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Money Problems From Dating to Marriage

Many couples fight over money, and it doesn’t start when they get married. Even dating and engaged couples go round and round about money concerns. I invited Jennifer Dawson on to share some of the things she has observed about money problems in the different phases of a couples’ relationship.

Here’s what she has to say-

The picture of divorce in the US is changing with rates declining in the last 3 years (National Survey of Family Growth), but the source of conflict does not. Financial stress continues to be one of the major reasons why couples seek a divorce. Money affects everything in life whether it is a relationship, family matters, or marriages.

The question is, is it a good idea for you to be financially solvent while dating or should you hold on to your financial independence during the marriage? What even makes a marriage work?

Money Problems While Dating

The start of a relationship begins with couples going on dates trying to woo each other. While going on dates, the question of who pays for meals or recreation activities such as movies or bowling is a thorny issue. The consensus is that whoever invited for the evening should expect to pay for the meal.

There are also those who insist on paying their share because they can afford to do so. Or maybe because it is the right thing to do. Whatever the reason is, money already matters at this stage. For some people, paying for their own way is a sign of independence. It can also be a sign of self-worth. They want others to know they are doing well for themselves.  

It is important to discuss finances at the dating stage especially if you plan to take your relationship to the next level. Finding out about each other’s financial situations through credit reports, discuss debts and future savings plan may seem unromantic but can save you a lot of trouble in the future. As you get to know each other better, you will be able to see if you are on the same page or not when it comes to money matters.

 

Money Problems While Engaged

At this point, it should be clear already what you expect from each other when you are getting engaged. When a couple plans to tie the knot, there will be a lot of expenses; the biggest of which is the wedding. There will likely be a discussion about whether or not parents or other family members want to pitch in on the wedding.

The couple will also need to figure out how they are going to handle paying bills, furnishing their future apartment or home, and everything that goes into living together. If you have to put a downpayment on a house ahead of time or get a lease on an apartment for one person to live in during the engagement, you have to figure out how to split the money. My suggestion is that you both pitch in as much as possible to these types of bills.

Some couples end up having to downsize their wedding plans, honeymoon, or living expenses so that they can make things work. This can cause a lot of stress.

I won’t lie, having a prenuptial drawn up causes a lot of pause within me. I don’t suggest it lightly that a couple consider this, but some might think of drawing up a prenuptial. I’ve known people going into second marriages to do this. Right, wrong, or otherwise, you should at least discuss if it’s something either of you wants to do.

Money Problems When You Are Married

Each couple has to decide how they are going to handle their personal finances. I’ve known some couples that decide to keep their accounts separate. Others choose to join their income and run out of the same checking account.

It’s really important that you both figure out what works best for you. It’s ok to renegotiate how you do the finances as time goes on. The way you enter the marriage won’t be the way you stay forever. Eventually, kids will come along and that is a game changer.

Childcare and housework are unpaid work, which means, if one person stays home to be the primary caregiver, they will give up the income they were making. If you chose to keep your finances separate, that will likely need to be negotiated. Even if you kept it joint, there will be extra financial stress.

To keep the money fights down, open lines of communication is a must. Share your frustrations, but also, be willing to change. You can cut down on the arguments if you put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and learn to value what they consider to be valuable.

 

Ways to Add Romance to Your Garden

One year, I planted a flower garden in our side yard. It’s the only year I was able to make the flowers truly grow. But, I love fresh flowers and find them very romantic. I invited Ann Sanders on to share with us her tips to add romance to your garden.

Here’s what she has to say-

Did you know that your flower spot can serve as the best romantic recreational spot to spend some quality time with your better half? With a little bit of planning and decoration, you can turn your ordinary garden into a super romantic hub.

Apart from being the favorite family spot, it will also serve as a secret hideout for you and your spouse.

Here are tips to add romance to your garden:

1. Proper planning

The first thing that matters, in this case, is the size of your area. Whether you have a large area or a small piece of greenery, proper planning can bring out more space than you could have ever imagined.

First, you need to divide your the area into zones to make out the perfect place for your romantic hideout.  Even the most abandoned and ignored corner can be super useful if you put some proper hard work in it.

2. Build an Arch

Love itself is classic and clichéd. Therefore, there is no harm in giving the garden hideout a little bit of classic look to add to its magic. Arches are wonderful props in such a case. To give your romantic hub the essence of elegance, you can place a number of antique arches to make the gateway to your garden.

Cover it with some vines to perfect the look. It will give you the antique look of a gateway to a magical land. Add some willows around to separate the place from the rest of the garden.

3. Hang a Romantic Swing

There is no better place than a long swing under the open sky to have a peaceful drink with your significant other. You can place a swing in the middle of the garden and have a shady canopy made with vines.

Structure them to look like a chandelier to add more elegance and class. You can put some cushions on the swing to make it more comfortable and some twinkling lights in the vine canopy to add to its magical quotient.

4. Create a Place to Eat

Eating your greens is important but eating in the greens can be very interesting too. Can you not make out enough time to take your wife eat out often? No issues. You can solve that by making a romantic dining area in the garden.

Just put four iron pillars like structures at a side the area and cover them with vines with flowers of bold colors. You will have your separate room for eating “out” there. Put a center table, some candles, twinkling lights and voila! You have your own stop for a romantic date.

5. Have a Shady Spot

How long has it been since you and your partner enjoyed a long walk? Well, you can make it a regular thing by getting a long and beautiful corridor inside your flower spot. If you have space, then you might be able to add a corridor.

Put arches alongside, making it the perfect corridor for long, romantic walks. Cover it with vines so that they are connected with each other. Put arbors on both sides to fetch out the pathway in the middle. You can put an oscillating sprinkler on both sides to keep the garden fresh and beautiful.

Even on the hot and sunny days, with the shade of the corridor and the cooling sprinkler, you will be able to take long and romantic walks.

Do not forget to fill your garden with flowers as there is nothing better than colorful and vibrant blooms to add romance to your garden. Roses, Peonies, Camellias, tulips, and more will beautify the charm of your romantic adobe and make it enchanting and fragrant.

These are great ways to add romance to your garden.

 

Why I LOOOOOVE Valentine’s Day

If you didn’t know, I absolutely loooooove Valentine’s Day. It is my favorite holiday for sure. In fact, my house has been decorated for it for the last few weeks.

So, why is it my favorite holiday? It all stems back to when I was a kid. My dad was my first Valentine and he always gave me a card and a small gift for the day. It wasn’t big or extravagant, but it was always very special to me.

My love for Valentine’s grew the year my friend got married. She was set to get married in the summer, but had to move up the date with little notice. She got married in the first part of January. I remember taking her to Walmart to get some last minute things.

While we were there, I split off from her and rummaged through the Valentine’s Day things to put together a wedding night basket. (Yes, I was making sex baskets way back then, too). It was then that fell in love with all of the beautiful VDay decorations. The holiday was even more special to me ever since then.

I love to celebrate love and this time of year is the perfect time to do that.

Other things on my mind-

Here are a few last minute Valentine’s Day ideas for you:

  • Melt Massage- this video course teaches you how to spoil your spouse with a massage. I gave this to Austin a few years ago and he loved it. I actually played the videos while I massaged him so I could do it right.
  • Valentine’s Day Jumpstart Pack– this is an instant download has three printables. You will receive a card meant for a wife, week of love gift tags, and a game of Sexy Truth or Dare.
  • Boost Your Libido Course– What better way to celebrate Valentine’s then to tackle your low libido. Sheila over at To Love Honor and Vacuum put together this course to help women have more fun in bed.
  • Spice Jar Printables– Jay Dee over at Uncovering Intimacy put together a printable for a sexy spice jar. It would be great to play on Valentine’s night.

Have a great weekend!


*I use affiliate links

Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Received- Never Stop Dating

There’s a piece of advice my parents gave me before I got married- never stop dating your spouse. I watched my mom and dad go out on regular dates all of my life. Seeing as how they’ve been married for well over 40 years, I think there’s something to their advice.

There’s a piece of advice my parents gave me before I got married- never stop dating your spouse. I watched my mom and dad go out on regular dates all of my life. Seeing as how they’ve been married for well over 40 years, I think there’s something to their advice.

Why Is Dating Your Spouse Important?

There is just something that is exciting about going out on a date. I always get dressed up and make a special effort in the way I look when I go out. It is important to me that my husband knows how much I love him. The way I dress shows him that I care about him.

When you take time out of your week to go somewhere with your lover, it will make them feel special. Dating takes you out of the ordinary routine of life and helps you to focus on each other.

Is There a Number of Times a Month You Should Go Out?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the couple and what they can do. When our kids were little, we didn’t get out of the house very often. Now that they are older, we can usually have a date once a week, even if it is short.

You and your spouse need to determine how much money you have to spend on dates including the cost of babysitters. Schedules is another big issue. You have to make time on your calendar to spend with each other.

In my opinion, it is a good idea to shoot for once a month or once every other month at the most. If you are at a stage in life where you can do a weekly date night, that would be a good goal.

Is Dating Different When You Are Married V. When Unmarried?

When Austin and I were single, going on dates was our way of spending focused time on one another. The same is true of dating each other now. While the activities we do are different than when we were single and had money- the reason for the date is the same.

When Austin and I were single, going on dates was our way of spending focused time on one another. The same is true of dating each other now. While the activities we do are different than when we were single and had money- the reason for the date is the same.

Some of our favorite things to do together include:

  • Drink coffee at home or Starbucks
  • Eat dinner out
  • Eat dinner at our bistro table
  • Watch a movie in the theatre
  • Watch a movie at home
  • Walk around the mall, a park, on a trail, or downtown
  • Visit a museum or art gallery

These are some of the things we like doing together. You and your spouse should come up with a list of go-to’s for your date nights.

Sex Should Be a Part of Your Date Night

I’m of the opinion that all date nights should end with sex...really good sex. If you there’s a time or two you can’t have sex after the date...fine, but in general, you should try to make it a priority. After you have spent a few hours connecting with each other on an emotional and mental level, it is the perfect time to connect on a physical level.

I’m of the opinion that all date nights should end with sex…really good sex. If you there’s a time or two you can’t have sex after the date…fine, but in general, you should try to make it a priority. After you have spent a few hours connecting with each other on an emotional and mental level, it is the perfect time to connect on a physical level.

Dating should never stop. You and your spouse need that time to connect with each other and forget about your responsibilities.

*I use affiliate links

Team Building Activities To Do With Your Spouse

Austin and I are huge fans of teamwork in the marriage. That’s why I think that putting in time and energy with your spouse in team building activities is worth it. Today, I invited Becky Butner on to share with us her ideas of how to build teamwork.

Here’s what she has to say-

Austin and I are huge fans of teamwork in the marriage. That's why I think that putting in time and energy with your spouse in team building activities is worth it. Today, I invited Becky Butner on to share with us her ideas of how to build teamwork. 

You often hear people say that marriage is about teamwork, but when was the last time you did something fun to strengthen your relationship with your other half? There are countless ways you can improve your relationship in your marriage and spending quality time together is a great place to start. If you’re struggling with creative ideas for date night or you’re keen to try new things, then why not give these activities a go?

Couple’s workout

They say that couples who train together, stay together. This might be the case for some, but for others, the idea of hitting the gym with their spouse may seem like a nightmare. If you’re not a dedicated gym person, then don’t worry. There are so many ways you can work up a sweat and have fun at the same time without the need for weights, mats, or treadmills.

Exercise Together

Exercise is a natural mood-booster, and it’s also really good for your health. Don’t worry if going on a run, taking a Zumba class or spinning is not something that you want to do. There are plenty of other great activities that you can do with your spouse.

You can take a jog along the beach, go to a yoga class together, or you could even take horseback riding lessons together. The activity isn’t that important, it is what you as a couple want to do together to help you draw closer to one another. If you need more inspiration, here are some other fun ways to get your pulses racing.

Creating A Meal Together

If you’re used to going out for dinner when date night rolls around, then why not mix things up and stay home instead? You can plan the dinner together ahead of time so that you already have everything you need already at home. Creating a meal together can be so much fun when you both participate.

You could even bake a simple dessert together if you didn’t want to cook a whole meal. Check out this website elephantcookiecutter.com for really great cookie ideas. Baking together can be really fun and romantic.

cook a meal together

Go Camping

Are you a nature couple? If you’re interested in developing your relationship and making that bond even stronger than camping is a brilliant idea. There are no phones or TVs to distract you from each other.

You can work together by setting up the tent and getting your campsite ready. You could take a hike, go fishing, or simply pass the time toasting marshmallows on the fire under the starry night skies. Camping may not be the most luxurious type of vacation, but it’s definitely up there with the most romantic.

Working Together

Teamwork plays a role in our daily lives at work, but have you ever stopped to think how you could make your relationship stronger? If you’re looking for fun ways to spend quality time together that will bring you closer as a couple, then try a few of our suggestions. Building a relationship together should always be a top priority.

What to Do When You Don’t Think Your Spouse is Attractive Anymore

I’ve feel really sad when readers share that they aren’t attracted to their spouse anymore. There’s so many reasons that I think our culture is struggling with this. For, one, we don’t even think we are attractive, so how on earth are we going to think that of our spouse.

There’s another big reason I think some couples struggle with this- they are having major marriage issues. When you are fighting with your spouse or at odds with one another, it will dampen your overall view of them.

I’ve feel really sad when readers share that they aren’t attracted to their spouse anymore. There’s so many reasons that I think our culture is struggling with this. For, one, we don’t even think we are attractive, so how on earth are we going to think that of our spouse.

If you are feeling that attraction fading, here’s what you can do:

Make Your Spouse Your Standard of Beauty

We are bombarded with images of both genders and told that we are to find those images attractive. Nevermind that there are few pictures out there that haven’t been photoshopped to death.

Spend more time staring at your spouse and eliminate those outside influences. If you look at porn, I encourage you to stop for many reasons, the least of which is that it makes your spouse less attractive.

Focus on Mutually Satisfying Sex

When you orgasm, love hormones spread throughout your body. You will feel more connected and bonded to your lover when you have satisfying sex with them.

Not only will you feel more bonded, remember Pavlov’s bell? You can train your brain to have that same response to your spouse. Looking at and thinking about your lover while you orgasm will train your brain to feel excited by the way they look.

Fix The Issues in Your Relationship

Attraction is so much more than just physical traits. Sure, there is lustful attraction, but lasting attraction is built on a relationship. Both of you are going to look different as time goes on. Spend time focusing on building a deep and intimate relationship with your lover.

Spend time developing your friendship and general like for one another. Just because you love them, doesn’t mean you want to spend a lot of time together. That’s something that needs to be reconciled in your relationship.

Find a Shared Cause

When you volunteer with your spouse, you will see a side of them that you do not often get to see. Selfless giving is a very attractive quality in any person. Doing this type of thing together will help you feel bonded to your spouse. Shared experiences go a long way when it comes to building a lasting relationship.

Remind Yourself You Were Once Attracted to Them

Sometimes you have to be reminded of the feelings you once had of your spouse. Sit back and think about how you used to view them. Remember how they made your heart sputter and why you fell in love with them to begin with.

Now, Look at their picture and think the words, “They are so hot”. Real change starts in the mind.

There is no way for you to change the way your spouse looks. If there is any physical change that takes place, it will be at their doing. You have to change your mind about the way you look at their body.

Why Am I The ONLY One That Doesn’t Think Stitch Fix is Expensive?

Ok, I’m about to get real here on a review of Stitch Fix. Because, seriously, I’ve read review after another that all say the same thing “Stitch Fix is expensive”. I disagree people. Seriously disagree…and I shop at the thrift store.

stitch fix is expensive

How Much The Clothes In My Box Costed

Here’s the real figures of how much my last fix costed.

stitch fix review

 

honest stitch fix review

stitch fix review

Stitch fix unboxing

Stitch Fix

As you can see, the highest priced thing in the box was $56 and it was for a pair of jeans. The only reason why those were as high as they were, is because I told the company I’d willingly pay more for jeans then the rest of the categories.

You’re Not Just Paying For The Service

Again, with the prices! Everyone tries to justify the prices of the clothes by saying, “well, you are paying for a service”. To be honest, I don’t know how they are making money…or maybe I should say, “we’re all getting scammed at retail shops”.

When is the last time you walked into a decent department store and saw a shirt that was less than $30? I’m not talking about the cheapo stuff at Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe (which I love these cheapo shops, btw.) I’m really talking about JCPenney’s, Macy’s, The Express, etc. These higher end stores sell all of the clothes on their racks for at minimum $30 for a shirt.

So…if Stitch Fix can pay the stylist to pick out clothes for me, and then ship it to me for $20…yet, apply that $20 to my purchase…what is the department stores doing charging the same amount or more? Oh, did I mention that it is free to return the clothes that you don’t want?

Why Investing in Clothes Is Worth It

I’ve been a thrift store shopper since I was a teenager. But, I’ve bought my fair share of higher quality clothing. Here’s what I know to be true, when you buy brand new clothes that cost a little more, they will last.

Just the other day, I finally gave away a shirt that my mom bought for me when I was 14. She bought it from this store called Gantos (which is probably out of business now). I suspect she paid at least $30 for 20+ years ago. And you know why I got rid of it? The same reason I have gotten rid of every single other piece of high quality clothing she bought me…because it didn’t fit anymore.

Thrift Store Clothes Don’t Last

I don’t know what your experience is with thrift store clothing, but mine is, it doesn’t last. I’ve worn holes in everything that I get from the thrift store in about a year. Honestly, I think it’s because moths get into the clothes at the stores and weaken the material.

I’m not going to stop buy stuff at the thrift store, but I do want to start investing a little bit of money in higher quality clothes. The clothes at the thrift store were probably higher quality at some point, but not by the time they get to me.

How to Get The Cheaper Prices in Your Stitch Fix Box

There’s a key way you can get lower priced clothes in your stitch fix box. You have to tell them how much you are willing to pay for the clothes. They’ll ask you what your price range is for every category of clothes.

Now…let’s be real, you aren’t getting a piece of clothing in your box that’s $15. It’s not Walmart people. If you want Walmart prices, then you’re gonna get Walmart quality.

Stitch Fix Has High Quality Clothes That Are Well Made

I grew up with a seamstress for a mom. My mom handmade all of my dresses and many of my clothes when growing up. She also made my prom dress, wedding dress, and countless other formal gowns for others. She knows all about fabric, fit, stitching, and everything to do with well made clothes.

My mom taught me how to look for things that are well made. She showed me what kind of hemlines on clothes to look for. To turn a garment inside out and see how it is stitched together. She taught me to look at tags on the clothes and see what they are made from. I know what high quality fabrics are.

I’ve inspected everything that has come from Stitch Fix for quality, and these lower priced items are well made. I imagine if I was willing to pay more money for each category, then I’d likely get even higher quality products.

Check out the live where I show you what I received in my box.

Here’s Where You Sign Up To Try It

I’m not being paid by the company to say this. I actually signed up for the service, because they were giving away free styling fees. And, I’m paying for the clothes they recently sent me with my own money.

So, I don’t want you to think that I’m giving a bias review. I do want you to know that they have a referral program and I’m going to leave my referral link below. It doesn’t change your costs, but it does give me a $25 credit if you sign up for an account and order a fix.

You are also able to get credits to the company if you share your referral link with your friends. And… I suggest you do if you like the service. I’m the last person on the planet that you’d expect to say something isn’t too expensive. I’ve been told that I squeak when I walk because I’m so tight. However, my mom and dad sunk money into our clothes because they wanted them to last.

I’m at that point now that I want to stop paying $5 for clothes I only get to wear for a year before I have to trash them because of holes. I think Stitch Fix is a good way for me to add a few higher quality pieces to my wardrobe.

Expired: How to Get My Entire Bedroom Game Library and Printables Free Today Only

A few months ago, Austin and I put together our entire bedroom game library with all of the printables we sell on the website. Generally, we sell it for $40, but we offer it at $27 for those that sign up to be a community member.

Well, today, I want to tell you how to get it for free. Yesterday, I shared with you that Austin and I put our Valentine’s Jumpstart pack in a bundle sale with the Dating Divas. That bundle is only available until midnight tonight and it’s $18. If you buy that bundle sale that has our Valentine’s pack + the 27 other resources, I’ll send you a link where you can get our entire library.

If you have already purchased the bundle, which I know some of you have, please send me an email so I can send you the link. If you haven’t bought it yet, go ahead and do that before midnight tongith and send me an email to keelie@lovehopeadventure.com.

You can go ahead and buy the bundle here-

If you want to see my virtual unboxing before you buy, you can check it out here-

Virtual Unboxing of Spring Bundle

 

Other things on my mind this week-

How we used Facebook marketplace for our moving sale

Distracting Things That Happen During Intimacy

* I use affiliate links