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QUESTION: I am the CFO of my family (I handle the household bills) and am very good at what I do. The problem is my husband. He never wants to talk about budgeting saying, “Budgeting is for poor people. We are not poor so we don’t need to do it.” I’ve asked what he thinks we should do however, he is extremely adamant about not talking about it, period. How do I get him to budget, or should I just do it without him?
MY TWO CENTS:
It’s always important that couples are on the same page financially. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of marriages fail because of financial reasons, not infidelity as many may think. I was once in a marriage where disagreements regarding finances was a major issue. That coupled with “other” stressors unfortunately led to its demise, but I dare not digress so allow me to make a couple of suggestions:
- POSITION: You are the CFO of the family. Hmm. Think about that for a second. Have you declared yourself Chief Financial Officer of the family to your spouse, to extended family members or friends? Some men have extremely fragile egos and regardless of your intent, you declaring yourself Chief Financial Officer of the family may indicate authority over your husband making him feel emasculated. This could result in subconscious resentment towards you. Usually one spouse handles the finances because either one is better at it than the other or one has more time to do so. As petty as it may sound, consider resigning from the position of CFO (or at least from making the reference aloud.)
- APPROACH: When are you bringing up the topic of budgeting? Here are a couple of examples of when NOT to approach your husband regarding budgeting: Immediately upon coming home from work and before, during or after a football/basketball/baseball/hockey game etc. Those times will result in immediate “shut down.” After a stressful day at work and/or a long commute home, talking about budgeting is the LAST thing your husband wants to do. Most prefer to decompress and relax. Asking questions on “game day” is definitely out. For many men, game day is their “me time” or “time with the guys” especially if their spouses/partners are not into sports. In this case, do the opposite of what Nike says…. “Just don’t do it.”
- INVOLVEMENT: Try breaking the ice by asking your husband what his top three money goals are. Ask him what his plans are for achieving those goals. LISTEN TO HIM. If the mood is positive, introduce how budgeting can help achieve those goals. The key is not to dictate what should be done. Work together. Feedback and communication are important. You are a team. Stress the importance of how a collective effort can produce fruitful results. GOOD LUCK!!!
Wishing you financial prosperity and success in your marriage,
~Andrea L. Coleman, The Financial Hack
I’m back! That’s enough reason for me to celebrate.
I can give you a million “excuses” as to why I haven’t posted, but I won’t because I can sum all those excuses up into one word: COMPLACENCY.
Over my six month hiatus, I remembered a few principles about blogging I should have never abandoned. Allow me to share the most important ones with you.
1. MAINTAINING A BLOG REQUIRES DISCIPLINE: Spending 1-2 hours each day can make the difference between an engaged audience vs an audience who suddenly becomes disinterested.
2. MAINTAINING A BLOG REQUIRES PLANNING: This includes posting on topics relevant to your target audience not just topics that interest the blogger.
3. MAINTAINING A BLOG REQUIRES CONSISTENCY: Committment is doing something even when we don’t feel like it. There’s no other way to say it.
I thank those who gave me their positive feedback as well as constructive criticism and well, just criticism in general.
Be on the lookout for regular postings, helpful tips and tricks and I’ll be adding “My Two Cents,” a column responding to questions/given scenarios posed to me.
Posts will be much shorter (please hold your applause,) which should make for a more pleasant reading experience (I’m a Journalism major and a wannabe writer/poet so cut me some slack here). Also look for guest postings.
Weekly Periscope sessions with The GOAL Patrol will resume although I’m indecisive regarding the future of my Facebook page.
I do look forward to resuming my blog. I’m not ashamed to tell you I’m a little excited. Okay a lot! In the meantime feel free to explore my website and tell me what topics you’d like to discuss.
Wishing you prosperity and healthy finances in 2017,
~Andrea L. Coleman, The Financial Hack
HEY!!!! Be sure to follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @TheFinancialHack
Recently, I took a much needed vacation after a grueling semester of what seemed to be endless reading, weekly assignment deadlines, quizzes and exams. One would think returning to school 14 years after receiving an MBA would be a piece of cake but a piece of cake it was not. I was overwhelmed in the beginning but gradually fell into a pattern of keeping my schedule eventually devoting the majority of my weekends to study. Returning to school was a huge sacrifice for me, but one well worth it in the end.
I decided months prior, I would travel somewhere, anywhere, because my birthday coincided with the end of the semester and what better way to celebrate Phase 1 of my Accredited Financial Counselor Certification and my birthday than taking a trip. I decided on the Dominican Republic. The history is rich and the beaches are beautiful. What was significant about this trip was I traveled alone, and in doing so, I had time to think, to ponder my life, its direction and my purpose. I can’t do that in the city. Too much “white noise.” The irony of it all was I had to travel out of the country to “find myself.” I know. It sounds cheesy and so cliche’, but it’s the truth.
Spending time alone while away allowed me to look deep within. I discovered what I want in life, what truly makes me happy, and the stillness provided much needed direction. Not that I hadn’t pondered these things before, but there’s a certain comfort that comes with walking alone on the beach, the sand between your toes, the crescendo of the breaking waves and the breeze gently caressing your cheek allowing your mind to expand and your thoughts to flow freely. It seemed to be an epiphany, the “Ahh Ha” moment Oprah Winfrey makes mention of. Suddenly everything became clear to me. And then all was calm. I’m confident I returned from my trip not a “different” person, but a “better” person, if that makes any sense.
Obviously, it isn’t necessary to travel out of the country to take time for self, so until you’re in a position to do so, here are a few suggestions that may help:
- Consider a “staycay.” Tell your husband/wife (s)he’s on “Mommy/Daddy Duty” for the weekend/day/night or drop the kids off with your mother/mother-in-law and run away from home. Check into a nice local hotel for the weekend in your city or if possible, opt for a change of scenery by driving to a neighboring city. Austin, TX is my “go to” city. No television, no phone. Just you (and room service if possible.)
- Create a space in your home free from all distractions. This could be a closet or a small room in your home. Create a tranquil environment with candles and the soothing sounds of soundgarden/spa music. Draw the blinds, close the door, relax, free your mind and find your center.
- Meditation/Yoga. I’ve always admired how people are able to close their eyes and block out everything, no matter where they are. It takes serious concentration and mental ability. Yoga is also a great way to a healthy mind, body and spirit.
- Appreciate beauty. When was the last time you visited your local arboretum or took a long stroll around the park? Consider a hike at your local reserve. The beauty and appreciation of nature can have extensive healing powers.
Employing some or all of these tips can help you relax, re-center, and recharge. Each requires very little effort or money and is worth your peace of mind. And trust me, when you have peace of mind, you’re free.
~Andrea Coleman (The Financial Hack) ©2016
Follow me on Twitter @IAmCoachAndrea
HERE’S THE REPLAY LINK TO LAST NIGHT’S SCOPE “SESH”