Friday, December 9, 2016

Money and In-laws

Money Management

In chapter 2, of “What We Bring with Us,” by Poduska, he talks about family rules that regulate our perceptions and behaviors in all areas of family life, and some of these rules I brought with me into my marriage are; we sit down at the table to eat dinner together at night, respect family members, and pay bills on time. I remember as a kid my mother would sit down on payday, and write out checks to pay the bills. Dad worked and she kept track of all the funds. When I grew up and got married, it seemed very natural for me to take on the task of paying the bills even though we both worked.

However, I do pay our bills differently than my Mom did, because I take advantage of technology. I pay them through the Bill Pay feature of our banking institution. I have the majority of our bills sent via electronically into Bill Pay. Then, I schedule them for payment. When it comes to rules, Poduska teaches how each new couple brings to the marriage alter the rules learned from their own families. They have to learn how to mesh them together, and establish their own rules. And, using the Bill Pay option is one way my husband and I have altered the ‘rule’ from how my parents paid their bills.

Poduska also teaches about how your birth order effects your financial abilities. Here is a chart from his book that explains the different traits seen in people based upon their birth order:

Is in control, takes charge, manages the checkbook, pays the bills.
Makes out a budget, makes sure everyone adheres to it.
Conservative; takes care of needs first, saves before buying.
Second Born
Hates being controlled, likes to have personal money.
Sometimes sabotages the firstborn’s budget.
Impatient, experiences severe stress if unable to satisfy wants.
Middle Born
Assumes responsibility for management tasks.
Trends to go along with whatever budget is established.
Sensitive to fairness, considers equally everyone’s needs.
Last Born
Doesn’t like controls, prefers to operate on impulse.
Sees budgets as restrictive; avoids responsibility.
Does not distinguish between needs and wants.

I really found this chart interesting, because my husband is a firstborn child, and I am a last-born child. My husband loves to save money, and hates spending. And yet, I am the one who tries to budget our money. I am definitely the impulsive buyer on in our marriage, and I have a hard time distinguishing between needs and wants.

Healthy Family Ties

While I read chapter 37 titled, “Creating Healthy Ties with In-Laws and Extended Families”, by James M. Harper and Susanne Frost Olsen, I realized my relationship with my in-laws has not been typical. When I first married my husband my mother-in-law was very accepting and loving towards me. Then, one day things changed. All the sudden I felt she and her daughters (my husband’s sisters) were all against me. They said some really nasty things about me in front of my husband and children, and it really hurt me when the word got back to me. In the conclusion of this chapter, Harper and Olsen tell what you may have to do in order to push past hurt and estranged relationships by learning how to forgive. They said, “Forgiveness means you let go of consuming feelings of animosity, bitterness, and hatred.” Even though this situation also made my husband mad, and he refused to talk to his Mom for a year, I realized I could not harbor ill feeling toward my in-laws. I also realized together as a family we had to forgive his mother and sisters for what they had said about me. Nor did I want to turn into a bitter person. So, after many heartfelt prayers we felt inspired to treat his family kindly, and it did not matter how they felt or what they said about me.

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