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Foolproof Money Mistakes




By Patricia Schiff Estess

Adapted from Money Advice for Your Successful Remarriage, 2001.


Managing money in a stepfamily isn’t always clear.  But here’s a list of foolproof mistakes that you shouldn’t practice. 


  1. Maintain two completely different standards within the same stepfamily.  Why it doesn’t work: Resident stepchildren and their parent can’t help but feel offended when you play favorites or make no pretext about putting your own kids first.

  2. Skimp on the new family, spend on the old.  Why it doesn’t work: Money to your ex or children in the other house doesn’t make up for loss or guilt, and the inequality of spending can cause resentment in your current family.

  3. Rely too heavily on a former spouse.  Why it doesn’t work: If your financial decisions are based on an ex-spouse’s payments, you are subject to their whims of support or disapproval.  He (and usually it is a “he”) is in control and you wind up taking your eyes off the ball, i.e., forming your own financial union with your current spouse.


Taken from Money Advice for Your Successful Remarriage by Patricia Schiff Estess, p. 155-156, ASJA Press, Lincoln, NE, 2001.

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