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Producer of Leading Conversation-Starter Card Game Promotes Regular, Proactive Money Discussions

The popular Money Habitudes cards encourage constructive conversations about money by assessing one’s habits and attitudes (habitudes) related to money in a fun, non-threatening manner — an effective first step in handling larger issues.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 9, 2009 – LifeWise promotes healthy relationships with its first list of reasons to have a constructive conversation about money. The list serves as a reminder that, because money plays such a central role in our lives, people benefit by talking proactively about potential money issues instead of waiting until there is a critical need to discuss finances.
“Even in great financial times, it can seem overwhelming to initiate a conversation about money,” says Syble Solomon, president of LifeWise and creator of Money Habitudes™, the deck of cards which is the leading conversation-starter about people’s habits and attitudes about money. “However, if you only talk about money when you’re under-the-gun, it sets you up for failure. When stressed about money, you’re likely to overreact, making it difficult to resolve issues calmly.”
This timely list provides questions to spur proactive discussions related to current and seasonal events. By considering one’s habits and attitudes about money, people can take control of their finances and minimize surprises and obstacles.

  1. Summer Vacation: Vacations can cause stress when the dream conflicts with the budget. Before making commitments for a summer trip or an upcoming vacation, try these questions:
  • Where are you on the continuum of thinking that a vacation is a time to splurge versus being hesitant to spend money to enjoy yourself?
  • How will you pay for your vacation? Do you save in advance, finance it with a credit card, or stay with generous friends who will feed and entertain you?
  • How will your vacation choices affect how much money will be available later to pay bills, spend on the holidays, or give to charity?
  • Whether it’s a “staycation” or an exotic destination, which expenses will add value and which are not worth the money?
  1. New Lives Together: Summer is a popular time for weddings, so now is a great time for newlyweds to have those important conversations about money that may have been overlooked.  Surprises about debt and conflicting money values can ruin relationships.
  • Start by sharing simple stories like how you got money as a child. Describe your first jobs. What did you do with your money? Would you like to replicate or change about the way your parents managed money?
  • What would it take for each of you to feel secure, and, how much debt are you comfortable having?
  • Who will pay bills and will money be merged, his and hers or a combination?
  1. Prepping for School: Whether you’re taking classes yourself or getting your kids ready for school, consider these important questions about your spending habits.
  • Are you a penny wise and a pound foolish? In other words, do you buy a cheap book bag, only to keep replacing it every few months? Do you scrimp on a low-end computer and waste time and money because it is unreliable?
  • Do you shop wisely in advance but find yourself still going into stores for the thrill of last-minute sales?
  • Are you clear about the difference between what you need and what you want? A cell phone may be necessary, but are all the extras? Are you easily tempted to pick up impulse buys?
  1. Recession Stress: Loss of income and financial uncertainty can be overwhelming. Despite economists predicting a stronger 2010, issues persist with a June job loss of 467,000 and unemployment at 16.5 percent (including those who stopped looking for work and are underemployed). While the economy is beyond your control, reflecting and discussing responses to tough economic situations can aid in navigating through. Try questions such as:
  • What was a specific instance when you experienced a difficult financial situation? What did you do that helped you get through it and what would you do differently?
  • How do you normally face tough issues? Do you avoid them, face them head-on, become controlling, or give up all responsibility to someone else? Do you let those around you know that times are tough?
  1. Summer Blockbusters: Between motivated sellers, promotional sales, low interest rates, Cash for Clunkers, and the $8000 first-time homebuyer credit, it’s a buyer’s market for houses and cars as the summer ends. Make the smartest choice by shopping with clear priorities in mind.
  • What do you actually need and what are your top three criteria for choosing a house or car? What would be a deal breaker?
  • How will you know to walk away when you’re offered a great deal that exceeds your budget?
  • Do you find that, over and over, even though something you want is perfect and has a great price, you still can’t bring yourself to buy it?

Money Habitudes™ is the top conversation-starter, fostering discussions about money and related issues in a fun, engaging, and non-threatening way. Suitable for individuals, couples, and groups, it functions like a card game, available for adults, young adults, teens, and Spanish speakers. Used by thousands across the U.S. and in 40 countries, from newlyweds to retirees.  In addition professionals such as therapists, counselors, educators and financial advisors are using the cards. Money Habitudes find application in various settings, including educational, faith-based, community, military, and professional contexts. Money Habitudes, created by Solomon, received the 2009 Smart Marriages Impact Award for promoting healthy relationships, used both independently and integrated into various programs. In 2006, the Association of Financial Planning and Counseling Education also named her Educator of the Year.

Syble Solomon, the creator of Money Habitudes cards, founded LifeWise, an educational card game helping individuals discover their habits and attitudes about money. Also available in Teen, Young Adult and Spanish versions.

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