By Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Tensions at home were mounting after Jeremy Field lost a second construction job as the recession hit.
He spent his days on the Internet and the phone looking for work. His wife, Kelly, who had been home caring for their toddler son, reluctantly returned to teaching preschool. But her part-time work meant a huge cut in wages and benefits, forcing them to sell a car and slash Christmas spending.
Kelly Field pushed her husband to keep searching. He was discouraged and it was hard watching her leave for work in the morning.
"It never was to the point where we were yelling and screaming at one another," said Jeremy Field, 30, who has a degree in construction management. "But there definitely was some tension that could be felt."
So the Fields were eager to participate in a study at the University of Georgia aimed at merging the realms of therapy and financial planning. The couple, who live in Athens, Ga., walked away applauding the blended approach, which is being tested at Kansas State University as well. A Nashville therapist and his son also have started writing about the subject."I loved the fact that they were together because all the people I know who are married, their biggest problem is money and who is spending what and not paying the bills," said Kelly Field, 29. "I hear that so much, people having blowups and fights. I thought, this is genius to talk about both."
Researchers say the timing for the broader approach couldn't be better as families feel deeper financial woes in the poor economy.
The recession "certainly gets everyone's attention," said Ted Klontz, the Nashville financial behavioral consultant. "They are open to a lot of ideas they weren't open to before."