Monday Morning Miles Talk is a regular series that has some smaller, more quirky ideas to kick off the work week. These are essentially random ideas that I wanted to share with you. Here are the 4 most recent topics.
- Selling Amazon Fire Tablets Results
- 5 Mistakes Experienced Travel Hackers Still Make
- The Chase IHG card is being discontinued – what should I do?
- Harrah’s New Orleans Unique Lounge Policy
If you would like to read even more articles in the series you can click HERE.
How to Remove Fighting Over Money from your Marriage
Before you say it, I know that this isn’t a miles and points topic. But our realm does deal heavily with finances and credit etc. Plus this is my segment and I pretty much have carte blanche within it and this is what I wanted to write about. I believe this to be one of the most worthy topics I could speak on.
As we all know finances and money are one of the leading, if not number one, cause of tension in a relationship. It is accountable for 35% of relationship strain according to an online Harris poll. Most of us in this hobby have a pretty good financial situation but that doesn’t mean there isn’t fighting over being thrifty or splurging etc.
Marriage Requires Work
My wife and I got married at 22 which comes with a whole bunch of issues. Marriage is tough enough as it is but then you throw in the immaturity that you have at 22 makes it tough at times. You still haven’t figured yourself out yet and you are thrown into close quarters with another person who is in the same boat. It is tough and it takes some navigating to find calm waters.
At 22 we were financially independent for the first time and that comes with it’s own learning curve. Throwing those two together made for an interesting adventure! Even if you meet later in life you are now set in your ways and this transition calls for an adjustment period.
It is true that opposites attract and usually there is one frugal member of a family and one spender in the family. Up until you move in together it didn’t really matter since you had your own finances and you did what you want with YOUR money. Now everything is splitsville and it takes a little while to come to terms with that.
Maybe one person is making purchases that the other person thinks are too extravagant or wasteful. One person may have an expensive hobby (golf etc.) that the other gets resentful over. Even if you aren’t struggling to pay the bills, money and the way you spend it, can cause problems.
The Fun Account Trick
After the first year or so we decided to come up with fun money accounts. These are accounts that are entirely our own. We can do what we please with them and the other person has no say in it. These are also the accounts we use to buy gifts for each other etc. If she wants to get some Louboutin shoes while I go to a nice golf course then no one can complain!
We settled on ING checking accounts which have since been moved over to Capital One 360 accounts. These are online checking accounts that sometimes come with a sign up bonus offer. They also have savings accounts that earn a little under 1%, which is decent compared to most banks these days.
The nice thing about these accounts is they have overdraft coverage and they only charge you an interest rate on your overage. No other fees etc. This is beneficial in case there is something one of us wants to buy, or something we want to do, but don’t have all of the funds. We can dip into this reserve until the next payday comes and only pay a few cents for “borrowing” the money until then. No need to pull from the combined accounts etc.
We have a predetermined amount go into each account every paycheck and that money is there to do whatever we like with it. It cuts down on fighting about spending and allows each person to spend on themselves without guilt. It also allows us to pursue our hobbies without worrying about getting flack for it.
One other tip I wanted to offer, especially for any young readers out there. Make sure to take full advantage of your retirement accounts at work. You should always start with at least whatever the minimum is to get the company match.
If you get matched dollar for dollar up to 4% you should put at least that much towards your retirement account. It is like getting a 4% raise (more if you consider taxes). Every time you get a raise put a portion (we do half) of the raise into your retirement account. If you get a 4% raise then boost your contribution from 5% to 7% etc.
By doing it this way you won’t feel the contribution increase since it comes at the time of your raise. Since the money is taken directly out of your check you won’t notice the difference.
Thank you for those of you who decided to stick with me through this. I know it isn’t the normal topic of discussion when you are reading travel blogs but I thought it was an important one. Everything kind of melds together in this hobby. Miles and points can’t be harvested until the financial situation is all in the proper order.
Hopefully this tip helps some of you. Does anyone else do something similar? How do you manage finances in your household.