money habits, money savvy, financial habits

Good morning Dinks.  Do you think good money habits are learned or are we born with them?

I think it’s a little bit of both.  If money habits are truly learned then everyone in their 30s or older would be good with money, but unfortunately that’s not the case.  Or is it?  Maybe everyone is good with money and they just get into financial trouble because they’ve had a string of bad luck.  Could that be it?

Did you learn to be money savvy?

I definitely think some money habits are gifts from nature, just like sports abilities or natural intelligence.  I’m not sure why some people are naturally good with money and others aren’t.  Maybe we are born with a money gene – can that be?

For me money was nurture versus nature.  I made mistakes over and over again until I finally learned from them, but maybe some people are just financially savvy right from the get go.  I think my ability to learn from my repeated mistakes is a bit of natural instinct because I wanted to be better.  Wanting to learn and be a better person is not a quality you’re taught, it has to come from within.

What if everyone was good with money?

What type of world would we live in if everyone who made a financial mistake learned from it and no one ever had any bad luck.  We would live in a perfect money world, loans would never be for financial troubles or consolidation they would be for assets such as homes, cars and college.

Financial bankruptcy wouldn’t exist and credit cards wouldn’t earn interest because all balances would be paid off in full each month.  What would that world be like?

But what about greed?

Ah the root of all evil.  Is greed a learned behavior?  I would like to say yes because I would hate to think people are born with this ruthless quality.  I think we learn to want more because when we’re born we have nothing, we haven’t had a taste for the good life yet.  As we get older and see all the things money can buy we become addicted and learn to want more.  Do you agree?

How did you learn to be money savvy?

I learned the hard way.  I got into big debt twice and almost filed for bankruptcy, but didn’t.  Instead I brushed myself off, stood back up on my own two feet and did whatever I had to to pay off my debt.  Within reason of course.  I stopped spending, started to live on less and got a second (then a third) job.

Of course I could have went another route and started to steal, gamble or cheat to get money, but I didn’t because I was raised better than that.  Neither one of my parents are particularly wealthy but they both have enough.  They came from nothing (big, poor immigrant families) and made a life for themselves – first together then separately.  I think my money habits have definitely been learned. What about you?

happy marriage, financial advice, couples advice

Good morning Dinks.  How is the money in your marriage?  I know a newlywed couple who just got married after only dating for a year and they immediately merged their finances.  When I asked the husband why they did that he said “Because that’s what you’re supposed to do.”  I don’t know how I feel about that comment.

Is that what people think marriage is?  The best financial advice I can give for a happy marriage is to do whatever works for you as a couple.  Nick and I have been together for almost sixteen years (in August) and we only recently opened a joint bank account, we also still maintain separate checking accounts and investment accounts.  Some couples may think this is weird but it works for us.

What financial advice can you give to couples when it comes to marriage?

Marry someone with more money than you

With TV shows like The Millionaire Matchmaker how can you not want to marry and have all your financial worries come to an end.  I know a woman who did just that.  She wasn’t necessarily looking for someone who was rich, but having money and being financially stable was definitely on her deal breaker list.

f I was rich I personally would never go on a date with someone who was just interested in money, but that’s just me.  It’s not to say that the person won’t eventually truly fall in love with you, but you’ll always know that money was the first attraction.

Don’t marry someone with debt

Amen to this piece of advice.  As someone who has been drowning in debt (twice) so much that I literally couldn’t breathe I can tell you first hand that people with debt are a total mess.  This is my one piece of financial advice for a happy marriage.

In my case debt was just one part of my life that was spiraling out of control and I was in no state mentally or emotionally to commit to a relationship (if I wasn’t already in one).  Then there’s the actual financial burden of having to use your salary to make debt payments, that puts a huge strain on a relationship.

Keep accounts separate

There is absolutely no need to rush into merging your bank accounts.  I know some couples see it as a sign of trust, but trust me money can get messy if you are still getting to know each other’s personal habits.  If you’re a saver and your spouse is a spender it’s better to realize it before the money is merged and before it can cause any real damage to your financial situation.

Talk about money

This is another great piece of financial advice for a happy marriage.  Nick and I never talked about money early on in our relationship and now that we talk about it all the time our relationship is better (and stronger) for it.  A lot of problems can happen in a marriage when there’s a lack of communication and this includes talking (or not talking) about money.

 

expenses, worth the cost, pamper, treatment

Good morning Dinks.  Let me ask you a question, is your taste evolving as you get older?  Mine is.  I can’t decide if it’s out of necessity or out of maturity but either way I find myself spending money on things that I normally wouldn’t spend money on.

Do you spend more money now than you did 10 years ago?

Cabs

This is the biggest change I’ve noticed now that I’m almost 35 years old (in October).  10 years ago I would walk anywhere and everywhere – even in the rain – to save $5.  Now I don’t think twice about dropping $10 on a cab ride home from the movies.

Nick has jumped on the Uber bandwagon and loved his experience.  I have yet to try it because I’m not 100% sure it’s safe for a single woman to travel alone.  Have you tried Uber yet?

Spa days

I am obsessed with relaxing.  I love going to spa because not only does it let me take a break from working 24/7 between my 9 to 5 and freelance gigs, but you also have to unplug.  I am usually glued to my phone (which I don’t necessarily like) so the fact that I HAVE to turn it off while spending a couple hours at the spa is very nice.

I also find the whole ambiance of spas very relaxing.  It’s quiet, it smells good and it’s just a place to rest my head, detox and regroup.  I like to buy my spa treatments on Groupon because I can usually get $120 gift certificate for only $60.  Who doesn’t love a relaxing day at the spa when it’s half price?!

Doctor appointments

Last week I called my dentist to make an appointment and when she proposed a time and date I had to double check my calendar to make sure I was free.  I said “Oh no I have a chiropractor appointment that day and I don’t like to have more than one doctor’s appointment in the same day because it makes me feel old.  So let’s rebook.”  Not only did the receptionist not laugh at my joke, she actually completely ignored my comment and just suggested another day and time.  Huh.

Glasses

I went for my two year eye exam earlier this month and just picked up my glasses a couple of days ago.  My prescription is so strong that it takes two weeks to make and costs $850.  Unfortunately this is the reality of my life.  As I get older my vision gets worse and my glasses end up costing close to a thousand dollars.  This is definitely a necessity.  I don’t buy designer frames because the frame is the way I can keep my costs down.

Travel

Ten years ago I had never even been on a vacation that wasn’t with my family.  Now that I’m in my 30s and have a full time job I enjoy travelling whenever I can.  I’ve got to see things and travel to places I never even dreamed about in my 20s.  I never thought about travelling because I just couldn’t afford it.  Now I’m glad I can because I didn’t know what I was missing.

 

Weekly roundup: I had a breakdown in Bed, Bath & Beyond

May 22, 2015

Happy Friday Dinks.  We are about to get in to the difference between men and women when it comes to home decor, shopping and mental stability.  Earlier this week Nick and I decided to take a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond so we could finally start decorating our apartment. We’re starting to decorate our […]

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Should You Save or Pay Off Debt? A Guide to Financial Triage

May 22, 2015

The average American household has 15,608 dollars of credit card debt. If you’re like most Americans, you’re looking for a way to shed your debt and start accumulating wealth. However, even as you’re paying off your credit cards, you may be wishing to save too. Many financial experts have cautioned that paying off credit cards […]

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Are you underpaid?

May 21, 2015

Are you?  Take a second and really think about the question.  If you go to work every day and give it your best effort are you really being paid what you’re worth?  I think most people would say no.  Even those who are self employed may think they’re not always paid what they’re worth. Maybe […]

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Increase Your Rate of Return By Investing in Tax Lien Certificates and Deeds

May 21, 2015

Many people are intrigued by the money-saving power of tax lien properties. If you’ve ever looked into this investment strategy, you know it can be a little complicated, so here are some tips to help you get started. Understand What You’re Getting Into First Tax lien investing is basically an investment where you buy into […]

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What would you tell your younger self about money?

May 20, 2015

Do you ever wake up, look around and think how did I get here?  I had my AH-HA moment earlier this week.  I woke up Monday morning in our king size bed, in our 1100 sq ft apartment and thought to myself I can’t believe I live here. I’m grateful for everything I have I […]

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Marriage and Merging Money

May 19, 2015

Money is often an issue that tends to cause the most friction between a newlywed couple. In a world where the majority of people are concerned with their own personal well being, it is easy to forget that marriage is a mutual arrangement, not a solitary effort. Trust is a vital component in establishing a […]

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