Updated on 07.31.14

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Family Nervousness Edition

Trent Hamm

A cousin of mine that I care for very much is coming to visit for several days next week, with her two sons in tow. She’s someone that I cherished when I was younger, but over the last fifteen years or so, we simply were out of touch with one another. Over the last few years, we’ve been working on rebuilding that relationship, to the point that she’s as important to me as anyone in my life short of my immediate family and a few very close friends.

Anyway, she’s visiting my home for the first time and I feel deeply nervous about it. It’s been resting on my mind a lot lately. I am very eager for her to come, but I can’t help but feel like it won’t go as well as I have hoped.

Hey, look, Trent’s using The Simple Dollar to indirectly talk to his family and friends again!

The Strength of Weak Ties I used a little Twitter experiment to prove the value of weak ties in this article. (@ open forum)

Using Estate and Bankruptcy Sales as a Route to Success You can use the stuff you buy at estate and bankruptcy sales to fuel the growth of your small business. (@ open forum)

What To Consider Before You Cancel Your Credit Cards I agree – I think people often cancel credit cards too quickly. However, the damage you do to your credit score isn’t enormous unless you’re in a precarious debt situation to begin with. (@ digerati life)

Setting Up a Financial System as a Couple It really is worthwhile to do this shortly after you’ve made the decision to be together for the long term. (@ frugal dad)

The Lost Art Of Balancing Your Checkbook The principles are still in play today with online banking; they’ve just changed quite a bit. (@ dough roller)

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  1. valleycat1 says:

    Several years ago I was in the same situation & was nervous about the upcoming visit. The actual visit was rewarding in just catching up with each other as adults, reminiscing about old times, & letting our kids meet each other – I think you’ll be surprised how much your children (even at their young age) will appreciate meeting more of their cousins. If you care for her that much, & she’s obviously on board with you in reestablishing your bonds, I’m sure things will be fine.

  2. Gwen says:

    Hey look! It will be no problem – it is a sign that you value her/each other – I was in the same spot a while ago and found that all it takes is time. Or just how Suzette Haden Elgin has put it in her Peacetalk 101 – don´t use preconceptions, just be open.
    I´m looking forward to read how wonderful it was.

  3. saveasibuy says:

    Don’t underestimate the power & bonds of family. Coming from a LARGE extended family, I met some for the first time less than 5 years ago. (We never had the opportunity to meet since we were a continent & thousands of miles apart) After only two days of getting to know my cousin(s), it felt as if we’d known each other an entire lifetime. It’s a beautiful thing. Something tells me you’ll have a similar type of reunion. Try to relax, enjoy & cherish it.

  4. Anne says:

    Just try to relax and be yourself. Trying too hard only makes everything more difficult. See if you can find something you both enjoy doing (like cooking) and then make a point early-on of doing it together. You’re a likeable guy and you have a lovely family. You’ll be fine.

  5. Roberta says:

    You’ve had a lot going on with your daughter being sick, and your writing (new homemade gift series) and everything. Hope it will go well–and it probably will–but even if the visit doesn’t live up to your highest expectations, it is a finite experience that will pass and that you will move beyond. Best wishes for a fine visit.

  6. Tara C says:

    Just relax and be open, everything will be fine! You love each other and all will be well.

    Regarding balancing your check book, I think I may be one of the few dinosaurs still doing this. I don’t have a lot of money so I can’t afford a mistake – my checkbook is balanced down to the penny.

  7. valleycat1 says:

    re the article on cancelling credit cards – his reasons not to cancel & then the reasons to cancel are somewhat contradictory, unless you consider all the con’s before you move on to the pro’s. I do think he makes a good point about keeping the cards you’ve had longer.

    Another factor to consider – the limits on the cards – some of mine have been increased too much over the years by the issuers, & some lenders will count that against you because there’s always the possibility you’d use the card up to the limit – & then be unable to make payments. Once I get the balances paid down, I’ll probably request that the limits be lowered some – since I’ll have lower balances (i’m working toward 0), the % of the total available would be more in line with reality – I know I’ll never approach the limit on one of them, as it’s truly insanely high.

  8. Cheese's Mom says:

    Not to scare you, but I had a cousin that came to visit a few years ago to “catch up” and things did not go as planned. We got along fine but a lot of things have changed between us. Don’t expect things to pick up where you left off as kids and try to keep the visit short and sweet. (my cousin stayed a week!) Good Luck!

  9. Nice to have reunions with family. Thinking ahead about having some sort of icebreaker could help, even if it’s family, since you haven’t seen them in a while.

    Anyway, re canceling credit cards: I look at carrying debt as a personal choice. We know ourselves best, so go with your gut. If having cards sitting around collecting dust leaves you with the heebie jeebies especially if you’ve decided to never use them again, then maybe you should cancel them. Otherwise, think about the big picture and think ahead to the possibility of using those cards again or of maybe needing a loan one day (hence maintaining credit would be important).

    PS. I’m a “she”. :)

  10. Debbie D says:

    Worry will only bring to pass that which you don’t want. Here’s what I do(thinks to some excellent training at http://www.thoughtsalive.com: pictue your cousin arriving, imagine what it will feel like to give her and her children a big hug, picture the things you have planned going beautifully and then feel the gratitude for a delightful visit. This worked for me when I had 25 members of my extended family to my house for a 3 day reunion. It was a fabulous weekend and I was able to handle all of the mini-crises with calm and patience and truly enjoyed the weekend. It will go well, if you can visualize it going well. Have a great visit!

  11. Diane says:

    Hey, look, Trent’s using The Simple Dollar to indirectly talk to his family and friends again!
    I don’t mind at all, as long as you keep us all posted on the results!
    I look forward to hearing good news…

  12. Karen says:

    Hope the visit goes well. Relax and enjoy.

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