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Finances

Alternative Budgeting Methods

3 Alternatives to the Budget You Never Keep

By | Finances, Marriage Enrichment | No Comments

Can’t keep your budget? It’s OK, we can’t either. If you asked me, I’d say we’ve always created a budget, but we haven’t always kept the budget. Don’t get me wrong, I love budgeting. I have spreadsheets, reminders, and an in-depth system for categorizing transactions in Mint. I set aside time each month to go through all of our personal finances and see how we did the month before. I’m what Dave Ramsey would call the nerd, not a free spirit. Here’s the thing, though: I’m married. I didn’t really keep a budget before marriage, but after I started reading personal finance books and blogs, I realized it was important for us to try out a few different budgeting methods. That’s where the confrontations about money began. I was the nerd, and when it came to money, she was the free spirit. Why You Need a Budget Rule #1 of…

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How to Talk about Money with Your Spouse

How to Talk about Money with Your Spouse

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This is an edited excerpt from the book Just Married by Greg and Lisa Popcak. In their chapter on “Money Madness,” Greg and Lisa provide the following exercise to provide a model for how to talk about money with your spouse. They offer a unique approach for talking about money that focuses on the emotions behind money matters rather than the numbers. Print out these steps and talk through them with your spouse or fiance.  The most challenging thing about money isn’t the practical skills but the emotional meaning behind it. Take some time to look at what money means to you and how that squares with what God tells us is a healthy attitude toward money. Money and Motivation Exercise Discuss your answers with each other. a. Money can mean different things to different people: security, freedom, fun, independence, power, and so on. When it comes to money, are you happier when spending or saving? If spending, what…

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Financial Questions for Married Couples

Financial Questions and Answers for Engaged Couples

By | Finances, Marriage Preparation | 2 Comments

We were so thankful for Dan Lloyd’s article on the “Ten Financial Tips for Newlyweds” that we asked a few follow-up financial questions for engaged couples. Thanks to Dan and Catholic Financial Life for contributing!  1. What should engaged couples and newly married couples focus on first? Debt? Investing? Buying a house? A newly married couple’s focus will vary based on their financial goals and situation. Generally, achievement of one objective will lead to another. For example, if you do not have an established credit rating, you should focus on getting your debt under control. Once your debt is manageable, you will be able to focus on saving, which leads to the opportunity to purchase a home, invest for the future, or achieve other financial goals. 2. What is the best way to resolve conflicts and disagreements about financial matters? Your marriage partnership is also a financial partnership and it’s…

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Financial Tips for Newlyweds

Ten Financial Tips for Newly Married Catholic Couples

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We contacted Catholic Financial Life to give Catholic couples a few short tips on managing their finances, especially when just starting out in a marriage. Financial advisor Dan Lloyd, was nice enough to share these ten financial tips for newlyweds: 1. Set Your Financial Goals Discuss your short-term and long-term goals together and write them down. Goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-based, and Timed. 2. Open a Checking and Savings Account Set up a joint account for household expenses. Do not use check cashing stores because the effective annual interest rate can be as high as 900%. 3. Communicate and Participate Your marriage partnership is also a financial partnership.  Both spouses should be involved in the household finances. Set guidelines for financial decisions and talk regularly about your progress towards your financial goals. 4. Create a Budget Start by tracking two months of income and expenses. If your…

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Hostage of the debt

Have You Talked About Debt With Your Future Spouse?

By | Finances, Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Preparation | No Comments

The amount of consumer debt in the United States is striking. More and more couples are finding themselves overwhelmed with student loan and credit card debt as they enter into marriage. This is a serious issue that needs to be discussed in the preparation for marriage. How to Talk about Debt with your Fiancée/Fiancé 1. Set Aside a Time to Discuss It Financial conversations that occur in passing are never a good thing. Set aside some time to discuss your financial debts with your future spouse. List them on a sheet of paper. Consult some of the websites below for some help in guiding this discussion. 2. Set Financial Goals Together I wish I would have read Dave Ramsey’s book The Total Money Makeover before I got married. I knew debt was bad, but I really didn’t know where I should put the money that I was saving each month….

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