Posts Tagged ‘debt’

postheadericon Money Management for 2011

I have been teaching a lot locally in Denver regarding Money Management. Each time there has been great turnout and lots of questions being asked. People are tired of being in debt, struggling in the economy and not getting the help they need.

I have given a seminar for a Singles Summit and the majority of the participants had some experience with money within a marriage and had their own perspective on how they would handle finances when entering into a new committed relationship. They also were able to determine what is important for them when it comes to a relationship and the role of money in that relationship.

I taught at two of our local libraries for those communities about money. Interestingly enough it is always an older crowd that has had it with the economy and they are seeking answers. There were several younger adults and they had their own experience when it came to the economy “tanking” so they were there to get answers as well.

Before 2011 gets away from you, I encourage you to get the help that you deserve. If you are seeking personal financial counseling, click the tab under Money in marriage and get the counseling help you need today.

postheadericon Does Needs vs Wants = Cheap?

At the beginning of the week, we started out talking about needs versus wants. When I posted a question on my Facebook fan page for Brides and Grooms Money Talk regarding knowing the difference between needs versus wants, I received a comment. The commenter said it was a great tip, yet couples avoid it because it makes them look cheap.

I thought about this and began wondering, when did knowing about your needs versus wants become a bad thing? When did it become bad to have balance when it comes to money instead of being out of order, stressed with debt and arguing with your future spouse about money?

Recommendation for brides and grooms, don’t believe the hype about not discussing money and keeping up with the Joneses or that favorite girlfriends wedding you attend in the last few months. Focus should be what do you and your future spouse need for your wedding and more importantly your marriage. The wedding is one day and should be a day you can remember.

Knowing your needs and making purchases within your financial boundaries does not make you cheap by any means. Which would you prefer to buy what you need and have extra or to overspend, have financial stress and strain over money even before you walk down the aisle, relationship affected on many levels?

You decide. As an adult be prepared for the consequences regardless of how you decide. You don’t get to point the finger at someone else.

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 Lesson of the Week: Needs vs Wants and Money

Do you know the difference between needs and wants? Many brides and grooms are planning their wedding right now and this is a lesson that should not be missed. If brides and grooms can learn this lesson early during their engagement even before planning their wedding, this can benefit them greatly throughout their marriage.

Let’s get down to the basics and start off with definition. Need is defined as a requirement. Think back to the days of school when you were taught our basic needs are food, clothing and shelter. Elementary Watson right! Want is defined as feeling a desire for or wish for something. Classic example – someone wants to win the lottery. Doesn’t mean they will.

Brides and grooms enter their engagement with their own ideas when it comes to money long before any wedding planning even happens. Once the wedding planning begins whether thought out or planning as you go, many factors begin coming into play. What will the day of the wedding be, florists, caterers, wedding dress, how large will the bridal party be, whose paying for the wedding and even the venue. Before you know it there is this huge party planned on behalf of the bride and groom sometimes at their expense; the expense of the bride’s parents or at the expense of the bride, groom and parents.

I recommend for any bride, groom and or parent of a bride or groom that could be reading this, sit down and be honest with yourselves about your needs and your wants.
Let’s have some fun which could also be quite an eye-opener. This is for the bride and groom. May be considered old school, yet time to go back to the basics. Here is what I’d like you to do: fold the sheet of paper in half, on the top of the left hand column write the word Need and on the right hand column right want. Above both of the columns in the middle write the word Wedding.

Under the left hand column where you wrote need – write what you need for your wedding. Then under the right hand column where you wrote wants – write what you want. For some of you, you may find that your need list is quite short and has completely changed your perspective on the wedding and life as a whole. There are others who may discover that what you want may get you in trouble financially because you have been putting your wants ahead of what you need.

When it comes to money, let me encourage you to know what your needs are and invest your money in your needs instead of buying what you want and then borrowing money for your needs.

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 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.

Go to

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 Is Debt Your Family Heirloom?

We have all have heard and know money is one of the top three reasons for divorce, yet people are getting married every day without having discussed finances. Is DEBT the new FAMILY HEIRLOOM?

Individuals are mismanaging money, obtaining credit card after credit card and not making enough money to pay all of their bills. Where does this start – the lack of knowledge regarding finances? It could go back to their Parents and even their Parents’ parents. Be honest if their parents were not taught how to manage money and has experienced their own share of financial strain and struggle but made it through. This could be the result of not having been talked to about money.

Unfortunately the cycle continues and NOW Debt becomes the family heirloom. We all know that heirloom is a FAMILY possession that is passed down from generation to generation. When I think about an heirloom, I think about jewelry, pictures, furniture and other possessions of older family members. Incidentally, it does seem that “DEBT” has reached this status of heirloom. Unless someone decides to break the cycle, debt will be passed down from generation to generation along with that negative mindset in regards to money.

Debt is not precious nor should it be passed down. DO NOT ignore the warning signs of a son or daughter mismanaging money. Stop today and get them the help that is necessary so that their marriage does not end up becoming a divorce statistic because of money when it doesn’t have to be.

A lot of time is spent on wedding day preparation, but how much time is spent on ensuring that brides and grooms are getting the necessary life skills to sustain their marriage? Couples need to be prepared for financial decisions such as what happens if one spouse loses a job – are they prepared financially? How do they handle when the economy is down? I remember when the economy began to tank, the statistic surfaced that 3 out of 4 married couples were arguing about money.

Debt is equal opportunity and does not discriminate based on race, economic level, religion, or sex. Choose to stop the cycle today and get premarital or postmarital financial education for yourself or the ones you love. If you know you wouldn’t want your son or daughter to go through what you have gone through when it comes to money and marriage, then give them the gift of financial education as a wedding gift. Invest in their marriage for a lifetime and provide them with a resource that teaches them how to make solid financial decisions so they won’t have to come to you and borrow money after saying “I Do”.

Get them premarital financial counseling or give them the program that they can complete in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Go to

postheadericon Honey Let’s Talk About Money

Engaged Couples you should take a look. I invite you to Share, subscribe or leave comments.

postheadericon Lack of Money not Funny during Engagement

The economy has had its effects on many relationships especially for those that are engaged. Brides and grooms are having to cut costs where they can in order to have the wedding of their dreams. Sure they are compromising on different things and some have even gone the route of DIY. I tell you what, I am an artsy girl in a different kind of way and don’t think I would have been doing a lot of DIY. Hmmm, let me think about this as I write… my husband actually did our wedding announcements because he works in the printing industry.

When it came to the flowers, I went to a local florist and chose my bouquet and the boutonneire that I wanted my him to wear. So there were some things that we did handle. We had a Justice of the Peace wedding because we knew what our financial situation was and did not want to incur more debt due to our wedding.

I have repeatedly been reading different articles and getting some anonymous notes on the back end of my blog regarding how the economy has been affecting the bride and groom. This week, I will be talking about different situations regarding the money and the bride and groom. Stay tuned…