Living Beyond Your Means: guests stories

One Big Happy Family?
These guests are overscheduled and overspent. Dr. Phil wants to help.

"We've been married for 14 years, and I feel like we've been going, going, going ever since the day we said 'I do,'" says Ginger. "Lazy Sundays sound like a fantasy. I know it happens because I've seen it in the movies."
With Dr. Phil's help, Ginger is striving for a 40-hour work week, time to vacation and money in the bank.

"You're just living in chaos across the board," says Dr. Phil. "You need to make some drastic changes. What can you give up to change your lifestyle?"


"We can't get rid of the dogs, the lizard, the phones and trucks we need to have for work, the computers, the fax machines, football, ..." they explain.

Ed and Ginger recently filed for bankruptcy. They describe their finances as "a vicious beast."


Dr. Phil sets them on the path to re-engineering their life and living by design. "The hardest thing to do is to admit that what you're doing is not working, and be willing to change it."

Andrew and Carol are engaged, and will be blending their families.


"To be the supermom is what I expect of myself," says Carol. "If something doesn't change soon, I think I will have a breakdown."


"It's really difficult for me to see Carol put so much pressure on herself," says Andrew. "I don't want to see her in pain. I love her."

"Where does this expectancy come from?" asks Dr. Phil, referring to Carol's need to be a supermom. "Stop making choices out of guilt. Make them based on reality," he suggests. "Do you think it's a gift to your children or your husband to make yourself sick? Don't you think it would be a gift to them if you decided to take care of their mom, instead of being a martyr?"

Carol and Andrew are so busy they don't even have time to plan their own wedding!


"Challenge your value system," advises Dr. Phil. "You do not need to constantly sacrifice in order to be worthy or a good mom ... What are you going to say to your kids if in five years you're depressed, sick, emotionally unavailable and have nothing to give to them?"

Newlyweds Aaron and Julie are in a battle over money. Aaron says they need to pay off her debt, while she insists on getting her hair and nails done.


"Stop justifying!" implores Dr. Phil. You either do or don't have the money for something. Little expenses add up, especially when that money doesn't exist to begin with. "Decide what you want: to get your nails done and be bankrupt or to be financially responsible?"