If you’re a having a bit of a WTF moment right now because you’re a REAL ADULT paying taxes and bills all by yourself, you’re definitely not alone. Entering the finance world can be pretty scary because it is guarded by toxic finance bros and confusing terminology that seems to be an entire language on its own. So if you clicked on this article, you’re probably thinking that you’re just a beginner trying to get your feet wet, but honestly, you’re one step ahead! The HerCapital team is here, and we’re going to show you that money can be easy and approachable, by introducing you to 10 basic financial terms that you need to know.
1. Compound Interest
Ever heard the phrase “time is money”? Well, whoever coined that phrase (no pun intended) definitely knew what they were saying because in financial markets, time literally equals more money! Compound interest is the interest an investor earns on their original investment and all the interest that has been earned from the interest added up over time—essentially it’s “interest on interest.” The effect of compounding becomes especially powerful with time, which is why it is advised to invest early, even if it is with a small amount.
View this post on Instagram
2. Federal Reserve
If there’s anything quarantine can be remembered by, it would probably be Dalgona coffee, wearing PJs to our zoom meetings, TikTok binges, and all that hubbub about the Federal Reserve. Wait…who…what? The Federal Reserve—“Fed” for short. Serving as the bank’s bank, the Federal Reserve is responsible for setting monetary policy for the United States and maintaining the overall stability of the economy through altering money supply and interest rates. Through the sh*tstorm of COVID-19, the Federal Reserve is the one behind the scenes supporting households, small businesses, and government, through actions like lowering federal funds rates (the interest rate at which banks borrow and lend money to each other) and encouraging banks to lower lending requirements so they can give more money out to borrowers.
Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising or decreasing, even when the quality of said products is constant. Today, most central banks set inflation target rates at 2%. During the Great Depression, inflation rates were negative over a long period of time, which meant that prices were dropping like it’s hot! Sometimes this happens because people hold off on buying goods, in turn hurting the economy in the long run since there is limited economic activity. On the flip side, positive inflation can be troublesome as prices of goods increase dramatically—imagine that $2 coffee doubling to $4 in a year; that would not be great for your budget.
4. FICO Score
We personally would never go on a sketchy Tinder date without going on an FBI-esque investigation and going down the rabbit hole of weird 2014 Facebook photos. When it comes to credit, it’s pretty similar. By ranking consumers on how likely they will be to pay off their credit obligations, FICO scores help lenders make informed decisions on whether or not they will extend credit. Scores range from 300 to 850 and baked into this score are elements like how much you currently owe, your payment history, and the length of your credit history. The higher your score, the higher your creditworthiness, and people with higher scores often have an easier time securing loans and seeing benefits in their terms and interest rates. Ah, if only spotting red flags in people were that easy.
P.S. In case you are wondering, the name comes from the Fair Isaac Corporation who created the score.
5. Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
If there’s anything everyone in the world can agree on, it’s that we f*cking love free money. So think of IRAs as piggy banks that let you set aside money for retirement, where your contributions grow with interest and you don’t even have to lift a finger. Traditional Individual Retirement Accounts (Traditional IRAs) let you deposit pre-tax income to a retirement account where that money grows tax-deferred until you take it out for the golden years. Roth IRAs, on the flip side, are not tax-deductible (meaning you deposit after-tax income), but you can still make contributions as long as you are earning an income and withdrawals are tax-free. A key difference between the two is that you cannot deposit into a Roth IRA if you earn too much (>139k if single and 206k if you are married)! To open a Roth IRA, you need to find an institution (banks, brokerage companies, federally insured credit unions, and savings and loan associations) that has IRS approval to offer this type of account.
6. Capital Gains
Like the term itself describes, capital gains are the gains (income) that stems from the sale of an asset, such as financial investments or real estate. If you hold the underlying asset for less than a year, the capital gains are taxed at the same rate as your income. This profit is typically taxed at 20% or less for long-term assets i.e. assets held for longer than one year.
Now, while putting your money in a savings account is better than just parking it under your mattress, you could honestly get so much more by putting your money into securities, tradable financial assets used to raise capital for governments and corporations both privately and publicly. Traded in financial markets, securities include stocks, bonds, and options, all varying in definition and ownership. What you really need to know, though, is that investing in securities typically comes with a higher yield, which means more bang for your buck, literally. Read more about them on our website.
View this post on Instagram
Get moving and start investing! 😏💸💪🏻 When you do, diversification is key. Today we’re simplifying some basic investment vehicles by relating them to common workouts 🧘🏻♀️🏋🏽♀️🚴🏼♀️ Investing will give you the #financialfreedom to treat yourself to your favorite workout classes, so what are you waiting for? #HerCapital ✨🌸💥
8. Financial Statement
If you’re an investor, you have probably heard of people screaming to buy the “hottest stock” of the moment. But you might wonder, what’s the hype? That’s where financial statements come in. Financial statements clear the noise and get to the down-and-dirty realities of a company’s financial performance. They are written records of all business transactions and activities, reporting elements like profit and losses, liquidity, and assets. The four main financial statements are the balance sheet, income statement, statement of shareholder’s equity, and cash flow statement. So when you invest, be sure to do your research, comb through those statements, and make an informed decision.
9. Asset Allocation
There are appropriate times to be risky and times to play it safe. Just like in life, you might want to try out that piece in your closet that you never, ever wear, but if you’re cutting bangs after a fresh heartbreak we’d tell you to slow down a little bit. When it comes to your financial plans, asset allocation is all about understanding and tolerating your risk and wisely choosing where to put your money. Different asset classes react differently in the economy, thus you can create your own mix that caters to your needs, time horizon, and goals. And take the time-tested tip to diversify, diversify, diversify!
10. Bull & Bear Markets
Within the financial world, the terms bull and bear markets refer to the general sentiment about the markets. A bull market is a sustained period where prices for securities are on the rise, often driven by optimism, investor confidence, and high expectations. On the flip side, a bear market is a period of contraction, characterized by falling prices. It generally occurs amid investor pessimism and shaken confidence and is often accompanied with an economic downturn, such as recession. I guess you could say that investors find this time to be unBEARable… sorry.
And that’s it—the 10 financial terms everyone should know. Wasn’t too bad, right? If you have any more questions or are looking for more resources, you can drop a comment here, or check out our HerCapital website and Instagram @her.capital. We’ve got lots of stuff for our community of badass women invested in their financial futures like you.
Images: Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash; @her.capital / Instagram
Even though more womxn are working and earning higher salaries than ever before and breaking glass ceilings all over the damn place, we’re still behind when it comes to retirement and investing—yet we live longer than men do. So what gives?
Well, a lot of the womxn I know in my life feel like they have time to wait, they can invest later when they have more available cash, after they save for a wedding, or after they pay off student loans or credit card debt. Or it’s just not that important right now. Even worse is my biggest pet peeve: that they can rely on their spouse’s 401(k). In other words, they’re contributing to their spouse’s retirement for THEIR future. Well, I’m here to tell you that in most cases, you’re wrong.
You need to be investing what you can, right now. Not only for your future self, but for your present self. So you can change things in the world, literally put your money where you mouth is (or values are), and invest in ESG or SRI stocks (aka, socially, environmentally, and ethically conscious investments). Plus, if you walk away from a marriage or a relationship, you need to have your own damn money to fall back on. Yes, you can have a healthy relationship while still prioritizing your own financial well-being.
And if you’re over there thinking you’ve got it all figured out because you have a good chunk of money in a savings account, kudos. Money in savings is a GREAT first step, but even in the highest interest savings account you can find, your money is still worth less with each passing year. The only way to combat that decreased buying power is by investing that money in something that beats the rate of inflation (which has been an average of 3.22%/year).
First, I’m going to define a few important terms I’m going to use throughout this article:
Compound Interest/Compounding Returns: Interest/returns paid on both the principal balance and on accrued interest/gains.
Retirement Accounts (SEP IRA, Roth IRA, 403b, 401k, Traditional IRA, etc): A plan for setting aside money to be spent after retirement. For the purposes of this article, the retirement accounts I refer to are all qualified retirement accounts per the IRS. Some of them help you pay less in taxes now (SEP/Traditional IRA 401k), and some help you pay less in taxes later (ROTH). For these accounts, you can’t take your money out without incurring a 10% penalty before the age of 59 ½. This is to incentivize you to keep your money in here, and not touch it until you’re actually retired (and also why I recommend also having savings accounts and non-retirement investment accounts).
Investment/Investment Account: A type of account that is post-tax, doesn’t have any long-term retirement benefits, but money can be withdrawn at any time, regardless of your age.
Inflation: A general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money.
Why You Need To Invest
We’re going to talk about compound interest here for a minute. One of my strongest beliefs is that you should get retirement and investment accounts set up first, followed by a savings account. That’s because your retirement and investment accounts will generally give you an 8% average return over a 10-year period.
Now we’re going to do some math (I know, but trust me, it’s important).
If you’re 25 and invested $5,000 now, contributed $100/month to retirement for the next 40 years, and retired at 65, you’d have somewhere around $470,467.71. If you waited until you were 30, invested $5,000 and contributed $100/month for 35 years and retired at 35, you’d have $310,851.00. That’s a difference of almost $160,000, and the amount invested only decreased by $6,000 (5 years of $100/month).
Even crazier, if you’re 20 and invested $5,000, contributed $100/month for 45 years, and retired at 65, you’d have around $708,271.99!!
So when I tell you that compound interest is important and that investing something now is better than investing a larger amount in a few years, trust me on it.
How To Invest
Invest in yourself and your future right now, even if it’s only five dollars a month. Something is better than nothing, and like I talked about above, compound interest is your friend when it comes to taking care of your future self.
If you have a retirement plan offered through a job, you can start now by:
Opening a retirement (or multiple) accounts (if you don’t have access to one through a job).
If you have one through your work, you want to contribute to both a ROTH and regular option. ROTH contributions help future you with taxes, and regular/traditional pre-tax options help you with taxes.
If you’re self-employed or don’t have a retirement plan offered through a job, you can start now by:
Opening two types of retirement accounts: a ROTH and a Traditional IRA (or a SEP IRA if you’re self-employed).
You want to open and contribute to both types of accounts because post-tax ROTH contributions help future you with taxes, and regular/traditional pre-tax contributions help you now when it comes to taxes.
Whether you have a retirement plan offered through your employer or not, I recommend splitting your pre- and post-tax contributions 50/50, so if you can set aside $50/month for now, I’d send $25 to a ROTH and $25 to a Traditional account. I also recommend opening an investment account, then a savings account. I like Ellevest and Betterment.
That’s it. Your step-by-step guide to starting investing today (in like 15 minutes). You’re worth it, and the world needs more womxn investing and taking control of their financial future.
Images: Startup Stock Photos / Pexels
If you haven’t yet thought about having the money talk with your partner, you’re not alone. At this point, money is almost seen as more taboo than sex, politics, or religion. However, it’s no secret that money leads to a lot of heartbreak in relationships. With close to 90% of divorces stemming from money issues or financial infidelity, learning how to talk about finances with your partner, especially early on, is key to the success and longevity of your relationship. From our experience giving financial consultations with couples, we’ve learned that many couples wait to discuss money until they’re about to make a joint financial decision, but we would strongly urge you to have these conversations sooner rather than later. The reason? Imagine this: You’re going to buy a car or a home with your significant other. The lender pulls your credit reports. And that’s when you find out your better half has a credit score of like, 2. (Ever-so-slight exaggeration on the score, but you get the point: that is not the moment you want to find out about your partner’s shoddy credit history.) Or maybe you’re in honeymoon bliss after the wedding and then find out your new partner actually has a huge student loan to pay off or has maxed out his/her credit cards. While this debt may not be your responsibility per se, it will affect the life plans that you may or may not have been diligently keeping in your journal since age 7. Talk about a buzzkill.
So, hopefully, we’ve convinced you that having the money talk is one of the most important (and ongoing) conversations you’ll have with a partner, but now, where to start? Every couple is different, especially because money is a deeply personal and sensitive topic. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, we’re both in long-term relationships (6+ years) and have been able to navigate the topic successfully so far. Basically, we kind of know what we’re talking about.
The timeline we both followed for our relationships may be a little different for you and your partner, especially based on when you plan to move in together and make joint financial decisions, but this will give you a general overview and questions to consider.
0-6 Months (Or Newly Dating)
Every relationship moves at a different pace, but for both of us, the first six months of our relationships were just about having fun. We didn’t get into the nitty-gritty, like exchanging credit scores or bank balances (chill out, Meredith Blake), but being attentive to details during these beginning stages can tell you a lot about how a person manages money. None of these observations are inherently good or bad, but picking up on habits and behaviors can tell you a lot about a person’s relationship with money without doing a whole interrogation-style line of questioning. Some things to pay attention to:
☆ Does your partner ball out on payday and then live on Top Ramen for the rest of the month?
☆ Does your partner pay for everything with cash or credit cards?
☆ Does your partner say “yes” to every invite, trip, or activity, or do they decline occasionally to focus on other goals?
☆ Does your partner buy a new outfit for every event?
At the beginning of her relationship, Lauren asked her partner a ton of questions about every aspect of his life. Sounds a little intense, but, evidently, it didn’t scare him off. When it came to money, by asking questions about what his childhood was like, what his high school/college jobs were, what scared him about the future, etc., she learned a lot about his approach to money before they had any “official” conversations.
At the beginning of a relationship, you should definitely focus on having fun and getting to know someone, but you can still learn about their approach to money just by paying a little attention.
6 Months-2 Years (Getting Serious)
Around this time, we both started to open up a little more about specifics with our finances. For instance, if you read our previous articles, you’d know we both love to travel, and it was important for us to have partners who enjoyed doing so as well. About a year into their relationship, Lauren and her partner were planning their first international trip as a couple. Lauren’s partner was stressed about booking because he’d been been feeling stretched thin with always agreeing to go to all of the happy hours, dinners, etc. that she wanted to do. This led to them both breaking down and sharing their budgets to figure out what they could each afford to do and how to allocate funds.
This also ties into one of our most important money principles: spend freely on the 2-3 categories that you value most, and cut costs as much as possible on the things that you don’t. This is important in your relationship as well as your personal spending. By sharing our entire budgets with our partners, we learned more specifics, such as each other’s incomes and how much we were paying for student loans, but more importantly, we learned more about what the other person valued spending money on. Learning this helped us cut costs in other areas—like, while we wanted to try all the best happy hour spots in Seattle, our partners didn’t prioritize that. So we learned to start cooking at home with our partners to get that quality time, and Lauren and I still hit up all the happy hours…without the guys.
3 Years (Or Before You Move In Together)
We each moved in with our partners three years into our relationships. We’ve always believed that moving in together should never be about convenience, saving money, or anything other than wanting to start a life together. So, before we each moved in with our S.O.s, we wanted to lay everything about our financial health out on the table.
We made sure that our partners were comfortable with this, then we set a date and made sure to have a great bottle of wine ready to go. Trust us, the money talk can be uncomfortable at first, so you’ll want to make it as fun and relaxing as possible.
During these conversations, we kept track of EVERYTHING that the other person could possibly ask about finances.
Credit Score: If you need a great place to find this information, Credit Karma is our go-to. Many people confuse a credit score with a credit report. You can check your credit score for free and as often as you like, without impacting your score. A credit report is what you can only check for free once a year. If you want to know more about the difference between the two, check out this Hello HENRYs post.
Salary: Obviously, your annual income. This is also a great place to list any bonuses or additional incentives that are part of your total compensation.
Assets: This is where we listed all of our accounts and the balances in each. Checking accounts, savings accounts, 401(k), investments, real estate, etc. Anything that has a value and that you personally own. It’s helpful to break down each asset, as well as include a total. That way you can understand how your partner’s assets are allocated.
Seeing the breakdown can help you to have important conversations, such as whether he/she is risk-averse versus opposed to investing, if they have been saving for retirement, etc. Then you can come up with an approach together.
Debts: In this section, we listed any money that we owed to someone else. Student loans, car loans, medical bills, all credit cards (plus the balance on each). Even if the balance is zero, it’s still helpful to know how many cards your partner has and their overall history on each. For example, you may just have one credit card for emergencies, while your partner is the type to open a new account just to save $10 at Pottery Barn. Again, no judgment on either—it’s just important to understand how you both differ in your approach to credit.
Net Worth: This number is determined by subtracting your total debts from your total assets. Ideally, this number should be positive. If not, you should understand why and be actively working to increase it every month. Net worth is the single most important indicator of your financial health and well-being. So many people assume a person’s income is the most important predictor of their financial future, but this is not the case. Let’s say your partner is making $250K a year but has a negative net worth. There may be valid reasons for the difference; maybe your partner has student loans that resulted in a higher-paying job but will take some time to pay off and get out of the negative, whereas you have no student loans. However, if your partner is simply spending more than they make, you may need to have a bigger conversation about how you can get on the same page and not live beyond your means.
4 Years + Beyond
A year after moving in together, Zach and Lauren bought their first home and have continued to have open, honest conversations about money. They have a finance “meeting” on the calendar every three months, which may seem intense for some, but for them, it has prevented many disagreements about money. During these meetings, they continue updating the same spreadsheet that they used before they moved in together with all of their debts, assets, etc. It’s been really cool to have a log to see how far they have come with their finances over the past two years.
Even if you aren’t in a serious relationship, we would strongly suggest keeping a similar spreadsheet for yourself to track your progress and to easily see which areas you want to focus on!
And that’s pretty much everything you need to know about how to have the money talk with your partner, no matter what stage your relationship is in. The important thing is, once you’ve started the conversation, it’s never truly over. Continue to have honest and open communication to avoid any surprises later on.
Images: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash, Giphy (4)
If you’ve already made the big step of deciding to move in with your significant other, congratulations! I can tell you that living with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner is one of the best things in the entire world. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be smoothly sailing into Bed Bath & Beyond together just yet. Before you move in together, you need to discuss your finances. Which, according to every advice column ever created, should be 100 percent transparent (!), easy (!), and totally NBD! Well, that’s bullsh*t. Money is a big deal, and you should treat it accordingly. You don’t have to make a ton of money in order to feel empowered and in control of your wallet, but you do need to be strategic.
Moving in together, right next to getting engaged, is one of the biggest commitments you can make in your relationship. Don’t do it unless you’ve flushed out the logistics. Super romantic? Not so much. But necessary? Absolutely. You have the most leverage and the best opportunity to set the tone for your new living situation before you move in together. Here are the best ways to go about talking about your finances with your significant other:
Set Aside A Specific Time To Have The Conversation
it has been a few months and my boyfriend still likes to venmo me $5 every tuesday as a “girlfriend subscription”
— natalie (@natatruthh) October 16, 2019
Most people, no matter how much money they make, get a little uncomfortable discussing it. Try to coordinate a time with your partner when you know the both of you won’t be as stressed out (read: avoid doing this Sunday night before the work week) so you can be entirely focused on the conversation at hand. Set aside a good 30-minute window to really review everything about your new arrangement. Make an agenda and sample expense list of what the both of you anticipate to spend month to month. Treat it just as you would a work meeting. If you don’t come up with an exact cost or answer for something, be sure to follow up.
You should also decide on who will be listed on contracts or leases as the person responsible for each expense and how/if you’ll go about splitting certain costs. Will one of you cover cable while the other handles internet? Is Venmo your go-to? Or will you open a joint credit card to share expenses?
Figure out your money personalities. Is one of you more into going tit for tat? Or is one of you a Virgo and needs to split everything down the middle by the penny? Decide now and be clear with what you choose. It pays, literally, to be meticulous now versus later when one of you starts holding a grudge for being the sole purchaser of your apartment’s toilet paper.
You Don’t Have To Tell Your Partner Exactly What You Make Or Go Into Details About Unrelated Spending
After moving in with my boyfriend we had a talk about what money should be spent on and what it shouldn’t… i just spent $300 on my hair.. let’s not tell him 🙂
— Destinyyyyyyy (@LaLaDessie) November 21, 2018
Unless you two are tying the knot and have decided to share 100 percent of your finances, you actually don’t need to divulge exactly how much you make or exactly how you spend your money. Realistically, you two have been together for a long enough time where you have some idea about the other’s paychecks. If you’re clear with what you can afford or are willing to contribute with your monthly expenses, then whatever you have left over is your business. It may seem like a great idea to be super transparent because it comes off more trustworthy or open about your relationship, but it’s not required. In fact, you may even be a little relieved to have more independence over how you spend your money. Your boyfriend need not know that you accidentally spent $250 at Sephora when you were tipsy after happy hour. (Heh, sorry babe.) If you want to, that’s cool too. But if you’re not into that idea, don’t feel like you have to.
Be Prepared To Negotiate
The only bad part about living with my boyfriend is that I can’t just spontaneously get another dog. Like I have to get approval this time? So rude tbh
— ashh (@ashh_olmsted) October 15, 2019
As any couple who lasts longer than two weeks can attest to, relationships are all about compromise. You exclusively watch reruns of Law & Order: SVU on Hulu. He needs every single sports channel known to man. All of a sudden your single girl binge watching expenses have blossomed from a cool $11.99 to $100. Find the middle ground. There will be some expenses on both sides that one of you won’t want to cough up for. (I mean, do we really need 20 different channels of ESPN?) And if you can’t reach an agreement for something the other person wants, then be prepared to pay for it on your own.
What If Your Salaries Are Completely Lopsided?
Whether you make a lot more (I love living in 2019) or your partner does, I’m a big believer in paying your portion. If your partner is making a quarter of what you do, or vice versa, again, negotiate. Just because you’re sharing a space does not mean you have to share expenses 50/50. There are also other factors to consider outside of just income. Is one of you more inclined to clean? Is one of you the dedicated pet parent? While some of these things aren’t factorable into an Excel spreadsheet, they do matter when it comes to sharing a space.
Bottom line, the most important thing to do when talking to your partner about sharing your living expenses is to be honest and realistic. The more you can stay in front of your finances and any additional expenses or problems that might arise, the less likely money will ever cause a problem in your relationship.
Images: Joshua Ness / Unsplash; @ashh_olmsted/Twitter;@LaLaDessie/Twitter; @natatruthh/Twitter
As if being a twentysomething in 2019 wasn’t hard enough already, about halfway through a decade full of major changes, financial independence, and student loan repayment, life offers yet another thing for you to go into debt for: wedding season. Whether you are the bride, the bridesmaid, or just a lowly guest, your priorities after 25 start to look a lot less like student loans and happy hours, and a lot more like wedding gifts, destination flights, and ugly dresses. Before you swear off having any friends (and therefore, nuptial obligations), we have some good news on the pre-wedding front. You can breathe a sigh of relief, because it might not be expensive as you think—at least for the bachelorette party.
WeddingWire just dropped a new study* on bachelor and bachelorette parties (because people study those, apparently) and, unlike most new information on wedding festivities, this one isn’t a total bummer for your finances! As it turns out, Instagram tends to exaggerate the extravagance of the pre-nuptial parties (shocker!), and everyone your age isn’t emptying out their life savings to fly to the Caribbean for all their friends’ bachelorette parties (though the same cannot be said for the heinous bridesmaid gowns they have to shell out their cash for). What’s more, women are actually likely to spend less on the bachelorette than men are on the bachelor party (to which I reiterate: bridesmaid dresses, we’ve earned this). Rest assured that you can have your Chippendales stripper, and throw money at him too (though I recommend sticking to throwing singles. You’re not a millionaire).
View this post on Instagram
Whether the festivities be the always-popular club scene or the more laid back spa day, women on average are only dishing out around $708 to celebrate their girlfriends’ last days of singledom (men spend $1,044 on average). That’s a lot of money, but somehow, not as much as I would expect when you consider airfare, hotels, entertainment, etc. This is, in part, a result of most parties remaining local. 92% of bachelor and bachelorettes remain in the U.S. and don’t last longer than 2 to 3 days. Again, contrary to what Instagram would have you believe, most bachelorette parties aren’t whipping out their passport. Sure, some women splurge a bit more and bathe in the sun with their betches on the coasts of the Caribbean or Mexico, but most stick to the following U.S. bachelorette party destinations. In order, these are WeddingWire’s most popular bachelorette party spots:
- Las Vegas, NV (Because, duh.)
- Los Angeles, CA (Maybe it’s not tropical, but it’s still pretty glamorous. Plus, clubs. Sooo many clubs.)
- New York, NY (As someone who lives here, I can assure you this is a destination that is only economical for its residents. Especially if your festivities include shopping.)
- Miami (More clubbing. Also South Beach.)
- Nashville, TN (Multi-story bars, live music, fried chicken, what’s not to love? Though be forewarned, this destination is becoming a bit of a cliche for wedding parties)
- Dallas, TX (Can someone please explain why Dallas is on this list, but not Austin?)
- Orlando, FL (I sincerely hope this is not on the list because of Disney World. Just think of the children, people.)
- New Orleans, LA (Okay, I guess ghosts and witchcraft aren’t everyone’s thing, but the fact that Dallas somehow topped NOLA truly offends me)
- Philadelphia, PA (Someone once described Philly to me as an arts and crafts version of NYC. Take that as you will)
- Atlanta, GA (Another destination with great nightlife, and great Southern food. Dieting brides beware!)
Bachelorette party gifts tend to remain on the cheap side as well. In order to celebrate their bestie’s commitment to sleeping with one man for the rest of her life, most women go with the tried and true gifts of lingerie and sex toys. But honestly, can we just pause for a moment and contemplate the thought of your friends picking out lingerie for you? I don’t want them picking out my outfits, let alone my underwear. That said, underwear looks like a dream next to the typical bachelor gift of… drumroll please… outdoor gear. I guess it’s better than strippers, but unless your man is like, a bear hunter or something, please take the time to reevaluate this union if his boys gift him a fishing rod or a tent or something.
View this post on Instagram
⭐️ GIVEAWAY ⭐️ Because weddings are expensive AF and the clothing that goes along with it is even more expensive, we are giving away 3 free months of @FashionPass for one bride to be and one free month for each of her bridesmaids. If you aren’t getting married, enter anyway & we will treat you and 4 of your girls. Winner will be able to activate the month whenever best suits them (think bachelorette party, bridal shower, etc). Steps 👉🏼 1. Follow @betchesbrides & @fashionpass 2. Like this post 3. Tag your bridal party or 4 friends in the comments Winner will be announced on Wednesday, August 14 at 6pm EST.
No matter what you end up doing or gifting for the party to end all (single) parties, try to kick back and enjoy one of the best aspects of getting hitched. And if you find yourself in a financial stress spiral thinking about all of the student and wedding debt you have to pay down after the fact, take another shot and stuff another bill in that stripper’s jock strap.
*The WeddingWire 2019 Bachelor & Bachelorette Study is based on data collected from more than 1,000 respondents who attended a bachelor or bachelorette party in the last 24 months.
Images: Shutterstock.com; betchesbrides / Instagram (2)
For some reason, the biggest wedding faux pas of all time is to straight-up ask for a cash gift. This isn’t the 1950s, so it isn’t everyone’s dream to get a Crock Pot or a new set of knives as a wedding gift (but both of those things are awesome IMO, #adulting). Chances are you and your soon-to-be spouse have been shacking up for a while now (forgive me Father for I have sinned), and your place is probably furnished. So like, you don’t really need another KitchenAid mixer or a bunch of plates because you bought that stuff years ago. Thankfully it’s 2019 and we’ve finally figured out how couples can get what they really want from their guests: money. Here’s how to do it tactfully.
Websites like Zola and Honeyfund have ushered the concept of wedding gifts into the 21st century by giving couples an option to register for items unrelated to houseware. You can ask for money towards your honeymoon, home renovations, an activity, or another large purchase. Guests will feel better about gifting money when you tell them how you’re planning on spending their money. Without enough context, older guests might be convinced they’re funding your next kegger, so be as explicit as possible by asking for things like a couple’s massage on your honeymoon, or a new couch for your living room, so they don’t shy away from giving you that sweet cash.
Don’t Put It On Your Invitation
Guests probably won’t react well if your wedding invitation has your Venmo handle on the bottom of it. You might be tempted to stamp “bring me cash!!!” on the envelope, but try your best to resist. On your wedding website you can provide a link to your cash registry, which will heavily imply what you’d like (which in this case, is cash). We’re moving into the 21st century by being able to give money, but let’s keep things classy when it comes to invitation language.
Spread The Word
me to my family: can you just write me a check and leave me the F alone?
— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) April 16, 2019
We all have that bridesmaid who doesn’t STFU. Normally she’s the only one you can’t tell anything to, but we’ve actually got the perfect job for her. Let her know that you and your fiancé would prefer a cash gift, and (mouthing) off she’ll go. If people ask you what you’d like for your wedding, don’t be afraid to be honest. Let them know you have a lot of home goods already and you’d love them to contribute to your honeymoon or a big furniture purchase. Again, telling them explicitly where their check will go will make them feel better about not giving a physical gift.
Set Out A Card Box At The Wedding
Let’s be real, when you see “cards” written on a wooden box at a wedding, what the couple really means is, “Help me, I’m poor”. Setting one of these by the guest book or the escort card table will let guests know you’re open to receiving checks. Don’t go as far as having the ushers walk up to guests during cocktail hour asking for donations (this isn’t church), but setting it out as an option for guests is a subtle way to ask for dolla dolla bills.
Give People Options
once you accept you’re going to be bleeding money, the entire wedding process will start to get a litttttle bit easier
— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) July 25, 2019
No matter how badly you don’t want a traditional registry, you’ll probably have guests that are sticklers when it comes to tradition (for example, my mother), so it’s a good idea to create one in case people are committed to giving you a physical gift. There are still dozens of options for non-traditional registry gifts, like sports equipment or bar accessories, so you don’t have to get stuck asking for baking trays or a mixing stand if you’d never use those. At the end of the day, people are going to give you whatever gift they feel most comfortable with, so you might as well be prepared with a traditional registry in case.
Images: betchesbrides / Twitter; betchesbrides / Instagram
Bachelorette couple JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers are FINALLY getting married (smh it’s been 3 years…). The couple are getting ready for their spring/summer 2020 wedding, and we couldn’t be more excited. On our newest episode of the Betches Brides podcast, JoJo sat down and told us the ins and outs of what she has in mind for her upcoming ceremony. Here are 5 tips she gave us on how to plan a wedding after the madness that is The Bachelorette.
1. Wait To Get Married
View this post on Instagram
I think it’s fair to say how @jrodgers11 and I met and fell in love wasn’t the most “conventional” lol — It’s funny how life falls into place in a way that’s totally unexpected, but in the end wouldn’t change it for anything. #VenmoPartner Doing things a little outside the norm is a part of our story now, and so is @venmo as we lead up to our big day! I’ve used the app to split costs with my girls at bachelorette parties and we also love the idea of accepting cash gifts to use towards a charitable cause. When almost everyone you know is on Venmo, it’s honestly a game changer. Has anyone else used it during wedding prep or have any advice as we start the planning process!? ?♀️
It’s not rocket science, but apparently people forget this: The Bachelor/Bachelorette isn’t the real world. IRL, you aren’t traveling to Latvia with three of your potential fiancés, all expenses paid, and having a date card reveal your next destination. This can pose challenges to an engaged couple once the cameras stop rolling, because as JoJo explains, you may think you’re getting to know someone on the show, but the truth is, you aren’t. She emphasized that while on the show, “It’s this whirlwind romance, you’re on a high and you come off and you’re thinking that you totally know this person but, in all honesty, you really don’t.” As annoying as it is for us fans that she and now-fiancé Jordan have been engaged for three years with no wedding, JoJo explains that that time was what they needed to create a healthy and happy relationship together. She doesn’t even think their relationship would have lasted otherwise. “If Jordan and I were to have gotten off the show engaged and started planning a wedding right after,” she says, “we probably would not have made it.”
2. Decide What Kind Of Role You Want The Show To Have
On the Betches Brides podcast, JoJo makes it clear that she does NOT want her wedding to have anything to do with the show. She says, “it definitely won’t be some sort of Bachelor/Bachelorette wedding—I know that for sure.” She wants to be able to share some of her wedding with her fans but emphasizes, “Jordan and I are firm on that we don’t want our wedding to be a produced event.” Sad that means we can’t watch it, but happy for them overall.
3. Come Up With A Vision
View this post on Instagram
Wow… ok excuse the novel I’m about to write. I thought we were just wedding venue searching this weekend but BOY WAS I WRONG ? I don’t even know where to start. 3 years ago we got engaged in a way that some, if not all, would say is crazy and totally unconventional. & They were right. It was. But it was also very real. We took a leap of faith that day and hoped/prayed things would work out how we wanted them to. Times were not always easy… they actually got very very hard early on, but we stuck by each other and worked every day towards our relationship. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yesterday, Jordan asking me to marry him… again!! I didn’t see it coming nor ever expected it… I can’t put into words how much it meant to me @jrodgers11 … but I think you know by now from me bawling hysterically and totally blacking out. The show brought us together and set us up for a truly amazing proposal the first time around, but this time was all YOU. And that means everything and more to me. I can’t wait to marry you! Thank you for loving me so purely and protecting my heart in a way I always used to pray for. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sorry everyone for rambling. I don’t even know if what I just said made sense or not, currently crying typing this. Ok bye.
Before you can do anything to start preparing for your wedding, you need to figure out what you want it to look like. For JoJo, she wants her ceremony to be, as she puts it, “whimsical and beautiful and outdoorsy”. Though she doesn’t know the style she wants for her dress, she knows she wants “to feel like it is my wedding day—I don’t want a dress that I feel like I can wear to some white party gala. I want to feel truly bridal.” I mean, don’t we all want that?
4. Decide On Your Wedding Party
When it comes to the guest list, Jojo is trying to keep it small. She wants the guest list to be around 150 people whereas Jordan thinks it will be much larger than that (yikes). What JoJo is certain about is that she is not into the whole “Vegas thing” for a Bachelorette party. She mentions, “I just want to be on a beach, I want spa, I want sun, I want girlfriends. I’m not a big clubber.” As for Jordan, his idea of a great Bachelor party would be, “going to play golf and then going to a little hole in the wall sports bar and having a beer with his buddies.” And finally…
5. Get Your Finances In Order
View this post on Instagram
You know what’s really empowering? Feeling on the same page as we gear up for marriage and all that comes after that. I’m excited to share that we’ve partnered with @NorthwesternMutual and met with one of their advisors to help us plan our financial future together- from saving to starting our own business flipping houses, to everything else that’s important to us today. I still have a million other things to figure out when it comes to this wedding but let me tell ya… it feels dang good to know we are now one step ahead of the game when it comes to our life together. #moneymates #ad
JoJo is on top of her sh*t when it comes to $$$. She and Jordan have sat down with a financial planner from Northwestern Mutual to discuss finances and future plans for their marriage. She says, “Meeting with that advisor from Northwestern Mutual totally made me so much more confident in what finances will look like as a couple and I would recommend it to anybody.” She said the advisor guided a much-needed financial conversation to prepare them for the future together. JoJo recommends all newly weds or anybody engaged to do it. “Have that conversation,” she urges, “it puts you in a way better place, and honestly, it was the best thing for Jordan and I.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty impressed with JoJo and how shes handling her plans. She’s super chill (honesty maybe a little too chill) and made it clear that all she wants is a ceremony to get married to the love of her life and that’s all— no bullsh*t. I’m happy for her and Jordan and I am SO excited to see the pics. Listen to the rest of the Betches Brides podcast for more insider sneak peeks of her upcoming wedding.
Images: @joelle_fletcher/Instagram; Shutterstock
Adulting is hard af. You don’t have someone to make your lunch for you every day or clean up the house. You need to take out the trash yourself, and don’t get me started on paying the bills. In 2019, the state of our personal finances has drastically changed from when our parents were young. Sometimes for the worst, but sometimes for the better. Alexa von Tobel, the founder of Inspired Capital and New York Times bestselling author, sums up the six biggest financial trends in her new book, Financially Forward: How To Use Today’s Digital Tools To Earn More, Save Better, and Spend Smarter, out now. She lays out where we’re losing money (oy vey) and how we can save more (thank the lord). Her book is a much-needed reality check, and can teach you how to not be broke by the time you reach 50. (And it isn’t just about cutting back on the drinking. I hope.) Here are the top six finance trends and advice outlined in von Tobel’s book, and how you can use those trends to your advantage.
Trend #1: We’re Living Longer
Shop Betches But How Do You Save $ Tank
It’s no shocker that we are living longer than 50 years ago. Science (and my killer wrinkle-reducing night cream) tends to do that. While only 12% of the population was over 65 in 2000, it is estimated that 20% of Americans will be 65 or older by 2050. She says, “the majority of us underestimate the average life expectancy. This may sound like no big deal, but underestimating how long you might live can also mean underestimating how much money you’ll need to live comfortably after you retire.” So while you may think investing in those designer shoes is fine now, think about when you’re 75 and homeless. At least you’ll have cute shoes, right?
Living longer also means that we’re retiring later. The average life expectancy for an American woman is 81.1. So while some people retire at 65, a study by Northwestern Mutual found that 38% of people wait until they are in their 70s. Additionally, von Tobel says that “the idea of a completely work-free retirement is a bit of a myth for today’s retirees.” Just think of those cute old people working as greeters at Walmart.
Advice: Build your financial plan with the assumption that you will live well past 65. Alexa recommends assuming you’ll live to 95. But if your family members have lived to be over 100, assume you will too and plan accordingly. Also, consider the idea of working part-time once you retire.
Trend #2: Family Structures Are V Different
Our families are no longer the 1950s sitcom version of the average American family: husband and wife. picket fence, 2.5 kids (WTF is 2.5 kids?). But how are our families changing? For starters, we are getting married later. In the 90s, women and men would get married, on average, at 24 and 26, respectively. Although my great aunt never fails to remind me that she had already had four kids at my age, Americans are now waiting until their late 20s to get married. Similarly, “DINK” Status is very much a thing (dual-income, no kids) since people are shacking up before getting hitched. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “combining your finances with a second earner leads to more money in the bank.” Well, no duh. The thing is, not only do you have more money in the bank, but you tend to save money as well (just under $7,000 a year). Anyone down to move in with me and we can split the savings?
But on the costlier side of our changing family structures, there is the cost of raising children. In 2015, the cost of raising a child from birth to 17 (not including college), was about $233,000. That doesn’t even factor in if you need costly treatments to help you get pregnant. For IVF, costs have sky-rocketed from 10 years ago, increasing by $3,600 for one round of treatment, according to Jake Anderson-Bialis, co-founder of FertilityIQ. That means a single round of treatment usually costs more than $10,000. However, most people do two or three treatments, which drastically increases the price. Finally, there is the concept of the “Sandwich Generation,” aka you might end up living with or financing your kids and your parents at the same time. Joy.
Advice: Speak openly with your family about costs. Before your parents are too far down the rabbit hole (sorry), discuss what savings they have for long-term care. Make sure to keep all these different family-related costs in mind when you’re figuring out savings. The best rule of thumb is always to plan ahead.
Trend #3: Our Earning Potential Is Flexible
Have you ever gotten an urgent message from your boss late at night to do something before the next morning? Or gotten a call to come into work early? Hate to break it to you, but this is the new normal. The majority of jobs are no longer a basic 9-5. And for many people, holding one job just doesn’t cut it anymore. 40% of independent workers have a side hustle to make some extra cash for savings or for a big purchase, like a house. Others (16%) do it out of necessity. Then there are the “free agents” like freelancers or Uber drivers. 30% are in this field because they like the flexibility, while others want a full-time job but are using this as their primary income at the moment.
Advice: Use side hustles to your advantage. Figure out what you want and use the flexibility of part-time work to reach your goals easier and quicker.
Trend #4: Our Career Paths Are Fluid, And Sabbaticals Are In
What’s great about our generation is that we are indecisive have the flexibility to change career paths if we are unhappy or want different opportunities. On average, those who graduated college from 2006 to 2010 have held twice as many jobs as people who graduated between 1986 and 1990 did in the same amount of time. But people aren’t just changing companies, they are also changing entire career paths. According to von Tobel, there is “no such thing as it being ‘too late’ to pursue an entirely new path.”
Like those adorable matching sets every girl on Instagram wears during the summer, sabbaticals are in. Think of it as an “adult gap year”. It’s all about increasing your learning, and whatever other BS your university guidance counselor told you about your year abroad. But while taking an extended vacation may seem like the best thing ever a load of crap, employers are getting on board. Hear me out. Over a three-year period, those who took more than 10 vacation days were 31% more likely to get a bonus or raise compared to those who took fewer than 10 days off.
Advice: If you’re deciding on whether to take a job, check out the company’s policy with regards to taking time off work. You should also plan ahead with your finances if you’re able to. If you can, allow yourself the funds to take that time off work.
Trend #5: Everything Is On-Demand
Our lives today are all about instant gratification. I’m not going to lie that I don’t get annoyed when my Uber takes longer than 5 minutes to arrive or my Amazon Prime package doesn’t come the next day. Patience is non-existence. While 22% of people shopped online in 2000, 80% shop online today. Crazy. Since nothing is off-limits, there is tons of competition, which keeps the prices (fairly) low. The best part of having everything accessible to us? Saving money. As someone who loves a good deal, being able to compare prices of the same product at different stores is the best feeling. Like, sex is cool, but saving $50 is better.
Advice: von Tobel says that while this is great, impulse shopping is dangerous. So beware.
Trend #6: Forget Ownership. Sharing is Caring
If I told my mom that I was staying in a stranger’s house when I traveled Europe last year, or regularly get into randos’ cars, she would have a heart attack. But today, Airbnb and Uber are the new normal. These services allow us to save money by sharing stuff and make money by letting others borrow it. And who needs a car in a busy city when you basically have your own chauffeur? These services allow us to cut down on what we have (Marie Kondo is so in and von Tobel approved) and save $$$. You also can stream movies and show online, instead of buying DVDs (or VHSs … yikes) and even borrow clothes instead of buying a dress you’ll wear once.
Advice: Keep on sharing!
For more of Alexa’s financial advice, pick up a copy of Financially Forward: How To Use Today’s Digital Tools To Earn More, Save Better, and Spend Smarter, out now.
Images; Giphy (5)