Dave Says

Rental Runaround (August 2016)

Do you think having cancer insurance is a good idea? (July 2015)

Setting up the kid's car insurance (February 2015)

Check cashing for the unbanked (September 2014)

Keep the lifestyle simple (May 2014)

Should she have skin in the game? (September 2013)

Time to pay it off! (September 2013)

Making It Through Medical Leave (July 2013)

Should We Ever Buy A House? (January 2013)

Be Tightfisted Until The Crisis Is Over (January 2013)

Paying the parents (December 2012)

Sallie Mae vs. selling the car (December 2012)

What’s the worst that can happen? (December 2012)

Letting them in on the secret (December 2012)

Not ready to combine finances (November 2012)

What The Law Will Allow (August 2012)

Making The Right Choice (August 2012)

Baby comes first! (August 2012)

Get the brother-in-law out! (August 2012)

Trust Broken After Cosigning (April 2012)

Review The Research (April 2012)

The Investing Makes Her Nervous (April 2012)

Lifestyle Changes (April 2012)

Do I Tithe On An Inheritance (March 2012)

No Credit Score, No Mortgage? (March 2012)

Where Do Toys Fit In The Baby Steps? (March 2012)

Guilt and Cynicism (March 2012)

Where Does Debt Go When Filing Bankruptcy? (December 2011)

Where Does The Donation Go (December 2011)

Ready to Buy (December 2011)

Intensity Hurting The Marriage (December 2011)

Hobby Car? (November 2011)

Not Quite Dearly Departed… (November 2011)

Enough For Retirement? (November 2011)

It’s Just Another Gimmick (November 2011)

Will Paying Early Help? (November 2011)

Bargain Master! (November 2011)

Sisters Should Have Asked! (August 2011)

Buy Now Or Wait? (August 2011)

So, He Knows How To Manage Money? (August 2011)

Girlfriend’s Money Problems (August 2011)

Smaller Down Payment? (August 2011)

Why Can’t She Get Another Job? (August 2011)

Landlord Wants Protection (June 2011)

Prepping Kids For Healthy Habits (June 2011)

Switching To Company Debit Cards (June 2011)

Should I Reduce My Tithe? (June 2011)

Closing The Account (February 2011)

Dishonesty Is Not The Best Policy (February 2011)

Piles of Cash? (February 2011)

New Car In A Bad Situation (February 2011)

Drop Coverage? (November 2010)

Can't Pay For Her Wedding (November 2010)

Does Pride Keep Us In Debt? (November 2010)

Not Time For A Reunion (November 2010)

You're Being Hoodwinked! (November 2010)

Buying Used or New? (November 2010)

Is There A Recommended Vacation Percentage? (July 2010)

Don’t Do it for the Gas Mileage (July 2010)

Investing Strategy for Retirement (April 2010)

Insurance? (April 2010)

Triple Play Investing (February 2010)

How Do I Get Started in Real Estate (February 2010)

Published: April 2012
Lifestyle Changes  

Dear Dave,

I just married a wonderful lady with two children. We’ve talked over our financial situation, and we’re determined to get out of debt within two years. This will mean some big changes in our teenager’s lifestyles. How can we break this to them gently?

Dan

Dear Dan,

Having your wife – who is also their mother – on board with the plan makes a big difference. I think all of you need to sit down and have a frank but loving discussion about the changes that are going to come with this marriage for everyone. The kids have to adjust to a stepdad being on the scene, just like you have to adjust to a marriage situation where teenagers are part of the package.

Let them know you don’t want to be the bad guy, but that you and mom have been looking at the money situation and things just don’t add up. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea if mom did a lot of the talking. Let her tell the kids that you’ve both decided it’s time to make the money behave, and this will mean some lifestyle changes.

Listen to reasonable input from them, and let them know their thoughts and feelings matter. But they also need to understand things are going to be different, and this part needs to come from mom. Otherwise, they’re likely to see you as the wicked stepdad!

— Dave

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