Posts Tagged ‘banks’

postheadericon Financial Help when in Financial Trouble

As I was outside with our twins today, my mind was literally racing thinking about money in marriage. Remember the average human has 55,000 thoughts per day which means 2,292 thoughts per hour and 38 thoughts every minute. So I was burning up those 38 thoughts in the few minutes I was out there.

What was coming to me was husbands and wives often need financial help but think it is going to cost them more money then they have. Therefore, they choose not to get the help and their marital finances get worse. Costly choice. I remember making choices like that. I don’t know if you have heard the saying, “You don’t know until you know.” So if you are a husband or wife that needs financial guidance, what can you do? I want to propose several solutions to you.

1) If you do not know exactly what your financial situation is, take a deep breath and order your credit report from one of the credit bureaus.

2) Write down what you do know such as what are open outstanding late bills while waiting for that credit report to arrive.

3) Write down also what you know is the amount of income being received for the household and what are your expenses that must be met each month.

4) After doing those things, take a sheet of paper and write down what the questions are that you have and need answers to.

5) Next, get on the internet and begin doing your research. Listen, cleaning up finances takes diligence and dedication and does not have to involve a lot of money. For example, you can come to this site http://www.moneytalkmatters.com and put in search words, there is also a page of calculators. You can also go to http://thewandwgroup.com for information on estate planning, personal finances and retirement and if you are searching for a way to manage your finances online you can go to http://www.moneystrands.com or even http://www.mint.com .

6) If you are seeking to speak with a counselor, then you can also contact me via my website and know that I don’t believe in people going into debt to learn how to manage their money, nor get out of debt.

When getting financial help you have to understand, you are not investing in that person that is teaching you money management you are investing in yourself, your marriage and your family for a lifetime. Do what is best for you without breaking the bank and recognizing that you cannot continue in the same fashion that you have been. If you want a different result, you have to take a different action.

postheadericon The Brits are hiding Extravagant purchases from Spouses

Being the researcher that I am, I was reviewing different press releases tonight to keep up on things happening in the marriage movement and I found a release titled Almost 2 million Brits Admit to hiding extravagant purchases from their spouse. WHOAAAA.

It says “The Bank’s research found that almost one in five (18.5%) people in debt and in a relationship claim to be hiding the true extent of their debt from their partner or spouse.” This is an international problem – talking about money apparently is not on the top of couples list.

It is time to change that because that is unbelievable. This goes to show that people are not comfortable even in marriage opening up and disclosing their financial challenges. Yet, when most people get married within their vows are included the words For Better or For Worse, For Richer or For Poorer. What does anyone have to gain from all this secrecy? I say nothing. However, you have a lot to LOSE by hiding these truths.

The way I see it, these financial challenges are temporary and once a husband or wife takes control of their finances it can all change. But if they choose to continue the secrets and managing money improperly, more than likely the door will be open for additional financial challenges. I will let you in on a secret – until you begin correcting and talking about the financial mistakes, you are in a vicious cycle of making more mistakes and incurring more financial stress in your life.

Take control of your finances today and do not be controlled by your finances. There is a big difference.

postheadericon Marriage and Money Movie #16 – Disappearing Acts

I am glad this one did not completely get by me.  About two or three weeks ago, a colleague recommended I watch this movie after reading some of my previous reviews.  Of course some of my favs were in it Sanaa Lathan, Wesley Snipes, John Amos and CCH Pounder.

Zora Banks, who is a young independent woman, a singer and teacher  moves to another city and meets construction worker, Franklin that has been doing work in her building, specifically her brownstone. Zora notices Franklin and vice versa. Franklin returns later to Zora’s brownstone and they become intimately involved prior to any background discussions.  AFTER the fact, they began to talk about some of their personal life which could be viewed as secrets that they did not share prior to becoming intimate. Then once these truths begin to reveal themselves, the relationship gets complicated. This movie deals with separation, children, pregnancy, finances, employment, job loss and more. Of course I did not want to give away too much but highly recommend you see this movie if you have not already.

Money Implications:  When you are in a relationship, do not make one person feel as if they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders when it comes to finances. If you do, they will eventually grow tired and could seek an escape route.

Observation:  If you are seriously involved with an individual that is separated but not divorced, you need to consider all the facts – what type of debt do they have, are they paying child support, are they working and more.

If your relationship consists of you paying all the bills, know that there is the possibility that your finances will begin to run short because you are the only one paying all the bills, paying for dates, etc. After a period of time, this might not feel as good as when you first started.

When Zora and Franklin met they both had individual dreams, however they let emotions and circumstances of life get them off track. Once she threw him out, they focused on their dreams and accomplished those goals separately.

Recommendations:

1)  Be honest about your backgrounds including finances upfront before there is physical involvement. Emotions can cloud your judgment.

2) Establish mutual financial goals for your marriage. If you are seriously dating and not married yet, pay attention to financial habits that are exhibited even in the dating stage. This could give you insight into how they will handle financial challenges during marriage.

3) If you are in a serious relationship with someone that is separated but not divorced and children are involved, you must really consider a couple of different things: a) if you ended up marrying this person could this happen to you several years down the road where they are now seeing someone else and you are at home with the kids; b) if the person is not paying child support to existing children what would happen if you had children with the person and they left you at some point in time; c) find out what their plan is regarding divorce and what do they see for the future of your relationship?

4) If your husband is a contractor or wants to start his own business, encourage him and do not tear him down. Tearing him down will not result in the bottom line being met.  Ask if there is anything you can do to help. Teamwork – partnership is essential in marriage.

postheadericon Marriage and Money Movie #14 – Frozen River

Alright readers, I have to say this is not a movie that I would have known about if it had not come recommended. This movie is about two women who were left by their husbands at a certain point in their marriages and left with children to raise on their own. Mind you I don’t think either of them got divorced, one day the husbands just went out and never returned. Consequently these women do what they have to do to make ends meet and provide for their children, hmmm even involved illegal activity. It is a PHENOMENAL independent film that should DEFINITELY be watched.

Money Implication: I can understand being put in a situation where you have to earn money for survival but do not put yourself in a situation where you do something illegal and end up in jail. That has more lasting consequences, especially if you are the only parent that your children have.  THINK BIG picture.

Money Tip #1: If one day your spouse walks out on you and you did not prepare for it, immediately go to your bank where you have a joint account and get the money out so that you are not left without any money.

Money Tip #2: Contact credit card companies if you have joint cards and share what is going on. You do not want that spouse charging huge amounts and you are left attempting to “scrape” money together to pay that bill when you should be maintaining  food, clothing and shelter.

Money Tip #3: Be honest with the kids and provide for them the best way that you know how. For example, you can make a game out of it if you have to have breakfast for dinner.

Money Tip #4: If you are left with two cars per se and one of your children are not old enough to drive it, why don’t you consider selling the car.

Observation:  These women had different backgrounds but ended up being put in the same situation, their husbands left. The character Ray ended up  meeting with Lila who was smuggling immigrants. Lila’s child was taken by the father’s family. Lila was doing what she had to in order to survive. She worked at the local Bingo parlor but apparently did not think it was enough.

Recommendations: Be honest with yourself about what your expenses are.

Make sure that you have food, clothing and shelter whether you have kids or not.

Do not engage in any illegal activity in order to provide for your kids. Check the local shelters, non-profit organizations and churches to see what kind of assistance they can offer you.

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postheadericon Marriage and Money Movie #13 – Waiting to Exhale

This is one of my favorites – the story of four women that have their individual stories that deal with professionalism, parenting, marriage, a divorced mother and single woman seeking a man. One of my primary  reasons for including this movie is because there are varying dynamics that warrants its inclusion. Each character: Savannah, Robin, Gloria and Bernadine have great story lines.

These women share each others triumphs and struggles throughout this movie. Savannah was the professional, single woman that did not let her “single status” keep her from reaching her goals.  Although her mother felt every woman “NEEDS” a man. Robin was the professional, single woman that had been burned by men so much that she did not look at them the same. Furthermore, she had lost her self-respect but gained it back in the end. Gloria was the divorced parent that owned a hair salon and who had almost cut herself off from relationships because she had gotten used to spending time with her son that was graduating from high school. She does have an interest in the widowed neighbor. Lastly, we have Bernadine who was married to a professional and mother of two children. When Bernadine wanted to start a business, he told her it was not the right time. So she put everything she had into building his businesses. Strongly recommend you watch the entire movie.

Money Implications:  I am going to do this based on each character:

Savannah – she had money and still had some degree of difficulty in who she was as a person. Her mother had limited finances and was attempting to keep it from Savannah. Once Savannah found out, she wired the money for her mother. 

Robin – she lived somewhat comfortably but was settling for mediocre men. Had a great job and clearly was making money but what she thought about herself was reflected in the men she dated. Did not really value who she was until the end of the show.

Gloria – the entrepreneur of the group. She appeared to be doing well financially.

Bernadine – the true “lesson” in this group. Do not put everything you have into your spouse. This lady was not aware of what the husband had been doing regarding putting EVERYTHING in his name. Once he decided he wanted a divorce, initially it appeared as if she was not going to get anything.

Money Tip #1:  Having money does not mean you cannot have financial problems in your life.

Money Tip #2: If you are an entrepreneur or seeking to become an entrepreneur, do your homework. What type of business are you seeking to start, what are the start-up costs, who is your target audience, can you start this business without taking money from the household budget and another major statement that you cannot ignore: If you are married, talk with your spouse before starting a business especially if it will impact your time and family finances.

Money Tip #3: This applies to the husband and the wife – share with each other about the household finances. Do not let the money manager be the only one that is aware of all the bank accounts, how much money is in each account and when the bills are due.

Money Tip #4:  Husbands and wives do not get lost in the marriage. Meaning put everything into the one person where you have no self-identity. That costs you in the long run.

Money Tip #5: Husbands and Wives – stay faithful to your mate and do not even think about the grass on the other side. It does not matter who attempts to flirt with you.  Based on a lot of stories in national news  and facts – people that enter into infidelity are paying a “HEAVY PRICE” and sometimes it is their life in addition to money.

Money Tip #6: For single parents, if you are not getting the child support that you are due it is up to you to decide what action you are going to take. Also, recommend that you create great memories every day with your children. Creating memories does not necessarily have to involve a lot of money.

Money Tip #7: For the new single parent, when it comes to money – take the time to sit down and detail your new household budget and expenses. This will show you what you need to run your household from month to month.

Observation:  Money impacts lives in many ways and should not be ignored. Take the time today to look at the roles money plays in your life.

Recommendations:  I know there are times when we as women vent to our girlfriends about our spouses, what I want to say on this is take the time to talk with your husband about your finances and issues you are facing. The two of you are on the same team – solve the situation together.

For the single parent, ensure that you find out all of the resources available to you through different organizations that assist single parents. Some could be local and there could be some that are on the internet. Do your research.

For the newly divorced spouse, pull yourself together and know that being single does not define who you are. Think about what you want to do with your life and what example do you want to set for your children.

Add this to your movie collection today:

postheadericon Beware of Trial Offers Especially Dealing with Grants

This is post to show you that you always have to pay attention to your bank statements and anything that involves money. Tonight I was preparing to work on the accounting for my husband’s business and came across a line item that I KNOW he would not purchase.

So I began putting on my investigative hat to figure out what happened. I noticed the charge started in January and it really made me wonder. I decided to google the phone number listed and what showed up did not make any sense considering it was not something his business would use.

I thought to myself – alright I saw different names that showed up on Google as the company’s name.  I said to myself wait a minute. Let me check my old files and see if I had signed up for a trial and then they took it a step further.

Well – I found out that I signed up for a trial offer that was $1.99 for 7 days. Nothing more. The charge per month is approximately $60. Of course I am all over this and filing complaints and putting a screeching halt to this before they take out anymore.

I did some more research and look at this link:

http://futurehopenow.wordpress.com/category/government-grant-scams/

So before you sign up for that next trial offer – think twice. That one or two dollars could end up being several hundred.

postheadericon Separate Accounts in Marriage – Control issue or not?

I wanted to address this morning the separate accounts issue because I was asked about it during both interviews last night. In a time when couples are preparing to walk down the aisle and other couples are dealing with financial challenges, I felt it was time to share it on this blog.

My position on whether a couple should have separate accounts is detailed below:

1) If you are engaged and either one of you have debt, it is my recommendation that the accounts remain separate until the debt is cleaned up. Furthermore, there are some banks that might not add a spouse to the bank account if they have debt. Keep that in mind.

2) It is acceptable to have a separate account (Do not stop reading at this point) for pampering each other and having the ability to surprise one another with the understanding that the husband and wife have access to each of these accounts and is knowledgeable of what is in the account.

3) Once the credit is cleaned up for those that have financial challenges, then absolutely a joint account is the way to go.

At the end of the day, it boils down to do you want your marriage to have financial transparency or are you going to open the door from the outset for financial infidelity. Once financial infidelity happens and it is on the table, trust is broken, arguments begin to occur and the spouse who found out about the financial infidelity will wonder what else is being kept from him or her.

I do not condone have a separate account to utilize as a “Break away fund” meaning when I have had enough, I have more than enough money saved to break away from this marriage. When you say “I Do” those vows specifically state – For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.” Don’t take your vows lightly.

Caution: When you lose trust, it is hard to get it back. Think long and hard what statement you are making if you want separate accounts and do not have a financial issue.

postheadericon Are Food Pantries an Option?

Viewing our local, Comcast Newsmakers today – they were discussing one of the local food pantries. They were sharing how they are seeing a lot of first time people coming through the door and people are embarrased, don’t know the system.

I remember going to the food bank at the Church I attended when I was in debt and I didn’t want anyone to see me coming from the food bank. So I made sure I parked my car around the bank and did not have to walk around to the front of the church. Then there came that one time when my then fiance’ was taking me home after Church and he did not come to the back and pick me up. I had to walk around the front and was sooo embarrassed and mad at him. That day, the pride was broken.

Another aspect the interviewer from Metro Care Ring shared is they are getting food for primarily five days and they still need to access other food pantries. 

If you are in need of a food resource, there are:

Share Colorado – www.sharecolorado.com – services Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Angel Food Ministries – www.angelfoodministries.com – serve throughout the United States. View their site for complete details.

postheadericon Housing Help – Did it help you?

Last night my husband and I were talking about the housing market and the banks. He was sharing with me how he heard this one woman was saying she tried to be proactive and before her financial situation occurred, she contacted her mortgage lender.

Lender’s response: They did nothing.

Why did they do nothing? Because her mortgage was current and on time.

Result: Financial situation occurred and she got behind four to six months I believe.

Her Next Move: Contact the Lender

Result: Did not help her out because she did not meet that criteria.

My husband was disgusted. I told him there are people out there in her same position. They have taken steps to be proactive and the mortgage lender has shunned them because their situation did not meet the criteria for help. Was not drastic enough because their payment history was exemplary. Then when they got behind a little and asked for help – met with a closed door.

I’ve heard similar stories from people personally that this happened to. What this says is that you have to CREATE your own BAILOUT. When it was announced that we were in a recession, the economy had already been in a recession. Once it was “VERBALIZED” then it was like a domino effect.

I feel comfortable in saying that everyone who is having financial issues and not able to pay their mortgage now, did not spend recklessly, take elaborate trips and etc. More than likely what happened is they were coasting along, paying their bills just fine and then all of sudden the word “RECESSION” was verbalized and work started drying up (if they worked for someone else), orders became less and less (if they owned their own business). Now they were in the position of having to decide pay this or pay that which they had not been in before.

First step in creating your own bailout: Re-evaluate all of your household obligations and be honest with yourself. What do you NEED? Are there subscriptions that you have that you do not benefit from?

You are the one that has take action for your benefit. Take action today.

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