The Ten Commandments of Finance: Commandment IV

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

4.)  Don’t disrespect your family-partner, teach your kids, help your family, say no

 As I said earlier in the bit about don’t disrespect yourself – with your honeybunch- don’t YOU be the control freak. You make the most money so you act like alone in financial decisions. Don’t do that. Have regular talks. I have had partners come in and use me as umpire and coach when they need to have a sensitive discussion and get my take on how to work out a touchy topic. If the problem is deeper, like in the case of Beth and her husband, I suggest a counselor to figure out priorities and to do some deeper work.

 Money is more than just finance.  Here’s a story  of how n can help: John and Mary came into my office. These are not their names. Mary had assets from an earlier relationship and the resultant quagmire with the new family and the financial drain of the assets were causing trouble in this new union. Mary and Jon kind of already new what needed to happen but Mary didn’t want to do what she kind of knew needed to be done. It was an emotional talk and I encouraged Jon to help her in many other ways so that this decision could be more manageable. But money and emotions sometimes are all twisted up.

 Maybe in your situation it could be that grandparents give kids more goodies than your partner likes and that brings up who’s in charge…

 Speaking of kids, what are you doing to teach the kids about money? When they are young how much do you buy for them? What do they earn themselves? Are you giving them your retirement money so they can go to college for free? At 35 do they buy the newest electronics and cars/ trucks but can’t buy food and oil? And since there are innocent grandkids involved do you become part of their financial equation filling in their budget gaps- which they now rely on since they know they can count on mommy and daddy to provide…?

 What about helping family: loans, their repayment and expectations- if you give certain family members money and it’s a recurrent problem, get them in a credit counseling program and get a third party to help them learn how to manage and prioritize their finances.  And then  be brave and strong and stop ‘helping’.

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