Financial Advice - Page 3 - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #31 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Financial Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyDog View Post
It's difficult to know what the right thing to do is with only part of a picture.

In the US, money can be a Big Fat Deal, but it doesn't have to be. If you decide to live a lifestyle now known as "voluntary simplicity", two minimum wage incomes are adequate, as long as you don't live in an expensive city (most larger cities on the coasts).

Your $49k mortgage debt is very small, especially for someone not yet 30. You either have a very inexpensive house or you've been paying down at an admirable rate. Either is fine - once the mortgage is gone, and as long as you save for cars instead of using loans, life can be inexpensive.

Having evaluated spending of several thousand families during my days of credit counseling, I have drawn opinions (mine - others will have different opinions) that it is not the big ticket items that wreck a family financial plan - it is thousands of small things. The mere choice of using disposable items versus long-lasting, such as paper towels instead of cloths, disposable dusters (e.g. Swiffers) instead of washable feather dusters - for a family that's persnickety about house cleaning, I've seen this bump an annual spend by $3,000! To remain comfortable at low income, you have to shun most trends, because most trends are created to stimulate the economy.

All these decisions are possible, and to make the marriage last, you and DH must be on the same page. Make sure you have discussed it. Is he OK to buy the cars 5 years old instead of new? Satisfied with a 32 inch TV until it actually fails, rather than needing to upgrade to a 50 incher? Prefers borrowing movies for free from the library instead of subscribing to Netflix or cable?

What you earn is a factor. Have the two of you agreed on whether one or both of you works? Are you interested in comparing your income to the average for your age? This is useful - if your income is below average, then you probably want to also average older cars, fewer doo-dads and such, than average.


Regarding some of your specific points and quesitons:
Which loan to pay off first? The answer that works to psychology is "the one that can be paid off fastest". Probably the car loan. Psychologically, the idea is that it feels good to get that monkey off your back, and you'll attack your debt reduction plan with renewed vigor. It also gives you an added $272/mo to throw at the mortgage. BTW, unless you're trying to live on a min. wage job, your debt load is really small for your age, so give yourself a big pat on the back.

Baby: My baby days were decades ago, so I don't know much about today's expenses. In the 1970s, the cost of cloth diapers and a diaper service were 1/3 of using disposables...I'm told the difference is moderate now. Back then, "everybody knew" that you always got hand-me-down clothing, buying new was reserved for the grandparents to spoil the kid. And...you're not yet 30? You have many, many years to work on the baby creation, even if problems beset you. One of my best pals and his wife chose to begin when she turned 41. They went through a lot, all but $5k of it paid by insurance, ended up doing in vitro, they were born when mom was 44, the triplets are now happy, healthy and 19 years old. Thanks to modern medicine, being almost 30 really doesn't mean you have to fret too much.

Most important overall is for you and DH to agree on all this...before and after baby.

Good luck.
Both of my Dh and I are working. Although we make a lot more than minimum wage, we still need each other's income to maintain our lifestyle and expenses. I have been thinking about "voluntary simplicity" for a while. I changed some of my bad habits:

Getting my hair color done every two weeks was getting too expensive. I thought it was a waste of time and money because my hair grows too fast. I saved a lot of money just to have it cut and keep it nice and clean. I also do my own nails now. My Dh bought me a gift card from a beauty salon and I did not even use it so he gave up telling me to go have fun for myself.

I have not purchased any clothes or shoes for months now. I also made my mind up about using only one purse until I ruined it. I feel less stress when the house has more space. I feel like a good wife for trying to save for our future instead of buying unnecessary items.

My Dh also stopped going to the dry cleaners. We do our own laundry now. He got rid of cable TV a few months ago. We still have Netflix. It's hard not to have Netflix. My Dh and I were going to buy a bigger car, but we both changed our mind and bought a smaller and cheaper car at the last minute because we want to be able to pay off the car loan early. My Dh is easy and he has nothing against saving money.

Sometimes we made terrible financial choices such as buying two big Apple computers for each of us when we already have 3 other working computers. My Dh also bought unnecessary furnitures and I had to sell them online because we had no room to keep it. We had a long discussion and decided to stop buying things. We promised to talk to each other before purchasing anything expensive.

It takes practice to be smart with money. My Dh trusts me with our finances, so I try my best not to fail him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Livvie View Post
I need to weigh in on the kid thing. While many women can successfully have children into their 40s, not all can. For some, fertility and egg quality decrease rapidly after 30. Again, for some, the chances of the baby having various disabilities grows a lot with every year. Not everyone is lucky biologically. Just keep it in mind.
I want to have a baby while I am still in my 20's for that reason. My Dh is also too old to wait. I want my child to have a father as long as possible.

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post #32 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 02:16 AM
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Re: Financial Advice

Dave Ramsey! Wife and I paid off 64k in 18 months following his baby steps. BUT you both have to be on the same page about it. Why do you have separate finances?

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post #33 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Financial Advice

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Originally Posted by Sbrown View Post
Dave Ramsey! Wife and I paid off 64k in 18 months following his baby steps. BUT you both have to be on the same page about it. Why do you have separate finances?

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I like Dave Ramsey but I am still new and need to read more. My Dh and I do not have separate finances.
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post #34 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 11:53 AM
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Re: Financial Advice

I didn't read all of these. I used to lead small groups for the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace program. So, I obviously would follow that pattern. Myself, I am 100% debt free. We did it in the manner described in the books and classes.

0 - Be current on everything
1 - Have a minimum $1k emergency fund - it seems like you have this already.
2 - Pay as much as possible on the smallest debt each month. When you have knocked that out, you roll the payment of that and the extra into your next. This should be easy for you. The $8k should be kicked off in about 7 months.
3 - Save up 6 months of EXPENSES. Based on what you described, this should take less than a year, easily.
4 - Contribute 15% to retirement. Go for a 401(k) match first if you have access. Then a Roth. Then back to the 401(k) unmatched.
5 - Save for college expenses if you intend to help fund kids college education
6 - Pay off home. At this point, you should be able to wipe it out in 3-5 years.
7 - Enjoy being debt free. It is quite freeing

I have been debt free for about 7 years. It gives you a bit of freedom and flexibility.

The shot you don't see coming is the one that takes you down!
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