DR. WALLACE: My girlfriend and I have been dating for over a year and a half and are planning to set a wedding date in November.
Our wedding plans are going smoothly, except for one tiny glitch. When I was 16, I dated a young lady who remains special to me. Back then, we decided to break up, and even though we stopped dating, we continued to be close friends. My future wife is adamant that she doesn't want one of my ex-girlfriends at our wedding.
One of us will be a bit disappointed on our happy day: Who do you think it should be? — Guy in Tough Spot, Erie, Pennsylvania
GUY IN TOUGH SPOT: It is quite a tough question to decide who should suffer a little disappointment on a glorious wedding day, so I decided to try a small survey as a tool to garner some feedback in this instance. A local high school teacher was kind enough to allow me to present this question to her class. She read your letter to the students, and then she immediately had them write the name of the person they thought should suffer a bit of unhappiness on the wedding day, given the circumstances. The results indicated that most female students thought you should be a bit disappointed, while the majority of the boys felt the disappointment should belong to your fiancee. Basically, the girls favor her point of view, while the guys favored yours.
Since your fiancee is adamant about your ex-girlfriend not attending the wedding, my stance is that it would be unwise to upset a bride on her wedding day. You should focus on your bride and getting the marriage off to a good start. Your friend should understand this and hopefully will be gracious in doing so.
I WOULD LIKE A CREDIT CARD AT COLLEGE
DR. WALLACE: I'll be attending college in September. I'd like to have a credit card to use, instead of having to always use cash. My dad likes the idea, but my mother hates credit cards. She thinks they get a lot of young people in trouble very quickly. What do you think? — Future Consumer, via email
FUTURE CONSUMER: Credit cards are very useful tools when used properly. The problem — if the card is not properly administered — lies with the person(s) who both owns the card and, of course, makes the payments.
I believe you should have access to a credit card, provided that you obey all the rules set by your parents. If they are going to be paying your expenses for books, food and transportation, for example, they can create a budget for this purpose. They could help you apply for a credit card and be cosigners on the card. It would be wise for them to have the credit card company set a low credit limit that fits within the budget they have calculated.
Besides convenience, credit cards can be useful in learning how to control the use of money. Your parents will also benefit from having an itemized list of your expenditures. Be sure to go over all the ground rules with your parents in advance if you do obtain a credit card. Don't hit them with any surprise charges they have not approved in advance. If you do need an occasional "extra" expense, ask for it before you make any purchases. As with so many areas of life, communication is the key here.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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