Before “I DO” – Part 1 Money

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the seriesBefore "I Do"

There are many gray areas to be discussed before you say “I DO”. It is a well-known fact that some of the reasons for marital problems are;

1, Money issues,

2, Sex,

3, In-Laws (outlaws!),

4, Religion,

5, Children.

Some people are not comfortable talking about money or sex. Hence, why the right questions are not asked before they say I do.

No wonder after you’re married, you discover that you have been lied to. Could it be that you did not ask the right questions?

Men do not talk much as we all know; men are so very different from women (thank God!). A man may not offer to tell you some personal information that a woman would consider relevant. Therefore, what is relevant to a woman is not necessarily so to a man.

Asking the right questions will eliminate some of the confusion that will surely arise later after the wedlock.

In this part, let us talk about Money, Money, and Money!

In a marriage, there is no such thing as my money and your money. It is our money, it cannot be separated.

Salary – How much do you earn? It sounds so simple, yet you won’t believe that some women do not know how much their spouse earns?  The main salary before overtime, do not estimate for income that is not guaranteed.

Savings – How crucial is savings to you? As one who loves to save, you really need to find out if you are marrying a spender or a saver. Just in case, he’s a spender, that is not a ground not to marry him. Know whom you are marrying, that is the whole point.

FICO score: Find out what the FICO score is now. If you do not ask now, you will pay the price later. Why not at least know what price you are willing to pay.  If you do not know, what a FICO score is (USA), maybe you are not ready to get married just yet.

Credit Cards – How much debt do they have on their credit cards? You may be surprised to find out that all that eating out he’s been paying for with his credit card, you will help him pay it back with interest afterward.

How many credit cards does he have? How many is too much?

Car Note – How much car note is outstanding and at what rate of interest. How long does he intend to pay it off for?

Does he own his car or is he leasing? If leasing, why? This may not apply if he owns his business.

How many family members is he bankrolling? Ok, let me make this clearer. This may not apply to everyone, but if you are marrying an African man/woman, you had better find out quick! Usually, we are our parents’ social security, pension, and healthcare. We also have uncle, aunties, nieces, and nephews on our payroll. I really cannot get into that right now it is a whole enchilada!

How much has he already committed to helping families and friends before you arrived on the scene? It is very vital to find out; these are commitments he made in the past.

You need to discuss and find out if he is open to renegotiating or forgoing some of those commitments. You both must take into account, that a single life style and marriage are very different especially in costs terms.

Lending Money – an essential topic to hash or thrash out now before you say I do. Your man/woman could be a very generous person, who thinks it’s ok to borrow everyone money. Some will even co-sign without discussing with their spouse. Lending money and co-signing for friends and families are very sensitive topics, tread very carefully.

Buying or Renting – Your first home is very important, where are you going to live? Do you rent or buy? Do we move into your current home or a rented accommodation?

Joint or separate accounts or?

Whose money is it anyway?

Wedding cost – Who is paying for what? How big, how small. I know it is customary for the groom and bride’s parents to take on different parts of the bill. What if none of your parents are alive or could afford it? Dish traditions and plan a wedding you can both afford. Do not assume your partner wants a big wedding and that is your motivation for one. You might end up footing a wedding neither of you wanted.

divorced and Single Parent Issues – How much is the Alimony, how much is the child maintenance? Does he owe any back payment and how will this affect your income? What kind of agreement do they have in place right now? Child visitation rights etc.

Identify the person that is best with money and let them be in charge of paying bills. The other partner must show interest and know how much the monthly expenses are. It is not just one person’s job. If the other partner does not get involved, you open yourself for abuse to occur.

Financial Goals. What are your financial goals? What big project do you have in mind for the future? Now that two is becoming one, there has to be some compromise. Except you are a millionaire, you cannot have it all.

Financial secrets – After you have discussed all the questions. Ask them if they want to own up to any financial secrets or shame. Such as a Foreclosure or Bankruptcy.  Give them the opportunity to talk freely.

These are just guidelines to start the discussion, there are many more questions you can think off.

If you want to know more, sign up for a 1-2-1 coaching.

(This is Part 1 of 5 series of Before “I Do”)

SOS:Calling All Stay-At-Home-Mom

In any given economy, there is a groups of people who has to stay alert and vigilant; the Stay-At-Home-Moms (SAHM).

Many moms are likely to be blindsided without a plan B… Everyone must have a plan B. It doesn’t matter how much income your spouse is earning now, if you don’t have at least 6 months savings to cover all your monthly living expenses in any given economy you might just find yourself homeless.

It’s unfortunate but bad things do happen to good people. Mothers mean well, we put all our focus on the home and children. We forget to take good care of ourselves and we neglect our pension & contribution to social security.

We bury our heads in the cloud and don’t face the reality of our lives. That reality is that mostly our husband is the main bread-winner. No one prays for bad things to ever happen to his job or health. Well, sometime these things do happen.

So today I’m sounding the alarm, please WAKE UP. We can avoid or at least reduce the impact of a surprise from happening.

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Planted and flourishing in the Church

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3178826&id=562290836

The first church I ever attended was chosen by my parents, I continued attending the denomination for the next 17 years of my life.

The second church I attended was while I was living in London. I went with a friend and I loved it!! It’s the praise and worship that gets me all the time.

The church was fun and full of life. The first time I ever saw young people serving God and making it look cool, oh yes; I wanted to be a cool God worshiper!

So, fast forward many years later, I have learnt a thing or two about churches: Why it’s important to attend the right church for you and not because your fore fathers attended the church or big mama paid for the bench and pulpit.

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Who do you say that I am?

Who is God to you and I? Is it possible that you know the God preached to you by your Pastor, parents and Sunday school’s teacher?

The first 16yrs of my life, I attended the church my parent chose. I didn’t know much about God, the little I knew of Him was to be afraid of Him. The picture I had of Him was just not good at all. Continue reading

2010 – The Year Of "DOING IT"

Most people start the year with a set of goals and visions for 2010. I certainly had a list too and I usually end the previous year taking time out to take note of what I was able to accomplish and which ones I will be adding on to the oncoming year’s list.

I have gotten to that stage that I have run out of excuses why I am unable to do this or that! There are no more excuses for me because I noticed that every year I seem to have one excuse or the other. My initial excuse was because I got pregnant, but now that the baby has arrived, I have no more excuses.

Enough is enough, it’s time to grow up and be an adult. There will always be something that prevents us from achieving our goals if we let it and I do understand that live is about seasons but you should be able to recognize what season you are in so that you can set realistic goals.

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I Finally Caught The Mission Bug.

For as long as I have been around church folks, attending churches and being a Christian. It wasn’t until 2006 that i finally caught it.

I am excited and looking forward to my first mission trip. I don’t have one planned yet but I know it’s only a matter of time.

It all began in 2006 when we started attending Houston Worship Centre. There were always talks of someone going on mission trips or just returning from one. Our pastor, Pastor Randy Needham, would allow them to give us an update regarding their trip.

One thing they all had in common is the look on their faces, like met with God. Honestly there was always something about them. Oh well, I would think to myself, that is surely not for me, I am one of those that would rather support missionary but not go on mission. Continue reading

Why Do You Forgive?

To each person, we forgive for different reasons. The Bible says in Colossians 3:13 (NIV) that,

“13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

There are so many reasons why it is good to forgive, regardless of what the other person have done to us. It’s easier also said than done! Am sure by now we all know it’s just not cool when you are the one on the receiving end of someone else wickedness.

I know that in the past, I have caused others pain, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I have come to regret the once am aware of, even the once am not aware of; I have since ask God for forgiveness.”

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The Truth About Marriage Your Married Friends Are Not Telling You.

Don’t get me wrong marriage is great, I am very happy with mine, but there are some truths about marriage your married friends may not have told you.

Most times, you will only find out the truth during a divorce, how miserable the relationship was, even though at the time they appeared like the perfect couple! 

There are different kinds of marriages out there; you will be amazed that your motives for getting married are different from your partner.

You’d better ask the right questions before you say I do, just don’t assume their motives are the same as yours. Hello! You really don’t know anyone that well except for what they are willing to share with you.

15 Truths You Need To Know Before Getting Married. 

1. Marriage will not make you happier if you weren’t already.

2. If you are a boring Singleton, you are likely to become more boring especially if you are not open to new ideas.

3. Marriage will not change who you already are, rather reveal your true-self. 

4. Marriage will not solve your problem, it would more than likely create additional problems.

5. Marriage is for mature people and maturity has nothing to do with age.

6. Marriage isn’t cheap. There are more bills to be paid when you get married. If you can’t pay your bills now then you are going to struggle with debt.

7. Men – If you don’t like to talk, don’t get married because women love to talk especially with their husband.

8. If you enjoy the freedom of being single, keep on enjoying it, because marriage will place a demand on your time. It’s not all about you anymore. 

9. Marriage can be stressful, and stress is bad for your health.

10. Marriage does not mean more sex. Nah!

11. You are not just marrying your partner, you get the entire family!

12. Getting married is cheap but divorce is expensive and can give you a bad credit.

13. You are likely to put on weight.

14. You become a better actor/actress in marriage by pretending not to notice how embarrassing your partner behave sometimes. 

 15. You really discover who you’re married to later not before.

Joseph, The Forgotten.

Little is written about Joseph the carpenter, the father of Jesus. Joseph represents: A man of great courage, integrity, obedience and great faith. These are qualities one should look out for in a man.

Nothing could have prepared him for the route his life took. Let us travel in Joseph’s shoes for a moment.  In his late teens, Joseph fell in love with a maiden by the name Mary, with the hope that they will get married. I guess they are just like normal teenagers in their time, excited about what the future will be ahead for them.

I bet not in a million years did they think that their lives would change the way it did. Just like you and I today, some of the things we had being or going through, we never thought we would be where we are today. Reality is always different from what we imagined; reality is what we all do, not fantasy.      Continue reading