Posts Tagged ‘Budget’

postheadericon Day 21 of Money and Marriage Talk with Eric and Taffy

You are in for a treat. Started out this morning sharing with my husband that I’d be interviewing Carmen Wong Ulrich on Bride Groom Money Talk on Blogtalk Radio and discussing the Real Cost of College and Bad Habits. We confirmed the time the interview would be happening. Since we were former college counselors for high school students, he was just as interested in this interview just like me. We had a lot of fun working with students during that time frame.

We also discussed if I had some meetings this day. I realized once he was gone that after the interview, I had a conference call lined up. True enough this was going to be a busy day. Talking about one of my favorite subjects money of course. Personal finances. This is one of those things that I could talk about all day because I know how important it is to get this area of your life under control.

One of the traps I think people fall into is saying and thinking, I am going to wait until I have more money in order to do a, b, c or d? Hmmm, finishing a, b, c or d never happens and then they miss out on different opportunities. I remember last year saying that once we had done a certain thing, we’d begin going to Whole Foods and getting healthier food. This year and actually within the last few months, I decided healthier eating was very important to me. Granted our children eat very healthy. It’s just time for the adults to get on the same bandwagon. So I set aside the funs and made sure this was going to occur. It is nice to be able to do the things that were on list of tasks or even household items.

Our money talk was spent more on the radio show. Talking about the cost of college and what you will get out of it, are you spending your money on a large party or purchasing a home. Brides and grooms you owe it to yourselves and each other to talk it out and have a game plan. When it comes to money and marriage, same thing. Talk about the money – no surprises is always helpful.

I must share this: decided to do something different for dinner. We would be having a dinner of nothing but fruit – watermelon, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and pineapples. The twins were quite excited. There I was making that trip to our grocery store to get the fresh fruit. I don’t mind going to the store for fresh fruit. It’s soooo worth it.

Money and Marriage Lesson for Today:

1) Don’t put off those things that are important to you because of a lack of money. Make some adjustments and have fun.

2) You cannot put a price tag on health! Preventative is always best.

postheadericon Day 9 of Money and Marriage Talk with Eric and Taffy

Ahhhh the weekend, what to do what to do. There was already at least one appointment on the schedule and I was not going to be late. Yes Ladies, it was the hair appointment. The children already knew what they were supposed to prepare for breakfast. The weekend was not scheduled to be a “big” weekend full of expenses. YEA!

Hubby and I talked prior to my leaving to get my hair done. As I was driving to the hair salon, I remembered that I had a few bags of clothing and toys that I wanted him to take to one of the places I like to donate items tooo. I would be thinking about dinner since I didn’t figure out Saturday’s dinner earlier in the week when the twins and I had planned the meals. We had soo much fun we are doing it again the coming week. Believe me, it makes it quite easy on the wallet.

There really was not a money discussion this day. We planned to have some fun with the kids and once I got home, we’d all go to the library and get more DVD’s for school and family fun. I am truly enjoying how much fun they are having with the Earth Science and Life Science DVDs. They are grasping the concepts and are able to explain to me what they saw. Pour it in, pour it in – children are like sponges.

Money and Marriage Lesson for Today:

1) Be secure in working your plan, knowing that everyday you may not have a financial discussion. You may have to make a choice when it comes to money. Be sure to remain focused.

2) Be creative and see if you can go a day or two without spending any money.

Money and Marriage Encouragement: You get out of your money and marriage what you put into it. Don’t get caught only making withdrawals!

postheadericon Day 2 of Money and Marriage Talk with Eric and Taffy

Saturday morning started out early for me. I decided that I would get up and get some work done on my homeschool records before hanging out with the family. It always blesses me to see what we have done throughout our school year as we plan ahead for the next. There I was up at 5am getting the records done while the house was quiet.

Later that morning after hubby got up, we began talking about what we were going to do for that day. He talked with me about going to an amusement park where the twins could drive go karts, play lazer tag, miniature golf and all kinds of fun things. I was in agreement with this since he and our son went about a month ago, when our daughter and I had to work a bridal show. This would give the twins a chance to have fun together at the amusement park. The kids had already eaten breakfast and I was taking a little time getting things together.

I thought of packing a snack bag with bottled water, snack bars, peanut butter and cheese crackers, grapes, iced tea and fig newton bars. This way whenever we needed to take a break, we would have our snacks.

Once we were out the door, he and I knew where we were going we usually don’t tell the kids. I love the element of creating surprises for them all the time. Whenver they ask me where we are going my standard response is – you just enjoy the ride! They are always filled with excitement because they don’t know where we are going. I also had my video camera with because I was not going to miss capturing these moments. Most of the time when we are out having fun, my husband is the one taking the videos and pictures, BUT today I decided it would be my turn and he could have ALL the fun.

As we were getting closer, hubby began asking me if I wanted to ride all the rides and stuff. I told him no because I didn’t and wanted to spend more time getting the videos and pics. Last time he didn’t get to do the rides and just watched our son. This time he should have fun with the kids and I would do the video and pics. Of course being “the fun parent” he was all for that.

Okay, if you have hung in here reading until now, here comes the money part. Remember the day before I wrote about Chick-Fil-A $24.00, Costco about $30 and then Dave and Busters being anywhere from $40.00 to $70.00. Alright keep those numbers in mind its going to be good.

Now to the money – he said I can get unlimited passes for me and the kids. We can ride as many times as we want and we get tokens. I said awesome. I want to play miniature golf and that’s about it. He said okay.
So the passes for the three of them and my buy one get one ticket added up to $65.00. He had gotten coupons for $4 off his unlimited ticket and $3 off of each kids unlimited pass. WOOHOO!

We began playing at about a quarter to 2pm. The kids went right to the go-karts. There was no line and hubby said to have them do it 3xs and then they could do the other rides. I tell you what our son is a fierce driver. This kid was weaving in and out, passing the other drivers and he was doing massive laps around this track. This kid is quite competitive. Our daughter got the hang of it right away and was all for it as well.

After driving the go-karts 3 times, we moved on to other games. Oh, did I forget to mention that my husband got on the adult go-karts. Oh yea – it was on! This was hilarious and I can see where our son gets it from. Show them no mercy! Believe me he was taking it to these other drivers.

After about 2 hours it began to rain, so we took a break and went to the car for snacks! Go MOM! Worked like a charm and not have to purchase food at the park which is always more expensive. Once the rain stopped we were back inside and playing some of the arcade games. The kids were driving the Fast and Furious car racing. Did I mention our son loves cars? Our daughter likes them… key word “likes” and he LOVES them. Wouldn’t imagine that she ended up in 3rd place for the machine and he was in 6th place. Who would have known.

They played all evening long. Between them and my husband we kept on going from go karts, to the bumper boats which was spraying water on people. There is a pic included – talk about getting soaked. They were and loving every minute of it.

Here’s where a husband and daughter go after each other in the bumper boats.

Did I ever get to miniature golf? Of course and it was loads of fun. Sorry, no pics for that one. We had the time of our life. So far the count on money spent is $65.00 right so I’m already ahead because I had budgeted about $150. When we left it was 9:30pm and we had not had dinner! Honestly, I didn’t think we were going to be there that long and that Chick-Fil-A platter was still on my mind. NOT HAPPENING! What was the result dinner at Applebee’s and it hit the spot. Everybody was hungry! Total: $39.00.

After dinner we drove home. The kids fell asleep in the car. I knew that everyone would sleep good this night. Total for the day: $104.00 and yes, I was UNDER BUDGET! High Five’s!

Money and Marriage Lessons for the Day:

1) Planned spending gives you an opportunity to allocate a certain dollar amount. Then you may very well come in lower and can use the difference for something else.

2) Family time is important. Don’t get so bogged down in work, school or life that you forget to take time and have fun with the family.

3) Memories can be created without breaking the bank. For some people if you don’t pay attention to how you spend your money, $104 could literally break the bank or throw them into a financial tizzy. Be sure to take the time and be involved in your finances.

Money and Marriage Encouragement for the day: We are in control of our finances and dictate what we want our money to do. We are not controlled by our money.

postheadericon Cash Christmas

It all started on Thursday night before Christmas. My husband and I were discussing our game plan for taking the twins shopping for each other on Christmas Eve like we had done so many years before. Each year they become more and more excited as they have decided what they believe the other one wants.

We had discussed what the amount they were allowed to spend. Then we also discussed a couple of other purchases that we needed to make. Of course, there I was with my budget in hand as we were having the “spending talk”.

The game plan was set and the lists were made with dollar amounts attached that was the target number. The next day would prove to be filled with loads of fun and surprises.

On Christmas Eve, hubby got up and went to work. He had two lists in hand and knew the goal was to get the things on the list once he was done with work and get home at a certain time. The twins were all excited about him getting home early so they could go shopping with us.

That morning, I worked on business and prepared for the afternoon outings that would come quickly. There we were at 1pm, ready to get in the car and tackle the stores. OOOH our twins know mom doesn’t like to shop, yet this day I felt it was going to be fun and I would enjoy it.

Our daughter got in the car with me and we decided that I would do the groceries. Once we were home, then husband would return with our son and pick her back up to go do the shopping for our son. Lo and behold as we are driving, our daughter says since I’m with you mom, we might as well get Cody’s gift. Well, of course that was my thought yet I didn’t want to stop her from shopping with Daddy.

I told her in that case we needed to shop for his gift prior to grocery shopping. We found exactly what she wanted to get him in the price range. She said he is going to love it. We put it in the buggy and then proceeded to get the groceries.

The store was soooooo crowded. People standing in the aisles with shopping carts and not moving. I hadn’t seen anything like this in a long time. We made our way up to a check out line and we look over in the next check out line and guess what happened…….

postheadericon Budgeting for Engaged Couples

What a fun time to be planning a wedding as an engaged couple. One thing that you should not forget to do is establish a budget as an engaged couple. This budget could encompass many things because while most brides are probably focused primarily on the wedding, I want to encourage you to also focus on the marriage.

You could establish a wedding day budget – what you plan to spend for
caterers, flowers, wedding gown, etc. The groom’s cost will more than likely be minimal. However, once you return from the honeymoon and began living together if you had not gotten a place together prior to your marriage, now you are beginning your life together as husband and wife.

What should be included in the budget:
Insurance costs – auto, life, health
Credit Card bills
Student Loans

Those are only a few items that should be on the budget. You should sit down and each person complete a budget worksheet of what their bills are separately and then do a budget where you have combined all of your expenses.

As you are planning to move forward with the wedding, do not blame each other for past expenses that you incurred when the other person was not a part of your life. Budgeting says that you do not have to keep up with the Joneses or your best girlfriend that had a wedding that costs x amount of dollars.

As an engaged couple, now is not the time to be silent when it comes to finances, budgeting and your future. Be honest with yourself and establish a plan. It can make the difference between financial stress and financial happiness.

If you need additional guidance or resources, look under

postheadericon Fiance’ helping with Bills Don’t Live with Bride-to-Be

Brides – stop read and learn. I have been getting several questions regarding fiance’s and I must say please pay attention. This question came no doubt from a bride and you need to read this answer in full.

Question: Should a fiance help with bills even if he does not live with me?

Answer: This answer is going to be quite detailed because there are several variables.

First and foremost, the fiance’ should not be obligated to help the bride-to-be pay bills if they are strictly the brides’ bills that were created even before the fiance’ came along. Now if he chooses to help, it should be his choice and not one of feeling as if he was manipulated into helping. That would be wrong.

Second, if these were bills created by the bride-to-be for the wedding that they (bride and fiance) budgeted for, then sure he should help out with the bills even if he does not live there. Another factor that comes into play with this is if they are primarily paying for their own wedding and the parents are not contributing or are making a minimal contribution to the wedding.

Third, if these are joint bills they created together what I mean by that they opened up joint credit accounts and they have charged this and that, sure he should help pay for the bills even if they do not live together. This can be a lesson in money prior to saying “I Do”. What can be learned in this lesson is what was the original agreement when it came to expenses, who would pay, etc. If the fiance helped create the debt and then decides that he does not want to help pay, I say to the bride-to-be take a long look and decide if this is what you want your marriage to be like.

If he does not voluntarily help pay before then more than likely he will not pay after you say “I Do”. Then what happens is you are going to have regrets and think of ways to get out of it.

postheadericon Say Yes to The Dress and Staying on Budget

I had the opportunity the other night to watch Say Yes To The Dress for the first time and I cannot exactly say that I was surprised by what I saw. Since I had not seen it before I decided to sit through at least thirty minutes of the show and my husband and I talked about it.

This is a show where the bride-to-be goes to the dress shop with her family, bridesmaids, sometimes the grooms and begins the exciting task of choosing her dress. Well, this one particular episode that I was watching this young woman already knew what dress she wanted before she walked in the store because she saw it on someone that worked there and fell in love with this dress. Her budget for her dress was set at $5,000. I will reserve my comments on that one for later.

So the coordinator comes out and she speaks with her and shares with her about the dress she would like to try on this day. So this bride-to-be and coordinator go to the back and the dress is brought into the dressing room. She puts the dress on and it is absolutely stunning. She walks out where the family and friends are and they really like it as well.

Then she is told what the price of the dress is. She realizes it is over budget and the coordinator proceeds to recommend an alternative. Bride-to-be puts on the alternative dress which is nice and within her budget but she wants Dress #1. So she is now back in her regular clothes and asks to talk with her family for a few minutes.

Bride-to-be and family meet in this room and she tells them the dress is over budget and by how much. The family in turn decides they will help her pay for this dress that is 2xs over her budgeted amount. The coordinator goes to the manager of the bridal shop and say we need to help her get this dress.

When I saw this, it reminded me of when a salesman at the car dealership goes back and talks with the manager about the price. Then he comes back and says this is the lowest we can do. Same thing, the manager comes out with the coordinator and says this is the price we can give you. Mind you it still stays around 11k and she is excited.


1) Brides – the budget is in place for a reason. The dress is going to be worn one day for a few hours.

2) I would have preferred seeing her put the additional money towards a down payment on a house or paying off existing bills. Let’s face it, more than likely one person is coming into the marriage with debt.

3) When she chose to go over budget, the family decided they would kick in. So is it her normal standard to go over budget for the things that she wants. If so, this groom is going to be in trouble fast.

4) Involving the family in financial affairs in a new marriage can present some problems. Proceed with caution.