How to Give “Bad Financial News” to Your Spouse

Last year, one Friday afternoon, I received a notice in the mail from my mortgage company. It basically said that my payment was about to go from $770 to $1600 effective immediately. After the shock wore off I called the mortgage company, but they were closed until Monday. So I had to keep this information to myself all weekend long. I didn’t want to alarm my wife about it without knowing some reason why.

On Monday. I called the mortgage company as soon as they opened and I learned some shocking news. It seems when they set up the escrow on the mortgage, they figured in the home owners insurance but they did NOT figure in the property taxes. In fact… they didn’t pay the property taxes for THREE YEARS! They “just” realized it and paid what was owed… but now they want to COLLECT it back from us in 12 months. This means a payment hike MORE THAN DOUBLE what we were paying before. Only problem was.. We couldn’t afford the new payment.

Now… I don’t like to cause my wife any undue stress, but this was BIG DEAL, and I don’t like keeping things from her. But before I could show her the letter and tell her what was going on, I had to find a solution. I asked the mortgage company if they would collect the deficiency over 24 months instead of 12. They agreed that the circumstances were unusual so they granted the request. Now the mortgage payment was set at $1107. It would still be hard… but doable.

The mortgage company sent us a new “Escrow Analysis” letter showing the $1107 payment, and I sat down with my wife to talk about it. Understandably she was upset at the situation. How could the mortgage company DO that? I explained everything I learned, and let her know where the money was going to come from to make the difference. She appreciated me doing my research and felt much better that we had plan was in place.

If you have “bad news” to give… follow these tips:

When you have “Bad News”

1. Don’t hide it – Many times it’s tempting to pretend you never got the bill, or the letter, or the eviction notice… but things like this ALWAYS come out at some point. When it does, you spouse will not appreciate the blind side.

2. Have a solution if possible – You don’t want to simply dump the problem on your spouse. If you have any control over the situation, present to spouse both the PROBLEM and the SOLUTION.

3. Ask for help – If you don’t have a solution, or you can’t implement the solution alone, ask your spouse for help. You will need their support no matter what.

4. Thank them – Thank your spouse for listening, for offering suggestions, and for being brave under the circumstances.

Have you had to give bad news to your spouse? Do you have more tips on how to make it easier?

Click and Share:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere
  • email
  • Google Buzz
  • MySpace
  • Reddit

The Spender in You…

Everybody needs to spend money.  To participate in the exchange of currency for goods or services is one of the great joys of life.  Some folks, however, derive greater joy from spending then others.  Because of this…we call these people: SPENDERS

The SPENDER Money Personality

You know who they are… they could be your neighbor, your mother, your father, your spouse, or even YOU.  Spenders are fun to be around.  They like to go out to eat, entertain, buy gifts, host parties, plan vacations, and all sorts of things involving spending money.  The best thing that can happen to a spender is to win money and the worst thing that can happen to a spender is to be told they can’t spend anymore because there isn’t any left.  Whether the purchase is big or small makes no difference, spenders simply love to buy things.  If you are a spender, here are some of the reasons why people like being around you so much:

Pro’s of being a Spender

- You are extremely generous.  You can give like no one else can.  When someone’s birthday is around the corner, you’ll want the best for them and you’ll enjoy not only buying them a gift, but you also want to be there when they unwrap it.  You are also give larger tips than most people.  You do this because you have a kind heart.

- You know how to have fun.  Spending time with you on a vacation or on a date is a joy unto itself.  You spare no expense so you don’t usually say “no” to others who are with you.  You obtain joy from the spending and it’s easy for others around you to get caught up in that vibe.  This makes them feel good, and therefore want to spend time with you too.

- Men, you guys like to spend money on home improvements, kitchen remodeling, building a deck, and so on to keep your house functional and modern.  Ladies, you love to spend money decorating the house and making the house a home.  When someone walks into your house… they can tell that a spender lives here.

- You are spontaneous.  You might see something in the store what you weren’t planning to buy, but its something that you know that a friend would love, so you get it.  You could be at the mall with a friend and suddenly you smell ice cream or those soft pretzels and suddenly you want one, so you get it.  This is who you are, and there’s no guilt or shame about it.

Sometimes people avoid you though.  It could be that they are jealous of you because you have money to spend, or it could be that you’ve bought things for them from a kind heart but they still feel obligated to you for some reason.  Most of the time, it could be that you might display one or more of these, well..unattractive characteristics:

Con’s of being a Spender

If you are a spender, you should know that you CAN be -

- Selfish.  You buy for yourself and yourself only.  When others are around you, they may feel pressured to spend more than they want to because you’re spending all the time wherever you go.  Even if you DO spend money taking your friends out to eat, they still have to spend more because it’s usually understood that next time… they’re paying!

- Lazy with your finances.  You spend, but don’t keep track of what your spending.  This may cause adverse effects such as bounced checks, over the limit penalties on your credit card, and so forth.  When you want to talk to someone… they roll their eyes at you and say “DUH! you spend too much!”

- Impatient. You want to go spending money now.  RIGHT NOW! If go crazy if you have to wait for your paycheck to be deposited.  On payday, you might go on a spending spree until it’s all gone… after you pay bills of course.

- Impulsive.  Spending money on things that you need is great.  Spending money on things you don’t need, using money you don’t have (with credit cards) just to feel better is where some people begin to pull away from you.  Impulse buying is ok when it’s small.  But when you do it often it adds up. You complain to others you have no money to do buy toilet paper but then the next day you tell them about the $250 you spend renting a bounce house for the birthday party.

-Competitive.  Keeping up with the Jone’s.  Buying things you don’t need to impress others, to one-up others, or to appear better than other.  Racking up massive debt just to be the best in the neighborhood doesn’t mean you’re winning in life.  If anything, it puts you in a vulnerable position.

Now I’m not trying to beat up on you… I can say these things about spenders because I am one.  The truth is that all the money personalities have pro’s and con’s.  Not one is any better than another.  Having all these personalities around adds flavor and spice to your life and your marriage.  Just realize that you are a unique individual and have a lot to contribute.

What about you?  Are you a spender?  Are you married to one?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Notice: Only 17 More Comments Will Be Allowed in This Blog Post...
Click and Share:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere
  • email
  • Google Buzz
  • MySpace
  • Reddit

Walking in Agreement

Imagine a couple taking a walk down the beach. You’ve seen them… walking side by side…talking with each other. They started at the same place… and the ended at the same place.

When you walk together financially with your spouse… it’s as beautiful as walking down a beach together. You start on the same page… you both know what your financial situation looks like… you both know what your goals are and you both agree on the steps to reach those goals.

When a couple does not talk about money.. does not have the same goals… does not have the same methods.. does not start in the same place with the same information… how can they possible walk together in agreement? The outside observer will witness one partner walking north and the other partner walking south. They are so far away that they can’t possibly HEAR each other.

What happens when a couple doesn’t communicate? They start living separate lives under one roof. There is division…disunity…it opens the door for financial infidelity…and it causes pain. But it doesn’t have to be this way.. because a couple can learn how to communicate financially.

Let’s take a classic example of a Spender/Saver relationship. He’s a spender… She’s a saver… He likes to have fun, and buy gifts for people… She like’s to have cash on hand and cannot stand wasting money.

At first this couple clashes big time: He calls her a tightwad… she calls him a child.. He says she is no fun at all… she says he’ll spend all the money until they’re broke. They are focused on each others flaws…and the negativity continues until their both start walking in different directions financially.. and then communication completely stops.

Instead… if they focus on each others STRENGTHS… they can then realize their OWN flaws… and work together to walk along the same path.

He can realize that she DOES like to have fun… she just doesn’t want to pay FULL PRICE for fun. So he can say to her.. “Honey.. I’d like to go to this water park.. are they running any specials?”. This gets HER excited, because she loves deals. So they start planning a trip to the water park when it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

She can realize that he’s not wasteful, but generous! She realizes his gift giving for what it is..and she can also realize the joy in giving to others. So she starts finding ways to buy gifts for less. He doesn’t mind buying gifts cheap… because now he can buy more gifts than he used to.

So if you’re in financial discord with your partner…try to understand what strengths your partner has…and focus on those instead of their flaws. Start being honest with your partner in what you’re doing too, and if you need help.. ask for it.

Two people can’t walk together unless they agree. They have to agree on where to start, what pace to walk, and where they are going. Walking together financially is a beautiful thing. Just like a walk down the beach.

What are your thoughts?

Notice: Only 6 More Comments Will Be Allowed in This Blog Post...
Click and Share:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Blogosphere
  • email
  • Google Buzz
  • MySpace
  • Reddit