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The following is an excerpt from the study guide portion of my latest book, A Couple with Common Cents.

As I observe marriage relationships, I find that one spouse likes to take more risks than the other. This is true in my own marriage.

But each spouse also has his and her own ways of taking risks that the other person does not.

Perhaps you love to travel, explore new places, or climb mountains like my wife, Lori. When you take a first glance at us, you might think she’s the one prone to more “risk,” if you just look at what she likes to talk about or how she drives the car.

Or perhaps you can handle more fiscal risk. You spend money on investments or opportunities that don’t have a clear guarantee. There’s a huge upside if it goes right, but there’s also potential for loss.

In your marriage, I would bet that one of you is financially more conservative than the other. One of you likes to save, while the other one spends. One of you will give away all your money, while the other one says, “Slow down!” Continue Reading…

Falling Interest Rates

Ryan Eidson  —  April 29, 2016

The following is an excerpt from my book, A Couple with Common Cents:

a couple with common cents book excerpt

Tabitha was all excited and tired at the same time. She already missed Ruth and Hannah, and all that they experienced together. Now it was Sunday, and Tab was going home with the other ladies in the van.

Linda said, “Tab, you seem different today than you did on Friday. Is something wrong?”

“No, not really.”

“Are you sure?”

“Well I am excited to see my family. But my heart is just so heavy with all the changes I want to see happen.”

“What changes?”

Tab wasn’t sure whether to tell her or not, with the possibility of the others in the van listening in. Continue Reading…

The following is a true story about family paperwork woes.

one spouse does the paperwork

“Bad Credit History?” by flickr user natloans | cc by nd 2.0

One husband started a small engine business after his wife got fired from her job. Even though the household income was less than before, this did not change their spending habits.

The wife began to spend themselves tens of thousands of dollars into the hole. She asked for money from others and borrowed money from her children on many occasions to pay the bills.

The wife hid these bills from her husband.

She would always sneak out to get the mail every day. One of their sons wondered why she did this.

One day, the son went out to get the mail and found some credit card bills. He confronted his mom about it, but she swore him to secrecy! Continue Reading…

Date Night Disaster

Ryan Eidson  —  October 14, 2014

The following is an excerpt from my book, A Couple with Common Cents, from the chapter titled “Date Night Disaster”.

“Debt will always be part of life!” Jack said as he dropped his fork on his plate. Some of the people at adjacent tables in the restaurant gave Jack a look because he had raised his voice.Tab looked down at her plate. She knew this date night dinner did not get off to a good start.

Jack lowered his voice and continued, “I have seen debt my whole life, and I’m used to it. My father has always carried an operating loan on his farm so that he could keep the farm running in order to feed us.

“So you’re telling me that you want to change what we’ve done all these years just because of what one woman said at the conference last weekend?”

date-night-disaster

“relative calm holds sway” photo by flickr user: emdot | cc by 2.0

“Jack, listen to me. I’ve tried to tell you for several months about our lack of funds. What I saw last weekend were several other families in the same situation as us, and the hope that it doesn’t have to continue being like this.”

“I don’t see any reason to change what we’re doing. We have a place to live, there’s plenty of food to eat, and our kids seem to be happy. I’m happy. So there.”

Want to read the whole story? Click here.

“Debt will always be part of life!” Jack said as he dropped his fork on his plate. Some of the people at adjacent tables in the restaurant gave Jack a look because he had raised his voice.

Tab looked down at her plate. She knew this date night dinner did not get off to a good start.

Jack lowered his voice and continued, “I have seen debt my whole life, and I’m used to it. My father has always carried an operating loan on his farm so that he could keep the farm running in order to feed us.

“So you’re telling me that you want to change what we’ve done all these years just because of what one woman said at the conference last weekend?”

“Jack, listen to me. I’ve tried to tell you for several months about our lack of funds. What I saw last weekend were several other families in the same situation as us, and the hope that it doesn’t have to continue being like this.”

“I don’t see any reason to change what we’re doing. We have a place to live, there’s plenty of food to eat, and our kids seem to be happy. I’m happy. So there.”

“Jack, what if I told you that I’m not happy with the situation? Maybe I need to sit down with you and show you the whole picture. I need to show you where we are headed.”

“Tabitha, do I have money in my wallet?”

“Yes, last time I checked, you do.”

“Is there gas in the car? Do we have enough to pay the sitter for tonight and for this meal?”

“Yes, but…”

“Then I think we’re doing OK.”

“Jack, what if you get laid off? What if the store I work for closes suddenly, or one of us gets injured and can’t go to work? What if we…”

“Enough with the ‘what if’s,’ OK? We will deal with any of that when the time comes.”

They stopped talking to eat some more. Tab found that she was no longer hungry.

From Debt to the Future

“Can I ask a different question, Jack?”

“I suppose.”

“Let’s think about the kids for a few minutes. I wish I could stay home with them now. In just a few years they will be in school. A few short years after that, each of them will have a drivers license, and before you know it, off to college.”

“What about it? That’s a long way off. Maybe they won’t want to attend college. I didn’t, and I turned out just fine.”

“And maybe they will,” she replied. “Don’t you think we should put some money aside to help them for those things? Not that we have to buy them brand new cars or fund an Ivy League education, but just so that they have some money to use as a gift from us.”

“Well, how are we supposed to do that if we are struggling to pay our own bills at the moment?” Jack asked.

“That’s what I’m trying to show you, Jack, a picture of a different future for our kids.”

“That’s not even feasible right now, so let’s not even consider it, alright?” he said.

Suddenly, her phone rang. Tab checked to see who it was. “It’s the sitter. I better answer it.” She usually did not pick up the phone during meals.

“Hello?”

“Tabitha, this is Bri. Listen, we need to get your son to the emergency room. Kyle had an accident.”

Tab could hear her boy wailing in the background. “Jack, we need to get home fast.”

“Kyle fell down on the curb outside. He cut open his forehead and says that his arm hurts really bad. I know basic first-aid, but you had better get here quick,” said Bri.

“Pay the bill, Jack, we need to get home. Kyle is hurt.”

This post is a brief excerpt from Ryan’s book A Couple with Common Cents. Get the book here.