What To Do When Your Partner Sucks At Money

Money Manners is a blog series that explores awkward money encounters and how to handle them. From first dates to work outings to group vacations, we’ll cover every situation and ways to improve your own #MoneyManners without sacrificing your financial goals. Have a money manners story you want to share with us or need advice? Email us at stories@chimecard.com.

Until a few years ago, I sucked at my finances. I had zero savings, a bad case of retail therapy, and a haunting credit card balance. I was buried under student loans, and my debt became all-consuming. It destroyed my confidence, my opportunities and my ability to see past the next paycheck. It even affected my relationships.

It’s no secret that money is the leading cause of stress in a relationship. Even when both partners are good at managing money, there is still anxiety around joint finances. Who makes more money? Who spends more? How do you each contribute to shared expenses? The mental accounting can be overwhelming, especially if you’re in a relationship with someone who utterly sucks at managing his or her money.

Fortunately, I had a turnaround. While my finances were nearing rock bottom, my career was taking off. It motivated me to finally climb out of the dark spending hole I had dug and I learned how to live below my means. I couldn’t have done it alone though. Fortunately, I’m now in a relationship with someone who inspires me to be better with my money every day. He’s a saver who makes frugal purchase decisions, doesn’t let emotions impact his financial choices, and supports me as a true partner in achieving my financial goals.

If you’re in a relationship with someone who sucks at money, there’s hope. Here’s what I learned along the way about the best approach to helping your partner get better at money.

1. Reaffirm your partnership.
According to a study conducted by CreditCards.com, 20% of spouses have hidden more than $500 in spending from their significant other. If your partner is hiding money out of embarrassment or shame for their poor money choices, the first step is to let them know you’re on the same team. Show them you’re there to help in a way that’s supportive, not judgmental. After all, you’re partners, right? By establishing that you share the same goals, you can help one another stay accountable to achieving them by working together on areas that need improvement.

2. Get to know their money challenges.
What is the root cause of your partner’s money problems? Does she have student loan debt racked up or unpaid bills? Is he guilty of emotional spending? Take time to uncover your partner’s financial history, patterns, and challenges. From my own personal experience, money issues are rarely superficial. They’re often tied to deeper emotional issues.The discovery process will take time. It will not happen over one conversation at dinner. You’ll need to consistently communicate your support and commitment to helping them uncover and tackle their money challenges together.

3. Create a shared budget.
Once you’ve clearly established you’re in this together, next make sure you have clarity about your shared goals and a budget for how to get there. Take the time to walk your partner through your money management process and tools. Give them plenty of opportunity to ask questions so that they are comfortable with the process, and work together to create a budget that reflects your combined income, spending, and saving. Keep in mind that exposing all of the details of their financial life could be a very vulnerable experience for your partner. Be supportive and help your partner stay focused on the end goal of what you want to achieve together.

4. Use expert resources.
Taking the lead role in your joint finances can put a lopsided strain on your relationship. If you want to avoid being the money coach, there are plenty of resources to help your partner develop their personal finance acumen. You can subscribe to podcasts or read books that are both informative and engaging. Make it a joint effort and keep it budget-friendly by visiting your local library to check out some financial books you can read together. By participating with your partner you’ll show him or her that this is a shared journey and an opportunity for you both to learn.

5. Schedule regular check-ins.
Money management takes time, and spenders typically go through waves. It’s important that you schedule a regular check-in to see how things are going. Let your partner set the schedule and give them as much control as possible. Make it a judgment-free zone. Be supportive and use positive reinforcement. Stay focused on goals and exploring solutions together. Remember your partner is an adult--if you want this to work, they need feel ownership of your shared goals and the plan to get there.

Have other tips on how you and your partner achieved financial success together? I’d love to hear your tips! Share them in the comments below or reach out on Twitter.  

Breena Fain

Learn more about Chime at chimebank.com.

5 Things Every First Time Home Buyer Must Know

In the transition to adulthood, there may be no bigger milestone than the day you sign on the dotted line to purchase your first home. For many it’s a rite of passage and a proud accomplishment to literally hold the keys to the American Dream. But before you cruise the open houses and begin your hunt, make sure you’re up for the task of buying and committing to home sweet home, both financially and emotionally.  To help assess your readiness for homeownership, consider these tips gathered from some of the top real estate and financial experts:

1. Reality check the cost of home ownership.
Go in with eyes wide open by having a complete picture of the costs associated with buying and owning a home. This includes everything from inspections to closing costs, realtor commissions to renovations and, not to mention your ongoing mortgage, taxes, and maintenance costs. Be sure to budget for all of these expenses before you start looking so you have a clear picture of what you can afford before you fall in love with your dream home.

“You will need to have a decent amount of money that you need to use during the process and for closing costs...you will need to hire an attorney, a home inspector, and mortgage lender.” - Cornelius Camp

2. Determine what you can really afford.
Next make sure you’re financially ready to take on all of the costs of home ownership. This means getting a detailed picture of your financial situation including assets, income, expenses, cash flow, debt. You’ll also need to know your credit score because it will factor into what kind of loan and interest rate you can get.

Qualify yourself. By calculating debt-to-income ratio and factoring in a down payment, you will have a good idea of what you can afford, both upfront and monthly. - Shevna Steiner, BankRate

3. Get to know your mortgage lenders.
Shopping around last minute for a mortgage can put you in a defensive position. Take the initiative to start building relationships with lenders early, so you have time to do your homework and get pre-approved before you start house hunting. When comparing options, be sure you understand all of the fees involved with each lender.

“Because lenders are eager for your business, some will even offer a cash incentive for going with them, such as $1,500 back to you at closing. In fact, if one lender is offering cash back, but another one isn’t, ask the lender who’s holding out—he may change his tune if it means earning your business”. - Kate Ashford, LearnVest

4. Make sure the timing is right.
It’s difficult to time the housing market, or the stock market for that matter. Instead, think seriously about how long you plan to stay in your home. Home ownership can have a number of financial advantages over renting but only if you plan to stay in your home for a number of years. Otherwise you’ll likely take a hit from closing costs and potentially a market adjustment that doesn’t work in your favor.

“Make sure you’re ready to buy, both emotionally and financially. If you expect to relocate in a few years, this may not be the right time for you to buy”. - Teresa Mears, USNews

5. Be ready to negotiate.
Come prepared for the negotiating process with your real estate agent by doing your research and knowing your priorities and limits. When you find a home you want, use tools like Redfin, Trulia and public records to understand the neighborhood, history of the home and the seller. Be ready to move quickly, but also be prepared to walk away. If you’re buying in a home where transactions are known to move swiftly, it may feel like you’re not in control. So get ready to buckle down and stay focused on what’s most important to you. If you don’t ask, you won’t get it.

“Paying the asking price doesn’t mean you’re overpaying. A smart seller needs professional advice when listing their home. That’s why you should focus less on getting a “deal” and more on getting a grip on what you feel is fair market value. If the asking price is on par with what you expected, it’s A-OK to offer that. - PureWow

Do you have go-to resources that have helped you prepare for homeownership? Share them with us in the comments below or connect with us on Twitter

Learn more about Chime at chimebank.com.

The materials in this article are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial advice.


Student Loan Debt Relief Hacks

We are in the midst of a student loan debt crisis. College costs are increasing alongside a $1.3 billion in collective student loan debt. In early 2016, our Money Mindset of U.S. College Grads: 2016 Report found 73% of college seniors and juniors said they would be graduating with an average of $32,000 in student loan debt. It’s no wonder college education and student loan debt relief are one of the most important issues in the 2016 election.

We heard it throughout Bernie Sanders’ campaign, with promises of free student tuition for all. And we’re continuing to hear the push for student loan debt support by Hillary Clinton, who recently released a student loan forgiveness plan and Donald Trump has spoken out on student loans, but hasn’t released a detailed policy outline.

Needless to say, the 43 million borrowers across the country are perking up to hear how each candidate plans to make a dent in the student debt crisis.

With the overwhelming amount of debt graduates are shouldering on average, it can seem nearly impossible to keep up with payments. In 2014, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Consumer Credit Panel conducted a study that showed nearly 20% of student loans were delinquent or defaulted (nine months past due). The study also showed that the number of borrowers who default each year increased from about 500,000 in 2002 to 1.2 million annually in 2011 and 2012. Although the number of borrowers who default each year peaked in 2012, there’s no arguing — this is still a major problem for several Americans.

Although we can’t fix the problem right away, there are things you can do today to climb out of student loan debt. Here are eight hacks to student loan debt relief:

1. Setup automatic payments.
This one is a no brainer. Most student loan agencies offer online services that make it easy to set up automatic payments. Your student loans are likely your biggest chunk of debt, so you want to be diligent about paying them down each month. Missing payments or paying late can hurt your credit and ruin your chances of any Federal program that offers loan forgiveness. Setting up automatic payments allows you to continue to make your payments regularly without having to worry about missing one or being late.

2. Take advantage of prepayments.
All student loans are prepayment penalty free. This means you can start paying them down right away and you won’t be charged for any additional amount. Most graduates may not even realize that interest is front-loaded and starts accruing immediately (yes, even while you’re in school). They often don’t realize it until they graduate and see the loan amount is much higher than they remember. So do what you can to pay off loans as soon as you’re able. A little extra contribution beyond the minimum monthly payment goes a long way.

You can use Chime’s automated savings tool to use some of your weekly savings to pay down your student loans each week.

3. Consolidate and refinance your loans.
If you have older loans with variable interest rates, refinancing could be a good way of lessening your overall interest rate. Student loan refinancing has become more accessible to borrowers thanks to increased competition from private lenders such as SoFi and Earnest.

Private lenders may be able to save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loans, especially if you have good credit and income. According to data from Credible, an online marketplace for student loan refinancing, the average borrower can save almost $14,000 when they refinance. Keep in mind however that when you refinance through a private lenders, you won’t be eligible for some benefits provided by federal loans such as income-based repayment plans or public service loan forgiveness.

Even if you aren’t able to lower the interest rate, consolidating your loans so that you can make one payment as opposed to several a month can lessen your mental burden and help you stay on track.

4. Use your tax return to pay off a bigger chunk of debt.
The interest you pay on student loans is tax deductible. This means that when you file your taxes, you will likely get money back based on how much interest you paid in the previous year. It may be tempting to think of that as extra cash for spending. But using any tax refund toward your loan in the immediate term can have a bigger benefit to you in the long run. Don’t calculate it as a bonus or income. Just send it straight to your loan provider and pretend you never had it in your spendy little hands.

5. Negotiate loan payments in your compensation package.
Whether you’re applying for a new job or coming up on an annual review, consider asking your employer to include a lump sum payment or making monthly payments for student loan debt relief. This is becoming more popular with recent legislation, but for today, you may need to negotiate in lieu of additional salary or benefits.

6. Get a side gig to lessen debt faster.
Picking up a side job is more accessible than ever. Apps like Rover, TaskRabbit, Lyft and several others make it easy to pocket a little extra cash. The benefit of these jobs is that you can control the amount of time you want to dedicate each month, and it’s fairly easy work that can help you pay down student debt faster.

7. Pay while you’re in school.
If you’re still in school, there’s no time like the present to start paying off your student loans. Take on a part time job and dedicate your income to paying off your student loans ahead of schedule. Although it may be tempting to spend your income on beer and last minute game tickets, dedicate at least a portion of your income to getting a head start on your loan payments.

8. Work in public service? Your loans may be forgiven.
For those dedicated to a career in public service or non-profit work, you may be eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. To qualify, you’ll have to work at least 30 hours a week within a government organization (at any level) or for a not-for-profit organization that is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) for and make monthly qualifying payments for 10 years. After those 120 qualifying monthly payments,, your remaining federal student loan balance will be forgiven.

Bonus: If you have Perkins loans while working in public service, you may also benefit from the Federal Perkins Loan Forgiveness program.

Double Bonus: Plan on teaching for more than 15 years? You’re in luck. You may qualify for the public service loan forgiveness program in addition to teacher-specific forgiveness options. You can learn more about the program on the Federal Student Aid’s website.

Have you thought of clever hacks to pay down your student loan debt? Let’s hear them! Comment below or reach out to us on Twitter.

Kyle Daley
Marketing Manager

Sign up or learn more about Chime at chimebank.com

5 Ways You Can Start Rocking The Vote

Ah, America. The good old red, white, and blue. Last month, we celebrated our Independence Day with friends and family. We barbecued, watched fireworks, and reflected on the ideals that our Founding Fathers established.

Some constitutional rights many of us exercise everyday, mainly freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Yet, one of our most important rights—the right to vote—we only get a chance to exercise once every few years. Voting gives us all a chance to not only determine who will represent us on a local, state, and national level, but also an opportunity to address the social and civic issues we’re most passionate about. This is particularly important because different generations naturally have different concerns and priorities when it comes to our public officials and government policies.

In past elections, the Baby Boomer generation has represented the largest group of voters. This election is the first time Millennials’ voting power matches that of Baby Boomers. It’s our turn to tune in and turn out for the issues we care most about: job creation, healthcare, equal rights, college affordability, and the environment.

Here are 5 easy ways to help make sure yours and other Millennials’ voices are heard this election:

1. Get Informed.
Knowledge is power, so educate yourself on the candidates and the issues. Watch the news, read up on the facts, research the nominees, and learn what propositions are on your state’s ballot this November. Do all these and you’ll be more informed than if you just took that BuzzFeed Quiz telling you which 2016 presidential candidate you are. (Ok, maybe still take it. Who can resist a good BuzzFeed Quiz?)

2. Spread the Word.
We’re the generation that made things “go viral”, so surely we can get the word out for the issues we’re most passionate about. Take a break from catching Pokémon to tweet support for your favorite candidate or share voter registration info with your friends on Facebook. Get your friends involved by hosting debate watch parties. Want to get more creative with it? Make a Snap story about why you’re voting, or maybe a YouTube video. Even your favorite celebrities rock the vote and #TURNOUTFORWHAT they care about, from education and immigration to student debt and climate change.

3. Volunteer.
Since time is our most precious resource, what better way to demonstrate your passion than by volunteering your time to the candidate or issue you support? A quick Google search can point you in the direction of your favorite candidate’s regional office. Working directly with the campaign will help you gain greater command of issues and afford you the opportunity to inspire and mobilize local people and new voters.

4. Donate.
Too busy to volunteer your time? Volunteer your money. A few dollars can go a long way, especially when donated to smaller, grassroots efforts. But maybe you want your money to have a larger impact beyond your particular candidate or cause of choice. Organizations like Rock the Vote have a greater mission, focusing on getting Millennials across the country registered to vote and involved in the political process. When you make a donation of $25 or more to Rock the Vote with your Chime card, we’ll give you $5.00 back!

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5. VOTE.
As cliche as it sounds, every vote really does count. Voter registration deadlines vary by state, so make sure you’re registered before your state’s cutoff date. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard and make an impact on the government that influences our everyday lives. Remember, you’re not just voting for a candidate, you’re voting for the future. So get informed and make good choices :)

Kyle Daley
Marketing Manager

Sign up or learn more about Chime at chimebank.com

Can Digital Technology Save America’s National Parks?

I fell in love with California at the age of 11 during our family trip to visit the National Parks out west. Growing up in rural towns in New England, I already had an appreciation for nature. But the epic imagery of California — the redwoods and palm trees, Yellowstone’s El Capitan and the Golden Gate’s Marin Headlands — left an indelible mark on my imagination. It took me another two decades, but I finally made the move to the Golden State where I always felt I belonged.

At age 11 with my brother at Yosemite National Park.

Exploring the National Parks looks a lot different today than it did on that road trip years ago. We use technology to map trails, hunt Pokémon, and generally stay connected so we can share our epic adventures and the breathtaking beauty of the parks with our friends on social media.

Our obsession with digital technology even in the great outdoors may make some nature enthusiasts (and my parents) cringe. After all, science has proven what we already know intuitively: that disconnecting in nature is good for the human brain. It gives us a break from the mental fatigue of our busy, connected lives and in turn it can boost our mood, relieve stress, make us healthier, and even smarter.

Canyonlands National Park, May 2015

Canyonlands National Park, May 2015

But embracing this evolution of technology in the outdoors to cater to younger Millennial visitors may be our only hope for preserving the National Parks. In spite of the fact that the parks drew a record 305 million visits in 2015, attendance skews heavily older and white. Low attendance from young diverse Americans has the National Park Service downright scared of what could become of these natural venues. With an $11.9 billion backlog of necessary maintenance costs, it’s no wonder. The parks could be in trouble if they don’t expand their appeal as our population ages and becomes more diverse.

So what do we do? How do we encourage our communities to care about the parks? With this year’s 100th anniversary celebration, there are a number of ways you can #ChimeIn for the National Park Service:

1. Find your park and go.
Did you know The Statue of Liberty, the Martin Luther King National Historic Site in Atlanta, and the San Antonio Missions are all National Parks? As part of their centennial celebration, the NPS is working to create more awareness across age groups and ethnicities about the diversity of park experiences through a new campaign called Find Your Park. You might be surprised which parks are right around the corner. If you’re feeling indecisive, take the Park Quiz to find the best one suited for you; if you’re feeling ambitious, this handy map shows how you can visit nearly every National Park in one epic road trip.

2. Share your National Park moments.
Reserve a yurt in the Smoky Mountains. Plan a white water rafting trip inGlacier Park. Or even organize a Pokemon hunt in Yosemite. Whatever adventure suits you, be a social advocate through sharing your National Park moments. Mention the NPS on Twitter (@NatlParkService) and Instagram (@NationalParkService), along with popular hashtags like #FindYourPark and #GetOutdoors. You can even submit stories and posts online as part of the Centennial Project contest.

3. Get your company involved.
David Strayer, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Utah, conducted a study which showed people performed 50 percent better on creative problem-solving tasks after three days of wilderness backpacking. Talk about productivity! If there’s a park near you, use it as a team building location. Getting your company involved will not only prove beneficial for your teams, but it can also multiply your support for the parks.

4. Make a donation.
The very first national parks were established thanks to the vision and effort of private citizens who were passionate about protecting America’s natural beauty for future generations. Today, your tax dollars and donations are what sustain the parks. Learn how you can donate here.

5. Buy a National Park Annual Pass for a friend.
If you want to maximize your happiness, spend your money on experiences, not things. That’s the finding from research conducted by psychology professor Dr. Tom Gilovich at Cornell University. When you purchase a National Parks Annual Pass for a friend, you’ll be giving the gift of an experience you can share, since one pass is good for two people. As science shows, you’ll also be giving the gift of lower stress and other health and mental benefits when you help your friends get back to nature.

The $80 annual pass covers entrance fees to all of the nation’s national parks for one year. The price tag may sound steep, but if you plan to visit more than one park in a year it can save you some dough.

If you’re a Chime member, there’s no better time to buy your pass. Our company wants to #ChimeIn for the National Parks by helping our members save on a National Parks Annual Pass. Buy your pass by August 31st, 2016 with your Chime Visa® Debit Card, and Chime will give you $10.00 cash back to your Spending Account when you spend $80.00 or more. You can purchase one here (or here).

Shane Steele
VP Marketing

Sign up or learn more about Chime at chimebanking.com

How to Mind Your Money Manners When Splitting the Bill

Money Manners is a blog series that explores awkward money encounters and how to handle them. From first dates to work outings to group vacations, we’ll cover every situation and ways to improve your own #MoneyManners without sacrificing your financial goals. Have a money manners story you want to share with us or need some advice? Email us at stories@chimecard.com.

Dealing with money can be awkward regardless of how much you have, especially when it comes to splitting the bill. Whether it’s asking a roommate to pitch in for toilet paper or deciding who pays on a first date, navigating money manners for shared expenses can be tricky. Here are some common scenarios you may encounter with our tips for gracefully and economically splitting the bill.

The dinner with friends.
We’ve all been there — the group dinner with friends of varying tastes, and bank accounts. You’re on a budget so you order an appetizer and a beer, while your friend orders the prime rib and a bottle of Bordeaux. The bigger the group, the harder it is to make sure everyone pays their fair share of the check without pulling out a calculator.

If you want to avoid bankrolling your friend’s expensive taste in food while still maintaining your manners, offer to be the accountant. Instead of splitting hairs (and cents), my friends and I divide portions by $5 increments. This allows for a more equitable division of cost while still making it easy to manage. Most times, your friends will just be grateful that you’re handling the math on their behalf.

The group getaway.
If you are looped into an event or a trip that you can’t miss, offer to plan it so you can help find ways to keep it affordable and help manage how expenses get divvied up. If you can find quality options at a good price, you’ll also get bonus points for putting in the work.

First, create a list of costs that will need to be divided, such as groceries, activities, rental deposits and fees. If one person is shopping, set a budget and create a grocery list so there are no complaints about unnecessary expenses. Set clear expectations upfront with the group about what is shared and what is on the individual. If someone wants special items, they can pick it up separately.

To make it even easier, you can estimate the shared costs and have people send you ahead of time for shared items like food and accommodations. Use apps like Splitwise and Divvy which make dividing up expenses easier when there are lots of expenses to manage.

The shared monthly rent and bills.
Roommate situations can be tough. You live with these people after all, so money matters need to be handled with care. When a roommate is failing to pay his or her part of the household expenses, it’s more difficult to confront when there’s no formal expense tracking. The best way to fine tune your money manners with roommates is to have good documentation, and thankfully technology can help with that.

Before you sign the lease or a new roommate moves in, agree to some rules about how expenses will be shared and the process for collecting everyone’s fair share. Again this is where apps like Splitwise and Divvy can streamline monthly bills and save you an awkward conversation.

The first date.
Who pays on the first date has become a tricky question when it comes to money manners. Dating culture evolving so quickly in the era of Instagram, Snapchat and Tinder, you might expect that traditional etiquette has become irrelevant. But surveys have found that even today, most heterosexual couples still aren’t going dutch on the first date. Yup, in most cases, the guy is still picking up the tab.

According to research conducted at California State University, about 10% of heterosexual daters expect the man to pay for everything, 10% expect to go 50/50, and the rest are somewhere in between. In other words, there’s no clear money manner on the first date.

This is why I like to stick to the simple rule of—if you ask someone out on a date, you should also offer to pick up the bill. If they insist on splitting it, great. But beware of the fake wallet reaches. About half of women reported they get upset if they end up having to pay, even if they offered. I suppose that’s on them, but just be aware.

The most important manner to keep in mind is this—don’t assume the other person has the same spending habits as you do. I personally think splitting the bill is a good move on a first date, but I wouldn’t be okay if I was forced to fork out $100 unexpectedly.

The alternative.
Social norms will tell us that talking about money is taboo. It’s uncomfortable. It makes us vulnerable. It can expose us. But when it impacts your ability to be financially stable, it’s important to communicate when you can’t afford something. Or at the very least, learn how to politely say “no”.

Next time you get an invitation to a dinner date, a weekend escape, or the trip of a lifetime, considering how it will impact your goals. Does it align with your priorities, or are you simply matching what others are forking out for the sake of appearances? While it’s tempting to live in the moment, and dreadful to experience FOMO, remember your budget is there so you won’t feel like you’re missing out down the road.

We haven’t even scratched the surface of awkward money situations and how to handle them, so feel free to share your stories with us! You can comment below or or join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #MoneyManners.

Breena Fain

Sign up or learn more about Chime at chimebanking.com

How to Avoid Breaking the Bank as a Wedding Guest

Ah, wedding season. The time when your friends are pronouncing their love to the soft sounds of Michael Buble, while your wallet slowly weeps in the background. Here you are, hundreds of dollars deep on a present. Your suit set you back $2,000. And the hotel you’ve picked for a crash landing charged you an extra $100 for a roll-away. The dollars start to add up in your head and you quickly move to boycotting weddings forever.

With Millennials forking out $893 per wedding they attend (up 27% from the general population) on average, we don’t blame you. However, before giving up completely, we have a few tips that can help you cut costs and be better prepared to spend once the big day comes. Here are five ways you can save on attending your next wedding:

Location. Location. Location.
If the location fits, turn the wedding trip into one of your annual vacations. Doing so will help you look at the event and trip as part of your yearly travel budget, rather than an additional unforeseen expense.

Set up an automated savings account.
Start saving early. Seriously. There’s no sense in waiting until the last minute or charging everything to a credit card that you’ll spend months paying off. Once you decide to RSVP, set up an automatic savings system that pulls money from your spending account into a savings account. It’s a great way to subtly force yourself to put funds aside for the celebrations. Sign up for Chime and get a 10% bonus on your weekly savings.

Throw down on thoughtful group gifts.
Traditional wedding etiquette says attendees should spend as much on a gift as the soon-to-be-married spent on each guest. Considering the average wedding costs $32,000 and wedding attendees range from 50-500, it might be a stretch to keep the old tradition alive.

Millennials are driven by authenticity. Use this to create a less expensive but thoughtful gift (Note: This does not mean ignore the registry—it’s there for a reason). Find some items on the registry that can be presented together. Get some friends to include other unique pieces, with a bar theme for example. Carefully curating a gift wins a lot of points and you can easily get away with cheaper items in the process.

Ditch the hotel.
Typical hotel rates can run your personal budget over the edge, even with the blocked room discount the bride and groom may provide. Instead of booking individual hotels, get a group of friends together and rent out a house via Airbnb or VRBO. If you’re alone, consider renting out a private room as opposed to the entire apartment or house. It’s much cheaper and you won’t be spending much time there anyway.

Men: invest in a lightweight, standard suit.
Services like Rent the Runway are perfect for women who want to boast a thousand dollar dress for a fraction of the cost. However, for men it’s advantageous to invest in a lightweight, versatile suit that you can continue to use. Stick to neutral colors like black, grey or navy. Don’t get something with too much flair as you can easily change up the look with a new tie or shirt. Look for deals year-round and don’t wait until wedding season to purchase one.

Learn to say “no”.
When all else fails, then you may be faced with sending your regrets. FOMO may kick in, as will guilt, but let’s face it - the stress is not worth displacing your financial stability. Weddings will continue and you’re better off taking some of that cash and putting it away for next year’s season of “I do.”

Have other ways you save for weddings and other big life events? We’d love to hear how! Join us on Twitter or comment below.

Gretchen Roehrs

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Embrace Your Political Power By Rocking The Vote this Election

#ChimeIn for Election 2016

It’s not everyday we’re given the chance to help shape the direction of our country. For the first time ever, the number of Millennials eligible to vote (69.2 million) matches that of the Baby Boomer generation (69.7 million).

Although as a group we now have the greatest political power, we are also the least likely to vote—an ironic fact since the majority of our Founding Fathers were under the age of 40 when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. In fact, Thomas Jefferson was 33, Millennial age, when he drafted the historic document that birthed our nation.

Source: The Atlantic

Source: The Atlantic

Coming of age during the financial crisis of 2008, with student loan debt that has topped $1.3 trillion, it’s not surprising that we’re frustrated with government. A Pew Research Center study found over two-thirds of Millennials believe politicians are working for self-gain and are not adhering to our top concerns: student debt, job opportunity, and environmental issues.

When we asked Millennials in their junior and senior year of college to rank the most important issues in this presidential race, job creation topped the list followed by fixing health care, protecting the rights of women, and making college affordable.

We clearly have issues we’re passionate about, yet a recent Harvard survey stated only 7% of Millennials reported participating in a government, political or issue-related organization during the past year.

Still, that doesn’t mean we aren’t active in our communities. The same survey also showed one-third of Millennials participate in community service. We have a clear desire to make a difference, and now we have the power to make a real impact.

If this election cycle has taught us anything, it’s that it won’t be decided by corporations, the elite, or special interests. It will be decided by millions of people making their voices heard at the ballot box. From Donald Trump riding a wave of populist support to the nomination, to Bernie Sander’s famous $27 average donation, grassroot support and individual contributions have helped these candidates earn credibility and reshape the course of the 2016 presidential election.

Just as we’ve disrupted technology, creating social and mobile platforms that have completely reinvented the way we all communicate, Millennials have opportunity to use our voices, our time, our influence, and our dollars to prioritize the issues we care about.

The Republican National Convention will be held July 18-21st and the Democratic National Convention is July 25-28th. It’s time to tune in, get informed, and take action! Regardless of your party affiliation, Chime and Rock the Vote want you to start getting involved in this election.

So, where should you start? First, register to vote. You’ll be surprised how easy it is. Don’t believe us? Watch President Obama share 5 things that are harder than registering to vote.

Next, donate to organizations that are helping register, educate, and engage other Millennials. When you make a donation of $25 or more with your Chime card to Rock the Vote, Chime will now give you $5.00 back!

It’s time to make history. Let Chime help you do it. 🇺🇸

Kyle Daley
Marketing Manager

Sign up or learn more about Chime at chimebanking.com

Share the Love & Split the Bill: Introducing Pay Friends

Life is better with friends. And, life is better with Chime. That’s why we’ve made it easier to invite your friends to join Chime and introduced Pay Friends, a new feature that lets you instantly send money to other Chime members.

Square up with the roomies for your share of rent and utilities, split the lunch bill without throwing down multiple cards, or chip in for that last round of drinks without opening your wallet. With Pay Friends, the money moves instantly so there’s no waiting for funds to arrive.

Starting today you can also choose a Chime Nickname, which makes it even easier to send money via Pay Friends. To use Pay Friends, log into the Chime app or website, go to Move Money, and look for the Pay Friends option. You can search for friends who use Chime by their phone number, email address or their Chime Nickname. Select the Chime member you want to pay, enter the payment amount, and submit. The funds will be instantly transferred from your account and your friend will be notified that the funds are available in their Chime account.

At Chime, we’re always working on ways to simplify your finances so you can manage all of your expenses in one place. Now you can easily invite your friends to make the switch to Chime, and with Pay Friends, you can instantly send them money without the hassle of dealing with cash or checks.

If you love Chime, there’s no better time to share the love. Log into your account now to choose your Nickname, and tell your friends and family why they might love Chime, too.

Understanding the Money Mindset of U.S. College Grads: 2016 Report

Understanding the Money Mindset of U.S. College Grads: 2016 Report

Chime's May 2016 Millennial Money Mindset report indicates student loans are still a major burden for graduates. Almost three quarters of students will graduate with student loans averaging $32,000. Over two thirds of graduating seniors don’t have a full-time job lined up, yet nine out of ten plan to make savings a top priority. Read the full report at chimecard.com/may_2016_report.