Are You Financially Ready To Move In Together?

Moving in together as a couple is more than deciding who gets the “good side” of the bed and finding the best spot to stash the PlayStation.

Not only will you be sharing household bills and probably setting up joint bank account, but you’ll also get up close and personal with your partner’s money demons for the first time.

“A husband or wife,  even a boyfriend or a girlfriend, is not a financial plan,” says Dr. Taffy Wagner, CEO of  Money Talk Matters. “We’ve seen  enough drama on Court TV shows.”

As a certified personal finance educator and author of Bride and Groom Money Talk FAQ, Wagner’s an expert on all things relationships and finances.

Before you start building a bigger closet, make sure you’re both ready to merge your finances by checking for these six signs:

1. You can talk money without arguing. Per Wagner: “When you can openly discuss finances without arguing and blaming the other person when there is a financial issue,” you’re on the right track. “The people in this situation would also be able to discuss a financial issue and reach a viable solution that is best for the overall relationship.”

2. You don’t feel controlled. So long as your partner isn’t peering over your shoulder each time you whip out the checkbook and you feel like you have equal ownership of your shared finances, you should be in good shape. “In some relationships money is used to control the other person,” Wagner says. “People do not like to be controlled, let alone using money to do it.” (It’s also a great way to wreck your relationship.)

3. You’ve both taken a good look at the other’s credit report. Forget sharing toothbrushes—forking over your credit history is a huge sign of financial trust in a relationship. It’s unavoidable, especially if you’re looking to buy or rent a home together, and a good place to get equal footing. “T he  couple has to decide whether or not their place of residence will be in  the name of both or just one person,” Wagner says. “Sharing the credit reports will  remove the ‘hidden element’ of potentially one person not having good  credit and that impacting the other person.”

4. You’re both paying the bills on time. If you don’t have to worry about your partner missing the cable bill, it’s a good sign he or she would make a great roommate. “If  one person is not paying their bills on time; have the discussion as to  why they are not and what is their game plan for getting back on track,” Wagner says. “If  they do not have a game plan for getting on track – that should be seen as a red flag and you should delay moving in together.

5. You don’t break out in a cold sweat when talking about the future. ” Knowing for  sure if you are compatible requires taking time to get to know each other  with friends, family and away from them,” Wagner says. “You need to make sure that the  other person is not just pretending. What do you both think about saving  money? What are each other’s plan for retirement?”

6. When you both know how to handle the worst. “ Ask the  person how they handled their last financial challenge. Did they run to  their parents? Did they get an advance at their job? Or did they  re-evaluate their spending, make adjustments and get it cleared up?” Wagner says. The answer will clue you into what kind of support you can expect if you ever run into a tight spot and need a partner to lean on.


Source: Yahoo

Raising a Black Man

For the last three years my child has been an only child, and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. However, the idea of more children is not entirely out of the question.

My husband and I were raised in entirely different family structures. I am an only child and was raised as such, though I come from a blended family. My husband comes from a traditional family with two working parents with two children. Before we married, we discussed having a large family, but after the birth of our son, we whittled that long list right on down to the one we had with the possibility of another. I won’t front: my labor was hard and at that moment, I was certain I would never want to do it again. But so often I hear that my son “needs” a sibling and it’s selfish for me not to give him one. Family will put the lean on you to pop out another baby when their “baby” stops being a baby.

I think back to my own childhood and the fact that I did experience pockets of loneliness because it was just me, but what I wanted more than anything was an older sibling. My mother, unfortunately, could not make this happen for me so I adopted older friends as siblings. I sometimes envied others who had close relationships to their brothers and sisters, but then felt lucky when they complained of having disagreements or having to share. All of that was foreign to me.

With my son I’m on the fence about what is best for him regarding siblings. Will a second labor be easier than the first because my body is now familiar with it? Will more children put a strain on our family resources and on my marriage? Will the dynamic of a fourth personality blend in seamlessly or make for chaos? And if I don’t have another child, will my son suffer because of it? Will I regret it?

My hubby is supportive in the sense that he does want another child, but isn’t pressuring me to rush into it. We both agree we need to master potty training before we have another one in diapers. Additionally, his brother is nine years younger than him. We definitely won’t wait that long to make a decision, but only time will tell whether or not we continue in our happy little threesome or add another.