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TALKING ABOUT MONEY WITH YOUR PARTNER

3x3-talking-about-moneyPeople would rather talk about sex than their money. It is more important to talk about money with your partner. Starting an open communication about what each partner makes, what the responsibilities are, and choosing how to manage your money, is a powerful tool for building a successful relationship.

Arguments revolving around finances are the Number 1 reason for many divorces and break-ups. If you are serious about your partner, you need to start talking about money with your partner. One easy way to start this discussion is to share about how your family handled finances. Did your Mom pay all the bills? Did your Dad always plan the family trips? Were you and your siblings paid allowance for doing household chores or was your allowance given without any obligations? Once you and your partner hear how your families handled money and find common ground, it is easier to understand why your partner makes different financial decisions than you might. Having this knowledge can also help couples to formulate a blended plan, ensuring each person has a voice setting budgets and spending.

When one person makes more money, it is easy for the other to feel less valuable. Both people need to know that they are contributing to future goals and can share their opinion. Resentment can build when there is a feeling of iniquity or that one’s opinion is not valued. Another habit that can “kill” a relationship is hiding “secret” savings accounts or debt. Each person needs to build a healthy relationship with money, so both of you can work together to be accountable for personal needs and spending money and joint dreams and goals!

Listening and talking about money with your partner can help you find creative ways to solve financial challenges. Now you can make proactive choices for directing your money toward large purchases and investing in your future…together!

Check out some of the tools on this website. Many of these tools are free and offer a roadmap for smarter fiscal management. Browse some of these links and talk with your partner about which tools might be best for you!

(Photo via business.financialpost.com)

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IS “MORE” ALWAYS BETTER?

Sweep Out ClutterIs “more” always better?
When does enough become too much?

We all want MORE! Are you working just to get by or do your work/life goals complement each other? The epitome of the American Dream is that people work hard, become more successful, earn thousands of dollars, and die with a plethora of material possessions that showcase their wealth.

But here’s a thought – Can your possessions consume you?

Do you look forward to going to work each day? Or do you dread your work environment? Maybe you would rather be doing something else. What is it and why not take steps to get there?

Making a proactive decision to get more out of life can include using what we have, being intentional when making new purchases, recycling our extras, and knowing that each material “thing” in our life has a purpose.

Look around and notice all the things you have around you. Do you need three identical vases? When was the last time you used any of that “important stuff” you have in your storage unit? Would you be significantly happier with more?

Having more material things brings additional responsibilities, cleaning, maintenance, insurance costs and clutter to daily living. Did you know that the average American home has 300,000 items in it? In fact, the Self Storage Association reports that Americans spend $24 billion each year to store their stuff in 2.3 billion square feet of these units.

Do you need ten credit cards? Maybe two would work, one card you pay off each month and another card with a low-interest rate, for when you need to carry a balance.

Does your stomach get in knots when the credit card bill lands on your kitchen counter? Using cash or paring down on your credit purchases could ease your money nerve.

Streamlining your life doesn’t mean scarcity. It is a lifestyle choice to de-clutter your life. Placing the emphasis on more meaningful work, family, flexibility of time, experiences and building relationships instead of material possessions can enhance the quality of each day. Make time in your life for people, not things and reap the benefits!

Keep a daily log of what you do each day. If television or electronic devices eat up a significant portion of your time, you may choose to reallocate TV time to go for a walk or spend time with your family.

Can less be more? Indeed, it can. Choose what is most vital to creating the life you desire. Write out your goals and a budget; a plan that tells your money where to go instead of you just wondering where it went. By examining what is essential, and using intentional goals, you can simplify your finances and your life.

Get more out of life!

Bob

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SPRING CLEANING YOUR FINANCES

Spring Clean 4x4 300 dpiWhat are you waiting for? It’s Time to Spring Clean your Finances! For most people, the idea of climbing Mount Everest is scary. The thought of walking along a narrow trail with a three-thousand-foot cliff at its edge may leave you frozen in your tracks. In a similar scenario, some people are terrified of facing their budgets, their level of spending and how they will live once they have retired.

Most people spend their lives confronting financial fear by ignoring it.

Join me for a quick and easy “Spring Cleaning your Finances challenge! For the next two weeks, I will be sharing easy tips for you to clean out what you don’t need and give you some tools to make the most of the income you have! Clear out the dust, drop that debt and take advantage of #TheMoneyNerve tips to “Spring Clean Your Finances!”

Please like and share the Money Nerve posts and feel free to share some of your favorite tips for saving money. Tag @themoneynerve and use the hashtags #SpringClean #TheMoneyNerve when sharing or posting. On Monday, May 2, one winner will be randomly selected from these social media posts to win a complimentary 30-minute financial session with me via Skype.

Financial fear can make you stop in your tracks. Not taking a look at your account balances, not making any decisions, ignoring your family, and not knowing when to take good advice are a few examples of how people start to freeze up. Now that tax time has ended, it is the perfect opportunity to review, refine and move forward financially. It is smart to re-organize your life: the house, the garage, the medicine cabinet, and your finances on an annual basis. Fine-tuning your goals will help to make the next year easier and more prosperous!

Let’s go!

Bob