No. of Recommendations: 7
And, I don't want to fight with her about it. It just generates TONS of HEAT and NO LIGHT.
You don't have to fight, but you do have to agree to a budget together. because BK won't help you if you keep doing this stuff AFTER you declare BK and start again. You'll end up in the same spot and have no way out next time around. The heart of the issue is your family spends as if it is earning more than it is (gymnastics, dance lessons, $90/month cable internet). That's not sustainable. You need to sit down together - talk about your financial AND personal goals, and talk about the trade-offs and how you can reach them. And then write a budget together that spends your income, and only that - not what you wish you made, but what you actually make. It won't be right the first time out, and will need to be adjusted each month, but it will get easier. But it helps if you look at the long-term goals. What's more important - the kids college fund or that single-serving juice box? What's more important - health insurance or internet?

Everything you note is indeed low-hanging fruit that could relatively easily (OK, not easily, and with some pain, but it could be done) get you back on budget.

I earn more than you do, and I don't spend $90/month on internet - that's a lot. I cut the gym out completely and just hike, because I need that money for my elderly kitty who needs lots of vet time and meds. These are choices I make. No matter what you earn you can't do it all. No one can. Well, maybe Bill Gates, but even he has to make choices about what to spend his foundation money on.

There are a lot of "won't" an "never" in your post (and lots of understandable frustration). Rather than approaching it as a "won't" - ask your wife about your shared goals, and how you can (positive action!) get to those on your salary. Those choices may guide you past "can't". Has your wife (or have you) put the income and outgo all on paper and seen to the dollar where it's all going? That's very eye-opening. The first year I did a budget I reeled with what I was spending that I didn't know I was - the cat was particularly a big eye-opener, but I wouldn't get rid of him for anything. Still, he's an expensive little beggar. Seeing it all in black and white can help.
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