Tag: relationships (Page 1 of 2)

Northern Expressions

Northern Expressions: The Right Investments

Investments in marriage, family, and success at work are almost certain to pay off.

Happy Friday, friends!

Today’s Northern Expression comes from Helaine Olen & Harold Pollack in The Index Card:

Your time is valuable. Your happiness and economic security depend on your marriage, your family, your success at work and in your relationships. Investments in those areas are almost certain to pay off.

Every choice you make with your money or your time is an investment. If you invest too much time into something, you inevitably neglect another. Make sure your life asset allocations align with your priorities.

It’s possible to be economically secure AND happy. This balance requires prioritizing. You vote for your priorities with your time and your money. Vote wisely.

Love, Maggie

Do not swim alone

Do Not Swim Alone, Swim with Swimmers

When I was working in the office last month, I stayed in a nearby hotel and made myself go swimming each evening after work to get some exercise and relax. Each evening I was the only one in the pool. The last night (that’s right, I blatantly ignored them for four days), I read the posted rules for the pool. The last one read simply: DO NOT SWIM ALONE.

My first thought? Oh no! I’m going to die in here and no one will even know! Second thought: That’s ridiculous. I’m an adult and a competent swimmer. Third thought: I think I feel a metaphor coming on…

If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I love a good metaphor whether it comes from watching some fishermen or straight out of a fortune cookie. And here was a brilliant one, right on the wall of the hotel pool.

The Metaphor:

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How Parents and Significant Others Impact Student Finances

On Monday, we discussed how people are sometimes dumb with money and love, but it’s not all bad news. Today, we highlight research that shows love can positively influence our finances. The first study, published in December 2015, followed 693 University of Arizona students. The (mostly white, female) students were extensively surveyed toward the beginning of college (ages 18-21) and then again toward the end (ages 21-24). The 693 study participants were all included because they reported being in a serious, committed relationship at the second survey. The study was trying to figure out the impact parents and romantic partners have on the financial behaviors and attitudes of college students.

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When Money and Love Don’t Mix

I read a lot about healthcare for my job and one thing that keeps coming up is that we’re terrible at making rational decisions about our loved ones. It’s easy to have a discussion about end-of-life care and how trying everything, no matter how expensive, is ridiculous for someone in her eighties. I don’t want to live or die like that. But when it’s your own mother, the story changes. If you’re the one that has to make the choice about pulling the plug on the breathing tube, everything changes. Understandably!

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How Much Do Your Neighbors Matter?

We live on a cul-de-sac with a shared picnic/BBQ area. In the summertime, my kids are constantly riding bikes and playing in the cul-de-sac. There are currently no other kids, but we know most of our neighbors and they are great about letting the kids play. (One neighbor even bought them tiny rakes because she thought they’d like them. They do!) Our neighbors have been awesome. One helped with our windows, two of them insulated their attics the same day we did so we could all help each other out, and we used the tools of one of our neighbors to do all the window and door trim work. Two of our neighbors came over for Christmas Eve two years ago. We really like the dynamic of our cul-de-sac. We often end up having communal dinners in the picnic area during the summer and stay up late chatting with the neighbors when the sun is out until midnight.

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Sex and Money in Marriage

“It’s okay. We just kissed a little. No big deal.” I can’t imagine Mr. T would take that well if it ever came up in a conversation. We know honesty in marriage is important. And we know that cheating is wrong. But somehow, finances get left out of those discussions. Did you know there is a term called “financial infidelity”? Do you know what it means? Secrets. Money and sex are tricky. We like them, but we don’t like talking about them. When we get married, we just expect both to happen without discussing either of them. But there’s one difference: with sex, we know there shouldn’t be any secrets. In money, there isn’t a consensus about secrets. In fact, 33% of people admitted lying to their spouses about finances. And that’s just the people that admitted it!

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The Magic of Holidays: Traditions

Tomorrow’s Halloween!! Mr. T and I love holidays. We both decked out apartments and dorm rooms with decorations (many sent from our parents) before marrying each other and consolidating our decorations. Don’t worry, we’re not all scary-music-in-the-lawn for Halloween or timed-musical-light-show at Christmas crazy. But we do decorate. We have a 4-foot tree in our entryway that we decorate for every holiday. For Christmas, we move it upstairs and put it in our window. The kids love holidays because we love holidays. While decorations are not something we would currently spend money on, we’re glad we have them.

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Align Your Budget: Financial Date Night

One of the most important things for maintaining good finances in marriage is a plan that includes differences. Making a financial plan together is important, but it’s also important to consider that you are two different people and this will require a good discussion about priorities and compromising on what you find most important. Things also change as time goes on. This discussion needs to happen frequently.

Mr. T and I have always been good at making sure we’re on the same page. I do sometimes worry, however, as the outspoken one around here, that maybe he’s just going along with what I say because I say it (he’s a man of few words). Since this year we embarked on our plan to reach early retirement and we’re also approaching our tenth wedding anniversary, I’ve been looking for a new way to discuss priorities and finances as a couple.

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Don't make dumb money mistakes

Keepin’ it Real: Kiddos

Mrs. Frugalwoods recently admitted that she’s nervous about becoming a mom, but she’s learning to accept we’re all flawed. This kind of thing strikes a chord with me and I had to talk about it. First off, let me just say:

No one should EVER say “It’s so great. Enjoy every minute” to someone with children. 

Don’t stop reading if you don’t have kids. This post is for you too. I want to talk about the logistics of having children. As a stay-at-home mom, I am a “professional” in the field. So please listen up.

Why Kids Are the Worst:

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Don’t Buy In To “Facebook Finances”

During my obsessive consumption of social media coming out of #FinCon15, I caught pictures of the full faces of two of my favorite anonymous bloggers: The Frugalwoods and J. Money. Neither of them looked anything like I’d imagined (which is surprising because I’ve seen a lot of profiles, partial faces, etc). But instead of being disappointed, I thought “how refreshing!” The financial blogger world (and especially the early retirement world) is such an interesting microcosm because people talk about real money. People share their net worth. People share how much they spend, down to the penny. Savings and Debt payoff are celebrated! Financial Independence days are a thing! But we don’t know or care about job titles, home sizes, or even what these people look like!

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