Tag Archives: Social Security

Marriage and Money Tips

The ceremony and honeymoon are over and reality has now set in. You are living together as one and both of you will need to make some adjustments. This is especially true of money and debts that both of you have incurred prior to your marriage. This article will provide you with some tips on how to begin the process in making your marriage last, being prosperous and taking control of your finances.

Begin With The Basics

  • Create a household budget and stick to it!
  • Pay down any debt accrued before you got married.
  • Start saving for our future together.
  • Plan for the unexpected.
  • As a couple, create a total financial game plan.

This step requires patience and persistence. Sit down together and begin to formulate your plan. There are tools that you can use to assist you in budget planning. The sooner you do this the better chance you have of not fighting over finances as a couple. SmartMoney indicated this is the biggest problem facing married couples.

Some Tips to Consider

  • Update your will if you have one. If not, make one.
  • Update your life insurance policy if you have one. If not, buy a term life insurance policy that covers the entire family including children.
  • Update your medical power of attorney.
  • Decide on guardians for your children.

Suggested Budget Plan

  • 35% Housing – includes mortgage or rent, utilities, insurance, taxes and home maintenance.
  • 20% Transportation – includes car payments, auto insurance, tag or licenses, maintenance, gasoline, parking, tolls and transit.
  • 15% Debt – includes student loans, retail installment contracts, credit cards, personal loans, tax debts and medical debts.
  • 20% Other – includes all other expenses: food, clothing, entertainment, childcare, medical expenses and charity.
  • 10% Savings – save at least 10% of your income throughout your working years. Pay yourself first!

Keeping finances separate or in a joint bank accounts is a matter of personal preference. But, whatever you decide, do not forget to communicate! This should be done on a regular basis.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do break bad debt habits (90 million households carry credit cards, with an average debt load of more than $10,500 (USA Today, March 22, 2009.)
  • Do not delay in paying off credit cards completely. (The average household pays about $1,000 in credit card interest a year. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 18, 2004)
  • Do communicate honestly about your spending habits.
  • Do not abuse your credit.
  • Do communicate on a regular basis converting the household finances. This cannot be stressed enough.

Save For A Rainy Day

Starting a family or retiring from your job might seem like a long way off, but it pays to start planning early. Saving and investing is an essential part of your financial game plan. This means more than just putting a few dollars into a savings account. Here are some suggested areas of saving:

  • Emergencies: According to a recent survey, only 28% of households said they have enough money saved to weather a financial difficulty. (Money, April 2004). If you have to make a home repair, pay for an unexpected injury or supplement a spouse’s income due to unemployment, you need to have some cash on hand. A good goal to shoot for is to have enough for at least 3 months of core expenses.
  • Short Term Goals: Maybe you are dreaming of a summer vacation, new appliances for your home or another big-ticket purchase. Save up for things. It is better to pay cash than getting locked into high interest credit card debt.
  • Children’s Education: If you plan to start a family, it is a good idea to think about education. With annual tuition at a 4-year public university topping $8,000, starting early can make a big difference. Determine if you plan on paying all or part of this expense. Inform your children how much they will be paying for before they start there first college course.
  • Retirement: If you are among those who have not saved a dime for retirement, starting now will pay big dividends later. You need to start saving and investing now. Social Security checks will not cover all of your basic retirement needs. You will have to supplement Social Security with additional retirement funds. The average Social Security check for individuals was $1,079 and $1,761 for couples as of 2008.

Plan For Tomorrow…Today

No one wants to think about tragedy or loss, but you should discuss with your spouse a game plan if something unexpected should happen to either of you. Nothing can replace the loss of a spouse. A term life insurance policy protects your family if something should happen. Depending upon your expenses, if you have children, a policy that covers between 6 and 10 times your income should be enough. (MoneyCNN.com, August 4, 2003).

In addition to the life insurance policy, it is important to talk about each other’s wishes if one should die. Discuss burial site, to be cremated or not, and a will covering the distribution of your assets and care of your children.

Next Steps

What has been presented seems like a monumental task for you to think about. It is not that hard. You will need to focus on your situation. Every married couple is unique and their finances are no exception. Good luck! May your marriage be successful and prosperous.

Finance Management Tips

If you are a college student, you are probably suffering from a serious lack of money. However, all this can change once you learn how to manage all the money that you have, because that way you will be able to have a lot more money available for you. Here are some of the best tips for money management for college students:

  • First of all, make sure that you will spend some time and keep track of all the things that you are buying. That way you can easily see what amount of money you are spending on items that you do not need and later on you will be able to cut those expenses.

 

  • Get all the possible college student discounts that are available, because that way you will be able to save a lot of money from, for example riding the bus, going to movies or even ordering pizza. There are a lot of places where you can get information about the college student’s discounts that are available, so make sure that you will spend some time and see what you can do for that.

 

  • Be caution when giving any kind of personal information. That is one of the best ways to protect yourself from possible theft of our money. Make sure that you will not give your Social Security number to anyone. Furthermore, remember that you should never give any information about your credit cards or other places that you keep your money.

 

  • Use only of the credit cards that you have, because that way you will be able to keep yourself from getting in debt. Furthermore, make sure that you will set a credit limit on your own and do everything possible not to exceed it. For example if your credit card have $5000 limit, make sure that you will set a limit of $2000 and keep it.

 

  • Organize all the money that you have and create a budget that you will follow. That way you will be spending only the amount of money that you had set, which will allow you to avoid getting into any debt. Furthermore, make sure that you will keep your money in a place that you do not have access, because that way you will be able to resist the temptation of spending them. It is a good idea to get a debit card issued.

 

  • Start saving money for emergency expenses, which will allow you to cover all the expenses that may occur. It is a good idea to buy a piggy bank and start putting money in it. You will be amazed how much money you will have after an year, if you place only 5% of the money that you get there.

 

  • Start buying all the books that you will need during your college period. There are a lot of websites that are offering comparison services, which will allow you to choose the best price for the book that you need.