Posts Tagged ‘Home’

“…our homes are our greatest possibility of support.”

— Xorin Balbes, Designer

John did it by moving the furniture around.

Elsa did it by giving her ex his stuff.

How have you done it? OR How are you going to do it?

“It” is making the home that you shared with your former partner yours. You may haven’t gotten around to thinking about it, but it is a necessary “moving on” step.

“…When you are completely in love with where you live, you can go out into the world knowing that you get to come back home and be taken care of.”

— Xorin Balbes

This is definitely true when you are going through a divorce. And you won’t feel that way until you’ve gotten rid of old memories and ghosts.

Over the weekend, we read an article titled, “Home, Sweet! Home” by Susan Casey with Xorin Balbes’ suggestions about how to make your home an expression of you. The eight steps mentioned are a perfect way to turn your previously shared space to your place.

1) Assess

Take a look at your home as an outside observer. Don’t do anything yet, just observe. Are there things in your house that just aren’t you? Do you envision furniture being arranged differently? What in your home inspires you? What makes you feel comfortable?

2) Release

Now decide what you want to keep and what you want to toss. Keep things that you really love. We mean that things that bring about positive emotions, that lift you up. Toss items that arouse bad memories, make you feel uncomfortable, don’t work anymore, or are collecting dust. I once inherited a beautiful chest from a friend of mine who got rid of it because it reminded her of her ex.

3) Cleanse

During this step, you’ll be literally getting rid of the emotional cobwebs. Make repairs, dust, open the windows. Add a different scent to rooms that evoke bad memories. Balbes calls this “spring cleaning for the soul.”

4) Dream

Now that you’ve gotten rid of the past, it’s time to dream about the future. A new phase of your life has opened up. You can be whoever you want to be. Who is that? Don’t go shopping yet. Just look around for inspiration. You can find it anywhere. Take pictures, tear out pictures, make a vision board.

5) Discover

Get out there and find what you are looking for. If the temptation arises to get stuck in the old rut, resist it. Remember you are creating a refuge — a place that you will be happy to be in. You don’t want to replace the past with new representations of it.

6) Create

Paint the walls, remodel, plant a garden, make your house a reflection of you. You don’t have to do it all at once. It’s the process that matters.

7) Elevate

Add music, flowers, scent. Balbes calls these things the “grace notes.” Even the smallest touches can uplift your spirit.

8) Celebrate

Let people see who you are by inviting them over to YOUR place. And you know what? You may end up inspiring them as well.

What have you done to make your place yours?


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We just read something quite shocking.

But before we tell you what it is, we have to flash back to the the time when people actually wrote letters to each other. Yeah, those days when people put pen to paper, wrote a letter, and then had the post office deliver it.

Now during those days, it was really easy for a letter written by a divorced parent, or one going through a divorce, to his/her child to be “lost” or “never received.” All the other parent had to do was be the one to collect the mail and toss the letter.

We thought that technology had made it harder to play this game. If a child has a cell phone, a parent can call. If a child has an e-maill address and access to a computer, a parent can write.

Maybe that’s true for older, independent children, but a study from the University of Missouri “found that couples going through acrimonious divorces and separation were using technology as a weapon by either manipulating or withholding information and limiting access to their children.”

That’s the shocking information we just read.

Really, is this necessary? If you care about your children the answer is an obvious, “No it isn’t.”

Do we need to explain? Well for some, we probably do.

Using your children to get revenge against your ex is wrong. You will make your child go through some terrible years thinking that their other parent doesn’t care about them. Or that the divorce was their fault.

See yourself in this study? If the answer is yes, stop this practice. You child has two parents and needs both of them.

Sure, you may feel that you’re in control now. Maybe this is the control you feel that you didn’t have during your marriage. Whatever, the reason, the power trip will come to an end. Just as they did during the days when letters were written, the day will come when your children  find out that that their other parent did write to them. The proof is in the saved e-mails. And then what will your child think of you?

Think about it.

As the article states, technology can be used to help achieve communication. Parents that only end up arguing when they talk can usually communicate in a civil manner via e-mail. It also allows parents to keep a record of what is going on (eliminating the “he said, she said “dilemma.)

Instead of misusing technology to fulfill an evil agenda, take advantage of its benefits.

Source article

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You don’t generally associate “divorce” with “excellent personal finance education.”

Most children of divorced parents might argue that divorce is a terrible, emotionally unpleasant time—particularly where money is concerned.

Read more…

Source: Forbes.com

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Welcome to money-issue Wednesday. Today we are going to focus on ways that you can take control of your finances.

Since money is one of the biggest issues of contention in a relationship, tackling household money issues may improve your relationship with your partner. In cases where the relationship is over, looking out how you can improve your financial situation may give you a better post-relationship quality of life and help you set the foundation needed to avoid the same issues in your next relationship.

1) Make an honest assessment of where you are today. You can’t combat a problem if you don’t know what the real problem is. Look at the world’s financial situation today. Banks may pass stress tests, but does that mean they are really healthy? Or are there still toxic loans out there that could trigger a collapse? And in your household? You may be making it day by day, but what if there were a medical emergency or someone lost their jobs? Could you manage? It may be tough to see the truth, but sometimes the truth hurts. Try to be one step ahead.

2) Have an honest discussion with you partner regarding the situation so that the two of you can work it out together. If you are single, of course you will develop a plan on your own. If you are a single parent, you may have to have a discussion with your children as well (depending on their age), explaining household finances. They can also contribute to a plan to control spending. Don’t start blaming anyone or attacking spending styles. Simply sit down and figure out how you are going to get your finances back on track. Once you’ve created the plan, stick to it. No cheating.

3) Realize that you may have to put yourself on a spending diet. Look at it as a challenge. Believe us, not only do people not need half the stuff they have, they don’t even use it. Learning how not to waste money can be truly liberating. See something in the store you want. Go home and wait a day before making the purchase. You may realize that you already have something similar or you may find that is just doesn’t look as enticing the next day.

4) Sell things that you don’t use. Have an item that you had to have 6 months ago that has been gathering dust ever since. Stop dusting it and sell it. Not only will it give you extra cash, but it will help you see that you really can live without “stuff”. it will also give you more space in the house.  Use the money to pay off bills or put it into savings. Don’t go out and buy something else.

5) Resist temptation by staying away from the stores. For the shopaholics out there, it may be hard at first, but once you start discovering other activities shopping just to be shopping really will feel like eating greasy food after months of only eating healthy food.

6) When you do buy something that you truly need, make a smart choice. Most of the time it pays to buy quality.

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Financial crisis?

Welcome to money-issue Wednesday. No matter where you are in the world today, it’s hard to escape news about the most recent financial crises. But is it really a crises or, as some say, just a return to reality? And while we know that separation and divorce brings real hardship on some people, when you look at your financial situation, is it really a crises or is it simply time for you to remember the basics and return to reality.

How realistic is it for you to keep up with the Joneses (who have tons of debt themselves) and the latest trends? Sometimes, in order to get ahead financially, you have to go against the grain. Take it from one who has – Warren Buffet. Here are his secrets to wealth and life as found on The Finance Mann Blog.

  1. Reinvest your profits. “Even a small sum can turn into great wealth,” Schroeder writes, if you’re disciplined to not touch your profits. Let the power of compound interest work for you.
  2. Be willing to be different. Don’t follow the herd. Do what is best for you and your situation.
  3. Never suck your thumb. Ah, how I could learn from this one. Buffett makes decisions quickly based on the available information. I tend to sit and stew about things. Acting decisively can give you an advantage and prevent procrastination.
  4. Spell out the deal before you start. I stress this all the time: Don’t sign a contract unless you’ve read it (especially not a mortgage). Read the fine print. Understand the what you’re getting yourself into.
  5. Watch small expenses. While it’s true that the big things matter, the little things do too. Frugality is an important part of personal finance. But this principle also applies when investing, which is one reason I’m a fan of low-cost index funds.
  6. Limit what you borrow. “Living on credit cards and loans won’t make you rich,” writes Schroeder. Sure, leverage can get you into a home or a new car, but too much debt is one of the biggest drags on your financial well-being.
  7. Be persistent. If you know what you’re doing is important and right, stick to it. Doggedly pursue your goals. Learn to “fail forward”.
  8. Know when to quit. The other day, I wrote about the danger of the sunk-cost fallacy. Just because you’ve already paid $10 to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, doesn’t mean you should sit through to the end. Be willing to cut your losses and walk away.
  9. Assess the risks. “Asking yourself ‘and then what?’ can help you see all of the possible consequences when you’re struggling to make a decision — and can guide you to the smartest choice.”
  10. Know what success really means. Success is different for each of us. Find what it is that brings meaning to your life, what makes each day important. Make this your focus. Buffett says: “When you get to my age, you’ll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That’s the ultimate test of how you’ve lived your life.”



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Welcome to money-issue Wednesday. We’ve become a big fan of Trent Hamm’s blog, The Simple Dollar. His 14 simple money rules are truly rules to live by.

1. Spend less than you earn.

2. Don’t over-think your investments

3. Stop wasting time

4. Eliminate (and avoid) high-interest debt

5. Talk about money (and be honest)

6. Stop trying to impress other people

7. Watch your progress (but make it fun)

8. Take care of your things

9. Do it yourself (we would like to add, when you have the skill to do so)

10. Plan ahead every time you spend (we would like to add – out shopping and see something you love? Go home and sleep on it before buying it. That counts as planning)

11. Find and work toward your true passion (we would like to add – if you love it, the money will come.)

12. Build real friendships and relationships

13. Improve yourself every chance you get

14. Give without strings or regrets.

There you have it.

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extracurricular activities

The ballet classes, tennis lessons, karate classes, piano lessons. The extra skiing star, the Easter break, sailing trip, the school or Boy Scout week-long discovery trip.

All extra activities related to the children’s outside school activities must be maintained so that they can keep a normal life.

Who will pay for it awaiting a judge’s decision? Whomever – as long as these expenses are being taken care of.

Remember – Your offspring never asked to be there. They are there through your passion and love with your estranged partner. They never asked for a separation. Separation is a game started by adults and is not for kids. Keep them from being dragged into a negative adventure.

A family gives stability for you and society. Our children are the next generation. If it is the right thing to do for your child, then bear the consequences and your personal responsibility.

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