Plan Your Finances Like A Wedding in 3 Steps

Plan Your Finances Like A Wedding in 3 Steps

Plan Your Finances Like A Wedding in 3 Steps

If you got married more than 10 years ago, you may have had a “wedding folder” filled with fabric swatches, catering menus, and dress ideas.

wedding

 

 

 

 

If the coordination of your wedding was like a def-con operation, then maybe you had a wedding binder!

Pinterest may have even held the treasures to your dream wedding if you got hitched within the last couple of years.

Your wedding day was dreamy. You made sure that every centerpiece was perfect, your bridal party looked like magazine models, and of course, you married the love of your life!

Similar to your personal finances everything for your wedding didn’t go exactly as planned, but most didn’t even notice.

Your then-fiance told you over and over again, “Don’t worry about it – everything will be fine!”

He was right! All your hard work paid off.

And that folder! Well. You probably haven’t seen it since your big day.

1. Do you keep a financial binder that is as impressive as your wedding binder?

Improving the way you manage your personal finances requires the same time & attention you gave to planning your wedding & honeymoon, but the impact is so much more important to your family.

I’m not saying your marriage isn’t important.

But the wedding itself has little to do with whether you survive as a married couple.

During the planning, you and your then-fiancé likely had little arguments over things that never really mattered. It just felt like they did.

One of those arguments may have been about something that did matter – your budget! Maybe you kept a cool, balanced head, and your husband was the overindulgent one (yeah, right..lol).

Filet Mignon or Chicken? Top Shelf or Well Liquor? A hand-sewn beaded or second-hand dress? One isn’t necessarily better than the other. It pretty much comes down to preference.

Plus, one other major detail-Your budget!!

The way you design your wedding has a lot to do with your personal finances.

Grand or modest home? Luxury or practical car? Super cleaning lady or super cleaning powers?

Yep – Preference and budget definitely matter with these choices.

A wedding is such a big event. There are serious deadlines and multiple people involved to pay close attention to the details and the planning. You have the pressure of time & limited resources that force you to make hard decisions.

With your finances, the pressure isn’t the same. You expect to stick around another 50-60 years.

The urgency just isn’t there.

You keep telling yourself that you’ll get around to maintaining a real budget for your household, but you don’t.

You understand how critical little details are when planning your big day but in normal life, you politely leave important details of your financial situation untouched – like nasty food at a tasting.

I completely understand how planning a wedding is different than planning your finances- more fun, romantic and sentimental.

Whether we want to face the truth or not, we spend many months (or years) planning one day that honestly has very little return on our money.

Then, we’re reluctant to spend an hour out of the month planning for things that impact our day-to-day life or our retirement years.

Your budget doesn’t have to be in a fancy binder or spreadsheet. My mother keeps hers in a $.50 notebook.

I know that personal finances can be a scary world. It can feel so overwhelming it downright sucks at times.
I’m confident that you can tackle it. You just may need a little help.

One of the keys to creating a sense urgency is by setting realistic financial goals with deadlines. Start with very simple, but deliberate, tasks to give you some relief. One of the first things you can do is grab the most recent copy of the FIIRM Ultimate Financial Resource Guide! It’s filled with tools to help you earn more, save more and do less! 

 

2. Who can you trust to make it happen?

Once you have an idea of how much money you’re working with you for your wedding, you start talking to vendors that you want to hire (If the day isn’t perfect, the bridezilla hiding just beneath the surface may show up & show out. It’s best for everyone that you get what you want?.

You interview vendors, read reviews, taste test and ask your friends for recommendations. You want to make sure the people you hire can execute your plan well.

When it’s time to pick your insurance agent, financial advisor, or tax preparer are you as diligent?

Do you come up with a list of questions? Do you know what the right person “feels” like?

If you aren’t a “numbers” person, thinking about budgets, retirement accounts and tax strategies is probably similar to how I feel about golf. I’ll play if you put a gun to my head.

However, the times when I’ve enjoyed golf the most is when I play with a great group of ladies or have had an instructor at every hole.

Sometimes you just need the right people around to help you get through it.

Today the internet makes it easier to pick the right professionals. You can read reviews, listen to podcasts and read blogs to get a “feel” for a person before you hire.

Be patient and diligent. Never worry about asking too many questions and shop around.

No one plans or completes a wedding alone. Please, please stop thinking you should know how to handle your finances without help.

3. How engaged are you with your own success?

When it comes to a wedding, you first celebrate the possibility.

Celebrate your successYep, before you got married you may have had an engagement party to celebrate the possibility of getting married. You celebrate the progress you’ve made in a romantic relationship.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not bashing engagement parties, but how many things do we actually celebrate before we accomplish it?

It’s not very many. The main two, that I can think of, are marriage and babies.
Think about it.

Hardly anyone celebrates their new job just because they got the interview. Most don’t throw a housewarming party before they close on the new house.

The celebration of love & life is a beautiful thing. I’ve been to some awesome birthday parties and amazing weddings.

But my busy moms, devoted wives and hard working women, also need to embrace celebrating financial milestones!

When you make strides in improving your financial situation, you have accomplished something worthy of a celebration.

The relief you feel after getting your “financial house” in order is no small accomplishment.

Paying off all your credit cards or even just a major one is bragworthy!

What if you celebrated increasing your contribution to your retirement account?

What about a celebration after you’ve made your first investment in the stock market or watched the stock price double?

Why am I beating the crap out of this topic?
Because I truly believe if you value your money and its real purpose then you must show the universe, yourself and your family that you mean it!

As you make progress improving the way you manage your finance house, ACKNOWLEDGE IT!

Show the universe you appreciate the prosperity you are receiving.

Plus, if people can celebrate things like kite flying day and national lasagna day (which sounds delicious by the way) I’m certain you can find a way to celebrate your financial milestones.

An engagement party shows that you are excited about the possibility of a life filled with love & happiness. You are expressing your optimism and openness to receiving joy.

The same logic applies when it comes to your personal finances.

Naturally, you only want the closest of the close involved. Those that have heard you cry your eyes out over your ex-boyfriends or loaned you a few dollars in your time of need.

Besides, the celebration doesn’t have to be anything over the top.

Something as simple as a gourmet latte & great dessert with your closest friends could be enough! (Ice cream is not the devil, btw.)

After you start acknowledging your financial milestones you can start a new trend with your friends.

How cool would it be to attend your best friend’s financial student loan payoff party inspired by you?

Sounds very grown-up, doesn’t it?

Getting your financial house in order is real grown-up work.

When you’re really serious about it, it won’t seem odd to do the things I mentioned above. And it definitely doesn’t have to be perfect. There’s no such thing as a perfect wedding nor a perfect marriage. It takes patience and commitment to make either work.

Trust me – your personal finances require the same efforts.

Allow me to help start off your progress.

Say your financial vows and commit to yourself by clicking the “I DO” button to find the resources you need to help you save money and keep your finances on track. The best thing about this guide is that we did all the work for you.

You’re ready to take this head on!!

Ready to get your finances in order
I ________ (your name), pledge to make my personal finances a priority like a Bridezilla planning a wedding!! I pledge to be patient, communicate my goals and celebrate my success with cake (or wine, or donuts or chocolate…)!

 

I DO!

 

Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a certified divorce financial analyst, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

Credit is not the devil, neither is ice cream

Credit is not the devil, neither is ice cream

Have you ever been involved with ice cream?

I’m talking a serious love affair.

You’re a modern woman. You take the lead in the relationship. It’s date night, so you pick him up and take him back to your place.

You leave him in the kitchen while you get changed. He needs time to chill out.

You want to make sure that when you’re ready, he’s ready.

You re-enter the room and there he is – waiting patiently. No words are spoken. They aren’t necessary.

You undo the lid. You’re not worried about proper etiquette. You’re not worried about what he might think.

You’re a woman that knows exactly what she wants. At that very moment, it’s him.

You want the luscious, buttery, sweet satisfying goodness that he has to offer.

You grab the spoon. Who needs a bowl anyway?

You dive in deep and let out that first satisfying sigh. (Maybe it’s more of a slow moan.)

You have a couple bites then you replace the lid and go about your merry way.

Wait, what?

Oh, you have more than a couple of bites.

You have so many bites that now you can see the bottom of the container.

Then you start to silently curse him as if it’s his fault you ate the WHOLE thing.

Now you’re telling your girlfriends about him. How he’s bad for you and that they should stay away from him too.

You declare ice cream as the devil and roll your eyes at him next time you pass him in the supermarket.

Hmph! You’ve got a lot of nerve, woman!

Well, let me tell you something. (Anytime someone says this to you, you know a passionate blunt message is sure to follow)

Ice cream is not the devil.

It can’t possibly be.

It has been there for me too many times when I’ve needed it – during birthdays, movie night at home and after tonsil surgery.

Ice cream is more like a little slice of heaven, that I keep in my freezer and break out as needed.

It’s definitely not the devil.

But I digress…for now.

Credit cards get a bad rap. Just like ice cream. Some people treat credit like it’s Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers.

Maybe at some point in your life, you got a little over zealous with your credit cards. Bill collectors were chasing you down like a scene from Friday the 13th.

Maybe you ate the entire container of ice cream maxed out your card.

But why take it out on the card? Why trash it to your friends as if it magically swiped itself?

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore.” (Peter Finch – Network, 1976)

Somebody should stand up for Salted Caramel, Pistachio and Vanilla Bean.

Somebody should also stand up for Blue, Slate and Quicksilver.

Credit cards have a ton of lobbyists in Washington, they really don’t need me to stand up for them.

I completely understand the argument that credit card companies take advantage of people.

But wouldn’t you have to place a similar blame on Ben & Jerry’s and Bunny Bell? (I’m just saying)

I’ve been in credit card trouble before.

I understand the pain it can bring. I had too many college offers and clothing store sales that foolishly I felt I couldn’t live without.

But eventually, I focused on reducing my debt the same way others are focused on losing weight and improving their health. I focused on 1 card at a time.

I am not a student of the “close all your cards” school of thought. I believe credit cards, when used responsibly, can make life a little easier. More convenient.

As busy as I am, I like convenience!

I would much rather someone steal my credit card then my debit card. (I’d rather people not steal my stuff at all, but you catch my drift)

I don’t want to rent a car and have $250 PLUS the cost of the rental held on my actual money versus held from my available credit.

I like receiving cash back on purchases that I know I will make anyway. Even if it’s only 1%, I’d rather have it in my pocket than not.

While you can build strong credit through installment loans (mortgages, car loans and school loans) the absence of good credit or any credit at all can make getting those loans much more difficult.

Usually, credit cards are the easiest type of credit to get when you’re younger, your income is limited and you haven’t built enough history to prove your credit-worthiness.

For most people who handle credit cards correctly, they are the gateway to low-interest car and home loans.

Certain jobs even require you to have good credit before they will hire you.

One of the reasons that so many of us have gotten into trouble with cards is because we weren’t taught the proper way to handle them.

Plus, we have waaaay more credit card offers being thrown our way than our parents ever did. 

Credit cards didn’t become popular until after the 1950’s, so it’s not even fair to blame them.

I realize that a high-interest rate credit card can be more detrimental than the fat content in chocolate brownie fudge ice cream.

However, a kid’s size scoop of yogurt or sherbert can feel just as good as a 0% interest rate offer for 18 months. (At least it does in my world)

Ultimately, I understand that it really comes down to discipline and lifestyle preference. If you choose to manage your finances on a cash based system because you know you have the potential to have a credit swiping marathon, I get it.

Maybe you like not having to worry about paying the bill at the end of the month. Being credit card free feels cleaner and simpler for you.

But if you do have self-discipline and you know that given a second chance you could handle the relationship, then I say keep your cards open.

You’ve vowed to pay off your debt and forbid yourself from getting in credit card trouble again.

If you can figure how to use them in a way that benefits you, don’t be intimidated.

Credit is not the devil. Maybe you need to pick your 1 favorite card.

1 scoop, 1 love affair at a time…

There’s also a way to use your cards and not pay ridiculous interest. There’s a way to make them work for you.

The opportunity to transfer balances to low fee/low interest rate cards was one of the solutions I used to get out of debt.

I wasn’t making a bunch of money and my personal financial situation wasn’t going to change drastically any time soon, but the seesaw strategy worked for me.

So, while you may not like the numbers on the scale or your credit report, be realistic about where some of the blame really lies.

There’s no one way to manage your debt and personal finances. Like dieting, moderation, and not deprivation, is the key.

Just because ice cream credit cards broke your heart a time or two, doesn’t mean you can’t find the right fit for you.

I’m a hopeless romantic. 30 day grace periods, 0% interest and travel bonus points are the way to my heart!

 Action! 

Select one credit card you think you might be able to fall in love with. You don’t have to use it, or apply right away. Just keep it on your radar. 

Disclaimer Notice: As a friendly reminder, I am not an attorney nor certified financial advisor. I don’t even get to play one on TV. Therefore, the information within this article and website is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult with the proper legal or financial professional before taking action. Deciding to take a stab at things without proper consultation is at your own risk, beautiful.

Nikki Tucker

Nikki Tucker

Founder & Managing Director

 

Nikki is a 16-year financial services professional, a certified divorce financial analyst, and the primary divorce financial strategist for The FIIRM Approach. She helps female breadwinners prepare for divorce to avoid common financial mistakes and confidently maintain their financial security. She uses proven strategies within the FIIRM Approach methodology so her clients can manage their money, debt, and credit in their new financial life. TAKE ACTION & LEARN about the tools that can help make your new money life easier. Grab your FREE Ultimate Resource Guide HERE. 

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