Marriage and Money: Men and Women Have Different Financial Wants and Needs

I have not been married for too long, but it has not taken me very long to realize that men and women are VERY different!  That is okay, because it would get very boring if I lived with someone just like me for the rest of my life.  In terms of money, I believe that most men and women think very differently.  I think we have different wants and needs. 

Disclaimer:  I know that this will be a broad generalization comparing men and women, so please refrain from hate comments if you are a part of of NOW. 

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What Goes Into Making An Investment Decision?

I ask myself this question all the time.  This not only pertains to financial investment decisions, but other life investment decisions as well.  We invest our money, time, energy, and emotions into many things each and every day.  Sometimes it is therapeutic to ask yourself the questions that we answer unconsciously by making split decisions.  Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself before making another big decision about investing your money or time into something.

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What Are Your Financial Priorities?

I thought that I would ask all of you out there in the personal financial blogosphere a question.

What are your personal financial priorities?

I will share with you mine and my wife’s priorities to give you an idea of what I am talking about, and I would love to read what yours are in the comments section. 

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  1. Pay for the necessities (food, utilities, shelter, clothing)
  2. Pay off debts
  3. Save for a bigger emergency fund
  4. Save for a newer car
  5. Give to Others.
  6. Buy newer furniture.
  7. Save for retirement
  8. Pay off mortgage.

My Take On Home Equity Lines of Credit

Home equity lines of credit have been an attractive loan in the past few years due to the obscene housing boom that left homeowners sitting on gobs of equity in their homes.  So, instead of sitting on their profits, homeowners borrowed against a “theoretical” amount of money.  Why do I say that this is a theoretical amount of money?  Well, if you owe $80,000 on your home, and you can sell it for $100,000 on the market today, then you have $20,000 in equity.  Banks are allowing people to borrow $20,000 at a decent interest rate, then if you sell the house, you can break even after paying back both loans. 

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Getting and Staying Out of Debt: Step 4

Many of us do not have a ton of disposable income, because our debt payments suck up all of our money.  It would be nice to think that I could find an extra $1,000 per month to put towards paying off debt if I tightened up my budget.  But in reality, there is only so much money that one can squeeze out of their budget to put towards savings or paying off debt.  So what if you only have an extra $100 per month to put towards paying off debt?  Do not use that as an excuse for living in debt the rest of your life. 

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Don’t Forget to Consolidate Your Loans!

This is a reminder for all soon-to-be college graduates:  CONSOLIDATE YOUR STUDENT LOANS!  It may seem hard to do since you are being bombarded with direct mailings from 100 different student loan consolidation companies.  However, many students forget to do the consolidation before they graduate, and this can be a very costly lapse of memory.  Find a reputable company and consolidate all of your loans into one large loan.  If you do so before you graduate, many companies are offering a fixed interest rate of 4.75%.  If you wait until after July 1st, the interest rate will be variable and it could rise past 7%! 

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Five Steps to Getting and Staying Out of Debt (Step 3)

Step #3:  List your debts smallest to largest, and start aggressively paying off the smallest debt, and working your way up to the largest debt. 

This method of debt elimination is contrary to how many people believe that debt should be paid off.  The most popular way to set up a debt elimination program is by listing the debts from smallest interest rate to largest interest rate and then paying off the smallest rate first.  First, I will explain the method that I use, and then I will show you why I disagree with the smallest to largest interest rate method. 

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Five Steps to Getting and Staying Out of Debt (Step 2)

The second step is drafting and sticking to a written budget. The reason that this is the second step is because you will never know how much money you can contribute to getting rid of your debt without writing out your projected budget. There are two kinds of budgets. One kind of budget is merely just a tracking budget. You keep track of what you are spending and where you are spending it, and then you try to make adjustments at the end of the month to areas where you spent too much money. The other kind of budget method is when you project your monthly expenses and stick to that projection. This is the method that I like to use. It is very simple.

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Joint Accounts or Separate Accounts?

A huge debate arises when it comes to marriage and money about whether or not spouses should have a joint checking account or separate checking accounts.  One popular thing that people do nowadays is they keep one joint account to pay the bills from and then they keep a separate account for each of them to spend money on “personal” things.  This is a total cop-out when it comes to managing money with your spouse.  A marriage is not a joint venture.  You cannot pick and choose which things that you want to share as a couple and which things not to share.  You must be handling money as a team. 

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