As we close the month of finance topics, we arrive at America Saves Week. It’s simply a week to promote automatic savings by setting a goal and making a plan to save money. Whether you want to increase your savings or decrease your debt, it all begins when you decide you want to manage your money and not let your money manage you! It’s like a support system that will send you reminders when you sign up for their e-mails. Check out http://www.americasaves.org/for-savers/pledge for your chance to gain control over your money!
Sometimes talking about money can be a point of deep conversation for us, and yet those conversations are important for future goals and plans. If you’ve been married for a while you may have already worked through some of the following issues, but if you are dating or engaged, there are some great topics for discussion. Before you begin, agree that this is a tool for understanding, not for arguing. Good communication about money can avoid future problems with money. For each pair of statements, choose the one you feel is more important (either a or b), there are no right or wrong answers.
a. Paying off the credit card debt at the end of each month
b. Keeping the minimum monthly payment within a reasonable limit
a. Maintaining individual checking accounts
b. Having only a joint checking account
a. Having one major wage earner
b. Having both partners contributing to family income
a. Giving children an allowance because they need to have their own spending money
b. Giving children an allowance because they have earned it doing their household jobs
a. Making large purchases only when they have been planned
b. Making a spontaneous purchase if the sale price is good and working out the budget later
a. Having bills paid on time or before the due date
b. Paying the bills a little late if no major action will be taken
a. Working at a job I really enjoy even if the pay is low
b. Working at a job where I can make the most money even though I do not enjoy it as much
a. Having a savings account and continually tapping into it
b. Having a savings account that cannot get below a certain level unless it is a real emergency
a. Keeping the checkbook balanced to the penny
b. Know about how much money is in the checking account
a. Having some money that can be freely spent and not exactly accounted for
b. Knowing where every penny has been spent
a. Save money first
b. Save what is left at the end of the week or the month
Now compare your answers and discuss them. If you agreed on the majority of them you may find your values about money are similar, but if you don’t agree on many, it might be good to have further discussions on how you plan to handle money in the future. For the complete activity, contact the Extension office and ask for the Getting to Know You fact sheet or check out our web site at https://wayne.osu.edu.
Melinda Hill is an OSU Extension Family & Consumer Sciences educator and may be reached at 330-264-8722.
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