6 Ways to Keep Your Relationship and Finances on Track 87

6 Ways to Keep Your Relationship and Finances on Track

This is a guest post by Tim Hedges from Personalincome.org where you can learn about making smart money and retirement decisions.

Do you find yourself continually arguing with your partner over your shared financial situation? Well, you’re certainly not alone.

According to surveys by SunTrust and Ally Bank tensions over money are a leading cause of relationship stress. Particularly problematic when partners have differing approaches to spending.

Here’s what you can do about it:

1. Be Honest with Your Partner

Do birds of a feather really flock together?

According to an Ally Bank survey, 75% of respondents indicated that they felt it was important to find a partner who had a similar approach to money matters and budgeting.

However, research shows that not everyone is an accurate judge of their spending habits, which makes communication in a relationship particularly vital.

The first step towards a happy relationship and a healthy bank account is being realistic about your own spending and saving habits and having a partner who feels comfortable holding up a mirror for you.

After all, you can’t fix a problem until you understand what it is.

2. Savers are Sexy and Planners Make for Good Partners

With over 55% of respondents believing that a budgeting and saving strategy is the most appealing money-related quality when considering a relationship, it is no surprise that having a good financial plan is key to avoiding fights and minimizing dissatisfaction.

Outlining with your partner how you think your money should be spent is a great way to lay the groundwork for a successful partnership.

The infographic below clearly depicts the survey findings on which these simple strategies are based. Take a look, do any of these issues ring true in your relationship?

3. Discuss Expectations

With every good plan, comes a discussion of expectations. You and your partner will need to discuss how you feel about the financial plan you’ve created.

Is it simply a set of guidelines to help keep you focused or is it a structured outline to which you’ll both adhere?

Having a clear understanding of each other’s expectations will allow you to discuss any issues that might arise beforehand as well as avoid any surprise disappointments down the road.

Related: Stop Expecting (and Trying to Change People) and Start Accepting

4. Don’t Keep Secrets

A whopping 35% of people surveyed by SunTrust said that they don’t consult their partner about large purchases with one in five people saying that they’ve spent $500+ without telling their partner.

The problem with secrets is that they always seem to find their way to the light and then all of a sudden you’re dealing with two problems instead of just the one you started with.

All successful relationships have one thing in common: trust. And you can’t have trust when you’re keeping secrets.

Related: 8 Things to Stop Doing in Your Relationship

5. Be Open to Compromise

That said, we’ve all made a rash decision or a mistake (we’re only human). So if you find yourself having overstepped your financial bounds, or if your partner comes to you with a confession about a misguided expenditure, remember that relationships are long and this is a give and take.

No problem is too big to fix as a team. Small failures handled right can only lead to further growth.

Additionally, if either partner takes issue with having to always adhere to a budget or becomes dissatisfied with regularly checking in, it can be a good idea to allow for a certain amount of discretionary money for each partner (monthly or yearly).

This way, everyone feels like they have the freedom and control of an autonomous adult while staying within the bounds of their financial and romantic life.

6. Review and Renegotiate

Finally, like every good plan for success, there will always be hiccups and issues.

Perhaps the most important part of your financial plan will be the ability to come back together with your partner to review your progress and renegotiate where needed.

Check out the pretty eye opening findings in the following infographic from Personal Income:

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What about you? How do you handle money issues in a relationship?

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How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted 4

How to Stay Focused When Studying: 5 Tips to Keep You From Getting Distracted

All people have been interested in studying at one moment in their lives. There are different goals set for diverse learners and each of them requires serious learning at one point in time.

Successful learners are those with full concentration during their studies as this helps them in remembering what was learned and apply it in the undertaken tests. However, irrespective of the reasons as to why people study, most of the times one would have his mind invaded by different thoughts distracting his concentration.

It is also possible to have one diverted by noises and stories made by one’s roommates, children, and neighbors among others.

With these intrusions, an individual would lose focus and this is what is required to be successful in what one was reading. It is therefore important to identify possible issues that can lead to distraction in order to come up with the most appropriate ways of remaining focused. Here are some tips:

1. Pick the right time and place when reading.

This helps in getting rid of the clear distractions.

For instance, a person would not easily focus if he chooses to study in the presence of friends who are engaged in other activities. Similarly, one would not read well if with music, television, phone, or computer on.

Once the phone vibrates or rings, an individual would be tempted to answer and this would divert his attention.

In understanding how to stay focused, it is recommended that a reader has conducive environment bearing in mind that different learners would stay alert at different circumstances.

This is an indication that no single environment fits all types of students. The right time would also involve studying at the moment when a learner feels comfortable with the schedule such as in the evening or very early in the morning.

The place chosen should not be the classroom or bedroom. But rather a quiet and nice place with a relaxed sitting position such as the library or the office.

2. Take frequent breaks.

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In addition, tips for students indicate that instead of succumbing to distraction, a pupil has to take short breaks.

When engaged in 45-minutes of learning, the student should take breaks of between ten and twenty minutes. Taking longer of breaks of over 20 minutes are dangerous for they might lead to forgetting what one was initially studying.

By planning breaks with an alarm, you not miss them or accidentally take longer ones.

Breaks are considered very crucial because they help the brain to recharge after processing the earlier acquired information. Breaks involving walking around should also be taken as an opportunity to improve recalling memory and test scores.

Breaking in between reading is, therefore, a good way of ensuring that a reader does not overburden his brain/mind with information that would not be processed. Taking pauses in between the reading session refreshes the brain and makes it possible to read for long and wide volumes.

3. Staying focused while reading is also linked with staying motivated.

As stated on EssayZoo, there are different forms of distractions for varied learners and this can be addressed by understanding the reason behind one’s studying.

This is done by taking a test or exam as something meant to challenge the reader’s learning. Since a person’s learning would eventually be rated, the process should start by setting a goal.

Even though the set goal should not be unrealistic, it should be challenging so that the learner can perform better than he has been found in the past tests or maybe better than people expect.

Once an individual is able to surprise others based on their expectations, he would feel motivated to continue studying.

Additionally, learning should be motivated with a reward, which acts as a form of self-control by ensuring that a student is compensated for hard work, studying well, being prepared, and performing well in an exam.

Encouragement should also be done by understanding what learning is important, which is different for diverse readers but all meant to enhance attentiveness to achieve personal goals.

4. Getting enough sleep during studying is a vital way of improving concentration.

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Even though many of the times pupils learn under pressure especially when exams are near, this does not mean an individual should read without sleep.

Just like taking breaks during a day of reading, sufficient sleep refreshes the brain and makes it ready to be fed with and process acquired information.

Learning is successful if one can remember and apply the learned information during a test. This is possible if a person is able to actively concentrate during the planned hours of studying.

According to tips for students, studying for long hours without break or sleep is on strenuous and does not bear the expected results.

Dedicating at least 6-8 hours of sleep ensures that a person wakes up fresh, alert, ready, and relaxed for the day’s scheduled learning activities.

Once ready to learn, a student would be organized and in an ordered place with only the reading materials a person requires, aware of the number of hours to spend on a topic, and the number of breaks he will take including their times.

5. Stay calm to concentrate.

Lastly, remaining focused when learning can be done by practicing concentration.

Once a student has everything he needs on the table, he should not postpone the learning exercise. It is advisable that a pupil is aware of the most crucial information to study first before proceeding to the rest. This is to ensure that one is guided by key concepts that would make the learning enjoyable and encouraging.

Also, practice concentration by not panicking, minimize computer and phone use, don’t listen to music unless it aids in studying, and remaining on topic.

It is notable that by panicking, one would make mistakes.

So make sure you remain calm, take deep breaths, and convince yourself that you read, understand, and pass the exams.

Further, a student should turn the computer, Internet, and the cell phone off to ensure maximum concentration. This is to avoid responding to text messages or searching via the Internet things that are not related to the topic of study.

It is arguable that listening to music when learning acts as a distraction because the learner is provided with additional information to process thus interfering with the real intention of the learning process.

In order to stay on-topic, you shouldn’t explore different subjects at the same time more so when studying boring, complex, and unexciting topics.

Studying would thus be effective if a person remains focused in order to achieve the set goals. Nobody enrolls for a course or learning institution without a goal. This would be achieved if concentration is always at its maximum.

While there are major ways of enhancing attentiveness, the discussed ones in this essay are picking the right time and place, instead of succumbing to distraction, taking short breaks, staying motivated, getting enough sleep, and practicing concentration.

The aim is to ensure that a learner understands the importance of learning and is committed to achieving his intentions.