This is part 1 of a discussion of my views on how you should respond to a request by a family member for a loan. In today’s economy with so many people living paycheck to paycheck (and still falling behind), it is not unusual to be asked by a friend or family member for a loan. Read more
Lots of Americans are burdened by substantial credit card debt and poor cash flow. This combination causes these debtors to make only minimum payments on the card balances. On top of this, the cardholders struggle with the willpower needed to stop using the cards. Most understand that they should stop using their credit cards but find it difficult moving from knowledge to action. Accordingly, other techniques must be used to prevent the continued escalation of the card balances because simple force of will is not going to work. In other words, the cardholder must apply a “tough love” technique to himself or herself to break the card use cycle. What are some of these self-administerd tough love techniques? Read more
In my search for stories of tough love applied to money problems and financial disasters, I received this response from a Oasis657, a message board reader: Read more
On a personal finance message board I asked other readers to post stories of success and failure in administering tough love to deal with a money problem. One reader who called herself Gardening Grandma posted this story:
“One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my live. My son, at the time, was 19. He had dropped out of school (gotten his GED), could not hold onto a job because he would partly late, sleep in and be late for work so eventually would get fired. After nearly a year of this, I packed him up one evening, drove him to a motel, paid for 1 week’s lodging and gave him $100. Told him he was on his own. Then I went home and cried my heart out. It is still painful to recall. I’d ride the bus to work everyday, wondering if he was one of the many homeless people I saw.
He grew up, learned that he needed a job to eat and provide for himself. He told me a long time ago, that he knew I had had done what I had to do. But Gawd, it was hard for me to do!”
I know many other parents have had similar problems. (Fortunately, I have not!) This parent showed extreme toughness but it paid off. Maybe other parents need to follow this tough love example in helping their children with money problems?
There are hundreds if not thousands of websites covering personal finance issues. Most are hosted by vendors trying to sell you something. Others dish out conventional advice that can be found in any personal finance book or regurgitated by financial planners. Still others offer a steady stream of fluffy affirmations, feel good pep talks, and cheerleading for folks with serious and chronic money/behavior problems. (If you need affirmations for bad money behavior, I recommend that you visit the Women in Red Forum on MSN Money or watch the Oprah show.)