A Fresh Start, Transferring Your Negotiating Skills From Work To Home

Category : FINANCE

My Fiance and I Crunch Our Numbers

by Heidi Frounkeiler

Armed with detailed spreadsheets and statements—I recently had the “let’s combine our finances” talk with my new fiancé.

Gulp.

Despite past conversations about our income levels—I earn more—and some other issues, we’d never really bared our financial souls. But we wanted to get our finances in sync before the wedding next August.

I was so nervous my palms were sweaty. My own parents fought constantly about money, and eventually divorced. I wanted us to be a team, even if (just for now) I’m supplying more on the cash front.

Guess what? There were some surprises, a little negotiating, and ultimately a plan.

He was surprised by my $20,000 in student loans, just as I was shocked by his $20,000 in credit-card debt (mostly from an over-budget home reno).

While $40,000 is no bouquet of roses, we agreed that paying back as much debt as we can before the wedding was our top priority. At the same time, we plan to save. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Pay off the $20,000 in credit-card debt completely at a rate of $2,000 per month. My student loans have a much lower interest rate, so we can pay the minimum for now.
  2. Save $500 a month to boost one savings account from $3,000 to $10,000 to cover our contribution to the cost of our wedding.
  3. Prep my home to become a vacation rental, since we’d take a hit if we tried to sell in this market. (We’re moving in together now, but we’d like to keep my house, if we can.) 

It’s an aggressive plan, and it means no Monique Lhuillier wedding gown for me. But having a strong, unified fiscal start to our new life is worth a lot more to both of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Category : FINANCE

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What a Difference Investing Can Make

Category : FINANCE

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The value of $10 per week in 10 years if you…

Spend it now
$0
Save it*
$5,470
Invest it with Betterment*
$8,437


Is $8,437 a realistic number, based on realistic returns? In fact it is—although as they say, “past performance is no guarantee” of what the future holds. But in this economy it’s vital to give your money every possible chance to grow.

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Look at how $10/week can really add up:

If you have $10 to spend this week, you can treat yourself to:

A few cups of coffee
One cab ride or a partial tank of gas
An e-book (or two)


If you save $10 a week in a savings account earning 1% interest, in 10 years you could buy:

A deluxe espresso machine and a year’s supply of coffee beans
A down payment on a used car
A couple of college classes


If you invest $10 a week in a Betterment account earning 9%*, in 10 years you could afford:

Stake in a coffee company
A down payment on a new car
Tuition for a full semester


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