Posts Tagged ‘credit’

postheadericon Saying “I Do” without a Financial Plan leads to Financial Rollercoaster

Are you reading this and are a bride to be or even a groom? Do you have a financial plan before you say “I Do”? The plan cannot be don’t discuss it and it will all go away. Hmmm, I wonder how many people who thought that prior to getting married are no longer married. I bet you could find some, maybe even close friends, family members or even co-workers. They may not say anything to you beforehand, but afterwards – you will get more advice than you need.

Yes, I understand completely that it is hard to talk about money. But is it harder to lose the love of your life because of financial issues that smothered the marriage to where you could no longer talk to each other? Or is it harder to be faced with losing your home because you did not speak up and get financial guidance to stop the vicious cycle of debt you were in because of a lack of knowledge? Could you literally be one phone call or email away from an answer that could turn your life around or finances around but you will not know because you are embarrassed to share that you have made financial mistakes?

At the end of the day, you are making a choice about your finances, marriage and your future. What do you want to see happen for your money and marriage? How does it happen? I can assure you, embarrassment and not taking action only causes you to remain the way you are.

postheadericon Throwing in the Towel because of Money Issues in Marriage!

Hmmm. This title came to me while I was writing a different post. Yes, this means it is for someone out there. There are many husbands and wives that throw in the marriage towel because of money challenges that present in marriage. Let me ask you a few questions:

1) Are you throwing in the towel because you are no longer willing to fight for your marriage? Marriage with two committed people does take work and it does not have to be hard like everyone says it is. People’s perception of marriage has gotten distorted based on what friends have experienced in marriage, family members in marriage, as well as co-workers. Recommendation: When it comes to your marriage, be honest with yourself – search deep down and ask yourself have you given it your best shot.

2) Can the financial issues not be repaired? Are there so many financial issues that you feel you have not options? If you feel that you have no options, did you take steps to consult with a financial counselor or advisor to get counseling on your specific situation. Or are you continuing to utilize your credit card and incur more debt thereby making the financial issues worse? Recommendation: Before you throw in the towel because you feel the financial issues cannot be repaired, be honest with yourself. What part of the financial issues that exist did you cause? They were not caused by one party – both of you are in this together. Second if the financial challenges got to be sooo difficult and you chose to move out (I didn’t say divorce) and get a place of your own, now you are incurring more bills. That did not solve the problem. As a matter of fact,  that creates a bigger financial problem for the marriage. Why? Because now you have chosen to live a separate life and incur additional debt. Question: Is that what your goal was when you decided to leave? Next question: What happens if you decide to work it out within your marriage and now you return with a new stack of bills?

  3) I cannot help but wonder, how many people entered into marriage without talking about finances. Then once they found out there was existing debt on a husband or wife’s part that was brought into the marriage, they are ready to throw in the towel. Recommendation:  Not meaning to sound harsh – this is how I see it. You have to a legal age to get married, which means you are an adult. I am sure a lot of couples had discussions prior to getting married that invooved money, yet they creatively skirted around the deeper issues that involved money that could have raised a red flag. Be honest with yourself, if you did not discuss money before and are starting to find out some not so pretty financial habits – take the time now to talk before you make any hasty, life long decisions.

Before you throw in the towel because of the pressure and stress, be honest with yourself about your role in your money and marriage.

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 Marriage and Money Movie #25 – Guess Who

I had to watch this movie a second time to make sure it fit the marriage and money movie reviews. I am sooooo glad I did because it was a great addition. This movie had various dynamics that I am going to point out that can benefit so many on different levels. Take your time when you are reading these reviews because if you can think back to the movie, you can see these different points of view.

Without giving too much away this movie dealt with an affluent family, race, unemployment, lies, and money. One of my favorite actors that I got to see in person and truly miss that was in the movie – the late Bernie Mac. Ashton Kutcher was also in this movie.

Ashton plays Simon in this movie and has become engaged to Bernie’s (Percy) daughter – Teresa. Simon and Teresa are going to her parents for the weekend to celebrate their 25th anniversary. She has not told her parents that he is white. Percy has pulled Simon’s credit report and is pleased with what he sees. When they arrive, Percy mistakes the cab driver, who is black for his daughter, Teresa’s boyfriend. Then when Simon introduces himself as her boyfriend, Percy is taken shocked. Percy looks around to see if anyone sees Simon standing in the yard and says we need to go inside. Then he begins in on Simon with the 20 questions. He is very suspicious of simon.

Percy later asks his wife, why didn’t the daughter tell them he was white. Wife admits she had figured it out. Simon begins contacting old friends and colleagues to see if he can get a job before anyone discovers he does not have a job. Percy does not like him from the start and wants to take him to a hotel.

Money Implications:

Do not hide your financial background from your soon to be spouse. When the truth is revealed it could divide and destroy your relationship and marriage. There is nothing wrong with putting your cards on the table to ensure the one you love knows you are not attempting to keep secrets, especially financial secrets.

Do not lie about your employment situation. You can only pretend so much and it will catch up with you.

Money Tip #1: If you love someone, love them regardless of income.

Money Tip #2: For parents, do not make your grown son or daughter feel as if their choices are wrong when it comes to a mate without talking with your future son or daughter-in-law.

Money Tip #3: Do not prejudge a person based on the color of their skin. That type of discrimination affects a person as a whole which includes their work performance.

Money Tip #4: Parents should be knowledgeable of how their future son or daughter-in-law handle different financial situations.

Observations:

When it comes to love, race should not matter. Your heart does not discriminate – love who you love and enjoy life.

Do not lie about your employment because it will affect the entire household. Once you say “I Do”, all situations (employment, education, financial and more) affect the household.

If you start out lying to your future spouse, you will slip up and the relationship could begin to deteriorate.

Recommendations:

1) Be honest and proud of your soon-to-be spouse. You are the one that has to live with the person and make joint decisions. You should not be embarrassed about this person or anything.

2) Know that when you enter into a marriage and it is different races, you can get the looks and even some comments – do not address people’s ignorance. Love the one you are with because they love you. You don’t have to impress anyone.

3) Talk WITH each other versus AT each other. The power of speech also affects your finances, ability to work effectively and efficiently whether you work for someone else or have your own business.

4) When you are building a relationship with your in-laws, it takes time. Build the relationship without passing judgment. This is your soon-to-be spouse’s parents.

5) Before you borrow money from parents or in-laws, know up front that a lot can happen from that i.e. change in the relationship, parents watching how you spend (they may think you are wasting their money) money and more. Make sure everyone understands whether it is a gift or a loan.

postheadericon Marriage and Money Movie #19 – The Marriage Counselor

It is soo much fun doing something that I love. Watching these movies and reviewing them from a money perspective is the best. This actually was a play that was recorded and my kudos to Tyler Perry it was fabulous.

Let me give a summary of what this movie is about. In a nutshell, The Marriage Counselor of course counsels married couples that have different issues. But what does a marriage counselor do when there are problems existing in their own marriage? This is one that every couple should watch. I know it is truly a summary and I kept it short because I do not want to tell the whole movie and believe me as good as this movie was it would be soooo easy to do.

Money Implications:

Do not become so focused on your career that you neglect your household expenses and continue to spend beyond your means.

Money Tip #1: If your spouse wants to review the household bills, make the time to talk WITH your spouse about the bills so everyone is on the same page.

Money Tip #2: Plan for your vacations and the costs involved so that you can enjoy your vacation and not have to worry about how you are going to pay bills when you return nor have a good time on the vacation because you need to save a certain amount of money for bills upon your return.

Observation:

Husbands and wives do not fault each other for being a hard worker. It is great to have a strong work ethic. Yes, you should take time to stop and smell the roses. You can make any day special by taking the time to do something “special” for your mate.

This movie had a different situation that I want to comment on here. It was where the wife and husband both were working. Yet the wife commented that the husband was spending all of her money. He stated that he makes his own money. Seems as if the wife was unaware of this. Later on it gets revealed what he is doing with his money.

Recommendations:

1) Parents become elderly and life happens – begin thinking solutions if a parent needed to move in with you and your spouse; or if they  needed to be placed in a senior care facility and money was needed from you to assist with monthly payments.

2) If you are sooo driven by paying bills, you can miss out on living life. Yes, you should set healthy boundaries even when it comes to finances and make sure you enjoy life at the same time.

3) The grass is not always greener on the other side. You are only seeing a part of the picture. Do not mess up your money and marriage because someone else appears to have it altogether or easier. You never know what is truly behind closed doors.

4) Establish mutual financial goals for your marriage. This way everyone’s needs are met and dreams can be accomplished.

5) Husbands and wives prior to walking down the aisle, should exchange credit reports so that both of you know what the financial issues are upfront before you say “I Do.”

6) Financial secrets revealed can have bad consequences. Be open and honest about your financial baggage and plans to clean it up.

7) For those that are faith-based, do not let people in the church judge your marriage based on outside appearance. You know who you married and what drew you to the person.

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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 Money and Marriage is My Ministry

Money and marriage are near and dear to my heart because this is what I live.  I am the person that came to their marriage with financial baggage and maybe different than you I did put it on the table. As a matter of fact, so did my husband. We both came to our marriage with financial baggage and we are both Christians. My husband and I are a happily married couple of 13 years that know from our own experience how to be successful at money and marriage.

When it comes to dealing with financial baggage which can be anything from  – slow pays, homelessness, debt, bankruptcy, cleaning up credit, family and money, becoming parents, job loss, spending, student loans, bad credit, business decisions affecting finances and relationships – we have experienced it.

When I say this morning, Money and Marriage is My Ministry,  it is a ministry for me that I do not take lightly. I thought back to when I was interviewed by US News and World Reports – a question she asked was does faith impact money? I had soooo much fun answering that question because it does when you are a Christian, believer.  I am here to listen, then encourage and provide solutions that work to:

  • Couples that are in church whose finances are funny and they do not understand but do not think they can reach out to anyone for help because they believe they will be judged or their situation will become church staff gossip

 

  • Couples who are embarrassed to even say we have made wrong decisions and want to get our money and marriage right. We don’t want money being a reason we get divorced.

 

  • Individuals who are tired of making wrong financial decisions but need help in cleaning it up.  

 

  • Anyone that want help in the area of money and marriage without judgment and condemnation. 

 

  • The person that has fear when it comes to money.

Regardless of what you think, you can come out of financial frustration today. As far as I am concerned, Christian Marriages should be setting the example for those not of faith and encourage them to want to be a Christian. But I know that is not what has happened.   

It is time to equip Christian marriages with life skills to sustain marriages and not let them be a divorce statistic.  Let me address this – do you have to be a Christian to contact me? No, you do not and I will continue to provide you with solutions based on what I know works. 

Christian or not, when you are given solutions it will be your choice whether or not you utilize the information and move beyond financial frustation and begin the path of financial independence.

postheadericon Layoffs and Its Affect on Marriage

I saw an article in the Wall Street Journal that talked about What Layoffs Do to a Marriage and I had to share about it. See, I have experienced this in my own marriage.

This article talks about how when someone is laid off, they do things around the house, job hunt and try to keep themself busy. Then when the spouse comes home, they are desperate for attention.  A layoff impacts the relationship on so many levels.

I want to share what happened with us, it was well after we had been married four years and hubby was laid off. I saw how hard he worked for someone else and asked him what did he want to do.  One of the differences with us is that our household budget was based on one income in case of something  just like that. So he did not have to go back to work for someone else. I told him to do what he wanted. He decided that he wanted to start a small printing business that we could run out of our home.

We had sooo much fun doing this because we literally turned our dining room into the printing shop in our first home. Another great thing is that my business that I had on the side, funded his business. Love it because there was no credit cards used. The one thing we did for the biggest piece of equipment we needed we had gotten an equipment lease through American Express at that time. Otherwise everything we purchased.

That article talks about how most plan their lives around two incomes and we didn’t so we had the luxury of starting another business while I worked at a law firm. My income at the firm was the same as his prior to the layoff – so we did not miss a beat.

Our goal was to make sure that at the end of the day we are happy. Depression was not an option. Working for someone else does not define who you are, sure it can use your skills but many people would do something else if they had the money.  There does come a time when what makes you  happy outweighs what you make working for someone else.

If you are dealing with a money and marriage issue resulting from a layoff, send me your question.

postheadericon Wedding Debt Outlasting the Marriage

I wonder how many brides and grooms are having a wedding on credit? Consequently because couples have focused on the wedding day and must have their dream wedding, the marriage is started out in debt.

They talked about the wedding, how many bridesmaids, number of groomsmen, even the types of cakes they wanted. Yet, they did not take the time to think about after the Wedding. They do not stop and consider what they want their marriage to look like. Now is not the time to walk down the aisle with rose colored glasses on.

Be honest and begin have the Money Talk. What is the benefit to having wedding debt that outlast the marriage? If you know of one, please share I am all ears and imagine my readers would like to hear it as well.

postheadericon Making Financial Mistakes and Spouse is Fed Up

Are you making more financial mistakes this morning without even trying and your spouse is fed up? Is he or she barely hanging in there with you because the mistakes are soooo many that they are ready to throw in the towel? If this is you, then keep on reading and know that there are some steps that you MUST take.

First and foremost admit to yourself that you are not good at managing money. Re-evaluate how you managed money over the last six months. Consider the following:
a) Did you pay the bills on time?
b) Did your checking account become overdrawn at any point?
c) Did you spend money frivolously that should have went towards the bills?
d) Did you forget about an automatic deduction that only comes out quarterly and it affected your account?

How many times during the six months did that happen? Maybe it is time that you turned over managing money to the spouse. Then forgive yourself because you have limited financial knowledge which is one of the reasons you have made some of these mistakes.

Second, go and ask your spouse to forgive you for the mistakes that you have made. Ask them to sit down with you and discuss the finances so you can turn over managing the money to them. You are no longer comfortable doing it and do not want to hurt the family’s finances in this way. Understand while the spouse is managing the money you want to talk with them about how they manage the money and see what is done.

Third, stop using credit cards. Literally put them away. Do not create more debt, but order your credit report to truly see what debt you have. Remember, the majority of the time debt does not occur overnight – it is slow but once it happens it continues to spiral out of control unless you take action.

Fourth, establish realistic mutual financial goals per month. I am not talking about saying we are going to pay off every bill in 30 days. I am saying look at what your bills are, what your income is and place your bills on a schedule for paying them off. Caution: Do not create a bigger financial mess by being unrealistic.

Do not take what I have shared lightly. For some of you, your relationship – your marriage is on the line and you must make a change. Do not be in denial about your choices. Every choice has a consequence good or bad. Choose this day to take a stand in your finances for your marriage. If you want my help, then contact me and let’s work together.

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