Gail DonaldsonAre you one of those people who let your heart get involved when it comes to money? I often see people with terrific careers doing well financially who let their heart get involved when it comes to money. Intelligence and education have nothing to do with this! What holds most back is the need and desire to help others or let others lead them.

Situations Where People Make Financial Decisions With Their Hearts

Do you fall into one of these categories that I often see?

The “Yes” Sayers

Moms/Dads/Grandparents who say “yes” every time their kids/grandkids ask for the latest and greatest but have no money saved for retirement. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen a fixed-income grandparent co-sign for a grandchild on a car loan. The grandchild promises to make the car payment and after about 4-6 months, the creditor is calling the grandparent about missed payments. If you cannot gift your grandchild a car, do not co-sign for them.

Financially-Unaware Spouses

Wives/Husbands who let their husbands/wives handle the finances and then are clueless when divorce or death of the spouse happens. When you are mourning or going through something as life-changing as a divorce, the last thing you need or want is to learn about becoming financially savvy.

Uneducated Individuals

Singles who just don’t try and educate themselves about finances because it’s boring or confusing.

Take Control of Your Financial Life First, Then Others

It’s so easy to be generous with those we love. Taking control of your financial life is not that difficult. An act of generosity should not put you at risk.

Helping pay for a child’s college education is not generous if it means you will not be able to save enough for your own retirement years. You ultimately could put a bind on yourself or those you helped in a few decades if there is no money to help take care of you when you are unable to work. I constantly see those who are struggling to take care of their elderly parents.

Say no out of love and not yes out of fear. While it may seem like tough love, it is necessary to set financial limits with your family.

When you agree to co-sign a loan for someone a creditor deems too risky, are you really helping them become financially responsible? When you continue to pay all sorts of expenses for your grown children, how is that helping them become the smart and financially savvy adults you hoped to raise them to be?

Being financially honest with yourself and your loved ones is not selfish.  It is the means by which lead your family to financial security. Ultimately, financial security is the goal all of us seek so we can best serve our family.

Get a Fresh Financial Start Today

If you are in a financial bind because your heart led you to help your loved ones, please call one of our Bond & Botes offices for a free consultation. We want to help you understand all options to get a financial fresh start.

Gail Donaldson
Written by Gail Donaldson

Gail Hughes Donaldson is a Managing Partner of the Bond & Botes Law Offices in Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University at Montgomery, and a Juris Doctorate from Thomas Goode Jones School of Law. She’s been helping families work through the bankruptcy process since she started with Bond & Botes back in 1993 as a paralegal. Read her full bio here.

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