Friday, May 25

A New Look

If you're a returning visitor, you'll notice a dramatic change in the appearance of this blog. I hope that you find it MUCH better than the old look!

Rich Minx reviewed the old Money and Credit and wasn't at all bashful about pointing out what ought to be changed.

Thank you Rich Minx for your candor. I think that with your help, this site looks much better now!

If you have any suggestions for design or content, please leave your comments! They are appreciated!

Tuesday, May 22

Family Screwing

A question left by a reader of an article found on that talks about choosing a debt counselor when drowning in debt (read the article here) brings up the subject of giving financial help to family. Here's the question;

"what should i do? I took a car loan out for my brother in law and now I have to ask him for the money each month. I took a cell phone out for my sister and brother in law and I signed the contract over to them. But now, they never sent it in. I got a bill for 1500. It was an 80.00 a month plan and they never paid it since Oct. 3 2006. My brother in law took two credit cards out in my name and never paid them. I'm in debt for 40,000. What should I do?"

Good question, but here's a better one; what on earth were you thinking?

Unless you're independently wealthy where time and money aren't an issue for you, you should never, never EVER obligate yourself to repay bills and debts for somebody else, family or otherwise! Why? Duh! If you think you know better than the lenders who have turned them down time and again, then you deserve to be humbled this way.

I'm all about helping someone out, but am a firm believer that if you insist on feeding a man, then you must also teach him how to fish. If you aren't willing to take on this responsibility, then you have no place to complain about getting stuck with the bill. Moreover, your judgement (or lack thereof) suggests that you should engage the services of someone, perhaps a debt counselor, that can teach you how to handle your finances.

Sorry to read of your plight, but frankly, you should have known better. Yes, some of us feel some sort of obligation for the financial well being of our siblings, but unless you can afford to pay the bill yourself, don't count on your sis and her man to change their irresponsible ways...
Be sure to visit Money $mart Life who is hosting the next Carnival of Personal Finance!