I’ve received some great input on my Newlwed Bliss Box.  The feedback I’ve received includes some additions and terrific and creative ideas including expanding my checklist to include discussing life insurance and a will (fabulous addition I might add), and adding beautiful photos to motivate the newlyweds to discuss each topic. I also like the comment about adding in little financial love notes, such as I saved X amount of dollars by taking my lunch to work, etc. Another ingenious idea I received was to include an enticing spa gift card so the gift isn’t so drab or condescending.

So, continuing on with this idea for a gift, I’ll be explaining and offering links to a couple of the spreadsheets I would include with this gift. The three components described within this post in detail include the Budget Worksheet, Debt Worksheet, and Short/Long Term Goal Worksheet. Creating the spreadsheets took a little longer than I thought and there is definitely room for improvement. Please feel free to add your two-cents!

  • Budget worksheet: I’ve included a link to a simple,  monthly budget worksheet with basic categories and expenses listed that one could fill out to help determine what their monthly expenses will be. It automatcially subtotals the categories, then totals the overall monthly budget at the bottom. Anyone will a little excel knowledge could add to this worksheet. Calculating a monthly budget helps people see where their money is going and often encourages them to spend less.
  • Debt worksheet: Another link to a worksheet that lists basic types of debt, this would encourage them to discuss total combined debt and come up with a plan to pay it off. Included in the spreadsheet is an additional amortization calculator from MS Office, Excel to help determine a pay off date. (Side note: I’m not an excel guru by any means. If anyone thinks they can create better formula’s, please share your thoughts!)
  • Short term / Long term goal worksheet: Two simple columns labeled long term savings goals and short term savings goals (including potiential due dates – so really four columns) with general categories that can be filled in and added to with the intention of setting priorities.  General categories include wedding costs such as attire, ceremony fees including the marriage license, reception costs, invitations, decorations, gifts, etc. to get the ball rolling and are listed under some day-to-day categories since once the wedding is over, those costs are complete! I didn’t add in sum equations because this worksheet is much more flexible to a couple’s needs. Hopefully the couple would be able to find the sum function at the top in their Excel tool bar. 😉
  • Next on the list of items to describe in detail include a fun spender/saver quiz and the resource list….All in good time!

    Are the worksheets too scary for a new couple just starting out? Did I list too many categories, potentially overwhelming a couple of wet-behind-the-ears newlyweds? Or, is listing the categories and detailed items a great way to help them remember their actual expenses?


      • @Tightwad – Thanks so much! I checked it out and saw you also were named Most Versatile Blogger from Green Momma. Way to Go!

    1. @Rebecca the Greeniac – Great advice! I like the idea of adding a book of some sort, Your Money or Your Life is a good suggestion. I think in my resource list I’ll also list Mint.com. I use Quickbooks for tracking expenses, but it’s a little cumbersome, especially for people who don’t want to spend too much time analyzing where their money is going. Thanks for sharing your story!

    2. WellHeeledBlog Reply

      I LOVE the idea of a Bliss Box (great name, btw). When I get married I want one! LOL.

      • Little House Reply

        @WellHeeledBlog – thanks! I think I’ll have all the box contents figured out in the next few weeks, so you can put one together! 🙂

    3. The Saved Quarter Reply

      The book “The Budget Kit” is totally user friendly and has all the different budget worksheets. It also breaks down irregular expenses that can throw off a budget, which has been really helpful for me not to dip in to the emergency fund. I highly recommend it for people new to managing their money!
      .-= The Saved Quarter´s last blog ..Target Free Museum Days in San Francisco this weekend! =-.

      • @The Saved Quarter – Thanks so much for that info. It sounds like a great book, especially for people just starting out!

        @Greg McFarlane- I don’t know too many guys who love spa coupons, but I know that the women love them and can usually convince their guy’s to go along. So, I’m not sure if you were being honest or sarcastic, but thanks for the comment! 😉

    4. Little House:

      Glad you liked the suggestions and hope to see this product off the ground. My normal royalty fee is 10%, but for you, how about 5% 😉

      There’s tons of information out there for newlyweds, but I think consolidating into this idea is an innovative approach.
      .-= FinEngr´s last blog ..Interview- How to Be A Fierce Competitor Part I =-.

    5. As far as the spreadsheets go, you could also consider offering tiered or staged worksheets. Duplications of each other, you’d start with the “beginners” worksheet offering basic categories and grow into the more “advanced” worksheets.
      .-= FinEngr´s last blog ..Interview- How to Be A Fierce Competitor Part I =-.

      • @FinEngr – I like the tiered worksheet idea. However, I’m not sure I could pull that off! However, it may make it more approachable for newlyweds! Thanks for all the terrific input. 🙂 As for ever reselling this idea, I think that will have to be put on the back burner for now. I’ll just consolidate all my work into one blog page. 😉

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