Husband, Your Wife Needs Financial Stability.

Gentlemen, please permit me to explore a touchy subject. It has to do with your wife and her job. In terms of providing for the family, I put that responsibility solely on the man in the relationship. Why? Because as MEN, that’s what we do. We ACCOMPLISH things and we BUILD things and we stay on top of things. At least we SHOULD be doing that right?

Your wife looks to you to provide the basic necessities of food, clothing, shelter, utilities, transportation, and a little excitement and fun. If you can do that, then your wife will be able to make the house into a home, raise happy kids, entertain friends and guests, and enrich the lives of everyone around her including you. However, if your wife has to help provide the basic necessities of life as well, then she cannot do these things.  At best, she may not be able to devote any energy into the home or to your marriage, and at worst, she may resent you BIG TIME.

Consider these scenarios:

1) A husband got laid off from his job and is on unemployment.  Meanwhile his wife is working two part time jobs.  She comes home from her 2nd job, then cooks, cleans, and gives the kids a bath.  Over the weekend she’s got the kids with her as she shops for groceries and runs errands.  On her way home she’s thinking, “Is this all there is??”

2) Another man works 40 hours a week and when he gets home each day, he see his wife for 20 minutes, then she’s off to work.  He puts a TV dinner in the microwave and starts heating it up.  Then he sits down at the home projector screen and watches some TV.  When his wife gets home from her job, he’s fast asleep in the Lazy Boy recliner.

3) Yet another man works 60+ hours a week.  His wife doesn’t work, but she spends her week chauffeuring the kids around to various soccer games and dance recitals.  On the weekends his kids say to him, “Can I have some money?” and his wife is spending time at the salon.  He thinks to himself, “What am I, an ATM?”

All three of the above scenarios have one thing in common: A lack of balance and no focus on what’s important in life.

The first guy is SURE to have some major resentment against him from his wife.  Because he doesn’t do ANYTHING.  If he can’t find a job, the LEAST he could do is help around the house or watch the kids or do the grocery shopping.  He has forgotten that financial stability is something he needs to provide FOR his wife.

The second couple is also in trouble, they both work to pay for their nice house and their awesome furniture and entertainment systems, but they don’t have time for each other.  Stuff does not bring happiness, so having both spouses working to pay for STUFF will not lead to a happy marriage.

The third man is flat out being USED.  He’s done too much of the PROVIDING that there is no QUALITY TIME with anyone.

So where is this balance found?

The balance is found in living below your means.  It is the MAN working to provide the basic necessities of life, plus a little extra to have some family fun.  It is the WOMAN nurturing the relationships and making the home a comfortable place for everyone.  When these things are not in balance, we see the following symptoms:

1) The man loses self esteem because he’s not providing at a level he should be.

2) The woman feels fear because the house and home are vulnerable to financial ups and downs.

3) The woman resents and does not respect a man who cannot provide for her.

4) The man and the woman are chasing happiness by going after material things.

5) The man and the woman have no time for each other.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I am not against your wife working.  I DO believe, however, that it should be her choice to work because she WANTS to and not because she HAS to.  All the money the man makes should pay for bills, food, and a little fun.  The money a wife makes, if she makes any at all, should be gravy.  The thing to remember is that a wife who works should always have the opportunity to QUIT working and raise children if life calls her to do that.

Did I ruffle any feathers?  Please let me know if you agree or disagree.  I appreciate your comments!

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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?

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A Great Time to Set New Goals

2013 is not to far off. It’s that time when everyone sets their New Year’s Resolutions and set’s forth to achieve them. Usually, a New Year’s Resolution centers around starting a new healthy habit or to discontinue a bad one. Quitting cigarettes or alcohol, losing weight, toning muscles, and curb impulse buying are among the top ones. Some of us actually do them, while most of us fail to hit the mark.

So what makes the difference between those who succeed at accomplishing their goals and those that don’t? Is it the person or the goal? Sometimes it’s both.

Problems with the Resolution Itself

Many times a person will state a New Years Resolution but leave it vague, unrealistic, or based on results. Lets take a look a each of those problems:

Too Vague: If my new years resolution is “I want to lose weight”, that leaves a lot of open questions. How MUCH weight? What timeframe? HOW am I going to do it? The problem with this resolution is that it isn’t specific enough. It would be better to say “I want to lose 35 pounds by June 1st, 2013 by eating healthy, drinking lots of water, and daily exercise.” This statement gives you the WHAT, WHEN, and HOW the resolution is going to be achieved. A goal that is vague and not specific is nothing more than a wish.

Unrealistic: If my new years resolution is to “Win the Lottery”, “Lose 100 lbs in 3 weeks”, or “Sell my house for profit by the end of the month” then I’m just asking for failure. These goals are unrealistic because they too dependent on outside circumstances beyond your control. You cannot MAKE the lottery machine spit out the correct numbers. You cannot force your body to lose 100 lbs in 3 weeks (not the correct way anyhow), and while it might be POSSIBLE to sell your house for profit by the end of the month, it’s highly IMPROBABLE. Ask yourself what’s more likely? Is it more likely that you’ll burnout trying to lose too much weight too fast than actually succeed? Is it more likely you’ll sell your house for profit if you don’t rush the process than if you took the first offer than came along? Is it likely that you’ll win the lottery at all? Make sure your goals are firmly rooted in reality and based on things you can actually control.

Based on Results: Some goals focus on the end results instead of the means to which you can get those results. For example, if your goal was to “Sell $500,000 worth of product”, that is focusing on the results you want. Results are consequences of your actions. Getting sales is a consequence of making sales calls right? So if you were to focus on the actions you take (such as making more sales calls), then you would naturally increase your results. So a good goal in this case would be “This year I’m going to increase the number of sales calls I make to 35-50 a day”. A different example would be “For the next three months I’m going to do the P90X workout routine”. Focus on the actions only and then the natural consequences of those actions will follow.

Even if people can make a well established goal, there is still one obstacle they need to overcome: Themselves.

Personal Blocks to Achieving Your Goal

Many times…the roadblocks to accomplishing a goal or resolution are rooted in FEAR, BELIEF, and a LACK of planning. Even if your goal is reasonable, realistic, well thought out, and worth the effort, there still may be a part of you that is afraid to take the first step.

Before you even take your first step, you have to believe in your own success. If you don’t believe that you can lose the weight, quit cigarettes, or pay off the debt, then it just won’t happen. So first you have to believe that it is possible to accomplish. You’ve known people who have accomplished the goal, so you know it’s possible. Next.. you have to believe that it is possible FOR YOU to accomplish. Visualize yourself doing the ACTIONS that will take you to a completed goal. See yourself winning and feel now what it feels like to win in the future. Sometimes, your belief is all you need to motivate you to success.

Sometimes a goal never gets achieved because you never take the first step. Usually when procrastination rears it’s ugly head it is due to a FEAR of some kind. Here are some common fears:

Fear of failure, Fear of success, Fear of looking like an idiot, Fear of stepping out of your comfort zone, Fear of people leaving you, Fear of growth, Fear of gain, Fear of being hurt, Fear of death, and the biggest one: Fear of the unknown.

Many people fear the unknown more than they fear death. Strange isn’t it? We will continue to do things that are harmful to us, because we are resistant to the making change and face the unknown. But once you do… the unknown becomes known and it really isn’t so scary.

Whatever fear is blocking you from succeeding with your goal. Face it instead of delaying the start of your journey. When you feel the fear…acknowledge it and continue walking the path anyway. Pretty soon you’ll get over the fear.

Lastly…another block to achieving your goal is a lack of planning and preparation. You can’t succeed at a goal unless you have setup the environment for success. If your goal was to run a marathon in July and you signed up for it, but then did not start training for it, you won’t be prepared when the day comes. You can’t build anything without plans… and you can’t succeed at your goal until you have the right environment and the right mindset.

So..it all comes down to the final questions. Whatever your New Years Resolution is:

Is it Specific?
Is it Realistic and Attainable?

Before you get started remember to BELIEVE that YOU can achieve the goal, acknowledge your fears about it, and set up your environment.

What are your New Years Resolutions and what are your FEARs in relation to them?

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