Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Q: I am a young adult with a passion, but I can’t make a living out of it. (I tried to find a job related to it for five years.) But what am I if I can’t do what I love? I can’t see myself retiring after 50 years and picking up doing what I haven’t done for all that time. What can I do? I feel like a ball adrift in the ocean.

Q: My good friend is asking people to “sponsor” her international travel for the next few months. Is she doing charity work? No. Is she part of some organization? No. She is doing it to “grow and explore” and even has a website set up for donations about it. I have chosen not to donate, but she keeps bringing it up. Do I say anything to her?

A bunch of friends just got engaged and now my boyfriend is thinking about marriage. I like being with him, but I’m nowhere near ready.

Q: I’m tired of my situation – broke and with a man who only searches out easy jobs, never anything challenging or that would bring in more money. We’re having a baby, and I feel alone. All he does is smoke weed and “hang out.”

Q: My boyfriend of seven months is far too jealous. No matter what I do or say, he finds a way to become suspicious. He denies that an unresolved problem from his past is making him behave this way, but I’ve never given him a reason to question my loyalty. He’s a great guy, and his pros outweigh his cons, but how much of this is normal? I think I’m very patient with him, but I’m reaching my limit.

Q: My mother has a fear of bugs so intense that I swear she has serious mental problems. She is completely out of control – and has been for as long as I can remember. How can I get her to see that it is not normal to yell and scream just because there is a beetle or spider near her?

Q: My boyfriend is gaining a high profile because of his blog. I admire his work, but I think he’s starting to take himself too seriously. I also think this is making him belittle my work in small ways. We both write in our day jobs, and we used to offer each other advice and feedback. But I don’t think I want his advice anymore because it’s edged with a tone of superiority.

Q: My husband is a wonderful stay-at-home dad. When he first began being at home, he had been laid off and was doing some consulting to bring in extra cash. That has stopped, and I miss the wiggle room that income created. I don’t want to take away from the job he does. I know it’s hard. But I wish he would take on some projects again. How can I bring this up sensitively?

Q: My roommate is great overall, but has a foul mouth. We’re women in our 20s and I’m not a prude, but the way that she talks leaves me disgusted several times a week. I know how hard it is to find someone that you live with well. I’ve had terrible roommates in the past. So I wish I could let this one thing go, and I don’t want to ruin a good thing. But I also feel like I need to say something because it is so not OK.

Q: My teenage son is smart, but has lost interest in school – he’s been skipping classes and not completing assignments. He’s gotten friendly with other kids that are not great students but really want to start a band. My husband feels that until his grades improve, his music should be taken away. But that’s the only thing he’s motivated about right now, so I think it’s the worst thing we could do.

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Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior (that's BONN-yer!) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology focusing on individual and group psychotherapy for young adults and specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.