Archive for the ‘Money talk bills’ Category

postheadericon Failing to Plan your Money and Marriage…

Engagement time is a very happy and emotional time for many brides-to-be and families. Once the engagement happens sometimes within days thoughts begin swirling about wedding plans everything from flowers, wedding gown, caterers, reading bridal magazines, participating in online bridal forums and even creating your own online wedding website race through your mind.

There is no doubt that many brides will take the time to do the research, some will hire a wedding planner and some will not. Even those that don’t hire a wedding planner yet become an expert at “DIY” will make sure they have done the research and checked things off of the checklist. Planning Planning Planning.

Now one of the areas that does not get nearly that amount of attention for most during this same time is MONEY COMMUNICATION for marriage. Sure, brides are talking about the wedding budget, however, do you love him enough to say I want to show you my credit report or will you show me your credit report.

Do you love him enough to say, how would you handle if I lost my job and couldn’t get employment for six months – how would WE handle this? Do you love him enough to say, I’m not sure I want to automatically combine our finances if that is not what you want?

Marriages are ending all the time because of money. Whether it is overspending, money secrets, lack of money – doesn’t matter statistics show that one of the top reasons marriage end in divorce is because of money.

Are you failing to plan your money and marriage talks, money management skills and how to handle money management issues BEFORE you say I Do? Could you answer those questions without going to your groom right now because you felt as if you’ve talked about it or felt those talks could wait?

If you FAIL to Plan, then you PLAN to FAIL in the area of Money and Marriage DURING your marriage. When money challenges start, dynamics change in a relationship really fast because of emotions and other factors that you usually are not prepared for.

Get PREMARITAL FINANCIAL COUNSELING today! Think about it, how many marriages do you know throughout your family or even friends that have ended due to money issues. How many of them could have been saved IF they had premarital financial counseling prior to saying “I Do” and developing a financial plan for their marriage.

postheadericon Needs versus Wants video

I thought this lesson was so important that I would continue this theme throughout this week. Hmm, timely considering Christmas is coming. I knew that is what you were thinking.

Sit back and take a look:

postheadericon Ready for the Wedding, yet…

This morning on The View, Whoopi said I love the Wedding day, its the day after I have the problem with. That has been in my head all day because I believe there are many that fall into this category.

How many brides should we say are sooo excited about their wedding day and then when they return from the honeymoon its post-nuptial withdrawals? Planning their wedding, meeting with the wedding planner, caterers and such was fun and busy. Once they return from the honeymoon… its quiet.

I think so many are focused on the wedding, yet they forget to plan, prepare and prevent unnecessary issues when it comes to marriage. Plan how you want your marriage to unfold, prepare for merging money in order to prevent blowups regarding financial stress. Of course there is more to it than that, yet that is a place to start especially since there are a lot of financial challenges that can arise in the first year that really tear a marriage apart.

When newlyweds start out with marital debt, it makes it very hard to nurture and enjoy the relationship instead of arguing about the money and pointing the finger which more than likely will happen.

To prevent wedding day blues, talk with your soon to be spouse about what you want your marriage to look like, how you want the finances handled and what are mutual steps you can agree to take in order to prevent stress on the marriage.

postheadericon 2010 Year in Review Money and Marriage Headlines

The end of 2010 is just around the corner as is a bride and groom’s wedding day; therefore, let’s take a look at what made the headlines for money and marriage.

#10: At the beginning of 2010, leading article was Marriage: A Good Investment for Guys (Time Magazine). Article cited a study in 1970 that showed an unmarried man was better off financially than a married guy at that time and NOW 22% of the women make more money than their husbands. Question: Will this news bring on a mad rush of men chomping at the bit to pop the question? Observation: I wouldn’t necessarily say that marriage makes a man more successful than if he remained single. When it comes to a man or woman’s success it depends on their character, work ethic, dreams and goals as individuals.

#9: In February 2010, we were given a glimpse of what was happening in marriage via Money Matters in Marriage (Washington Post) which discussed “The State of Our Unions”. Article states according to “The State of Our Unions” annual survey by the Univ of Virginia’s National Marriage Project and the Center for Marriage and Families at the New York based Institute for American Values, W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project wrote the Great Recession that began in 2007 exposed an economic factor. Wilcox stated “the economic downturn reminds us that marriage is more than emotional relationship it is also an economic partnership and social safety net. Lesson: Money has always been a part of marriage. There are husbands and wives that have weathered the financial storms for years. Couples should enter marriage with a clear picture of what marriage and money can be instead of expecting the fairy tale.

#8: February continued to be a busy month when discussing marriage and money, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering there’s Valentines Day and National Marriage Week. Next in line was a news story titled Money and Marriage: Avoid Problems through Full Disclosure (ABC News GMA). Bottom line – ways to alleviate most money problems is to communicate, get help from a financial counselor if necessary, designate one person to manage the money and devise a strategy to pay bills on time. Lesson: Communicating about money is an ongoing conversation not a one time chat or text message.

#7: Our journey continued in February and we were met with Five Ways to save your Marriage ( Of course my immediate thought was COMMUNICATION. Communication was second and first was working together as a team. Lesson: Husbands and wives must realize and accept they are on the same team and not opponents.

#6: Reflecting on the top 10 news stories about money and marriage, month after month we kept hearing about the impact of the economy on people, engaged couples and businesses. One reoccurring theme I noticed was brides wedding dress deposits and bridal stores going out of business. Brides made deposits on the wedding dress of their dreams only to discover weeks and even days to prior to their wedding the bridal shops had closed down without notice. Resulted in no dress and no return of deposit.

#5: It’s never too late to talk about Finance and Romance, especially in the heat of the summer. One story that was sure to get the “home fires burning” was titled Finance and Romance: A Perfect Marriage (Forbes Woman). Short and sweet of this: Managing your finances can lead to increased romance in marriage. Lesson: Very easy to be romantic when there is no financial pressure!

#4: For those who didn’t learn the lesson about Finance and Romance could be living more of the theme from our next candidate, Your Money, What Love Joins Together, Debt can put Asunder (NY Times). Nothing like a bride’s fiancé finding about her student loan debt (amount very close to the wedding day) and calling off the engagement. Lesson: Communicate honestly about the debt and financial obligations being brought into the marriage early on in the relationship so everyone knows the truth.

#3: Debt is a four letter word when ignored can affect marriages severely resulting in divorce. Up next making the headlines was titled The Biggest Money Mistakes Couples Make (US News and World Reports). Top mistakes were not talking, combining accounts too early, sharing credit cards, real estate and other type of debt, ignoring the risk of a break-up and ignoring the marriage penalty. Lesson: Most important is to start talking (not arguing) about money issues and establishing a mutually agreed upon financial foundation that the marriage can operate. This should lead to specific and well-defined roles for husbands and wives and mutual financial goals for the marriage.

#2: I must say I had no idea this next one would even end up in the list; however upon reading the news I felt it deserved to be included. Prince William’s engagement spurs tips on mixed money marriages (USA Today). Different financial backgrounds and experiences and the one with lesser financials can get swept up in their future spouse’s lifestyle thereby creating and increasing stress. Lesson: Even though you may not be Prince William nor his fiancé, do not lose yourself or identity once you are married and give up on your dreams.

#1: This list started out taking a look at the affect of marriage on men and who would have known at the end of November, gracing the headlines would be a Study focusing on women, money and divorce (Today Show). States that 1/3 of women are better educated, in 22% of the couples, she is the primary bread winner and 38% are at risk of divorce. Lesson: For the wives that are the primary bread winner – goal should be working together for the greater good of the marriage. Treat your husband the way you want to be treated regardless of income.

Based on the stories I’ve read over 2010, I’d say we are in for more precedent setting money and marriage stories like never before. Stay tuned…..

Copyright ©2010 – Dr. Taffy Wagner, CEPF – Permission granted to use and reproduce with proper citation.

postheadericon Money Talk Before Marriage isn’t necessary if..

Money Talk Before Marriage isn’t necessary if..

1) You have decided to keep your financial secrets hidden and you can handle the consequences once the truth comes to light.

2) You want your upcoming marriage to potentially be a divorce statistic by not discussing one of the top (if not the top) cause for divorce.

3) You are so in love, your fiance has told you that he or she is not paying their bills prior to your being married and you feel secure in knowing this will change once you are married.

4) You have swapped credit reports.

5) You are aware your future spouse has other children and is not paying child support. then once you say “I Do”, the ex-wives will sue you both.

6) Your future spouse is not working and has no intention of getting a job; thereby placing you in the position of bringing in all the income, paying the bills and planning for the future.

7) When one spouse has more debt than the other and the one with no debt will be expected to pay all the bills.

8) You’ve talked with your girlfriends about financial issues and they have re-assured you everything will be okay despite the fact they don’t know your future spouse and what his thoughts are.

9) You prefer to learn your money lesssons On-the-job in marriage and comfortable with making mistakes.

* If you need premarital financial counseling, register at and Dr. Wagner will contact you.

Copyright ©2010 – Dr. Taffy Wagner – Permission granted to use and reproduce with proper citation.

postheadericon Another look at who pays for what

When I began focusing this week on who pays for what, I didn’t know that it would be a hot topic. Lo and behold we will be ending out this week with an article I read on that topic. Who pays for what tradition and otherwise.

I encourage brides and grooms to get done in the most economical fashion where there will be no regrets when they look back on their wedding day. This can set an interesting tone for your marriage.

postheadericon Bridal Party should not be Bankrupt

I remember one year, one of my girlfriends had to attend about four weddings because she was in the bridal party. I couldn’t help but think about her paying for all those different dresses, cost of flying to wherever the wedding was because she had friends in various states and even more.

Brides and grooms must be careful not to Bankrupt the bridal party. Be up front with them and let them know of the required expenditures which could also play in their part to attend the wedding or not.

Read the article and weigh in. What do you think and what have you done so that your bridal party is not bankrupt?

postheadericon Fiance keeping up with the Joneses

My fiance has been in at least five weddings over the last sixteen months. We have been engaged and are now planning our wedding. I told her from the beginning that since we were paying for the wedding, I thought we should have a conservative yet elegant wedding that we both can remember for years to come. Yet every time we talk, I hear about this friend’s wedding and that friend’s wedding. It is getting on my last nerve. What is a groom to do?

Brides-to-be take a note, if you spend your time trying to keep up with the Joneses and you and your groom are paying for your wedding, you just may run him off. Money is one of the top causes of divorce. When he is being honest with you and sharing with you upfront that he does not want a lot of debt, listen to what he is saying. He is not saying he does not want a wedding. He is saying he does not want debt that is going to smother him and you to the point of there is stress from the beginning in the marriage.

It has been told to men from the beginning they are supposed to be the providers for their families. How can he provide for the family if you are creating uncontrollable debt and put it all off on him? Be honest with yourself about what your income is and what is his income is. There is nothing like having the ability to come back from a honeymoon and nuture your new marriage relationship without financial stress instead of coming back to a stack of bills and immediately arguing about you spent this amount.

Once the arguments start, then pointing the finger begins. Shifting the blame and no one will enjoy that. Let me let you in on a secret, when you are looking at the Joneses, you are looking from the outside and you do not know exactly what is going on in the inside. You may be reading this and saying yes, I do know what’s going on. You know what your girlfriend is saying not her husband. There is always her side, his side and THE TRUTH!

Groom: Sit down with your bride and show her the budget, what the two of you have agreed upon and what you have spent to date for the wedding expenses and what remains. Furthermore, also talk with her about what bills you are both bringing to the table outside of the wedding. Maybe the BIG PICTURE will help her to stop looking at her friends.

postheadericon Brides and Grooms dealing with Money Matters

Congratulations to all the engaged couples that are dealing with money matters during the engagement! Does that sound strange? It should not because better now than later to be discussing money matters. Talking about who is going to manage the money, what are the existing debts being brought into the marriage and much more can save you from a lot of grief, headaches, nights where you go to bed upset with each other because of financial stress – believe me it is not worth it.

When you stand across the altar from the one you love, those first few months to couple of years should be spent nurturing the relationship, having fun as you learn more about each other as a husband and wife, the quirks, the habits and so much more. Coming into a marriage with debt that has not been discussed is setting the marriage up for division and a lack of trust in the marriage. Once trust is gone in the relationship, it is hard to get it back.

If you are engaged and wonder what you should be talking about, the following is a beginning point:

1) What student loans are being brought to the marriage?

2) What credit card debt is being brought to the marriage?

3) What happends when a financial emergency arises? What do each of you think would be the best way to get a financial unexpected emergency handled?

4) Who is going to be better at managing money?

By all means are these the end all of all the questions. This is a starting point. The idea is not to overwhelm and frustrate each other to a point of not wanting to discuss finances. You should talk about finances with the idea of resolving challenges and having a game plan. Financial discussions can lead to greater intimacy in a marriage.

When there are no financial problems, the fun can truly begin pampering each other just because you love one another. It does not have to be a special day – each day you spend with each other is a GREAT day.

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postheadericon Fiance does not make any money

Brides – if your fiance does not make any money, how are you going to handle that? In everything you do, you must have a plan whether it be education, career, purchasing a car, buying a house and even getting married. Each of these areas involve money and it is not wise to make decisions with your eyes closed.

Financial decisions have long lasting effects if made carelessly. So if you are engaged at this point and your fiance does not make any money, let me provide some “food for thought”. Hold on to your seat because that does not mean I am going to say break off the engagement. Continue reading below.

Questions to ask yourself if your fiance does not make any money. Make sure you can answer these questions based on your own observations of him, by talking with him and what you know is true:

1) Is your fiance a hardworker, but poor at managing money?

2) Does he feel that he should not have to work, but think things should just be given to him?

3) Does he have bills?

4) When you and your fiance go out, who pays for dinner, movies or whatever the activity is?

5) If your fiance does not work, what was his last job and why did he quit?

6) Does he want to start his own business?

7) How are the wedding expenses being handled?

8) After the wedding, where do you and your fiance plan to live?

9) Does your fiance have dreams and goals for himself?

10) What does your fiance’s credit report look like?

11) Was he married before, if so was money one of the reasons the marriage ended?

Brides, when you take a trip and you plan on driving you have a map and you map out your course. If you are like me, you map it out in complete detail even to where your gas stops will occur. When you are planning on getting married to someone that you are going to share your life with, it should not be any different. Take the time and get these questions answered. Do not ignore the fact that his not making any money is bothering you.

PLEASE PLEASE pay attention to the little red flag that is raised. It should bother you and that means it is worth discussing and not being swept under the rug. If it is necessary – get Money Talk Before The Commitment Walk and The Debt Stops At The Altar financial education program which teaches couples how to communicate about money in a non-threatening manner.