Monthly Archives: September 2010

Money and Relationship

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Let’s talk about sex…nah, that’s too easy. Let’s talk about money instead. Did your stomach just start to churn? Did you reel back slightly?

As a society we’re not very comfortable talking about money. It’s forbidden to talk about how much you earn, clumsy to discuss how much you paid for something. But if this dynamic extends into a relationship it can cause extreme difficulty.

Take one couple I know of. Together they own a coffee, but the wife has no idea about the financial position of the enterprise, despite being liable for any debts incurred by the business. Her husband won’t talk to her about finances, in fact when she raises the issue it causes a fight, which has created mistrust and a rift between them.

Is he larceny money from the till? And if so, what’s he spending it on? Why all the secrecy? Or is it that he doesn’t want to admit the business’ real, possibly dire financial outlook? Perhaps he’s so far behind with the accounts he simply doesn’t know what the real financial position is and is too scared to admit it.

There still seems to be a paternalistic approach to money in many relationships: the little woman doesn’t really need to concern herself with the family’s finances – that’s a man’s job. So who’s to blame in this situation and, more importantly, how could it be rectified?

As with many aspects of a relationship, if communication breaks down between a couple, it’s probably best to seek professional help from a good counsellor with experience helping couples sort through their financial communication issues.

“A counsellor will sit down with a couple and map out the issues, often using a computer program, which is an approach many guys can relate to. Doing this shows savings patterns and where the money is going. But to be honest, often people don’t go to Counsellor until they are in dire straights; they might already have maxed out multiple credit cards before they come in to see Counsellor.

In a heterosexual relationship Counsellor says the problem isn’t usually that women don’t understand money, or that they want to leave financial decisions to the men-folk. “It’s more about ingrained roles in our society about men being the provider. If men don’t feel they are fulfilling this role it can become an issue of shame and pride. Money has more of an emotional impact in our lives than almost any other aspect.”

If you find yourself in a situation where there’s a breakdown in your relationship about money you might need to take a different approach to the way you and your partner approach spending. Counsellor says often couples split expenses rather than make joint decisions about how to save for something like a holiday. “You might find one partner pays for the flights and the other partner pays for the accommodation, rather than saying ‘we need to save 2 lacs for a holiday together’.”

When it comes to bank accounts Counsellor says a sensible approach is to have a joint household account, plus “an individual account that doesn’t have to be accounted for. A good compromise might be that each partner gets 50,000 a year to spend on themselves, as long as the bills are paid first.”

As a couple, if you find yourself weighted down by a mountain of debt the first thing you should do is make an appointment with a financial counsellor and immediately contact those you owe money to. Most creditors will let you arrange a payment plan that will reduce individual repayments but still ensure you pay off the debt over time.

How do you deal with money in your relationship? Are you equal partners or is one side solely responsible for money? Do you think it’s possible to resolve conflict about money in a relationship? I’d love to hear your thoughts

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Car story

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TWO CARS ARE DRIVING OPPOSITE DOWN A STREET COMING AT EACH OTHER, CAR 1 KEEPS DRIVING STRAIGHT TOWARDS THE OTHER, THE OTHER, CAR2 MAKES STOPS ALONG THE WAY, DETOURS OFF THE MAIN STREET, WHEN CAR 2 GETS BORED OR GETS A QUICK FIX, THEN CAR 2 RETURNS TO THE MAIN STREET AGAIN.DRIVING TOWARDS CAR 1 AGAIN.WHEN EVENTUALLY THE 2 CARS MEET, CAR 2 HAS A FLAT SO TAKES THE SPARE TIRE FROM CAR 1.NOW CAR 2 DRIVES OFF TO SIGHTSEE SOME MORE, LEAVING CAR 1 WAITING AND WAITING AND WAITING, CAR 2 DOES RETURN OFTEN TO MAKE SURE CAR 1 IS STILL SITTING AND WAITING(CANT LEAVE CAR 2 TOOK THE SPARE TIRE) .1 DAY AS CAR 2 IS OUT PLAYING, CAR 3 COMES ALONG, SEES CAR 1 BROKE DOWN, SITTING AND WAITING FOR CAR 2 TO RETURN AGAIN.SO CAR 3 GIVES CAR 1 ITS SPARE, THEN DRIVES OFF, CAR 1 IS FIXED NOW,1 DAY CAR 2 RETURNS BROKEN AGAIN, BUT CAR 1 IS NOW WHERE TO BE SEEN! CAR 1 DROVE AWAY NEVER TO RETURN!

Poem on televison

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The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rate and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.