Posts tagged with "marriage"

Divorce and marriage illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE

Wedding Must-Haves

Happy wedding season! Let’s look into some marital must-haves to make your special day perfect.

  • DJ/Band

This is an absolute must-have, of course. Music plays such an important role in having a romantic, enjoyable, and memorable celebration. Finding a DJ isn’t super hard, and their services can vary in price. A band, on the other hand, can be a little more difficult. However, bands provide a different atmosphere to add to the day that the guests can look forward to.  Music keeps things lively and energetic, and is sure to get everyone dancing.

  • Barda

Whether guests pay for drinks or you provide an open tab, having a bar is very necessary. Having both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for guests during the reception is a great party idea.

  • Photographer/Videographer

Photographers have always been a necessity for weddings. They capture beautiful moments to always look back on to remember the wonderful day. Something that this generation has made more popular for weddings is videographers. Personally, looking back at videos is one of the best ways to relive a memory. Videographers not only film, but also put together a romantic short films to re-watch the most precious moments.

  • All You Can Eat Appetizers

Who wants to celebrate when everyone is hangry? Having consistent appetizers is so important to keep guests happy. Sometimes, people don’t love sitting down for a huge meal–especially when drinking and dancing. Having small bites will keep everyone happy.

  • A Playlist

Make sure you have an idea of what songs you do and don’t want to play. Don’t stress about it on the day of!

  • Wedding Direction Signs

Not every wedding needs direction signs, and honestly, sometimes guests don’t even bother looking. However, providing directions to parking, restrooms, reception, food, ceremony and other wedding venue locations could be beneficial for guests.

  • Wedding Menu

If you choose to have a buffet or serve the same meal to every guest, the wedding menu is not needed. However, wedding menus can be beneficial and guests will appreciate having dish options.

  • Sparklers

Sparklers are usually used for the bride and groom’s grand exit. They add a beautiful and spectacular touch to moments, photos and videos.

  • Plan For Inclement Weather

If the wedding is planned for outdoors, it’s always important to think of a plan B, just in case the weather changes. Coming up with a backup plan will save you the stress.

  • Just Relax

Forgetting about materialistic things for a moment. Remember to enjoy every step of the wedding planning journey and your special day. Everything happens for a reason and will fall into place, no matter how stressful it seems at the time.

Flora Cash photograph from Jim Merlis, Big Hassle Media for use by 360 Magazine

Flora Cash shares new single – Chronically Beautiful

RIAA platinum-certified indie-pop duo Flora Cash has today unveiled a tender and reflective new single. “Chronically Beautiful” is available now via the Swedish/American band’s own Flower Money Records at all DSPs and streaming services.

“’Chronically Beautiful’ was sparked when we were having a conversation about what it means to be beautiful,” says Flora Cash, “especially when looked at through the lens of real love. It’s not an acute, momentary perception; it’s the feeling that the person you love; the person that you waited your whole life for has a beauty that transcends any given moment and isn’t dependent on what they happen to be wearing or how their face looks that day or week or month; they’re chronically beautiful.”

Listen to “Chronically Beautiful”

“Chronically Beautiful” marks the latest new music from Flora Cash following the arrival earlier this year of the poignant new single, “Soul Mate,” available now for streaming and download. Now boasting more than 2.5M worldwide streams thus far, the track is joined by an equally powerful official music video streaming now here.

Listen To “Soul Mate”

Watch “Soul Mate”

Flora Cash was born in 2012 when Minneapolis-native Cole Randall uploaded his music to Soundcloud and caught the attention of Sweden-based Shpresa Lleshaj. The pair soon began playing music together, forming a relationship that would eventually blossom into marriage. A series of independent releases were followed by an acclaimed seven-song mini-LP, Can Summer Love Last Forever?, in March 2016. Flora Cash’s full-length debut album, Nothing Lasts Forever (And It’s Fine), arrived the following year, highlighted by the global smash single, “You’re Somebody Else.” First released in 2017, the RIAA platinum-certified single has proven a true viral phenomenon, currently boasting over 250M worldwide streams while ranking as one of Shazam’s Most Shazamed Alternative Songs in both 2019 and 2020. Hailed by Forbes as “arguably the most intriguing song on the radio this past year,” “You’re Somebody Else” was equally popular at multi-format outlets nationwide, reaching #1 at Alternative and Triple-A while also ascending to the top 5 on Billboard’s “Hot Rock Songs” chart. The track – which has also inspired countless TikTok videos in recent months – is joined by an official lyric video, now with over 133M views via YouTube alone.

As creative and engaging onstage as they are in the studio, Flora Cash lit up stages around the world with a wide range of international live dates, including tours alongside Sir Sly, Joywave, lovelytheband, Judah & the Lion, and AJR as well as festival appearances at Life is Beautiful, Bumbershoot, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Hangout Music Fest, Firefly Music Festival, and the KROQ Weenie Roast & Luau, to name but a few. The duo is currently slated to perform at Hamburg, Germany’s MS Dockville 2021, set for Friday, August 13th; additional dates will be announced soon. For updates, please visit here.

In 2020, Flora Cash released their much-anticipated sophomore album, Baby, It’s Okay, highlighted by the hit singles, “Missing Home” and “They Own This Town” and praised by Atwood Magazine for its “stunning display of stripped back, emotive songwriting, minimal introductions and impressive vocal lines are laced over lush, electro-pop instrumentals as delicate as they are organic, all delving into relational themes…a stunning second album.”

“Well-thought-out, congruent, and brilliantly detailed, Flora Cash explores themes such as post-breakup blues and coming to terms with oneself, all coated in melancholic and bittersweet vibes.” – ATWOOD MAGAZINE

“A sound that’s equal parts earthy and ethereal” – SUBSTREAM

“Bitingly bittersweet (Flora Cash’s) crystalline guitar and spine-tingling melodies give voice to that feeling of emptiness that’s recently become all-too-familiar.” – THE LINE OF BEST FIT

“Alongside artists like Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, and Francis and the Lights, Flora Cash is on the front lines of modern musicians redefining alt-pop by injecting their music with heartfelt conviction.” – EARMILK

Connect With Flora Cash

Flora Cash Website

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Youtube

Sum 41 Catching Fire Image given by Dayna Ghiraldi-Travers and Big Picture Media for use by 360 MAGAZINE.

Sum 41 x Catching Fire

Sum 41 has dropped a reimagined version of their previously released track “Catching Fire” featuring nothing,nowhere. Deryck Whibley wrote this ballad for his wife, Ari Whibley, after her suicide attempt and they are& talking about it for the first time ever in hopes to raise awareness during Mental Health Awareness Month.

Sum 41 fans from all over the world collectively submitted their stories of loss seen in the beautifully shot black and white video for “Catching Fire.” The vision behind the powerful video-turned-memorial is to shine light on suicide prevention and help tackle the stigma behind mental health head on. The video was directed by John Asher, who previously directed Sum 41’s music video for “Never There.”

On the new single, Whibley shares “Writing this song was cathartic for me in dealing with my emotions for the first time about almost losing my wife to suicide. When I first played it for her, it was the beginning of us having an open conversation about what she went through. In sharing her story, we are hoping to let others know they are not alone and that if you need help, there is no shame in saying so.”

Featured artist nothing,nowhere. continues, “As someone who has had to deal with mental illness throughout my life – it was a no brainer when Deryck approached me to get on this song. I think it’s important to let those close to you know that you love them and that you are there for them unconditionally. I’m a lifelong sum 41 fan and I’m honored to be a part of something like this.”

Fans can stream “Catching Fire” now and check out the music video here: smarturl.it/Sum41CFVideo

Armed with the most honest and intimate songs of his career, Whibley poured everything he had into Order In Decline. Producing, engineering, and mixing the album in his home studio, he painstakingly crafted and fine-tuned each song, highlighted by fast and full riffs, guitar solos from lead guitarist/backing vocalist Dave Brownsound, harmonious chords from guitarist Tom Thacker and the heavy, heart-thumping rhythm section of bassist/backing vocalist Cone McCaslin and drummer Frank Zummo. Looking back at the band’s storied 23+ year career, Order In Decline is undoubtedly Sum 41’s heaviest and most aggressive album to date, while also being their most dynamic and raw.

Order In Decline is available now at http://smarturl.it/OrderInDecline.

After over 15 million records sold worldwide, a Grammy Award nomination, 2 Juno Awards (7 nominations), Kerrang! Award in 2002, as well as multiple Alternative Press Music Awards, Sum 41 is quite simply a rock band uncompromising and honest with no intention of slowing down.

For anyone that needs help, please contact https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-8255.

Film festival illustration by Kaelen Felix for use by 360 Magazine

Jenna Elfman QxA

Jenna Elfman Talks Marriage, Nuclear Disarmament & Fear the Walking Dead

By Allison Kugel

AMC’s hit series, Fear the Walking Dead, the post-apocalyptic spin-off series of The Walking Dead– is now in the second half of its sixth season. Actress Jenna Elfman brings a tour de force performance as former ICU nurse and apocalypse survivor, June Dorie. Her character carries significant trauma, and Elfman plays each note to perfection amid a flawless ensemble cast.

What makes Jenna Elfman so interesting to watch on screen are her exotic blue eyes that dance wildly during her comedic roles, and simmer with intent during heavier, more dramatic onscreen moments.

Having come into our homes in the late 90s and early 2000s as spirited Dharma Finkelstein on the Chuck Lorre created sitcom, Dharma & Greg, and later in romantic comedy films like Keeping the Faith and EDtv, audiences got to know the funny, platinum blonde livewire that embodied younger Jenna Elfman. As Jenna puts it during our conversation, “young ingénue” roles were her specialty for many years. Whether playing opposite Matthew McConaughey or Ben Stiller, her characters were somebody’s wife or somebody’s girlfriend.

Jenna Elfman had yearned to tackle the kind of self-contained, multi-dimensional character work she now enjoys with her role in Fear the Walking Dead.

Allison Kugel: What parallels do you draw between 2020 and your apocalyptic show, Fear the Walking Dead?

Jenna Elfman: Good question. We really got to see what people do when their survival is threatened (laugh). You see the ones that tend to help, and you see the ones that tend to hoard, and everything in between. I think with the extreme example of what we do on Fear, which portrays a true apocalypse setting, it is an extreme version of the homeopathic dose we saw manifest amongst ourselves last year.

Allison Kugel: And your take on our current society and culture?

Jenna Elfman: Changing, and hopefully evolving…

Allison Kugel: What do you think the upside would be if we needed to rebuild our society from the ground up, like in Fear

Jenna Elfman: There is always a greater opportunity for harmony and tolerance, and a broader and enlightened sense of each other, and respect. I would always hope that as a culture changes, it would improve in those ways so that we could [collectively] expand our culture in a way that is safer and more fun to live within.

Allison Kugel: I first became aware of you years ago from your sitcom, Dharma and Greg. I remember seeing you in different settings, on red carpets, and thinking, “What’s the deal with this woman?  Why is she so happy?” I don’t know if that is your 24/7 being, or if that is what you portrayed publicly. But there is a lightness to you. Where does that come from?

Jenna Elfman: I love living life. I think life is fun and people are interesting, I have always been that way. I don’t know if it is my 24/7. I certainly move through all the human emotions like a normal person, but I do, as a general living condition, enjoy living life. Even the problems I tend to enjoy, because I like to try to solve them. You feel so kickass when you solve problems, and that’s part of the adventure and I enjoy that. I also genuinely enjoy and love people.

Allison Kugel: Did you want to take the role of June in Fear the Walking Dead to explore a darker, grittier side of yourself?  Is that what attracted you to this show?

Jenna Elfman: As an artist, I was craving a new opportunity to express myself in a different way. I love comedy! Comedy always comes from, to me, a sense of the tragic and the absurd. That comedy is a result of tragedy and exposing the humor of it. There is a certain kinetic rhythm to comedy which I love, but I was craving a change and I was craving a way to express myself as an artist, in a different way, and looking for that opportunity. Then Fear came along and offered me this great role, and it was exactly what I was craving. I also wanted to express myself in a more mature way than how I had been seen, previously. I felt the bulk of my career had been expressing myself kind of through a young ingenue’s viewpoint. Having aged a bit and lived life, and had so many experiences, I now wanted to express myself, artistically, through the viewpoint of a woman and bring that to my work.

Allison Kugel: I get that. This show is heavy and intense at times. Do you bring parts of it home with you?  

Jenna Elfman: I do not bring parts of it home. It is not a very mushy, psychological situation for me. When the cameras are rolling, I am June. All my preparation at home, spending hours working on the script, researching it, and working through the scenes prepares me for when the cameras are rolling so I can wholly and fully be that character. When they say cut, I’m back to Jenna. For me, the story lives in me as just that, a story. I am always contemplating the story and how I want to play tomorrow’s scenes as far as understanding my character more deeply. But I don’t bring the character home. I have too many hats to wear at home as it is, and that would make things way too difficult (laughs). You and I are both boy moms… and your son is very handsome by the way.

Allison Kugel: Aww, well, thank you. And your boys are so cute!

Jenna Elfman: And you know they want their mama’s attention, so when I’m home I kind of have to take off one hat and do that.

Allison Kugel: Is there a fellow actor who has given you great advice?

Jenna Elfman: Garret Dillahunt and Lennie James (Jenna’s castmates). When I first came on the show and I was in Lennie’s trailer, we were talking about this job on Fear and about the mythology of the storyline. He said, “What I’ve learned is, you can’t play the whole thing all at once. You cannot play the whole of the apocalypse, the whole of the mythology. It’s always there, but you can’t play all of that at once.” As an actor, getting to know this mythology and this universe I was in, that advice was very helpful to me. When we were working on episode five of season four, called “Laura,” where our characters meet and we were doing a scene on the back porch and he’s trying to get me to change my shoes and wear a more practical boot, my character is in a very self-protective zone and I said to him, “No, I’m fine.” Garret Dillahunt said, “Why don’t you just take your foot and slide that pair of shoes over and away from you?”  I was like, “Oh my God, that is brilliant!”  And so, I did that in the scene, and they left it in. I kind of just slide it away like, “No, thank you.”  I am learning from watching both of them, and I admire them a lot as actors.

Allison Kugel: What has been your greatest triumph, to date?  

Jenna Elfman: Bringing children into this world. I think that is a huge triumph, and the most rewarding endeavor I have ever tackled.

Allison Kugel: And what has been your greatest lesson, and how have you used that lesson in your life?

Jenna Elfman: The greatest lesson that I have ultimately taken along my journey is that I do not, as a policy, make assumptions about people at all anymore. Until I have had ample time with them, and I have shared experiences with them where they define who they are to me. I do not make decisions based off rumor, hearsay, or things I’ve read. I refuse to, because it is almost always wrong, and you are shortchanging somebody. Also, people change and grow and learn. If I make a snap assumption and a decision about someone, that is prejudice. I am pre-judging somebody before I’ve ever met them and before they have had the opportunity to show me who they are.   So, I don’t do that at all anymore and I know that I have changed and grown, and I would certainly like others to give me the opportunity to show and be who I am through my current actions and behaviors. It is much more exciting to allow someone to show you who they are in the present moment, and then make decisions based off that.

Allison Kugel: Do you pray? And if so, who or what do you pray to? 

Jenna Elfman: I don’t pray per the literal definition, but I do like to observe life, dream, daydream about goals for myself and for the world, and then intend them. I like to grow myself mentally and spiritually as needed to help accomplish those dreams and make them come true for myself, for my family, and for others. I guess that is a form of praying, but it is not the commonly defined form of praying. I do like to dream and intend good things, and I am always intending good things for others. It makes me feel good to look at someone and hope and intend the best version of themselves into them. I find that to be a very therapeutic endeavor.

Allison Kugel: When you intend good things for others you tend to receive a lot more from the universe, which is something I have learned over time. When somebody has something that you may want for yourself and don’t yet have and you indulge in that “Ugh” feeling of negativity and lack, you are negating yourself and taking energy away from yourself.  

Jenna Elfman: You’re invalidating yourself.

Allison Kugel: Yes, one hundred percent. If you could travel back in time and alter one historical event, where would you go and what would you attempt to change? 

Jenna Elfman: I would have prevented the ability to make nuclear bombs. I would have tried to subvert that and used the atomic and nuclear knowledge and ability for other things, not for the destruction of mankind. So, if I could go back in time, I would have drawn a hard line in the sand on what they are allowed to do with that technology, and I would eradicate all nuclear arms from the face of the earth, as opposed to their ability to eradicate mankind from the face of the earth.

Allison Kugel: Damn, that’s a good one Jenna! I would have just said something like, “I’d try to prevent Tupac from getting shot (laugh)

Jenna Elfman: (Laugh) Well, that’s also true.

Allison Kugel: You and your husband just celebrated your 26th wedding anniversary. How do you get to twenty-six years?  What do you attribute it to?  

Jenna Elfman: I think there are three things. One, we started off as best friends and we are still best friends. That means we don’t keep secrets. We’re friends and we support each other. We don’t compete against each other, except for who’s more tired (laughs). That’s always a fun game.

Allison Kugel: (Laugh) Yup!

Jenna Elfman: That is really the only area of competition. It’s about friendship and humor. Humor has always been a big part of our relationship. We love to laugh and be silly, and we love to make each other laugh.

Allison Kugel: Were you platonic friends for a long time before you became a couple?

Jenna Elfman: I was 19 and he was 21, so the platonic-ness lasted maybe a month (laugh). Then we were boyfriend and girlfriend. The third thing, I would say, is communication. We talk everything through. Even if we are having a fight and feeling like, “I don’t want to talk to you.”   We’ll take a break to collective ourselves, but we always come back and talk it out. It’s not like we haven’t gone through trials and tribulations, it’s that we always communicate our way through it.  That is the only way you come to a solution or greater understanding with anything. No problem solves itself.  Communication is kind of the lube for problem solving, so you have to be able to communicate. The fact that we are friends and have that foundation and we are faithful to each other. We don’t betray each other. We don’t cheat on each other, we don’t fuck around, we really have kept that tight and clean and respectful.

Allison Kugel: You recently moved from California to Texas, where Fear the Walking Dead shoots? Do you miss L.A.?

Jenna Elfman: Yes, I used to commute to Austin every week or every two weeks where we film the show, and with Covid happening, that commuting was not going to be a reality anymore, and now that I’m homeschooling my kids, it was like, “Okay, why not?” Austin is a great city, the people are super friendly, and the food is outstanding. We found a great neighborhood in a cul-de-sac and everybody is so nice. I don’t miss L.A. right now because it had gotten pretty dark there. It feels kind of apocalyptic in L.A. right now. I grew up in L.A., I was born and raised there and it’s not the city I grew up in right now, but it will revive itself.

Allison Kugel: What do you think you came into this life to learn, and what do you think you came here to teach? 

Jenna Elfman: I think there are so many facets to life. I feel like I am always learning and you kind of don’t know what you don’t know until you start to learn about it. Then you realize how much you don’t know. I think the benefit of our information age is how much you can learn, and how quickly you can learn it and increase your rate of knowledge. We can now access history and stories of mankind so easily. That has been one of the cool things about homeschooling my kids, is curating the stuff they are learning.

Allison Kugel: What do you think you are here to teach?

Jenna Elfman: I would hope to impact people by inspiring them to have a healthy curiosity about the world. I think to be curious about the world and life, and about other people. I hope I would inspire others to be curious and interested in life, and always [be] reaching into life and not backing away from it. Be brave, be interested, and don’t be scared to communicate.

Allison Kugel: I like that. What item still remains on your bucket list? 

Jenna Elfman: I really want to go to Greece. There was five years of my early education where I went to a Greek Orthodox school in our neighborhood, and we got to learn about Greek culture and religion. We learned the Greek language and I love Greek people so much. There is just something incredibly special to me about Greece, and I’ve always wanted to go to there to experience and fully immerse myself in that beautiful culture.

Allison Kugel: What would you still like to attempt in your career?

Jenna Elfman: I would like to continue the opportunity of character work.  That is what I love about acting so much, is the ability to live many lives in one lifetime through these characters. I am really kind of obsessed with the journey of acting and growing as an actor. That is really my jam right now. I love and will always do comedy, but I accomplished a lot in comedy. I’m on this new journey of becoming a dramatic actress and expanding my abilities in that way. I’m craving the opportunity to play more characters and to work with great artists to grow and learn from working with them.

Allison Kugel: Lastly, what is in store for your character June as this new season progresses.

Jenna Elfman: There are some big June stories coming. We are going to see this new strong but challenged side to her and she has more story to go through. I think viewers are really going to enjoy it.

Season 6B of Fear the Walking Dead is out now on AMC Network. Catch up on seasons 1 through 5 on Hulu. Follow Jenna Elfman on her website, Instagram and Twitter.

Allison Kugel is a syndicated entertainment and pop culture columnist and author of the book, Journaling Fame: A memoir of a life unhinged and on the record. Follow her on Instagram and on her website.

*Photos Courtesy of AMC/Ryan Green, Ray Katchatorian

Mina tocalini illustrates article for 360 MAGAZINE

Brands You Will Love In 2021

There is no shortage of new and established products out there for consumers to try in 2021. One thing that has become obvious over the past year is consumer preference for quality. Because online shopping has skyrocketed consumers in the U.S. and around the world are seeming to tend to require more information about the products they buy. The reason being that, while browsing is something you do even when shopping in person, the level at which you can browse when ONLINE shopping is far superior. 

Say you are at a big box store looking at laptops. Maybe there will be ten options there for you to choose from or, if the place is especially large, maybe you’ll get twenty. But on the internet, there are literally hundreds of options – all of which you can research and choose from at your leisure until you choose the right one. While increased variety is certainly not a bad thing, it can also lead to something called “decision paralysis” where your mind gets overwhelmed at the number of options and defaults to something familiar. This is where curated lists like the one below come in handy: We did the research to pick out some of the best brands so that you don’t have to!

Organic Protein

Whether you are a fitness fanatic or not, protein powder is on just about everyone’s shopping list these days. Supplementation should not be thought of as a “substitute” for a good diet but, when taken in combination with a good diet, high-quality (preferably organic) protein products like those from Orgain can make a world of difference in terms of your overall health. 

Adding a high-quality protein powder or drink to your diet can lead to better muscle growth, improved appearance of your skin, more energy, less hunger, and more. 

A Secure, Portable Cubby

Tech Tub2 is a way to keep multiple electronic devices safe when you travel with kids, or students, or whatever the case may be. The device is epecially designed for educators but also has important uses for coaches, parents, and others.

Athletic Apparel

Like every other facet of life, exercise (and physical activities in general) have a uniform. That’s not to say you should be wearing a suit on the basketball court, but you should be wearing the athletic version of the RIGHT STUFF. And that’s where tasc performance comes in. Offering some of the best in bamboo-based technology, clothing from tasc will help you look the part and feel the part whenever you are doing something athletic. It’s high-performance athletic apparel for adults with an authentic approach to their fitness.

High-Quality CBD

CBD has a wide range of benefits, many of which are only now be discovered by the American public. But not all CBD is created equal. If you are looking for a product to help you sleep better or to help reduce your muscle or joint aches and pains, considering going with broad spectrum CBD from Healist Naturals.

Shaving Done Right

LTHR Shaving makes shaving a genuinely enjoyable experience. Sure we all know that a warm, old-fashioned shave feels better and makes you look better than a rush job. But who has the time? With the hot lather shaving device by LTHR, now you do!

The Best In Men’s Jewelry

JAXXON is bringing back men’s jewelry in a big way. Whether you’re thinking about a gold chain, silver bracelet or anything in-between checkout JAXXON for high-quality jewelry at reasonable prices.

The Best Way to Get Comfy

This faux fur blanket from Everlasting Comfort is the only comfort you’ll need while traveling or when snuggling up on the couch. The right blanket makes all the difference when it comes to sleep or relaxing at the end of a long day. That is why, even when it comes to your blanket, it pays to get something that is genuinely high quality and which will feel comfortable enough to help sleep better and relax easier.

Conclusion

Organic protein, athletic apparel, and more. Many products have come out over the past year with those listed here being among the best. Enjoy!

Money & Relationship illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Money Issues × Relationships

Are Money Issues Ruining Your Relationship?

Read on for 5 tips to resolve them.

The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with families’ finances through lost jobs, squeezed budgets, increased debt, and missed payments.

Money and the decisions spouses make with it are one of the main sources of stress among couples, and sometimes money issues end relationships or cause divorce. But differences can be solved or managed if couples learn to listen to each other and work as a team to formulate a sensible plan, says financial planner Aaron Leak, the founder of ECL Private Wealth Management. 

“No matter how long you have been together, financial issues can wreak havoc on a committed relationship,” Leak says. “When couples don’t agree about spending and saving habits, it causes arguments and resentment.

“But understanding what you’re fighting about and why helps you and your partner come up with solutions. By being transparent and honest with each other about your finances, you can not only prevent arguments that strain your relationship, but you will strengthen it.”

Leak offers these tips for couples to address and resolve financial issues:

  • Understand your money styles. Think of some extreme examples of money styles in your circle. Like your friend, the foodie, who won’t touch a bottle of wine that costs less than $75. Or your sister who constantly surfs Amazon. Or your mom who washes aluminum foil, then folds and reuses it. Everyone has a money style, and it’s helpful to talk about it without any name-calling or labeling involved. Understanding your partner’s spending habits often involves a deep dive into money fears, scarcity memories and childhood traumas. Come up with a spending plan that works for both of you.
  • Decide how to divvy up the bills and save for future goals. You can both put all your earnings in a joint account and pay everything out of that. Or you can split bills down the middle and keep the rest of your own earnings for yourselves. Once you have decided how the bills get paid, you need to devise a plan for saving for your long-term goals. Remember that you need to work closely together as life changes arise – such as one of you losing a job or cutting back on hours to care for a parent. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that contingency plans are always advisable.
  • Create personal spending allowances that stay personal. Having some personal money that’s designated just for you each month can really help how you feel about your relationship. It can also help avoid relationship-ruining behavior like “financial infidelity,” when one spouse hides money or purchases from the other. The personal spending allowance gives each partner the chance to spend their money however they wish, no questions asked.
  • Face and eliminate undesirable debt. Couples should employ a strategy to pay off debt, such as paying off the higher-interest debt first or paying off the smallest loans first (the snowball method). Payments on credit cards, car loans, and student loans can devour monthly budgets, so the sooner they are paid off, the better.
  • Set a budget you can live with. One of the best ways to keep in sync with your partner financially is to have a budget as part of your overall plan. The budget includes your household bills, your personal spending allowance, your debt-paying strategy, and your monthly budget for long-term goals like retirement.

“Relationships take consistent work in order to be happy and successful, and money management is a big part of it,” Leak says. “The best way to be sure you and your spouse are staying on the same page financially is to talk honestly and without judgment.”

About Aaron Leak

Aaron Leak has 16 years of experience in the financial industry and is the founder of ECL Private Wealth Management. He holds Series 7, 6, 63 and 66 licenses as well as life, health, and property and casualty insurance licenses.

All Good Just A Week Ago

If you’re feeling a little bit lonely as a single person during quarantine, there might be a perfect book for you.

For both men and women, “All Good Just A Week Ago: Funny Dating Stories to Help You Keep Your Head in the Game” is chock-full of funny, relatable dating stories put together from interviews.

With teachable moments and unimaginable scenarios, “All Good Just A Week Ago” helps single people keep their heads in the game.

Erika McCall and Niesha Forbes, two best friends, wanted to put their quarantine time to good use, so they set up 50 interviews to gather data and stories for the book.

These stories prove that relationships can make you laugh and roll your eyes instead of cry, all while showing us that we’re not alone.

In 1950, only 22% of Americans were without a romantic partner. In 2019, 124 million Americans were without a partner.

Though the percentage of people in relationships has gone down, the desire to find love and companionship has not.

McCall said, “It’s the year of 20/20 vision, and it’s time for a dating and love revolution.”

Both authors agreed that the revolution begins with this book. With a goal to understand romantic communication and expectations, “All Good Just A Week Ago” uses stories to heal relationships and foster close, loving, committed relationships in a generation obsesses with “hook up culture.”

McCall and Forbes even get into a few of their own stories. McCall herself is single and wants to clear the way for her future husband to enter her life while Forbes is on her way to her third wedding anniversary and hopes that sharing her experience can help bring about mutual respect, kindness and traditional courtship in relationships.

McCall said her story is every woman’s story while Forbes said, “It is critical to know that once you get to a certain age, things you did in your early twenties, all those toxic behavior patterns where you’re not putting your worth above your desire to be with someone, if you don’t do the work on yourself, you will find yourself in your thirties, forties and even fifties, having not learned the important lessons or found true love.”

Following the laughs in the beginning of the book, readers will reach a call to action that encourages men and women to think critically about how to move forward with healthier relationship dynamics.

For more information about the book or to order it, you can click right here.

Kaelen Felix illustrates divorce story for 360 magazine

What Do I Need to Bring to a Divorce Attorney Consultation?

Divorce is a rocky road, but it’s better to take the bumpy off-ramp to safety than keeping pedal to the metal on a burning highway of a marriage. If you’ve decided to lawyer up for your divorce, you need to be prepared to maximize your time with the attorney by getting your documents in order, asking the right questions, and getting sound legal advice about what you can expect from your case.

Goals for your divorce

Have somewhat of a game plan going into the consultation process. If it helps to write it down so you can get your thoughts in order. Think it over and draft out some ideas in your mind of what you think the best outcome would be. What do you want at the end of this?

Some goals to think about may be maintaining certain assets. Write down what financial outcome you have in mind. Think about shared items and what you want. Who gets the car? What about the dog? 

If you have kids, they are probably at the forefront of your mind right now. Think about how you envision a custody arrangement working out, and then decide what would be best for the children and also as good as possible for you. 

Your lawyer is your confidant, and they will stick with you through the divorce (provided you continue to pay them!). But even though your attorney will advise you, head into the consultation with the mindset and attitude you want to be seen with if your divorce goes to court. With a good mindset and clear head, approach this meeting as a moment to clearly state what you want and how they can help you make it work. 

Questions you should ask

Naturally, you might have many questions before meeting with your attorney. You should write them down ahead of time so you don’t forget to get the answers you need. Don’t be embarrassed about looking at notes while you meet with an attorney. The clearer you are and the more information you provide, the better equipped your attorney will be to help you through this divorce. 

Some of the things you will want to find out from an attorney during your consultation are what you can expect the process to look like and what your attorney is like in the courtroom. Are they an aggressive defender or a calm and steady advocate in the courtroom? 

It’s also important to know what your attorney’s communication style is like. How frequently will they communicate with you throughout the legal process? How often can you contact them and how will they bill you? Find out the costs involved.

In addition to asking questions, you want to bring your honesty to the meeting. Be frank and forthcoming with your attorney about your strengths and weaknesses and ask them how they view your case, your situation, and your likely outcomes. 

Documents, records (evidence!)

When it comes to bringing relevant and important documentation to show your divorce attorney, the more the better. There are a lot of documents that are important to show your attorney and that can be used as evidence on your behalf down the line

Financial records are important, particularly in joint accounts. Remember, you are still responsible for your divorce. This means that while your attorney will help you search for discrepancies in your joint accounts, things that would indicate suspicious withdrawals or payments or transfers, you should also scour these records yourself. 

Any documented agreements with your spouse need to be at the top of this pile too. If you have a prenuptial agreement (prenup), bring it with you as that is a paramount legal document during a divorce. 

Evidence of problems is also important. If your divorce is taking place under particularly messy circumstances, you need to be ready, and your lawyer does too. Threatening messages, abusive voicemails, crazy screenshots, photographs showing illegal or dangerous actions by your spouse, evidence of destructive or violent behavior, all of that needs to be seen by your lawyer so they can provide you with vital counsel. 

Here are all the basics you want to have covered for your consultation:

  • Goals and questions written down
  • Prenuptial arrangements or other written agreements
  • Joint tax returns or income information
  • Bank account records
  • Physical or photographic evidence of wrongdoing, cheating, harm, or abuse
Covid and health illustration

Tips for Thriving During a Pandemic

By Michael Ungar, Ph.D.

“While there is much to be worried about during this pandemic, it is also an opportunity to build resilience individually and as a family.

Jessica and Faizal have been married for eight years. On the outside, their lives looked good before the pandemic. Jessica owned a small chain of salons, Faizal was an accountant in a large international firm. When they weren’t working, they travelled or golfed. They had one child, and though Faizal wanted a larger family, Jessica was hesitant to become trapped in the role of mother. Then COVID-19 happened. Jessica’s salons closed, and Faizal’s firm was hinting there’d be no bonuses this year. Without the distraction of work or travel, the couple’s relationship sputtered, and both were secretly speaking with divorce lawyers.

Like any crisis, this pandemic has forced us to examine our relationships and our values. It has stripped the veneer from dysfunctional patterns of coping. We are questioning the sanity of long hours at work or our penchant for living with high levels of household debt. While that reflection can make it seem our life is spiralling out of control, this pandemic is also forcing people to reconsider the things they need to be resilient, not just now, but in the future too.

As tragic as Jessica and Faizal’s lives may seem, the real tragedy is that they hadn’t put in place the personal, social or economic resources they needed for resilience. Resilience is most often described as our personal capacity to bounce back from hardship, and likened to thinking positive thoughts, or persevering under stress (the term ‘grit’ is common). The science of resilience, however, says something quite different. While rugged individuals can cope when their lives are stable, paychecks steady, and family conflict low, people with plenty of resources do much better when times get tough. Jessica might not have been able to control the pandemic, or its impact on her business, but she might have been able to put aside a rainy day fund. Faizal couldn’t have anticipated his loss of annual income either, but he might have invested more energy in his home life as a hedge against the emotional toll a future crisis would have on him and his family.

While research on the pandemic is now being done everywhere, there is plenty of evidence from studies of resilience during natural disasters which shows that most of us are poorly prepared for a major change. As we wait for a vaccine to become widely available and we can open up our economies without risking the lives of those with a compromised immune system, there are steps we can take to thrive during this difficult time.

  1. Put more effort into your relationships. Our individual resilience depends on the security of our relationships with others, including our family, friends and colleagues. The more we pay attention to the needs of others, the more they will pay attention to ours.
  2. Keep your days structured and maintain healthy routines. As the days go on and we struggle with change, one way to maintain good mental and physical health is to impose structure and accomplish the things we should accomplish. Structure and routine are a great way to make our lives feel predictable and increase our feelings of hope for the future.
  3. Get your finances in order. Thinking positive thoughts and being optimistic is easier when our finances are less stressed. If you have been accumulating debt, it is time to reconsider priorities and ask yourself, “Do I want to live with this much pressure?” and “What do I really need to feel happy?”
  4. Find new and powerful identities. As the pandemic continues and we spend less time at our places of business, it is important that we find new ways of showing others the things that are special about us. This is the time to explore hobbies, develop new talents, and share with others the things we like to do.
  5. Look for the spaces and places where you feel you belong. Making a contribution to the welfare of others pays a dividend in goodwill. It also makes us feel like we are part of a community, family, or workplace. The more we feel like we belong, the less likely we are to experience depression or anxiety.

Each of these steps has been shown to help people weather a crisis. For Jessica and Faizal, becoming more resilient has meant putting down their smartphones and eating dinners together as a family. It has meant asking each other for help, first with cutting up credit cards, then with making it possible for each of them to take time every day to exercise and be with family and friends. Jessica used to try to squeeze a walk in between running home to make dinner. Now she asks Faizal to cook dinner so she can spend some time looking after her own needs. If it works, she may even agree to having a second child as the family’s new pattern of caring for one another won’t mean all the responsibility for that decision falls on her shoulders.

Faizal, meanwhile, is taking control of the family’s bank account and rethinking where they live. A large home in the suburbs may bring with it some benefits, but it has also made the family vulnerable and placed them too far in debt. Change is coming, of that he’s sure. The couple are no longer seeking marriage counseling to break up. Now they’re seeing a life coach, together, to rebuild their family and their lives.

The pandemic is taking its toll, but like other disasters, it is causing many of us to rethink what we value and change the world around us so we can come back stronger.”

Michael Ungar, Ph.D., is a Family Therapist and Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience at Dalhousie University. His latest best-selling book is Change Your World: The Science of Resilience and the True Path to Success. More about Dr. Ungar: www.michaelungar.com