Marital Money

Three Ways Couples Can Have Fun Talking About Money

“What’s your net worth?”

Couples discussing financesIt’s the last question a person would dare ask on a first date, yet money issues are a top cause of failed relationships. While this magic number speaks volumes, net worth isn’t the only topic that couples need to talk about. Spending habits, income goals, and investment strategy are parts of a financial picture that influences compatibility and predicts relationship longevity.

Wouldn’t it be great to explore your partner’s financial habits and goals while strengthening your relationship? Upgrade your next date night with these fun ways to build fiscal responsibility together.

Vision Boarding

You could save money cutting coupons, or you could spend date night cutting out pictures of your wildest dreams. Vision boards are a creative way to start the conversation around goals and discuss ways to work towards your dreams together. Not only does this activity energize a couple around shared goals, it also gives them room to talk about ways to make these goals happen. Should you give up the cable subscription or work extra hours? Use your vision board as a reason to ask these sensitive money questions and partner around collective goals.

Couples Game Night

Don’t spend Friday night eating take-out and watching Law & Order reruns. Instead, invite a few couples over for a financial game night. Several board games increase financial literacy in a fun and engaging way including Cash Flow 101, The Game of Life, and Monopoly. Although we played many of these games as children, discussing your strategy with an adult mindset creates a learning opportunity for everyone in the room. Keep the dinner costs down by asking each couple to bring a dish to share.

Head to Head Challenge

What is it about competition that makes people work harder? Challenge your significant other to a contest that helps you make better financial decisions or reach your financial goals. For example, couples can race to save the most money over a six month period. The winner gets to take ten percent of the savings and decide how the couple will celebrate. Another good option is a no-spending challenge. The first person to spend money (excluding regular bills) has to submit to whatever penalty their honey has planned for them!

While money is still a taboo topic for many, couples should be comfortable discussing money and building their financial standing together. Use these proactive and fun ways to make money an open topic and strengthen your relationship.

Money Musts When you Split up

divorce proceedings

One of life’s most difficult events occurs when a couple decides to split up.  So it should come as no surprise there are potentially significant financial consequences attached to the separation as well.  Although it is an emotionally difficult time, there are things you can do financially that can help mitigate at least the financial impact of such a significant life event.

Some of the money musts when you split up include establishing your own accounts that only you can access.  This also means closing all your joint accounts with your former spouse, including any credit card accounts.  In addition, change any PINs or passwords for any current accounts you have in your name only, if you think your ex-spouse could guess what they are.

Contact your mortgage lender or landlord and any utility or phone companies to let them know of your separation.  Depending on whether you are the one staying or leaving, update all these types of financial contracts to either remove your name or your former spouse’s name.  If you have vehicle loans or even if your vehicles are paid off, you will need to determine who will take possession of these types of assets.  If you have any life insurance policies or a will, you’ll want update them to remove any references to your former spouse.

When it comes to issues such as child care and legal division of assets and liabilities, you need to seek independent legal help even if you are on good terms with your ex-spouse.  By contacting an expert on legal and financial matters with regard to divorce proceedings, you can hopefully minimize the disruption that takes place as you and perhaps your children transition to a new life.

Contact us today for help with regards to financial matters when entering into divorce proceedings.

Kelly chisholm - planning the budgetThree awesome ways to manage your Budgeting

Budget management for many is a daunting subject to think about. Here are a few ways to make budgeting a little simpler.

  • Print out your bank accounts monthly statement, if it is not already mailed to you. Set aside time to review what you spend and where you are spending money. Use different colored highlighters and highlight by topic, such as food, shopping, primary bills or entertainment. Add each color up and you can visually see where your money goes each month. This will be an eye opener for many and will allow you to see where you can cut back on spending.
  • If you get paid via direct deposit, set up with your employer a certain percentage to go right into a savings account and the rest to go into your primary checking account. It could be as little or as much as you want, but this way if it is in a separate account and not as easily accessible it won’t be as tempting to use.
  • Eat in more! Cooking at home can not only is a fun way to learn new things and experiment, but it can also be a great way to save extra cash! Make enough for a few meals during the week. If you have prepared food that is ready to eat, the desire to go out and dine will be less alluring. Also, you can make a fun evening out of it. Invite some friends over for a dinner party. Have them bring some ingredients and each make a dish to enjoy!

Hopefully with these ideas, you can gain a new outlook on budgeting!

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