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Oaktree Financial Advisors Blog

8 Money Rules for Newlyweds

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We're coming into wedding season and if you're tying the knot this summer here are 8 money rules to get you started off on the right foot as you begin your new life together.

  1. Pool the money – You're married now. The money is "ours" not "mine". You're on the same team and teammates work together. The money belongs to both of you. If you go into it with this mindset you should do well.
  2. Use a joint account – Do not have separate accounts. Have your paychecks deposited to your joint account and pay your bills and do your spending from this account. The money you earn is for the household, not just for you.
  3. Create a budget – Spend your money on paper first so you know where it is going. If you make a budget that you both agree on this can minimize arguments over money.
  4. Communicate a lot – Talk about your budget. Talk about the money and where it's being spent and what your plans are with your money. Discuss your short term goals like next year's vacation and your long term goals like retirement. The more you keep the lines of communication open, the less likely you are to fight about money.
  5. Compare benefits at work – You both came into the marriage with benefits your employer provides like life insurance, health insurance, 401(k) and more. Make the most of those benefits as a couple. Compare what each of you has and see how it's best to use the benefits. For example, one spouse's employer may have much better health insurance than the other's or maybe one 401(k) has much better investment options or a better match than the other.
  6. Plan for the unexpected – Have an emergency fund so that if you have an expensive car repair or the furnace needs replaced or one person loses their job you have money to cover it.
  7. Pay yourself first – Get into this habit early on. Save money in your retirement plan at work for retirement and in your savings account for your emergency fund and other short term goals before you pay your bills and spend your money. If you try to save what's left after paying bills you won't save enough.
  8. Realize the difference between wants and needs – You don't "need" brand new furniture to set up your newly formed household. You want it. But you do need to save for an emergency fund and pay off any credit card or student loan debts you have.

Do these things from the beginning of your marriage and you'll establish good money habits and a strong financial foundation for your family.

LD053551-05/15

How the Indy 500 is Like Your Investments

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The stock market has experienced a nice rise upward since its March 2009 lows.  So far this year, through April 30th, the S&P 500 has returned 1.92%.  Real estate as an asset class has been down with the DJ US Select REIT TR index posting a return of -1.35%.  International (MSCI EAFE NR USD) is the top performing asset class though the end of April with a 9.16% return.  (Souce: Morningstar as of 4-30-2015)

Many successful long-term investors don't get too excited when things are going well, and they don't despair when things are going poorly. Instead, they stick to long-term plans that are built around their financial goals and their tolerance for risk.  We believe that the best way to reach those long term goals is to remain disciplined and patient – whether you are experiencing joy over the markets recent good returns or grief from periods when things aren't so great.

How Long Do I Need to Keep My Tax Documents?

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With tax season now behind us it's a good time to take a look at all the paperwork you may have accumulated and aren't really sure what to do with. How long should you keep all those documents?

For tax purposes the IRS indicates the length of time you should keep a document depends on the action, expense, or event which the document records. Generally, you must keep your records that support an item of income, deduction or credit shown on your tax return until the period of limitations for that tax return runs out.

5 Places for Lunch for $5

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We all have to eat lunch and while I don't recommend eating your lunch out every day as it can be costly to your health as well as your wallet, there are those times where you need to grab something to eat out and don't want to spend a lot of money. Here's my list of 5 places you can get lunch for around $5 in the Indianapolis metro area.

  1. Bazbeaux Pizza (www.bazbeaux.com) - Bazbeaux offers a lunch special Monday through Friday from 11am to 1pm that includes a slice of pizza for $2.75 and a $1.50 soft drink. You're out the door for under $5! If you work at Eli Lilly downtown, Bazbeaux Mass Ave location is a great spot for a spring or summer time lunch.
  2. Zaxby's (www.zaxbys.com) - Zaxby's is a franchised chain of fast casual restaurants offering chicken wings, chicken fingers, sandwiches, and salads. They offer the Zax Pak Boxed Lunch in three varieties – chicken finger sandwich, chicken fingerz (yes, that's how they spell it), grilled chicken sandwich or five boneless wings. Each comes with a bag of chips, coleslaw and a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie for $5.99. They have a Fishers location and a location near 86th and Michigan Road.
  3. Scotty's Brewhouse (www.scottysbrewhouse.com) - This is one of my favorite places for lunch or a casual dinner. Scotty's has a carry-out special they call the Brown Bag for $5.99 that includes a quarter-pound cheeseburger and shoestring fries. Scotty's has several locations around the Indianapolis area with one downtown for the convenience of all you Lilly employees that work downtown.
  4. Dairy Queen (www.dairyqueen.com) - With their $5 Buck Lunch you can choose a crispy chicken wrap, 3-piece chicken strips or the bacon cheeseburger lunch. Each includes fries, drink and a sundae for dessert for $5. Disclosure from Dairy Queen: menu items may vary by location.
  5. Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza (www.jockamopizza.com) - A $5 Combination here gets you a choice of a pizza slice, salad and drink or salad, bread sticks and drink or soup, salad and drink. I don't know how you could go to Jockamo and not get a slice! Jockamo has locations in Irvington and Greenwood.

Whether you work downtown or in the suburbs, no matter where you are around the Indianapolis metro area for lunch, you should be able to find one of these great places to get a bite to eat while keeping your budget in mind.

Written by: Ed Snyder

5 Signs That You May Be Living Beyond Your Means And One Way to Fix it

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Many of you will remember comedian Jeff Foxworthy and his famous, "You Might Be a Redneck If...." bits. Here are a couple for old time's sake:

"If you own a home with wheels on it and several cars without, you just might be a redneck."

"If you have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say Kool Whip on the side, you might be a redneck."