I Handed All My Money to the Handyman

loaned moneyWhy did an intelligent woman loan nearly all her money to a guy who was only in the Friend Zone?

(I’m going to stop all you Grammar Snobs right now.  “Lend” and “loan” are both acceptable.)

There aren’t any easy or obvious answers.

Quite often we don’t understand why we do certain things with money.

Spend. Save. Earn. Waste. Loan. Borrow. Invest. Donate. Hide. Hoard. Give. Take. Splurge. Keep.

There’s a complicated hodge-podge of emotions behind every financial decision we make.

I’ll tell you all the sordid details of my story in my forthcoming book,  Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads: True Stories of Friends, Family, and Financial Ruin.

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A Golden Oldie Blog

Personal finance

UPDATE 9.3.2014: Voting has closed and this blog was selected as a finalist! Thanks for your support.

Dear Friends, Readers, and Perfect Strangers,

I’m asking for your help.

Soon I’m attending FinCon, the premier conference for personal finance bloggers and writers.

I know it sounds like a lot of dry, dull, snooze-inducing lectures about topics you’d rather not have shoved down your throat all weekend. Budgeting. Credit. Paying off debt. Investing. College loans. Retirement. Blah.

Instead, it’s a lot of fun hanging out with 500+ personal finance people who proudly proclaim ourselves as money nerds! [Read more...]

The Gold Digger Who Would Murder for Money

gold digger

An attractive woman in her mid-60s, Julie told me about her three failed marriages while we sipped hot chocolate on a wintery afternoon. The details of the first two are not important to this story.

Her third husband, Doug, was a real lady-killer.

She didn’t know he was a cold-blooded gold digger who would  murder for money.

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Did You Give Too Much Power in Your Power of Attorney?

Elder financial abuse victim who gave a power of attorney to her daughter

A divorced, currently unemployed auto mechanic in his mid-fifties, Daniel told me a whopping combination of inheritance and elder abuse stories. He uncovered the disturbing details when he moved back home to Baltimore after losing his job in Atlanta.

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Is Your State a Hotbed for Gold Diggers?

Look out for gold diggers

Many years after his first wife died of cancer, Jack, a successful orthopedist in Phoenix, married Kristin. After being alone for so long, Jack was overjoyed to have a new beginning with this intelligent, charming woman.

But Kristin had her own secret plans. She knew she landed a good catch who had worked hard his whole life to build a profitable medical practice. She wanted a chunk of the gold – fast.

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The World’s Most Callous Deadbeat Dad

Deadbeat dadBethany and I had lunch in a cafe near San Diego. Her cousin took Chrystal, Bethany’s six-year old daughter, to play in the park while Bethany and I chatted about Chrystal’s deadbeat daddy.

On a rebound from a failed relationship, Bethany met Dwayne at a bar when she was in her early 30s. After they spent just one night together, she got pregnant.

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Gambling Losses and Financial Infidelity are No Big Deal

Gambling money losses







Briana knows that there are two sides to the story when a marriage fails.

“In my world, I was always right,” she told me. “David gambled away our future. In his mind — I ran our company into the ground.”

I asked Briana what she knew about David’s finances before they married.

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Don’t be a Deadbeat Mom

Deadbeat mom neglected her childDeadbeat dads: we know them as the noncustodial fathers who fail to pay court-ordered child support.

What about deadbeat moms? Unfortunately, plenty of women neglect the basic daily needs of their kids.

Brian shared a detailed personal story with me about his son, Sean, whose life took a lot of unexpected parental twists over two decades.

When he was in his early twenties, Sean didn’t know what to do with his life, so he joined the Marines. He was an alcoholic and his drinking problem became worse while he was in the service, stationed at Quantico, Virginia. One drunken night, he met a drug addict named Linda at a local bar. Sean knew that she was married but slept around with other Marines and local guys. They had a short fling.

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How to Loan Money to a Friend

If you loan money, get collateral from the borrower like a piece of jewelryYes, you’re reading the title correctly.  It’s not “Don’t Loan Money.”

Traditional personal finance advisors say you should never loan money to friends or family members, right?

Count me in as a fully tenured professor in that School of Thought.

What if you decide to ignore the advice and become a lender?

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Don’t Let Money Pulverize Your Blended Family

A blended family may fight about inheritances and moneyAfter the divorce or death of a parent, the family may grow and reshape like an amoeba as the parents re-marry, bring existing kids into the mix and create more offspring. Their children grow up and may marry, have their own kids, and the family tree gets ever more complex.

HuffPost Divorce has a “Blended Family Friday” series that profiles successful amalgamations where the parents offer advice about how to make it work.

What about when it all goes wrong?

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