Viewing Debt as 'Ours' vs. 'Mine' and 'Yours' in Marriage

I hear about so many couples combining their finances when they get married but keeping their debts separate. If I'm being honest, I cringe every time I hear about one of those couples. It hurts me even more than when I hear that they keep all of their finances separate, but I'll save that topic for another post. If you share the same goals for what you want to spend your money on and what you are saving up to do in the future, but you are divided on getting rid of the payments that are keeping you from reaching those goals faster, it will divide the two of you as a couple as well.

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Why We Start Planning for Christmas in January

One of my personal goals this year is to plan ahead, prepare and then follow through on the plans that I've made. One of the things that we're planning ahead for is Christmas! Yes, I know it's been less than a month since Christmas ended and I just barely finished putting our decorations away a week ago, but we're already talking about this year's holiday season. I'm planning for a lot of different things including traditions and gift ideas but the biggest thing that we've been talking about is our budget.

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How Involved in Each Other's Finances Should You Get Before Marriage?

I wouldn't suggest combining your bank accounts or finances before you've tied the knot, but I do suggest that you make finances and money a part of your conversations together as soon as you know that your relationship is headed for marriage, and possibly even before that. I've shared my thoughts on what financial discussions you should have before you get married here on the blog before, but I'd like to add these to the list!

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One Tip for Success with Financial Goals in Your Marriage this Year

There is a certain stigma associated with New Year's resolutions, everyone jokes that nobody is ever going to keep them. Instead of making resolutions at the beginning of every year, I resolve to be a better person and set goals to help me become that better person. Rather than just resolving to go to the gym, I set a goal to hit a certain number of steps or do some sort of physical activity a certain number of days each week. And rather than resolving to save more money during the year, we put a dollar amount to it and figure out what we need to do in order to get there.

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5 Questions to Improve the Money Conversations in Your Marriage

We love to talk about our budget, how much we need to save, what big purchase we're going to save for next and how great of a deal we got our something we've been looking at buying or something on our grocery list. And even though we discusses our finances on almost a daily basis, sometimes we disagree on our budget or what the first priority is for our next big purchase, but the majority of the time, our money discussions are civil and even exciting. If you want to make your budget and everything money related a happy topic in your relationship, there are five questions that I think you should discuss and make sure you are on the same page when it comes to the answers.

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Do You Know This Financial Fact About Your Spouse?

In 2007, Fidelity Investments launched a biennial "Couples Retirement Study" and two weeks ago they posted the results of that study on their website. I like this infographic breakdown of the key findings from the study. The statistics related to retirement are interesting, but that's a topic for another day. The thing that really struck me is the fact that 43% of individuals don't know how much money their spouse makes. This is 16% more than was reported on the study two years ago. An article about the study on CNN Money addressed the two things that I was most confused about.

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Preparing for Your Family's Financial Future

With all of the changes that we've had in life this past year (a new house, a new baby on the way, etc.), the future of our family's financial situation is something that Joe and I think about often. Money has always been a heavily discussed topic in our marriage, but with so many new responsibilities, it seems to get brought up almost every time Joe and I talk. As we think about the future of this little family of ours, everything that we want to do and what we need to be prepared for, there are a few things that we've felt are important in setting ourselves up for success.

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How We Pay for School Without Going Into Debt

Knowing that I am getting my education without adding money to a large number that is constantly looming over my head, waiting to be paid off, is rewarding on its own. In our household, only one of us is going to college, and I'm sure that plays a huge role in the fact that we've been able to remain debt free, but I hope that these ideas will help you minimize the amount of debt that you're going to have to start paying off after you graduate or maybe you'll be able to find ways to avoid that kind of stress.

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How to Make Combined Finances Work in Your Marriage - Marriage & Money Mini Series

While I realize that not everybody will combine their finances when they get married, I can't suggest it enough! Not viewing our money as 'his' and 'hers' makes budgeting easier, makes us feel like more of a team and makes our discussions about money a lot more pleasant! If combining your finances is something you've been considering, here are some things that you should keep in mind.

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How We Handle Personal Spending - Marriage & Money Mini Series

I've had a few people mention to me that they keep their finances and budgets separate because one of them makes more than the other or someone has lots of debt and the other person has none, etc. Having separate accounts gives them more freedom with their personal spending and their own income. A lot of them have told me that they still have a joint account and they both contribute money to it every month, which probably works out well but isn't how we've chosen to approach things!

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Why We Combined Our Finances - Marriage and Money Mini Series

When I was thinking about this series, I realized that I led you astray in the quote above because while we view our money as one, we don't necessarily have one large account. Today I wanted to discuss some of the questions people have asked me when they find out that while our finances may be combined, we still kept our different accounts and have never really combined them.

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Four Financial Discussions to Have Before the Wedding - Marriage & Money

I came up with a few topics that I think made a big difference for us as we transitioned from being single and independent to getting married and becoming a team. There is obviously a lot more to be discussed before the big day, but these are a few of the things that I think cause the most stress or contention in your relationship if you aren't on the same page from day one of your marriage, and even earlier if possible!

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