How Does Financial Stress Affect a Marriage?

Stress over finances can devastate a marriage. The affects of financial distress can include blame, panic and lack of intimacy. In some cases, unresolved financial issues can lead to divorce. It is important for a couple to work together to resolve issues that bring about financial stress. Marriage takes two partners to work. Both people must be dedicated to being open and honest while dealing with financial issues and their affects on a relationship.

The Blame Game

Financial stress can bring out the worst in a person. When a couple experiences financial stress, due to a job loss or living beyond their means, it can cause each partner to blame the other. Perhaps a wife blames the husband’s love of golf and the costs associated. Maybe the husband feels the wife goes on too many shopping sprees. Partners may blame one another instead of taking responsibility for personal financial choices. Come together and create a financial plan that eliminates unnecessary spending for both partners. Explore options like having separate personal accounts and one household account for household bills.

Panic Attack

Money problems in a marriage can create panic. Couples may worry how to pay the mortgage, utilities or car payments. Financial worries can tear a couple apart or bring the couple together as a team to solve the problem. Instead of giving in to the panic and worry, create a plan of action. Couples in financial crisis should make use of financial planners, advises licensed marriage and family therapist Mary Jo Pedersen in “How the Financial Downturn Affects Marriage.” Couples can turn to financial institutions for money advice as well as reputable online financial counselors.

Lack of Intimacy

Financial woes affect the level of intimacy in marriage. Perhaps a wife feels her husband is not providing for the family as well as he could. Maybe the husband feels the wife should have a strict budget. Lack of intimacy can lead to frustration and feelings of separation between partners. A couple should share fears and feelings with one another. Sharing emotions and resolving issues together will increase your level of intimacy. A lack of intimacy coupled with fear and anxiety from financial stress is a sure recipe for disaster in marriage. Use this crisis to come together, not move further apart.


Financial problems often lead couples to divorce. Couples lose sight of the relationship that existed before the financial issues. People become consumed with worry and fear which destroys the relationship if left unresolved. Identify two or three pressing financial issues and create a plan of action to address those particular problems, advises clinical psychologist Seth Meyers in his Psychology Today article “How Financial Problems and Stress Cause Divorce.” By creating and implementing a plan, the couple comes together as a team to work on financial issues.

How to Finance Your Business Idea

A great business idea without money is like a brand-new car with no gas: Both are sweet to look at but don’t go anywhere. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of sources you can tap to drum up money to fuel your new venture.

Write a comprehensive business plan. This document outlines your idea, including how you plan to develop it, and most important, how you see it making money. Consult the wide variety of books, or type “business plan” into a search engine for more sources to help you write a business plan.

Build a convincing business model for your company. This will have detailed financials that describe every aspect of your business, including costs for sourcing or manufacturing your product, projected sales, and marketing expenses as well as general and administrative overhead.

Determine how much money you are going to need. Include start-up funds and sufficient capital to keep the business afloat until your revenue covers your expenses. Add up all of your anticipated expenses during start-up: Salaries, building leases and equipment purchases, furniture, office supplies, telephone service and business card printing (see How to Hire a Graphic Designer). The more specific your list of expenses, the lower your chances of running out of money.

Seek out help from those who have done it before. Consider offering them stock in your company for their assistance, but not before you decide if you want to retain full ownership.

Hire a reputable law firm to set up the legal structure of your business. Business entities come in many forms and include S or C corporations, limited liability corporations (LLC), partnerships and sole proprietorships. Set up your business correctly from the beginning to facilitate financing and shield your assets. Use a firm with experience handling companies in your field.

Work closely with your law firm and create a financing structure. Determining the deal you give to investors, and codifying it properly, is crucial to eliminating problems down the line. Decisions include whether to take money as debt or to give up equity, what kind of rights and privileges (if any) come with being an investor and, most important for them, how investors get paid back.

Decide what kind of investors you want. Many companies want powerful executives or financiers as investors, but find them meddlesome and impatient. Friends and family can be an excellent source of friendly money, but investing in start-ups is risky, and relationships can go sour if people start losing money.

Use your savings. Any lenders or investors will expect you to fund your business to the best of your financial ability and selffinancing is the best way to retain control.

Go to a bank or credit union that you have a relationship with, and ask about a business loan. You’ll likely get a better reception from an institution you have a proven track record with than from a new lender.

Turn to vendors you plan to use and ask whether they would be willing to provide products or services up front, as a means of reducing your start-up costs, in return for full payment plus interest within a specified amount of time. Their ability to do so may lower or even eliminate your need for external financing.

Ask potential suppliers if they would help finance your company, either by providing extended payment terms or extending a loan. Since vendors have the most to gain when it comes to landing a significant contract, some may be willing to give you some starting help in return for a guarantee of business.

Put up collateral. Depending on the size of the loan, you might offer your car, house or other type of property.

Investigate the government’s Small Business Administration ( loan programs. The SBA oversees programs that guarantee small-business loans, and encourages banks and other institutions to fund businesses they might otherwise turn down. The terms and fees are usually comparable to conventional financing.

Tap into your own assets. Many entrepreneurs have valuable assets they can borrow against to start their business. Home equity is the most obvious choice, with the added bonus that interest payments are tax deductible. Some 401(k) programs and life insurance policies may also be borrowed against. Entrepreneurs have to gauge the degree to which they leverage their personal assets against the risks of start-up businesses.

Consider using a credit card. It’s relatively easy and quick to get needed funds from your credit cards through cash advances, although the interest rates are much higher than those from other sources.

How to Finance Timeshares

When you make the decision to purchase a timeshare you may decide to finance your purchase. It is wise to enter into a timeshare purchase armed with as much information as possible to avoid the possible pitfalls you can encounter when financing timeshares.

The problem that most people face when financing timeshares is that timeshares do not qualify for a conventional mortgages. Contrary to what timeshare salespeople will tell you, timeshare units typically have an extremely poor resale value. Because of this, most banks do not like to finance timeshares, leaving buyers to turn to other means of financing their timeshare purchases.

Try not to be pressured into your purchase by hard-sell timeshare salespeople. They will often try to pressure you into buying right then and there by using ‘act now’ bonus offers. They try to lead you to believe that the bonus offer will not be available any other time. Often, timeshare incentive ‘gifts’ are things that have very little value.

You should never buy something just because you are being pressured. Buying a timeshare is like any other investment, and it is a decision that you shouldn’t enter into lightly. Some of the hard-sell timeshare sellers also offer financing, but is it really a good deal? Before financing timeshares through a high-pressure seller, be sure to check the terms of the contract to ensure that you are not going to end up paying much more for your timeshare than you originally thought.

The cost of the loan is one factor that many people overlook when financing timeshares. Timeshare sellers typically offer ‘easy’ on the spot financing while trying to distract you from the fact that the rate of interest for financing timeshares through them is astronomically high.

The interest rate for timeshare financing is usually in the double digits, sometimes reaching rates upward of 20%. Before you sign the contract, you need to calculate how much more you will be paying for your timeshare in the end and decide if you think it is still worth it.

Financing timeshares through a company whose sole purpose is to sell timeshares is not your only option. While there are hordes of Internet companies offering to finance timeshares, keep in mind that the Internet is also home to many scams, so exercise extreme caution before filling out any online applications with your personal information. If you choose to finance timeshares through an Internet company, be sure to investigate the company thoroughly first.

You may also want to consider a home equity loan to finance your timeshare. Banks and mortgage companies usually have no problem giving loans based on the equity in your home. It may be a good way to pay for your timeshare outright to avoid outrageous finance charges. The interest that you pay on a home equity loan is usually slightly higher than that of a conventional mortgage, but is still considerably less than the amount you would pay if you financed the purchase through a timeshare seller.

You may be wondering what you can do if you don’t own a home to use for an equity loan. If you have not purchased a home yet, maybe the question you should be asking is whether you should really be considering a timeshare purchase.

Financing timeshares at high rates of interest is not a good way to build your credit rating. If improving your credit rating is your goal, perhaps you should be considering a different type of purchase, such as a car. A car is something that has a good resale value and can be used every day of the year.

How to Get Immediate Financial Help

Immediate financial help is available for struggling families and those facing unexpected income loss, disability, disaster or other crisis. Most programs evaluate families to ensure that they qualify before offering assistance. In a financial downturn, more and more families look for financial help, but not all really need it. Here’s how to get immediate financial help.

Evaluate your situation and compare your monthly projected income to your necessary expenses of housing, food, transportation and basic clothing. If you don’t have enough to pay for these basics, you will likely qualify for immediate financial help. If there is a large amount of income going to things like credit cards, debt payments or other categories, you will need to cut spending there and work with debtors to lower your payments.

Contact your county or city human services. You can call 2-1-1 in most U.S. states to learn about immediate financial help options available to you.

Look for local branches of the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and other national charity organizations to get immediate financial help to pay rent or mortgage, keep the lights on or buy food.

Inquire at local charities for immediate financial help. Civic organizations in your community often have funds to help those in need, but the amount will usually be very small due to smaller budgets.

Turn to churches and religious communities, especially those in wealthier areas, for immediate financial help.

Research specialized organizations and charities. They have smaller budgets but more specific goals, such as helping families of AIDS children, disabled union workers, writers association members or families of firefighters. If you fit on their category, you have a good chance of getting the immediate financial help you need.

How to Start a Small Finance Company

A small finance company is one that specializes in making secured loans to consumers and businesses. Typical transactions include home equity loans, vehicle loans and installment loans for the purchase of major household appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines. Finance companies differ from banks in that they do not accept deposits from customers. Some small finance companies are independent and restrict their market area to one local area, while others have a nationwide presence, with branch offices throughout the United States. Each state regulates the finance companies located there.

Study the market you intend to serve. It may be a city, a county or a larger area. To understand the potential loan demand in your market area, investigate the demographics (i.e., the characteristics of the area’s population, especially age and income) and identify potential business customers.

Identify your state’s regulator of small finance companies. This government entity may be the same as the regulator of banking in your state. After you make contact, obtain the necessary information about how to qualify as a finance company.

Hire outside professionals to assist you in founding your finance company. An attorney or a law firm with experience in financial services will guide you through the many laws and regulations you will encounter. A well-qualified certified public accountant or accounting firm is necessary for establishing financial controls, auditing your books and records, and producing financial statements.

Form your business if you have not already done so. When you fill out the application form, you will have to indicate whether your business is a proprietorship, a limited liability company or a corporation.

Complete your business plan. This will be necessary in case you plan to obtain funding from outside investors. Potential investors will require a suitable business plan that contains detailed financial projections over the next three to five years. It is customary for finance companies to fund their loan business with lines of credit from banks. Those banks will need to study your business plan as well during their approval process.

Apply to the regulator for your license to conduct business as a finance company. Consult your business plan for the information you need for filling in the official forms. Be prepared to attach a check for the application fee. For approval to be final, you will have to obtain a surety bond or an irrevocable letter of credit to support your lending activity. The state regulator will inform you of the amounts.

Locate, lease and furnish a suitable office for conducting business. Hire and train staff. Advertise your business and continue marketing. When you receive final, official approval from the regulator, you can commence business.