My name is Lindsey and I started my own personal finance blog a few months ago at http://centsandsensibility.ca. I have to say it’s been a great adventure so far and I’m learning a lot as I go along my journey to become debt free! I like reading, writing, traveling and technology. I live in Alberta with my husband, teenaged daughter, and hate-filled wiener dog. Come over and visit my blog to find out more!
We’ve had plenty of conversations about money, we pour over Quicken budgets and discuss who is going to pay for what, all the nuts and bolts. However, I’m not sure we know what we’re building together with our nuts and bolts. Outside of our decisions about who pays what, I’m not really clear on what my husband’s financial priorities are. Honestly, I’m not sure I’m completely clear what my own financial priorities are.
I know I have a goal of being “debt-free” and of increasing my earning potential – but to what end? Where do I see us in a year? Five years? Ten years? Twenty? It’s going to be pretty hard to achieve our goals if we have no idea what “our goals” are. I know I’ve had some concerns about our financial situation and approached my husband with ideas to increase our cash flow or to cut down expenses so we could put more towards our debt but I’ve been met with some resistance for various reasons.I’ve grown frustrated with his responses but I’m not sure I’ve been very fair to him. Without a clear idea of what we want to accomplish together, he is only going to have his own ideas about what’s important to him. I know I have valid reason for suggesting ideas about increasing cash flow and cutting expenses and he has valid reasons for declining those same suggestions. We just don’t know each other’s reasons.So we need to sit down and have a conversation. But first, I need to sit down and work through what my perceptions and priorities are regarding money. I know I am bringing my own money ‘baggage’ into the relationship and I’m still developing my own “financial identity”.
What do I need to feel good about my financial future? What are my goals? Priorities? Dreams?I’ve been reading up on money and communication in the “Smart Cookies Guide to Couples and Money” and I’m going to ask my husband if he would like to work through this book with me. They have suggested some questions to ponder to “get the conversation started”. Here are the questions and my answer to them as my first step towards Project Money: Beautiful Togetherness.
Smart Cookie Discussion Questions:
This is most definitely a yes! I have spoken at length with a few close friends and family about my money situation – I have been comfortable sharing my failures and successes; asking for advice when required; and just generally being able to go back and forth about money.
I started talking money with my best friend quite early on, money and debt were a problem for me pretty early in life and I learned quickly that keeping it a secret made things worse. Talking through my debt issues with someone else just seemed to make it a little more manageable. I was also able to benefit from other people’s opinions and ideas, as well!
I was married once before and money was actually one of the key reasons why we didn’t make it. So honestly, I handled money issues badly in my past relationship. I was keenly aware that he made significantly more a year than I did and I really struggled with being able to speak up. I didn’t believe at the time I had a “right” to challenge his decisions about spending and saving.
I started getting angry about his choices anyway – angry with him and angry with myself for not saying something. Before I knew it, I had lived through him getting laid off from one job; quitting another job without consulting me two days after we were married; following him across the country once for yet another job he ended up hating; and then following him across the country again for a job with the original company he was laid off from.
By the time we got back to Ontario, I ended up having to exercise my “right” to speak by leaving him. Things were way too far gone for anything else to happen. Too bad I waited so long to say something honestly, eh?
One of my strengths is that I’m an “ideas” person: If I need extra income or I need to cut costs somewhere, I’m resourceful enough to come up with a flexible and responsive strategy to address the shortfall and come out smelling like roses.
One of my weaknesses is that I’m an “ideas” person: Because I have a highly developed skill set to respond to financial crises, I rely too much on this ability to get me through the rough patches. I don’t often need to plan ahead because I am The Boss at putting out fires. Not cool if you’re looking at the big picture or the long term
One of the biggest changes I would make would be wait a little longer before going back to school. I didn’t have a clear idea what I wanted to do so I ended up starting two different programs before settling on Psychology. Honestly, I probably blew through twenty grand “finding myself” enough to know what I wanted to do. Also not cool.
I also would have paid more attention to those first credit cards I got as a student. I had no concept of “credit” in my early twenties and it really showed in the way I treated the cards as free money – instead of the borrowed credit it actually was.
I believe this gives us a chance to build our future together. I didn’t have that chance in my first marriage and it’s really important to me to give us both an equal chance to work towards our goals. It’s important to discover what we want as individuals and honour those things by putting together a plan to make sure it happens. If we don’t see eye to eye on something, then let’s find a way to understand and compromise where and when we can. Managing our finances as a couple give us that chance that people in a relationship who manage their finances as individuals might not have.
So I know a little bit more about why I want to do this even though it doesn’t make it any less intimidating. Taking a chance is my only option though. In my first marriage, I didn’t take the chance and it cost me much more than a few dollars.
Here I go!
Thank you to the gracious Michelle for allowing me to guest post on her amazing blog, please keep an eye out for future posts about my conversation on Project Money: Beautiful togetherness.
Anyways, happy Monday everyone. I thought I’d mix it up this week and post about our wedding and our wedding budget. I made a post a couple of weeks ago about some of our (ok they’re all my ideas, he doesn’t care about anything) wedding ideas.
I’m not going to lie, I am so excited to plan an awesome wedding. I am excited for the food, the dress, the venue, the pictures, EVERYTHING! And of course, since I am a personal finance blogger, I have also been thinking about the costs and adding everything up over and over again.
As most of you can guess, we don’t have anyone helping us with the wedding. My mother doesn’t care and my dad passed away almost 5 years ago. However, I also wouldn’t expect anyone to help us pay since we have been together for almost 7 years, and moved out of our respective homes 6 years ago. The average wedding cost over $25,000, which is a scary number.
Paying for our own wedding is definitely possible, but I would prefer to spend less than $20,000 since we do want to buy a new house next year. Now, $20,000 is a lot, but we do plan on having probably 200 to 300 people at the wedding. The number was going to be higher but we decided that there’s a lot of people that we could cut and make it more of a family and close friends event.
Yes, I know most think this is an insane amount to spend (especially in the personal finance world), but I do think it’s worth it. I have almost no family. I love W’s family, and having a big wedding to celebrate everything is very important to me. I never once had a family gathering in my family, so this means a lot. It’ll be fun and if we can afford it, then I see no harm in it.
Around 150 people will be W’s family (all of them are close family members) and there will be some of my family, and the rest will be friends. I have 8 bridesmaids and W has 9 groomsmen (possibly 10 if we have my brother be a groomsman). So we will definitely be having quite a large bridal party.
Also, how many of you invited coworkers to your wedding? Where do you draw the line? I just don’t want to upset anyone by not inviting them. It’s not like I can say it’s only close family, since we will have hundreds of people.
So, since we do want so many people at our wedding, and have a budget of less than $20,000, we do need to find ways to save. I will be listing our budget categories below. And within the next couple of weeks I will be making a post on how we plan on saving money in different categories. Around 50 people will be under the age of 18 also, so we will be saving money with the fact that they will not need to drink alcohol or eat tons of food (just thought I should throw this out there).
This is the outdoor venue look that we are going for.
This is something that I’ve of course been putting a lot of thought into. When I say $4,000, I mean just for the actual rental of the venue, with nothing else included such as food, etc. I loved the the wedding venue that we looked at yesterday, but I’m just not super positive that it’s the one for us. I did send my friend all of the pictures that I took because I knew she would love it for her wedding. She is in love with it so now I’m positive that my trip to the venue was not a waste.
We both really want to get married at W’s grandmas. The property is beautiful and is over 200 acres with a lot of flat land (perfect for the wedding), cliffs, creeks and everything else. The property is perfect for an outdoor wedding venue, as there is a lot of room for parking and the actual wedding. The scenery is beautiful and just the thought makes me so excited. Even though it is technically “at his grandma’s house,” I would still expect it to be a semi-formal event, and I would have to make sure that guests know this (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my Twitter from yesterday afternoon).
If we get married there, it would be slightly more expensive than $4,000 for the venue. This is because I had to price out how much it would cost to rent everything. The clear tent that I want is $3,500, restrooms for the wedding (these would be portable FLUSHABLE toilets – they are called luxury toilets for outdoor venues) and this is $1,500, tables and chairs would be $1,000, and I’m sure there are lots of other little things that we would need to rent such as a heater or air conditioner (depending on weather of course), table cloths, etc.
The place that we end up choosing will be for both the ceremony and the reception. This sounds bad to some (some have told me that it’s weird to have the ceremony and reception at the same location, however, I don’t care), but I want an outdoor wedding so it’ll all work!
I have already called some caterers. Since I do want an outdoor wedding, most venues are okay with me using my own caterer. Now, don’t make fun, but for food I want really tasty comfort food. Preferably catered BBQ. I have seen some really awesome pictures on Pinterest, and I feel like BBQ will make the wedding a lot of fun and more intimate even though there will be a lot of people there.
And I definitely want an open bar also. The caterer said she could supply the bartenders as well. She said if I wanted to save money, then I could buy all the alcohol (or at least most of it) and then I would save a lot of money. She also said she would give me a checklist of what to get for the amount of people we will be having.
I then also want a dessert table. I would be going to a local bakery for this. I want a table full of cakes, apple pies, sweets and everything.
I can never turn down good BBQ! What do you all think of this idea? Am I being stupid/crazy? Please let me know what you think of this idea. I want all opinions! W and I really love this idea, so I’m pretty positive this is what we will do.
Wedding attire includes our outfits, makeup, hair, etc.
I don’t want to spend too too much on my wedding dress. My limit will be $2,000 (unless of course I see something super awesome) but I would prefer to spend less than $1,000. I am really excited for once it’s time to start looking. I am waiting on this until the actual venue is chosen and booked though.
For his suit, I do like the look of the suits that are on the JCrew wedding section on their website. I’m in love with it all and since W’s favorite store is JCrew, I’m sure he will love it all also. I would prefer to spend less than $1,000 on his suit.
We want a good photographer for our wedding. I have been pricing this out and expect to spend around $2,000 to $3,000 for this. I’m in love with a photographer and have been in contact with her. She charges $2,000 and has the exact type of pictures that I want.
We will be taking our engagement photos soon and that will be around $500 with the same girl. I’m looking forward to those! We are waiting until the spring time when everything is pretty outside to do this though.
Also, do we want a videographer? I don’t really know of anyone who has done this so I am unsure about it and whether it’s worth it to hire one.
W really wants a band, but I would like a DJ so that I can listen to all types of music. DJs around here are around $500 with everything included (setup, etc.). What did you choose? How much did you spend on music?
I do realize that there are a lot of little things that I did not list above. Save the dates, invitations, stamps, thank you cards, marriage license, bridal party gifts, flowers, etc. If there’s anything BIG that you think I’ve forgotten, please tell me in the comments! I definitely would want to know.
We also plan on providing transportation to our guests who are staying at local hotels. Our friend recently started his own limo party bus company, and we definitely plan on using him for this. It’ll make it a lot easier on everyone.
If you have any wedding posts on your blog, please leave the link below! I will read every last word. And if you’ve ever negotiated on anything in your wedding, please tell me all about that also.
Hey everyone! Happy New Year’s Eve. Make sure to come back tomorrow for a giveaway that I am a part of. Tonight we are going out and having fun with our friends. Talk to you again in 2013!
Today I am just showing you some of the MANY MANY MANY things that I have been pinning on Pinterest. I love it all and I’m so excited to plan a wedding. Sorry to my manly readers And sorry to those who follow my personal Pinterest page, it is probably extremely annoying. I am a crazy planner and love planning anything.
We haven’t done a whole ton of planning yet. Still trying to figure out whether we want to have it next Fall or Spring of 2014. Not really in a huge rush or worrying about the exact date just because it won’t change anything in our life. I just want to plan something fun and of course nice looking at the same time.
I do know for sure that I want an semi-formal outdoor wedding. And I want my dogs involved. Ha right? I have pretty much narrowed down the possible venue, photographer, food ideas, and everything else.
We also have pretty much already asked most of our friends to be bridesmaids and groomsmen. We will have 8 each (AH!). Definitely going to be a big wedding. Lately I’ve been dreaming of a small 20 person wedding but obviously that will not happen.
So my question for you guys today is:
How much was your wedding altogether? How much did you spend on your venue, photographer, music, and each part of your wedding? Let me know!
Also, if you have any wedding posts on your blog, please leave the link below so that we can all see.