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Credit Card Debt Can Ruin Everything

By Jodie Lynn


My sister's husband just got a new job after being laid off for almost three years. She is opening credit cards behind his back and charging things she feels she has had to do without, which I feel is quite selfish. I love my sister but to be fair to her husband, should I tell him what's going on or just keep my mouth shut?


It is very easy to overcharge a credit card without even thinking about it. My daughter got into quite a mess within six months after her husband went back to work. It may be a good idea to ask more questions about the situation and even ask her if she has read the fine print in the agreement. If not, sit down with her and go over each one with her. Once this is done, ask her what she plans on doing about it. If she has a carefree attitude about things, by all means, talk with her husband. It's better to cause a little friction between she and her husband and you as well than for them to go broke or worse, get a divorce over this as my daughter ended up doing. - A. C. in Washington, D.C.


Unfortunately, this is somewhat of a common challenge when one or both spouses lose their jobs and then become employed again. Once an individual opens one credit card, other offers mysteriously begin to show up in the mail. It's almost like they know (because they do) that there hasn't been much activity lately on any credit cards and now suddenly there are signs of financial life. Once a person starts using them and gets in over their head, the credit card company will begin to charge greater interest on the unpaid balance and/or late fees. She and her husband will soon be in debt and paying double, sometimes even triple or more, on the items purchased on a credit card if it's not paid. Some people would tell you to keep your mouth shut and tend to your own business. However, to be fair to your brother-in-law, you should first talk with your sister and tell her that you are seriously thinking of telling her husband if she does not stop abusing his newfound income, especially if you are sure that he does not know. Perhaps she is not really aware of how easily people are lured into credit card debt. And as long as you are doing all of this out of love and concern, she may just listen or at least make some critical adjustments.

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My four-year-old son's best friend is a little boy from his preschool class. He acts out and becomes highly active in our home when he visits. I try to explain the rules we have in our house but he refuses to listen. There's been a few times when I just had to take him back to his house early, but felt guilty. How is the best way for me to handle this situation? Should I continue to explain the rules or talk to his mom?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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