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Marriage…An Education

Brian and Bo jump into the deep end of Bo’s first year of marriage and how his financial life has changed.  Bo sees how far off his predictions were a year ago when he got married. Largest monthly expense: miscellaneous. What is there to cut back on when looking at your miscellaneous category? Everything is miscellaneous! Bo said, on average, he exceeded his miscellaneous budget by 110% per month (even with monthly adjustments)!

So, here are how some of Bo’s other predictions played out over the last year:

Eating out:

                Prediction: $50 / month

                Actual: $430 / month

Groceries:

                Prediction: $110 / month

                Actual: $231 / month

Cosmetics:

Prediction:  $100

Actual: Not even close!

Bo felt really good that bills and utilities were under budget 8 of 11 months, while gas was over 6 out of those same 11 months.  He was really pleased to see that he and his wife were able to save, on average, 24.27% of their gross wages per month. By doing this they were able to cut debt 3% (not including the new car purchase). The newlywed’s net worth went up 19% over the same time period (not too shabby).

We put together a list of collaborative ideas that Brian and Bo think are essential to make a marriage successful:

Bo says:

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff, sometimes you have to let things go.
  2. Pay yourself first and set it up automatically.
  3. Have realistic expectations.
  4. Talk about and write down your goals. It really puts ‘individual’ importance into perspective.
  5. Build in some fun and don’t be a tightwad.

Brian says:

  1. Communication has to be transparent and occur frequently.
  2. Understand or put value to the different perspective your spouse may have. (If you try to parent your spouse, they will resent you)
  3. Goal-seek and create a shared vision with your spouse.
  4. Create a plan of action and systems that provide a progress report.
  5. Take time to enjoy life; don’t be too much of a tightwad that you miss out on life. “If you do not enjoy life, your kids and grand kids will have no trouble spending your money.”

Many people can give you specifics about marriage but never a full road map. So why is there not a book about how to make a marriage work with a full step-by-step handbook? Because every relationship is different, there is not just one solution to make marriages work because no two marriages are the same.

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