A few tips we should all know before saying “I DO”
Learn how to prepare a few meals
I know. I know. With the types of modern lives we lead, where we run around all week trying to accomplish tasks such as laundry, cleaning, food shopping, taking care of the kids (I don’t have that yet) or cleaning after pets, to name a few. I know that standing in front of the stove to then clean after ourselves is the last thing we think of doing after a busy day of work.
But we have to be realistic, someone needs to know how to cook a few meals. Someone needs to at least try to. Unless you have enough money for a personal chef or dine out, I suggest cooking your own meals is the way to go. Otherwise, be prepared to dish out some big bucks during the week on eating out. The cost of eating out is one of the biggest budget busters and one the easiest to save on as well.
Eating out may be easier, and more convenient, but it sure isn’t less expensive. Home cooked meals are usually healthier and taste better too. Some of the money you are now spending on eating out could be invested for your future, when you really won’t want to cook!
I still don’t understand how reckless I was at handling my money. As soon as I got paid, the money was gone. I felt deserving of it. I worked hard – I deserved to splurge on whatever I felt was “right” at the moment. We finish school, get jobs, get married, and all of a sudden we feel the need to buy everything right away. As if we were loaded with cash.
Truth is, we spend what we don’t have, only to later on realize that we had no business in buying those big priced ticket items which we didn’t have the cash to begin with. We just don’t think about anything other than the great feeling of finally having a paycheck, and money to spend. No one told us it might be important to save some of that money, or if they did, we didn’t listen.
I remember when I first got my very own apartment… I drove as fast as I could to the nearest Target and applied for their credit card. I filled 2 carts of items I thought I needed. And I sorta did, not every single item but I charged about $600 dollars in one day. It might not be much for some people but after dumping $2,500 on moving – it adds up quickly.
So – I thought it was okay, I would simply pay back the card in full when I got my student loan check in the mail… I get sick to my stomach when I think about it now. I paid a debt with another debt. How smart right?! To be honest, I thought I was wise and spent my money thinking that once I graduated I would be blessed with a huge paycheck… Not even close! Be aware that when you spend money, you are always making a choice, a choice for what you are buying, and a choice against what that money could have been used for in the future.
Diving Into Debt
School Loans – first of all, the size of school debt these days can be like a mortgage. Just because you may have 10 years to pay off your school debt, doesn’t mean you need to take 10 years to pay it off. I really don’t care what the interest rate is on your school debt – pay it off as fast as you can. Or at least try to keep current. Because even if you go bankrupt, student loans won’t get wiped out, they’ll follow you and I to the grave if they have to!
Credit Card Debt – The only thing more foolish than spending all of your paychecks is putting those purchases on credit. You know, taking “advantage” of great offers, like zero percent down and twenty-four months to pay, or even worse, putting purchases on a credit card when you can’t pay it off in one month.
The borrower is always a slave to the lender.
You are gambling on your future income when you buy on credit. Don’t do it. Life happens, and you are putting yourself in an unnecessary position of risk. Put it in your budget plan, learn to wait for a better sale, and pay it cash – you might just realize how much you really didnt need that item or truly appreciate its value because you saved up for it.
Marriage is a constant compromise. Here’s what is always a shock to newly married couples – sometimes what is important to you may not be important to your spouse. So you need to learn how to compromise – and this goes for all the areas of your marriage, including the financial aspect. You may disagree on how your money should be spent. It could be something as simple as entertainment money – you may want to go watch a movie, and he wants to go to the baseball game.
Money fights are the biggest cause of divorce.
You may have very different ways of handling money. Don’t avoid the money conversations – talk to your spouse, come to an agreement/compromise as to how things will happen now that you are a couple, and then hold each other accountable. Always remember you are a team, and on the same side!
Just because someone likes taking care of the bills, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved. Both should know how and when to pay the bills, passwords and login info should be available to both. Life happens, accidents happen, make sure you are prepared for any unscheduled events.