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Joining Finances: 4 Tips for a Smooth Transition

joining financesHaving been single for the past couple of years I’ve had full control over my financial situation. And I’m not going to lie – I like it.

But as my relationship with my boyfriend continues to grow the thought of joining finances keeps crossing my mind. While I like that I have control now, I also know that two people can accomplish more than one. And more importantly if I were to get married I’d want joint finances. Learning from past mistakes I feel like marriage should be teamwork and that includes money.

If you’re thinking about joining finances with your significant other here are four tips for a smooth transition.

Be Honest and Open with Each Other

First things first – you should NEVER combine your money with someone if you’re not familiar with his or her spending habits. Before the thought even crosses your mind you should know what you’re getting yourself into.

Have an open conversation with your partner and be completely honest. Talk about debt, spending habits (the good and the bad), and financial goals.

If you and your partner are way off in terms of money mindset then it’s probably not a good idea to combine. After all, money problems are the leading cause of divorce.

Create a Budget Together

If everything went well during your conversation then it may be time to combine everything.

Gather up all your bills and both of your past bank statements and credit card statements. Take a good hard look at everything. Then create a budget together with realistic numbers.

You can tweak as you go but you need to have a true snapshot of what your financial life looks like together.

Have Crystal Clear Financial Goals

Opposites attract. That’s why there’s usually a spender and a saver in a relationship. You even each other out.

But if you’re the saver and have financial goals with strict deadlines you need your partner to be on board too. Layout all of your goals and make sure that the other party is aware of what these goals mean to you.

Practice First

Before you go ahead and merge all of your accounts it’s good to practice first.

You can do this by creating one joint account while still keeping separate accounts. You and your partner can each add enough money to the joint checking account to cover the regular bills while keeping any extra money to yourself.

If everything goes good you can consider contributing all of your income to the same account and working on financial goals together.

Take it Slow

Don’t jump into combined finances if you’re not ready. That’s a good way to cause unnecessary stress to your relationship.

Instead just take it slow and create a custom plan that fits the personality of you and your partner.

Do you have any tips for joining finances?

Link Love 9/19/14

Happy Friday!

I hope you had a good week. And just in case you’re in need of some weekend reading I’ve rounded up some of my favorite posts for you.

Have a good weekend!

Do You Make Life Happen or Let Life Happen to You?

make your own luckThere are two type of people in this world. The first make things happen. If they want something they go for it. They create their own luck.

The second type just let stuff happen to them. They complain about their circumstances and blame their situation on forces outside of their control. They also think that the first group is just “lucky.”

But the truth is luck is rare. What you might call lucky is actually tons of hard work and a lot of waiting. Overnight successes aren’t actually overnight successes.

This principle applies to your career and your personal finances.

So, are you ready to make your own luck?

Commit Yourself

As a kid you were told that you could grow up and be anything that you wanted to be. Then as you got older your priorities changed. Instead of being a princess or professional athlete you wanted to be a lawyer, or a business owner, or a world traveler. While that dream looks like it’s out of reach, one thing holds true: you can still be whatever you want to be.

You have to commit yourself to whatever your dream life looks like. If you want to pay off all of your debt then make a plan commit to it.

If you want to get a promotion at work then commit to doing the best job you can and networking with the right people.

It doesn’t matter what your dream is, unless you’re committed you’ll never reach it.

Be Intentional with Your Decisions

Self-discipline is something that most people lack. And will power? We won’t even go there.

But in order to find success you do have to be intentional with your decisions. One of the best way to do this without having to muster up a ton of will power is to eliminate the things in your life that are keeping your from making the best decisions.

Let’s say for example that you’re a shopaholic. You’ve buried yourself in credit card debt. Every time you go to the store with friends you’re so tempted to whip out your credit card and spend.

Fix the problem: cut up your credit cards. Call and cancel your accounts. If you eliminate the root of the problem then you won’t have to fight those decisions that go against your plan.

You can apply this to anything. Whatever seems to be blocking you from making the best decisions needs to be eliminated or at the very least, mitigated.

Be intentional with your decisions. Don’t make choices that aren’t aligned with your ultimate plan.

Realize that Creating Your Own Luck is a Journey, Not a Sprint

Like I said before, overnight successes are not usually overnight successes. Instead they’re years or dedication and hard work.

That’s how life works.

Nobody’s going to come to your rescue and give you everything you want. And even if you were handed everything on a silver platter you wouldn’t enjoy it for long.

True happiness comes from working hard toward your goal and eventually reaching it. That’s something that you can be happy about!

Do you make life happen or let life happen to you?

Photo Credit: BasketMan

Questions To Ask Before Opening An Offshore Account

Opening an offshore bank account is not a decision that should be taken lightly. There are many things that should be considered and questions that should be asked before you trust your money to a bank that is located in another country. Around the world, there are literally millions of banks willing to take your money and many more fraudulent companies hoping that you will choose them instead. Before opening an offshore account, here are some of the most important questions to ask.

Why Do I Need An Offshore Account?

The first question that should be answered is why an offshore account is necessary for you. Having an offshore account is trendy, but that is hardly a reason to endure the expense and inconvenience of having an offshore account. Most of the people that need to have an offshore account are those that work overseas for significant periods of time and need a way to grow their savings in a tax-efficient manner. If you cannot answer this question with a reasonable answer, you may want to reconsider your decision on open an offshore account.

What Type Of Offshore Account Is Best For My Needs?

There are many different types of offshore accounts available to choose from and each of these accounts have features that could cost or save you a large amount of money. The best advice on getting an offshore account is typically given by those who have previous experience with offshore accounts. If you do not have any personal contacts that you can discuss offshore accounts with, consider contacting a financial planner that can answer your questions about the different types of accounts available and help guide you towards the type of account that will be best for you.

How Will I Access My Money?

An important question that an astounding number of people who open offshore accounts fail to ask themselves is how the money will be accessed when needed. Many banks that offer offshore accounts provide online access to those accounts so transactions can be conducted at any time of day or night. It can be a bit trickier when attempting to withdraw money from the account as you may have to wait for a considerable period of time for your funds to reach your hands. Make sure that the bank you choose has a wide range of services available that will allow you to access your money at will.

Everything You Need To Know About CHAPS

CHAPS (originally the Clearing House Automated Payment System) is a UK-based automated payment system used for processing high value same-day payments. There are more than 4500 participants across the country that use the system, including the Bank of England. During 2010, more than 32 million CHAPS transactions were made transferring more than £61 trillion between bank accounts. Here are some of the things that you should know about making payments through CHAPS.

Who Uses CHAPS?

Corporations are the primary users of CHAPS, as they use the system to make large numbers of very high value payments to various recipients. Banks also use CHAPS to transfer money around the financial system quickly and efficiently. Individuals may use CHAPS to make same-day payments for the nominal charge of £25 to £30 per transaction.

CHAPS payments are generally used for the purchase of real estate, as the system allows the entire price of a piece of property to be transferred between the bank accounts of the buyer and the seller very quickly compared to other payment transfer options. CHAPS payments are also used to purchase high-value items like cars, trucks, and boats. There is no limit to the amount of money that can be transferred through CHAPS.

How Can I Arrange A CHAPS Payment?

You can arrange chaps payments online or through a branch of the bank that holds your bank account using your driver’s license and your bank card. If the money transfer is made before 3pm, the payment can be accessed by the recipient the same day the transfer was initiated. For transfers posted after this hour, the money will be available to the recipient the next day.

Once the money has been transferred to another party, it cannot be refunded to you without the consent of the other account holder. It is important to verify whether the recipient will be able to accept a CHAPS payment before the payment is made. Some bank accounts are not set up to receive these payments, so an alternate solution will need to be found.

Are CHAPS Payments Secure?

CHAPS payments are secure, using some of the most sophisticated encryption software available to secure the transaction information. You are required to personally authorize each CHAPS payment before the money leaves your bank account. If you become an innocent victimof fraud while using CHAPS, you are insured for the loss and your money will be refunded by your bank as long as you make a claim for the funds within 13 months of fraudulent transaction occurring.