Client: FotoBox Live
Title: “Budgeting And Talking Money For Two”
Source: The FotoBox Live Blog
Word Count: 806
Last week, we offered solid advice and statistics on the financial state the average U.S. citizen is in. Some of those stats may shock you as they shocked us. However, statistics about married couples are interesting and not as scary. For example, “73% of individuals have money management styles that are different from their partner’s.” That’s understandable. And additionally, “... approximately 31% of all couples … and clash over their finances at least once a month” [over the] “… major purchases (34%), decisions about finance and children (24% of respondents with kids), a partner’s spending habits (23%), important investment decisions (14%).” — Source: Money Habitudes. That seems very realistic and believable. In this week’s blog, we’re discussing talking money and budgeting for two.
Having The Money Talk With Your Spouse
Discussing money with your significant other is just as important as having the birds and bees talk with your children. Procrastinating only fuels the fire. Our goal here is to bring it to light so you and your partner can walk together at the same pace in your relationship. Sit down and learn about their financial goals as well as their life goals. Understand their spending and saving habits. Know when they would use credit over debit and cash. Each payment method brings with it different results. More importantly, be open regarding your goals, your habits and your methodology of money with him or her.
Now, for the ugly parts—debt and credit scores. It would be very wise to lay all your debt on the table so you both understand what’s ahead. KeyBank, the only major bank out of Cleveland, Ohio, blogged about marriage advice. They summarized debt in an excellent way: “The Wrong Approach: Your debt will ruin us; you must find a way to pay it off. The Right Approach: It’s our debt: Let’s decide how to pay it off together.” — Source: KeyBank. They are absolutely right. Marriage is a union; therefore, taking the leap means working to pay off debt together. Run an in-depth credit report for you and your spouse. You’ll understand what accounts are open, exist or delinquent. Hopefully, none surprise you.
Budget, Budget, Budget
We all know getting married can be stressful, especially when it comes to money. However, creating a budget for your wedding and new lives together can really keep your joint finances in alignment. It’s like having bumpers on a bowling lane. A budget exists as a guide to prevent gutterballs—overdrafts, missed payments, late payments, overspending and not saving.
Because “virtually half, or 49 percent, of all Americans are still living paycheck-to-paycheck,” planning for emergencies is priority numero uno! Similarly, make sure you don’t spend more than you budget for and plan for emergencies. Create an emergency fund for typical emergencies: immediate car maintenance or last-minute travel, what have you.
As part of your emergency fund, you should save several months’ worth of living expenses saved as well. A smart goal would be to secure 6 (yes, SIX) month’s worth of all your monthly expenses. Six months of bills might sound unachievable, but it is possible. Therefore, save one month’s worth and repeat the process six times to build up your financial safety cushion. Your fiancé/fiancée or spouse should be contributing to the mission as well with their own emergency saving tactics.
As Long As The Outcome Is Income
When it comes to income, one of you will make more than the other. Traditionally, the male has been the breadwinner. A year ago, Business Insider wrote a detailed report on wage gaps between men and women. The comment worth emphasizing here is that “… a woman earns 79 cents for every dollar a man earns.” — Source: Business Insider. Regardless of who earns more, combined your household income will rise. If you collectively make $200,000, you should not spend $200,000. What matters is how much income you save and invest.
On a related note, when it comes to savings, savings alone is not enough. Both you and your spouse would be working hard and smart and saving to invest. Make your money work for you in terms of compounded interest, money market accounts, and a diversified portfolio, to name a few. Sit down with a trusted financial advisor as soon as you can to discuss your future.
Budgeting by yourself is a far different game as opposed to budgeting with another important person. We consider your spouse, fiancé/fiancée, or live-in significant other as that other ‘important person.’ We as photobooth rental vendors and a bigtime wedding resource feel the majority of this blog can be applied to marriages and weddings. Any part can easily apply to your life in general after you’ve found your partner in crime.
Thank you for reading,
The Foto Box Live Team | Photo Booths for ANY Event