Happy Valentine’s Day!! Check out these tips to help keep you on track….

You may have seen our recent feature on ‘Top Financial Tips for a Destination Wedding’ (http://wp.me/p4aMWM-aD) and hopefully will have found it useful. We also know that talking about money with your special someone isn’t exactly top of your agenda…….

BUT given the importance it plays in couples’ lives and the worry money troubles can cause, we thought it might be useful to share some more general tips to help you achieve your financial goals so you can focus on your wedding planning and look forward to many more Valentine’s Days to come…..

iStock Photos_Msworld

iStock Photos_Msworld

The following tips are from MetLife and provide a blueprint that should help couples avoid common mistakes and manage their finances in a way that suits both partners.

The list of tips comes from a “Love and Money” workshop that is part of MetLife’s workplace-based PlanSmart® Financial Education series.  We would love to hear your thoughts on them….

MetLife PlanSmart Top 10 Financial Tips for Couples

  1. Adopt the “yours, mine, and ours” approach to joint accounts.  Set up a joint account to manage your money collaboratively, with monthly payments directed to individual accounts that allow each person to spend some money as they choose.
  2. Determine who will be responsible for paying bills, balancing the checking account, and researching large purchases, based on each of your talents and needs.  It’s okay to make changes as you go along if one person becomes too busy or isn’t doing a good job.
  3. Establish shared financial goals for both the short and long term, and how you will work together as a couple to achieve them.  If you need to, seek the advice of a financial professional to help you set your priorities.
  4. Create a budget that allows you to track how you spend money as a couple and reflects your individual spending habits.  Don’t use the budget to force your own habits onto your partner or to blame your partner for spending too much.
  5. Work together to pay off existing debt, and understand the difference between good and bad debt.  Be careful that you don’t take on too much debt, good or bad, as too much of either kind still hurts your financial security.
  6. Discuss your individual levels of risk tolerance and identify a level that you are both comfortable with.  Make sure to take the time horizon for your investments into account.
  7. Avoid keeping financial secrets from your partner, which can create feelings of distrust and betrayal.  Honest and open communication about financial matters is best.
  8. Be a team player.  If you and your partner earn different salaries, don’t point out your partner’s lack of income or brag about your paycheck.  Look at other contributions the lower-earning partner makes to the household.
  9. Learn about your partner’s financial situation before committing to a long-term relationship.  Talk to them about their credit score, debt, and how you will handle larger financial issues as a couple.
  10. Carve out a dedicated time to have specific discussions about your financial situation and how to improve it at least four times a year.

Join the conversation about personal finance for young adults at #PlanSmart. For the latest news and information, follow MetLife on Twitter and like MetLife on Facebook. Visit PlanSmart at www.metlifeplansmart.com/solutions.

iStock Photos_Юлия Бровченко

iStock Photos_Юлия Бровченко

Financial Tips for your Destination Wedding

At Wanderlust Weddings, we think there are lots of great reasons to have an overseas wedding. One of our main reasons for loving destination weddings is the opportunity it gives couples to get married in the sunshine with all of their friends on family while on ‘holiday’. However having a destination wedding can also take the pressure off feeling the need to have a ‘big white wedding’ and ending up in thousands of pounds of debt at the beginning of your marriage.

Think Stock Images_ l2egulas_Destination Wedding

Think Stock Images_ l2egulas_Destination Wedding

There are endless possibilities for hosting a destination wedding that won’t break the bank. We have put together some tips on how to save money on your wedding abroad and we have also included a really helpful infographic below from The Insider’s Jenny Creno which will help with general wedding financial tips whether at home or away.
Here are our top 10 destination wedding tips for staying on track with your budget:

1. Have cake OR dessert – In a lot of European destinations, it is not ‘the done thing’ to have both wedding cake and a dessert. Follow in their footsteps and choose just to have one….

2. Supply your own alcohol – If you are hiring in caterers to a venue, they can sometimes charge quite high rates for the alcohol they provide. Check with them in advance if it is an option to supply your own alcohol, at least for the meal….

3. Digital ‘Save the Dates’ – Send your ‘Save the Dates’ by email to our friends and family. There are some beautiful free email templates out there….

4. Timing of the Ceremony – Generally the ceremonies at overseas weddings are quite late in the day to avoid peak temperatures. This often means that an evening buffet after the reception won’t be needed. Consider this when planning the order of the day….Or if you do want to have both cake and dessert (see #1), you could save the cake for later….

5. Group bookings – It is very common for resorts and hotels to offer discount on group bookings. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts and shop around before you decide where to stay…..

6. Use your i-Pod! – Rather than hiring live musicians for the whole day, consider using an i-Pod, for example, before and during the ceremony and during the cocktail hour and having some live music after the meal. This will save you money and will also give you the option to play exactly the music you want. It can also tie in well with the laid back atmosphere that destination weddings so often have…..

7. Re-use the chairs – If you are having your ceremony in the same reception, save money on hiring the chairs and sashes etc but using the chairs from your ceremony at the reception too…..

8. Honeymoon – If you are getting married in a beautiful location, it makes sense to try and combine your honeymoon with the trip. You could decide to go away to another resort in the same region after the wedding celebrations are over and the rest of the guests have gone home. Or you could fly directly to another location, meaning you will cut out the cost of returning home and then flying out for your honeymoon….

9. Save on transport – Having an overseas wedding opens up a whole host of venues to couples. Consider having the ceremony and reception in one location, such as on the grounds of a villa or on a beach followed by a beach restaurant. This will save on transport costs and give guests more time to chat and relax on the day….

10. Do the legal bits at home – Nobody has to know if you do decide to do the legal bits at home. It can be cheaper to choose this option and also save you a lot of time and effort, avoiding sometimes expensive legal and translation costs and allowing you to enjoy the build up to your wedding…..

Financial Advice For Wedding Planning from Credit Card Insider