What Is Cooperative Economics and How You Can Apply It In Your Home

Habari Gani….Welcome to the 4th day of Kwanzaa

The response to Habari Gani on this day is UJAMAA (00-JAH-MAH) COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS: To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and profit from them together.

From Kwanzaaguide.wordpress.com

Out of the fundamental concepts of “African Communal Living” comes the fourth principle of Kwanzaa. In a community or family, wealth and resources should be shared. On the national level, cooperative economics can help African Americans take physical control of their own destinies. On this day, ideas should be shared and discussed for cooperative economic efforts to provide for needs as related to housing, education, food, day care, health, transportation and other goods and services.

The Ujamaa principle empowers families to come together around their collective economic interest and to see their economic strength in sharing resources and cooperative investing, buying, and selling. Moreover, the moral ties necessary to achieve and practice the Ujamaa principle obligate those who live in the community to support, care for and look out for each other and to see the interest of the each person as tied to the interest of the family and community. In a word, wealth and resources should be shared.

From NAACP.org

In 2012, The Nielsen Company released “The State of the African American Consumer”, a groundbreaking report projecting African Americans buying power at 1.1 Trillion dollars annually by 2015. To illustrate how massive this figure is, if African Americans’ purchasing power equated to a country’s GDP, we would be the 16th largest country in the world!  What does this mean?  Black consumers have more economic power than we may realize. It is important to note that the 1.1 Trillion figure may not necessarily be all cash on hand, as we may be using credit cards and loans to make certain purchases.  Also, spending power increases and/or decreases with one’s income. However, as a collective, there is enormous potential for black consumers to leverage our economic power by way of supporting black owned businesses to foster community economic development.

The NAACP and other organizations are constantly advocating for policies to create more opportunities for black owned businesses (e.g., increasing access to capital) to succeed.  But, while these organizations are affecting change at an institutional level, I want to highlight how we, as individuals, can foster an environment where more black businesses can thrive.  First, we must stop the massive “leakage” of our money out of our communities. Currently, a dollar circulates in Asian communities for a month, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days and white communities 17 days. How long does a dollar circulate in the black community? 6 hours!!! African American buying power is at 1.1 Trillion; and yet only 2 cents of every dollar an African American spends in this country goes to black owned businesses.   CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

Simply put….Family we have to be better and do better as it pertains to patronizing our own and building for our own.  One very simple yet profound way of doing this is through the establishment of a family fund.  Have each family member contribute something no matter how small. At the end of the month, year or a designated time, decided as a family what you want to do with the money save. Everyone has a voice and choice in the decision.


The Real Reason Behind Marriage And Money Problems

By David Roppo

Without question, money problems are at the root of a substantial number of marital crises. In fact, according to most sources this issue ranks within the top 4 reasons for divorce – sharing the stage with the likes of infidelity, communication and emotional abuse. And typically, the mainstream approach to overcoming this dilemma has been to manage it on the surface with the following advice:

  1. Agree on a budget
  2. Set goals
  3. Communicate
  4. Open separate checking accounts


Now, I wouldn’t dispute the possibility that these common sense recommendations could prove to be helpful when it comes to couples fighting about money. However, none of them will amount to a hill of beans if you don’t fix the root of the problem! You see, most marital issues are merely a symptom of a much larger underlying problem. Take infidelity for example. The reason most people cheat on their partner is the loss of an emotional connection caused by fears, insecurities and low self-esteem. Another example would be lack of communication. People don’t communicate with their partner as a result of their critical, argumentative, smothering, clingy, needy or controlling behavior. Plain and simple, they don’t want to be around that behavior. Therefore, they withdrawal and the communication diminishes or ceases altogether.

Subsequently, money problems are no exception! Sure, when the wallet gets a bit lighter or there’s not enough money in the account to pay the bills because of a poor economy, the situation may be exacerbated or inflamed. But, two partners that are well grounded and aren’t struggling with fears and self-limiting beliefs will usually work through those tough times. At the end of the day, if spending money matters in a relationship, perhaps you’re not spending enough emotional currency on the things that matter most. Are you struggling with fears and insecurities? Do you feel jealous or do you feel like your losing control of your relationship when your partner spends money on him or herself? Or, do you feel slighted because your partner doesn’t spend enough time with you or give you the attention you desire? Hence, you become angry when they spend money on themselves? Does your partner attempt to control you and/or your relationship through financial means? Perhaps your partner has a fear of abandonment or a fear of losing control. Bottom line, there’s usually an underlying issue that causes most couples to fight about money. However, there is one exception to the rule – compulsive shopping or addictive behavior. And, that is another matter altogether.

In conclusion, if you want to eliminate the financial squabbles in your relationship, you must correct the underlying fears and insecurities. To get rid of a bad emotional weed, don’t just prune the leaves; pull it out by the root!

Good luck and great love,

David Roppo is the founder of Relationship Rehab for Women, author, coach and pioneer of ‘The Secret Principles to Saving a Relationship.

Woman I’m Working…..Why Are You Unhappy Now?

VIDEO: Far to often we encounter couples that experience difficulty in balancing roles in their relationship. For instance….when a man is unemployed there is occasionally an energy of tension in the relationship. Surprisingly when that same man becomes employed again there seems to still be some tension when he chooses to solely focus on work. We discuss the reasons why in this video.

Love, Marriage, And Money: 5 Secrets To Success

By Herman G. Mermmyer III

1. Open discussion with no Secrets
As you are courting you may experience many topics of conversation, many much more taboo than money… such as sexual topics, politics or even religion. All of these seem to be much more readily addressed than Finance.   A 2008 survey by Smart Money/Redbook found that 36 percent of men and 40 percent of women confessed they had been less than honest with their spouse about what they had paid for an item. The clear start should be a fully open conversation about your full financial situation. Discuss your salary or wages, your debt, your spending habits, and any other obligations you may have financially. Then set Goals with your partner discuss your dreams and visions. Find common ground and build on those concepts.

2. My money is your money
Let’s not draw lines in the sand and create boundaries. Even if one partner is the sole provider of the home does not mean that that person should have all control over all financial decisions. Use your money evenly give a little take a little after all you are working for the same goals hopefully.

3. His hers or ours?
To combine or not to combine that is the question. If you are a couple without a lot of assets, a joint account can work well. This allows you to develop your own financial momentum as a couple. If you’re a more established couple or going into a second marriage, separate accounts may make sense. You both may already have successful careers and financial systems set up that you want to keep intact. This is also a good option if one partner has credit card debt that the other doesn’t want to absorb. One more option is to have a a bit of both words joint accounts for living expenses and household items and separate accounts for personal spending. For example, you could put 10 percent of your income in personal accounts and put the remainder in the household or joint account.

4. The only thing that stays the same is change
As you grow into your marriage, your money concerns are likely to be change and grow as well. They will be different from those you had when you first walked down the aisle. You need to discuss these issues; you should discuss your big money picture at least once a year and potentially have a budgeting meeting to discuss smaller monetary topics monthly. Make sure your plans mesh. Retirement and investing goals are an important piece of the family financial strategy. If one’s 401(k) is invested solely in high-risk funds, the other partner may want to diversify more. Continue to work towards each other’s desires and goals — from taking vacations or buying a home to having children. Talk about the “what ifs.” What if one partner loses his or her job? What if one wants to go back to school? What if someone gets a job in another part of the country? What about early retirement or economic downturns? The more prepared you are the better you will handle the crisis if and when it comes.

5. Plan for the future even the tough topics
There are some topics that nobody likes to talk about but that need to be discussed, especially when children are involved. First and foremost, make sure you have a will. If you don’t make a will before your death, state law will determine who gets your property, or worse yet, even raise your children. You also want to consider life insurance to provide for your family if you pass on. Finally, talk about a prenuptial agreement if one of you has kids or you’re entering a marriage where one partner has a great deal more in assets than the other.

Herman is a writer and internet marketer with financialboat.com for more information please visit the site and see what we have to offer. it is our goal to help people to achieve personal financial freedom through financial planning budgeting tip and investment strategies.

Want To Be An Entrepreneur? Learn Lesson #1: Money Grows On Trees

I have this odd but simple philosophy. It is that money really does grow on trees. Now I know that many of you are saying, you got to be out of your mind. Either that, your breathlessly waiting to here where you can find your trees. But, in this case, the tree is a metaphor for something much bigger.

Let’s think about something real first. The apple tree is a fruit-bearing tree. How many of you think that you can eat apples without the apple tree? Nobody because without the apple tree, there is no apple. Why is the case and how does it relate to money.

If you wanted an apple today, you could go to the grocery store and get as many as apples as you want. But what if apples weren’t in any grocery stores but you still want an apple. You could pick the apple off of a tree. If the apple tree belongs to someone else, you are picking someone else’s apples. If you don’t have permission to pick the apple off the tree, you are stealing. If you have permission, the apple is a gift. If you provide a service, it is compensation.

This is how it is in the business world. If you take money, its stealing, If it is given, it is a gift, and if you provide a product or service in exchange for money, it is compensation.

Going back to the apple tree analogy, wouldn’t it be better to own your own apple tree that bears fruit and provides you and you whole family with more apples then you can eat? You bet!

I know, I know. You don’t want any stinking apples, you want money and as far as most of us know, we’ve never seen or heard of any money-bearing trees. I am going to tell you however that they do exist.

To be the owner of your very own apple tree, you know exactly what you would have to do, even if you’ve never grown a thing in your life. You know that you need seeds, good soil, water, fertilizer and patience to grow a tree that produces a ripe apple. The same things that you would do to grow an apple tree are the same things you can do today to create your very own money tree. Here are the ingredients to creating your very own money tree.

* Seeds – These are comprised of specialized knowledge, ideas, products, Services along with some start up capital. These are the basic requirements to get started growing money.

* Good Soil – This is your market. Market research will tell you if there is an anxious market for you product or service. If there is no market what you have to offer, you need to work on acquiring seeds that will grow. If the market is in another location or needs to be tapped in some unique way, you have found the good soil for you seeds to grow. Go to where your market is located. This is common sense but can be tricky and many people get

tripped up here. Always do a reality check and don’t try to force a “square peg into a round hole.” It never works so if something needsto change, always be willing to adapt and don’t let ego get in your way of making money.

* Water – Water is an essential ingredient for life to exist. A business exists when it sells. If you don’t like selling, your business will never grow. If you don’t like to mix it up with people, to convince people to buy your product or service and to communicate your passion with others, you won’t make it in business for yourself. You may as go sit behind some desk and eat the apples that fall from someone else’s apple tree.

* Fertilizer – Fertilizer stinks but trees and plants grow better with it then without it. Financial management is the fertilizer. I know I don’t enjoy the financial management of a business as much as the business itself but without it, my business would quickly fail. Not knowing your cash balance, return on assets, return on investments, and assets vs liabilities, how do know if you’re winning in business. These and other financials are the score cards by which every business is judged. It stinks but it helps you to get the results you’re trying to get.

* Patience – It takes time. You’ll be hungry waiting for an apple tree to grow if you don’t have another way to feed yourself. The same is true with money trees. If you may have to take all of the steps above and work at a job full time to support and feed yourself until your tree is mature enough to bear its fruit. There is no way around this step. There are very few, statistically speaking, overnight successes.

The overnight successes are the only ones you typically read about in the news but they are really anomalies compared to the many, many successful businesses built on years of hard work in obscurity and seclusion. This is a part of the truth that shocks many would-be entrepreneurs.

The loneliness that one can encounter can be enough to drive one back to picking the fruit off other people’s trees. That is because that is where the crowd is found. Only 5% of people in the US are fully self-employed entrepreneurs. Only 5% of people in the world have their very own money trees bearing them enough fruit to live off of comfortably. It can get lonely being part of the 5% in this country but it has its advantages. As Earl Nightingale said it, “in the top 5%, the air is fresher and the better the view.”

God bless.

Bret Searles is a freelance writer on Black personal finance and business issues, author of ebook “The 7 Simple Secrets to Building Wealth: An African American Guide” and publisher of the ezine Black Wealth Now.







Do You Have Work – Life Balance In Your Relationship?

In order to achieve work/life balance in your relationship there are 3 critical things that need to occur. In this video we discuss those 3 things in an attempt to help bring wholeness to people’s lives.

Here are 5 additional tips from WebMd.com to help you achieve that Work-Life Balance:

1. Build downtime into your schedule.

When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends and activities that help you recharge.

If a date night with your spouse or a softball game with friends is on your calendar, you’ll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don’t have to cancel.

“It helps to be proactive about scheduling,” says Laura Stack, a productivity expert in Denver and author of SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best. “When I go out with my girlfriends, we all whip out our cell phones and put another girls’ night out on the calendar for one month later,” she says.

Stack also plans an activity with her family — like going to a movie or the park — every Sunday afternoon. “We do this because if there’s nothing on the schedule, time tends to get frittered away and the weekend may end without us spending quality time together,” she says.

Michael Neithardt, an actor and television commercial producer in New York City, wakes up three hours before he has to leave for work so he can go for a run and spend some time with his wife and baby.

“A lot of my friends tend to wake up, shower, and go straight to work. And they often complain about having no time to do anything,” he tells WebMD in an e-mail. “I find that if I can get those three hours in the morning, I have a more productive and peaceful workday. I can sure tell the difference when I don’t.”

2. Drop activities that sap your time or energy.

“Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value — for example, spending too much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting and gossiping,” says Marilyn Puder-York, PhD, a psychologist and executive coach in New York and Connecticut. She recommends taking stock of activities that aren’t really enhancing your career or personal life and minimizing the time you spend on them.

You may even be able to leave work earlier if you make a conscious effort to limit the time you spend on the web and social media sites, making personal calls, or checking your bank balance. “We often get sucked into these habits that are making us much less efficient without realizing it,” Stack says.

3. Rethink your errands.

Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands.

Could you order your groceries online and have them delivered? Hire a kid down the street to mow your lawn? Have your dry cleaning picked up and dropped off at your home or office? Order your stamps online so you don’t have to go to the post office? Even if you’re on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you’ll save will make it worth it.

Stack also suggests trading services with friends. Offer to do tasks that you enjoy or that you were planning to do anyway.

“You could exchange gardening services for babysitting services,” Stack says. “If you like to cook, you could prepare and freeze a couple of meals and give them to a friend in exchange for wrapping your holiday gifts.”

4. Get moving.

It’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but experts say that it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.

“Research shows exercise can help you to be more alert,” Brooks says. “And I’ve noticed that when I don’t exercise because I’m trying to squeeze in another half hour of writing, I don’t feel as alert.”

Samantha Harris, a lawyer who works for a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, says she recently started sneaking in a trip to the gym two or three mornings a week before her family wakes up. “It’s been a real boost in terms of the way I feel for the rest of the day,” she says. “I feel like my head is clearer and I’ve had a little time to myself.”

5. Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way.

Don’t get overwhelmed by assuming that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. Brooks recommends setting realistic goals, like trying to leave the office earlier one night per week.

“Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you,” he says. “Maybe you can start by spending an hour a week on your hobby of carpentry or planning a weekend getaway with your spouse once a year,” he says.

Stack points out that even during a hectic day, you can take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. “Take a bath, read a trashy novel, go for a walk, or listen to music,” she suggests. “You have to make a little time for the things that ignite your joy.”





CLICK HERE to learn how to improve the quality of your SEX & INTIMACY

CLICK HERE to get our incredible COMMUNICATION PACKAGE so you can connect like you deserve to.

Buy Now

Buy Now

FREE GIVE AWAY ALERT! Enter To Win Card Game “Money Habitudes” & Get Insight About HOW You Handle Your Money & WHY.

By Team BLAM

More often than not seemingly rational, intelligent men and women have irrational behavior when it comes to money. Even though we know better, we continue to make poor money choices, keep money secrets from our spouse, and spend money we don’t have.

Well change is a coming! Enter to win these fabulously (and really thorough) insightful cards and learn a little more about yourself, how you deal with your money and WHY. Even better, you can use these cards with your boo, your friends, your family–everybody! Money Habitudes is a game-like toolkit in the form of a deck of cards and we love them. We’ve been using them with couples for quite a while now and they haven’t failed us yet. 😉

What is a “habitude”?

A “habitude” is the automatic or subconscious thoughts and feelings (attitudes) and behaviors (habits) that are ingrained in our minds over time and influence our decisions and actions.

What is the purpose or goal of Money Habitudes cards?

Money Habitudes cards are designed to help people engage in productive conversations about money and understand the habits and attitudes that influence their actions and decisions regarding money.

Individuals use the cards to understand how they can take charge of their financial future and see where old habits and attitudes may be supporting or sabotaging their intentions.

Couples use the cards to understand where they complement and conflict with each others’ habits and attitudes, which gives them a strong foundation to talk about important financial issues productively, using the non-judgmental, common language provided by the cards.

Money Habitudes cards are used in a variety of ways and for a number of reasons but typically because they:

*Help people start and have great conversations about money and finances. Money is one of the most difficult subjects for people to discuss; this fun and engaging activity makes talking about money easy and approachable.

*Provide Aha! insights regarding finances, relationships, career and lifestyle choices. Often, we don’t know why we do what we do with money or because of money. Money is the number one source of arguments between couples and is frequently the reason people stay in dead-end jobs; understand the real issues and make real breakthroughs.

*Are a versatile tool. They can be used as a quick icebreaker, a longer, standalone activity or as a module in a class, workshop, or curriculum. They can be used by individuals and couples on their own, but are also employed by professionals such as financial planners, therapists and career coaches. In addition, the tool is used in financial education and investing situations as well as in relationship and communication contexts and in career counseling. And because the cards do not require deep financial knowledge and use broadly applicable statements and scenarios, they are used across the age, income, and education spectrum.

What makes Money Habitudes cards so user friendly and non-threatening?

Designed as a familiar deck of card cards, they are associated with an enjoyable, social activity for both men and women so people relax and engage more quickly.

The game-like format is not associated with negative test-taking experiences. The language on the cards is non-judgmental, jargon free and free of gender bias.

Each Habitude has advantages and disadvantages. All the Habitudes are positive and overusing or missing any Habitude can be a challenge.

There are no right or wrong responses or combinations of cards so there are no winners or losers. Everyone is a combination of different Habitudes so there is no labeling. They are so easy to use all the directions fit on one playing card.

Here’s what you get:

Every deck is a complete toolkit and includes: (1) a green instruction card, (2) three blue sorting cards, (3) eight yellow interpretation cards (two general and one for each Habitude with suggested activities for change on the back) and (4) 54 statement cards coded on the back with a colorful picture to identify the Habitude with which it is associated.

Here’s How You Enter:

1.  Subscribe to blackloveandmarriage.com

2. Leave a comment with some money advice/wisdom.




Run Your Marriage Like A Business…Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan

By Neysa Ellery Taylor

Do you have strategic planning meetings with your spouse? Do you come together and plan out your year or your five year plan? Do you know your spouse’s long term goals? Do you even know what you plan to be doing in 5-10 years?

Do you have a personal goal that you want to accomplish? Would you like to lose 100 lbs maybe or hike the Great Smokey Mountains? Is there a destination that is on your bucket list that you want to see? Do you want to learn another language?

What plans do you have for your kids? Are you securing their future? Are you giving them the tools they need to not only succeed but to be happy?

Do you plan date nights? Do you plan family time? Do you plan family vacations or anniversaries? Do you know what your spouse considers a good birthday?

Do you know the balance in all household accounts right now? Do you know how much debt you have? Do you have a plan to pay down that debt? Do you have long term fiscal goals?

Do you invest in your marriage and in your self? Are there conferences or workshops that you want to attend either as a couple or as an individual?

Today I don’t have the answers, I just have the questions. But I know that the more you can answer the questions the better off your life and your marriage will be. Does knowing all the answers guarantee happiness? Nope. But knowing the answers does help make it easier to communicate and know where you stand with your spouse.

Good marriages don’t just happen. Good lives don’t just happen. Both require prayer, planning, and hard work. Yes, spontaneity is important but having a plan is also important. Do you have a plan? Are you working the plan? If not, what are you waiting for?

Neysa Ellery Taylor lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Chris, and their 4 children – Asyen, Maya, Preston, and Patrick. An Emmy-Award winning journalist, she hopes to share her passion for marriage and God through her writing. You can read more of her work at www.myriadthatisme.blogspot.com

How To Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out

By Grandpa Gord & Grandma Gertie

The recent downturn in the global economy has pushed many people to the edge of financial crisis more than ever before. There isn’t a person on the planet who has not suffered at the hands of this recession. We have all heard of the large and small businesses that have been affected but it has also hit home in our local communities where budgets have been cut and programs lost. With all of this, many families have suffered the fallout.

No matter what the scale, we have become accustom to debt and lost the ability to see clearly the consequences of unwise financial decisions and a heavy debt. It’s time to take a good hard look in our own lives at what we can do to get back on the right track and rebuild a solid financial foundation.

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

Everyone needs to create their own Financial Plan. It may sound like a daunting task but in reality it’s all about planning. By setting the time aside to discuss with a professional you can begin to outline your financial goals and plan for unexpected events that are bound to arise throughout the years.

Unfortunately, many people avoid the reality of the unexpected and without an emergency fund, they add to their debt load with more credit to make ends meet. This type of cycle can not only be overwhelming but incredibly difficult to break.

Talking with someone you trust can help you make the changes into redistributing your income in a smarter way. By taking control of how we spend, we are controlling how much we can save and this can be one of the best ways to reduce your family’s level of financial stress.

Creating Your Financial Plan

The first step is to divide all income into four main categories;

Fixed Expenses – These are expenses that do not change, such as rent, mortgage, insurance, and vehicle payments. There is seldom changes with these expenses and are often the lions share of the monthly income.

Variable Expenses – This is how we manage our lives with food, bills, childcare, transportation, repairs, entertainment, etc… The more we stay away from using credit cards in this area, the more successful we will be in the long term.

Savings – This is where we need to build a growing cushion to cover unexpected future needs. It’s important to be disciplined here. An easy way to manage this is to choose an amount as a percentage of your income. A good rule of thumb is 10 – 20% of your monthly net income. Once the amount is decide you must be diligent by having the savings withdrawn automatically and into an account that will earn interest without risk.

Debt Repayment – This is as important as your savings in recovering from a heavy debt load. This includes credit cards balances, store credits, outstanding loans, penalties and fees. Never pay just the minimum balance on your credit cards and pay off the highest interest bearing loan first. When you have paid down one debt, add the extra cash that’s now available onto the next high interest loan and continue the pattern until you are completely debt free.

In understanding the basics in creating a financial plan, you are building a solid foundation that will leave you less vulnerable to the uncertainties of life. By implementing a few key strategies and living within your means, you are being proactive and staying in control of your finances. And this is the key to getting out of debt, and staying out.

Grandpa Gord and Grandma Gertie put a sensible spin on expert advice, with a little humor thrown into the mix. We cover topics ranging from pets to parenting, careers to hobbies, relationships to lifestyle, finances to food, and everything in between. Visit them at sensibleguides.com for some simple and straight from the hip advice from people who’ve been around the block a few times.

7 Ways To Avoid Fighting Over Money In Your Relationship

By Dr. Patty Tublin

Money makes the world go round. It’s also is the number one reason why couples fight.

Here are 7 ways or guidelines for handling money issues throughout your relationship so you don’t have to end up fighting about money. Consider these guidelines to be your relationship tools for keeping the spark alive in your relationship whether you are dealing with the richer or poorer times in your relationship.

1. Know thyself. Be aware of what money really represents to you (this might require a little bit of soul searching here) – and do not impose your attitudes and beliefs about money onto your partner.

2. Know what money really represents to your partner. And don’t try to convince them that they should be more like you!

3. Communicate your individual attitudes and values about money to each other so you develop a joint strategy you are both comfortable with. Think of this as your financial blueprint for relationship harmony! Develop a clear, concise plan for how you use your money: how you spend it and how you save it. If you happen to come into a financial windfall – an inheritance or you hit the lottery (hey, somebody has to win) – discuss and develop a strategy for how you will use that money. Money that people “fall” into is often the start of a very slippery slope for the unraveling of relationships if plans for these monies are not discussed.

4. When you find you are at a crossroads when it comes to money issues, clearly communicate your differences to each other using respect as your baseline. This will avoid all the finger pointing, blaming and accusations inherent in the following statements: “You don’t care how I feel about blah, blah, blah when it comes to spending money.”

5. When differences regarding financial decisions come up (and they will) respect the differences without accusing the other of being cheap, irresponsible or spending money like it’s going out of style. Doing this will keep the issue focused on the differences regarding the finances and avoid the pitfall of entering the dead man’s zone of character assassination!

6. Keep money in its proper perspective in your relationship. Money does not define your relationship or your love for each other. Do not allow money to come between the two of you. Keep your love and respect for each other at the core of your relationship and defend this love at all costs!

7. Remember that love is the platform whereby all financial decisions will be made –“in good times and in bad, for richer for poorer.”

Money is an absolute necessity in life. If we use love as our platform and respect as our baseline, money will have its appropriate place in our relationship. Although all differences regarding the handling of money might not always be reconciled, we will at least be able to “agree to disagree” respectfully regarding money issues. Let’s not forget what we all know to be true – money is merely a commodity in our lives. Money cannot buy love and it cannot buy happiness!