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I Do, I Do, I Do Until Finances Us Do Part!

Don’t let finances cause a divide in your marriage.

Colin Long

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Gone are the days where the man was the bread winner and his spouse was the home maker. Where the husband would hold onto the purse strings while his spouse played the submissive homemaker.

No, today’s modern couple is very different. It’s common place for both spouses to be working and for both spouses to share and take joint responsibility for all matters related to married and family life such as raising the children, washing the dishes, making dinner, paying the bills and planning the future.

Intimacy and money are the two leading causes of divorce and generally if there is no money there is no intimacy. In light of this, and considering today’s stressful economic times, good financial planning and financial discipline is one of the most important aspects to a successful and lasting relationship.

Here are a few key elements to avoid the “I do’s” turning into “I don’t!”

Pay yourself first – save

You are the most important person in your life so make sure that you pay yourself first and secure your own and your family’s financial future.

This can be done by putting money in a bank account, a retirement annuity, a pension fund or any other approved financial instrument before paying any of your household bills.

But how much is the right amount to put into those accounts? Saving 15% will ensure that you will be financially secure in your retirement years. You need to speak to a professional financial planner who will most appropriately invest these monies into the correct savings vehicles based on aspects such as liquidity, flexibility and tax efficiency.

Related: Are You Financially Secure?

Budget

The cornerstone to any financial plan is a good budget. The budget should be realistic and can be done by setting up a simple spreadsheet for fixed costs (bond, car repayments, school fees etc) and variable costs.

It’s normally with the variable costs where we tend to overspend on things like gifts and entertainment. It is important to keep these variable expenses under control and I find the best way of doing this is to set a maximum monetary amount for these variable expenses and then to update one’s spreadsheet daily (this will take less than five minutes to do) by entering the day’s expenses.

This can be done by keeping the receipts of each purchase.  The will give you a clear idea of where your money is going and allow you to save towards a healthy financial future.

Bank accounts

A key suggestion and consideration is to have both separate and joint bank accounts. “A man is not a financial plan” and it is important that each spouse is financially independent, yet jointly financially committed.

What does this mean? Have a joint account for all your fixed monthly expenses (bond and car repayments, rates and taxes, debit orders, utilities etc.) and separate accounts for variable expenses such as entertainment and personal spending.

Related: Smarter Wills in 4 Steps

Emergency fund

An important part of your financial plan is to set up an emergency fund. This should be equal to three to six months of your joint monthly household expenditure. There are many ways of structuring this fund.

You can save additional money in a money market account, a savings account or simply pay more into your access bond. The important thing to note is that the money must be very liquid (as in you have easy access to it) and that you get a respectable rate of return.

Tip: By paying more money into your access bond you’re effectively saving at your bonds lending rate with no tax or risk aspects to worry about.

Grow your wealth separately, together

It is important that each spouse accumulates assets in their own name, not only because they’re each contributing to the general welfare and success of the family unit (contributions from a non monetary source are equally as important) but there can be certain tax advantages in doing so.

It also creates less financial stress should one of the spouses die.

Evaluate your financial position

At least once a month spend an evening over a nice dinner that you both have made and review your month’s budget. See where you may have gone wrong and reward yourself if you’ve stuck to your guns.

Also spend time talking and discussing your financial future – where do you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years from now, where do you want to retire, what kind of lifestyle do you want to live?

Communication and boundaries

For any relationship to succeed, romantic or otherwise, communication is the essential ingredient and never more so than when it comes to one’s finances. It is important to be completely honest and realistic about your financial situation and your financial goals.

Once you have set up your budget and put a financial plan in place it will take financial wisdom, discipline and shared responsibility towards sticking to the plan in order to make it work for you.

Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. ~ Henry Ford

Colin Long CFP ® is an executive financial planner at Consolidated Financial Planning KZN, an authorised financial services provider. He holds a Post Grad Dip Fin Plan. For more information visit www.consolidated.co.za.

Personal Finance

6 Ways To Develop A Millionaire Mindset

Chasing money has remarkably little to do with getting rich.

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If you truly want to have a million dollars, you must first be and think like a millionaire. By doing so, you will attract the necessary resources to you.

So, you want to become a millionaire entrepreneur? You’re not alone. Many dream of leaving their job and becoming their own boss, enjoying the various millionaire lifestyles we watch on TV. But there’s a difference between those who dream of becoming millionaires and those who do. And it begins and ends with mindset. If you don’t develop that mindset, you will continue to spin your wheels, working just as hard, but never going anywhere.

Developing a millionaire mindset requires you to stretch your thinking. Start by developing the following six attributes.

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Personal Finance

4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little

It costs nothing to take advantage of the limitless opportunities online.

Timothy Sykes

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The hardest part of becoming successful is getting started to begin with. But despite the challenges ahead of you, there’s a way to become a millionaire when starting with little. I’m going to show you four reasons why you can become a millionaire with just a small investment.

1. First focus on learning, not big gain

Education is your greatest weapon. Focus on learning in the beginning. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on making huge gains in the beginning. Learn everything you can because this is how you build the foundations for long-term gains.

Related: 21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be

They say that if a millionaire goes bankrupt they’ll nearly always be able to get it back. And that’s because they might have lost their money, but they have the knowledge of how to get back to where they need to be.

2. You can learn loads about any topic online

online-learning

I’m grateful for the internet. It’s the single biggest library in the world. You’re reading this article right now and you’re acquiring knowledge you wouldn’t have been able to acquire 40 years ago.

Use the internet to its fullest extent, whether that’s through reading books, browsing articles or watching video tutorials. Set some time aside every day to learn something online. It could be a video series or a favorite blog.

When you get into the habit of learning regularly you’ll find that you advance much faster.

3. Focus on the niche you love

These days you can learn about anything and target the niche you’re passionate about.

This is what I was able to do with penny stocks. I found a gap in the market and provided knowledge to people who wouldn’t have otherwise being able to access this sort of information.

You can do that with absolutely any niche. When you find a niche you’re passionate about and you use the reach of the Internet you start to make huge gains.

4. Prove your expertise by creating free content

Your reputation as an authority is the new business card. There’s a reason I created a penny stock guide and made it free for all. You may have already seen ads for it on social media. The way to succeed with little is to create a reputation through your content.

Related: How To Become A Millionaire, Explained In 1 Minute

It’s the gateway to success because through free content you start to build relationships with others who value your work. And from there everyone gets richer.

You can do lots with a little

The days when you needed a huge investment to become successful are long gone. These days you can do so much with just a little. Find what you love, advance your knowledge in that area, and create a product that fulfills a need. Finally, work on building up relationships through portraying yourself as an authority on your subject.

Combine everything together and you can accomplish anything.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.


Related: 13 Habits Of Self-Made Millionaires You Could Adopt Today

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Personal Finance

10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year

Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.

Murray Newlands

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Becoming a millionaire may seem out of your reach, but it’s possible with the right attitude and guidance. The fact of the matter is your income can only grow as quickly as you do, so you need to change your mindset to achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire.

Once you have a millionaire mind, you can’t lose it, no matter what financial or business mistakes you make along the way. To get yourself there, you’re going to need some structure. To help you, I’ve outlined the top ten tips you should follow to become a millionaire this year.

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