Archive for the ‘Engaged Couples’ Category

postheadericon Bride and Groom Money Talk FAQ

I know it has been a minute since I’ve written on this blog and I have a very good reason. I recently released my ground-breaking new book, Bride and Groom Money Talk FAQ. Let’s face it money is still the top reason for divorce for many reasons. I am on a mission to make sure that money talk is one of the reasons marriages are succeeding. I believe if couples start out communicating about money during their engagement, then they will continue having those talks throughout the marriage. It won’t be uncomfortable because they haven’t done it.

Bride and Groom Money Talk FAQ answers over 70 questions for brides and grooms when it comes to money. It is has more of a conversation tone and engages the reader. It is not a book that blames anyone when it comes to money instead provides direction on how certain issues can be handled. Believe me, I know the topic of money can be overwhelming especially when there are financial challenges. Somehow people’s personalities change when there are financial issues and couples begin blaming each other instead of stopping, taking a deep breath and becoming solution oriented.

I believe one of couples biggest challenges is their problem solving skills when it comes to money. Bride and Groom Money Talk FAQ is going to help change that. Grab your copy or get it as a gift for an engaged couple you know at

postheadericon Finances is a Loaded Issue

Finances is a loaded issue for any marriage whether you are engaged, newlywed or married for a long time. It is loaded for several reasons:

(1) We bring our own preconceived ideas into the relationship about money;

(2) We bring past experiences from other relationships into it (good, bad or indifferent)

(3) We also bring our dreams of what we would like our lives to be when it comes to money

(4) We also try to live up to what other people think we should be doing with our money in our marriages.

When you look at those and you add being married to that component – it may even seem like a “double whammy”. Each of those 4 components above applies to each person in the marriage. Therefore, because it is a loaded issue IT WILL require work and involvement on the part of both the husband and the wife.

When it comes to money and marriage, sure one person may manage the money; however it requires both people to be involved in order for their to be peace in the marriage about how money is being spent, how bills are being paid and financial plans for the future.

In your immediate surrounding between your family and friends, marriages that go the distance are those where they talk about the money. I didn’t say argue – they talk about the money, have a plan and work it together. They realize they are on the same team and not against each other.

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 Holiday Shopping or Wedding?

There’s no doubt the economy has impacted the lives of many, including brides and grooms that are planning a wedding. The impact has caused some brides to get very creative when it comes to having the wedding of their dreams. Whether they resort to DIY projects or even choosing a different day to have the wedding due to the reduction in venue price, brides are tapping into a level of creativity they may not have known before.

Christmas is 22 days away and what will it be.. holiday shoppping or will it be saving money for the wedding? Will some choose to spend the money on both?

This discussion alone could be the beginning of insight into how brides and grooms will handle holiday spending once they are married. If you are a bride or a groom right in and share if you’ve had this discussion and what was the result.

Be sure to like our Facebook page to the left for questions just like this.

postheadericon My first marriage ended because of money

Several days ago there I was all excited because I was attending two networking events that night. Don’t know how I did it, but I double booked myself that night. Instead of cancelling one, I decided to make an appearance at both.

The first event was good, I made a few connections and got back in my car and raced down the road to the second one.

While I was at the second event, I saw a familiar face from an event that I attended a year prior. This time, we had an opportunity to talk more. The lady I spoke with shared about her business and recent steps at re-branding and I was shaing that I was in the process of re-branding as well.

She asked me what my business was. You know when someone asks you about your business and what you do, you are more than happy to share that elevator speech. I began sharing how I teach couples how to communicate about money before and during the marriage. Before I knew it, these words flowed from her mouth…. “My first marriage ended because of money. We didn’t talk about the money. He was spending and there were financial secrets”. She went on to say, this is a great service you are offering because there is a fear around talking about money”. I agreed with her about there being a fear when there shouldn’t be.

We parted ways and continued working the room. I have heard that comment many times from women “My first marriage ended because of money” AND they want to marry again KNOWING they will be talking about money before walking down the aisle. They have silently vowed not to let “money be a topic that is avoided again”.

Lessons for Brides and Grooms:

1) Money is one of the top causes for divorce.

2) If you see a money issue that is causing you concern, ask your fiance’ about it and don’t overlook it. Avoidance is not the key.

3) Money is a tool that is being used to pay for the wedding, caterers, florists and more, you might as well begin talking about money FOR marriage.

4) It’s good to want the wedding of your dreams AND you should also be focusing on the MARRIAGE of a lifetime with financial management skills in place to make this happen instead of haphazardly managing money.

5) There are a lot of ex-husbands and ex-wives out there that will say the marriage ended because of money (they had a breakdown in communication about money, overspending, or even a lack of money) BUT wouldn’t it be a NICE change of pace for you and your fiance to say OUR MARRIAGE is working because we learned how to communicate about money before the marriage so we could continue to communicate after saying I Do.

** Think about it how many friends or even family members do you know, whose marriages have ended because of money?

Invest in premarital financial counseling today with Dr. Taffy and begin your marriage with a solid financial foundation.

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postheadericon Marriage and Money means Working TOGETHER

I have been busy over the last few weeks between the kids, my husband and I talking and evaluating our businesses over and over it has been lots of fun. Communciation is key when you are married. Talking with your loved one about the concerns you have, your dreams, your goals and even the things that you are afraid of. Yes, that’s right I said if there are things you are afraid of open up about them as well.

From day one, my husband and I have always been each other’s biggest supporter. Having said that it was fun talking about the growth we want to see in each of the businesses and stepping out of the box to make it happen. Believing in ourselves and what we have to offer was absolutely great. What would you do if your spouse was your biggest encourager? Where do you think your marriage and money would be if you were on the same page and had mutual financial goals?

I have watched different Court tv shows which some are my favorite, but when I watch these people I think what were they thinking when they say I Do. Clearly some people were not thinking. It is evident that they should not have been getting married because they were too young and not ready to be someone’s spouse.

Marriage and money means working together and not against each other. There will be issues come up that you do not even expect but believe this if you can work THROUGH them together, your marriage will be stronger for it.

The idea when you say “I Do” should be to be married for a lifetime. With marriage comes different challenges and issues. Your first thought should be how can we work it out instead of its your fault and I am out of here.  You didn’t get married to suddenly be divorced and single. Together you can accomplish much.

postheadericon The Price of Parenting

It has been very busy here for the last few weeks and continues to get even busier. However, over the last few days there have been some stories that I have seen that warrant my taking a minute or two to SPEAK UP.

Just last week I read a story about a parent of triplets and how she and her husband were very happy to discover that they would be having triplets when she was pregnant. However, once the babies were here the toll it began to take on their marriage. It took so much of a toll that the parents are now divorced and they attribute their divorce to being parents of triplets. You must read that story, it tore me apart.

The children did not ask to come into this world. I feel as if you as a married adult feel as if you are ready to become a parent, be wise and know what comes with that. Whether you have one child or several there will be financial expenses. That is where planning comes in and having a financial plan at that. Parenting is not something to be taken lightly.

I don’t know what the triplets were costing these parents, but I can imagine that they are spending more money because of a divorce, child support, health benefits and more. There are a lot of expenses when it comes to divorce and as a matter of fact usually ends up costing more than the cost of the marriage.  What do I recommend to the couples that are reading this: If you do not presently have any children, talk about it, talk about it some more and discuss what are the financial obligations that must be met on a monthly basis, how long would the wife work during the pregnancy, would she return to work after giving birth… those questions and a lot more should be discussed prior to your becoming a parent.

I am a parent of twins and we knew that I could have twins long before the doctors confirmed I was having twins. Several years before the twins were born, I had started a business on the side and had that income. So we were thinking long term and knew that there was the potential that I would have to come home early carrying twins. But that didn’t happen. I got to a point where I wanted to stop working because I was big and want to rest.

PLAN, TALK, Plan your finances and plan some more. It is crucial to have a game plan. Sure your finances might not be perfect, however, once you begin getting things in order, it is like a weight being lifted on the shoulders.

postheadericon Time springs forward but what about your finances?

I tell you what readers, I was not ready for the clock change.  Mind you I had been dealing with the sneezing and coughing like so many others over the past weekend that I was not paying attention to the time. When I realized that the time had changed it was Sunday night at approximately 8pm when our daughter said she and her brother were going to do something in the Spring. I went OOOOH No. She of course said what Mom? I told her that the clocks changed and we were supposed to move them up an hour.

What have you done about your finances as you prepare for spring? Are your finances springing forward and on the path to removing financial obstacles or are staying in those same financial habits that is causing turmoil in your home, affecting your job and your health? The choice is yours. Why do I say that? Well, think about it like this as long as their is income of some sort coming into your hands, you can make better decisions today that affect your future.

You can remove financial mistakes and input sound financial principals that put you on the road to financial independence, becoming a saver and an investor. What are you waiting on? Why wouldn’t you want to be a save and an investor? It is high time to think big picture and for the future, not just short term. Please, please quit looking at your financial mistakes. Looking behind is causing so many to miss financial opportunities that are in front of them or they believe they deserve to be in debt and not out of debt. Either way, its a bleak picture.

Think about how much fun you could have this spring if you got your finances in order. Vacations! Picnics! Trips to the Beach and much more!  I tell you what I’ve already begun thinking about some extended weekend trips for the family. Why not! You can create memories like never before and have a lot of fun in the process.

Spring forward your finances are waiting on you.

postheadericon Banking Fees and are you Paying Attention

Last week I went to the bank two days in a row and I was taking in everything that I saw. Let me ask the question: Who do banks serve? Are they there to help the consumer or to make more money off of the consumer? Let me recount what I saw.

Day 1:  There was a gentleman there and he was attempting to find out what was going on with his account. Clearly he did not know that his account had been overdrawn based on fees and was quite unhappy. Appears that deductions had not come out when they were supposed to and his account was in the negative. The gentleman was continuously shaking his head as in disbelief.

Lesson learned:  You must always always check your bank account and stay on top of what you have done when it comes to spending, deposits and deductions made.

Day 2:  The twins and I go into the bank there is one man at the window and he is vocal. What is happening with my accounts? The bank is making more money off of me than I am putting in. He has several accounts and I don’t mean 2 or 3, he had many. I heard them say money market account, checking account and savings account. Then they shared with him there is a fee for every time a transaction was made. He said, I am too busy for that to happen. Then he asked the question: Why don’t the bank protect the consumer and contact them and say you know we have a better account for you or something of that nature. Oh, you know that banker could not say anything. I took it in and the teller was clarifying what this customer wanted – ALL ACCOUNTS CLOSED.

Lesson in this one:  Know what the bank fees are for the different accounts, the number of transactions you can make prior to any fee being charged, is there a minimum balance required. Also if you are unhappy with your current bank – SHOP around and get what you DESERVE. I’m not for banks making money on their clients but providing inadequate customer service.

postheadericon Recap of America Saves Week

Today is the last day of America Saves Week – the national campaign and I must say I have had a lot of fun writing about saving money this week. Do you realize that if you can save your money, you can also save your marriage. Savings says that you are thinking long-term and not just about today. Whether that means thinking about an emergency fund, saving for a house or even starting a family, the great thing is that you have begun thinking about and soon will be taking action if you have not already.

America Saves says Start Small and Think BIG! I wholeheartedly agree because you will be able to achieve the small goals and then move up to the big ones. During America Saves Week, I shared how important it was to have a savings goal. I recommended short-term and long-term goals because as you reach the short-term goals it will encourage you to establish even longer goals. There is nothing like feeling a sense of accomplishment. It makes you feel as if you can take on the world. Let me share a secret – you can take on the world and WIN. Does not matter what area of life it is either.

Next I shared some quick ways to save money. It is fine to know information but unless you apply that information it does not mean a thing. One of the ways I mentioned to save money quickly was to brown bag your lunch. Sure people have heard this over and over but unless you do it, you will contine to spend that $6 – $10 for lunch everyday when you could be saving that money. The same applies for the vending machines. Buy your snacks at your local grocery store and get enough variety so that you do not become bored and tempted to spend your money in the vending machine because you do not like what you have.

Saving money can affect many areas of our lives and your vocation. I talked about saving as an entrepreneur. That is when it could literally turn into a game… how many ways can you save money as an entrepreneur. Remember America Saves is there to help you and encourage you as you proceed in your savings plan.  I know that it can be challenging in the beginning to save money but once you start and see that account grows, it will encourage you to save even more.