Is it Ever Ok to Bribe your Kids?

How do you get your children to do what you want them to? What do you do to encourage them to do certain things and to refrain from doing other things? Many parents have, at least sometimes, resorted to bribing their children. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Is it ever ok to bribe your kids? New findings reveal some interesting answers to these questions. First, it would be helpful to figure out what a bribe is (and what it isn’t). Author Ellen Perry points out that there is a continuum to be aware of. Motivation is one one end, … Continue reading

Debt and Marriage: How It is Tough to Love When You Owe

Many couples enter into a marriage with debt already in hand. Others accumulate debt together. Either way, nurturing a loving relationship can be hard when debt is hanging over your head. In fact, according to a study by Jeffrey Dew at Utah State University, couples who reported disagreeing about finance once a week were over 30 percent more likely to get divorced than couples who reported disagreeing about finances only a few times a month. Another inference can be made from this study: there is a whole lot of disagreement about money out there. Debt is a source of contention. … Continue reading

Are you making your kids weird?

Are you making your kids weird? I know I am. I love to travel. All year, I save so that I can go on wonderful trips. I’m not a big spender on things, but I love to spend on experiences. My daughter likes to travel too, and I enjoy taking her with me. We get to have adventures together, and they’re very educational of course. We’ve learned about the tropical rainforest by going there and walking through it. Most recently, we’ve explored great European works of art (and yes, ice cream and lots of carousels) by traveling through Italy and … Continue reading

Can You Have Too Much Money?

What would you do with $500 million? I would freak out if I stumbled upon $500, and by $500 I mean $50. Heck, I’d probably shed a tear if someone randomly handed me 5 bucks. Needless to say, the idea of possessing half a billion dollars is mind-boggling to me. Yet, I’m not letting that stop me from trying to win the $500 million Mega Millions jackpot. Tomorrow night someone could become $500 million dollars richer if he or she is able to nab all five winning Mega Millions lottery numbers plus the all-important Mega Ball number. You have to … Continue reading

Hey, Big Spender!

They say that your credit card statement says a lot about the way you spend. I suppose if you don’t get a statement that says even more. So, what kind of spender are you? If you whip out your card faster than Quick Draw McGraw every time you see something you want, then you likely fit into the impulse buyer category. If you have the means to support your compulsive buying habit, that’s one thing. However, if you are using your credit to fund your spendthrift ways and you don’t have the cash to make payments, then you are asking … Continue reading

The Saver and the Spender

For most of us, money is a tool. We get some, we spend it for what we need, and we tuck a little away for a rainy day. But for some of us, it carries a deeper emotional meaning which can manifest itself with an increased desire to save, or an increased desire to spend. Each of these desires is caused by fear or insecurity. Spending – People who spend are generally afraid of being deprived. If they were raised in poverty or even in want, they fear returning to that status and as they spend money, they are subconsciously … Continue reading

What Are Your Thoughts On Money?

Many of us do not usually take a step back and think about the thoughts that we have about money. Each of us thinks about money many times as we navigate our way through each day. We stop at the gas station and realize that the cost keeps going up and up. We then wonder whether we should cut back on driving or just figure out how to accommodate the extra cost somewhere in our already thinly-stretched budget. At meal times, we decide whether we will dine out or eat at home – each of those choices involves spending money, … Continue reading

Photo Books By Your Preschooler

I hid myself downstairs tonight. Some might say this was due to a particularly nasty bout of “I’m a four-year-old-with-attitude,” but it was actually due to my work on a Secret Project. The secret project is something that my daughter and I do every year. Every so often, I would call her down into the depths of the basement to ask her about colors, change text, and confirm the visuals. What was I doing? I was creating her annual photo book. The year my daughter was born, I put together a photo book of her first six months and gave … Continue reading

Marriage and Money: Resenting Your Spouse

This morning, I was busy monitoring an overly full stock pot that represents at least another two family meals that will will get out of a chicken that we bought on sale. I was boiling the picked clean bones to make some chicken stock that will then be turned into chicken noodle soup. The soup, along with a small salad and some bread will make a very frugal meal for us. As I was doing this, my eldest son came in to tell me exactly how much the father of one of his school mates makes each week. Knowing the … Continue reading

How the Economy Can Affect Your Marriage

An economy in recession can put a lot of stress on a marriage, and not just from increased worry about paying the bills, although of course money worries can always create some tension. In tough times, personality differences, even differences in gender may make the situation ripe for conflict. Let’s talk about this issue and how we can recognize when the economy is affecting our marriages. In a tough economy there may be stress over where the money is spent. If you have one spouse who is a saver and the other who likes to spend, the difference between the … Continue reading