communication about money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8183/all en-US Frugality: Are You Still in the Closet? http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-are-you-still-in-the-closet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/frugality-are-you-still-in-the-closet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wisebreadout.jpg" alt="Out Sign" title="Out Sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There&rsquo;s an odd contradiction about money in the U.S. While we love a great deal, we don&rsquo;t want to cross the invisible line that suggests we <em>need</em> a great deal or can&rsquo;t afford to pay full price. And, while it&rsquo;s totally acceptable to show off what we buy, few of us share the tenacity and dedication it can take to live within our means and be value conscious. That&rsquo;s why sites like Wise Bread are so popular; they give folks a chance to meet other like-minded people and talk openly about what can often seem like a subversive topic &mdash; frugality. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginner-s-guide-to-frugal-living">A Beginner's Guide to&nbsp;Frugal Living</a>)</p> <p>So, when it comes to frugality, are you in the closet or out? Was coming out a gradual process, or did you kick the proverbial door wide open on day one?</p> <p>My own journey made it fairly easily to live an openly frugal life. First, my parents instilled in me the value of simplicity and debt-free living early on. Living with a certain level of financial mindfulness and modesty was a fact of life, and I took the lesson and the benefits to heart.</p> <p>Once I landed my first real job after college, I worked closely with a group of underpaid social workers (is there any other kind?). Our tight-knit office made it easy to talk about the challenges and strategies of living in Chicago on a wage that, at that time, was barely $19,000 a year. We were all relatively young, and it seemed like everyone <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sex-up-your-sandwich-ideas-for-budget-conscious-brown-baggers">brought sack lunches</a>, shopped for bargains, drove modest cars, and decorated their apartments through dumpster diving and thrift shopping.</p> <p>Later, I said goodbye to social work, transitioned into the corporate world, and began work with a benefits consulting firm. Part of our intensive training involved learning about retirement plans and understanding how the power of compounding interest combined with benefits of saving early could redefine our golden years. Everyone took the message to heart &mdash; not only for our clients, but for our personal security too. It gave my frugal ideas a clearer focus and a more urgent cause. Though the atmosphere was bit buttoned-up and certainly more affluent, we all talked openly about saving, retirement planning, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/goal-setting-defined-and-deconstructed">setting financial goals</a>, and sticking to budgets.</p> <p>Now, being open &mdash; even enthusiastic &mdash; about frugal living is second nature to me. I love to share my own successes and pitfalls and think it helps make the journey real for other people who are at different points along their own roads. Still, I can&rsquo;t help but feel bad for all the closeted frugalistas out there. I see (and eavesdrop on) them everywhere. They&rsquo;re the young corporate guys, tucking away old flip-phones so their co-workers won&rsquo;t see their telephonic shame. They&rsquo;re the office workers who feel compelled to overspend on a wedding or baby shower gift to keep up with the absurd standards someone else has set. They&rsquo;re the ones who fall silent while everyone else talks about how little room they have left on their credit cards.</p> <p>So, for all you closeted guys and gals out there &mdash; come on out. Talk about how and why you save. Lend some sanity to the conversation and give your peers a chance to agree, emulate, and come out too. The power of ridiculous levels of spending and consumption lies in everyone&rsquo;s silent agreement and acceptance. Maybe it&rsquo;s time to be proud of that 12-year-old car and that trusty old flip-phone. Maybe it&rsquo;s time to stop apologizing for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/french-press-coffee">home-brewed coffee</a> and the TV that&rsquo;s decidedly not flat. All these things help make you wonderfully frugal &mdash; and isn&rsquo;t that worth celebrating?</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-are-you-still-in-the-closet" class="sharethis-link" title="Frugality: Are You Still in the Closet?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-are-you-still-in-the-closet">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-it-pays-to-be-friendly-with-your-neighbors">6 Ways It Pays to Be Friendly With Your Neighbors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/five-tips-for-a-smooth-nanny-share">Five Tips for a Smooth Nanny Share</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-dont-people-share-more">Why don&#039;t people share more?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-hobbies-you-can-take-up-for-free">10 Fun Hobbies You Can Take Up for Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Lifestyle communication about money secret sharing Wed, 06 Jun 2012 10:24:15 +0000 Kentin Waits 933677 at http://www.wisebread.com Financial Emergencies: How to Weather the Storm http://www.wisebread.com/financial-emergencies-how-to-weather-the-storm <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/financial-emergencies-how-to-weather-the-storm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/storm_in_hawaii.jpg" alt="Thunderstorm" title="Thunderstorm" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="165" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There has been a lot written about smart budgeting, avoiding debt, and staying on the financial straight-and-narrow, but what do you do in the middle of a financial crisis? Once you find yourself in the eye of the storm, what are the steps and strategies to hunker down and come out the other side as unscathed as possible? With the recession lingering, the job market lagging, and budgets lacking, here are six steps to weathering most temporary financial emergencies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund</a>)</p> <h3>Get on the Same Page</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re part of couple, the first and most urgent step is to combine forces. Identifying the problem, agreeing on the solution, and understanding each person&rsquo;s role in the challenge ahead are the foundations of all the other steps. Couples who work as a team as they face financial troubles are infinitely more likely to survive the crisis and may even become stronger as a result. Start by having an honest discussion about the state of your finances and work together on crafting an action plan. Then create regular but brief budget &ldquo;check-ins&rdquo; to make sure you&rsquo;re both on track. Celebrate the small victories together and don&rsquo;t forget to encourage each other along the way.</p> <h3>Have a Family Meeting</h3> <p>Financial problems affect the whole family. Unfortunately, most parents respond to the issue in one of two ways. Either they attempt to shield their children from the realities of the financial challenges and end up panicking the kids with severe cut-backs without explanations, or they spend too much in an effort to make everything appear normal. Both approaches do a disservice to kids. For children who are old enough to understand, have a frank but calm discussion about why budget changes are necessary and try to be specific about what changes they can expect. Make it clear that the responsibility to fix the problem lies with the adults in the household, but everyone can pitch in and help. The goal is to get the entire family creatively engaged in the solution without creating unnecessary worry in kids who should stay focused on being kids.</p> <h3>Ruthlessly Reduce Expenses</h3> <p>How much money goes out the door is just as important as how much comes in. Take a hard look at your budget to see where cuts can be made. Start with the easy ones first &mdash; which fixed costs can be temporarily scaled back, what expenses can be negotiated, and what can eliminated entirely? Can you go from basic cable to no cable for six months? Have you called your credit card company to try to negotiate a lower interest rate? Is there a car that, because of its age and condition, warrants only liability insurance instead of full coverage?<span> </span>Next, focus on just the essentials as you take a more granular look at the other expenses you can eliminate or reduce.</p> <h3>Creatively Boost Income</h3> <p>Boosting income while simultaneously reducing expenses is the double-down solution that fixes budget problems faster. With the job market tight, look for new and innovative ways to supplement your income. Part-time, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-earn-extra-holiday-cash">seasonal</a>, and temporary work might not be permanent solutions, but they can smooth out the rough edges in your budget. Think about your skills as marketable assets outside of your day job. How can you put them to use as a free agent? Get the word out to family and friends and see what opportunities might come your way.</p> <h3>Use Cash</h3> <p>Many folks believe it&rsquo;s best to float cash when you&rsquo;re in the middle of a financial crunch. They use short-term credit to pay for the necessities with the assumption that future cash will pay the debts. While this approach may be unavoidable at times, try to reserve it for the roughest situations. Instead, use cash whenever possible &mdash; it simplifies spending, keeps budgets current, allows little room for error, and helps avoid a potentially bigger problem later. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, in the middle of money crisis, cash is king.</p> <h3>Liquidate</h3> <p>Let&rsquo;s face it &mdash; most of us are sitting on a lot of stuff. Of course there are exceptions, but as a rule, our homes are filled with baubles and bangles we picked up when money wasn&rsquo;t so tight. Maybe we inherited things from friends and family, we hit too many garage sales last summer, or our kids adopted and then abandoned a hobby or two. Our garages and basements are testaments to surplus, and that surplus can be an untapped resource. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers">Craigslist</a>, eBay, yard sales, and classified ads are all forums sellers can use to liquidate what&rsquo;s no longer needed and turn clutter into cash.</p> <p>The ability to be agile and respond to changing budget realities is the key to weathering a financial storm long enough to come out the other side. With a laser-like focus, a team effort, and some creative thinking, you can emerge smarter, financially healthier, and with more fiscal discipline than before.</p> <p><em>What was your financial storm, and what methods did you use to make it through?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-emergencies-how-to-weather-the-storm" class="sharethis-link" title="Financial Emergencies: How to Weather the Storm" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-emergencies-how-to-weather-the-storm">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/charged-with-an-overdraft-fee-get-your-money-back">Charged With an Overdraft Fee? Get Your Money Back!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-friends-can-save-you-money">11 Ways Your Friends Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-3-budgeting-apps-you-need-to-know-about">The Only 3 Budgeting Apps You Need to Know About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Banking Budgeting General Tips communication about money emergency plan survival frugality Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:00:33 +0000 Kentin Waits 763290 at http://www.wisebread.com Handling Money Decisions with Partners http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/handling-money-decisions-with-partners <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/handling-money-decisions-with-partners-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/handling-money-decisio...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/handling-money-decisions-with-partners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014656250Small.jpg" alt="Cafe owners with money" title="Cafe owners with money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/handling-money-decisions-with-partners" class="sharethis-link" title="Handling Money Decisions with Partners" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><p>When you operate a business with a partner (or several partners), financial decisions can be a sticking point. Everyone involved has a stake in the business, making it important to communicate clearly &mdash; but one partner or another can easily feel that he's better equipped to make decisions that involve money, creating potential for problems. No matter how you and your partner decide to handle money, you do need to sit down and put a system in place.</p> <p><strong>Communication Is Key</strong></p> <p>Of course, you need to touch base with your partners on financial decisions on a regular basis &mdash; but your discussions should go deeper than just whether it's okay to make the next big purchase. You need to be clear about who has any expertise (if any), as well as how to balance the different needs of your business. Ann Campeau teamed up with her brother to create <a href="http://www.strutbridalsalon.com/">Strut Bridal Salon</a>. She has a background in marketing, while his expertise is finance. Campeau explains, &quot;While we both have MBAs and extensive coporate experience, our decision-making process is rather easy because we don't think we possess the same skill set. In fact, they're quite complementary. Therefore, we literally never fight about how to spend money or which bills to pay. Conversations go like this:</p> <p><strong>Ann: </strong>Bob, we need X, Y, and Z for the store.<br /> <strong>Bob:</strong> How much? OK, put it on X card.</p> <p>or</p> <p><strong>Bob:</strong> We need to focus on paying down X debt.<br /> <strong>Ann:</strong> OK, I'll hold off on taking new shipments; I'll update our projected cash intake sheet for you.&quot;</p> <p>Not everyone is comfortable in letting one partner &mdash; or even a financial manager hired just for that purpose &mdash; take the lead in making recommendations on next steps. But that's a conversation that needs to happen between you and partner as early as possible. Campeau's system works for her and her brother because of one key factor: &quot;I think the most important thing is open communication. He talks about our money management challenges (bills, cash flow, credit card limits, ohmygod moments, etc), and I try to give him an idea of upcoming expenses and cash inflows. As long as both partners know where we stand on needs, wants, bills, problems, etc., we've found our system works pretty well.&quot; Whether or not you and your partners take a similar approach, communication will always be key.</p> <p><strong>Don't Sweat the Small Stuff</strong></p> <p>Even though it is important for each partner to be up to speed on financial decisions for the company as a whole, there are plenty of small, day-to-day purchases that will just slow you down if you need consensus on each one. For most successful businesses, there's a system in place to handle smaller purchases without having to schedule a sit-down that all partners can attend. It makes for a more efficient office and lets the team focus on the big decisions.</p> <p>Gene Hwang and his partner at <a href="http://www.orangephotography.com">Orange Photography</a> have freedom to make small financial decisions without checking with each other. &quot;My business partner and I give each other freedom to spend money on anything below a certain threshold ($1,500, except equipment), but for larger purchases and investments we discuss together and agree before any purchase is made.&quot; The approach required a little trial and error on the part of Orange Photography: Hwang notes that prior to putting this system in place, his partner and he were mostly independent when it came to making financial decisions. But they were spending a lot of money and saw a need to touch base on big purchases.</p> <p>There will always be plenty of big money decisions that go along with running a business. There's no need to seek out more decisions, even if you want to keep close tabs on questions like how many office supplies you need. For most small expenses, there may be the occasional misstep, but you will likely be able to resolve it with a quick chat with your partner before it's repeated.</p> <p><strong>Let Your Approach Evolve</strong></p> <p>James Davenport is one of three partners operating&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aama2010.com/">All American Martial Arts</a>. Over the course of the company's operations, how these three partners handled money situations has evolved. &quot;We have three partners in our business. Decision-making is pretty easy, we vote...it just naturally developed.&quot; The evolutionary process isn't complete, either. The company is moving towards hiring a finance manager. &quot;I think we all believe having a finance manager who can make recommendations to us would be the best method. We're moving towards that. This way, the bias is taken out of the decision making, somewhat...Still, the decision will come down to the partners.&quot;</p> <p>For every company there will be a progression in how you handle any big decision. Financial decisions require changes in how you handle things over time, if only because as you grow, the threshold for how much money it takes to get your attention will change. You may find other opportunities along the way where it makes sense to have one partner step back from management and financial decisions and focus in on something else, or a partner needs to take a reduced role. Many different things can happen that can impact how you handle decisions in your company, and you need to be open to changing your strategy when necessary. It may be worth going so far as to put a date on your calendar every year to check on how your approach to financial management is working for you, so that you can revisit the decisions you've made with your partner and see if you need to make changes to the system you use to handle money.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/handling-money-decisions-with-partners">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tax-brackets-explained">Tax Brackets Explained</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/basic-tips-for-investing-in-a-business-1">Basic Tips for Investing in a Business</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Small Business Resource Center business partnership communication about money financial decisions small business Fri, 25 Feb 2011 23:22:34 +0000 Thursday Bram 489469 at http://www.wisebread.com Coping Mechanisms for a Spender-Saver Relationship http://www.wisebread.com/coping-mechanisms-for-a-spender-saver-relationship <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/coping-mechanisms-for-a-spender-saver-relationship" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012277942XSmallsq2.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="208" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, my sister announced her engagement. She's the last of my siblings to marry and the youngest in our family. Her announcement, and her particular circumstances, made me think more and more about how important it is to discuss finances early on in a relationship. It also sparked my interest in how a spender and a saver can create an everlasting and healthy relationship.</p> <p>I don't necessarily think a relationship where each person views money differently is ultimately destined to fail. However, if the people in a relationship have drastically different outlooks on budgeting and finances, then they might need to work a little harder at communicating about personal finance. I've set out on a mission, listing a few helpful tips, to help young couples openly discuss finances no matter what their spending habits may be.</p> <h2><strong>Budgeting Basics</strong></h2> <p>Today, there are more resources available than ever before to help couples budget and track their expenses. Whether a couple is web savvy, or likes sticking to pencil and paper, tracking everyday expenses is the first priority to figuring out a budget. Keeping track of where your money goes for one month is a good rule of thumb for nailing down expenses. One great online expense tracker is <a href="http://www.mint.com/">Mint</a>. Everyday expenses can be entered and tracked and Mint also offers colorful charts to help those visual learners.</p> <p>Quicken and Quickbooks are two software programs that I use. I enter my expenses on the checkbook register digitally, categorize each expense (I set up the categories when I first loaded the program), then at the end of the month I can pull a report that shows where my money is going. Seeing where most of my money goes (rent and utilities) allows me to decide if I'm paying too much for electricity, water, or phone service.&nbsp; I usually delegate the task of calling companies for better rates to my husband. He gladly takes on the challenge and often can reduce our rates.</p> <p>Tracking my expenses also helps me see where I can trim down my budget and save money. For instance, my Starbucks portion of the pie chart has gotten a little out of control. Using this as a guide, I can reevaluate my budget and decide if I need to cut back on certain expenses and opt out of that second daily drink. Tracking expenses and forming a budget can help guide a spender into reducing their spending habits, allowing the saver to feel a bit more in control.</p> <h2><strong>Sharing Purchasing Power</strong></h2> <p>Once a couple has a handle on their expenses and has a rough budget outlined, it's time to discuss purchasing habits. Discussing purchasing habits is extremely important when a couple is on opposite ends of the spender/saver spectrum. If the spender is secretly spending more than what the couple can afford, the saver will be beside themselves and may not be able to amicably resolve the issue. Open discussion is a must and can be done through various ways including:</p> <ol> <li>Deciding how much of the combined income will be set aside for frivolous or splurge purchases. Once that monthly limit has been met, the spender is asked to give up their credit or debit cards.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>On a white board or other visual aid, keep track of last minute purchases. This way, instead of having to verbalize what was spent, it is written down allowing the saver to vent a bit before an argument takes place.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put the spender on a cash-only diet. This tactic may help if the spender is out of control and cannot be trusted with credit.</li> </ol> <p>Early on in our relationship my husband and I sat down and went through all our credit card expenses and monthly expenses, and came up with a system so there were no surprise purchases. Since I&nbsp;deem myself more of a saver than spender, I took control of all purchases through online banking. Our monthly budget is flexible enough to handle a little extra spending, but overall it keeps our purchases within the boundaries we initially set.</p> <h2><strong>A No-Argument Approach</strong></h2> <p>Most relationships find a happy medium between spending and saving their pennies. However, personal finance is one topic that can cause distress if either party is unwilling to compromise. Recently, I began creating a <a href="http://www.littlehouseinthevalley.com/newlywed-financial-bliss-box">personal finance engagement gift </a>that I&nbsp;though might help my newly-engaged sister, including how to start a budget and a list of topics that should be discussed. One reader, FinEngr from <a href="http://www.engineeryourfinances.com/">Engineer Your Finances</a>, had a terrific addition: Financial Love Notes. An example of a Financial Love Note would be &quot;I'm taking my lunch to work all this week. I'm saving $40 so that I&nbsp;can take you out to dinner!&quot; The idea behind the notes is to encourage each other to save money towards a common goal and to open up conversations about money without being confrontational. Some ways the Love Notes can be useful:</p> <ol> <li>Curbing a spender's habit on particular purchases: &quot;Today I&nbsp;walked right past Starbucks without entering. I saved $4.50 towards our emergency fund.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Discussing a touchy subject: &quot;I noticed Macy's was having a sale today. I'm so proud you didn't enter the mall. You saved us $60!&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Working towards a common goal: &quot;I saved $15 today by purchasing only soda instead of drinks with the guys. That's $15 that is going towards our house fund.&quot;</li> </ol> <p>FinEngr's idea is a wonderful way to let your loved one know you're thinking about them all the time. He compared it to a mom putting a little love note in your lunchbox &mdash; a nostalgic feeling of love.</p> <p>As my sister progresses with her wedding arrangements, I hope she and her fiancee take some time to talk about personal finances openly. A healthy relationship begins with open communication, including the topic of personal finance.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coping-mechanisms-for-a-spender-saver-relationship" class="sharethis-link" title="Coping Mechanisms for a Spender-Saver Relationship" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coping-mechanisms-for-a-spender-saver-relationship">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-split-food-expenses-with-a-significant-other">How to Split Food Expenses With a Significant Other</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-emergencies-how-to-weather-the-storm">Financial Emergencies: How to Weather the Storm</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laser-vs-inkjet-choosing-the-wrong-printer-could-cost-you">Laser vs. Inkjet: Choosing the Wrong Printer Could Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Budgeting communication about money relationships Mon, 26 Jul 2010 12:00:13 +0000 Little House 187181 at http://www.wisebread.com Money Matters: Why All the Secrecy? http://www.wisebread.com/money-matters-why-all-the-secrecy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/money-matters-why-all-the-secrecy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/money%20-%20secrecy.jpg" alt="shhh" title="shhh" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">As I alluded to in <a href="/separate-bank-accounts-till-death-or-banking-do-we-part" target="_blank">another article</a>, I am amazed at how people will sit around the dinner table and openly share intimate details of their sex lives, medications, and even psychotherapy before they&#39;ll divulge their income. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Why all the secrecy around financial matters? What key to our inner selves is hidden in our balance sheets? </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Interestingly enough, at other dinner tables (usually the dinner tables of the affluent), I have seen quite an open approach to money. Not only are incomes, tax-saving techniques, and assets openly shared, but there is an air of helpfulness in the tone of the conversation. Everybody wants to share their strategies with others, in order to both teach and learn new techniques. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I am reminded of the book <a href="/%3Ca%20mce_thref=%22http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&amp;location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FRich-Dad-Poor%2Fdp%2F0751532711%3Fie%3DUTF8%26s%3Dbooks%26qid%3D1195331290%26sr%3D8-1&amp;tag=wisbre09-20&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325%22%3ERich%20Dad%20Poor%20Dad%3C/a%3E%3Cimg%20mce_tsrc=%22http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wisbre09-20&amp;amp;l=ur2&amp;amp;o=1%22%20width=%221%22%20height=%221%22%20border=%220%22%20alt=%22%22%20style=%22border:none%20%21important;%20margin:0px%20%21important;%22%20/%3E" target="_blank">Rich Dad Poor Dad</a>, where the author Robert Kiyosaki refers to his two fathers: His real dad (the poor one), and his adoptive dad (the rich one), who teaches him all there is to know about becoming and staying rich. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">One of the themes explored in the book is how affluent people approach their money matters, and it is irrefutably stated that if you want to be rich you must keep company with rich people. Not only is this because they have a lot to teach somebody who aspires to grow financially, but I believe it is also because of a positive attitude and energy towards money in general. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">There are also patterns I&#39;ve detected among people whose financial situations aren&#39;t what they wish; I&#39;ve noticed a brand of distain towards money in general (and those with money). I have to wonder why this is, and if it ties into the desire to keep finances private. People who don&#39;t have money (and aren&#39;t happy about it) not only regard those <em>with</em> money very negatively, but some go so far as to see money itself as being evil. “You can&#39;t <em>want</em> money - it will make you a bad person. You can&#39;t <em>have</em> money - it comes at the expense of morals or general empathy towards others”. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I wonder if the people who feel this way think that people with money are the ones living in the big fancy houses driving the luxury cars and wearing the latest fashion. Do these people feel the same way towards the <a href="/the-millionaire-next-door-riches-de-mystified" target="_blank">Millionaires Next Door</a>, who are more characteristically the world&#39;s affluent, but don&#39;t flaunt it? Is that as disgusting to people who see money as being evil?</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Of course I am generalizing in the extreme. Not all people without money feel that the rich are immoral or that money is the root of all evil. I am just noting patterns I have observed through my years in the financial industry, and extensive reading I’ve done. Both friends and clients have typically fallen into one camp or another. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And ultimately, rich is a state of mind. I have met poor people who think they are rich and rich people who think they are poor. Stay tuned for a follow-up post on a different way of defining Wealth altogether. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-matters-why-all-the-secrecy" class="sharethis-link" title="Money Matters: Why All the Secrecy?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-matters-why-all-the-secrecy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-cant-you-ever-make-on-time-payments">Why Can&#039;t You Ever Make On-Time Payments?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-quick-financial-moves-to-make-today-at-lunch">10 Quick Financial Moves to Make Today at Lunch</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-this-single-income-family-found-financial-freedom-in-just-27-months">How This Single-Income Family Found Financial Freedom in Just 27 Months</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">Figuring the Size of Your Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-stash-cash-in-your-home">The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div> Personal Finance communication about money money matters privacy Sat, 17 Nov 2007 20:36:38 +0000 Nora Dunn 1402 at http://www.wisebread.com