A:You’re right – what they spent the money on were things they needed. At the same time, they probably knew the rent was due and when it was due. Since you know about their situation and you’re their landlord, it might be a good idea to offer to try and formulate a plan that would help them get through this tough time.
If it were me, I’d sit down with them and make a budget and list of priorities. Food comes first, water and lights after that, then rent and finally the car. Get into their business a little and find out what else is going on in their lives. You have to be fair and firm to be a quality landlord. I’m all about helping people who need help, so I’d be willing to cut them some slack if they’re cooperative and literally have to choose between feeding their kids and paying me. But if they insist on misbehaving with their money or having parties on the weekend, I’d have no problem telling them to check out and find another place to live.
The biggest thing is to treat them the way you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed. I think most people want to do what’s right, but you want to feel good about extending mercy when, and if, it’s appropriate.
Q:My husband and I have been married for three years. I’m 25 and he’s 29. We have no children yet, but we’re trying to put our financial lives in order. At what age do you recommend getting a living will?
A:Every adult needs a last will and testament and a living will. They are not the same thing. A traditional will contains instructions for the disposal of your estate. In other words, it tells who gets what after you die.
A living will is sometimes called “the Terri Schiavo document.” If you end up in a situation where you are unable to speak for yourself, such as a coma or a vegetative state, a living will dictates whether or not you want doctors to keep you alive using artificial means. This is not the kind of decision you want left to a doctor, family members, or a court!
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