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We Need To Look Out For Family

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Author: Ozeme J Bonnette

The family of today is nothing like it used to be. Society pressures and the economy have forced the family unit to break down. Consequently, all generations are impacted.

Our children are impacted

For most families, the ever-rising cost of living has created the need for a two-income household. When both parents are working, children spend less time interacting with their parents.

Many of our children have become "latchkey kids." They come home to empty houses and essentially miss out on the extra guidance and reinforcement that they desire and need.

This can be especially hard for single parent homes. There is no extra person available in the household to bring in additional income. One parent may need multiple jobs just to make ends meet. This leads to even less parent-child bonding time.

Our parents are affected

At the other end is the changing relationship with our seniors' our parents and grandparents. As a child, I remember moving into my grandmother's house when she became ill. My parents were there to support her as her health began to fail. I'm sure that their presence brought extra comfort in those troubling times.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the norm. We see the huge expansion of assisted living facilities for seniors. With both spouses working, no one is available to stay home with our aging family members, to care for them when daily activities become more difficult.

We are still responsible

The pressure and need to stay afloat financially has kept us out of our homes and away from our loved ones. But that doesn't remove our responsibilities toward them.

In 1 Timothy 5:8, we are told that, as believers, we are accountable for the well being of our families: "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (NIV)

We need to learn to balance our financial obligations with our family obligations so that neither is neglected.

What is most important?

Although money helps us to acquire a lot of "things," that is not what is important to anyone at the end of the day. On our deathbeds, we are not likely to ask to see the balance in our bank accounts, or try to review our real estate portfolio one last time. At that most critical point in life, we will want to be surrounded by those we love.

I can attest to the fact that success and accomplishment feels good. I am proud of many things that I've done. But the key question we must ask ourselves is, at what price?

There is give and take in every situation. Something is always sacrificed in order to get something else. Some sacrifices are good, but many are not. There are a couple of instances where I put my health in jeopardy to accomplish a goal. Looking back, I am not sure that I can say that it was worth it.

Let's re-examine our priorities and see if there might be a better way to get to the same end goal.

About the author: Ozeme J. Bonnette is a financial coach, speaker, and the author of Get What Belongs to You: A Christian Guide to Managing Your Finances. After working for a top financial services firm, she shifted her focus to teaching and speaking to groups and organizations working to increase financial literacy in the U.S. She earned 3 Bachelor's degrees at Fresno State and an MBA at UCLA's Anderson School. Find her at .

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