Love and Mortgage

Forget what you may have heard. Marriage and mortgages are still important priorities to millennials. What has most notably changed is the age and order in which young people are choosing to take these major steps in life. Many couples are deciding to purchase key rings before looking at engagement rings. When you and your honey are looking at houses, here are some things to consider before you say “I do” to a home.

Realistic Expectations

Be it a Classic 6 townhome or a 4-bedroom, 3-bath on 2 acres, you and your partner have probably put some thought into what your dream home will be like. Before you set your hearts on a home, put away the Pinterest boards and pull out your wallets. Setting realistic expectations of what and where you can afford may change your priorities. Decide what’s more important. For instance, being close to work (and saving on gas or transport costs) may trump the “necessity” of a man cave or stainless steel appliances.

Scores and Savings

Since unmarried couples are typically seen as separate applicants for loans, you and your partner will need to have an open conversation about your credit scores and savings accounts before applying. If one of you has a less-than-ideal score, the other may consider applying individually. The issue there is that an individual income may lower loan amounts. For down payments, your combined incomes may lower monthly payments. How you divide these payments (percentage of income or availability, for example) is something you should decide on together before applying for loans.

In Writing

Whether you’re joint tenants, keepers of a living trust or tenants in common, you both need to take action to protect yourselves in the event of the unimaginable. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in real estate law is a wise step before purchasing property together. This meeting is also an opportunity to discuss how the property would be distributed in the event of a death or break up and how records of payment should be kept in relation to your home.

Don’t hesitate to speak with professionals about your current finances and your plans for ownership. They’re there to help! Getting your lender and real estate attorney on the same page can help you develop a plan and is a smart way of deciding on the best option for you and your partner as your cross the threshold of home ownership.

Spending Freeze Challenge: Day 1

Welcome all Spending Freeze participants! Today is the first day of the challenge, and any sign-ups after today will not be accepted. Hopefully, you have planned out your meals and activities in order to avoid spending these next ten days. So settle in, get comfy and let us know how you plan to get the job done!

Per the rules, please post a comment to this specific blog post about your experience. It can be a sentence or two or a paragraph or two. The length is up to you. Below is a prompt to help you get started, but do not feel you need to post on this specific topic.

Thanks and good luck!

Day 1 prompt: What steps did you take in preparation for the Spending Freeze Challenge?

Join the MCU Spending Freeze Challenge – $300 to Winner

Are you a savvy saver? Or, are you looking for the right motivation to change your financial habits? Join the MCU Spending Freeze Challenge for a chance to prove your skills and begin your journey down the road to savings supremacy. One lucky winner will receive $300. Here’s what you need to know:

For 10 days, Jan. 26 to Feb. 4, participants can’t spend a dime (unless it’s on our “Okay-to-Spend” list, but more on that in a moment). No morning coffee run, no fast food, no impulse purchases. Then, you’ll chronicle your experience with a daily submission in the comment section of this blog post. We want to know what surprises you during the challenge. Tell us all about the creative recipes you’re whipping up. A few sentences will do.

If you don’t spend (honesty is the best policy) and you keep up on your daily comments, you’ll be eligible to upload a photo to the MCU Facebook page and write about your experience. Whoever has the most votes by Feb. 11, 2015, will win the grand prize of $300.

Okay-to-Spend List

We all have bills to pay and MCU understand that sometimes life can surprise us. So, we’ve made a list of allowances:

Bills –Rent, utilities, car payments – some things are simply unavoidable.

Gas –For your car, not the snowblower.

Emergencies –Hospital visits, doctor appointments, car trouble and so forth.

Medications/Prescriptions –Staying healthy is priceless, after all.

Think you’ve got what it takes? Sign up by commenting on this post with your first and last name. Remember, the contest officially begins Jan. 26. In the meantime, it’s probably not a bad idea to start stocking up on supplies. Good luck!


Official Rules


The Contest is sponsored by Missouri Credit Union (MCU) with principal place of business at 111 East Broadway, Columbia, MO 65203.

Binding Agreement:

Each person entering this contest agrees by the act of participation to be bound by these rules and procedures of MCU’s Spending Freeze Contest.

How to Enter:

During the Contest Period, visit the MCU blog page at and register. Just click on the comment link, scroll to the bottom until you see the “reply” section, and register. You can add a “reply” by signing in with your WordPress, Facebook, Twitter or G+ account. Just simply click on the Facebook, Twitter, G+ or WordPress icon.


Once the 10 days of no spending is completed, follow the directions to upload a photo that displays you or a memento from your experience, referred to as your submission (“Submission”). By uploading your Submission, you agree that your Submission conforms to the Photo Guidelines and Content Restrictions as defined below (collectively, the “Guidelines and Restrictions”) and that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may remove your Submission and disqualify you from the Contest if it believes that your Submission fails to conform to the Guidelines and Restrictions. The photo must include the hashtag #MCUSpendingFreeze and a caption of up to five sentences about the photo (i.e., how your experience was, a highlight, or simply why you decided to sign up.

Photo Guidelines:

  • The Submission must be in JPG or PNG format.
  • The Submission must not exceed 5MB in size.
  • The Submission cannot have been submitted previously in a promotion of any kind or exhibited or displayed publicly through any means.

Eligibility Restrictions:

You must be at least 18 years of age to enter this contest, live in Missouri, have a WordPress account and “like” MCU’s Facebook page. Employees, contractors, and official office-holders of MCU; advertising and promotion agency representatives; agents (“Contest Entities”); and members of the Contest Entities’ immediate families (parents, siblings, children, spouses, and life partners of each) and members of the households (whether related or not) of such employees and officers are ineligible to participate in this Contest.

Entry Deadline:

You must be signed up on WordPress, and begin the 10-day freeze on January 26, posting daily on the MCU blog about your experience through February 4, 2015. After that, your Spending Freeze photo must be submitted between midnight (Central Time) February 4, 2014 and midnight (Central Time) February 11, 2015. Participants may submit only one photo.

How the Winner is Selected:

The entrant who did not spend during the 10 days, posted once daily on the blog, and has the most votes by midnight February 11, 2015, Central Time, will be the potential winner. Each person can vote on a photo entry one time, but can vote on an unlimited number of photos.

Notification of the Winner:

Becoming the winner is subject to validation (valid driver’s license faxed to MCU) and verification of eligibility and compliance with all the terms and conditions set forth in these rules. If a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, the photo that received the next highest votes will be chosen as the potential winner. The potential winner will be notified by telephone and/or email, at Sponsor’s discretion. If a potential winner does not respond to the notification attempt within three days of the first notification attempt, then such potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate potential winner will be selected from among all eligible entries received based on the highest votes.


In the event of a tie, the photos involved in the tie will be put up for a revote for three days. The photo with the most votes at midnight on February 16, and that entrant is the potential winner.

Photography Requirements:

Your photos cannot contain any content, element, or material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement.

If the photograph contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or that are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any people appear in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary.

In addition, the Submission must not:

  • Be derogatory, offensive, threatening, defamatory, disparaging, libelous, or contain any content that is inappropriate, indecent, or otherwise does not comply with the theme and spirit of the Contest.
  • Disparage Sponsor, Administrator or any other person or party affiliated with the Contest.
  • Contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • Contain material that is unlawful, in violation of or contrary to the laws or regulations in any state where Submission is created.


Any false information provided within the context of the Contest by an entrant concerning identity, age, mailing address, telephone number, email address, ownership of rights or noncompliance with these Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the entrant from the Contest.


By receipt of any prize, winner agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, Administrator, and Facebook, and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, suppliers, distributors, advertising/promotion agencies, and prize suppliers, and each of their respective parent companies and each such company’s officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any claim or cause of action, including but not limited to personal injury, death, or damage to or loss of property, arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.


The winner will receive $300.00 by Feb. 20, 2015. Any additional taxes or expenses associated with the awarded prize are the responsibility of the winner.

Advertising Disclaimer:

Acceptance of any prize shall constitute and signify winner’s agreement and consent that Sponsor and its designees may use the winner’s name, city, state, likeness, photo, Submission and/or prize information in connection with the Contest for promotional, advertising or other purposes, worldwide, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, including the Internet, without limitation and without further payment, notification, permission or other consideration, except where prohibited by law.

Change in Rules:

These rules may be modified at any time at the sole discretion of MCU.