DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband is constantly signing up for empowerment webinars and moneymaking seminars. Some of them are free, but quite a few of them are expensive. He even took out a loan from his job last year in order to afford more of these courses. While I suppose education is better than shopping, I still think this is excessive. Plus, he hasn't made one extra dollar over the many years of doing all of this. I am tired of listening to him get excited about a new venture for a few weeks and then having it always fizzle out. I think he is being duped. But I know it makes him happy. How can I get him to curb his enthusiasm a bit? -- Enough is Enough, Syracuse, N.Y.
DEAR ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Have a family meeting with your husband where you talk openly about his fascination with these educational tools. Ask him what he likes about them the most and what he is learning. Come from the position of having real, rather than feigned, interest. It is important for you to understand his perspective.
Talk to him about your budget, and suggest that it would be smart for you two to plan just how much you will spend this year on educational services as well as everything else. Include your own spending habits in the budget. Be forthcoming about anything that you do to excess. Suggest that if you work together toward a shared financial and family goal, you may be able to wean him slightly off of his independent educational projects toward something you can do together.