Jump directly to the Content

Common Cents

Q. Before my husband and I got married, he purchased us a house with the money he received from the sale of his house. His name is on the deed, and he won't add my name to it. Is this right?

A: No, this isn't right!

It appears your husband has some underlying reason not to put you on the title. If he were to die suddenly, you would have no security with this house.

You need to contact an attorney in your state to find out what would happen to this property should your husband die and you aren't on the title or in his will to inherit it. Most state laws indicate that any property brought in by either spouse prior to marriage is that person's sole and separate property.

Could it be that your husband doesn't feel the marriage is going to work? Does he have a trust issue? A control issue? It's important to get to the bottom of what he's really thinking. Ask him why he doesn't want to add you on the title. And why he would want to leave you possibly homeless if he should die. Perhaps he thinks you automatically get the house, which isn't true.

Adding your name on the title isn't complicated. All your husband has to do is sign a quit claim deed. Many stationary stores have this blank document for purchase, or go to an escrow or title office to have one signed and notarized. This document would then have to be recorded at the county recorder's office.

Paying Credit Cards Before Mortgage?

A recent study conducted by Experian credit bureau shows that a majority of people who have subprime adjustable interest rate mortgage loans (high interest, adjustable rate loans given to people with low credit scores) are paying their credit cards and not their mortgages. One reason may be because they can make the minimum payment to keep the credit card account current, but then don't have enough to cover their high monthly mortgage.

That's the worst thing you can do. Every time you're late on a mortgage payment,

or don't pay the full amount due for that month, your credit score also takes a hit and is lowered—even though you may be paying your credit card bill on time. A credit card company, believing they are in jeopardy, may then restrict the use of that card or increase your interest rate.

When facing a financial crisis, the essential or survival bills should always be paid first: rent or mortgage, food, utilities. Only then should you pay the other bills: secured loans, credit cards, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Build Wealth by Battling Bulge!

If you bought a chicken sandwich for $2.89 and large fries for $1.79 five days a week, you would spend more than $1,200 in just one year and consume 29,100 calories, which equals 83 pounds.

Why not save your wallet and your waistline? If you had taken that money and put it in a mutual fund over ten years, earning 10 percent interest, you would have saved $19,000, plus eliminated those calories and pounds.

Most budgets are sabotaged before couples even begin—not keeping track of the money spent on frequent stops to Starbucks or McDonald's. So it's time to go on a diet!

Keep a money journal for 30 days and track every nickel, dime, and penny. Total your columns at the end of the month and see how much you have actually spent. It's the miscellaneous purchases you need to cut back on.

But don't cut back 100 percent on everything. Just like dieting, if you deprive yourself, you'll do it more. Cut the fast food and coffee habit by at least 50 percent. Take the money you would have spent and put it into a special account or mutual fund. Watch your waistline slim down and your savings grow while turning calories into cash.

For more ideas, check out www.richandthinliving.com.

Deborah McNaughton, author of Rich and Thin: Slim Down, Shrink Debt, & Turn Calories into Cash (McGraw-Hill), is a credit expert. Hal McNaughton is a certified financial planner. They've been married 36 years. www.financialvictory.com.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Free CT Women Newsletter

Sign up for our Weekly newsletter: CT's weekly newsletter highlighting the voices of women writers. We report on news and give our opinion on topics such as church, family, sexuality, discipleship, pop culture, and more!

Read These Next


Join in the conversation on Facebook or Twitter

Follow Us

More Newsletters