought our first home before we got married, but even if that's not on the horizon for you and your partner, it's still good to assess the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly" target="_blank">credit score and debt</a> situation so you both know what you're dealing with. That's not to say that you should dump somebody because their financial standing isn't as great as you might have hoped it would be, but it's certainly a factor to consider as you plan your life together.</p> <h2>2. Discuss Future Financial and Investment Goals Before Saying &quot;I Do&quot;</h2> <p>Before I got married I had plans for my future, but those plans changed (at least a little) when I decided to get hitched. I adapted my strategy to accommodate my husband &mdash; but I didn't derail it altogether, and I don't recommend that you do either. It's about compromise &mdash; it's beneficial to discuss your specific plans and goals ahead of your nuptials. Your partner may not want to open that new business, or carry the potential financial burden that comes along with it. On the other hand, your spouse may be totally on board with how you've mapped out your financial future and/or investments, and vice-versa. But you won't know until you discuss it.</p> <p>Lay it all out on the table before getting anywhere near the altar so you each have a clear idea of where your relationship is headed financially (in theory, at least) once you're joined in holy &mdash; and legally binding &mdash; matrimony.</p> <h2>3. Schedule Uninterrupted Time to Discuss Your Finances in Depth</h2> <p>The only way my husband and I stay on the same page about our finances &mdash; and, specifically, the money that's coming in and going out on a constant basis &mdash; is to schedule time to discuss where we're at financially. We usually have a dinner date once a month where at least part of the conversation is about our budget, expenses, debt, and increases or decreases in expected income.</p> <p>We also have an annual meeting at the end of the year to discuss what we anticipate the next year's expenses to be, and how we plan to meet them. While it's not easy integrating another person into the mix financially &mdash; and it can sometimes be stressful for you if you've overspent or missed a bill and you don't want it to result in an argument &mdash; it's needed so that you can both stay on track and repair snags together.</p> <h2>4. Keep Your Family Out of Your Finances &mdash; Period</h2> <p>In a perfect world, we'd all be rich and nobody would want for anything. That's not the case, however, and sometimes family and friends come knocking for a loan. My general rule is to not provide this type of financial support to anyone, as it rarely turns out well &mdash; and most people will tell you that. My husband, on the other hand, views this subject differently, and there's been at least one time where there was zero discussion about providing the loan to a family member, and I didn't find out about it until after the fact.</p> <p>I wasn't particularly bothered by the amount of the loan or to whom it went &mdash; it was his money and he could do what he wanted with it &mdash; but rather that I wasn't included in the conversation. Even though I wasn't contributing to this particular loan, it could have affected our ability to purchase or finance something we needed down the road, and I felt as if I had the right to be informed.</p> <h2>5. You're Morally and Legally Obligated to Help One Another Financially</h2> <p>Whether you like it or not, whatever happens to your spouse financially also, in a sense, happens to you. This could mean a moral obligation to get out of whatever money pickle you may have gotten into, or, worst-case scenario, it could be a legal obligation, like if you file joint taxes and owe the government money. The IRS debt may be the result of one or the other's financial status &mdash; like if you have taxes taken out automatically each pay period from employment, but your spouse is an entrepreneur (like I am) who pays estimated taxes &mdash; but legally you're both on the hook for the debt. Not being prepared for this situation, or how to handle it responsibly and fairly, can lead to resentment and loads of other issues that you're better off without.</p> <h2>6. Keeping Separate Accounts Can Help Maintain Some Independence</h2> <p>My husband and I keep a joint account for shared purchases, like vacations, but we've also always maintained our own separate checking and savings accounts. For some couples this may seem odd, but for us it's helped us keep a part of our individual independence intact. While we consult each other on major purchases, we don't have to ask one another if we can buy some of the smaller things or little luxuries that we want, which in turn helps us to avoid nitpicking each other about things we don't think the other one should be buying.</p> <p>I can only imagine how couples who co-mingle all their money argue about how many coffees or beers each is buying per week, the 19th pair of new shoes she's bought this year, or the new video game he brought home. The bottom line for us is that the bills get paid and we're still able to save; we're allowed to treat ourselves every now and then without having to ask permission or fear retribution.</p> <h2>7. Debt Can Destroy Your Relationship &mdash; If You Let It</h2> <p>A few years ago I discovered a substantial amount of debt that my husband racked up, and I was completely gutted over the situation. How, why, when, where? So many questions went through my mind, not the least of which was, how are we going to pay this off? I was lucky in that regard as my husband took full responsibility for it and promised to pay it off himself &mdash; and he has. But it may not work out like that for everyone.</p> <p>If your partner isn't capable of paying off the debt, you, in fact, may be responsible for it too if it's attached to a joint credit card or another joint account. When that happens, it will likely put a major strain on your relationship. Old debt is one thing, but new debt &mdash; that is, debt acquired singularly by one partner while you're in the relationship &mdash; has a much more damaging and lasting effect. We were able to get past this and get back on track, but it's not easy. It definitely puts stress on the marriage, which can further worsen an already rocky relationship.</p> <h2>8. Money Doesn't Buy Happiness</h2> <p>All the houses, nice cars, designer clothes, and luxury goods in the world will not make you happy in a relationship you don't want to be in. When you're sitting among all your beautiful things and you wonder why you seemingly have everything but still aren't satisfied, you need to look beyond the bling. There's a deeper issue for which you're trying to compensate. Talk about it; make decisions. Your mental health is worth more than what's in your bank account &mdash; always. Remember that.</p> <p><em>What has marriage taught you about money?</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/8-things-i-learned-about-money-after-getting-married">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-manage-your-money-during-a-spousal-separation">How to Manage Your Money During a Spousal Separation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-put-your-spouse-on-a-budget-without-ruining-your-marriage">How to Put Your Spouse on a Budget Without Ruining Your Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-are-more-than-your-credit-score">7 Reasons You Are More Than Your Credit Score</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 Family Lifestyle budget meetings compromises credit scores debt marriage money lessons relationships spouses Tue, 24 May 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Mikey Rox 1716048 at http://www.wisebread.com My 2016 Budget Challenge: How to Turn Your Spouse Into a Money Saver http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-turn-your-spouse-into-a-money-saver <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-turn-your-spouse-into-a-money-saver" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_piggy_bank_000026629968.jpg" alt="Couple learning how to save money together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is the another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>My husband, Mr. Spendypants, grew up as the youngest of six kids, so he pretty much hates hand-me-downs of any sort. Except for food. He's like a coyote with leftovers.</p> <p>It's not that he's fiscally irresponsible, he is just averse to stuff he sees as weird penny pinching. Like his refusal to use cornstarch to prevent jock itch &mdash; as opposed to the much more expensive baby powder &mdash; even though (as I have pointed out to him) the bottle of baby powder he uses reads: CONTAINS 100% CORNSTARCH.</p> <p>(OMFG).</p> <p>Even so, I have managed to successfully inch him onto my $31,000 savings plan this year through a variety of nefarious ways.</p> <h2>I Own My Crazy</h2> <p>If you have been following this series (and you can, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0">right here</a>!), it should be obvious to by now: I am the bonkers one in my marriage. Finding an extra $31,000 in the household budget is just one of my goals for 2016. I am also trying to downsize my personal possessions to just 1000 personal items. (FYI: This does not include shared tools or furniture. I count personal possession as items that I use 95% of the time, that I paid for, and that I brought into my house). So yes, it does pain me to come home to discover that my husband has gone out and purchased more stuff that has to be stored and dusted.</p> <p>However, I know that my position on ownership is on the extreme side of extreme. My husband's desire for material goods is not more or less stupid than my desire to travel more. My fever to save $31,000 is exactly the same. It's my fever. <em>Mine</em>. His main motivation for even participating in this budget challenge is not financial independence. He's doing it to make me happy. Every time he puts more money into savings, I acknowledge this act of love.</p> <h2>We Share a Goal</h2> <p>Although my husband previously had no burning desire to pay down our debt this quickly, he does want to fulfill his lifelong goal of traveling to Easter Island. He wants to take this trip for his 50th birthday. Funnily enough, I <em>also</em> want to take this trip for his 50th birthday. Mr. Spendypants just turned 48. Neither of us will be able to afford to go to Easter Island in two years if we don't pay down our debt this year so we can save up the money next year for that adventure.</p> <h2>We Compromise</h2> <p>Compromise seems like an obvious solution, but more marriages end over money than any other reason, so clearly this advice is easier said that done.</p> <p>I can cut my expenses to the bone. I have enough free entertainment in the house to last me for years. So does my husband. However, it would be very hard for me to sell him a cut-to-the-bone budget that doesn't sound like sacrifice to him. Instead, we created a budget for luxuries. We both agreed on the amount, but what is purchased out of the account is up to him. So, I never have to ask him whether this new guitar pedal or that lunch out is really necessary. My only question is: Will this fit in the luxury budget?</p> <h2>We Accept That Different Saving Strategies Aren't a Separate Vision</h2> <p>My husband and I both have similar retirement aspirations. We'd love to live abroad and spend our days on simple hobbies like listening to music, cooking, and reading. If I had my druthers, I would have moved to Rome six years ago, even if that means working as a janitor until I keel over. (Not that there is anything wrong with being a janitor, just that I hate dusting). But, Mr. Spendypants really loves his Los Angeles-centric work that also happens to pay well. I would rather be in a happy marriage and retire abroad at 65, than make my husband miserable and retire at 55. A decade more in Los Angeles won't kill me.</p> <h2>We Make the Cuts That Don't Sacrifice Lifestyle First</h2> <p>If we <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food?ref=internal">waste food</a> or any other consumable, we really aren't spending money wisely. If we are wasting food, then we won't miss it <em>at all</em> if we don't buy so much in the first place. We can save money and the planet without feeling the slightest financial pinch.</p> <p>Last year, Mr. Spendypants decided that he needed a tablet for work so he bought a refurbished iPad Mini. So far, the quality of his work has not been impacted by the fact that he spent $300 on a used machine, instead of buying a new iPad for $450.</p> <p>Waste doesn't only apply to physical objects. I switched from a 12GB data plan on my phone to sharing 3GB with my husband when I realized that we weren't using close to 12GB per month even though I live on Instagram. If I go over the limit on the 3GB data plan, it still costs $20 less per month than the 12GB plan, even if I get dinged with a $15 overage fee. If I went over the limit every month, I would still save $240 a year on our phone bill.</p> <p>Because I started our saving strategy by asking to cut the waste and not the fun from our budget, Mr. Spendypants saw that our huge savings in January had no downside. This was so exciting to him that he has tried to match that same rate of savings every month, even though that has meant making cuts that he can feel.</p> <h2>We Delay Gratification</h2> <p>Delayed gratification is not deprivation. I am lucky that my husband is not that guy who wants the coolest phone always. But even if he were, I still think I could get him to switch out his phone every 18 months instead of every 12 months and save 33% on phone costs.</p> <p>Although it's counter-intuitive, recent scientific studies that show that anticipation actually&nbsp;<a href="http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/anticipating-experience-based-purchases-more-enjoyable-than-material-ones.html">increases the pleasure of consumption</a>, especially when it comes to spending money on experience-based purchases. Instant gratification is just that &mdash; it gratifies for just an instant.</p> <p>Mr. Spendypants has a wish list. At the end of year, if we've paid down the $31,000, he's going to buy the stuff on that list as his reward for being patient with his stubborn wife. I have a sneaking suspicion that as the months go by, his interest in owning some of the wish list items will wane because his savings account will look so much more attractive by comparison. Also, if he really wants to go to Easter Island, then that's where he should spend his money.</p> <h2>We Find Role Models</h2> <p>Our friend Martin and his wife work just the minimum amount necessary to maintain their health insurance. They aggressively worked to pay off their house in just a few years. Their kid goes to public school. Because they have both figured out how to work from home, they don't pay for childcare.</p> <p>Because they made very smart financial decisions and continue to live below their means, Martin and his family go out to eat and attend more cultural events than pretty much anyone we know.</p> <p>I recently pointed out to Mr. Spendypants that Martin's family actually lead a very decadent life of near leisure. Because Martin and his wife have similar jobs and interests to us, it's easy for me to show that my push for financial independence is do-able. If Martin can do it with a kid, we can certainly do it as two employed adults.</p> <h2>We Do the Math</h2> <p>Like many Americans, my husband didn't understand how compound interest could be a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-valuable-thing-debt-takes-from-you-isnt-money-its-this?ref=internal">financial tool</a>, not just the punishment for using a credit card. Once I showed my husband with a simple debt calculator how much money we could save if we got aggressive with paying down our debts early, he started looking for ways to reduce debt too. In fact, he's so on board with the math that he's currently trying to refinance his home loan to one where he actually pays more principal!</p> <h2>We Accept That Not Everyone Loves Spreadsheets</h2> <p>I have friends who are superhuman when it comes to Microsoft Excel. They use it for everything from tracking garden harvests to creating custom knitting patterns. Even though looking at budgets is a major part of my job, I hate making spreadsheets. I find them personally crazy-making.</p> <p>More complex financial tools like credit cards and spreadsheets are actually overwhelming or just straight up annoying to many people. It took me a year of nagging to get Mr. Spendypants to get on Mint, even though it only takes 30 minutes to set up an account. If I could accrue airline mileage by paying cash, I would ditch my credit card in one hot second and use the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-envelope-system?ref=internal">envelope system</a> because it's visual and completely concrete. There's no technology to master or hidden fees associated with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-old-school-tools-to-help-you-stay-on-budget?ref=internal">zero based budgeting</a>. Simplicity is my friend when it comes to keeping track of my finances.</p> <p>(So, before you give up on your partner ever sharing your financial values, make sure that it's really the values they don't agree with and not the presentation they find troublesome).</p> <h2>We Aren't Jerks</h2> <p>There's truth to the old maxim: &quot;Happy wife, happy life.&quot; I make a concerted effort not to roll my eyes every time my husband backs another Kickstarter board game campaign. Financial independence will not bring me inner peace if it comes at the cost of my marriage.</p> <p>Life partners often have different values about money stemming from how they were raised. I have friends who grew up in dire poverty who value financial stability to the point that they would rather be single than in a relationship with someone who doesn't have a high-paying job. My bookkeeper is a scion of a bookkeeping family. She grew up thinking that everyone made spreadsheets to track their babysitting money. But, many people grow up in homes where money and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-but-no-one-talks-about?ref=internal">money problems are never discussed</a>. Because Americans are more likely to share information about their sex lives than their budgets, many people grow up financially illiterate.</p> <p>My husband grudgingly agreed to support this experiment out of love for me, not out of a burning desire to understand the difference between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA. So, as much as I'd like to hustle our savings plan along at a breakneck pace, I'm making every effort to be patient with his learning process, which, to his surprise, he's greatly enjoying. Taking control of your personal finances is empowering.</p> <p>Mr. Spendypants has, so far, enjoyed this public challenge more than we both expected, in part because the reader reaction has been so positive. He anticipated that we would be flayed by the commentariat and that has not been the case. Thank you, dear readers.</p> <h2>Progress Report</h2> <p>Uhn. The $31,000 budget challenge took a lot of damage this last pay period and most of the carnage was self-inflicted. For starters, we hosted a friend from out of town and spent four days eating our way through Los Angeles and going to movies. We did so much walking we also &quot;had&quot; to get professional foot massages&hellip;of course. Total cost of our mini vacation: $800.</p> <p>Then, Mr. Spendypants bought several thousands of dollars worth in synthesizers and guitar pedals &mdash; guitar pedals that were not paid for out of the luxuries account &mdash; for $220 from a friend. A huge bargain on music equipment that he will use, but an unplanned expense nonetheless. Another unplanned expense: $300 spent to replace the master circuit board on my husband's Cyntiq monitor that decided to crap out for no reason.</p> <p>Additionally, even though Mr. Spendypants is the math expert in our partnership, he had some kind of arithmetic breakdown while paying bills and managed to overpay our loan bill by $741. Overpaying just means that we will pay down our loan that much faster, which is great, but we had to take that money out of our emergency fund to make sure we didn't overdraw our checking account. While Mr. Spendypants has been saving between $1000 and $1500 per month since January by dramatically curbing his shopping habits, his April savings were wiped out by the very expected $1000 car repair bill. Yes, one of our cars is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks?ref=internal">still in the shop</a>.</p> <p>On top of all the expenses, I also had a dismal pay period. I made $270 from writing gigs and $27.84 in Half.com sales.</p> <p>While I did not expect perfect execution of this challenge, I am disappointed that we drifted so far from our goal. We are now $2,763.16 further away from $31,000 than we were when we started the month, and May is not even over! Will we be able to recover this loss?</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised: </strong>$16,375.84</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $10,653.66</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $25,277.82</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-how-to-turn-your-spouse-into-a-money-saver">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/my-2016-budget-challenge-why-i-need-to-find-31k-this-year">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Why I Need to Find $31K This Year</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-everything-breaks">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Everything Breaks</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-affording-education">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Affording Education</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-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough">How to Have a Great Wedding if You Haven&#039;t Saved Enough</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/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation">My 2016 Budget Challenge: Job Creation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living budget challenge budgeting marriage max wongs budget money goals saving money spouse Fri, 20 May 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Max Wong 1713708 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons to Keep Your Money Separated After Marriage http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-keep-your-money-separated-after-marriage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-to-keep-your-money-separated-after-marriage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wedding_married_couple_000059191426.jpg" alt="Couple learning reasons to keep money separate after marriage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Money may not be the root of <em>all</em> evil &mdash; but it's the clincher in a great many relationships gone haywire. Research shows that arguing about money is by far the top predictor of divorce. &quot;It's not children, sex, in-laws, or anything else. It's money &mdash; for both men and women,&quot; says Sonya Britt, an assistant professor at Kansas State University who <a href="https://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/jul13/predictingdivorce71113.html">conducted a study</a> of 4,500 couples about the interplay between financial arguments and relationship satisfaction.</p> <p>We all have deeply ingrained beliefs about how money should be spent, when it's appropriate to splurge, and how much we should have stowed away in savings. And it can be difficult to the point of deal-breaking to try and mesh our own attitudes about money with another person's financial beliefs, which very well may differ drastically from our own. That's why a large number of financial advisers urge couples to remain financially independent.</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top reasons why it pays to keep money matters separate in your relationship. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-regular-budget-meetings-might-save-your-marriage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Regular Budget Meetings Might Save Your Marriage</a>)</p> <h2>1. You'll Avoid a Power Imbalance</h2> <p>Merging finances means there's no more &quot;yours&quot; and &quot;mine&quot; in the money department. The divisions blur and it all goes into the same piggy bank. But what if your partner earns much more than you, and now you're suddenly living a lifestyle you can afford only with your partner's assist? What if the opposite is true, and you're subsidizing your partner's income with your own earnings? When your relationship is healthy and sparkling, you might not be bothered by either of these scenarios. But what about in the wake of a blowout fight?</p> <p>Or let's say you're the breadwinner in the relationship and you subsidize a good chunk of your partner's lifestyle because he or she isn't earning enough to keep up. Then, suddenly, you lose your job and your partner's income isn't enough to pick up the slack. Would you feel resentful? How would you cope with that? This is the kind of financial imbalance that has a tendency to instigate the fights that ultimately tear couples apart. Luckily, you can avoid them by keeping your financials separate from your sweetie's.</p> <h2>2. We're More Accustomed to Financial Independence Than Ever</h2> <p>Young adults are <a href="http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/marital.html">delaying marriage longer than ever</a> before. The average age of people at their first marriage in the U.S. today is about 27, which means many people rack up six or more years of complete financial independence before saying their vows. The money habits we develop during our years as single adults become so deeply ingrained in us that it's difficult to shift them in an attempt to mesh with the financial habits of our partner.</p> <p>And, unfortunately, finding common ground on financial matters is not necessarily something that gets better with practice. When asked how much they will need to save to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement, for example, nearly <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/individual-investing/fidelity-couples-study">half of all couples are in disagreement</a> about the amount needed. This level of disagreement is highest, however, among those who are closest to retirement.</p> <h2>3. It Promotes Healthy Spending Habits</h2> <p>Financially independent couples tend to practice better discipline when it comes to paying off their own debts. And that makes for a healthy relationship. When one partner starts to feel like their partner's pockets are deep enough to offset the burden of their own financial risks, they sometimes become irresponsible in their spending and saving habits. And that can create the kind of friction that could start a fiery argument later on down the road.</p> <h2>4. It Balances the Burden of Money Stress</h2> <p>When one partner becomes the sole organizer of a couple's fiscal matters, he or she runs the risk of becoming overwhelmed by the responsibility &mdash; and that can throw an entire relationship off balance. But when both partners take charge of their separate finances and contribute to mutual expenses fairly, any money stress that arises is shared, making it much more manageable to find relief as a team.</p> <h2>5. A Breakup Won't Mean Financial Chaos</h2> <p>When you maintain financial independence, you avoid the risk of your personal financial situation falling apart just because your relationship did. Paying your fair share in a relationship also makes for a cleaner emotional break if you one day decide to split. When one partner consistently treats the other to dinners and vacations, or pays the majority of the bills, resentment is bound to brew during a breakup. The partner who paid more might even feel entitled to reimbursement.</p> <p><em>Separate or apart &mdash; how do you manage money with your partner? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-keep-your-money-separated-after-marriage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-simple-ways-to-split-bills-with-your-spouse">3 Simple Ways to Split Bills With Your Spouse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-must-ask-before-retirement">5 Questions Couples Must Ask Before Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle couples financial independence marriage power imbalances sharing money spending Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1690618 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's What Happens to a Mortgage in a Divorce http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-to-a-mortgage-in-a-divorce <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-happens-to-a-mortgage-in-a-divorce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_new_house_000008511772.jpg" alt="Couple learning what they need to know about divorce and mortgage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Divorce is a messy and emotional situation, and it can wreak havoc on your finances. One of the major assets that couples share is their home mortgage. Handling your mortgage correctly in the divorce will help you and your ex go your separate ways on the right foot financially. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-divorced?ref=seealso">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Divorced</a>)</p> <h2>1. Selling Is Often the Best Option</h2> <p>Your best option is usually to sell your home. This is easiest done if you have equity in the house, and the house can be sold and the profit split. Emotionally, selling will not always be the easiest, especially if you raised your children in that home or have other fond memories. From a financial and logical standpoint, selling the home and splitting the profit is the cleanest way to deal with the mortgage.</p> <h2>2. Decide if One Spouse Can Take Over the House Payments</h2> <p>If one spouse wants to keep the home, then they can refinance the home under their own name. In order to do this, they will need to qualify for the refinance with just their income.</p> <p>It is not wise or advised to trust that your ex will make the mortgage payments. Even if your name's not on the deed, as far as the mortgage company is concerned, you and your ex spouse are both fully liable for the mortgage costs each month. Therefore, if your ex misses a payment, or if something happens to them, such as disability or death, you will still be held accountable for the payments.</p> <p>Even if your ex is the most trustworthy person, having your name tied to that mortgage loan means that you will not be able to get another mortgage unless you have enough income to qualify for another mortgage. It might even prevent you from getting a place to rent, since many landlords want to be sure you have enough income to pay for the rental.</p> <h2>3. Should You Sign a Quitclaim Deed?</h2> <p>A quitclaim deed is a legal way to transfer interest of real property. Signing this deed means the person is forfeiting their claim and right to the property. Signing this deed in divorce gives the other party full rights to the home, but your name still remains on the mortgage. You will still be held accountable for any missed mortgage payments and your credit score will be affected.</p> <p>Remember, the deed and mortgage are two different things, and the quitclaim deed cannot remove your name or responsibility from the mortgage.</p> <p>Another important thing to know about quitclaim deeds is that if you sign one, you are forfeiting the right to sell and profit from your home sale. For example, say you sign a quitclaim deed because your ex wants to pay the mortgage, but cannot afford to refinance. Now that your name is off the deed of the home, your ex can sell or refinance the house any time and will not owe you anything.</p> <h2>4. When You Can't Afford to Sell</h2> <p>While selling the home is the cleanest solution, things get complicated when more is owed on the mortgage than the house is worth. Couples that cannot afford to sell the home during the divorce can try one of these three options.</p> <h3>Short Sell the Home</h3> <p>A &quot;short sale&quot; is a home sale in which the mortgage lender agrees to accept less than the full value of the property and cancel the debt. A short sale will negatively impact your credit score and it can have tax implications, as the debt cancellation offered by the lender is viewed by the IRS as income. (Note that a law passed in 2007, and subsequently <a href="http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/12/tax-extenders-bill-what-the-housing-industry-needs-to-know/">extended through 2016</a>, exempts debt cancellation income.)</p> <h3>Rent the Home</h3> <p>If both you and your ex can agree on renting the home out for a period of time, then you can delay the sale of your house until you have more equity. Renting does buy you time and prevents a short sale, but renting comes with a host of responsibilities &mdash; which you'll share with your ex.</p> <h3>Continue to Live Together</h3> <p>This option is for only a select few couples who can live peacefully under the same roof. While the situation is not ideal, it can save both parties money, since it allows them to wait until the house market goes up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/post-divorce-finances-7-steps-to-rebuilding-your-financial-house?ref=seealso">Post Divorce Finances: 7 Steps to Rebuilding Your Financial House</a>)</p> <h2>5. What to Do When Things Get Complicated</h2> <p>Divorce can bring out the worst in people, and many times, an ex spouse will not be willing to sell the home or some other issue. This is why it is important to consult with a divorce attorney. A divorce attorney can help you understand your legal rights when it comes to the mortgage and protect you from doing something unwise.</p> <p>It is a good idea not to finalize the divorce until your mortgage issues are settled. Be prepared to get court orders to make your ex remove your name off of the mortgage through selling or refinancing.</p> <p>No one buys a house with their spouse with intent on getting a divorce. Unfortunately, these things happen. It is best to protect yourself and your assets by making decisions based on logic rather than emotions.</p> <p><em>What do others need to know about their mortgage during a divorce?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-happens-to-a-mortgage-in-a-divorce">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</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/watch-out-for-these-5-last-minute-home-buying-costs">Watch Out for These 5 Last Minute Home Buying Costs</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-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</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/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early">Should You Pay Your Mortgage Off Early?</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/does-divorce-affect-your-student-loans">Does Divorce Affect Your Student Loans?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing deeds divorce house payments lawyers marriage mortgages splitting up Tue, 29 Mar 2016 09:30:23 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1677287 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Big Ticket Wedding Items You Should Borrow Instead of Buy http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newlywed_couple_000042336338.jpg" alt="Married couple finding wedding items to borrow instead of buy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting fed up with the high ticket prices on wedding items? Zero out a few fields in your wedding budget and &quot;borrow&quot; them instead.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-save-on-a-wedding-dress?ref=seealso">7 Smart Ways to Save on a Wedding Dress</a></p> <h2>1. The Altar, Arch, or Canopy</h2> <p>This is an item everyone wants, until they remember how it's totally useless after the wedding. Building your own structure is awesome if you're handy, but why not borrow one? Try asking your officiant, venue, or your religious institution if they already have some materials you can use. For my wedding, our Rabbi already had the elements for a simple chuppah, so we used that instead of buying or renting an expensive one.</p> <p>If you are getting married outdoors, find a nearby tree. A tree is not only the perfect backdrop and canopy in one, but it's a great symbol for the family you are making.</p> <h2>2. The Live Band or DJ</h2> <p>Instead of hiring a DJ, why not make the music a fun activity for your guests in anticipation of your wedding? Make a form on your wedding site asking guests what song they want to move their bodies to on the dance floor. You (or your Best Man or Maid of Honor) can gather up all the answers to form one epic playlist. Have your coordinator hit play at the start of the reception and let the good times roll.</p> <p>Really have your heart set on a live band? If you are friends with musicians, try asking them to play for a portion of your wedding as their gift to you. Of course, they are working, too, so it may not be fair to keep them from enjoying the full night of festivities. Talk to your friends and family musicians to see how they can be a part of your wedding and enjoy it, too.</p> <h2>3. The Table Decor</h2> <p>From bunting to centerpieces, this is a factor of every wedding budget that tends to spiral out of control. A few ideas to borrow...</p> <ul> <li>Looked at the florist's quote and cried? Instead of buying their labor, try having the mothers of the family gather flowers from their homes in mismatched vases to use as table dressings.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bored of flowers and want something unique? Borrow framed family photos from all sides of the family and place them as table centerpieces with a few small tealights from the Dollar Store.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Borrow old books from your parents' bookshelves. Pick some ones that mean a lot to you to stack as a cute, nerdy centerpiece.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Looking for old decor that you don't have to DIY? Try asking your local department store when they will discard their window displays. Anthropologie tends to take theirs down every month.</li> </ul> <h2>4. The Getaway Car</h2> <p>Every couple wants a cool way to leave their reception, but trying to book a Batmobile or a vintage Rolls Royce can mean the difference between being on budget and having to cut down your honeymoon. Ask around! You probably have a relative or friend of a friend with a cool ride (or a connection to one). Leave in something authentic and cool, instead of paying hundreds for a rental that someone else will have to return for you the next day.</p> <h2>5. The Photography</h2> <p>While it's awesome to have a professional photographer following you all day, it's simply not in the cards for everyone. Lots of couples are saving room in the wedding budget by going the guest-sourced photography route. All your friends and family are eager to snap photos of the big day already, so encourage them to get their Instagrams ready. A great way to include guest photography can be through a game or scavenger hunt for people or details, like with the <a href="https://ceremonyapp.com/">Ceremony app</a>. Just be clear about when it is okay to ambush the couple for photos.</p> <p>The wedding goes by fast, so the most beautiful part is seeing your wedding through the eyes of all your friends and family just days later. Remember to make a Dropbox or Flickr account for everyone to add their memories.</p> <p><em>What else should couples borrow for wedding day?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy">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/how-to-have-a-great-wedding-if-you-havent-saved-enough">How to Have a Great Wedding if You Haven&#039;t Saved Enough</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-things-americans-spend-too-much-on">5 Things Americans Spend Too Much On</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-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-get-married">5 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Get Married</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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living borrowing decorations DJ flowers marriage music photography weddings Mon, 22 Feb 2016 10:30:27 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1659838 at http://www.wisebread.com