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Examples

Jackie and Jessie

Jackie grew up in a family with very little money. Her parents did not own their home, and there was always a sense of insecurity about having enough money to keep a roof over their heads and cover the family's basic needs. Because Jackie grew up with this financial insecurity, Jackie has a savings account that will take care of her living expenses for three months if an emergency were to occur. Jackie gets very nervous every time her checking account has less than $1,000 in it. She always worries that she will run short of money even though it has never happened.

Jackie's fiancé, Jessie, grew up in a middle-class family and the children never really thought about money. The family lived in a suburban neighborhood and his parents still live in the house where he grew up. If Jessie's parents had concerns about finances, Jessie never knew about it. Jessie spends very little time thinking about money. He knows he makes a salary that allows him to do what he wants to do. He has little money set aside for emergencies and generally does not feel a need to think about such things. Jessie's attitude is, "Why worry about such things until they happen."

Jackie and Jessie have very different views about financial security as a result of their family life growing up. Therefore, as Jackie and Jessie enter into marriage, they will most likely have different ideas about how they should manage their finances together as a result of their emotional history with money.

Wesley and Connie

When Wesley finished college and got his first professional position, he immediately opened several credit card accounts so he could purchase nice furniture for his apartment. In addition, he bought a new car with an installment loan. He felt these purchases where necessary considering the entertaining he would need to do with his job. He soon found he could barely make his monthly payments and eventually went to a financial consultant for advice. It took five years for him to feel like he was in control of his finances. This was such a painful experience, he has promised himself he will never get financially over-extended again.

Wesley's girlfriend, Connie, has just finished college and has a great job. She wants to enjoy her newfound financial freedom and wants to finally have some nice things. She is sick of "college poverty." She wants to buy a new car and get rid of the "junker" she has been driving all through college-the car that regularly stalls at stop signs and has to be towed. Since she and Wesley have talked about getting married in a few years, she also wants to buy a house and furnish it nicely so they will have a nice place to live when they get married. In order to do all of the things she wants to, Connie will need to buy things on credit, because although she has a great job, she has no savings or cash reserve with which to purchase the furniture and other household items.

Wesley and Connie also have different emotional histories when it comes to money. Wesley has learned from painful experience as an adult to be very careful in using credit. Connie, on the other hand, has not had this experience. If they decide to get married, they will likely have very different ideas about how to use credit.

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, November 28). Finances. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: http://ocw.usu.edu/Family__Consumer____Human_Development/Marriage___Family_Relationships/Finances_2.html. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License