• Posts Tagged ‘guest_post’

    Giveaway! Guest Posts! Favorite Tweets!

    by  • November 2, 2012 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Happy Friday! It’s been quite the week here at Make Love, Not Debt. Here’s a wrap up of what’s been going on.

    Guest Posts

    Giveaway

    Just a reminder that you have until November 10 to enter for a chance to win $100 through PayPal or as an Amazon giftcard. Go ahead, enter now!

    Favorite Tweets

    There’s some unfamiliar faces in this list, which is great because I get to discover more personal finance bloggers! As always, these tweets have a finances and relationship spin. You can follow me on Twitter @lovenotdebt.

    Have a great weekend!

    Two Styles, One System: Communication and Money

    by  • September 24, 2008 • Tagged: , , , , , ,  • Comments

    Laura is a twenty-something woman out of school and happily married. Eliminating credit card debt has energized her to knock out her car loan and student loans. She blogs at Green Panda Treehouse about reducing debt, building savings, and working with her husband on finances, as well as her successes and failures.

    Many people worry about discussing finances when they have different views. Avoiding financial talks can lead to disaster in relationships. It can build resentment and escalate into fights that tear down and could lead to divorce. Money isn’t the root of the problem, it’s lack of communication.

    If you share openly and honestly your thoughts and feelings with your fiancé or spouse, you are missing out on a great opportunity. Relationships are mutually defined and both need to share to make it work.

    Here are a few examples of how my husband and I handle money in our relationship. Is it perfect? No. Does it work? Yes, because we’re willingly to talk about our common thoughts and our differences.

    Budget

    We keep a Google Spreadsheet to display and organize our monthly bills. This allows us to see what our joint bills are and gives a snapshot view of our individual accounts. I can see how much he puts in his 401(k) and he can see my Roth IRA deposits.

    He’s great at setting up the spreadsheets and I love playing around with them.

    Goals

    Some of my personal goals are to pay off my car loan and my student loans. We also set aside money in our budget for saving. We’re working together: our ‘extra’ money goes to joint savings and to paying down the car loan.

    Investing

    My husband puts aside money for retirement, but is only semi-interested in following his accounts. When he changed jobs and was rolling over his old 401(k) to an IRA, he asked me to look at investments to put them into.

    I get a kick out of learning new things about index funds, stocks, ETFs, etc. While I explained why and how I came up with my suggestions, he just agreed and made the changes. He’s more conservative with his money and his investments are a reflection of that. I tend to invest more in international funds than him, but the volatility is within what I can handle.

    Credit Cards

    I have two credit cards (I’m closing one) while my husband has no credit cards. After learning the hard way about high credit card interest rates, I’ve paid my debt. I generally pay it off each month.

    I use credit cards mainly for convenience and rewards. I normally keep it at home with me. If we go on trips, I use my credit card. He is very adverse to debt and has not found a credit card that ‘he likes yet’. He generally saves until he can buy it, like his car.

    Paperwork

    I’m the paperwork queen. It basically falls to me to organize bill payments and documentation requests. Due to our basic system, it doesn’t take up to much time (5-10 minutes). If there are any issues we’ll discuss in the evening.

    I show him where I keep the files, in case something happens and he needs quick access.

    Conclusion

    It’s an imperfect system to be sure, but we make it work. The best advice we received? Talk it out and figure out what’s right for you two.

    Talking it out can help you to understand your partner so much better and help you to build a stronger foundation on future communication, not just with money. Remember also that you’ll discuss these issues as your circumstances change. It’s not set in stone.

    Keeping each other in the loop is essential to a successful marriage. Two different viewpoints can lead to a stronger system.

    How different are the two of you? What do you two agree and disagree on?

    Going Out to Eat: How Much Should We Spend?

    by  • September 22, 2008 • Tagged: , , , ,  • Comments

    Hannah blogs about money and marriage at Monogamoney.com. Topics include saving, budgeting, investing, travel, and The Dark Knight.

    Jon and I recently let a relative stay in our apartment for a week, while we were away on vacation. As a thank-you gift, she gave us a $150 gift certificate to a nice restaurant. And this presents us with a problem.

    Jon and I have very different styles when we eat out. He’d rather go out less often, and spend more each time. He thinks that when we go to a nice restaurant, we shouldn’t scrimp. We should each get an appetizer if we want one, we should get a bottle of wine, we should get dessert, because there’s no point doing it if you don’t have the full experience. I’d rather spend less, and go more often. I get more enjoyment going twice and getting only an entree each time, as opposed to going once and getting the works.

    A few months ago, this perpetual disagreement led to the biggest fight we’ve had since we got married. We had a $400 gift certificate to a nice restaurant, which we received for our wedding. So we decided to invite two of our friends out for dinner. I wanted to strategize beforehand, so we could make sure we kept our tab under $400, hopefully even having enough to pay for the tip. Jon felt like I was spoiling the fun. He won; the bill came to $700. (In defense of my husband, he eats out like this only once or twice a year. And it was his birthday.)

    The next day, after a little yelling and maybe a tiny bit of door slamming, we decided that before we go out for a nice meal, we’ll label it a “Hannah” night or a “Jon” night. If it’s my night, I get to control our spending, and Jon can’t complain. If it’s a Jon night, he’ll order whatever he wants and I can’t complain.

    What do you think? Have you had any similar fights with your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse? How did you resolve them?

    How I Got Comfortable Sharing Money With My Husband

    by  • September 19, 2008 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    Hannah blogs about money and marriage at Monogamoney.com. Topics include saving, budgeting, investing, travel, and The Dark Knight.

    In honor of the nuptials of Him & Her, I thought I would harken back to, lo, those many months ago (October, 2007) when Jon and I tied the knot.

    After our wedding and honeymoon, we immediately hunkered down and cut back on spending, so we could pay off our credit card bill. And we started discussing how we would max out our Individual Retirement Accounts for 2007, and contribute the full $4,000 each. That’s when Jon said, “If, at the end of the year, I still need an extra $2,000, you can give it to me.” Wait a minute, I thought. You want me to GIVE you $2,000? Just GIVE it to you? And you won’t even pay me back?

    You see, Jon’s parents have always completely shared their finances. My parents, by contrast, don’t even have a joint checking account. That’s partly because Jon’s father was always the primary breadwinner, so a joint account was necessary. My parents, by contrast, have always made roughly the same amount of money, so there was no need to combine everything into one account. But the funny thing is, I grew up on a commune. You’d think I’d be the one advocating that we share money.

    Of course, I knew I should give him the $2,000. I had made more progress putting money into my own IRA, thanks in part to a generous gift from my grandmother. And in the long run, it’s obviously better for me if we’ve saved as much as possible in BOTH of our retirement accounts. I just had a little trouble, the first month or so after the wedding, adjusting to this new mindset, in which “we” replaced “me” when it came to financial decisions. Unlike Him & Her, who have clearly been a financial team for a while, Jon and I didn’t start thinking about these issues until after our wedding. (That’s when I started our blog, Monogamoney.)

    A few weeks after our initial discussion about the IRAs, the thought finally occurred to me: “You’re either in it for the long term, or you’re not. And if you’re in it for the long term, give him the money.” And since I’m in it for the long term, I gave him the money. We use our joint account to pay rent, but everything else is paid for out of our individual accounts. And we no longer keep track of every dollar we spend.

    Do you share and your partner share all your finances? Why or why not?

    “Mine” vs. “Ours” — A Newleywed’s Case Study

    by  • September 17, 2008 • Tagged: , , ,  • Comments

    Thewriter lives in Chicago, just got married, and writes about money and writing over at The Writer’s Coin.

    For the most part, my new wife and myself have done pretty well when it comes to adjusting to the financial side of married life. We created a joint bank account and the first few months have worked really well — we’re living our lives and we’re putting away a good amount of money. There have been some hiccups along the way, we aren’t the Brady Bunch or anything (nevermind the kids part, that’s a whole other ballpark). We’ve had our fair share of disagreements over things like emergency funds and semantics about targeted savings accounts, but overall we’re good.

    This past month, something new came up that had us clashing again. It’s interesting that such minor things can cause such a lack of understanding between two people that love each other so much. The issue: I get paid twice a month but M gets paid every Friday, which means she’ll have four “extra” paychecks over the course of a year. When I got paid every two weeks, I had the same problem and I just treated it like found money — it went straight into my ING savings account.

    M, however, didn’t see it that way. She would rather have it accounted for throughout the year and taken into full consideration when we budget out how we spend money on a day-to-day basis. This way would give us a bump in the amount of money we have to spend every month. Which is understandable because if you don’t count that money, on paper it looks like she’s not “contributing” as much to “our” finances (marriage invites the liberal use of quotes and air quotes — get used to it) than she’s actually making. So she wanted our budgeting spreadsheet to reflect that money.

    I wasn’t thinking about that and stressed that this was a great way of saving even more money (me being greedy and cheap). Instead of bringing it into the budget (where it would likely get spent, I’ve learned), I wanted to shoot it straight into our joint ING account.

    Then things got defensive. I kind of understood her point, but I still wanted to “win” the argument, prove I was right and get some extra saving going into our coffers. It wasn’t “my” money being accounted for, so what did I care? She could tell and wasn’t going to give in easily. It was late and her last attempt to foil me was to say that she would “forget” to transfer new money over on months where there was an extra paycheck. I countered with this jewel: “I’ll remind you.”

    Now, it was late and we had just gone through our budget, so things were a little tense. So we left it at that and let it soak in for a few days. The next week was an extra paycheck week and I brought it up. We had cooled down a little — I wasn’t out to “win” and she wasn’t out to stop me from winning. We both realized that, in the end, it’s “our money” (there is that beautiful phrase single people dread to hear) and it doesn’t matter how we account for it as long as we end up deciding it together and being responsible about it.

    The lesson? Money makes us defensive and edgy because what used to be “mine” is no longer. Not just with money, with everything. Sharing isn’t easy, especially when it comes to such a contentious thing as money. But that’s the lesson learned here — that money, like everything else, is no longer “yours.” When you marry someone everything becomes “ours” and the sooner you realize that, the easier it’ll be for you to let this kind of this just roll right off your back.

    In Which We Flush $2,000 Down The Toilet

    by  • September 15, 2008 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    Hannah blogs about money and marriage at Monogamoney.com. Topics include saving, budgeting, investing, travel, and The Dark Knight.

    I was inpsired by Make Love Not Debt to start my own personal finance blog, Monogamoney. So I was honored when Him & Her asked me to guest post during their wedding and honeymoon. Since my blog focuses as much on personal finance failures, as on our rare successes, I decided that in my first guest post, I should discuss the worst money mistake that I have ever made.

    Shopping for a mattress when you’ve been sleeping poorly is like riding your bike to a car dealership. Shopping for a mattress when you’ve recently gotten a raise … is just plain dangerous.

    And that is how my husband and I ended up with a $4,000 mattress. More precisely, we ended up with a $2,000 mattress, for which we paid $4,000.

    It started on the day I accepted a new job with a nice salary increase. We’d both been sleeping badly, and both of us had back pain. “Let’s go bed shopping now,” my husband said. “Maybe we can be sleeping on a new bed tonight.” It was 7 p.m. By 7:25 p.m., we had a new $3,000 bed. With taxes and delivery fees, the cost came to almost $3,500.

    The next day, I bragged about our purchase to one of my friends, who was shocked that we’d paid so much. I paid her little heed; you spend a third of your life in bed, right? Then Jon told his friend Dave about it. Dave always gets the best of everything. Dave is willing to pay for quality. And even Dave thought $3,000 was too much to pay for a bed. That’s when I got that sinking feeling–the one that says, “I just made a huge mistake I can’t undo.”

    But wait—it gets worse.

    I didn’t like the bed. I felt terrible that I’d made such a hasty purchase, and was sure that I had made the wrong decision. Luckily, Sleepy’s allows you to exchange your new bed, one time, as long as it’s within three weeks of the original purchase. So I went back. I lay on several different beds. I brought friends and solicited their opinions. I took my time to decide. Finally, I decided on one that cost $2,000.

    Here’s the problem. Sleepy’s allows you to exchange your bed for one of equal or greater value. They won’t give you a refund if you decide on a cheaper bed. So we had to exchange our $3,000 mattress for a new, $2,000 mattress–and $1,000 worth of Tempur-Pedic pillows. Including the delivery fees and the exchange fee, our total bill came to over $4,000. We hereby apologize to all our recently-married friends who received pillows as wedding presents.

    So what lessons did I learn?

    1. Whenever you get a raise, put a moratorium on spending. Don’t allow yourself to make any purchases, at least until you get your first paycheck. Then you’ll realize how much of your raise went to the U.S. government, and you won’t feel nearly as euphoric about it. We spent the first four months of my new job paying off our credit card bill.

    2. Implement a mandatory waiting period for any purchases over a certain amount of money. The Ultimate Cheapskate, the guy who inspired us to budget [LINK: http://monogamoney.wordpress.com/about/], makes this suggestion as well.

    3. Do your research. In the end, this terrible purchase was our own fault, but I could write a whole separate blog entry on the half-truths we heard from the Sleepy’s salesman. The bottom line: The Internet is a fabulous research tool. Use it before you make a purchase, not after.

    4. Finally, as the Ultimate Cheapskate says, “Pinch the dollars and the pennies will pinch themselves.” Jon and I have been known to go to three different grocery stores in order to save 89 cents on cheese. If we had skipped all that, and simply not bought the bed, we still would have come out ahead.

    Have you ever made a money mistake as bad as this one? Okay, probably not. Have you ever made a money mistake HALF as bad as this one? No? One-quarter, maybe? Surely, some of you have made mistakes one-quarter as bad as this …

    We’re Going On Our Honeymoon and Not Writing for the Blog

    by  • September 11, 2008 • Tagged:   • Comments

    The title says it all. We’ll be out of town for the next few weeks enjoying life and each other. In the meantime, we’ve lined up some very capable bloggers to fill in for us.

    Hannah heads up Monogamoney, a blog about money and marriage (mostly money). Her and her husband are figuring out this personal finance stuff, and are realizing that it’s more than just crunching the numbers.

    The Writer is a fellow Chicagoan who writes the blog The Writer’s Coin. He’s a recently married writer (duh) who has a pretty unique spin on finances, from political aspects, to literature references, to entrepreneurship. He also blogs writes the financial aspects of blogging, which is pretty cool to see since he’s just started off.

    Laura writes at Green Panda Treehouse, a self-proclaimed personal finance blog for college students and recent graduates. She’s married and somewhat newly transplanted – two circumstances that lend themselves to many sticky money situations.

    We are excited to have a few guest posts from these bloggers, so stay tuned! We’ll be back in a few weeks!