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Ashley Bales

Ashley Bales

When you are single, you alone are in charge of your financial destiny.

At the point in time you fall in love and choose to add another person to the mix, your financial destiny soon becomes “our” financial destiny and money management methods you were using before may no longer be suitable for the new situation. In many instances, combining finances with a significant other is a major stressor – mostly due to misunderstandings or lack of communication about what is expected from each partner upon entering the relationship.

If you find yourself head-over-heels for a new lover, do not be blindsided financially by your adoration. When it is time to move the relationship forward, do not be afraid to ask questions about your partner’s money habits. However, keep lines of communication open and expect the same questions in return. Sit down with your companion and inquire about how they learned about money, how they currently manage their income and expenses, and if they know much about their credit history. Regardless of their answers, you will both have more peace and less anxiety about where to start – whether that is paying off past-due debts together or purchasing a vacation home with cash.

University of Missouri Extension in Madison County is offering a free program for dating, engaged or newly married couples that are interested in learning more about how to get started on the right foot financially. This program, called “Dollars and Sense Date Night,” will be taught by Family Financial Education Specialist, Ashley Bales, and will include a discussion on the differences between the male and female brain and how it affects spending habits. During the Feb. 15 workshop, participants will work on a spending plan together, create a meal plan with Nutrition Specialist, Bethany Bachmann, and they will receive a free dinner sponsored by Ozarks Federal Savings & Loan. It starts at 5:30 p.m. and you can register by calling 573-783-3303 by Feb. 8.

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Ashley Bales is a Family Financial Education Specialist headquartered in Madison County. Her office is located at 137 West Main St., Fredericktown, Missouri. Contact Ashley at 573-783-3303 with questions or comments. MU is an equal opportunity/ADA institution. University of Missouri Extension does not discriminate on the basis of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability in employment or in any program or activity.

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