My fiancé and I just started your class, but we’re having trouble getting our beginner emergency fund together. We both work full-time, and I make $59,000 a year while he has worked in retail for several years and makes $22,000 to $25,000. I’m trying to manage a couple of side jobs, but we just can’t seem to get our budget to work in a way that will allow us to save anything. Can you help us?
First of all, your finances should remain separate until you’re married. There’s shouldn’t be a “we” in terms of money at this point. You can always run a single budget that you both look at and prepare for after you’re married, but right now he shouldn’t be paying your bills and you shouldn’t be paying his bills.
The biggest problem I see is that he’s making no money. He needs to get a better job. He can’t pay his bills, and in the process, he’s sucking you dry. I’m sure your fiancé is a good, hard-working man, but he needs to make a serious career shift soon—like now.
In the meantime, this guy needs to take on a part-time job or two until he gets that career shifted. It’s not really a budgeting problem you’re looking at. It’s an income issue.
Advice on advisers
We’re wondering whether we should diversify our investments by hiring multiple advisers with different companies, so we won’t have all our eggs in one basket. Your thoughts would be appreciated.
I would get one adviser, and I wouldn’t invest all my mutual funds in one fund. Virtually all mutual fund advisers can sell pretty much any mutual fund, and you can buy an array of different mutual funds from different companies through one adviser. That gives you diversification.
There’s really no advantage in having multiple advisers, unless you don’t trust someone’s advice. And if you don’t trust someone’s advice, why are you working with them in the first place?
I personally have one financial adviser, and I trust that person. Still, I ask lots of questions and make sure I understand everything that’s going on with my money and the investment before making a decision. Why are you recommending this? What is it about them you like? Show me the fund and how it compares to the S&P and other funds in the same category. If you approach it this way, and again, you have one adviser, it’s a learning process and you become a more educated investor. Plus, after a while you can create your own diversification.
Never put money into something you don’t fully understand.
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