Is it Worth It? (Spender vs Saver)

Is it Worth It? (Spender vs Saver)

By
Eva Fleming

Everyday people from many different cultural and social backgrounds and with different personalities come together to form one family. And it’s a beautiful thing. But, what happens when there’s a clash in values, particularly in the way you value money? Let’s talk about it.

A value is a force within you that will influence your life. Your attitudes about money will affect how you relate to it, to yourself and to others. Not all of us have strong financial values. And not all of us have the grace needed to deal with the partner in a relationship who has weak ones. Most commonly in a relationship, there is a spender and a saver. Each one pulling the financial rope in opposite directions. The spender wants to enjoy a high quality of life with all the comforts of the here and now, while the saver wants to feel financially secure, sacrificing comfort for financial security.
This dance can quickly turn into a tug of war because their different views of money can cause hostility between them.

Some couples quickly realize that if they want their homes to be peaceful, they must learn how to compromise, learn and make it work. Understanding all the while that it’s never easy, but with work and cooperation, they can pull through. Other couples never catch on to the pitfalls of financial disagreements and allow these arguments over money to become frequent and endless because, in the end, it’s not about the expense itself but about what money means to each of them.

These fights instead of solving the problem, merely widen the distance between the couple. They continue to argue incessantly, and the more a couple bickers about money, especially if more than once a week, the higher the possibility that they will end up divorced. Not even diverging political views can cause havoc in a relationship the way different views of money can.

There comes a critical moment in which couples that disagree with how to handle their finances must decide if they are going to continue fighting or if they are going to establish parameters in these areas of their lives and be amicable as they work through their differences.

What can you do when you become stuck in the vortex of financial disagreements?

When an argument about money arises, don’t allow your disagreements to turn into a deadly battle, where one loses and the other wins. On the contrary, acknowledge that the argument the other person is making has as much validity as yours does. Give their case the same consideration and respect that you give your own.

Establish firm boundaries with the help of a third person, if necessary, and commit to trying to understand what that need to spend or save means for the person you love.

If you are the spender, grow your character by learning to delay instant gratification. If you are the saver, be more flexible in the things you are willing to spend money on for the sake of the relationship. Can’t come to an agreement? Here are some tips on how to tell if something’s worth buying.

In the end, your relationship is worth more than gold and no disagreement is worth the emotional toll that all the fighting brings. Learn to value each other above all.

For more resources on budgeting and relationship building, you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

The Cycle of Debt

The Cycle of Debt

By
Eva Fleming

Did you know that the national household debt in the U.S. is a whopping 13 trillion dollars? To help you put that in perspective, keep in mind that a trillion has twelve zeroes in it! In the words of Dave Ramsey, “debt is as American as apple pie, but certainly not as sweet.” Even though most of us have it, none of us really want it. I had a debt from a hospital stay that took me two years to pay off. And this is after decent medical coverage!

Some of our debt is the result of unexpected expenses that end up on our credit cards because we didn’t plan for them in our emergency fund. But other debt is the result of our wants and desires and things we just had to have, but never actually made provisions for in our budget.

If we want to break free from debt, we must learn to make the distinction between those two types of unbudgeted expenses and learn to plan for them seriously. One requires that we put effort into beefing up our emergency fund and the other one requires that we become more disciplined with our budget.

Emergencies are part of life. If you think your life will be smooth sailing without any setbacks, e.g., leaking roof or car repairs, then you are living in a fantasy world.

I live in Florida, where hurricane season starts in June and doesn’t end until November 30th. To survive those months, residents must have a contingency plan that answers questions like: What are we going to do in the event of a hurricane? Where are we going to evacuate if the storm is expected to be a category 5? What do I need to have in hand if I decide to stay home (water bottles, water for flushing the toilet, generators, candles, medicine, batteries, can foods, etc.), When are we going to install the shutters? What will I do with my pet? It’s important to plan every minor detail to keep the family safe and minimize any harm to the house or personal possessions, etc.

There are no always hurricanes in Florida, but one must always be prepared just in case. Readiness will help you sleep in peace with the least amount of anxiety possible. This is the kind of mentality we must have to succeed financially. The more prepared you are for what’s most likely coming, the fewer chances you’ll use your credit cards to get you out of trouble when those things do happen.

We must also keep in mind that the human spirit with all its wants and desires is nearly impossible to satisfy. In the mall I frequent, there are big signs everywhere that read: “Desire It,” “Deserve it,” “Acquire it.” All these signs invite you to satiate your desires even if it is beyond your means to do so because after all, you “deserve it.” In a world like that, without a budget and the willingness to stick to it, you are not going to be very successful staying out of debt. Here’s a budget sheet that can help you get started.

If you are amid crushing debt, seek help from the experts like Dave Ramsey among others, and follow their recommendations to pay off your current debts. Beyond that, try to develop the discipline needed to improve your emergency fund and make a firm commitment to stick to your budget and you will see how little by little, debt will no longer be an issue for you.

For our children’s sake and the future of our children’s children, let’s break the chains of debt. Let’s no longer allow our circumstances and desires to keep us slaves to debt. This new year commit to do your part to shrink those 12 zeroes from the trillion dollars that are currently strangling our economy. Let’s end our addiction to debt once and for all. Here’s a helpful resource that can help you cut expenses and avoid getting into more debt.

For more resources on budgeting and relationship building, you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.

5 Things You’re Paying for, You Should Cancel, Stop Buying, and Start Doing to Help You Pay Off Debt

5 Things You’re Paying for, You Should Cancel, Stop Buying, and Start Doing to Help You Pay Off Debt

By
Sarah Pichardo

If you’re like me, you’re probably paying for stuff you don’t even use. Well, maybe not like me cause after writing this I canceled stuff and rearranged my life. So I’m already one step ahead of you…catch up!

Here are those five things you should cancel, stop buying and start doing. Then take all that cash you saved to help pay off debt (and maybe buy a new pair of shoes).

Cable
Do you actually watch all 500 channels that you’re paying for? If you do, we need to sit and talk so I can report you to science. But chances are, you’re not. Matter of fact, you probably only have HBO right now cause you’re waiting for the last season of Game of Thrones to come out. Well, keep waiting and keep paying. Or you could be smart and cancel cable now, then just get the online subscription to HBO for when it comes out and cancel it again. It’s totally legit. I checked. Also, you’re probably just binge watching Netflix shows. Cable = $100+/month. Netflix = $10/month. So why are you paying for cable again?

Unused subscriptions
Do you really need Apple Music, Spotify and Satellite radio? At some point in my life I thought all three were absolutely necessary. I have regained my senses. You should do the same.

What other subscriptions are you paying for because you mostly like to throw money away? Don’t be like this kid, you might need those pair of shoes that are going on sale next week.

Buying lunch
Not only will buying lunch everyday cause you to gain 50 pounds and therefore ruin your New Year’s Resolutions, but it also costs you mucho dinero. Don’t want to cook? Make yourself a sandwich. It’s easy. It’s cheap. Again, those shoes are going on sale next week.

Bottled water
Why do you hate planet Earth so much? It’s a pretty cool place to be. There’s oxygen and science-y things that let us live here. All that plastic from bottled water is bad. It’s killing the fishies. (Do you really want to kill the fishies?) You don’t need those plastic water bottles. Besides, now that you’re bringing your lunch to work every day, you can fill up a reusable water bottle too. Want filtered water? Get a water filter. Look at you saving the planet. Your mom will be so proud.

Excess groceries
Speaking of, can’t you just hear your sweet mami in your head right now…“Tantos niños muriéndose de hambre, y tu aquí desperdiciando la comida.” (So many children dying of hunger, and you’re just here wasting food.) Shame on you. I’m telling your mom! How many times have you bought stuff and ended up throwing it away cause it went bad? It’s pretty sad. Not even my dog wants it. How about planning your meals ahead of time, writing a list, checking it twice? But, don’t forget the snacks.

mami-quote-desperdicando-la-comida-2

There you have it. If anything, after reading this, three things are very clear. First, I need to talk to your mom. Second, you should check out this blog so you can get real advice about ways to pay off debt. And last but not least, I just saved you a bunch of money and now you don’t have an excuse to not get me a birthday present.

—–

Sarah Pichardo is the Creative Director at Family Bridges. When she’s not obsessing over pixels, designs and scripts – or brainstorming plans to take over the world – she’s probably reading a book or overdoing it with the Christmas decorations.
Follow her on…

Twitter: @sarahp726
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahp726/

For more resources on professional development and relationship building, you can follow Family Bridges on social media @familybridges.