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Forget your salary. These days, to gauge true career success, we’re more likely to define our worth by how well we’ve created a work-life balance. Having a full personal life outside of work is likely to top money, recognition and autonomy as the most desired success metrics, according to several surveys, including one from Accenture. While achieving a good work-life balance might seem doable once you’ve established yourself at a company, how do you set these boundaries when you’ve just started a new job?
Marriage used to be merely an economic exchange. A bride was “given away” by her family along with some sort of dowry. Or a groom’s family would “buy” a bride from her folks with the hopes that she’d produce children and take on common housewifery tasks. If a deep and loving connection ensued, well, that was just a bonus.
Thankfully, marriage has evolved to be a consensual union of two individuals who are firstly in love. But to pretend that marriage no longer has economic implications is a falsehood. There are several financial pros and cons compared to living the single life or as romantic roommates. Consider the following.
That mess on your desk, in your shelves and on the living room table? It’s more than unsightly—it can be expensive!
“I once found a check for over $9,000 in a client’s home,” says Arlington, Virginia-based certified professional organizer C. Lee Cawley, “It was the third one issued her — she had lost it two other times — and it was less than two weeks from expiring.”
Whether it’s through marriage or cohabitation, there comes a point in most serious relationships when we start talking bank accounts and savings accounts, investment strategies and retirement plans. And the big question: Should we split our bills 50-50?
Here’s the thing: Life is complicated, and money is messy. You make more than they do. They have more debt than you do. You have student loans to pay; they have child support payments to keep up with. You’re joining lives, but combining assets might be the most complicated part of that exercise. Because while your relationship might be a 50-50 commitment, your money most likely is not. But by maintaining honest, open communication about your expenses and income, creating a plan that works for both of you despite your money baggage and being fixed on a shared goal, you can avoid the No. 1 reason relationships fail in the first place: fights about money.
In a study by Kansas State University, researchers found that arguing about money is “by far” the top predictor of whether a couple will get divorced. Those arguments tend to take longer to recover from and are more intense, researchers said. They also often last much longer than fights over the kids, sex or in-laws. So, whether you’re just moving to the financial part of your relationship or you’ve been charting the waters for a while, here’s how you can ensure fairness and avoid financial surprises.
Cleaning out clutter can seem like be a tough task, but it doesn’t have to be!
Instead of setting aside a huge block of time to take care of months' or years' worth of clutter, take baby steps by throwing away only one type of item per day. And by throwing away, we mean recycling, selling, donating, or — as the last resort — trashing.
This list of 25 types of items will take you about a month to dispose of, if you grab one thing per day. Gather them up, and toss them out. You’ll feel better when this clutter is cleared. And overachievers, feel free to do more than one per day.
Scraps of wrapping paper
Cards people have given you with no sentimental value
If you haven’t already opted to go paperless, you might be swimming in a flood of receipts, bills, pay stubs, tax forms and other financial documents. But it doesn’t have to be that way (you can go paperless!). Some of those papers you have collected need to be kept, but others can be shredded and tossed.
Here’s a guide of which financial documents to keep and for how long.
Receipts for anything you might itemize on your tax return should be kept for three years with your tax records.
Home improvement records
Hold these for at least three years after the due date of the tax return that includes the income or loss on the home when it’s sold. If you plan to sell the house, and you have made improvements to it, keep receipts for those improvements for seven years — you may need them to lower the taxable gain on the house when you sell it.
Keep receipts for medical expenses for one year, as your insurance company may request proof of a doctor visit or other verification of medical claims. If your medical expenses total more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income for 2017 or 2018, you can deduct them. If you plan to take that deduction, you’ll need to keep the medical records for three years for tax records.
Keep pay check stubs until the end of the year, and discard them after comparing to your W-2 and annual Social Security statements.
Keep for one year and then discard — unless you’re claiming a home office tax deduction, in which case you must keep them for three years.
Credit card statements
Keep until you’ve confirmed the charges and have proof of payment. If you need them for tax deductions, keep for three years.
Investment and real estate records
Keep for three years, as you may need the documentation for the capital gains tax if you’re audited by the IRS. These records help track your cost basis and the taxes you owe when you sell stocks or properties. Once you receive the annual summaries, you can shred your monthly statements.
You’ll need bank statements for up to three years if you are audited by the IRS. If your bank provides online statements, you can switch to receiving your bank documents online and cut down on paper.
The IRS recommends that you “keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.” If you file a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction, keep your tax records for seven years.
Records of loans that have been paid off
Keep for seven years.
Active contracts, insurance documents, property records or stock certificates
Keep all these items while they’re active. After contracts are completed or insurance policies expire, you can discard these documents.
Marriage license, birth certificates, wills, adoption papers, death certificates or records of paid mortgages
Keep these documents forever.
Co-managing money with your significant other can be one of the most stressful parts of a relationship. You may want to take a budget-friendly vacation while your partner wants to splurge. Or maybe you want to go out for dinner, but your partner wants to live on rice and beans so you can pay off some debt. Let’s face it: Disagreeing on these types of issues can lead to a lot of unrest.
In fact, not being able to see eye-to-eye on money management can cause more than the occasional riff with your partner. It can lead to resentment, lying about spending and even personal attacks — all of which do nothing for your budget or your relationship.
It should probably come as no surprise that fighting about money is the top predictor of a doomed relationship. Studies have found that the frequency and intensity of money fights are directly correlated with higher divorce rates, so getting on the same page about your finances is critical for a happy, healthy relationship.
Luckily, technology can help the two of you manage your finances in harmony. Here are some of the best apps to improve financial responsibility so that you decrease the fights — and maybe even increase the romance, too.
Do you ever open your least favorite client’s email, read it while filling up with rage, close the email and then stew about it the rest of the day (without ever responding)? Do you wonder if you’re being too direct? Or not direct enough?
You didn’t get this job so you could live in email purgatory. What you need are some professional business email templates for getting sales and referrals, asking for freebies, and dealing with unprofessional communications. While your personal style will vary, it’s nice to have examples to build on.
Here are six email templates to tackle problems like a boss.
Before you shake your head and say that dreams have no impact on your waking life, consider this: Scientists have found that they can actually affect our daytime behavior.
In research published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, a team of U.S. and British researchers found a link between particular events in dreams and later real-world interactions with our significant others. Other past studies have also found that dreams can influence our actions and emotional state the next day. Certainly the father of all psychoanalysis would agree. “Dreams are the royal road to the unconscious,” Sigmund Freud said famously in the 19th century.
So what does it mean if you’re dreaming about money? In dreams, money can reflect everything from perceived power and energy to resourcefulness and even self-esteem, says Kelly Sullivan Walden, author of “It’s All In Your Dreams.” We asked her and two other dream experts to analyze the five most common money-related dreams. Keep reading to see what these money dreams mean.