Manage Your Money Week 2 – Teamwork, Accountability, and Kids

WOW! Out of the 44 that signed up, only 12 showed up, leaving 32 people MIA. That’s alright though, there is still a chance to redeem yourself. Don’t give up before you even start! How are you going to change things if you don’t do the work? I know it’s hard! I know you’re scared! I know you’re intimidated! But you have to make some changes, and you may as well start now. You are still welcome, and can win some prizes. Make the changes now!

To the ones that showed up, and blew me away with their honesty and willingness to examine themselves and their habits, CONGRATULATIONS!! I hope that last week’s lesson inspired you to think a bit more about what you spend your money on each month. There really is no right or wrong answer, as long as you accept that your decisions will take you where you end up. If you don’t like where you end up, you have to make different decisions.

This Weeks Prize Winners!

(via Random.org)

  1. FPU DVD Lesson: Cash Flow Planning – DOROTHY
  2. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey – JULIE
  3. $25 Staples Gift Card – JULIE (GO JULIE!)
  4. $25 Amazon Gift Card – CHRIS HOLDHEIDE
  5. BONUS SURPRISE BOOK: This week, KIM, was hand-picked for quoting me almost exactly:

“You can avoid a potential crisis, by understanding that saving money for your future is not going to keep you from enjoying life, it will instead give you a life to enjoy.”

There were a few of you that also got the right answer but I was looking for the exact phrase from the article. Thank you all for being so awesome in taking this challenge seriously. I am proud of you all!

PLEASE NOTICE: I moved the list of sponsors and prizes to a special page here on EOD. Please be sure to check out who made this first Manage Your Money challenge so very special!

Winner of $100 From the EOD Subscriber Challenge 

SHERRY!! Congratulations on completing the Improve Yourself Challenge, and participating all the way through. Only 5 out of 11 participated at all. Sherry is $100 richer!!

Be sure to thank the sponsors!

Manage Your Money Challenge #2

By now you should have budgeted your money on paper on purpose, closely analyzed wants versus needs, and today we will be focusing on teamwork, accountability, and kids.

TEAMWORK

Anyone who has followed this blog for more than a month, has likely heard me talk about the importance of teamwork. I believe it is the glue that holds any financial plan in place, and I could go even further by saying that it can even keep your marriage in place. It’s not the only solution to your money problems when dealing with your marriage, but it does give you lots of room to grow together. If you are not walking together, you are walking away from each other.

The problem with teamwork is that it requires TWO responsible adults to work together for the common good of the family. Unfortunately, many times, one or both parties involved can be immature, and do not really understand the gravity of their role in the financial affairs. If you are the one who puts all of the responsibility on your spouse, then you are acting very selfishly, and may not even realize it. To prove this point, go ask a single person how hard it is to do it alone. Ask them if they would prefer to have help when it came to their finances. Chances are you will hear pain and frustration coming through. Is that what kind of pressure you want to put on your spouse?

Read a guest post from me at Engaged Marriage that gives you a plan of action: You May Be Married, But Are You Truly United? Pay special close attention to the list of things you want to practice daily near the bottom. You will need to, for your personal challenge.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Married folks have accountability, and even they struggle with this money stuff. How do you think single people feel? They certainly have it harder than us married folks. I have to answer to my wife, and that’s not always pleasant, especially if I do something stupid. Just that fact alone makes me LESS LIKELY to do something stupid. If you are single you do not have that built-in accountability so you have to WORK HARDER at it.

You have to hold yourself to a higher standard, because if you don’t, no one else will!! However, there are some things you can do to hold yourself more accountable. One of them being to pick an accountability buddy. Someone you love, trust, and that will be honest with you. Don’t pick your shopping buddy!! Talk with the person and ask them if they mind h0lding you accountable.

The other thing is to set up some questions for yourself that YOU MUST answer before making a purchase not in the budget.

Something like:

  1. Can I wait?
  2. Will buying this keep me from reaching my financial goals?
  3. Can this money be better spent on something more important?
  4. If I buy this how will it impact my budget?

Sometimes you just need a healthy reminder of what your goals are. Remind yourself as often as possible!

WHERE DO THE KIDS FIT IN?

Now whether you are married or single, kids can have a huge impact on your money. Is that an understatement or what? Haha! There are lots of ways our children tend to affect our budget, and a lot of times, in order to cope, we say things like YES, when we really should be saying NO! Are you guilty of that? (my hand is raised high, because sometimes I am a complete sucker. My wife will tell you that!)

Your kids want this and they want that! That will NEVER change! What can change though is using the word NO more often. It is kind of hard when you are standing there looking at that beautiful, but very manipulative smiling face staring back at you, but we can’t let our kids spend our money. They are innocent and have no clue as to what it means to be on a budget. Sometimes they do though, and have learned that you can be pretty easy to persuade. You have to stop that!

I hear more stories of people claiming that the budget was busted due to not being able to tell their kids NO! We cannot let our children dictate how the money is spent, and we can’t let them bully us into submission. If they have you feeling guilty every time you try to say no, they are in control. Gain control of your money, YOU are the adult.

The #1 BEST way to teach them the value of a dollar, is to teach them about money. Teach them about income, expenses, taxes, and explain to them the benefits of budgeting. Welcome them to the short budget meetings every month. Help them understand early on, why you cannot just have everything you want, just because you want it. Isn’t that why most of us got into our financial predicaments in the first place?

Perhaps the combination of credit cards, and parents not talking to their kids about money is why American households have a negative savings rate. We grow up to think that we can have anything we want, when we want it, so we never even consider saving money as an option to living paycheck to paycheck.Β  STOP THE CYCLE, OR IT WILL CONTINUE!

TODAY’S CHALLENGE

If you are married, you must go to my guest post over at Engaged Marriage, and start working on that list immediately. Leave a comment below answering these two questions: (worth one entry)

  1. What do you struggle with the most on the list? (ex. being patient etc.)
  2. How do you plan on getting better at that one thing?

BONUS:Β  Set aside 15 minutes to get to know your spouse. (worth 5 extra entries)

Find out whether you are on the same page. Get to know your spouse! It’s important! Leave a comment outlining how it went.. πŸ˜‰ Remember to be honest here. Your goal is to change things, not pretend you participated in a family meeting.

====================================================

If you are single, you must write yourself a list of at least three accountability questions in the comments section below. (worth one entry)

BONUS: Find yourself an accountability buddy! That simple. (worth 5 extra entries)

Make your accountability buddy count. Make sure they are willing to hold you accountable. Make sure you can call them when in stress. Make sure you trust this person and will be able to open up.

====================================================

If you have children: (worth one entry)

  1. Do you give into them more than you should?
  2. Have you ever talked to them about money?

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Oh yeah, you have until midnight on Thursday to enter to win prizes!!

That’s it. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and answers on this. This is an area of financial management that can make or break you. If you are not on the same page as your spouse, can’t hold yourself accountable, and let your kids spend your money, you are going to struggle with your budget. You may as well get better at it!

Be sure to visit the Sponsors page to learn more about the folks that were kind enough to offer such great prizes!!

OTHER MANAGE YOUR MONEY POSTS

  1. Manage Your Money Sign Up
  2. Manage Your Money Pre-Challenge Post: On Paper On Purpose
  3. I Love You…Like A Blogger!
  4. WEEK ONE CHALLENGE: Manage Your Money – Wants Versus Needs
  5. WEEK TWO CHALLENGE: Teamwork, Accountability, and Kids
  6. WEEK THREE CHALLENGE: Death By 1000 Cuts
  7. WEEK FOUR CHALLENGE: GET OUT OF DEBT!
  8. BONUS CHALLENGE: Think Ahead and Stay Determined
  9. FINAL POST: TBA April 1st

About Brad Chaffee

45 Responses to “Manage Your Money Week 2 – Teamwork, Accountability, and Kids”

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  1. Julie says:

    I can’t seem to access engagedmarriage from here so I will have to try again later to read that article. I can answer the following, though:

    If you have children:

    Just as background, my daughter is 17 months old.

    1. Do you give into them more than you should?

    I don’t think we do. I do buy her toys every so often, but I buy many of them used or at good discounts. My husband is known to buy her little things out of his blow money, but most of that is under $10 or so a month. The funny part is that she could have just as much fun with a cardboard box or her blanket.

    2. Have you ever talked to them about money?

    Not really. We’ve just gotten her to say please and thank you at this point. She does know shoes, socks, coat/jacket, and hat, though.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      LOL yeah it is hard to have the “money talk” with a 2 year old. haha! We started with Isaac around 2.5 but only with REALLY basic stuff. Clean up = commission etc. We gave him money for his piggy bank and watched him get excited each time he put some money in it. The first time he bought something he was so proud of himself! πŸ™‚

      Be sure to check out that post on Engaged Marriage, it is excellent. πŸ˜€

  2. Donna Korzun says:

    !!Wow, right to the point!

    I struggle with honesty the most. I handle the household budget and I have felt it gives me a “right” to the extras that I want (curtains, magazines etc.). This is after I have told my husband we are on a tight budget and not to spend! If this is not a struggle with honesty I don’t know what is. Now, having this hit me in the face I will have to change my attitude and really “act united”. Tonight I am going to talk with my husband and confess my dishonesty. It will be hard but it must be done if we are going to win at this money thing. I am going to go over the budget with him and be completely honest for probably the first time ever. He has always trusted me with the money and now I feel like I have let him down. I guess I have been! I am also going to stay with a list and keep a copy of the budget with me so I can refer to it along with our goals to “‘keep me honest”. Thanks for helping me become enlightened. God bless.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Right to the point indeed. haha! πŸ˜€

      For someone who struggles with honesty you sure have been honest with yourself. Congratulations, because that’s a very good first step to becoming united! πŸ˜€

      I am SO VERY HAPPY that my exercise has helped you Donna. Sometimes it’s hard to know if what I put together will truly help others. Thank you for participating!! πŸ™‚

      I will be curious to know how things turn out for you Donna! Keep up the good work!!!

  3. Laura says:

    What if I am not single, but not married. I’m in a serious relationship (we live together…) Our finances are not combined but we do more or less split most things.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      I would say that you should, in your situation, discuss your future goals and how to plan your future together financially. What does he want? What do you want? How can you work together to make it happen?

      AND you probably want to work on the accountability too. Since your money is not combined, then you won’t totally feel accountable to him like a couple who has combined their money. That’s not to say that you couldn’t make a pledge to each other to hold each other accountable. Talk about your budgets each month. Get to know each other and what you want and work on coming together.

      I like to call it “dreaming together”.

      • Laura says:

        We have lots of discussions of money; he is more of a spender because he works hard and wants a higher level of life. He is more of a risk taker and investor of sorts, whereas I am more of a frugalist and saver. (However, I am the one with the house!)

        What He Wants: He wants to be able to travel, have a nice house, be able to buy me things because he sees them and thinks I would like them. Luckily, my tastes are not very high end (i.e. Target having a budget category). He wants to not have to worry about if he has enough money to go out to dinner, or catch a movie one night. He wants to work because he gets something out of it and not just money. He wants to be able to give his children what he had and better (without spoiling!)

        What I Want: I hate debt of all kind and I love my job in education, so I work more on the saving end. Like him, I am big on traveling and am willing to scrimp in other areas in order to do so. I want to be able to provide my children with all necessities and give them experiences and opportunities in life. I want to have enough money that I would feel secure to work less when I have children.

        To Sum It Up: I’m a spend less, he’s a make more! Together we can be quite a powerful force!

        As far as accountability, we are both responsible, paying off balances in full each month. If I need to borrow money or vice versa it’s never an issue. Things are split pretty fairly. I tell him when I am trying to keep my budget at a certain point, and he will tell me how much we need to save for upcoming travel. He is teaching me how to invest my money. We balance well.

        For example, after the gym last night, I had planned on cooking dinner. He wanted to stop at Chipotle, so he paid. πŸ™‚

        Let me know anything needed to complete this week’s assignment! It actually fit in nicely since we had a whole money talk this past weekend!

  4. Donna Korzun says:

    Kids! I could write a book as could every parent. No, we made mistakes with money and our kids (all grown) and now they are making mistakes we could have prevented. It grieves me but I try and give advice if they are open to it.

    As to giving in. We were the king and queen of it!!!! The worst part is we signed for loans for the youngest to go to college. He did well at community college and we felt we were doing what was best by sending him on the get his B.S in Statistics. Unfortunately, he picked friends that did not help his lack of motivation and we did not monitor the situation. Needless to say, he is now underemployed, has no degree (5 classes away) and WE are paying his student loans ($640 a month). To say this is a strain is putting it mildly. To all of you out there that have children, please take this post seriously. Talk with your kids about money, let them struggle, let them work hard, and don’t co-sign!!! (listen to Dave Ramsey). You will be teaching your children valuable lessons that we cannot go back and do. This is my burden, please don’t let it be yours. God Bless!

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Let me just say you are not alone Donna! as parents it is sometimes easier to take the easy route. I have done it myself for sure, but today is a new day. Don;t dwell on your mistakes as much as you learn from them. I am still learning from mine as we speak. πŸ™‚

  5. Michele says:

    Wow.. sorry, I am still in it. I posted on the pre-challenge and did not see week #1. Gotta play catch up…..

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      LOL, no problem Michelle! I know people are busy so I expected there to be some that forgot, I was just surprised by how many. In your defense there was three weeks in between sign up and the start of the challenge.

      Glad to have you back on board! πŸ™‚

  6. Michele says:

    What do you struggle with the most on the list? (ex. being patient etc.)
    How do you plan on getting better at that one thing?

    First let me say that I disagree with single people money challenges are harder than married folks…..They are not married to my husband who can be a Mr Smarty pants. lol We both work in Finance (me Payroll and hubby Futures Market Trading). It has been a STRUGGLE for my hubsband and I to be on the same page on a lot of things. He is not a spender, we are just not on the same page as far as buying items, bill paying etc.

    I feel that I struggle with:

    Being honest… being that we have our own ideas about saving, budgeting and spending. We really have to sit down and work on this… Perhaps therapy :).

    Be United – Is a HUGE problem that hopefully we can work on.

    The Engaged/Married blog is great! I added it as an RSS feed.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      LOL, there are certainly exceptions to any rule. πŸ™‚ I am working with a single mother right now and she struggles being that she has no accountability. I remember how tough it was to keep myself accountable before I was married too. Things are a whole lot easier for me these days now that the wife and I are doing this money thing together. πŸ™‚

      Keep working on the problem areas on your list and you will surely see progress. Is your husband willing to sit down and chat with you about money?

      I am glad you enjoyed my guest post and Dustin’s site! He really has a great blog going over there! I am glad you subscribed. πŸ˜‰

  7. Michele says:

    I have 2 grown children and 2 (sons) still at home who are 14 and 5 yrs old.

    Do you give into them more than you should?
    Have you ever talked to them about money?

    I have to admit that we both give them more than we should. Whenever we go to a store (including grocery shopping) the 5 yr old thinks he should get something. We used to be able to let him ride in the cart with the item and give it to the cashier to disregard, we are not purchasing but he has gotten hip to our trickery. We have gotten better at his and have told him NO.

    I have talked to my children about money (age appropriate) I really need to sit down with my 14 yr old son and show him how a budget works. He thinks money grows on trees.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Michelle that is great news! Talking with them is important. A good thing to consider having the 15y/o attend is Financial Peace University (you can do it with him). It will change the way he views money and how to manage it forever! It’s the perfect time for your children to learn these lessons.

      As for your 5 year old, I HIGHLY recommend looking into getting FPU Jr. It is $20 and well worth the purchase. It is perfect for starting young children early. (ages 3-12)

  8. Michele says:

    Getting to know my husband for 15 minutes……

    I have been trying to get him to sit down and talk about the finances for the past 8 years! We are going around in circles.

    I told him he is the CEO of the family and I am the CFO. We need to go over the bills, but he likes to keep things in his head… I have told him that he is no longer single and we have a lot more bills than before.

    We have the same goals and we have written out goals that we want to achieve for the house (cut down tree, new windows etc) and we are currently working on each of the house goals. Sadly, when it comes to college savings, 401k, Roth IRA (some of my goals) he does not want talk about. I like to plan for the future and he is a “here and now” person.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      You might want to remind him that when it comes to retirement planning, a “here and now” won’t cut it since by the time “here” arrives there is little time to save for it! πŸ™‚

      I hope that you can get him to eventually talk, because after all what’s the harm in talking right? It should be something that is important to him if it is important to you. I have found that it is better not to try and force our loved ones into doing what’s important to us. You may want to sit down with him and explain to him how much you love him and how important it is for him to be involved in more than just worrying about fix-up-the-house projects.

      By not talking to you about those things that are important to you he is ultimately saying what you want is not important. That’s a problem. You should still keep this in mind. “Someone convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.”

      Don’t be forceful. I made that mistake when we first started our TMMO and it almost made my wife run for the hills. πŸ™‚

      Good luck, you are definitely in a hard spot!

  9. 1. I usually have to work on being understanding. I don’t always understand my husband’s spending choices, but I know his hobbies are important to him.

    2. We set up a “fun” money system about 6 months ago that is making this easier for me to accept and easier for him to spend without second guessing himself on a hobby like Curling.

    We spent about a half hour today talking about our goals and how we’re doing on them…so far, so good. It’s taken us years to be on the same page, but the last few years has been like utopia.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Curling is definitely a unique hobby! πŸ˜‰ As long as the amount is not excessive, and you both agree on it, that allows for him to do what he wants without feeling guilty and you to relieve the stress that comes with worrying about how much he will spend. It sounds like you have that part down. As long as you talk about things that’s what is important.

      It’s really nice hearing your story and how you both have come so far in the last couple of years. My wife and I have had the same success! πŸ˜‰

  10. Julie says:

    Oh wow! I didn’t realize I had won 2 prizes! Yay! Not sure how I go about claiming them, but I am super excited!

    Read the article when I got home today:

    1. What do you struggle with the most on the list? (ex. being patient etc.)
    Be Patient really is the one I struggle with. My husband is stubborn and usually will dig his heels aboutcertain things. One such example is how much to have in liquid savings.

    2. How do you plan on getting better at that one thing?
    I bite my tongue and let him have his say. Sometimes, he has a lot of valid points. I just need to let him finish his arguments.

    BONUS:
    I talked to my husband today about our finances. I feel like we are on the same page. We are taking a break from being uber-frugal and will be spending some of our blow money on some much-coveted items (Keurig coffee maker for him, aerogarden space saver ($48) for me). Even though we have blow money, we are very reluctant to spend it. We had a deal on a pellet stove this weekend and talked them down. Then, neither of us could actually stomach calling to put the order in. We also talked about spending some more fun-money on a mini-vacation this summer to take our daughter to a local waterpark and other things. We still want to pay down our mortgage, but not with gazelle intensity for now. Also, we want to take several big vacations in the coming years that we are going to start saving up for now. The big thing is that my husband currently has a 2-door stick shift car which we will need to replace if we want more children after this one. The plan is to put it up for private sale this summer and to buy another car after we well off this one. I feel like we had a good talk, but we tend to do these every other week.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Julie – How much to have in liquid savings. Here’s my thoughts. The highest amount wins! If you want $5,000 and he wants $3,000 you win and vice versa. He needs to understand that when you feel comfortable and secure you will be much happier. When you are happier he is happier. Plus having $5,000 in savings wouldn’t hurt anyone so why not just give in.

      I must make it clear that I am no marriage expert, I am just sharing the ways I learned how to deal with the very complicated relationship part of money. It’s tough, and uniting around your money is a hard thing to manage, sometimes harder than managing the money itself.

      It’s nice to hear you are on the same page though. That helps a lot! There’s nothing wrong with splurging as long as you splurge on paper on purpose. that way you both agree, and there can be no bad feelings about what you agreed on. Just don’t splurge for too long so you can get back on track. πŸ™‚

      • Julie says:

        Brad,

        I wish it was just amounts like 3k or 5k. My husband doesn’t feel comfortable unless we have 100K in liquid savings. I say we only need 60K, but he did win. He did agree that we did not have to be aggressive on that so we are doing some in the savings and some towards our mortgage right now.

        • Brad Chaffee says:

          I’m wondering why it is so important for him to have so much in liquid savings. It would seem to be more beneficial to stick a large portion of that into an investment that would give better returns. (like mutual funds for example)

          Wow, now you really have me curious. How much money do you guys have saved up?

          Also, when I answered that question, I was thinking it was you that wanted more, and he less, and there was no way in the world I could have guessed it would have been so high. πŸ™‚ LOL

          • Julie says:

            Brad, LOL. We used to have 100K in our liquid savings emergency fund. It was the only way my husband could sleep at night. His parents went through bankruptcy after hiding huge CC debt from each other and actually got credit cards in their kids’ names afterwards because of horrible credit so I do understand why he feels uncomfortable unless he has that stash. It is more of a comfort thing and it is not really hurting us so I gave in. We did have to take a chunk out to help out one of his family members who was in a dire situation so it has been reduced (but still above 60K which is my comfort level!). He has actually relaxed a bit since the first talk and has told me that he can live with it not being fully funded as long as the goal is there so I can put some money towards mortgage principle. He’s also relaxed a bit since we first started dating as I’ve proven that I do not like to spend money, either! When we first got married, he constantly was checking all the credit card accounts and bank accounts. Now, he just relies on me to update him every once in a while. We’ll be married 5 years in June πŸ™‚ Of course, we did not save that amount to the detriment of our other debt. We paid off everything but the mortgage 2 years into our marriage, which worked out because we had to move for work and bought another house right after my daughter was born.

            We also have money in investments, but both of us are pretty risk averse so it is not as much πŸ˜‰

            Our cushion in our checking account is about 10K due to the timing of our bills. I don’t really care about that because that way we never bounce a check. DH’s family is famous for depositing gift checks MONTHS after the fact.

            To be honest, our salaries have both more than doubled since we got married, but we have kept to pretty much the same budget. The only increase to the monthly spending we have is our daughter’s college fund and daycare. Everything extra now goes towards retirement, savings and our last debt, the mortgage.

  11. Brad Chaffee says:

    Great responses everyone! I plan to come in here and answer each one of you individually. Unlike last week, this week I plan to do this exercise with you.

    Keep up the awesome work!!

  12. Laura says:

    As far as spend 15 minutes with significant other… I will definitely do that. In fact, we both took a day off next week to just spend together πŸ™‚

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      That is great news Laura! setting aside time like that for one another is so important. My wife and I need to do it more often. Sometimes we let the business of life take all of our time so it’s definitely something we need to improve in.

  13. Annemarie says:

    Hi Brad,

    What a great blog to inspire people to deal with their debts challenge … that’s exactly my passion too! It became my passion when I saw the despair of one particular man and the outcome of that despair.

    I love the way you are introducing kids into the equation. Bless them, they have always thought money comes out of thin air.

    I really believe that the soon schools take control and implement budgeting studies, the sooner people over the next generations will know of debt as a relic of the past. What a lovely thought?

  14. Jude says:

    Denis Waitley said :” Life is not accountable to us. We are accountable to life!” Recommend this film to parents and kids, inspiring stories of today young business leaders.”The YES Movie” produced by Louis Lautman
    http://www.TheYESmovie.com

  15. Kathleen C says:

    I’m single and responsible for a home for a few people right now. I am working on getting my sons (21 and 19) out of the house and on their own. I have talked to them about money a lot and I have given them more than I should.

    My younger son has a better grasp on finances and self-sufficiency than my older son. Younger has an ‘income crisis’ because it is so difficult to find a job. But he has one now and has been offered an assistant managerial position as soon as the current assistant moves up to manager. So, he’s sticking it out and has a plan to save and move on.

    Older son has had an income crisis for some time. He’s also had some mental health issues that seem to be under control these days. He has been in training for EMS through the Volunteer Rescue Services (free classes, but cuts in to the days he can work). This training will lead to better opportunities for paid employment. I recently gave him my original copy of The Total Money Makeover after discussing a bit of the plan with him. I wanted him to get it directly from the source. (I bought myself the new version with my Amazon gift certificates and the end of my ‘free’ shipping (canceled PRIME effective 3/13 so was getting in my last hurrah!) – $4.61 was all it cost after applying the gcs). I have been rescuing this one for too long and have pulled the plug. We’ve had some great discussions and he has a plan that looks good on paper — now to execute said plan.

    When the boys leave home (they both believe they’ll be doing this during the summer), it’ll be just me and my mother who has the early stages alzheimer’s and is currently battling breast cancer.

    I’m working on securing that oxygen mask!

    My sister, also a single mother, and I have committed to being our accountability partners. She lives in IL and I live in MD – but we talk almost daily. She has her own copy of the TMMO and we are starting anew.

    I’m not sure what accountability questions to ask/have her ask me. I was hoping to get some ideas from others, but seems I am the only solo one so far.

    Accountability questions:

    1. Have you written everything in your budget?
    2. Have you been consistent with stopping the bleed to your sons?
    3. Have you been saying “no” to your compassionate causes?

    If these aren’t the type of questions you had in mind, I’d be interested to hear what you meant by these accountability questions.

    BTW – I am at the first baby step and working very slowly. I’ve known about Dave for some time. I have not taken action until now.

  16. Married

    1. What do you struggle with the most on the list?
    Being Accountable- Sticking to something for me works for a while but I find were their are times when we lose site of what we’re trying to accomplish. For example we’re trying to save so we can build a house in the next 4 years. At first we were saving everything we could but then just a few months down the road I reviewed our savings and see were not saving what we set out to do.

    2. How do you plan on getting better at that one thing?
    I plan to change this by also being more specific with our monthly budget. It seems if we don’t hold ourselves accountable to a budget every month we always seem to spend our money in the wrong places.

    KIDS

    1. Do you give into them more than you should?
    Unfortunatly, I’m not so good at this, I try to hold to this but I find myself giving in. This is hardest for me at Christmas time.

    2. Have you ever talked to them about money?
    My oldest son is two and a half and really doesn’t understand money, however whenever he helps out around the house I always give him a nickel for helping out. He doesn’t really understand the value of it yet but knows when he helps out we will reward him. He also likes to put the coin in his piggy bank, I think he enjoys that more than actually getting the money.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Being accountable is a hard thing Chris. It’s so easy to slide off course without even realizing it. Good luck being more accountable on your budget. My wife and I are far from perfect on budgeting. We have our moments trust me. For the most part we know exactly what we need to do but sometimes life just inches in and knocks us off course. Usually it is a time constraint that causes us to make a decision we shouldn’t make.

      Giving is is too hard! I am the sucker in my household. We go to the store, and I suddenly want to buy my son the next best fun toy. I have gotten better over the years but my wife constantly has to remind me of what we want to teach him. If I buy him a toy every time he goes shopping he will eventually start to believe he can have anything he wants. That is not how you teach kids the value of money. haha. I’ve learned to say NO more than I say yes but I admit I can always do better.

      When my son was just over 3 I finally opened up his piggy bank after approximately 6-7 months of putting change in it for cleaning etc. He loved putting the money in too!

      Great comment Chris! Thanks!

  17. Dorothy says:

    I have probably the most trouble being patient. I want to see results and now πŸ˜‰
    My DH is not exactly 100% on board. More like 85%. He wants to get out of debt, he doesn’t really want to put a lot of energy into it. He sees tightening the budget as taking away our fun (he’s a true free-spirit). I have to be patient to work this more slowly than I really want to, and it can be really frustrating.

    I think getting better at being patient takes pure practice. I am right now practicing patience (not necessarily willingly) because I have to pay the IRS instead of paying off my car. It is killing me! I believe God is teaching me to be more purposeful rather than just jumping on something, so I am daily telling myself to be patient, that last payment will come. Hopefully I don’t have to go this slowly with every debt!! It will be like Christmas morning for me when I make that final payment.

    I’m pretty patient with my husband regarding his financial “style” now. We have grown tremendously in the last 3 years as a married couple. We have much more respect for one another, and really seek out each other’s opinion about pretty much everything. It was painful getting here, but now it’s really nice, so I can keep practicing being patient.

    One victory we had–my DH saved all his “blow” money for a YEAR to buy a new Mtn. Bike with cash (I told him I didn’t care if he got it, IF he didn’t borrow ANY money to buy it). He did great. I told him that if he was that intense regarding paying off debt, there would be no stopping us:)

    We’ll have a date Friday night, and a budget committee meeting this weekend. Have a strange paycheck this weekend (bonus, maybe), so need to wait to see what that looks like, then decide how to budget that money. I want to ask about his financial goals (he wants a new camper, eeeeek), and how he sees us getting that, with a college freshman etc.

    As far as children go: have 2 DS 17 and 15.

    We tend to ride them kind of hard, then give in for a while. Our oldest gets absolutely no spending money. He really doesn’t try terribly hard to get a job–not that there are many around right now. I see a lot of folks my age, driving nicer cars than me delivering pizzas, lol. However, we are scraping together money to send him on a big trip with a very select musical group this summer. He will graduate in May. He is going to have to pay part of his own college, since he has not been a great student in HS. Won’t get any financial aid. Made him save $500 for his truck, then we paid to fix it up.

    Younger son saves every penny with a specific goal, has a small job for spending money, and is very frugal. Gotta watch him that he doesn’t try to con me out of cash when he has more in his wallet than I do. Will match his savings for a car next spring when he turns 16. Has to be a beater–he and dad will make sure it runs.

    We talk to them about money a lot. They know we are working to get out of debt. Not sure the oldest gets this concept at all. Free spirit all the way, that one.

    • Brad Chaffee says:

      Congratulations to you for allowing your husband to have some room to spend, while encouraging him to do it with cash only. That is awesome! You certainly don’t want to strangle a spender, but I have to say it seems like spenders always have something they want to buy which means the debt snowball goes a lot slower, as you have found out.

      I hope your husband one day sees the value in getting rid of it now, so he can enjoy the things he wants later without guilt or shame.

      As for your kids, it’s always neat to see kids grow up in the same house and have two different unique personalities. Your younger son is going to rock the finances it sounds like. It sounds like the oldest one needs FPU. LOL

      • Brad Chaffee says:

        MY TURN:
        1. What do you struggle with the most on the list?
        I would say that two of the things I struggle with the most is being patient, and understanding. I have made great progress in these two areas compared to a couple of years ago.

        When we first started our TMMO I was like a gazelle on steroids, drinking energy drinks, laced with coffee. I was HARDCORE! I had good intentions and I thought those intentions would be seen by my wife. See I only saw that I was trying to force her to be where I was, and that was really a bad move. My wife actually told me once that Dave Ramsey was ruining our marriage. Talk about your ears perking up. It’s a good thing she did too, because I heard it loud and clear. I needed to slow down.

        So focused on making progress that she was on board with, and let her come around with the intensity part. As soon as I backed off, and she started seeing how great it was to get these things paid for, we were both gazelles.

        I sometimes give my wife a hard time about the things she buys but I know I shouldn’t. It’s her FREEDOM FUND, as we now like to call it. It’s money we get every month that we can spend on anything we want. No questions asked. See my problem is I am an all or nothing kind of guy. I’d rather be doing nothing, or doing it all AS FAST AS I CAN. That tends to get old especially when you are trying to be a team. When you try to force someone against their will you get nowhere and fast.

        2. How do you plan on getting better at that one thing?
        Well I need to remind myself that without my wife, we would have never made it this far, as quick as we did. I need to work harder on being understanding about her wants and needs. I need to be more patient and understand that I am more passionate about this than she is, and that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care, it just means she needs more time. I want her to walk with me not be pulled behind me kicking her feet.

        KIDS
        1. Do you give into them more than you should?
        I do happen to give in to my kids more than I should. I am the sucker of the family. I sometimes try to get my kids something even if it is little, and I know I need to be careful. I have done much better in the last year.

        2. Have you ever talked to them about money?
        I do talk with my son regularly about money. He’s 3 until July and he has earned money, split it into savings, giving, and spending, and we went out together to buy him his first ever toy with his own money. It wasn’t much but he began to realize that day that the money he had couldn’t buy anything he wanted. He gave some to the church and has some stashed away for that rainy day. πŸ™‚

  18. Kim says:

    1. What do you struggle with the most on the list? (ex. being patient etc.)

    I struggle the most with being patient, for sure. When I find something that makes complete sense to me and I think it’s going to be of great benefit to my family, such as Dave Ramsey’s total money makeover plan that I discovered a few months ago, I tend to jump right into it. My husband, on the other hand, is more skeptical about just about everything and it takes a lot longer for him to get on board with things. I do struggle with the fact that changes do take time and that I need to be more patient with these changes.

    2. How do you plan on getting better at that one thing?

    Well, I think I have been getting better at being more patient during these past few months as my family has started budgeting, using cash to pay for items instead of the credit card, saving more money, etc. It was a big adjustment for us to stop swiping our credit card for everything, and I have been patient with my husband who has been doing a great job with the switch. I could become more patient with him and with myself by trying to let go of my perfectionism and realize that I can’t create the “perfect” budget every month and that I will get better at budgeting as the months pass.

    BONUS: Set aside 15 minutes to get to know your spouse. (worth 5 extra entries)

    My husband and I spent some time talking the other night about how we both feel about our housing situation. We recently accepted an offer on our home that we’ve been trying to sell for about a year and a half. Now we need to figure out if we want to purchase another house right away or rent for awhile. At the same time, there’s a possibility that my husband may face unemployment in the fall due to budget cuts. Before our conversation, I thought that my husband was wanting to purchase a home right away that is bigger and more expensive than what we need. I learned, however, that he just wants to look at houses to see what’s out there in the market so that we can make the best decision and he’s willing to rent an apartment too. It turns out that we are actually both being realistic about our situation…we just hadn’t discussed it in an actual “sit down discussion” before and I assumed things about him that weren’t even true! And I also realized we need to talk like this more often.

    1. Do you give into your children more than you should?

    I don’t think I do. I have two young children, 3 and 1, and when the older one asks me to buy toys when we’re in the store, I usually always say no. He wanted a certain Thomas the Train engine a few months before his birthday, and I said “Not today, but maybe somebody will give it to you for your birthday in a few months.” He said ok, and he waited patiently for 2 months, never forgetting about it. Then he got it for his birthday and was thrilled!

    2. Have you ever talked to them about money?

    I’ve tried talking to my older son about how we can’t spend all of our money, that we need to save some of it in the bank. I would love some ideas about how to talk about money issues with a 3 year old…I’m just not sure how to explain these concepts in a way he’ll understand. I think it’ll be easier when they get a little older.