All Articles Tagged "money problems"
These are hard financial times we are living in, and unfortunately foreclosures are rampant and families are being forced to downsize. If you find yourself with a foreclosure notice on your doorstep, the best thing to do is try and remain as calm as possible, at least in front of your kids.
As much as you might feel the need to unravel, you can’t. It is time to figure out game plan B and C if you haven’t already. If you know you don’t have the money, call the bank one more time to try and negotiate something. If that doesn’t work and they won’t budge then think about your immediate needs.
Do you have siblings or parents or friends you can stay with for a little while?
If so, go and talk to them in person and explain your situation. Asking people for help is not easy, however, making sure your family has any roof over their head is the priority.
In the meantime, what are you going to tell your kids? If they are little, then there is no need for a lengthy conversation. But if they are old enough to know something isn’t right, you owe it to them to say something. This doesn’t have to be an entirely negative experience. Take on the perspective that you will be a stronger family if you can explain foreclosure to your kids, and learn how to manage money more effectively together.
Change Can Be An Adventure
There is no “right” way to tell your child about the situation but you know them the best, and this is where your instinct comes in. You probably should spare them all the gory details and specifics about your bank account amount. Maybe you could explain that you want your family to lead the best life possible but to do that, some things have to change along the way for a little while.
Tell them that change is good and moving will be an adventure. Tell them that to keep track of the experience you guys will turn it into a fun book where you write about it and take selfies. Get them involved in packing and taking pictures of the experience as part of their book adventure. Make it fun!
More Quality Time
During a big life change, they need you more than ever. In the midst of figuring out how you will save your family, you might not be in the mood for a walk or picnic in the park with your child, but they probably need it. The more one-on-one time you spend, it will allow you to listen and see how they are feeling about everything. This is especially important if you’re leaving behind a home they’ve been in for a while, that they’re attached to.
Teach Kids About Finances
Once you find somewhere to stay, whether it’s with a relative or in a small apartment, have a family meeting about the things you are all going to do differently.
Everyone can learn from fiscal mistakes and now is the time to create financial goals. And eventually, when you get a handle on it, teach your kids about money and debt. Talk to them about the importance of saving even if it’s a little amount at a time. It will make all the difference.
We have all seen people walk around with their nose pointed to the sky. Can you think of someone who always has to talk about the designer labels they are wearing, the fancy car they are driving, or the hot restaurant they have a reservation for, which, to them, equates to a higher status? Truth be told not everyone can afford what they are trying to display. Here are some signs you are living beyond your means. Hopefully you’ll fix these problems before they land you in serious debt.
Marriage takes more than a fancy ceremony and tearful vows to work. Heck, ask any veteran in the marital game and they’ll admit there has to be more than love to stay boo’ed up for the long haul. As arguments over coins tend to be one of the main reasons for divorce, here are some pointers on how to solve money fights in your marriage.
As women we need to do everything we can to build each other up and make sure that we succeed in our personal endeavors as well as the business world. Considering that many things are still a “man’s game,” we must do what’s necessary to make sure we continue to break barriers in hopes of paying it forward for the next generation of fabulous women in training.
One area that needs to be on point is our finances and unfortunately there are quite a few things we continue to do wrong. Rather than beat ourselves up about it, let’s identify them, fix them and keep trucking with our hustle. Here are top financial mistakes women make. Are you guilty of any?
“Your BFF’s new husband just got dropped from the 49ers,” my sports fanatic boyfriend matter-of-factly informed me one evening.
He was all too aware of the friend-in-my-head that is Kerry Washington. With me working in media and his undying love for all things sports, athletes and the women who love them, it always seems to be where our worlds collide.
“So like, what does that mean for him? Is his career like, over? You know they supposedly have a baby on the way,” I asked nervously.
“It’s a tough call,” he said before giving me the run-down on Nnamdi Asomugha’s athletic performance history.
“That’s absolutely awful. I really pray they can survive it. I mean, that kind of burden has to weigh
heavily on a relationship. They’re newlyweds. She’s at the top of her game right now and his career might be over.” I said that with enough concern to convince anyone who may have been listening in on our conversation that Kerry and I actually had a friendship somewhere other than in my head. But I meant it. Unemployment is hard on any relationship.
The call grew eerily silent. We had both temporarily escaped into our own thoughts.
“So how long?” he finally asked, breaking the silence.
“How long what?”
“How long can your man be out of work after a layoff before you get fed up?”
That was a great question—one I’d never put much thought into and one I tried to answer with caution. You see, I have an extremely low tolerance for able-bodied men who get knocked on their butts and decide to stay there, leaving their significant other to carry the burden of an entire household alone. In the same breath, I must admit that I realize how sucky the job market is right now and I’m fully aware of our country’s alarming unemployment rate. Securing a new gig can be pretty challenging.
“Six months to a year and a half, depending on the circumstances,” I eventually said, estimating my breaking point. I’d happily hold my family down in the interim, but I think between six months and a year and a half is a reasonable amount of time to secure a new job for someone who is actively and aggressively seeking employment,” I continued.
He, of course, felt that anything past six months was too long for a man to leave his wife carrying such a heavy burden alone.
“Hell, even six months is too long. I may not be able to get the job that I want, but I’d rather hand out flyers and scrub toilets than leave my woman paying all of the bills,” he said.
I let out a sigh of relief. Unemployment in a relationship isn’t always a money thing, but more so, a partnership thing. In my years on this earth, I’ve encountered my share of men who seemed a bit too comfortable with being chronically unemployed—family members, friends and unfortunately, some ex-boyfriends. We then began discussing a mutual friend, who recently revealed that her husband was not only unemployed for more than a year, but despite being home all day while she went to work, was even reluctant about helping out with household chores. This friend, who was never shy about professing her love for her hubby in the past, confessed that his laziness was slowly stirring up a bit of resentment within her that sometimes made it difficult to be around him.
“Kerry and Nnamdi will be fine. They have millions to fall back on,” my boyfriend eventually said.
They probably will be fine. Hopefully our friend will be too, I thought to myself.
All relationships have their challenges and rough patches, but I believe that two people wholeheartedly committed to working through those tough times and focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel are what the best love stories are made of. However, it has to be pretty tough when you’re struggling just to keep Con Edison from shutting that light (and the rest of them) off.
Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.
For some of us, it’s difficult to turn down a friend in need. Times are hard, and we all know the struggle is real, so it doesn’t hurt to lend a few bucks to those who are feeling the pain. However, there are those friends—or family members, ESPECIALLY family members—who, every time you turn around, just so happen to have their hand out, begging for a dollar. When it’s time to pay you back though, they come up with the excuse of a new bill they have to pay, saving their money for gas, or more bull, on top of more bull, on top of more bull. You can just about hear the violins playing and see the acting credits rolling when they get to tugging at your heart’s strings with their sob stories. For all you softies out there, you fall for it every time. That’s why they do it, but here’s how you fix the problem…
STOP GIVING THEM MONEY!!!! It can be a hard thing to do. Those little schemers come around with their sad face on, singing the blues and making it feel like they’ve just lost their favorite pet. But you have to learn to stop being an enabler—yes, when it’s a constant thing, you are assisting your friend in taking the easy way out instead of helping them to create a better financial environment (and plan) for themselves. Especially if you know they’re blowing bill money on trivial things, and using cash from you as a fall-back plan. But even worse than that, you’re just being plain ‘ol stupid.
This is probably not the first time your friend has asked for a loan then avoided you and given you lame excuses for why they can’t pay you back; yet they’re partying every weekend, buying the whole club drinks at the bar, or decked out in a brand new outfit with a fresh pair of Jays every time you see them. Do yourself a favor and just count it (and possibly them) as a loss. That’s right, don’t even worry about it. (Unless, of course, it’s a HUGE sum of money, then you might want to take them to court, “friend” or not). In actuality, it’ll be more of a loss for them because they’ll need you again, but just make sure you give them those same heart-wrenching lines the next time they come around with their hands out.
On the flip side, if you know this friend is really going through it and it’s not because they’re addicted to $500 shoes, just tell them to pay you back whenever they can. Give them time. When everything’s sorted out and they’re back on their feet, I’m sure they’ll pay their dues, plus interest, mainly if they’re a real friend. So again, don’t sweat it. Just make sure you can distinguish between a slick and sly vulture trying to jip you for a little piece of change, and a person who’s really in need and willing to pay you back. This way, you’ll know who to trust with your finances in the future, and you’ll learn to stop being the sucker with the never-closing piggy bank!
When everything is status quo, of course you’re a positive presence in your partner’s life. You boost his confidence, you motivate him; you inspire him and light up his day just by being around. But when a man is down on his luck and has lost his job, all the rules change. The truth is that there are a dozen unexpected ways you could make things worse for him. And some ways you can make things better. Learn how to navigate these sensitive waters.
On average, couples argue three times a month about money problems. Nearly half of couples have feuds over unexpected expenses. While studies show financial tensions can smother a committed relationship to death, it can also take a toll on the kids. About 60 percent of children admit to worrying about money as well, but only a third of parents realize this, reports YourMoney.com
Nearly 90 percent of children between the ages of eight to 15 are aware that their parents agonize over money, research from Halifax finds. The report accurately mirrors the 92 percent of parents who expressed distress over their finances.
Eager to understand the concepts behind finances, children are open-minded about learning about money. Saving cash is a topic that interested children the most, bank accounts are in second place and credit cards are at the bottom of the list. About 60 percent of children preferred to learn about finance from their parents than teachers or the Internet.
Luckily for kids, the study shows that 78 percent of parents feel knowledgeable and comfortable enough to teach their children about money.
“As parents, we try and protect our children from the things that worry us but sometimes it can be more beneficial to talk through financial concerns as a way to help children better understand money,” said Richard Fearson, head of Halifax savings.
Fearson adds that children are more aware of their surroundings than we assume; having a conversation about money with our kids can promote a healthy grasp on their finances in their future.
A fun fact of the study revealed that fathers are twice as likely to ask their kids for money than the mothers.
Now that his popular reality show, Flavor of Love, is nothing more than a distant memory, former Public Enemy hype man, Flavor Flav has been putting his entrepreneurial skills to work, opening three Flavor Flav’s Chicken & Ribs restaurants in Iowa, Las Vegas and Michigan. While opening the food chain seemed like a great look for Flav, something went terribly wrong because both his Las Vegas and his Iowa locations have been closed within the last three years. Now, it appears that his Michigan location may be shutting down soon as well.
According to TMZ, the landlord of the Sterling Heights, MI restaurant has filed eviction papers against the reality star’s food franchise, claiming that rent hasn’t been paid in full by the restaurant’s owner’s since it opened back in 2012. Court documents reveal that the landlord is asking for $25,000 in unpaid rent, late fees and damages or Flav has to get his chicken, ribs and get to stepping. The landlord says that back in September and October, FFC&R were late with their $3,500 per month rent payments and failed to pay anything for the month of November.
The landlord is also claiming that he warned Flav about his failure to make payment back in January and now he’s hoping that a judge will honor his decision to evict Flav if in fact he’s unable to cough up the owed amount. TMZ reached out to Flav regarding the situation and surprisingly, he claims that he didn’t know anything about it.
“I’m gonna figure out what’s going on and get to the bottom of this ASAP!”
Yike Flave! Maybe that money he’s getting from appearing on VH1’s Couple’s Therapy could help him save his restaurant.
There is a pattern for some people within the black community of poor financial education. A pattern I didn’t know existed until I fell prey to the pitfall of misinformation where money was concerned.
It was 2009 and I was in grad school. I had stopped going to class regularly. I only left my dorm room to eat. I stayed in bed all day, every day watching television. I was more than stressed. I was literally becoming more and more depressed with every debt collection phone call I ignored into the voicemail folder of my phone.
I didn’t mean to rack up almost $8,000 in credit card debt in less than two years. Somehow the idea that I needed to begin building credit was implanted in my naïve brain the summer between freshman and sophomore year of college. I had heard that if I did not get a credit card and begin building credit in college, I wouldn’t be able to buy a car or a house later in life because I would have no credit history to draw from.
That freaked me out. So, having done little to no research, I grabbed the MTV University Platinum card. It featured a bunch of perks and rewards and goodies and what-nots. It also featured a $4,000 limit and a 32 percent interest rate, but I had no clue what that would mean so I had no worries. Wasn’t I the frugal young lady who had stretched $20 every week during freshman year? Please, $4,000 was going to be no problem. I would only use the card for emergencies anyway.
Well, EVERYTHING soon became an emergency. Acrylic nails. Pizza. Trips to the city. The movies. I could NOT control myself when it came to that little piece of plastic. In my mind, as long as I paid something on it every month, I was good. I ended up getting another credit card with a lower interest rate to transfer my debt and save myself some money while I figured exactly how to pay off $4,000 when I was only making $500 per month on work study. I ended up canceling both cards and burying my head in the sand, scared to answer calls from debt collectors. Then, one day a collections agency called and basically threatened to take me to court OR garnish my wages if I did not set up an automatic payment with them right then for $325 each month. Scared out of my mind, I did it. Then I called my mother. She freaked. She told me I did not have to do that, especially since I didn’t have anywhere near $325 in my bank account.
I ended up having to freeze the account and pay my bank back the money they fronted for my stupidity, as well as a hefty overdraft fee.
From that moment, I knew I could not wallow in depression and anxiety about my money situation anymore. It was not going to get any better by avoiding my creditors. I had to educate myself and figure out how to confront the problem head-on. My finance professor happened to be discussing the difference between credit card interest and student loan interest one night during class. He expressed that student loan interest rates couldn’t exceed about 7.5 percent (at that time) while credit card interest rates could be as high as 30 percent. He said it was wise to take out a student loan to cover credit card debt (depending on the individual situation). Well, I looked at my debt situation, talked to my creditors to try to get my interest reduced, but to no avail. They weren’t budging. So, I took out a student loan to cover my credit card debt and ended up saving myself thousands in interest fees.**
Since 2009, I swore off credit cards for a long time and only decided to get another one in early 2011, which I didn’t even use until that summer. I paid the card off in full every time I used it.
My situation is not so different from many young people who are thrust into taking care of their own finances with little to no guidance or foreknowledge. The most important lesson I have learned in dealing with the depressing trial of massive credit card debt is this: DO NOT SPEND WHAT YOU DON’T HAVE.
If I know I can’t pay off at least 80-90 percent of what I want to purchase on my credit card, I don’t even try it.
What you’re not told is that every little thing affects your credit score. So, while building credit is important – having a job to pay off your credit card and the willpower not to live above your means is more important. It would be different if I had budgeted and used my credit card wisely for things like school supplies and the occasional treat, but I lost my ever-loving mind and charged everything. It’s so easy to swipe that bit of plastic and forget about paying it off.
- Educate yourself before you choose a credit card. Know the interest rates. Ask about monthly fees and balance fees (they add up). Or if you’re sinking in debt and burying your head in the sand like I was, get up, call your creditors and explain your financial situation. Get on a plan to pay them back little by little. Trust me, they want to help you pay them back their money. These are people with loans and debt just like you. They get it. More often than not, they are willing to negotiate terms.
- Create a budget for yourself. If you get into the habit of spending wisely, you’ll feel so accomplished you’ll continue. I use the 50/30/10/10 rule. Fifty percent goes to bills. Thirty percent goes to my treats, shopping etc. Ten percent is tithed to my church. And the last 10 percent is saved. Having a plan will always yield favorable results if you commit to it. Sites like Mint.com are super useful in setting up streamlined budgeting systems.
- Understand how credit cards work. Even if you pay your card off every month, maxing it out is no good. A consistently maxed out card signals an out-of-control spender to the credit bureaus and it decreases your credit score. Using 20 to 30 percent of your card and paying it off each month shows restraint and responsible stewardship.
- Find deals! You can still afford to have fun and purchase nice things even while on a restrained budget, you just have to search out great deals. And with sites like LivingSocial and Groupon it isn’t hard to find great deals anymore. There is no reason why anyone should be spending full price for anything, ever. Clip coupons! Be a loyal customer – the perks are AWESOME.
- Don’t focus on your past mistakes with money or all the things you wish you could do. Focus on the lessons learned and the courage you mustered to take back control of your finances. With time and a committed plan, you’ll be out of debt and more financially empowered than you dreamed.
Many churches and community centers offer free financial courses to help the community find financial freedom. Be active about taking control of your finances. Seek out the help and the tools. They are abundant and so severely under-utilized.
**Taking out a student loan to cover credit card debt is what worked for ME. I am not advocating this course of action for everyone. Find what works best for you.
La Truly seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe about.me/Ashley.hobbs.