5 Money Tips for Newlyweds

Author- Amanda Christensen

moneytips for newlyweds

Welcome to the wonderful world of marriage! Now it’s not just YOU, it’s WE. You may think that all the money stuff will just work itself out over time. You’d be surprised at how often married couples need to talk about money in order to stay on top of their personal finances. Learning to communicate now will help you avoid some of the common money pitfalls couples encounter in their first years of marriage. Here are my 5 money tips for newlyweds:

  1. Talk about Your Money History
    1. How were you raised with regards to money? How does that affect you now?
    2. Do you have a basic understanding of money management?
    3. What are your financial aspirations?
    4. What are your career expectations?
    5. What are your assets/liabilities?
  2. Talk about Your Spending Plan
    1. What money comes in?
    2. What money goes out?
    3. Who will be the day-to-day money manager?
  3. Talk about Your Debt Philosophy
    1. How will you use debt? Credit Cards?
    2. Good debt/bad debt?
    3. Each spouse has a separate credit report. Get a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com.
  4. Talk about Your Personal Allowance
    1. Decide on an amount that both of you can afford to spend each month no questions asked.  It may be $100 and it may be $5 depending on your circumstances. Either way it’s yours to spend without any quilt.
    2. Rule: When it’s gone, it’s gone; No running to the ATM for more cash after you’ve spent your allowance!
  5. Talk about Your Beneficiaries
    1. While you’re taking the time to change your last name be sure to get online or call to make your new spouse the beneficiary on any retirement accounts, life insurance policies, etc.
    2. If you don’t have any of these accounts, now is a good time to have a conversation about what your retirement and life insurance needs are. There are many financial institutions (investment firms, banks, etc.) that will answer questions and give you options for free.

Who else uses the concept of a personal allowance for spending? How is it helpful?

Christensen, Amanda-42 Amanda is an Extension Assistant Professor for Utah State University. She has a master’s degree in consumer sciences from Utah State and is proud to  call herself an Aggie! Amanda loves teaching and enabling individuals and families to make smart money decisions. @FamFinPro.

10 tips for positive parenting

Author – Joanne Roueche

10 tips for positive parenting - LIveWellUtah.org

“Spring has sprung” and the kids are out of school, or soon will be. It is a time of year that comes with new beginnings — the beginning of summer sports, more family time and a more relaxed routine. It also comes with new challenges, including, “Hey Mom, I’m bored!”

As parents, we want to provide a memorable summer filled with fun and educational opportunities for our children. The following positive parenting techniques have been used by the Child Welfare League of America to provide parents with information needed to make parenting more enjoyable and effective.

1. Appreciate the value of play. Play is a child’s work. It is a valuable tool that teaches children about the world around them. Creative, unstructured play is being lost in our society.

2. Talk with and listen to your child. Be aware of the verbal and non-verbal messages you send to your child.

3. Build your child’s brain and body. Enjoy the summer’s harvest with fresh, healthy snacks and family meals. Enjoy the out of doors while providing educational opportunities visiting state parks, museums, libraries and zoos.

4. Be your child’s first source of information. Encourage your child to ask questions and provide him or her with an honest answer. Your openness and honesty will create a relationship of mutual trust and respect.

5. Learn how children develop, and know your unique child. No one knows your child like you do. Support all areas or your child’s development, including physical, intellectual, social, emotional and moral.

6. Cherish your child’s individuality. Spend time alone every day with your child sup-porting his or her interests and talents.

7. Organize your home for success. Teach good safety habits and establish daily routines. Enforce family rules, for example, everyone putting their dishes in the dishwasher after dinner.

8. Take care of yourself. If you are not feeling well, you cannot be an effective parent. Eat healthy, get enough sleep and take an occasional break from parenting.

9. Make time for family activities. Enjoying family activities creates a sense of belonging.

10. Teach your child right from wrong. Lay the groundwork for your child to develop a strong moral code.

We created a fun summer journal by covering a composition notebook with scrapbook paper, adding embellishments and inserting the “Ten Tips for Positive Parenting” on the inside cover. Our goal is to create memories from each area throughout the summer.

“If you want your child to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money.”

~Abigail Van Buren~

Roeche, JoanneJoanne Roeche – Associate Professor, USU Extension


Keeping Cool When Things Get Hot

Author: Naomi Brower

4 tips to control anger in a relationship - LiveWellUtah.org

Families often spend more time together doing things in the summer. While this time together is wonderful, it can also mean more opportunities for potential frustration and unmet expectations that can lead to anger. Anger is a part of life, and it can often be a signal of problems that need to be addressed. But if left unchecked, it can lead to damaged relationships, work problems, health concerns and other negative outcomes. When anger arises, the following four steps can help individuals cool down before doing something they may later regret.

Stop. When signs of anger arise (feeling hot, shaking, tightness in muscles, etc.), stop and take a step back from the situation before saying or doing anything else.

 Consider: What are some of the warning signs that you are getting angry?

Pause. Take a break from the situation to calm down. When we are angry we often are so full of emotions that we cannot think clearly. Taking time to step away from the situation (at least 20 minutes) gives our bodies time to calm down so we can think more rationally about the situation. Consider doing something during this time to help calm down such as going for a walk, listening to calming music, taking deep breaths, etc.

Consider: What is something I can do while I’m taking a break that will help me calm down?

  1. Anger is often referred to as a secondary emotion, which means there is another feeling (i.e., frustration, hurt, fear, etc.) that comes before it. By taking time to focus on the root issue, it is more likely that the source of negative emotions can get resolved.

Once the root issue is discovered, consider the possible ways to resolve the situation and the potential outcomes that may come from each. Weighing consequences often leads to the best course of action.

Consider: What are the underlying feelings and issues in the situation? What are the possible ways of dealing with this issue and potential outcomes of these approaches?

Act. After deciding on the course of action, act on the situation. This often includes problem solving with others who are part of the situation in order to find a solution that works for everyone. The goal is not to just express anger, but to understand and deal with the source of it so negative feelings can be resolved.

Consider: How will I choose to act so that the situation can be improved or resolved?

Remember, anger is a choice. No one can force us to become angry—we have a choice in how we feel and how we respond to situations. While we may have developed a tendency to respond in a certain way to certain events or situations, we CAN change.

By following these steps, we take control of our anger. We choose how we will act instead of reacting and letting our emotions control us.


4 tips to help your relationship - LiveWellUtha.org


brower, naomiNaomi Brower is an Extension Associate Professor for Utah State University. She has a Masters of Family and Human Development from Utah State University. Often called the relationship guru by friends, Naomi is passionate about helping others improve the quality of their lives through creating and strengthening their relationships with others.

5 Traits that Make a Family Strong

Author – Kathleen Riggs

Have you ever looked at another family and wondered why they seem to have it all together? Have you wondered what their family has that yours doesn’t? Every family has its issues, but all families can be strong. Let’s take a look at five tips to help create and maintain strong families.

build a strong family

* Caring and Appreciation. A strong, healthy relationship is a worthwhile goal for everyone. Showing care and appreciation for another family member helps adults develop their potential and it provides a model for children.

* Time Together. In some ways, time is like money—it seems like we never have enough of either one. However, the truth is, we tend to find the time or money for those things that are most important. How important is time with your family?

* Encouragement. All families face tough times occasionally. Healthy families have confidence that they will survive any crisis and come back even stronger.

* Coping with Change. All families develop habits, routines and a set of rules. These patterns help deal with day-to-day life and provide continuity and stability. In strong families, patterns remain flexible or adaptable enough to cope with crises or other changes. These may require changes in habits, rules, power structure, roles and division of labor or ways of performing family tasks and functions.

* Clear Roles. Members of strong families have a clear idea about their day-to-day roles and obligations to the family. Roles must be flexible and can be shared. For instance, it’s okay for someone who usually cooks to take over fixing the car because of a need, or even boredom!

According to the experts, if you work on one trait, it will benefit another area (the spill-over effect).

Looking for more? I’ve included four more traits  in an easy and downloadable PDF. Click over to read, save and also PIN this post to reference later! These traits were identified by researchers from the University of Missouri Extension Service. Details are in their training for families titled: Building Strong Families: Challenges and Choices. 

kathy riggs Kathleen Riggs is the Utah State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences professor for Iron County. She loves yard/garden work, where  her favorite tasks are weeding and mowing the lawn. Her favorite appliance is the microwave oven, and her specialty is microwave caramels. She  loves family time and occasions that bring everyone together from near or far.