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New ponies, warmer weather welcome in spring -4/15/2014, 8:47 AM

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Winners chosen for Hays art exhibition -4/10/2014, 12:12 PM

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Many factors can cause stress in families, including divorce, death -4/4/2014, 9:23 AM

God brings life to dry bones -4/4/2014, 8:27 AM

Aging issues addressed in April Extension programs -4/3/2014, 9:51 AM

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Power of vegetables and fruits -3/27/2014, 8:46 AM

A few more expensive pinot noirs, but ones well worth the cash -3/25/2014, 9:27 AM

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Families need to find proper ways to deal with stress -3/23/2014, 9:20 AM

Birthday -3/19/2014, 9:19 AM

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Propane refill hits budget; hog butchering on tap -3/11/2014, 3:03 PM

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The Church is called to reflect Jesus outside of church -3/7/2014, 3:49 PM

Extension workshop features estate planning -3/6/2014, 3:49 PM

Enhance employee wellness with Walk Kansas -3/5/2014, 3:49 PM

Change your clocks, smoke alarm batteries -3/4/2014, 3:49 PM

Winter blues continue for Eicher family -3/4/2014, 1:53 PM

KDOT announces approved February bids -3/3/2014, 4:28 PM

K-23 pavement replacement project to begin -3/3/2014, 4:19 PM

Celtic guitarist Barlow performing at library -3/2/2014, 4:10 PM

Walk Kansas program offers health benefits -3/2/2014, 12:08 PM

Reflections on my 5 years in Hays -2/28/2014, 7:54 AM

Preserving the Family planning event March 14 -2/27/2014, 3:49 PM

Nex-Tech hosting Tech Edge Conference in June -2/27/2014, 4:28 PM

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Student graphic designs featured in exhibit -2/26/2014, 3:49 PM

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Adjustment period can take time in step-families -2/24/2014, 11:21 AM

Birthdays -2/24/2014, 11:21 AM

Extension offers financial planning programs -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

FHSU alum to host pitch fundraiser -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

Program to focus on parenting teenagers -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

Snow continues to pile up for Eichers as they hope for warmth -2/18/2014, 4:44 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 16, 2014) -2/16/2014, 2:53 PM

To strengthen relationships, celebrate success -2/14/2014, 10:04 AM

Sternberg Museum to offer summer camps -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Natoma girl promotes state program -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hansen Museum displays students' artwork -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays Symphony showcases 3 young artists -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays Eagle Scout earns award -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

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Cold makes for long days for Eichers -2/4/2014, 4:23 PM

Divorce can have dramatic effect on children -2/3/2014, 10:13 AM

Whitetail agent has message -2/2/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays native wins award at bioscience symposium -1/30/2014, 11:26 AM

Be aware of earned income tax credit -1/30/2014, 11:26 AM

Learning to make the most of every day in 2014 -1/29/2014, 10:00 AM

'I, Frankenstein' a monstrously bad movie -1/28/2014, 10:15 AM

Snow still piling up for Eicher family; vacation time extended -1/28/2014, 8:54 AM

Adaptability, self-regulation key for divorcing parties -1/27/2014, 9:59 AM

God gives us gifts, wants us to share with others -1/24/2014, 11:16 AM

Celebration Church announces new series service -1/24/2014, 11:16 AM

'Jack Ryan' lays new foundation -1/21/2014, 10:01 AM

Eicher family rings in New Year in style -1/21/2014, 8:48 AM

Seeding to begin on I-70 in Sherman County -1/17/2014, 5:39 PM

The memories behind a bottle of wine -1/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Eichers gather as one big family for holiday -1/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Process of divorce can leave families in limbo at times -1/13/2014, 10:15 AM

KDA creates easy-to-follow guidelines for farmers, ranchers -1/8/2014, 3:34 PM

Eichers busy during holiday season -1/7/2014, 8:18 AM

Kansas online tax filing now available through KS WebFile -1/6/2014, 4:22 PM

Rep. Huelskamp announces military academy nominations -1/6/2014, 2:42 PM

Traveling Lincoln Exhibition coming to Hays library -1/6/2014, 2:24 PM

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Divorce, remarriage can have drastic outcome on development -1/6/2014, 3:41 PM

Commerce Bank names O'Connor market president -1/3/2014, 2:02 PM

Fatalities on Kansas' roads hit all-time low in 2013 -1/3/2014, 10:15 AM

Dreams abound for a happy, peaceful new year in 2014 -1/1/2014, 12:45 PM

Kansas ends 2013 on target -12/31/2013, 3:02 PM

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Business Briefcase (Dec. 29, 2013) -12/29/2013, 1:56 PM

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'American Hustle,' 'Anchorman 2' worth seeing -12/24/2013, 9:10 AM

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Bridge replacement project to start on K-27 in Wallace County -12/23/2013, 8:30 PM

Business Briefcase (Dec. 22, 2013) -12/22/2013, 11:19 AM

Management minute -- Mentoring 101 -12/22/2013, 11:18 AM

Hibbett Sports prepares for new location -12/22/2013, 11:18 AM

Another year's FHSU graduates find 95-percent rate of success in jobs, advanced study -12/20/2013, 11:42 AM

Public record, Dec. 20, 2013 -12/20/2013, 10:42 AM

What the Bible says: Is it really OK to OMG? -12/20/2013, 10:05 AM

FUMC to host night service -12/20/2013, 10:04 AM

Nex-Tech Wireless hosts annual holiday toy drive -12/19/2013, 10:04 AM

Holiday traditions build strong families -12/19/2013, 10:04 AM

Public record, Dec. 18, 2013 -12/18/2013, 10:42 AM

'The Desolation of Smaug' shows improvement -12/17/2013, 11:28 AM

Business Briefcase (Dec. 15, 2013) -12/15/2013, 3:20 PM

Chamber schedules events -12/13/2013, 8:50 AM

Utility, bank establish training program -12/11/2013, 8:07 AM

Excerpts honoring America's veterans -12/11/2013, 8:46 AM

'12 Years a Slave' intimate, powerful -12/10/2013, 10:09 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Secrets to a happy (and financially sound) marriage

Published on -6/27/2013, 10:15 AM

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In Kansas, June is the most popular month for weddings. While many brides and grooms are walking down the aisle for the very first time this month, others are getting married for the second time, or more.

Most people want a marriage that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, couples entering their first marriage have approximately a 50 percent chance of getting divorced. Remarriage carries an even greater risk, with nearly a 60 percent divorce rate.

What should today's newlyweds do to ensure they can beat the odds and live happily ever after? Start by being wise money managers, according to an Extension research study done with happily married couples.

In this study, 64 couples who identified themselves as having great marriages, reported why their marriages were so great and not surprisingly, many of the reasons were financial. So what exactly did they say were the secrets to a happy -- and financially sound -- marriage?

Of couples with great marriages:

1) At least one spouse handles daily finances. It does not matter if it is the husband or wife, and expertise in financial matters is not extremely important either. In fact, the spouse with the most time or desire might be the best selection.

2) There is ample trust and communication. This does not mean there are never disagreements, but there is a positive pattern for communicating about all financial matters, including freedom for both spouses to spend money as long as they communicate and agree about large purchases.

3) There is little or no debt. Becoming debt-free was a more important indicator of marital satisfaction than having a higher income or having more possessions. Never buying a car unless it was paid for with cash was singled out by several couples as an important way to avoid debt problems, along with fully paying off credit cards each month, and paying off the mortgage quickly.

4) They live within their means. Couples said they did not buy what they could not pay for. Sounds simple enough, but affects all aspects of life. For example, one couple decided the wife should stay home with the kids, but they agreed to make a drastic change in lifestyle to accommodate the decreased income by doing their own car maintenance, painting their own house, making gifts instead of buying them, camping instead of using hotels on vacation, etc.

5) They still had financial challenges. Even living without debt and living within means does not make couples immune to financial challenges such as job loss or medical emergencies.

But following the previously mentioned guidelines, their marriages still were strong in spite of these challenges.

It takes two to make a marriage work, but only one poor money manager to make it fail. We're often quick to point out how our spouse could change, but the next 60 seconds of your life could be marriage-saving if you honestly think about what you could do to improve your financial management skills -- and strengthen your marriage.

Linda Beech is a Kansas State University Research & Extension agent in Ellis County specializing in family and consumer sciences. lbeech@ksu.edu

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