Family and Relationships

“I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich.”

~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, “Identity Crisis,” M*A*S*H

Congratulations, You’re Pregnant! Here Are the First Five Money Moves New Moms Need to Make

Wow, you are going to be a mother! How exciting, and perhaps slightly terrifying. If you’ve talked to other new parents, then you know that the miracle of life also has a way of turning into the miracle of the disappearing paycheck. Babies are wonderful…and expensive. That’s why it is so important to plan now, …

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Ten Ways to Fall in Love With Valentine’s Day After a Divorce

During the early days of your courtship and marriage, Valentine’s Day may have been full of gorgeous red roses, glittering glasses of expensive wine, and ooey-gooey proclamations of love. Now, even the thought of Valentine’s Day may sting your already-hurting heart. If you’ve recently gotten divorced – even if it was definitely the right thing …

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Things You Might Not Know About the Day of Love

Love it or hate it, chances are you have a thing or two to learn about Valentine’s Day, Here is some unexpected information about the holiday. 1. How Valentine’s Day began. Valentine’s Day probably originated as a combination of two Roman happenings. The first was Lupercalia, an ancient Roman festival celebrated each February 15, when …

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Is Divorce on Your Holiday Shopping List?

Eight Steps from the Experts on Handling the Holidays when Your Marriage No Longer Feels Like a “Gift” Thinking about shopping lists, presents, parties, and…divorce?  Holidays are usually a time for reconnecting, but if you are married — and not so happily — seasonal preparations can put major strain on relationships that are already teetering …

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Five Reasons Millennials Are Struggling to Get Ahead

It’s Not the Avocado Toast Hating on the millennial generation has become a favorite pastime of many social commentators. We are vain. We are delicate little snowflakes. We want to save the world but are too busy taking selfies. We would rather stuff ourselves with insanely expensive avocado toast than actually save for retirement. Now, …

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Money Talks … Love Listens

This month, as wedding bells ring for hordes of happy, hopeful newlyweds, my husband and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary. We’ve learned a lot over the years, and we wish all the new kids on the block as much happiness and good fortune as we’ve enjoyed. We especially wish them the will and wisdom …

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To Prenup or Not To Prenup

A prenuptial agreement (or prenup) is often more important in a second marriage than in a first. Because of obligations to children, existing assets, and prior legal commitments, a written agreement assures that everyone’s needs are clear and their financial interests protected. If your future spouse feels uncomfortable about the idea, reassure him that the …

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Moving in With Your Sweetheart

Many couples are moving in together before they get married. Deciding to live together is a big step in any relationship. It generally means you’re seriously thinking about commitment, but you want to do a little more investigating before taking the plunge. Though it can seem romantic to merge your finances as you merge your …

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Help Wanted for Teens: How to Beat the Job Market Slump

The Help Wanted sign has practically disappeared for today’s teens. Too many young job seekers are likely to spend the summer on social media or watching TV instead of scooping ice cream or serving pizza. Some experts also blame higher minimum wage laws for squeezing out entry-level workers. Teens face competition from laid-off adults, seniors, …

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Returning to the Workforce? It Might Be Time to Consider an Adult Internship.

Getting a job is hard, especially if you happen to have a ten-year gap in your resume and skills rustier than a bike left out all winter. Yet, this is the reality that many women in our country face when they are ready to rejoin the workforce after leaving their careers to raise a family …

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Take a Deep Breath – It’s Time to Talk About Saving for Your Child’s College Costs

College. That single word can lift a parent’s spirits and send an icy jolt of fear down their spine at the same time. A college education can play a huge role in a child’s chance for career and financial success, but the price tag can be breathtaking (and not in a good way). According to …

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Spring Cleaning After Divorce: Cleaning Out Your Closet and Your Life

Spring has sprung. If you are coming out of the winter of divorce, consider this season as your chance to clean your home and your soul of the emotional burdens. Back by popular demand is this useful and uplifting article. The season of spring is all about renewal, which is why it is the perfect …

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Who’s Paying For College? Part Three: Finding a Middle Ground for College Costs

College…it’s expensive. No, really expensive. The sticker price even for an in-state public school can still reach $24,000 a year or more according to CollegeData.com! The question of how to pay for a child’s higher education or even if you should is one that every parent must face. In the previous two articles in this …

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Who’s Paying For College? Part One: The Case Against Paying Your Child’s College Costs

On the surface, paying for your child’s college seems like a no-brainer. We all know that a college degree is practically a requirement these days to make it into the middle class and that a lack of a degree may bar your child from most careers that don’t include a fast food uniform. As a …

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Did You Know That You Can Use Whole Life Insurance for Risk Management?

For many Americans, the idea of “life insurance” only brings to mind a simple term life insurance policy. Term life insurance is the most popular form of life insurance, but it is far from the only option on the market. In fact, insurance companies offer a wide array of life insurance products in order to …

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I’ll Show You Mine, If You Show Me Your…Credit Report

Why You Must Have the Money Conversation Before Marriage If you are in a serious relationship, you probably know your partner’s favorite color, his dream car, and at least a few embarrassing stories from his childhood. But do you know his credit score? If not, then you don’t really know your partner at all, and …

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Four Tips to Slay the Monster Cost of College

A college education is almost a requirement these days in order to break into most well-paying jobs (unless your child is itching to start the next great tech company). However, the cost is steep! According to Collegedata.com, the average cost for a public, in-state college was $23,410 for the 2014-2015 year and $46,272 for a …

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A Bad Marriage May Literally Be Breaking Your Heart

Every year, Valentine’s Day, along with its epic run-up of love-soaked commercials and ads, is dreaded by singles everywhere.  But what if you are struggling in unhappy or even abusive marriage? You may feel like a bad marriage is breaking your heart, especially as Valentine’s Day approaches…and you might be right! Bad Marriage…Bad Heart Health …

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Over Half of Americans “Haven’t Got Around” To Making a Will

Think of all the things you own, from the money in your retirement account, to your home, your car, and your beloved stamp collection. Where will they go after you die? If you are like 61% of Americans who have not created a will, then you are leaving that question up to your home state …

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Make a Wish This Thanksgiving and Then Make It Come True

This Thanksgiving, families and friends across the country will sit around the dinner table and consider the things they are thankful for. In a world that pushes us to want more than we have, it’s nice to actually appreciate the abundance already in our lives. Still, there is always a place for dreams in Thanksgiving. …

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A Couple’s Money Meet-Up

Let’s imagine that you and your mate have a very important financial date today. It’s a regularly scheduled get-together that happens every month like clockwork. You may recall that when you first began these state-of-our-finances meetings, it was rocky. Lots of things needed to be shared and talked through, some quite jarring. Now, though, it’s …

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Financial Planning for a May-December Relationship

May to December relationships used to be about the younger woman marrying the older man, but more and more often we see a younger man marrying the older woman . Marriage between contemporaries is tough, but a 20-to-30-year age difference can make it a whole new ballgame.  For couples far apart in age considering a …

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He Says, She Says

If your spouse is a risk-taker and you are not (or vice versa), it’s sometimes difficult for you to understand each other. The words just don’t mean what they would mean if you were saying them. With that in mind (and of course a firm desire to improve communication between the sexes), we offer you this handy …

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Prenups Aren’t Just for the Rich and Famous

Who had a prenup when they married, Britney Spears or Paul McCartney? Score one if you chose the blonde bubblehead over the savvy billionaire Brit. Paul McCartney lost $50 million to his ex-wife Heather Mills in their March 2008 divorce court battle.  But Britney’s preplanning paid off: she paid just $300,000 to shed Kevin, leaving …

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Mrs. Winkler Was Right

Many years ago in a Milwaukee schoolroom my first grade teacher Mrs. Winkler worked hard to instill in her young pupils the principles of personal responsibility and proper behavior. She also made sure we girls and boys left her care with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of basic math—Two plus Two equals Four. Mrs. …

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A More Perfect Union

“All marriages are happy.  It’s living together afterward that’s difficult.” Anonymous  Flags, parades, picnics, and fireworks.  July is the month we celebrate those traditions and institutions that make our society strong and free. Before the Founding Fathers wrote their plan for “a more perfect union,” they did a lot of thinking, discussing, and a fair …

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Vacation on a Budget

Are your vacations so hectic that you need to get back to work to relax once you return?  Are you still paying off your last vacation while booking your next one?  Here’s a way to abandon the stressful vacation payment treadmill, and relax on the cheap this summer. Get away without going away. Whenever my …

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Money Camps and Other Ways to Inspire Your Budding Tycoons

As most parents agree, financial education for children is a great idea. In fact, many parents wish that they had learned more about money management way back when. Children are happy asking for and spending the money — until the day when Mom or Dad says, “That’s too expensive” or “We can’t afford that right …

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Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to School We Go

As your children begin their college careers, there’s lots they need to know. Click here to read what your student needs to know about handling money, budgeting, buying textbooks, managing phone bills, working part time, and using credit cards wisely.

Cutting College Costs

Hopefully you planned ahead and have a nice chunk of change set aside for the costs of college. Figure out how much you’ll need for junior’s education with the Save for College at VISA USA’s education website Practical Money Skills. If your savings come up short, don’t despair — there are a lot of things you can …

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15 Ways to Date Your Mate

Is Date Night a drain on your finances, with the babysitter, fancy restaurants, theatre tickets, and cab fares? Here are some ideas for great cheap dates with your honey that will save you lots of cash without skimping on the romance. Eat a simple, nutritious dinner at home, and then go out for a truly …

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Five Money Myths That Can Keep You Apart

Managing money with your significant other is difficult enough. Don’t burden your relationship with half-truths that can make it even harder. Make sure these five money myths aren’t keeping you apart.  The partner who earns more, knows more. Your earnings are only a measure of how much you earn right now, period. They don’t represent …

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Divorce and Family Finances

Dear Dollar Stretcher, Unfortunately, so many families are splitting that guidelines are needed for that form of family. When a family has split, what would be an equitable financial plan? How big a piece of the husband’s income pie should go to the household occupied by two growing children with their mother, and how big …

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Heart to Heart

It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have with your parents…and I am not referring to the birds and the bees. This one involves their estate and resolving any uncertainties before they’re gone. Death is not a pleasant subject, but it is going to come eventually and it’s better to be prepared. Assure your parents that you …

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Rich Mom, Poor Mom

We inherit many things from our mothers. Mom our first source of nourishment, love, and security, and she’s also a role model for many of the values and beliefs that shape our lives. Knowingly or not, Moms influence their children’s feelings about money, abundance, and prosperity—their sense of whether the glass of life is half-empty …

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The Cost of Raising a Child

When our daughter Carrie was in high school, she worked at Starbucks after school and on weekends. She saved half of her paycheck for future college expenses and spent the rest on current teenage “necessities” such as MP3 players, shoes and fashion. If you asked Carrie, she was practically self-supporting.  She loved the independence, and …

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