You found the love of your life and you can’t wait to get married. However, you don’t want to get so caught up in your wedding plans that you fail to lay a solid foundation for your future together. Talking about money before you tie the knot is one way to avoid future conflict. Conversations about money are always awkward, but laying your financial cards down on the table before you get married is always a good idea.
Do you maintain a household budget? Everyone should, but only one-third of Americans actually keep a formal budget. Not only is the purpose of maintaining a household budget to track where your paycheck goes each month, but it’s also to help you save money. As soon as you start tracking where your money goes, you can start to identify spending patterns, including areas where you may be overspending. You can even find ways to save money on necessities such as food, utilities, and transportation.
Have you always dreamed of owning a home but felt you couldn’t afford it? There are many possibilities, and owning a home is within reach! Chances are that even with your current household budget, you can put aside enough savings for a down payment on a house in one or two years, maybe even less. It’s all a matter of how you manage your money.
Is life really cheaper by the dozen? It seems the only case where that saying is true is at the grocery store when buying a carton of eggs. Turns out, life gets more expensive when families expand. Plane tickets multiply during summer vacation, birthday presents double in size, and the need for laundry detergent skyrockets after soccer practice. Kids have so many hobbies these day it’s hard to keep up and stay within budget.
Welcome to the credit union movement. Back in the day, when big banks roamed the earth, member-owned financial cooperatives were practically unheard of. If banking were a popularity contest, Bank of America, Citibank, and Wells Fargo would have won 10 years ago. But times are changing. These days, it seems customers value personality over professionalism. A genuine connection versus being just a number. In fact, members are more likely to recommend a credit union over a bank. It could be because credit unions have stepped up their marketing, or are based locally, or know members by name when they walk through the door. In any case, there’s a reason so many people are switching from banks to credit unions. If you’d like to join the movement, here’s how.
All moms and dads dream of seeing their children walk down the aisle. It’s one of the biggest milestones in a parent’s life. While a wedding ceremony is oh so romantic in theory, it’s quite a different story on paper—namely the receipts. To put it simply, weddings can be crazy expensive. It’s easy to get carried away with flowers, centerpieces, the dress, the catering...and how do you account for hundreds of guests? Here’s a not-so-shocking fact: Did you know that most parents overspend on their son’s or daughter’s wedding? The price tag can be so staggering that only 1 in 10 couples paid for their wedding entirely by themselves in 2016. Parents of the bride and groom typically contribute about $19,000 to the wedding, which is approximately 2/3 of the cost. That’s a lot of money. Obviously budgeting plays a huge role in wedding planning, and here’s how to ace it.
Well, this is awkward. Normally we’re used to guiding members to reach certain financial goals. It’s rare that financial institutions talk about what happens after—once you’ve finally reached financial independence. Some people spend their whole lives making deposits into a savings account, just waiting for the day that the grand sum is enough. But enough for what? To quit a job? Buy a house? Pay off student loans? The question is, what’s the right move after you’ve saved enough money—and then some? This matter is highly subjective, considering financial goals vary from person to person, but let’s explore some options.
January crawled by so slowly, but surprise! Summer is right around the corner. Have you started saving for your summer trips? Suffering from whiplash? Us too. Summertime may be Pacific Northwesterners’ favorite season because it welcomes many outdoorsy activities: camping, hiking, dog park-ing, and patio drinking. The mosquitos are a little annoying, but some of us are finding a different kind of bite on our arms and legs—from the travel bug. Suddenly Expedia and Kayak tabs are open on every computer, and people are hustling to pull nonexistent money together for a trip. If you can relate, these savings tips may be your one-way ticket to adventure.
Any Reddit users here? The “Explain Like I’m 5” category, also known as ELI5, is super helpful for breaking down seemingly complicated concepts as if a kindergartener is following along. That’s the same method we’ll use when talking to kids about money and savings. Granted, sometimes kindergarteners don’t have the longest attention spans, so the best learning method may be doing, instead of listening or reading. Big words like “budgeting” won’t mean much at first, so it’s important to put tangible realities behind each tip. Ready? Here we go.