With many lending companies offering convenient (yet high interest) wedding loans these days, it can be tempting to borrow money to have your ideal wedding day. After all, the average cost for a wedding is around $35,000. That’s a lot of money.
The unfortunate thing with borrowing is that debt follows us into the first days of our marriages. And with money fights being one of the top reasons for divorce, starting off with 5-figures of wedding debt might not be an ideal starting place for this lifelong partnership.
Today, I’ve invited someone on the show who’s not only experienced the emotional and financial hardships of debt, but she figured out how to combat it and eventually pay for her $40,000 wedding in cash.
Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez is my guest today. Stefanie is a nationally recognized millennial money expert and author of the book, The Broke and Beautiful Life. Stefanie’s work & advice has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and Oprah Magazine.
Stefanie lives in New York City with her brand new husband.
This is one of my favorite times of the year. Every 50 episodes, I have the extreme pleasure of interviewing the most important people in my world … my family. With it being episode 150 (woo hoo!), I didn’t want to pass up the chance.
We’ll start things off with my daughter Zoey. We’ll be chatting about summer, sports and how she likes to use her chore money.
My son Calvin Hill will be next and we’re going to briefly discuss Spider-man, learning to ride his bike and why we give our money to charities.
Last but not least, my final interview will be with my wife of almost 10 years, Nicole Hill. By popular demand from the MKM Community, we’ll be chatting about how embracing minimalism allows us to have a happier and less stressed home life.
Here’s an abbreviated transcript of our conversation below. Enjoy!
The Budget Party is a monthly get-together meant to set aside time for me and my wife to have important conversations about our financial future together. We review how we used our money from the previous month, what we want to do with our cash this month and how we’re tracking on our overall financial goals.
Outside of the obvious financial benefits of this activity, these meetings are great for our marriage. We discuss what’s important to us, how we’re going to get there together and how we see our relationship growing over the years to come. With two small children in the house, time for discussion is limited. The Budget Party gives us a little break and helps me feel closer to my wife.
If all this financial growth and marital relationship building stuff sounds interesting to you, I’ve compiled 10 easy steps for you to build your own Budget Party. This way, you can create your own monthly meeting and strengthen your family tree for years to come.
In order to achieve financial independence, you need to first understand what your annual expenses are. That’s how much money you need to live comfortably every year.
Your annual expenses can include things like housing, transportation, food, utility bills, entertainment, travel and the many other things that make your life … well, your life!
For our family, I’ve found that number to range between $60,000 and $70,000 per year. That number is after taxes and it doesn’t include money for saving and investing.
With lower annual expenses, it would definitely be a lot easier for our family to become financially independent.
If we’re using the 4% rule to calculate how much to save to become FI, then we’d need $1,500,000 – $1,750,000. Considering I have around $4,000 in a taxable brokerage account at 37 years old, that’s going to take quite a while!
Married couples can sometimes have different views on money. Those opposing opinions can cause fights, arguments and in some cases, divorce.
My guest today has had a lot of experience helping couples to deal with this very issue. Dr. Laura Dabney is a certified psychiatrist based in Virginia who prides herself in helping her patients change their lives for the better. Her writing and advice have been featured in major media outlets like NBC, Bustle and Yahoo Lifestyle, as well as many other popular radio shows.
One of Dr. Dabney’s core focus areas is with marriage and relationship guidance … and we married folks could all use a little bit of that, am I right?
When we get married, we have an important decision to make. Do you merge your money or keep it separate? Well, what if there was an option in the middle?
I’ve invited the Founder and CEO of Zeta, Aditi Shekar to discuss different ways to manage your money as a couple. We’ll also learn about how their new financial tool is supporting couples with this big decision.
So, you’ve found the one! Congratulations. What a feeling! Being married to the love of your life is absolutely incredible. I’m speaking from experience here … meeting and marrying my wife substantially increased the awesomeness of my days.
As optimistic as I am, I’m not naive in thinking that marriages are all roses and sunshine. Marital fights happen all the time around raising your children, family traditions, religion, political viewpoints and, of course, money. Disagreements around the all mighty dollar have caused countless arguments and, in some cases, those disagreements have caused marriages to end.
To prevent a future divorce based on money issues, let’s start off our new relationships with brutal honesty and transparency. It’s not only smart for the future of our marriages, but it is also a healthy way to engage in any new partnership. We wouldn’t accept a new job offer without asking a boatload of questions, would we?
With our country currently drowning in $1.5 Trillion of student debt, it’s fair to say we have a big problem on our hands. This problem is hitting home as well. Couples are delaying marriage, delaying having a baby and even strategically getting divorced to lessen the burden of their student loans.
If you’re listening to this, you may just be one of the many Americans that’s feeling like they are completely under water with these loans.
Well today, I have a very special guest who’s going to talk with us about our options for getting rid of these loans the right way. Travis Hornsby from Student Loan Planner shares how refinancing and student loan forgiveness may be our tickets to student debt freedom.