Category Archives: Money

Marriage and Bank Accounts – Separate, Joint, or Both?

Marriage brings about many changes. One such way in which life changes is in how finances are handled. Many newlyweds choose to share a bank account, while just as many opt to maintain separate finances. Which one is the better choice, though?

The Upside of Sharing a Bank Account

There are advantages to sharing a joint account with your spouse. Primarily, getting bills paid on time is much easier, because all of your cash is stored in the same place. This means you never have to guess as to how much you have to spend. Being aware of the full financial picture is essential for each partner to contribute to the marriage and to avoid accidental overspending.

Couples who do not share joint accounts often spend more money than they have. This leads to pressing debts that may make it necessary to borrow from a lender. While it’s good to know loans are available from sites like, it’s far better to not need them in the first place. Instead, each partner gets access to a single joint account. This means they get their own checks and debit card, in addition to having the authority to deposit and withdraw funds.

Another advantage in sharing bank accounts is in having access to the funds in the event of an emergency. If one spouse dies or becomes ill in a way that renders him or her unresponsive, the other spouse still has access to their shared accounts. Where a couple does not have joint accounts, the surviving spouse may have to go through a lengthy court battle to get access to his or her partner’s separate accounts.

The Pros of Maintaining Separate Bank Accounts

There may be just as many advantages to maintaining separate bank accounts. For couples who marry later in life, they may prefer the independence of keeping their own bank accounts. For them, it isn’t an issue of trust as much as it is a point of doing things the way in which they have grown accustomed. They may just be more comfortable with their routine.
Additionally, studies have found that couples who maintain separate bank accounts fight less over money. This is partly because neither spouse feels compelled to defend his or her spending habits. In many cases, each person in a couple spends, but they may do it differently. By operating his or her own account, each spouse can be free to spend according to his or her own habits.

Finally, separate bank accounts may actually strengthen a relationship, because it forces more communication. Instead of one spouse simply paying the bills out of a joint account, the couple must work out how to spend and budget together. Each partner shares what he or she has and together they work out a plan to pay their debts.

In the end, it’s a personal choice for each couple. Certainly there are disadvantages and advantages to either joint or separate accounts. This is something most couples discuss at the start of their union. They choose for themselves which route to take, based on what is most important to them.

How to Start Saving Money

Everyone has been there, you are paying your monthly bills or want to do something special but you just don’t have the money to do it. You wish you saved money instead of spend it! Where do you start and how do you begin? Besides getting a second job or winning money on Icy Wilds Slot, below are some starting points to help you get on your feet and on your way to saving.

Savings Account

The first simple step to saving is to open a savings account. Savings accounts are meant to sit there and save your money in the bank so you don’t spend it. Some accounts offer interest which allow you to make money by it just sitting there. This first step will allow you to be capable of even putting money aside from your everyday spending and bills.

Automatic Withdrawal

Once a savings account is established, set up an automatic withdrawal. An automatic withdrawal is when you instruct your bank or financial institution to withdraw money from your account automatically and put it in your savings. You can do it on whatever timeline you prefer (Weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) and by doing it automatically, it forces you to do it and doesn’t require you to take any action. You could be saving money and not even know it. Nothing is better than looking at your savings account statement and see a sum that has been accruing for some time and you now have the money you need! The key here is that it is OK to start off small. No amount is too little. Even if it is $5 a week or $25 a month, it will add up over time and amount into something.

Change your Spending Habits

Another step to saving money is to change your spending habits. This can be in the form of your bills but also your everyday spending. It is very possible to save money on your bills just by reviewing them and making a few key decisions. Are you being charged properly? Are there better/cheaper plans? Do you really need the service? You can also look at what you are spending your money on and ask the same questions. Do you need to buy all of the food you buy? How can you save on food/clothes/entertainment? Saving money on shopping can go a long way.

Consolidate Debt

Consolidating your debt (loans and credit cards) can be helpful for many reasons to save money. It allows you to have all of the money you owe in one place/bill and sometimes you may even be able to get a better interest rates or rewards if it is a credit card.

Eat at Home

Our final tip is an easy one, eat in your own home. By dining out and going out for drinks you are spending way more money than you would at home. By yourself a nice steak dinner at the grocery store and you will spend probably ½ what it costs at a restaurant. Same with alcohol, you can buy a single bee at a bar for what a six pack costs. It is best to stay in if you want to save.

Follow these simple tips to begin your money saving journey.

Is It a Good Time to Become a Landlord?

Deciding whether or not to be a landlord is no easy decision. With a good amount of real estate knowledge, dedication, and preparation, it can be lucrative and rewarding. Without these things, however, this undertaking can easily go south. If you’ve been wondering, “Is now a good time to become a landlord?”, we can help you explore this. Read on for some major considerations as to whether this field is good for you and if now is the time to pull the trigger.

Do You Have a Financial Cushion?

To purchase a rental property, you need to have capital. However, if all you have is what you paid for the property, you could be in trouble. As with everything in life, becoming a landlord comes with its share of curveballs. There will be unexpected maintenance issues that can easily cost thousands of dollars. On top of that, despite the most rigorous of tenant screening procedures, you could end up with a squatter. This is a person who refuses to leave or pay rent, and it’s surprisingly hard to get them off your property. Not only that, but you will have to keep paying the mortgage the whole time you’re going through the legal process to have the squatter(s) removed. As long as you have a financial cushion to handle these “surprises”, you should be fine—consider securing a SBA loan to ensure you’ve got the financing you need, no matter what life throws your way.

Is Your Property Ready for Tenants?

Just because you bought a property doesn’t mean it’s ready for tenants. Zillow lists the following 12 items as things you need to get done before having renters: Rekey the locks, professionally clean the carpets, spruce up the yard, change air filters, get the interior professionally cleaned, replace broken lights, ensure ceiling fans have been inspected, remove all cob/spider webs, clean glass windows and doors, repair screens, spray for pests, and paint/repair/fix anything that needs it. Whew! It sounds like a lot, but these are necessities for a long and fruitful tenant/landlord relationship. If you’re not up to doing this to your rental property just yet, perhaps it’s not a good time for you to become a landlord.

Do You Have the Time to Properly Vet Your Tenants?

The most important part about becoming a landlord is thoroughly screening your prospective tenants, as the last thing you want is to end up with deadbeats who can’t pay the rent or that trash your place. You need to have them fill out a thorough application, talk to past landlords, verify employment, collect references, and run background and credit checks. If a misdemeanor or two comes up in your prospect’s past, it’s really up to you to ascertain whether that’s a risk or not. To ensure you place the right candidate, you should enlist tenant verification services from SmartMove. If you have the time and the inclination to run through this whole process, you could very well be ready to be a landlord. If not, however, you might want to wait until this is something you can commit to.

Are You Ready to Handle the Maintenance?

As we mentioned above, “you know what” happens in life and your rental unfortunately won’t be immune to life’s curveballs. There will be inevitable maintenance issues. Are you a DIYer who actually enjoys handling these fixes yourself? If so, becoming a landlord right now might be just what you need to be doing. If not, however, you need to be ready to hand the baton to a reliable maintenance person. And if you don’t live in the area, you need to assign someone who is near the rental property to either do the fixes or outsource them. If the idea of this is overwhelming to you, perhaps this isn’t the line of work for you right now.

Is it a good time to become a landlord? If what we’ve mentioned sounds not only manageable to you but you’re more than up to the challenge, then we say go for it. If these items seem beyond what your life will allow at the moment, then perhaps you need to wait until a later date to think about becoming a landlord.