Skip to content.

Money Problems

Most families face money problems because of a lack of planning and communication. These problems generally fall under four categories.

Value Conflicts

To save or spend, to buy life insurance or a new car, to pay for college tuition or stereo equipment-these choices reflect values and potential conflicts. No two persons have exactly the same values, but when there are sharp differences in values in a family, negotiation is vital. Dissimilar values between spouses will either result in each establishing different goals and priorities-or none at all.

Unrealistic Goals

Striving immediately for the same quality house, furnishings, and car that took your parents 30 years to earn is a common problem. Insisting on unrealistic standards often results in frustration and, worse, overindebtedness. Setting priorities, resisting outside pressures of advertising and peers, and taking satisfaction from the "no cost" aspects of life can help.

Emotional Uses of Money

Buying status, friendship or love; controlling or punishing others by withholding money; and overspending to get back at another family member are all emotional uses of money. When hidden meanings are attached to money and they go unrecognized, trouble brews. Strive to recognize and prevent emotional use of money.

Lack of planning.

Impulse buying with credit cards, daily trips to the store, inadequate health insurance, and low-yield investments all indicate a lack of financial planning. Setting new goals and seeking alternatives are necessary for successful financial management. In times of inflation and rapid change, relying on old habits can be costly.

Other things to consider