What Makes A Good Marriage A Happy Marriage?

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Find Out What Makes A Happy Marriage…It’s Not Fun Dates

I’ve been married to my husband almost 7 years. We dated for additional 5 years before that. It’s hard to say what makes a good marriage a happy marriage since each relationship is different. Marriage is more than a string of fun dates or something that happens at the end of the perceived dating stages or when a relationship progresses to what you feel is the perfect spot. Marriage is it’s own journey.

The truth is that our marriage has had its ups and downs, it’s challenges. Some challenges were more demanding than others. Like the time he had a gambling addiction that needed to be worked out or our unplanned pregnancy that required trust in order to get through.

So what makes a marriage long lasting?

Here Are Some Qualities You Need For A Happy Marriage:

Trust

Could you do a trust fall with your partner? You know, the one where you put your hands out and just free fall back into the arms of your partner, sure that they can catch you?

That’s the kind of trust you need in a marriage. The bad times are bad. They feel like they’ll last forever and I can see how it’s easy for some people to break and want out. But these tests will only strengthen your marriage so it can enjoy and handle more down the line.

If you asked a lot of couples whether they could trust their partners to have complete control over their finances or even their health and well-being, a lot of them would say no. But trust is the cornerstone of a good marriage, you can’t have one without it.

Positive Perspective

I remember when my husband and I used to date as boyfriend/girlfriend. I wanted the whole boyfriend experience with a guy who would wine and dine me. I wanted to keep up with the Joneses and have the perfect boyfriend so I can show off to my friends. And for a while I did. Yeah, we had fun dates and felt our relationship progressing past the early dating stages but that was it. We were only a couple. There were still things we were scared to talk about or share with each other. Once you’re married, nothing is really private. Everything is shared from money, feelings, space and love. And once you have children, the dates you once had as a young couple become more difficult to keep up with.

The key to what makes a good marriage is to take what you have in your relationship and see it as good and worthwhile. Even when we had nothing, things were good. Because I chose to see it that way. I always knew those hard times wouldn’t last and they didn’t. Keeping a positive perspective on your relationship is so important because that’s what’s going to keep the marriage going through the inevitable tough times.

Forgiveness

A marriage without forgiveness isn’t a marriage. It’s a one-sided ego trip.
The reality is that someone is eventually going to slip up in the relationship, whether it’s money, infidelity, neglect, substance abuse or any other bad behavior. But if your husband or wife is truly remorseful and sorry for their behavior, could you forgive?

Some people can’t and that’s why we see so much divorce. It’s better to be alone and have your “dignity” aka ego, than to forgive the past and work on the future. In my opinion, good marriages required forgiveness and compassion in situations that would have been hard otherwise.

Acceptance

They say you can never really know someone but I believe that the person you marry is the person who knows you best. Better than your own parents. Couples that are happily married accept each other. They accept each other’s flaws and weaknesses, their strengths and sorrows. Everything.

And that’s one of the most important things to have in a relationship because without true acceptance there will always be communication issues.

Couples who have communication issues always have different expectations for each other. There’s always a “he said, she said” element to their disagreements. They just can’t get on the same page.

One of the key things you need to do in order to truly understand your partner is to look at them for who they are, not who you wish they can be.

Going back to what I said earlier about wanting the “perfect boyfriend” to wine and dine me, once I dropped that expectation I was able to love my husband for who he was.

Common Goals

I’ve seen couples have different goals in their lives, that’s the biggest marriage killer- not being on the same page.

No matter what life brings you, happily married couples are able to work together to accomplish shared goals and set new goals along the way. Couples who aren’t able to do this will just break up as soon as the first hurdle comes because they don’t know how to work together.

A good example is the discussion of children. If one person doesn’t want a child and the other does, that relationship is pretty doomed from the start for failure. That’s a HUGE dealbreaker. The goals are misaligned and can’t be reconciled.

So being on the same page and sharing common goals is super important for a happy marriage.

Love
Me and my husband went on so many fun dates and our relationship progressed as we went through the typical dating stages. It eventually grew to love.

But sometimes, somewhere along the way love starts to fade…with one or both partners starting to take the other for granted. It’s important to continue to have those fun dates and special moments to keep the love alive. I know it’s harder said than done especially after kids enter the picture but it’s SO important. For me and my husband, his joking and my laughter are what keeps us happy in love.

However, people fall out of love as easily as they fall into love but what I’ve learned is that love is a CHOICE. And one we can only make for ourselves.

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I’ll tell you, married life isn’t always easy. Marriage doesn’t begin until after the wedding and all these qualities are important to master. A good marriage and a happy marriage isn’t always promised.

But these qualities stand up to the test of time. I think the most important thing to understand is that a happy marriage is a choice, something we have to live with every day.

So no, marriage goes beyond a fun date, a progressing relationship or the dating stages.

A good marriage is for life.

Check Out My Other Posts!
Why Dating Culture Doesn’t Work Towards Marriage

What It’s Like to Marry Your Soulmate

How To Get A Guy To Commit Without Pressure And Fall In Love With You

The Inside Scoop on Swagbucks. Is It Legit?

So I recently went on a bender of downloading money making apps and seeing if they’re really worth the hassle or if they can really make you some serious money.

I don’t know why, I think I saw a commercial on TV (of all places right?) for Swagbucks and thought I would try that.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised. I made like $3 the first day! I really like that there’s an online and desktop and mobile version to use.

How It Works

So the premise is that Swagbucks is a survey, cash back/deal app. You can make money doing their surveys, buying through their web portal on websites like Macy’s and Amazon, and signing up for their deals such as Hulu or Groupon.

So far I’ve only used the app for the surveys, the offers seem really reasonable as well with $15 bonuses on certain signups.

The best feature so far has been the surveys and I’m pretty sure that’s how most users will make to most of their earnings from. When you do a survey it tells you how long the survey is and how much it will pay. When you complete a survey, you get Swagbucks. I’ve only been using the app for 4 days and have like $14 worth of Swagbucks. Woohoo. For every 100 Swagbucks, you get $1.

You know you’ll see a lot of bloggers promote the hell out of Swagbucks because there’s a referral link, and they’ll say you can make “TONNNS OF MONEY FROM JUST DOING SURVEYS!” But just to be honest, that’s not how it works at all. The most I’ve seen a survey be worth is $5 or 500 Swagbucks and usually they’re on the longer side of 20mins or more, so it is a bit of a grind.

On the other hand, I still think that Swagbucks is a great side hustle because it’s so EASY. Literally, a monkey could do these surveys. And the fact you can do them on mobile makes them super convenient. So you could be waiting in line somewhere, doing a 5 minute survey and earn $.30 or commuting on public transit and basically paying for your ride by earning $2+ on a 30-40 minute ride.

So I made $14 in 4 days or an average of $3.5 a day. It seems like pennies for the effort. But you scale that to a year, $3 a day is $1280 in a year! I mean who wouldn’t want an extra $1280 for answering questions?

Hey, don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.

I told my sister about it and she sort of scoffed at the idea of spending 5 minutes to make 20 cents. I looked at her like she was crazy. Here she was, complaining about her student loans and how long it will take to pay off her Ivy League education, and she’s turning down easy $1000 she could make when she’s not doing anything or making any money.

Outside of your 9-5, if you’re not making money, then that time is worth 0. So why my sister thought her time outside her job was worth more than a few cents just had me shaking my head. It’s a bad perspective to have.

So my strategy?

I use the mobile app to go after the shorter and easier surveys that are 15 minutes or less since the shorter surveys aren’t complicated. They’re easy and to the point and can generally earn me $.20-.50 each survey. The mobile app is super convenient and easy to use, so most of my downtime can be profitable. 🙂

If I have more down time, I’ll sign in on the desktop. There, I’ll work the more complex and valuable surveys that are worth $1.50-$3 for 30mins of my time. Because they’re longer, other people tend to shy away from it and as long as you qualify for them, it’s almost a guaranteed completed survey. Usually I’ll finish it sooner because navigating on a desktop is much easier than a phone.

Referring friends:

This is where you can really double down on the earnings because right now they’re giving a promotion of $3 for signing someone up and 10% of their earnings for LIFE! So if they earn $1000 their first year, you make $100. If you have 3 friends that earn $1000 their first year, you make $300 just because you signed them up. AND that’s on top of your own earnings! Making $1000 a year on Swagbucks is a very reasonable goal.

So besides the survey, signing up friends can be super profitable. And who wouldn’t want easy money, I’ve already signed up two people I know, that’s how easy it’s is.

Giftcards

They payout via giftcard. Pretty much everything imaginable. Home Depot, Amazon, Visa, Macy’s, tons of Restaurants and more.

They’re actually virtual giftcards through email. That’s fine by me, makes it sooo much easier.

Overall Feedback

Your missing out on some really viable side hustle money if you’re not using Swagbucks. It’s just so easy and simple to use. Does it take time? Yes. But all good things in life take time and effort, I would consider an extra couple hundred dollars a good thing.

I started following the r/Swagbucks forum on Reddit. There are people who have made $5000 on it just by being committed!
They also mentioned that it’s a good option for people with limited means for income like teens, retirees and disabled people.

So if you haven’t started yet, you should start right now!

Below is my referral link! Get an extra free bonus for signing up as well as free coaching on how to make money on Swagbucks. Just email me after signing in with my link and let the coaching begin!

[email protected]

Swagbucks Signup!

Cut Back On These 6 Things To Save Hours of Time

There are a bajillion posts out there on saving money. The more money you save, the more money you have for things you want, like retiring early or that extra vacation.

But if time is money, what about time? How can we optimize our lives so we can be saving time, and as a result money?
Take it from me, there never seems to be enough time in the day. I have a full-time job, a husband and 2 kids that need my full attention. I would love to have more time to either spend with my kids, invest in my blogging or visit family.

24 hours is just not enough.

And yet, I’ve been able to invest at least 5–10 hours a week towards my blog and 6 hours a week of tutoring towards my six year old daughter. How am I able to make the time?

The key is to cut out all the extras, the things that are being sold to you so you spend time on them.

Here Is How You Can Save Tons Of Hours Out Of Your Week:

Commuting

Commuting can be a huge time sucker. The average American spends over 100 hours a year just on their commute. What can you do in 100 hours?

I’ve always had a long commute. When you live in metro NYC area, all the jobs are in NYC so it’s impossible to avoid a commute. And living near work in prime NYC real estate is just outrageously expensive.
So right now I have a commute that’s about 15 hours a week. That’s right, I commute 3 hours a day and about 1.5 hours each way!

Cutting down my commute if I worked 20 minutes from home would save me 12+ hours a week.

Unfortunately I can’t just quit and find something more comparable in the suburbs so I make my commute efficient by writing posts while I’m on the bus to and from work. If you’re using public transit, it’s a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone by commuting and working or studying at the same time.

Commuting is a necessary evil, but you can optimize it by cutting the time down or multi-tasking during your trip on public transit.

Social Media

We all know what a waste social media is. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. All the big tech companies are making you spend, not your money, but your time. They want to sell you content to consume.
Most people can look at their Screentime App and see that they’re spending hours a day just checking their Facebook or Instagram. Some are spending hours arguing with strangers on Twitter. And others are spending time watching puppies and babies on YouTube.

We’re talking about people out there spending 20+ hours on social media a week. Scrolling and swiping and liking, all damned day long.

And I guess it’s not my place to tell people how to spend their time, but wouldn’t you be able to do sooo much more without all that mindless chatter on your phone?

The only people who should be committing 10+ hours a week on social media are people building a brand and/or business from it.

By cutting back on the social media access, most people can easily save 10 hours a week.

Online Games

This kind of ties into social media but online games are a huge time sucker-for no reason. Games like Fortnite, Candy Crush, The Sims, Words With Friends, etc.

My favorite is Candy Crush, I’m on level 825. As you can see, I’ve spent TOO many hours on this.

What have I gained from making sure all the jellies and candies matched? Nothing.

It’s a huge, huge, huge time sucker and, again, these gaming companies are giving you free games in exchange for adspace and $1.99 power ups.

The only games I want to move up in life are the money games and power moves. Cut the games, and you’ll get your life back.

Emails

This one is stealthy. Everyone and their mother has an email. And we spend too much time checking, giving out, organizing and even writing emails.

This is a huge issue at work. I get literally 100 emails a day from various people asking about this and that.
I was able to organize my emails tab so that all the spam went directly in the trash. I don’t have to spend any time looking at them. I’ve also set up my email so there are rules; certain emails will go into certain folders, so it’s easier to follow up.

Making a simple phone call can easily save you time spent on a bunch of back and forth emails. Calling is so much clearer for sorting out details since the back and forth of the conversation happens instantaneously. Emailing complex details can take hours as you wait for the other person to get back to you, reading their response and writing back.

Learning how to use email effectively will cut back on the work you have.

Household Tasks

If only there was more time in the day, but chores are a majority of what adulthood consists of, unfortunately. Even with the high tech Roombas, washing machines and dishwashers, chores take up a lot of time.

Thankfully, there are services you can pay for to help save some time. Things like laundering, dry cleaning, housekeeping services, and gardeners can really make your life so much easier.
I know what your thinking, I don’t have money for that!

You can just choose one thing that you hate doing for chores and outsource it! Whether it’s to clean the bathrooms in the house or to have the gardeners mow two times a month or give 10 lbs. of laundry to the cleaners, you can definitely keep your spending under $50 and save an hour a week.

TV

The OG of time wasters. As I’m writing this I’m watching “America’s Got Talent” and as great as that show is, it’s still a waste of time since I haven’t been able to post this.

According to Wikipedia, the average person spends nearly 4 hours watching TV a day!

That’s too much time. That’s literally the time when you come home from work to the time you go to bed, you’re glued to the TV. You can literally spend that time playing with your kids or starting a business.

4 hours a day is equivalent to 28 hours a week, 120 hours in a month or 1460 hours a year!

That’s just crazy!

And with unlimited shows and channels with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and regular cable, the options are endless.
But at the end of the day, we need to realize that TV doesn’t really give much back.
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Our time is so precious, so it’s insane that we would spend hours upon hours on our commutes, phones for social media and online games, emails, TV and chores.

It’s all so mindless, and yet we engage in things that really bring no value to our lives.

Imagine if you were able to cut back 20 hours a week, or 3 hours a day to devote to a 2nd business? You could literally retire early 10 years!

By cutting out a majority of these time wasters, you can get so much of your life back. And in my opinion, time is worth so much more than money.

Check Out My Other Posts!
How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

Work Smarter, Not Harder

How To Deal With Crushing Disappointment & Other Negative Emotions

I wish this was a happier post but how do you write about disappointment and make it sound happy? It’s kinda hard.
The reality is that disappointment is something that will happen to every human being at some point in life, most likely several times or many times in your life. It’s easy to feel disappointment if someone you loved let you down or if you failed a big test or if you didn’t get an apartment you loved. Actually, there are a million reasons you could be feeling down and negative.

Disappointment is a complex emotion. Not quite sadness, not quite anger but something in between. It happens when you genuinely believe something good will happen and it doesn’t or, even worst, something bad happens. It’s probably one of the more dreaded and hardest emotions to handle properly.

But running from or ignoring disappointment, it doesn’t really do much. Most likely, the negativity will manifest in other ways like arguing with your family or getting frustrated at smaller things. Neither are really great ways of handling your emotions.

So Here Is The Best And Mentally Most Healthy Way To Deal With Disappointment:

Allow Yourself To Feel Bad

A lot of people would tell you the opposite but I find this counterintuitive. If you feel bad, then you feel bad. Especially if you’ve just went through something traumatic or were really let down by someone you love. You don’t owe it to anybody to feel happy or to save others from feeling guilty because of how they disappointed you.

Sulk. Cry. Feel Bad.

It’s important that you to give yourself time to feel. Disappointment isn’t an easy emotion to deal with but allow yourself to feel it, then move on.

Drink Some Tea And Take Some Vitamins

I’m all about holistic solutions to problems. Alcohol and drugs are a big no-no for me. What they really do is create a dependence and a bandaid over the problem.

The reality is that with disappointment or any other negative emotion, your body reacts to the stress with a fight or flight physical response. Your body responds by producing hormones that put you on edge and mentally trick you that you’re about start a fight or need to run.

But there are herbal tricks you can use to help calm yourself if you’re feeling bad. I like taking teas that have valerian root and camomile to help me relax and boost my mood.

On occasion, if I’m really feeling like it’s hard to shake my bad mood, I’ll take a vitamin supplement that includes L-Theanine and Magnesium, which are known to have calming effects without sedation.

Take A Break

Whatever is on your mind and bothering you, it’s good to just take a break from it. Yes, you should allow yourself to feel but you also shouldn’t dwell on it either. It creates a cycle of negativity.

After you’ve allowed yourself to feel bad for a day or two, distraction is the best remedy to help you get back to your normal self. My husband likes to go see a movie after we’ve had an argument or if he has a lot on his mind. When he gets back, he’s cool and collected, and feeling much better than he did before the movie.

Distraction is not necessarily running from your emotions, it’s more like pressing a pause button and allowing yourself to deal with it later or at least lessen the pain. Obsessing over your disappointment or anger is not healthy and won’t help you move on in the long run.

Make A Plan

It’s hard but playing the victim forever just doesn’t work. You’ll need to find a way to make sure whatever disappointed you or upset you doesn’t happen again. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
After you’ve cooled down, that’s a good time to chat with the person that put you in a bad mood. It’s always good to do it with a clear head.

If something just didn’t go your way, you can now start planning on what adjustments you need to make to get over your hurdle. Disappointment can be the catalyst for something big. Even though you’re upset things didn’t work out, you can use that frustration to push you towards solutions.

Put It Behind You

Last but not least, you have to let those negative feelings go. They can’t last forever and they shouldn’t. Putting whatever is bothering you in the rear view mirror is healthy. Sometimes it’s easier to hold a grudge or to put yourself in a bad place but I like to follow the 5/95 rule. You can spend 5% of your time feeling bad about yourself but then the rest of the 95% should be spent on getting better and growing.

No one likes to be around a negative nelly and I’ve been guilty of dwelling on things way too long.
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At the end of the day, we are beings built on emotions. We can’t always control what emotions come our way but we do have autonomy over how we react to them.

For so much of my life, I’ve been pushed around by the waves of my feelings. Happiness, sadness, embarrassment, anxiety, anger, and disappointment have dictated how I lived my life and what my next move was.
Getting control of your more intense emotions will help you live a better and more balanced life.

Check Out My Other Posts

The Power Of Positivity

Stand Up For Yourself, Even When You Have Everything To Lose

How To Make A Change in Your Life

Why Multiple Streams Of Income Are Absolutely Necessary

My job had threatened to add a third agent almost 2 years ago. Since then my colleague and I have been sitting at the edge of our seats, pushing our limits, and trying to show that we didn’t need a third agent. Adding a third agent would significantly change my compensation.

All this talk about adding another person and there was no discussion about compensation or how three agents will be able to make the same commissions as two when we only have so much product to sell in a year. If you do the math, it just doesn’t add up. When I pointed this out, upper management dodged this question and accused me of being not a team player, as a way of ignoring an essential aspect of my job: compensation.

This story isn’t even all that uncommon. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, employers only care about the bottom line. Even if it’s at the expense of the employees.

So I decided to start a blog and start writing as a side hustle because besides real estate what did I really have as talent? I really searched my brain for the answer and the only thing that could come up with was that I was well written and creative.

That idea was the start of something amazing.

I realized my job was only earned income and I needed other forms of income to balance and make my financial wellbeing less prone to risk and volatility.

The changes that my company made is a prime example of volatility in the workforce. People make the false assumption that having a job will bring them stability. But there are always changes at work; they’re always trying to maximize earnings, profits and results. What happened to me wasn’t abnormal but it was unfair.

So one way of making some additional money is to make passive income. This sounds like the Holy Grail of earning. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make money from doing nothing and having a business running in the background? (Raises Hand).

But the notion that passive money is easy is a myth. Usually when people collect money on their business with little effort, they’ve already done the bulk of the work in the beginning. The beginning is the hardest, where you’re working and slaving and getting nothing in return for months or even years on end. The only instance where I’d say passive money is easy is when you randomly hit the lottery or an inheritance and you can dump that money into stocks or real estate and just earn that way.

But if you’re waiting for the lottery or a windfall of inheritance to happen to you, then you’re going to be poor for a really really long time.

I would consider things like blogging or re-investing your earned income into the stock market or real estate as passive income. Because first you’re doing all this work to get a little bit now but over time that investment will grow on itself and make tons more money than what you started with.

But passive income is anything but easy.

Another stream of income that you can pursue is profit income.

Profit income is when you take an item, you buy it and then you’re able to market it and sell it for more than what you bought it for.

So many businesses are built on the profit income model of buying cheap, selling high and marketing in between to create that value. Any brand that you buy from, whether it’s clothes, make up or household goods, is built on the profit income model.

The surprising thing is that anybody, I repeat, anybody can make money from profit income.

In today’s day and age, websites like Etsy, Poshmark, eBay, and Amazon make it insanely easy to make a profit. Whether you’re making $10 a month or $10,000 a month that’s money that you just pulled out of thin air, out of nowhere. It is much easier to make a profit in today’s digital age than it was it when we only had brick-and-mortar stores.

Back before Internet and all that, mom and pops would take out a loan, then rent a commercial space, buy all these products to fill their brick and mortar store and then try to build a profit from yearly sales.
People still do that, but that’s incredibly more risky than opening up an Esty store spending a couple hundred dollars on products to resell at a higher price and then snowballing each sale to create a bigger company down the line.

Even Uber is a profit model type of income. Drivers want to make sure they’re making more in rides than they spend on the mileage of their car, depreciating value, gas and insurance.

The reality is that my job is just one piece of the pie, earned income is subject to change and I shouldn’t be surprised about how ruthless my manager is or the owners are to squeeze every dollar out of their employees. But if I’m not pursuing the other avenues of income available to me, then I’m just leaving money on the table and leaving myself vulnerable to the changes of the corporate environment.

Working on getting those other forms of income are essential to financial well being. God forbid, I lose my job, then half of our total household income (between me and my husband) is wiped out.

If my job is only 1/2 of my income and I’m able to supplement with passive income and profit, then I’ll be able to survive during economic downturns and avoid debt.

You’ll never realize how risky relying on your job is, until you lose it. I’m all about preparedness and protecting my family from what messed up business practices my employer may enact on me.

So don’t leave money on the table. Take what you can out of this life and make sure you’re capitalizing on all the income opportunities available to you.

Check out my other posts!

Why I Budget and How to Budget: Personal Finance In A Nutshell

The Rent vs Buy Argument

How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

How To Make A Change in Your Life