Posts Tagged ‘individuals’

postheadericon Week of Blogs on Savings as a part of America Saves Week 2010

Welcome to Money Talk Matters Blog. This week’s THEME is dedicated to blogging on Savings as a Part of America Saves Week, February 21 – 28, 2010.

America Saves Week is individuals will be encouraged and assisted to assess their savings progress and take action to advance this progress.  This encouragement and assistance will be provided by organizations and professionals with an interest in improving the financial security of individuals and families.

As a Personal Finances Expert, Money and Marriage advocate, it is also very important that couples have a savings plan whether you are engaged, newly married or have been married for several years. It is my HONOR to be a partner of Black America Saves and support America Saves Week.  What does that mean for you the reader?

You will receive tips, recommendations, maybe even downloads that focus on different methods of saving. I know that savings can be a fun part of life whether you are a kid, high school student, college student, young adult or even adult. It is all in what you make it. So this week let’s have a lot of fun as we talk about savings, working our savings plan and changing lives.

Savings is not something that should be overlooked regardless of financial situation. However, it should be recognized as a financial means of be prepared for emergencies, way of building wealth, learning how to save money at the lowest amount and watching it build over time and much more.

I remember having a discussion with a Local Pastor several weeks ago and one message we agreed that when it came to investing we were not told about investment at a young age. What a difference it would make if the youth were taught how to invest $5 and watch it become $50. Then invest $50 and it became $500 and so forth and so on.

We are going to have loads of fun this week with creative ways of saving money wherever you are. If you have a recommendation, send it in.

postheadericon Money and Marriage as a Solo Effort

There are many married couples where one person in the marriage is taking care of the money and the other person has no knowledge of what is truly happening with the household finances. I like to say there is a group of people that are managing money in marriage as a solo effort.

Solo means one. Doing alone. The problem with the solo effort is that the person in this position can get into financial situations where decisions need to be made that affect both the husband and the wife, not just one person. Marriage is the relationship that you are in and have; money is a facet of the marriage. It is important that both husband and wife participate in the financial facet of the marriage. You cannot put all of the responsibility on one person and then disagree with the consequences of the choices they made.

This solo effort can wind up making the person dealing with money feel soooo low that they cannot make an informed and educated financial decision. Yet the other person in the marriage has no idea what is truly happening with the finances until it is almost too late. If your marriage falls into this solo effort, stop it from continuing on this dangerous path and begin talking with your spouse today.

Inclusion is better than exclusion. When spouses are excluded from certain things, it can affect the marriage on a long-term basis. Do not put your spouse in the position of not knowing. Remove the solo effort today and include them in the household finances. You will not have to bear the burden of a lack of finances, late pays on bills and more on your own.

A united effort is better and produces better results. Don’t put all of the responsibility on one spouse. It affects both of you.

postheadericon Part 2 – Should Married Christians get divorced because of Money

Last time I left you with the thought of if you were depending on God or your mate when it came to finances. I also said what is causing the divorce is deeper than money. We reference money as one of the top reasons for divorce but as I said before, money in itself cannot do anything.

When couples are arguing about money, they are arguing about 1) its mishandling – overspending and impulse buying which results in not having enough to pay bills or for other necessities; 2) an individual’s value system when it comes to money. Value system meaning your beliefs about how money should be handled, who should handle the money and what takes precedence when it comes to expenditures in the household. Value system is comprised of many factors especially when it comes to money – your environment, what you saw and experienced when you were growing up regarding money, your personal handling of money good and bad. All of these factors form your value system. So when your value system is challenged you react or respond a certain way.

Value system is big – so let me put it into perspective. For example, as a person that was raised by a single parent with little to no access to money, it would be within my value system to be very cautious about money, paying bills and making sure there is some left over. So it would not “feel good” to me to buy on impulse. Now from Married Christians perspective if you know that you are to pay your bills and you spend impulsively on a want versus a need and now you cannot pay your bills – the discussion is happening in a way you might not like.

So Married Christians may be divorcing and utilizing money as the reason but it is not the reason it is their value system being challenged. They have had enough. Money issues affect more than the husband or the wife, it affects their relationship, performance at work, if they have children (them as well), household bills and more.

Before you decide to file for divorce, think things through and be honest. Think about your actions when it comes to money and marriage – 1) What role did you play in this area that you believe has failed and 2) Did you have structure when it came to finances? Begin talking it out with each other to each other about money to see what you can do to make better decisions to sustain the marriage and time invested in each other than versus throwing away this union.

CAUTION: Do not wait until you are in Divorce court to find out about each other’s financial habits.

postheadericon Does a new marriage equal new money woes?

Well, I was reading this story this morning about many couples planning to wed in November and December. New Year, New Marriage equals New Money Woes article shares that financial issues derail many marriages. Well, well, well. Well, well, well. Yes we have all seen the statistics that money is one of the top reasons for divorce, as well as knowing that three out of four married couples are arguing about money.

Let me present this to you – money in itself is not the cause of divorce. What is the cause of divorce is how money is mishandled, people not communicating about money and bills that need to be paid. I would even step out and say that it is about controlling the household finances or lack of controlling the finances. Money in itself cannot do anything without a person’s actions.

Therefore, it is imperative that couples learn how to manage money individually and throughout marriage. Let’s face it, most of us probably did not manage money well on our own prior to getting married. We brought those same limited skills into our marriages and what did we expect to happen.

Sit down and begin talking about money for the benefit of your marriage today. Talk WITH each other and not at each other. If you do not know how to start this, you can get your copy of Money Talk Before The Commitment Walk and The Debt Stops At The Altar. For this one it does not matter that you are already married, these same principles will work right where you are and can be used throughout the lifetime of your marriage.

Talking about money is not a one time decision – remember life happens. It is a discussion that should happen on a regular basis and often so that everyone is on the same page. There are not financial secrets and one person does not feel as if they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Yes it happens and it is time to stop that trend.

I am going to speak from personal experience – if couples can learn how to discuss money matters, solve financial problems together thereby keeping their marriage in tact, they can handle anything that comes there way. Money should not change husbands and wives. It is all about the couple controlling the money in stead of being controlled and changed by money.

You do not have to be like everyone else arguing about money. Set a different tone for your household and discuss money issues and SOLVE them. Complaining about them is not the answer. You have to do something different if you want a different result.

postheadericon Marriage and Money Movie #24 – The Brothers

Stop the Press! This was one of the best movies I had seen and it was not what I suspected. Favs on the screen Shemar Moore, Bill Bellamy, DL Hugley, Tatyana Ali, Jennifer Lewis and Morris Chestnut. Haven’t seen this one in quite a while but sure enough it will probably come on TV within the next couple of weeks because I said that.

Lots of dynamics in this movie and let’s see if I can hit the highlights of this one.

Jackson (played by Morris Chestnut) he is a doctor and has major commitment issues. Found it interesting that he had a dream of a woman in a wedding dress with a gun.

Brian (played by Bill Bellamy) who is a lawyer and has a very distorted view of women. This is due in part to his mother and her lack of affection towards him and his brother which carried over into his adulthood.

Derrick (played by DL Hughley) he is the married and devoted man that would like to try different sexual things with his wife and she is all about one way.

Terry (played by Shemar Moore) who is the womanizer and yet the one who is settling down.

Money Implications:
Regardless of what happens with your parents, even when you are an adult, handle your financial responsibilities. Jackson’s parents even though they were divorced, they counted on him. So did his sister.

When it comes to Brian whose mother did not show him any affection, he did not let his emotions stop him from pursuing his profession as a lawyer. He even said that the younger brother could move in with him. Very responsible individual.

Money Tip #1: Manage your money. These gentleman did take care of business regardless of what was happening.

Money Tip #2: Husbands and wives you should be talking openly about finances throughout your marriage.

Money Tip #3: Money and marriage is a commitment, take it one step at a time.

Money Tip #4: If you make a financial mistake, learn from it and make better decisions the next time.

Observations:
Commitment can cause people to be afraid. Stop and ask yourself what are you afraid of and why. Then make sure you do not carry that baggage into any new relationship especially if it leads to marriage.

Jackson’s dream did come true about the woman standing there in a bridal gown with a gun. It was not his bride though and the woman had just lost it. Brides and grooms a lot of pressure comes with wedding plan and making sure everything is just right on that day. Take a deep breath and take it one day at a time. Keep the lines of communication open.

Recommendations:
(1) Do not wait until a problem arise in the finances to talk about money. You should be talking about money in marriage all the time, evaluating goals and making adjustments where necessary.

(2) Take your vows seriously. Recognize that husbands and wives are partners and are supposed to be there for each other in good times and bad, rich and poor. If a husband and wife can make it through financial difficulty and come out on the other side, then they can handle anything.

(3) Do not let what happens with or in your parents marriage dictate your stand on marriage and relationships. If you do, you could end up in a very serious and devastating situation.

Life happens and you are the one that controls how you HANDLE life.

If you need a financial education program that you can utilize throughout your marriage, go to http://www.moneytalkmatters.com/products and get your copy of Money Talk Before the Commitment Walk and The Debt Stops At The Altar today.

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 Financial Baggage from The Past has moved in on the Present

Did you bring financial baggage from your past into the relationship? There are times when people have financial baggage and bring it into a marriage. The difference between money and marriage without frustration and money and marriage that has stress and is on the verge of someone walking out is ALL ABOUT HOW YOU HANDLE IT.

Yes, you cannot ignore financial mistakes because they need to be cleaned up. Ignored financial mistakes only cause more problems they do not go away by themselves. Take each mistake one at a time and set a goal to get it paid off or whatever it is that you need to do.

Sometimes what happens though is a husband or wife lets the financial baggage from their past move in on the present and limit their choices based on THE PAST. They are making decisions based on that bad experience. I have a word for you today, You do not have to unpack!

People are unpacking that baggage and glorifying it. You may ask how are they glorifying it? Look at how – by continuously talking about it to everyone that will listen, making your decisions based on what happened back then even though now you are with someone different and not giving yourself a chance at a new result. So by doing so you are saying that you want more of that to happen. If you do not want the same results that you got in the past, then begin speaking a different result, take control of your finances and EXPECT it without a doubt.

If you keep looking back you will miss out on opportunities that could get money to you. Do not become stuck on what happened in the past. Take charge and make better decisions today. It is for the benefit of you as an individual and if you are married, the family.

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 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 Marriage and Money Movie #12 – The Best Man

This movie has several of my favorites again Taye Diggs, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan and Terrance Howard. It is always my goal not to spoil it for you if you have not seen the movie, so here is my brief recap.

Harper Stewart (Taye Diggs), who is a writer and The Best Man at the wedding of Lance (Morris Chestnut) and Mia (Monica Calhoun). The three of them went to college together. Lance was a football player and becomes  a pro player. Needless to say he lived up to the reputation of a football player being physically intimate with all the girls. Then he meets Mia and decides he needs to be with her. Harper tends to dissuade him saying she is a “good, Church going girl”. Eventually Lance and Mia do hook up and he plans on marrying her. The weekend prior to The Wedding, all of their old college friends get together in celebration of this upcoming union. Harper’s book comes out and they discover he has captured their lives in print but changed their names. He tries to say that it is fiction. Lance believes he is the only person Mia has ever slept with but according to Harper’s book secrets begin to come out… You will have to see the movie to get all the juicy details. It is a GREAT movie.

Money implications:

Once secrets are revealed, it can alter the course of a relationship either temporarily or permanently. Whether they are salvageable or not depends on the people in the relationship. These young people set out to accomplish different professions and they did it. It did not change them and they were genuinely happy for each other.

The character Terrance Howard played tried several different things and was talented. The bottom line is he did not stop at one thing  – he kept on going. The bride-to-be was comfortable in who she was and so was the groom regardless of what anyone thought.

Nia Long’s character, Jordan was an independent business woman that had everything going on. Yet she was not in a relationship. Although while they were in college, something almost happened between her and Harper. She is very career focused which happens with many women. Once their career is at a certain point, then they think about dating and/or marriage.

Julian was a teacher and content doing that job, yet his girlfriend Shelby all the college friends did not like. Shelby was a woman that was into shopping and prestige. She wanted Julian to return to become a lawyer and he is not interested. She also was big on pouting if she did not get her way. You will have to watch the movie to find out what happens.

Observation:

One of the main secrets revealed almost caused this wedding not to happen after a lot of money had been spent. It does not matter if you are on the bride’s side or the groom’s side, if a wedding is called off after the money has been spent and you cannot get deposits back it can upset everyone. Granted if you found out something the night before that you just could not live with, then those expenses would not amount to what it could costs you later. Be true to yourself and decide what you need to do. Think about the big picture not just the short-term. CAUTION: Too many people rush into a wedding trying to save face. They are more concerned with what people are going to think about them instead of their true feelings about getting married and the person they are marrying. Do not get into the habit of trying to please people.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1) Financial secrets can tear down trust in a relationship and marriage. Share your financial background upfront and if the fiance’ cannot handle it then you are better off.

2) Be comfortable in who you are. That means if you are comfortable being the homemaker then be the homemaker. If you are employed outside the home, then you are employed outside the home. Have the discussion about what the role of the husband is and what the role of the wife is according to how each of you see it -  not what your parents think. Talk about the respective roles and agree. If you choose not to talk about it, it can be costly in the long term.

3) Husbands and wives have to believe in each other and support them in their individual dreams as well.  At the end of the day, it does affect the household bottom line. Do not be so short-sighted that you think it is only about you. Once you said “I Do” it is no longer “ALL ABOUT YOU”.

Definitely one for the library:

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