A Salutary Lesson From A 4-Year-Old

Every parent knows that children can always be relied on to listen closely to what they’re not supposed to and yet are completely deaf when you ask them to tidy up or anything else they don’t want to do.  But I was completely floored by what my 4-year-old came out with.

“Don’t worry, mummy, I know another way to get some money!”

And whilst I could not stop myself laughing out loud, it was more in fear than amusement as my blood ran cold.

When the school finally opened after a long Christmas break, my twin boys were in for precisely one day before snow forced it to close again for a further two.  I had been on at them ALL DAY about charging recklessly about the house risking breaking just about everything.  The school had suggested some homework activities but the boys were soon bored again.  I resorted to threatening them that we wouldn’t have enough money for their birthday party in March if we had to replace TV, sofa, put the radiators back onto the wall etc.

I explained that as long as the schools were closed, mummy and daddy had little time to try and earn some money.

“Don’t worry, mummy.  I know another way!  All you need to do is get your old jewellery, pop it in an envelope and post it off.  Then you get a cheque in the post and you can exchange that for money, can’t you!”

WHAAAT? !

So that’s that then!  Simple!

It’s a sobering lesson and a sign of the times.  Advertising is very powerful, even when it is not aimed at children.  But just to be sure, all my jewellery is going straight into the safe!  I can’t risk it might be “popped” into an envelope and randomly posted! 

Just as well we’ve recently replaced the safe batteries then!

Don’t Let Money Worries Stress Your Relationship

In today’s financial crisis credit crunch world, relationships are coming increasingly under stress.  And as money worries are often cited as one of the main reasons why couples spilt, does financial stress necessarily mean you are heading for the divorce court? 

Of course not, if you take time to focus on your relationship and sort out your money problems together.  Here’s how.

1.   Communicate

Sadly for those people who think it will only cause an argument, talking about money worries is the crucial first step to beating financial stress.  And whilst it is absolutely essential, make sure you find the right time to tackle it! 

For example, do not try to start such a difficult conversation when either of you is in a rush.  Try to schedule some quiet “adult time” together when you can discuss your money worries without interruption.  Once you have admitted you are worried, you will be able to go forwards.  After all you can only start to address your financial problems when you both understand the scale of the problem. 

2.   Keep it Blame Free

Whether the problem was directly caused by one of you alone or not, it is never helpful to lay blame.  After all, if your partner is half way responsible, they probably already feel bad enough about getting the two of you into a financial crisis.  Blaming them will only lead to hostility and bad feeling between you. 

3.   Get Help

Talk your money problems over with a qualified financial advisor.  The presence of a third party will stop you bickering so much and they may be able to see solutions and alternatives to solving your money stress that you didn’t know about. 

4.   Work Together

Whatever you decide to do, it is essential to work through your money problems together.  Note, this is not the same as saying that you should both be equally involved in every task.  In many marriages, this might actually cause more stress than it alleviates! 

However, you should both be aware of what needs to be dome to beat your money problems, and be supportive of each other as you work through them.  It is not a good idea for one person to be in the dark about what is going on whilst the other takes on all the work to solve the problem.  This will only lead to anger and resentment and more stress!

5.   Keep money issues separate. 

And finally, make sure that you keep a balanced view of your problems.  Money issues are everywhere in daily life, but your relationship is central to your marriage.  Don’t let your financial stress come between you.  Schedule time, maybe weekly, fortnightly or even monthly, when you specifically discuss finances.  And focus on other issues at all other times.  This will ensure you retain some “time off” to enjoy being together even during the money worry times.

If you work together, you will emerge from your money worries with your relationship even stronger than before. 

More stress busting tips can be found in my free ebook Destress For Personal Development and Improve Your Self Confidence.