Hope for your financial life and beyond

How to Stop the Money Problems in Your Marriage For Good

Are you finding yourself having the same money problems over and over again in your marriage? Tired of fighting with your significant other about money? Well, you are not alone. Money problems consistently ranks as one of the top reasons marriages end in divorce.

money problemsThis should not be surprising to anyone. The big priorities of life such as shelter, food, transportation, careers, education, healthcare and retirement all have money affixed to them as a central core element. Whenever a major life decision has to be made it almost always involves money.

Then when all the minor day-to-day decisions get thrown into the mix, it becomes clear money is at the core of almost everything we do.

I’ll admit when I first got married I wasn’t prepared for the challenges money decisions would create. I thought we could just out-earn whatever expenditures we wanted to have. The more money we could make the more we could get. I thought, “Money problems? We’ll never have them.”

Nor was I prepared for how each of us would bring into the relationship different backgrounds, personalities or opinions. Money is enough to create problems in and of itself. Mix in those three variables and a marriage could be headed for a host of money problems.

The more conflict that comes with money problems, the more discouraged couples get. Every discussion seems to lead into a fight with both parties not listening to the other and becoming more entrenched in their own beliefs. Before long, they are questioning whether or not they are meant for one another.

It’s such a common scenario but it doesn’t have to be this way. Couples can take steps to solve their money problems and live in harmony together.

Steps to Cure the Money Problems

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Why I’m Thankful for First and Second Chances

We’ve all had moments in life when we were granted first and second chances even though we probably didn’t deserve it. Remember how that first big break felt – that first chance to show the world what you were made of? Perhaps it took years to break through and secure it. If you are like me though that first chance to prove yourself happened fairly early in life, sometime in your 20s.

second chancesThere is no logical reason why anyone would give a person in their 20s a chance. Generally speaking, 20-somethings have no money, no experience, and no patience. They are idealistic to a fault, thinking they alone hold the key to changing the world. They disdain the older generation(s), thinking they are pessimistic, set in their ways and out of touch with contemporary culture.

Of course I’m exaggerating with this characterization. Many 20-somethings are not like this. I sure was though even though it may not have appeared so to those around me.

Yet someone still gave me a first chance.

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10 Effective Strategies That Will Improve Your Networking Skills

I’ve known Grayson Bell from Debt Roundup since the early days of this site. We first connected by sharing thoughts in the comments section of our posts. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to meet him last year at FinCon and have him help me with some technical issues on my site.

Because I had networked a bit and had this connection I was aware he would be publishing a special post in December. Each year he reaches out to personal finance bloggers and has them submit a money related tip that he can share with his readers.

I was happy to submit my tip and it got placed into “The 54 Best Personal Finance Tips of 2014” post he published on December 30th.

A few weeks later I received a curious tweet from someone I had never met. She was an editor of a new website and was looking for freelance writers. “Would I be interested?” she asked.

Of course, I had a lot of questions. In one email I asked her this, “How did you find out about me?” Naturally I was curious. Her reply proved to me again the power of networking skills.

She had read the personal finance tip I had submitted for Grayson’s post. Pretty cool!

You just never know where networking might take you.

The Biggest Obstacle to Networking

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Signs It’s Time for a New Doctor And What to Do Before You Switch

Whenever you’re sick, or simply seeking routine preventive care, you trust your doctor to provide good medical care. Most people trust their doctors implicitly. After all, they went through years of training and have to know their stuff in order to practice medicine.

doctor and patientBut just because a doctor has the knowledge required to diagnose and treat patients doesn’t mean that they are good at their jobs. They may lack bedside manner or time management skills, which can lead to long waits and frustration. Other doctors aren’t willing to explore alternative treatment options, or can’t clearly explain their diagnoses and treatment plans.

With health care costs on the rise, there’s a renewed focus on quality in health care and ensuring that patients receive the care they deserve without wasting time and money.

However, as a patient, you hold a certain level of responsibility for the quality you receive as well. You have the right to seek other options when you aren’t happy with your care, not to mention that staying with a doctor who isn’t meeting your needs can be harmful to your health — and your wallet.

So when is it time to switch providers? There are some clear signs.

Sign #1: Your Doctor Doesn’t Listen

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This Is What Makes Dumping Girlfriends and Credit Cards Hard

Do you remember your first love? I don’t mean that boy or girl you kissed in kindergarten. I mean that first true love…the person with whom you were destined to spend the rest of your life.

breaking up with credit cardsI do and when I was with her she seemed perfect in every way. A match made in heaven.

However, it didn’t last. We broke up after a few years, the reasons for which won’t be mentioned here.

But then we got back together a few months later and it was just like old times. It was like we hadn’t missed a beat. And this time things would be different. We were committed to make our relationship last.

Except it didn’t. Again we split after less than a year.

But…

…you know what’s coming next.

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The Problem With Infomercials, Televangelists, Mechanics and Pretty Much All of Us

Hidden Nuggets Series #53 – “For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers…whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.” – Titus 1:10-11

man on Ab Roller doing situps

Uuuh…not an affiliate link.

“Just five minutes a day and you can have rock solid abs like this. All it takes is three easy payments of $29.99!” blared the infomercial, waking me from my late-night, post-baseball game dozing. I’ve seen this bit before and like a sucker fell for the Ab-Roller (excuse me…I meant the “Ab-make-every-hot-girl-hang-on-you-roller”) years ago.

Maybe it worked for you. It did nothing for me except hurt my back.

Being Taken by Others

We’ve all been taken or at least felt taken by someone. Like the mechanic who expertly claims the car repair will require a new Johnson rod. Or the televangelist who promises your $100 donation will go to feed orphan children in Romania (when in reality it pays his six-figure salary). And the aforementioned infomercial, promising instant results with so little effort. (Why do we fall for these ridiculous products? LOL)

In reality, we all have an agenda. That agenda, however altruistic it appears, does possess a level of selfishness. We want and do things that benefit ourselves in the long run. Our own self-existence is the foremost thought in our mind. “If others are blessed (or harmed) through what I do then so be it.” So often goes our logic.

Which then makes it really hard to build trust in others.

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Building Trust With Your Audience: Should a Blogger Care?

word trust spelled in blocksShould a blogger care about building trust with their audience?

I’ll admit to not thinking about this much when I first started Luke1428. The only care of my infancy involved getting my ideas into print. That was stressful enough. Who had time to think about whether or not my audience would trust me.

The deeper I go into this journey though, the more I’m realizing the importance of this issue. Trust is the basis of all relationships. Without it, relationships disintegrate.

Don’t believe me? Then think about the last time someone you trusted and believed in took a misstep.

Your teen who broke curfew.

Your significant other who cheated on you.

The pastor who became involved in an indiscretion.

A co-worker who threw you under the bus to save their own skin.

How did that make you feel? Betrayed? Cheated? Disappointed? Wary going forward?

Whether we like it or not, we are developing a relationship with our audience, whether that is in a business setting, in a non-profit organization, in our families and yes, right here in a blog. And I would suggest that the more trust we engender from others the more potential for success we will have.

Trust Is Built Over Time

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How to Play the “Take This Money – No Thanks – I Insist” Game

Hidden Nuggets Series #46 – “But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” – II Samuel 24:24

I insistNo doubt at one point or another, you’ve been caught up in the verbal posturing known as the “Take this money” game.

The conflict in this game centers around one person’s refusal to take a sum of money being offered. The format can be played in two directions. In one scenario, you are the person offering the money. In scenario two, you are the person receiving the money.

In either configuration, the person being offered the money refuses it, thus leading to some tricky verbal exchanges:

“Here, take this.”

“No thanks.”

“I insist.”

“No really, that’s not necessary.”

“No, I have too…you went through so much trouble” (said while thrusting the money at the other party).

“I don’t want it…really, it was no trouble” (said with hands held head high and palms outward in the “stick-em-up” position).

“Here, you must…” (said with a hyper voice while trying to physically put money in the person’s hand or jacket pocket).

“No, please…I’m not taking it…” (tone starting to get defensive).

And on the exchange can endlessly go.

As a child, I watched several of these exchanges devolve into heated arguments. I never understood why either side would be so stubborn. More than anything, it boggled my mind that someone would refuse money of any amount being offered them. Why? “It’s money for crying out loud. Take it already!” I remember thinking.

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Four Big Money Issues For Couples to Settle Before Marriage

Today I am guest posting and commenting at Young Adult Money. Please follow the link below and enjoy the rest of this post.

My wife and I spent a lot of time getting ready for marriage. We dated for several years, attended pre-marriage counseling, and talked for countless hours about likes and dislikes, our families, children and careers.

We didn’t talk a lot about money though. We might have touched on it briefly during our counseling sessions but I cannot remember sharing deep discussions about our views on debt, spending, or saving. It simply wasn’t on our radar.

I believe our experience is representative of many couples…

Continue reading at Young Adult Money…

Next Post: The Two-Faced Giver: When It Looks Like Rain It’s Supposed to Pour

Prior Post: How Being Flexible Saved Our Vacation

Interview with a Centenarian: At 100, My Grandfather Reflects on Life, Faith and Finding Purpose

To be a centenarian – 100 years of living. Amazing! Most of us would settle for 80% of that. It’s hard to fathom the changes and life events someone born in 1914 has experienced.

centenarian

Byron Miller – Preaching at 100 years of age

What will you be up to at 100 years of age? My grandfather, as shown in the picture, preached a sermon the day after he turned 100. His challenge to those who listened:

1. Practice Gratitude (be thankful)

2. Express Certitude (in the things of your faith)

3. Develop Fortitude (build the power to endure)

Oh, and he played his guitar and sang a short chorus at the end. The song’s message – “Just a little bit longer Lord…just a little bit longer.”

Not a dry eye in the house.

In the weeks leading up to his 100th birthday, my grandfather was kind enough to answer some questions about his life. I’d encourage you to take five minutes to enjoy this thought provoking read about a man who has experienced the Depression, the loss of siblings, financial challenges, joys and regrets and 60+ years of ministry.

Q & A With a Centenarian

1. What is the most amazing thing you have seen in your lifetime? Why did that stand out?

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Providing For Your Own Is Always Right

Hidden Nuggets Series #25 – “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – I Timothy 5:8

Let it go

Let it go

I was saddened the other day when I went to visit the site of a personal finance blogger I had begun to read and saw that as of December 31st he had discontinued writing. I wouldn’t say we were close blogging friends or anything but he had commented here and I had commented at his site. Plus we were social on Twitter, so I guess that counts for some connection, right?

He left a really nice closing letter explaining why he was going on an indefinite blogging hiatus. That’s a really nice touch. Nothing says “I don’t care” to your readers like suddenly disappearing into thin air without leaving so much as a whisper as to why.

His reason for stopping – personal issues.

Blogging has become an integral part of my life. I have loved connecting with people online, sharing my story and hearing theirs. Outside of my family and faith, nothing is giving me as much pleasure right now as building this site and being social with people online.

But if I came across some personal issues or my family needed more of me for some reason, I would gladly give it up.

Well…reluctantly…sadly…but gladly.

So I say “Kudos” to my colleague for being responsible and recognizing what held more value.

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