Family

"I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich."

~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, "Identity Crisis," M*A*S*H

A Couple’s Money Meet-Up

Dancing Together

Let’s imagine that you and your mate have a very important financial date today. It’s a regularly scheduled get-together that happens every month like clockwork. You may recall that when you first began these state-of-our-finances meetings, it was rocky. Lots of things needed to be shared and talked through, some quite jarring. Now, though, it’s [...]

Is Divorce on Your Holiday Shopping List?

Holiday List

Six Steps from the Experts on Handling the Holidays when Your Marriage No Longer Feels Like a “Gift” Thinking about shopping lists, presents, parties, and…divorce?  Holidays are usually a time for reconnecting, but if you are married — and not so happily — seasonal preparations can put major strain on relationships that are already teetering [...]

Financial Planning for a May-December Relationship

couple

May to December relationships used to be about the younger woman marrying the older man, but more and more often we see a younger man marrying the older woman . Marriage between contemporaries is tough, but a 20-to-30-year age difference can make it a whole new ballgame.  For couples far apart in age considering a [...]

Financial Infidelity

Financial Infidelity

Infidelity. Most couples think it’s a relationship breaker. But in many relationships a surprisingly amount of infidelity goes on every day without a word. Financial infidelity, rampant in many relationships, may go unnoticed at first. It could be as little as hiding small purchases from a spouse or as large as blatant disregard for a [...]

Money Harmony and Marriage

Money and Harmony

Around Valentine’s Day, with romance in the air, what couple could imagine that they would ever fight about money? Yet disagreements over money are a couple’s most common source of conflict. Finance is as fundamental to married life as the birds and the bees—but nothing can be more damaging to marital bliss. What’s a couple [...]

Test Your Marriage Money Skills

Couples and Relationships

Take our marriage money skills quiz to improve your joint understanding and communication about money. You and your partner should answer the questions separately and then compare the notes. The results may be surprise you! Download this Quiz (PDF) 1. My partner handles money: a. Like a bull in a china shop. b. According to our [...]

He Says, She Says

He / She

If your spouse is a risk-taker and you are not (or vice versa), it’s sometimes difficult for you to understand each other. The words just don’t mean what they would mean if you were saying them. With that in mind (and of course a firm desire to improve communication between the sexes), we offer you this handy [...]

The Best-Laid Wedding Plans

Bride

It’s hard to stay on budget when planning your wedding-expenses can get away from you as you strive for the “perfect day”. Use the following savings secrets to keep your best laid wedding plans from going awry. Try not to make quick decisions. Impulsive decisions can lead to canceled contracts and returned items which in [...]

To Prenup or Not To Prenup

Document

A prenuptial agreement (or prenup) is often more important in a second marriage than in a first. Because of obligations to children, existing assets, and prior legal commitments, a written agreement assures that everyone’s needs are clear and their financial interests protected. If your future spouse feels uncomfortable about the idea, reassure him that the [...]

Are You Really Ready for Marriage?

Wedding Rings

Marriage is an enormous commitment. Before you take the big plunge, do a quick check to see if there is water in the pool. The following quiz can help you and your beloved assess your readiness for the responsibility of marriage and help you communicate about important issues from the beginning. Print out two copies [...]

Positive Money Messages for Kids

Children and Money

Want to give your kids a wonderful gift that will last a lifetime and help them achieve their dreams? No doubt you’ve guessed that it’s not the latest video game or computer gizmo at the mall. Those are fleeting contributions to a young person’s happiness. Give them a healthy, positive, self-confident attitude toward money and [...]

Help Wanted for Teens: How to Beat the Job Market Slump

Teen Jobs

The Help Wanted sign has practically disappeared for today’s teens. Too many young jobseekers are likely to spend the summer watching TV instead of scooping ice cream or serving pizza. CNN reported a 40% drop in teen employment last June, making 2008 summer hiring for teens the lowest in 50 years. And 2009 is shaping [...]

How to Manage Money — Together

Money Tightrope

“When people argue over money, the argument is likely to have little to do with money. It almost always has to do with issues of control, security, self-esteem, and, above all, love.” –Grace Weinstein, author In our lives, we are pulled in many directions. We both desire and fear the power of money, and most [...]

The Love Letter: Talking to Parents About Financial Concerns

Love Letter

Women today are in the sandwich generation, trying to balance the needs of their own families as well as their parents. But not much has changed over the years. When my grandmother became ill years ago, it was my mother who took care of her. In her late 60s herself, mom put her own needs [...]

529 Plans—Not Just for Kids

College Graduation

Education isn’t just for the young – it’s also for the young at heart. In the future, the changing world of work will send many mid-life adults back to school for better career options. And surveys show that retirement-minded Baby Boomers want to continue working after retirement, often in a new career, or round out [...]

Prenups Aren’t Just for the Rich and Famous

Sign on the dotted line

Who had a prenup when they married, Britney Spears or Paul McCartney? Score one if you chose the blonde bubblehead over the savvy billionaire Brit. Paul McCartney lost $50 million to his ex-wife Heather Mills in their March 2008 divorce court battle.  But Britney’s preplanning paid off: she paid just $300,000 to shed Kevin, leaving [...]

Mrs. Winkler Was Right

Elementary School Education

Many years ago in a Milwaukee schoolroom my first grade teacher Mrs. Winkler worked hard to instill in her young pupils the principles of personal responsibility and proper behavior. She also made sure we girls and boys left her care with a solid grounding in the fundamentals of basic math—Two plus Two equals Four. Mrs. [...]

Is Your Home Keeping You Together?

Home Together

Home sale prices dropped during the past few years, and in many communities the market is starting to move up, with buyers outnumbering sellers. But even so, if you are divorcing, selling your home can be a challenge in dividing up your assets. Your home likely is the largest asset that you and your spouse own, and [...]

A More Perfect Union

Marriage and Union

“All marriages are happy.  It’s living together afterward that’s difficult.” Anonymous  Flags, parades, picnics, and fireworks.  July is the month we celebrate those traditions and institutions that make our society strong and free. Before the Founding Fathers wrote their plan for “a more perfect union,” they did a lot of thinking, discussing, and a fair [...]

Vacation on a Budget

Family Vacation

Are your vacations so hectic that you need to get back to work to relax once you return?  Are you still paying off your last vacation while booking your next one?  Here’s a way to abandon the stressful vacation payment treadmill, and relax on the cheap this summer. Get away without going away. Whenever my [...]

Money Camps and Other Ways to Inspire Your Budding Tycoons

Money Camps

As most parents agree, financial education for children is a great idea. In fact, many parents wish that they had learned more about money management way back when. Children are happy asking for and spending the money — until the day when Mom or Dad says, “That’s too expensive” or “We can’t afford that right [...]

Five Ways to Safeguard Your New Baby’s Financial Future

Saving for your child's financial future

Your beautiful new baby has arrived and you think you’ve got the safety thing under control. The house is childproofed, you’ve got the pediatrician’s phone number posted on the fridge, and a brand new car seat sits in the back of your minivan.  But physical safety is just part of the challenge. Unless you’re Julia [...]

It’s Never Too Late to Get Started Saving for College

Piggy Bank for Saving Money

The best thing you can do is start saving for college while your kids are in diapers. But it’s never too late to begin. Even if you don’t implement your strategy until your kids are in high school, you can make great strides toward meeting your savings goals. Here’s how to get started. Start a [...]

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to School We Go

Travelling Through Life

As your children begin their college careers, there’s lots they need to know. Click here to read what your student needs to know about handling money, budgeting, buying textbooks, managing phone bills, working part time, and using credit cards wisely.

Cutting College Costs

Belt Tightening: cutting costs

Hopefully you planned ahead and have a nice chunk of change set aside for the costs of college. Figure out how much you’ll need for junior’s education with the Save for College at VISA USA’s education website Practical Money Skills. If your savings come up short, don’t despair — there are a lot of things you can [...]

How Do You Rate on the Money Conflict Scale?

Money and Balance

When it comes to money and marriage, do you and your honey talk through issues? Or scream about them? Or just ignore them? Communicating clearly about money is critical, so take this quiz to see how you score on the money conflict scale. Quiz Instructions Write the numbers 1 through 10 on a sheet of [...]

15 Ways to Date Your Mate

Date Night

Is Date Night a drain on your finances, with the babysitter, fancy restaurants, theatre tickets, and cab fares? Here are some ideas for great cheap dates with your honey that will save you lots of cash without skimping on the romance. Eat a simple, nutritious dinner at home, and then go out for a truly [...]

Teach Your Children Well

Financial Education for Children

Giving your children the gift of a financial education will pay off year after year. Of course, teaching your children about money goes beyond practicing their math skills with your change purse. There are 10 basic areas in which your children can learn about money, and how it works in their lives. Teaching Children Responsibility [...]

The Difference Between Men and Women

apples and oranges

Until recently, the world of finances has been pretty much male dominated. And men and women think and learn very differently. For the most part, men don’t enjoy group interaction and sharing. Men are more likely to go it alone, prizing independence and autonomy, while women seek interaction and chemistry. There are a number of [...]

Five Money Myths That Can Keep You Apart

Genie in a bottle

Managing money with your significant other is difficult enough. Don’t burden your relationship with half-truths that can make it even harder. Make sure these five money myths aren’t keeping you apart.  The partner who earns more, knows more. Your earnings are only a measure of how much you earn right now, period. They don’t represent [...]

10 Sweet Ways to Say “I Love You” — on the Cheap

Picnic Basket

Use these ten sweet ways to say I love you without breaking the bank. They will improve your relationship more. Leave him a love note in his lunch box. Leave her wildflowers at the breakfast table. Call him at work and tell him to come home for an emergency-you. Show up at her work with [...]

Love & Money: 25 Financial Tips for Couples

Love and Money

The way we earn, spend, and save money is a practical expression of our most fundamental beliefs. When our priorities are out of sync, money can become the great divide in an otherwise harmonious relationship. By working together toward financial freedom, money can cease being a source of conflict and become a way to express [...]

Finding Your Dream Castle, and Other Housing Dilemmas

House Shopping

If you decide to invest in a home, you have to find the right one for your needs at the right price. As a first step, get clear on your vision of the house that fits your lifestyle. Do you want a quiet bungalow in the countryside, or a duplex in the heart of downtown? [...]

Moving in With Your Sweetheart

Taking the Plunge

Many couples are moving in together before they get married. Deciding to live together is a big step in any relationship. It generally means you’re seriously thinking about commitment, but you want to do a little more investigating before taking the plunge. Though it can seem romantic to merge your finances as you merge your [...]

Teaching Your Children the Value of Saving and Investing

Learn About Money

Ask savvy investors how they learned their first lessons about money, and they’ll probably tell you lessons their parents taught them. The money values we learn as children stay with us the rest of our lives. If you are a parent, teaching your children the value of saving and investing will benefit them the rest [...]

What Our Parents Teach Us

Teaching Children about Money

When I was growing up, I remember hearing my parents discuss money. It wasn’t usually pleasant: my father loved to find bargains, while my mother’s nickname was “Mrs. Rockefeller” for the way she spent. Now that I am grown, it is difficult for me to feel neutral about money. I always have the struggle within [...]

Divorce and Family Finances

q&a

Dear Dollar Stretcher, Unfortunately, so many families are splitting that guidelines are needed for that form of family. When a family has split, what would be an equitable financial plan? How big a piece of the husband’s income pie should go to the household occupied by two growing children with their mother, and how big [...]

The All-American Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Summer is a great time for taking a deep breath and a good look around. If you cast your eyes on the old homestead—the yard, the garage, the closets, and the cupboards—and see way too much stuff, you’re not alone. Americans have more stuff than they can handle. Think about those self-storage facilities appearing everywhere. [...]

Save Money This Summer By Staying Home

Happy Sun Shine and Happy Times

Are your vacations so hectic that you need to get back to work to relax once you return?  Are you still paying off your last vacation while booking your next one?  Here’s a way to abandon the stressful vacation payment treadmill, and relax on the cheap this summer. Get away without going away Whenever my [...]

Money Talks … Love Listens

Couple

This month, as wedding bells ring for hordes of happy, hopeful newlyweds, my husband and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary. We’ve learned a lot over the years, and we wish all the new kids on the block as much happiness and good fortune as we’ve enjoyed. We especially wish them the will and wisdom [...]

Heart to Heart

hearts-90w

It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have with your parents…and I am not referring to the birds and the bees. This one involves their estate and resolving any uncertainties before they’re gone. Death is not a pleasant subject, but it is going to come eventually and it’s better to be prepared. Assure your parents that you [...]

Rich Mom, Poor Mom

Mother and Child

We inherit many things from our mothers. Mom our first source of nourishment, love, and security, and she’s also a role model for many of the values and beliefs that shape our lives. Knowingly or not, Moms influence their children’s feelings about money, abundance, and prosperity—their sense of whether the glass of life is half-empty [...]

A Famous Father’s Money Model for Kids

Dad- Reaching for the Stars

If you’re looking for a “Rich Dad” role model, you can’t do much better than the popular motivational speaker and best-selling author, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Wayne is rich in every sense of the word—in funds, in family, in friends and fans, and in fantastic life experiences. Father of eight and grandfather of five, Wayne [...]

The Cost of Raising a Child

Teenager

When our daughter Carrie was in high school, she worked at Starbucks after school and on weekends. She saved half of her paycheck for future college expenses and spent the rest on current teenage “necessities” such as MP3 players, shoes and fashion. If you asked Carrie, she was practically self-supporting.  She loved the independence, and [...]

The Next Survivor Series

THE NEXT SURVIVOR SERIES   Six married men will be dropped   on an island with 1 car and 4 kids each, for 6 weeks. * * * Each kid plays two sports and either takes music or dance classes. There is no access to fast food. Each man must take care of his 4 kids, [...]