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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308542  
Subject: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 7:04 PM
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I have taught school for 24 years (counting this one).
My personal finances are a BIG MESS right now. I'm currently behind on NO PAYMENTS to ANY ONE (in fact, I have never been charged a late fee in my whole life and my credit score is easily over 700), but . . . I have raided all of my savings.

My net monthly income is about 2,500. My wife brings in an additional 500. So, a total net monthly income of 3k.
But, our monthly expenses are about 3,350k. Leaving us with a NEGATIVE monthly cash flow of 350 bucks.

We live in a nice home. I have not checked home values lately. But, I would estimate ours at around 150k. About ten years ago we got our mortgage (CNB) on our home for about 112k (at a fixed rate of 5.6% for 30 years). I think the buying price we paid was like 121k.
We owe CNB 93,500 on the mortgage. We have a SECOND mortgage on it with Meritrust - we owe them about 28k at 5.25% fixed for about 14 more years. So we MIGHT still have about 30k in equity in our home. I don't know. It has not been appraised in a long time.

My wife thinks she can make 1k per month with her own home/business cleaning business (self-employed). She wants to be self-employed because we have three daughters ages 5, 7 and 9. She thinks the cost of daycare, and the fact that she doesn't trust any daycare, makes her having a normal JOB, 'impossible' for her. I don't think she'll make more than 500-700 per month.

Here is the big picture. All we are guaranteed, provided I stay healthy, is about 45k per year with my teaching job. We have the above mentioned mortgages, plus 30,100K in credit card debt (all at 0-1% interest . . . we just keep playing the 'roll it over into another zero percent deal' game, when the current ones expire), 6k in new windows. So, not including our first mortgage - we currently have 64,100K in debt.

We have no student loans. We have no car payments. I have my 21 years of service in a teachers pension, plus an IRA 401 that is worth about 20K.

So, for me, the BIG PICTURE IS -- at least 64K in non-first mortgage debt, on a measly salary of my 45k per year. And as described above, our monthly cash flow is about NEGATIVE 350 bucks a month. I used to be able to cover that with my savings . . . but we have no savings left any more.

I see the 'writing on the wall', and I do not like what it says! I'm trying to get educated and wise advice now in a pro-active manner, rather than later, in a reactive manner, when the ship has sunk.
Does anybody have any suggestions? Early today, I had the ‘dream’ below. I would like more OBJECTIVE eyes, to tell me if it is a workable plan. It is under my sig.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.
PS: I'll be 49 in May. I have been married about 11 years. While single I always had between 4-8k in cash, plus a low over-head. The expense of marriage, family and some bad spending habits . . . I never thought I would be in a mess like this. I'm 'educated'. I know better. UGH.
^^^^^^^^^^^^
**If you round our current CC debt off to 30k

**My yearly income plus your (my wife) income equals about 7,400K per year that goes to debt

**each year we get back tax money, we send 2K per year to debt

**I can find a summer job (big IF), that adds another 2K per year to our debt

**The above totals 11,400K per year that we can 'possibly' pay towards our debt each year

**11,400K towards our debt of 30k -- means that in about three years, we could possibly be free from CC debt???

Then actually have a monthly positive cash flow again and never get stupid with CC's again?

Does that make sense? No lawyers needed. No bankruptcy needed. Just lots of 'good luck' (no medical emergencies, our OLD cars keep on trucking without needing any major repairs -DOUBTFUL-)

So . . . we try the above with no third parties involved but yet run into problems -- THEN at THAT time, we could/would call the CC's about modifications to our accounts to avoid bankruptcy.

The book I read said when the CC companies here you say, "I am calling you for a modification on my current loan SO AS TO AVOID BANKRUPTCY..." He said they will be eager to work something out with you because they know that if one goes bankrupt, most likely the CC will not get a single penny out of you. Better for them to cut a deal and get like 40-60 cents on the dollar, then to get NOTHING. That makes sense.

So anyway . . . is the above feasible? Or . . . should I be looking at other alternatives now?
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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306074 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 7:20 PM
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Certainly paying off is possible, but the first thing you need to do is look at your expenses. You're running over every month, and you need to get that spending cut back before you'll really have any success. For the next month or so I recommend the good old-fashioned method of writing down every penny you spend. It'll be tiresome, but if you don't know where some of the gaps are you'll never really get ahead.

But yes, you can do this. Plenty of other people have made it, and you can, too.

What book did you read?

Depending on a number of factors, credit card companies may or may not be willing to work with you. You can't count on it. Don't make any assumptions about what will happen. And if they did forgive any of the debt you'll have to pay taxes on it, which may well bump you up into a higher bracket.

So, start by looking at your spending patterns and where you can cut back, at least for a year or so until you have more control over your money. And please come back and ask for help whenever you hit a snag. We adore giving advice.

Hang in there.

Nancy

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306075 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 7:34 PM
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Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I try to tell my wife that, but she is not receptive.

I have gone from buying about 300 bucks worth of books a month to ZERO dollars worth of books per month. In fact, this month I SOLD about 300 dollars worth of books.

Yet, we have THREE pets. A dog. A cat. And a very ignored rabbit. I HATE those little stinky consumers. . . They could go . . . but won't. Because the kids 'love' them so much . . .

I have three daughters all under the age of ten. All three are in either dance or gymnastics or both. They could be made to take a year off . . . but my wife would never allow for that. This is probably around 200 bucks per month. . . .

We have high speed internet. Its around 90 a month. It could be gone. But the wife will not go with that . . . because Facebook is a big part of her life . . .

We each have a cell phone. How did people exist without them 30 years ago?! She would never part with her cell phone.

I read one of the Duggar's books. You know, that Christian family that has like 14 kids?! Their first chapter was on shopping for food. They said they made it first on purpose. Why? Because most families can easily save 200 bucks a month there. I don't think my wife has changed her grocery shopping much. Lots of processed food. Lots of 'juices' in fancy packaging. As my Dad rightly says, "10 cents of juice, in four bucks worth of packaging." We do these kind of dumb stuff also with cheese, crackers, etc...

If it sounds like I am blaming, I don't mean to sound that way. I'm just calling it as I see it. And, I don't want to fight with her about it. It just generates TONS of HEAT and NO LIGHT.

The book I read was, "A Survival Guide to Debt" by Mitchell Allen

Thanks again!

Take care and teach and encourage me so more if anything else comes up in your mind and heart.

Sincerely,

DDW

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306076 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 7:55 PM
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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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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306077 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 7:57 PM
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I am not addressing everything -

We have high speed internet. Its around 90 a month. It could be gone. But the wife will not go with that . . . because Facebook is a big part of her life . . .

Serious Gaming requires HI SPEED internet -
"regular" DSL or standard cable internet is PLENTY fast enough for FB.
At&T DSL is about $70/month (that includes the landline - have to have it to have the DSL)
If you have a cable bundle, tell them you don;t need the Hi SPeed anymore, and you want to eliminate the "cable TV" part of it- just use the internet
You can see almost everything for which you have time on hulu.
$90 for internet alone is too much (and no matter what *they* say when you call, you will likely not even notice a difference - don't tell her and see if she notices)

We each have a cell phone. How did people exist without them 30 years ago?! She would never part with her cell phone.

Not touching this topic, I am sure plenty of others will - but there is a difference between *parting with one's phone* and changing plans...

Because most families can easily save 200 bucks a month there. I don't think my wife has changed her grocery shopping much. Lots of processed food. Lots of 'juices' in fancy packaging. As my Dad rightly says, "10 cents of juice, in four bucks worth of packaging." We do these kind of dumb stuff also with cheese, crackers, etc...

Stop here- Take over the grocery shopping.
Don;t argue about it- just do it.
For 5 of you, you can probably knock your food budget down considerably but it will take a little planning and some adjustment.
First - YOU DO IT.
Second - make a list. DO NOT purchase anything that is not on the list.
2a - menu plan (meaning if you buy chicken, you have a plan for it- burritos, pot pie, caesar salad...)
Third - do not buy any cleaners/cleansers/etc - either dilute what you currently have in your cupboards and/or switch entirely to Baking Soda, Borax & White vinegar- Google will tell you how to make this all you need.
Next- stop with the convenience *crap*
If the girls have to have juice- spend a little money on one nice, drip proof drink container *each* - for which they are responsible- no container= no drink...
and buy juice in bulk/concentrate.
Keep a refillable gallon thermos or water jug in the car- if they run out of juice, there is always a drink available

Ditto for "lunchables" and such -
Buy (not name brand) crackers and slice the cheese etc ...
For 3 kids, you can save $6 per lunch/afternoon by doing this yourself.

Now, I do not have 3 kids, no, but when I was broke, broke, broke, I had 2 kids and 3 jobs. SO i know these things can be done.

Stop with the convenience foods- if your wife is primarily a SAHM, she can prepare a meal, or at least assemble ingredients to put into a crockpot-
if you don;t have one, get one and learn to use and love it...

there are numerous threads on this topic alone (both on this board and Living Below your means)

peace & being a tightwad
t

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Author: determinedmom Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306078 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 8:03 PM
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At one time I had 6 figure credit card debt and most of it was due to overspending that could have been avoided.

I have a sense that your fundamental problem is that you and your wife are not on the same page on these issues. It is possible that she is more of a spendthrift and you are more frugal. One could discern that from your posts. It may also be that it is easy for your to cut the expenses that aren't important to you but that there are expenses you consider essential that your wife would say could be cut...

When I remember back to those days when we were in debt, I remember that there were certain things that just seemed so important and I could give could reasons for keeping each and every one of those expenses.

I've seen that time and again in my own life and here. I can't cut X because it is important because of Y. And I am actually right. X is important. The thing is that deciding X is important doesn't make my "pie" of money any larger. That is, if I have a pie of money and 2 things are important and they take up only 1/3 of the pie then getting out of debt is probably easy. On the other hand, if I have a pie of money and 20 things are important and they collectively are the size of a pie and a half then getting out of debt is more challenging.

The reality though is that to get out of debt I either have to make the pie bigger (get more income) or make the pieces taken out of it smaller (cut expenses).

In your case, I gather you think your wife's plan to increase her income is unrealistic. I get the idea that you think she could possibly work a more regular job but she is reluctant (I understand the stay at home part with kids but with a 5 year old I would guess this issue will take care of itself soon as all kids will be in school).

The thing is to look realistically at your income and figure out your necessary -- truly necessary which doesn't include gymnastics or dance lessons, for example -- expenses and which would include debt service. Once you've done that, then you can consider some discretionary expenses. The key word is some. It took us longer to pay off debt that it could have in part because we did continue to have some discretionary expenses. I don't think we would have succeeded without having some. However, the key was to never increase our debt and always keep the debt total going down.

A couple of resources:

A good budgeting program may be helpful. I use You Need A Budget and recommend you look into it.

Also, consider reading some of Dave Ramsey. I don't agree with him on many things and his investment advice is awful. However, he is very good at the relationship part of deciding to get out of debt and how to deal with a spouse who may not be entirely on board.

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Author: mmrmnhrm Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306080 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 8:42 PM
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I don't generally partake in these threads, but there is *SO* much going on here that screams for help.

We live in a nice home. I have not checked home values lately. But, I would estimate ours at around 150k. About ten years ago we got our mortgage (CNB) on our home for about 112k (at a fixed rate of 5.6% for 30 years). I think the buying price we paid was like 121k.
We owe CNB 93,500 on the mortgage. We have a SECOND mortgage on it with Meritrust - we owe them about 28k at 5.25% fixed for about 14 more years. So we MIGHT still have about 30k in equity in our home. I don't know. It has not been appraised in a long time.

Investigate refinance options now, before its too late. Just knocking these down to 3.5% or 4% could represent a helpful boost.

All three are in either dance or gymnastics or both.
Gone +$200

We have high speed internet. Its around 90 a month.
Gone. Basic packages (and trust me, Facebook does not require anything more than 3Mbit AT MOST!!!) can be had for as little as $20/mo. AT&T DOES offer what's called "direct" service, which is DSL without the landline. In fact, there isn't crap out there that "requires" super high speed unless you're streaming video off Hulu, Netflix, or the like. DW and I were doing just fine on a 6Mb line, and she's constantly streaming stuff from CCTV +$70

We each have a cell phone.
What's your plan? Do you have dumb phones or smart phones? Potential for $$$$ here as well.

It's time to grow a pair, cut up the credit cards, and go to a cash-only diet.

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Author: mmrmnhrm Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306081 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 8:46 PM
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How appropriate that a friend of mine just posted this to another board I'm on: http://i.eatliver.com/2006/1181.jpg

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306082 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 8:51 PM
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The book I read said when the CC companies here you say, "I am calling you for a modification on my current loan SO AS TO AVOID BANKRUPTCY..."

As long as you are current, they have no reason to believe you. They hear it alot, and know that many are bluffing.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306083 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 9:07 PM
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Gingko100 - very well said. LONG TERM GOALS. If we keep doing what we are doing, are we going to like where it will take us?

I'll give her my user name and password and she can get on her and tell everyone how 'bad' I am at X, Y, and Z . . . That is her style. Thank you all. You wisdom and encouragement is much appreciated!

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306084 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 9:18 PM
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She does the grocery shopping because I 'can't' do it. No energy. ADD (seriously, I take meds for it). ADDers get overwhelmed when faced with a bunch of choices. ADDers are IMPULSIVE.

I work. I am a school teacher. She stays at home for many hours per day. She has time and energy to do what needs to be done (the things you wrote above), but she would sooner chat via emails and Facebook with her buddies, then do the kind of work that you are all mentioning.

I have told her before that these 'convenience' grocery items are a luxury of the rich and responsible . . . of which we are neither.

She thinks all my book buying got us in the mess we are in. And, I readily confess I spent way too much money on books . . . but she has spent a ton also on many things. Things that I don't care to write about for fear of boring you all to tears and then she will get on her and rationalize why all her choices were 'needed', but mine were not. Basically, she likes to play good guy/bad guy. She is the good guy. I am the bad guy. That is silly. We made the MESS TOGETHER and only working together can we solve it. Unfortunately, we do not seem to have the ability to work together. I have told her many times, we need to 'grow up'. And yes - we have been, and are currently in, marriage counseling (that is free). Her individual counseling costs us 50 bucks a month. A few days ago, I asked her, "Do we really need to be spending 50 bucks a month on this?! It does not appear that it is doing you any good. You are just as black and white and angry and hateful as ever . . . Anyway . . . I'm off topic I think. Sorry an thanks all.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306085 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 9:22 PM
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VKG: understood. But I imagine if we don't change our spending habits and/or increase are income . . . then we really will be in the shape of possibly qualifying for a modification. Each month, we are just 'one' emergency away from not being to pay all our min. We cannot continue to skate on thin ice month after month, year after year . . . without falling through . . . sooner or later. Here is just one example: her van has about 120k on it, my car has about 185k on it . . .

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306086 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 9:31 PM
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To determinedmom -- thank you for you great info. All of our kids ARE in school. Kng, 2nd grade, and 4th grade.

And yes, I wish she had a real JOB, but she does not trust daycares and even if she did, she says we can't afford it with the little money she would make with a real job. She has no college. She did graduate from HS.

And yes, I think her idea of making money cleaning homes and businesses is unrealistic.

Our plan was to take on some debt so she could stay with our kids until they were all in school. Then she was going to get a real job and we were going to knock out that debt. But, she many excuses why she 'can't' get a real job...

Even the daycare argument does not float because I teach at the same school that my kids go to. So, rarely would we ever need somebody else to watch them. And on those rare occasions, I have friends that have said they would step up and help . . . She knows this . . . but still holds on to her 'cleaning business' idea. I think it is so she can have 'flexibility' to take care of our kids if need be. Or, to go to their school events. Again, a luxury for the rich and responsible of which we are neither.

'Six figure debt'. Wow. Did you consider bankruptcy? If not, why not? Thanks.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306087 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 9:45 PM
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To mmrmnhrm:

Thank you for your wise words. We have dumb phones. She claims our plan is the best one we can get. We pay like 94 bucks a month for the two phones. Unlimited minutes.

'Cash-only diet.' Amen. I love the idea and that is the way it used to be. . .

The bank that has our first mortgage, already told me that he would not combine the two. He suggested I talk with the bank that has the second mortgage and see if they will combine the two. I imagine when they see our cash flow sheet . . . that will be about a 5 minute conversation... "Take care Mr. X. We would love to help you, but you are just too big of a mess now... Come back if and when you get your mess cleaned up."

Do you really think someone would refi us even if its on just the first one? I'm not being a smart alec . . . I am just asking. Plus, we are ten years into this current one (1st mortgage) . . . I hate to reset the clock. We are only one year into the 2nd one . . . maybe we could refi that . . . but again . . . see above.

I have a Vanguard S and P 500 Index Fund that is currently worth about 20K but a buddy of mine who teaches personal finance at a community college says that is "off limits". I imagine all of you here would agree with him on that?

I'm working daily. I'm making as much money as I can and I am not spending any money on anything but the basics.

I think the wife needs to step up to the plate, get a real job, quit buying so much junk at the grocery store and tell the girls that we have to take at least two years off of dance because "Mommy and Daddy made a lot of bad choices with money. We are trying to fix them and as soon as we do, you can pick one or the other . . . We apologize that are irresponsibility is causing you to have to mess an activity that you enjoy."

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306088 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 9:57 PM
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What button do I need to click so I can post my comments under your highlighted comments? Or, are you folks just hitting 'reply' and copying and pasting into this box under the post that I want to comment on? Ghez. Good luck understanding that mess of writing. Sorry. Time for bed and thank you all again.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306089 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 9:58 PM
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Okay, I'm hearing a bunch of stuff. You think she spends too much on food, she thinks you spend too much on books, this, that, this, that.

What you need to do is stop the blame game. It isn't going to be easy, and it isn't going to be fun, and neither of you are going to enjoy this. But when you sit down and go over your finances you must NOT blame each other. The moment one of you says, "well, if it weren't for you" the session is over. No argument, just pack up and do something else. Try again the next day, and the next, and the next, until you two can have a reasonable conversation about the problem without blaming each other.

Both of you are responsible for the debt. Both of you have added to it, both of you have failed to take adequate steps to halt the problem. So we're going to call it "Nobody's Fault."

As you track the spending, and are sitting talking about it, you need to think in terms of the future. What can you do to resolve the problem, how can you cut expenses, how can you bring in more money to pay the bills. Those are the issues you need to resolve. Working together you can do it. But you can't work together if you're blaming each other.

I have a Vanguard S and P 500 Index Fund that is currently worth about 20K but a buddy of mine who teaches personal finance at a community college says that is "off limits". I imagine all of you here would agree with him on that?

Is that your only savings? Is it your retirement account?

Nancy

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306090 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 10:01 PM
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What button do I need to click so I can post my comments under your highlighted comments? Or, are you folks just hitting 'reply' and copying and pasting into this box under the post that I want to comment on? Ghez. Good luck understanding that mess of writing. Sorry. Time for bed and thank you all again.

No magic button, just copy and paste with the use of the HTML tags. <i > and </i > (but with the gaps closed up )for italics, <b > and >b/b >for bold.

Nancy

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306091 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 10:08 PM
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She does the grocery shopping because I 'can't' do it. No energy. ADD (seriously, I take meds for it). ADDers get overwhelmed when faced with a bunch of choices.
Thus the need for a weekly menu and a shopping list, as someone suggested above. You don't have to make choices if it's planned all ahead of time.

And that's another "can't." What would you do if you were single? Starve in the streets? No. You would go shopping and make food like people have done since the beginning of time.

I used to menu plan religiously, and shop with a list and ONLY buy what was on that list. I stopped being so careful earlier this year and my food costs went up by 50% (still within my budget, but still - up 50%). I'm back to shopping only with a list and costs are back down.

As for time and energy - I work 80+ hours a week, run my own business and I still find time to shop and cook. Now, partly that's because I looooooooove cooking. But I do it. Even when I am working 100 hours a week - I do it. So, yes, anyone can do it. It takes a lot of planning (I cook a lot on weekends for the week these days, and I freeze stuff), but if you plan ahead for it you or she can fit it in.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306092 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 10:41 PM
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I have a Vanguard S and P 500 Index Fund that is currently worth about 20K but a buddy of mine who teaches personal finance at a community college says that is "off limits". I imagine all of you here would agree with him on that?

Is that your only savings? Is it your retirement account?

***I have a pension. I USED to have between 2k to 8k in savings. . . but that was before I got married.

***I have raided my savings to keep our sinking finance boat afloat.

***And, I am with you 100% on the blame game. She is the WORST at it in all areas . . . not just money.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306093 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 10:44 PM
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And, I am with you 100% on the blame game. She is the WORST at it in all areas . . . not just money.
Either this is totally tongue in cheek, or you don't get the point.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306094 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 10:49 PM
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She does the grocery shopping because I 'can't' do it. No energy. ADD (seriously, I take meds for it). ADDers get overwhelmed when faced with a bunch of choices.
Thus the need for a weekly menu and a shopping list, as someone suggested above. You don't have to make choices if it's planned all ahead of time.

And that's another "can't." What would you do if you were single? Starve in the streets? No. You would go shopping and make food like people have done since the beginning of time.

****When I was single I ate out about 3 times a week. Then throw a frozen pizza in the oven on others days.


I used to menu plan religiously, and shop with a list and ONLY buy what was on that list. I stopped being so careful earlier this year and my food costs went up by 50% (still within my budget, but still - up 50%). I'm back to shopping only with a list and costs are back down.

***AWESOME! I'm passing this tip onto my wife!

As for time and energy - I work 80+ hours a week, run my own business and I still find time to shop and cook.

****DIVERSITY! Don't judge me because I have less energy than you. We are not cloned robots.

Now, partly that's because I looooooooove cooking. But I do it. Even when I am working 100 hours a week - I do it. So, yes, anyone can do it. It takes a lot of planning (I cook a lot on weekends for the week these days, and I freeze stuff), but if you plan ahead for it you or she can fit it in.

****Thank you! Very good stuff (except for you expecting me to have your energy level!)

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Author: MakingTrax One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306095 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/29/2012 11:06 PM
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aoeuid –

As already stated, the first priority is to establish a balanced budget that aligns with current income. Also, lock up the credit cards and consider going to a cash-only basis for spending (called “cash diet” by some).

Your budget should include a line item each for debt repayment, emergency fund, and savings. The debt line item should remain constant so that you will be snowballing the debt paydown over time. There are separate Fool Boards specifically dealing with Budgeting and LBYM; they will offer ideas for how to get the most from your budget. Some of the boards talk about the “envelope method” for cash management/budgeting, which might be a helpful tool, especially while you adapt to the new budget.

One approach to get DW to play along might be to see if she will agree that your teaching income covers ONLY “basic” expenses, debt and savings. Anything that is non-basic is then a “luxury” expense and gets paid out of her self-employment income. For example, you might see if DW will agree that while dance or gymnastic lessons for the girls are important, they are still beyond “basic” needs and therefore the cost is paid by her income. You might also suggest that she look into less expensive alternatives for the girls, such as classes through the YMCA or limiting each girl to only one class (either dance OR gymnastics, but not both…the girls can pick).

For groceries, you might both establish a reasonable “basic” grocery budget (i.e., one that does not include fancy juice boxes and convenience foods). If she believes those products make her life easier or she considers these essential for the kids, then she can supplement the food budget for these luxuries from her income. This is where the envelope method of accounting may be especially helpful.

There are indeed less expensive options for both internet and cell phones. With young kids, having cell phone access is almost essential. I side with DW on the need for her to keep a cell phone. But it doesn’t have to have all the bells and whistles. For example, if DW is already spending significant time on the internet, then she does not also need a “smart phone” package. Or visa versa. If she prefers a smart phone with web access, then perhaps DSL can be dropped altogether and she can go to the library or take a lap top to a free WiFi hot zone for a few hours each week to catch up on line. The important point is to define what is “basic” for the purposes of keeping your family connected and then agree that she covers any cost from her income if she wants something more.

Anyway, you get the picture. If she wants more luxuries then maybe she will be motivated to build her business. Or maybe this process will help her look at and define priorities differently, especially if she does not want to increase her current income. The two of you might also discuss ideas for down the road (i.e., visioning for when the financial picture improves). For example, once debt is paid off you might agree that DSL becomes a “basic” budget item (if you can afford it), but then she takes on a new expense responsibility, such as creating a vacation savings fund from her income.

BTW, you should discuss who/how self-employment taxes are paid on her income. If DW earns $500/month, then she should be setting aside at least $50-65/month for self-employment taxes (and that should happen BEFORE anything is spent on luxuries).

Tackling your debt seems doable. Based on the details you provided, it seems that it is possible for you tighten budget a bit and live within your means. Once you and DW get on the same page for spending, the task should become easier.

Good luck!

Making Trax

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Author: LLRinCO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306096 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 12:56 AM
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A HS only education is no excuse for making only $500 a month. When I was a police dispatcher, no one had a college degree and starting pay was $18 an hour. Same with the records clerks, police services technicians, etc. She can work shift work to minimize babysitting, although with you being a school teacher, there really is no need for a babysitter, is there? Not trusting daycare is a BS excuse. Your children are between the ages of 5 and 9! They can tell you what is going on with the babysitter. Your wife is lazy and doesn't want to work! Yet she wants to spend what she wants and blame you for buying books. Sorry, but in this economy a two income family is what is needed just to survive. If you want to have kids, you gotta do the work to pay for them, dance lessons, etc.

I am currently in a 1 semester program at the local community college to get nationally certified as a Pharmacy Technician. It's only 1 semester, but I wanted a career change so I am doing it. My DH makes over $100,000 a year and we have two kids, yet I do MY part as I like nice things too and those come with a price.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306097 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 6:54 AM
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LLRinCO wrote:

Not trusting daycare is a BS excuse. Your children are between the ages of 5 and 9! They can tell you what is going on with the babysitter. Your wife is lazy and doesn't want to work!

aoeuid says:

I agree. She is lazy. But . . . try telling her that. You can lead a horse to water . . . but you can't make them drink.

She lives on 'Fantasy Island' . . .

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306098 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 7:05 AM
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MakingTrax wrote:

BTW, you should discuss who/how self-employment taxes are paid on her income. If DW earns $500/month, then she should be setting aside at least $50-65/month for self-employment taxes (and that should happen BEFORE anything is spent on luxuries).

aoeuid says:

Yikes. Taxes. Thanks! And, thanks for all the other awesome stuff you wrote. I really appreciate it!

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306099 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 7:09 AM
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Gingko100 wrote:

And, I am with you 100% on the blame game. She is the WORST at it in all areas . . . not just money.
Either this is totally tongue in cheek, or you don't get the point.

aoeuid says:

I totally get the point and I do see how it seems ironic. But the truth, is the truth.

I was a big boy. I said, "Yep. My book spending was ridiculous. That STOPS." And it has. What has she claimed is her part in OUR financial mess? NOTHING. She told me and others that 'she used to LOVE books, now she HATES them. . . .' I have never seen her 'loving books'. She was/is always in front of a TV screen or a PC screen. She just likes drama . . . Hence her statement about 'now hating books'.

I'll leave it at that.

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Author: Jennlee222 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306100 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 7:44 AM
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You blame her for overspending, she blames you for overspending. What you need to do is track all spending for a while - keep all receipts, track all cash spending, write it down or put it in a spreadsheet - and see where the money is going. Then set a realistic budget and cut expenses to meet them.

I hear a lot of excuses about why you can't cut things - we need it, we want it, she won't hear about it, etc. Once you have a budget you have to cut to within that budget, regardless of if it is painful.

You're working your life away and you're going to end up with nothing. Now is when you need to be putting something by for the future and clearing up debt, but you're going further into the hole!

I would suggest, as another poster did, trying Dave Ramsey. Try to get to a live event with your wife - he's very inspiring and maybe he can break through to her. I don't agree with DR on some stuff, but I really admire the way he gets people motivated and sacrificing to get out of debt! He'll call you both on any bull and teach the difference between true needs and wants. (He'll teach you to say "no" and how to live with the fact that you just can't afford particular things, regardless of how much you want them) Listen to his radio show if you can. Get his book Total Money Makeover from the library.

On your front, you can do the groceries as someone said. It's one thing to complain about how someone else grocery shops, and another to actually do it yourself any better. ADD or not, you can do it.

You could also try to pick up some tutoring work. A couple nights a week maybe. A little extra toward the debt can make a big difference.

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306101 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 9:09 AM
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(SUper long and scrolly)

She does the grocery shopping because I 'can't' do it. No energy.

No- we are not all the same, but what are your options?
Continuing like this? or making changes WHich ARE HARD

When i was 40 and working 3 jobs* and taking care of kids and yard and house and laundry and grocery - I did it because there was NOT another option, not because i had *all this energy*
Gingko has her own business, there is no fall back for her.

ADD (seriously, I take meds for it). ADDers get overwhelmed when faced with a bunch of choices. ADDers are IMPULSIVE.

I still maintain the this is something YOU should take over.
Just because you work and she has excuses, which you resent, does not mean that your excuses get to perpetuate not DOING something.
(another obligatory anecdote to follow at the bottom of this post)

Where do you live?
Stop going to *name brand* stores (never go to a Super Walmart- yes the prices might be better, the choices are overwhelming- they are to me anyway)
and start going to an Aldi or PriceRite or equivalent store with FEWER choices. Only one or two brands.

Change the frequency of store visits
When I go to the store I spend the same amount of money every time.
Example:
If I go once a week, I spend $75, once every 2 weeks $75
Once every 3-4 weeks, I still spend @ $75

So go to the store LESS OFTEN
Don't go to the store when you are *out* of something - just BE OUT of something until the next scheduled store visit, and maybe next time buy 2.

The expectations and mindset for you (and your wife and kids) has to change.


peace & changing behaviors
t



*just 6 years ago, I was working three jobs and I do have a degree, but it was a rough economic , and i needed 3 jobs (as an Inventory manager, Bartender, cashier) to make less than half of what I had been making

** Your situation sounds A LOT like that of someone I know.
He works his ass off 5-60 hours a week, and she sometimes works from home part time.
She used to run a day care out of the home when the kids were little, but now they are in school. She works maybe 20 hours a week and has *reasons* that she *can't* work anywhere outside the home.
She says her husband "likes" her to be home, in case he needs her to do something. But she never does anything for him.
She doesn't keep the house up, she doesn't have dinner on the table, she doesnt do the grocery shopping, and she has all the time in the world to do it
but she just DOES NOT
I have talked iwth her about making lunch for her husband when he goes to work (which would save them probably $40/week.
She WON't do it because No one makes MY lunch
Well, with that attitude, how could anything get done?

Is that equity in the household ?
NO
DOes her husband want to make sure they don't lose the house? (which is a current possibility)
Yes
So he sucks it up and does more than his share- but the choice is to stay married - which is still cheaper than a divorce.
I mean, no one makes MY lunch either, but when I am home, I make lunch for everyone in the household, (because that is a tenth of the cost of purchasing)
I work way more hours than my significant other, and i still do 80% of the cooking/cleaning/housework/feeding & walking dogs when I am not traveling - this has nothing to do with energy level, I do it because it HAS to be done.

If you have read this far- here is my point-
Behavior has to change.
For both of you.
or nothing will change
AND ONE OF YOU has to make the first steps- you cannot just wait for her to *get it* -
It is like exercising - Your attitude now is like waiting until you are *in shape* to go to the gym/start running
If you do that you will never make any progress... so start by doing one thing.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306103 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 10:13 AM
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You could try getting on board with her business idea for a set period of time instead of not being supportive.

Like, "Ok, if you can get enough steady clients to make $x in 6 months, that might help a lot; if you can't, then we need to look at other options. So, what can I do to help you get started?"

Then, after she makes her flyers and such, you can drop them off around town and put on them on bulletin boards. Help her write her craigslist ads.

Check into what kind of insurance she'd need, and if you can get a business account.

If she's serious, this could give her the push she needs. If she's not, then there's an agreed time limit on it.

FWIW, I bring in about $5k/year from tutoring. Not enough to live on, but enough to help out a lot. But my business lags in the summer, and cleaning wouldn't have to.

Ishtar

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306104 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 10:17 AM
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We pay like 94 bucks a month for the two phones. Unlimited minutes.

I used to use pre-paid tracphones for ~$20-30/month each for me and teen daughter.

When txting started to take over her life, we needed to switch to a plan that had a better data plan. We chose Virgin Mobile. We get two phones for ~$52/mo. The price on the plan we use has gone up for new customers to ~$30/mo each.

We get unlimited data and txt and 300 mins/month. Only once have I had to purchase more talk minutes, and there was a family crisis on the other side of the country.

For voice, you can use Skype or one of the cheap internet phone plans.

Ishtar

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306105 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 10:26 AM
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Excuses, excuses, excuses.

***AWESOME! I'm passing this tip onto my wife!

Making it all her responsibility so you can blame her when she doesn't do it the way you told her to?

No.

This is something for you to do TOGETHER.

****DIVERSITY! Don't judge me because I have less energy than you. We are not cloned robots.

I'm sorry but this makes you sound like a grade A @sshole (I'm not saying you ARE one, but this sounds like one).

I'm bipolar and ADD. I'm also a single parent.

There have been times when I was so depressed I literally didn't have the energy to get out of bed.

But I had a kid to take care of.

I may not have showered some days, but the kid was clean, had food, got entertained, did her homework. (and these days are documented all throughout the Fool, so people here can tell you I'm not making this up).

So, suck it up.

Ishtar

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306106 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 10:28 AM
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I don't think she's lazy.

Taking care of three kids including shuttling them to different activities can be exhausting.

Ishtar

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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306107 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 11:53 AM
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Things that could be done:

1. You get a summer job. Most teachers I know have temp jobs during the summers.

2. Your wife gets a retail job. Right now, stores are hiring for the Christmas season, and they particularly want people for weekends, which is when you'd be available to take care of your children, hence:
2.a. no need for daycare costs, and
2.b. if you spend enough time with the children by yourself, you might develop an appreciation for what your wife does all the time. Although your frustration with your financial situation is understandable, your contempt for your wife is despicable.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306108 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 12:21 PM
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Thank you all very much. I can't respond to each one like I would like to do to being behind at school.

Her job -- she is paranoid. I suggested an increase in marketing as someone above suggested. She only gives her business cards out to people she knows.

She told me "What?! Do you want me to get raped and killed cleaning some psycho's house?!" So . . . given the limited market she has put herself in. . . . I don't see how she can expand much.

People do have different levels of energy. That is a fact of life. Do we all have blue eyes?

Thanks again for all your wise and encouraging words. I'll continue to work on me 'being the change, that I want to see in others'.

And those that call me out on being too rough on my wife, I hear you. You are right. I'm just so frustrated. That is an explanation, not an excuse. I will work on not dragging her through the mud and please call me out again on it, if I continue to do it.

Thank you all!

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306109 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 12:26 PM
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****DIVERSITY! Don't judge me because I have less energy than you. We are not cloned robots.
We all need to be responsible for the basics of our lives as adults - regardless of any issues of personal energy level. We all need to feed, clothe and house ourselves. That's the most basic thing. The bottom line. To say you don't have energy to shop or cook (ever?) is a cop-out. If you want your wife to avoid making excuses you need to avoid doing so yourself.

Your condition is something that requires work-arounds. It may require advance planning to be sure you can do something successfully. It may require meds. It may require shuffling the schedule of your life. But it's not an excuse to not act like an adult.

Thought exercise - if you were divorced and had the kids 3 days a week - would you not feed them because you were too tired to cook? Would you eat out with them every day (on money you don't have?). The reality is you would have to find a way to feed them and yourself. That takes energy. It takes time. If you don't have it you have to find a work-around.

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Author: MakingTrax One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306110 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 12:29 PM
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YewGuise writes:

2.b. if you spend enough time with the children by yourself, you might develop an appreciation for what your wife does all the time. Although your frustration with your financial situation is understandable,......

aoeuid - Spending this time with your kids might also give you the opportunity to instill in them the financial values your wife will not. For example, you can take all three kids shopping and teach them how to do price comparisons (and check for nutrition). Have them shop for ingredients that they can use to make their own snacks...like celery, peanut butter and raisins for ants on a log. When your home with them and they want a snack...spend time with them putting the snack together. Make it fun to make "ants on a log" and a pour a glass of milk instead of just reaching for a juice box and cheese/crackers package. Then while you are all sitting together and enjoying your homemade snacks, you can talk about other ideas for helping the family out (the kids can be participants in this, like helping by turning off lights when they leave a room to save electricity costs, etc.) There are cookbooks (free at libraries or online) for kids with lots of healthy and inexpensive snack and meal ideas.

As a parent, using these teaching opportunities is just as much your responsibility as it is your wife's responsibility to partner with you on the financial stuff.

Get creative and stay positive. Take charge for what YOU can do to bring about change.

MT

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306111 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 12:51 PM
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I think the wife needs to step up to the plate, get a real job, quit buying so much junk at the grocery store and tell the girls that we have to take at least two years off of dance because "Mommy and Daddy made a lot of bad choices with money. We are trying to fix them and as soon as we do, you can pick one or the other . . . We apologize that are irresponsibility is causing you to have to mess an activity that you enjoy."

I have not read to the end of the thread yet.

Several times you have said everything that you think your wife needs to do, but I think that's a mistake. I think you and your wife, together, need to identify your priorities, understand how much money you have to spend, and then allocate those dollars to be spent according to your jointly agreed priorities.

I hear you saying that the kids have to give up their extracurriculars, but maybe they don't. Maybe those things end up high on your priority list and they have to choose only one activity instead of every activity, and to fund that, you cut spending on something lower on your priority list.

I haven't seen any mention yet of you having a budget. Do you know where all your dollars go every month? Write it down using realistic numbers of what you are really spending, and then prioritize that list. Based on that, identify things that can be cut as it is typically easier to cut expenses than to increase income.

Many people have also had great luck at posting their budgets here for people to make suggestions. You might find, for instance, that you can make some very small changes that do not impact your quality of life at all, but put savings in your pocket that can be allocated somewhere else. A common suggestion that I make is for people to make sure they are doing their grocery shopping at the least expensive store. In my area, I save a solid 30% by shopping at the local chain vs. the national chains for buying exactly the same groceries, so maybe if you changed grocery stores, you might see some savings and you haven't even had to change what you are buying. Step 2 would be to switch to generics, then eliminate convenience foods, shop only what's on sale, shop to a menu, etc., all of which can all add to your savings.

You have an unlimited cell phone plan. Do you need it? What happens if you use a limited usage plan and get one that is sufficient for your needs and saves you money every month? I used to have the 1400 minute plan and changed us to the 700 minute plan for something like a $30/month savings. We have AT&T, so minutes roll over from month to month, but 700 minutes is still more than we need. This was a change that made absolutely no difference to what we were getting for a service and yet saved us money.

There are other things as well, but the first step should be for you and your wife to agree to your priorities and then understand how they are reflected in your budget.

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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306112 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:04 PM
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aoeuid: "I'll give her my user name and password and she can get on her and tell everyone how 'bad' I am at X, Y, and Z . . . That is her style. Thank you all. You wisdom and encouragement is much appreciated!"

I would not not; TMF is free and she can have her own user id and password. If you both post out of a single ID, no one reading will know who is posting.

Just my $0.02 (and posted before reading entire thread).

Regards, JAFO

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306113 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:05 PM
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People do have different levels of energy. That is a fact of life. Do we all have blue eyes?

You're a whiner.

I don't have as much energy as many people, certainly not as much as Gingko and I hate to cook. I spend half my life depressed. I cannot get as much done as a lot of people I know.

I can still do the grocery shopping and make dinner/lunches when I'm working, mainly because there is simply no one else to do it. I don't cook elaborate meals, but I'll do a crock pot meal on the weekend, and pack up meals for the week and freeze a few servings.

Cook once on a day off, eat all week. Once a few meals are frozen, you can rotate the leftovers so you aren't eating the same thing every day.

Ishtar

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306114 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:07 PM
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Her job -- she is paranoid. I suggested an increase in marketing as someone above suggested. She only gives her business cards out to people she knows.

Then she's not serious about it being a business.

Business involves risk.

As a tutor, I meet people in their homes. I'm taking the same risk she would be taking.

You can show her this, if you like.

A business needs advertisement and you aren't always going to work for people you know. In fact, it's often better if you don't.

Ishtar

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306115 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:08 PM
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****DIVERSITY! Don't judge me because I have less energy than you. We are not cloned robots.
We all need to be responsible for the basics of our lives as adults -

^^I am.

regardless of any issues of personal energy level. We all need to feed, clothe and house ourselves.

^^I have for the last 30 years straight.

That's the most basic thing. The bottom line. To say you don't have energy to shop or cook (ever?)

^^I never said that I NEVER shop or cook. I do both weekly.

is a cop-out. If you want your wife to avoid making excuses you need to avoid doing so yourself.

^^OK

Your condition is something that requires work-arounds. It may require advance planning to be sure you can do something successfully. It may require meds. It may require shuffling the schedule of your life. But it's not an excuse to not act like an adult.

^^I go to work every day. I provide 45k to the home and health insurance. I have never been in jail. I spend time daily with my kids. What makes you think I am not acting like an adult?

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306116 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:11 PM
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I go to work every day. I provide 45k to the home and health insurance. I have never been in jail. I spend time daily with my kids. What makes you think I am not acting like an adult?

There's more to being an adult than having a job.

Blaming your wife for everything is not being an adult.

Ishtar

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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306117 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:11 PM
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...she is paranoid. ...She only gives her business cards out to people she knows.
She told me "What?! Do you want me to get raped and killed cleaning some psycho's house?!"


That's not necessarily paranoia. Franchised housekeeping services send their workers out in teams of three, mostly because three people can whip through a house a lot quicker than one, but also to provide support for each other in cases of odd or potentially dangerous situations.

Which suggests another option: before your wife freelances, maybe she could start by being an employee of an established housekeeping company? That would provide safety, an established clientele, and somebody else to do all the paperwork (insurance, taxes, etc) involved with running a housekeeping business.

And those that call me out on being too rough on my wife, I hear you. You are right. I'm just so frustrated. That is an explanation, not an excuse. I will work on not dragging her through the mud and please call me out again on it, if I continue to do it.

Kudos for your non-defensive response!

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306118 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:19 PM
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I go to work every day. I provide 45k to the home and health insurance. I have never been in jail. I spend time daily with my kids. What makes you think I am not acting like an adult?

There's more to being an adult than having a job.

Blaming your wife for everything is not being an adult.

^^You must not have read very carefully. I already posted about my buying too many books. And, how I have stopped that activity.

^^Yes, there is more to being an adult than having a job. I'm an adult. What makes you think otherwise? Oh why bother. Off-topic.

^^"Only the morally weak feel the need to defend themselves." Epiticus

^^Yes, so that means when I waste time 'defending' myself, I am being 'morally weak'. I will stop doing that now . . . thanks for the reminder Epiticus!

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306119 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:30 PM
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I'll give her my user name and password and she can get on her and tell everyone how 'bad' I am at X, Y, and Z . . . That is her style. Thank you all. You wisdom and encouragement is much appreciated!

Setup a separate userid for her.

If you haven't noticed, this group doesn't tolerate the I am a victim and its all his fault attitude.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306120 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:48 PM
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I'll give her my user name and password and she can get on her and tell everyone how 'bad' I am at X, Y, and Z . . . That is her style. Thank you all. You wisdom and encouragement is much appreciated!

Setup a separate userid for her.

^^OK.

If you haven't noticed, this group doesn't tolerate the I am a victim and its all his fault attitude.

^^I have been hard on her, but I have not said it is all her fault. I have claimed my share via books. She said she would get a real job once all our daughters are in school. They are all in school now and have been so for ten weeks.

Yet, the only income she brings into the home is from her self-employed things. Those are FACTS.

How is stating FACTS, being a victim? I'm just asking for ways to help solve OUR problem.

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306121 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 1:48 PM
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certainly not as much as Gingko
I have none these days. I'm perpetually sleep-deprived and getting grumpier and grumpier by the week. This is a good life lesson for me in learning to say no to things - I took on too much and can barely keep it together.

Thank god for the freezer, rice-cooker and crock pot, that's all I have to say.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306122 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 2:01 PM
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Sometimes you need to look beyond facts.

Have you asked her how she feels about finding a job after, what, 10 years without one?

I bet she's scared. Scared no one will hire her, scared she can't do any work, scared that she doesn't have the skills, scared she can't handle it.

Ishtar

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306123 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 2:06 PM
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^^You must not have read very carefully. I already posted about my buying too many books. And, how I have stopped that activity.


Have you listed any of your books on Amazon/ebay to sell?

peace & i know, pennies on the dollar
t

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Author: joelcorley Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306124 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 2:38 PM
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aoeuid,

I've avoided wading into this thread until now because:

1. Your posts seem far from objective, so I don't think they're a good gauge as to where the problems really are;
2. You don't seem at all happy with your marriage and are obviously thinking about divorce; and,
3. You seem to be looking for some kind of justification for an unstated - and perhaps not yet formulated - course of action.

I suspect part of your problems stem from:

1. Inadequate communications from both of you;
2. Inadequate buy-in from your spouse; and,
3. Denial from both of you as to the source of your problems.

I would like to say that more money would fix these issues. And in the short-run it probably would. But I suspect even your lack of funds is symptomatic of a more fundamental underlying problem. (My little brother and his wife seem to have a similar relationship; but my parents help "enable" it by paying for things when they're short every month - which prevents any crisis from coming to a head.)

I suspect neither of you are really motivated to make this work. At least not any more. I'm sure you were doing fine when it was just you on a teacher's salary.

You'd probably found a niche you were happy with and you probably spent just a little less than what you made. Then along came your future wife. You fell in love, got married and had kids. But nothing changed in either of your careers (or lack thereof) or spending habits. However, you did increase your expenses. Now it's catching up to you and you can't stand the stress.

You want it all back the way it was. And she probably wants to deny what's happening. She probably, "... wishes she had a man capable of really providing for her and the family she's created." Or she could be one of a number of self-destructive personality types - hard to tell from your descriptions so far.

I think at a minimum you two need counseling. It sounds like you are already at your wit's end and need help in more than just finances. This board can give you some of that help; but I think you two may be in need of more help than this board can realistically provide. I don't say this because of your debt. I don't say this because of your income. I say it because of the tone of desperation your postings seem to convey and the fact that it seems to have something to do with more than just the money.

You seem to be seeking relationship advice. Many of us probably wound up here in part because of a failed relationship. That doesn't make us relationship experts though. We might be experts in one (or more) particular ways for a relationship to fail; but I doubt any of us would claim to be relationship experts. What we tend to discuss are ways to handle financial hardship and how to deal with and get out of debt. Sometimes that involves some observations and advice on the poster's relationship. That's unavoidable, really. Relationships are often fundamental to how finances are handled.

In your case, I think your relationship problems might be more ... problematic. Why? Because I suspect you are part of the problem. Oh sure, the wife is probably sabotaging your efforts; but that could be because she's already given up on you. I just can't tell from your posts. But clearly you're having a hard time dealing with the problems at hand and your posts leave me with a certain ... impression I can't shake.

BTW, I came here in part because of my own spouse. We separated about a year or two after I came to this board. We eventually divorced. I never became expert at dealing with her type of personality ... issues. But I did become fairly adept at isolating the damage she did from my part of the finances - not really because of what I learned here. I had to figure much of that out on my own.

I also drew a line with my ex. She kept talking about bankruptcy. But I knew we had plenty of income and that her spending was the real problem. After all, by the time I came here *I* was paying for every single necessity out of my income and my only remaining credit card debt was due to paying for part of her college and some medical bills she'd incurred.

A few years before we separated, I told her that I had no need to file for bankruptcy and that her spending was her own problem. Within a year or two of graduating she made a full third of our take-home pay - as a school teacher - but she paid nothing toward the mortgage, utilities, groceries, insurance, my automotive expenses and I always paid when we dined out together. You name it, I probably paid for it. Yet her debts were climbing and mine were falling. So at some point during our arguments over bankruptcy, I told her that the day she filed I'd file for divorce - because there was no way a bankruptcy court would keep me out of her bankruptcy given that we lived in a community property state.

What brought it all to a head was my discovering some of her records (before anyone complains, she'd left them in the master bedroom in a portable file box I didn't recognize) while she was away on some "retreat". The contents were pretty damning. She had apparently committed what in my book was fraud. I'll leave the details out for now.

We had a hell of a row when she got home. A lot went after that, including her landing on her behind and later swing a bat repeatedly at me and mine because I'd "hurt her." After she calmed down, I came back home. I'd finally had enough. I had every right to be pissed. She had none. I knew she was a bit nuts; but this was just over the top. I told her to pack her things and get out. I'd be back in a few hours and didn't want to see her there anymore. She broke down and cried. Said she didn't want to leave. Said she couldn't get everything. I told her to come back the next day and take what she wanted while I was at work; but we were done.

My only regrets are: 1) that we didn't separate sooner; and 2) that I waited to actually file for divorce. OK. In hind sight, perhaps I should regret actually marrying her.

So why am I telling you all this? It's because I don't consider myself very functional relationship material. I certainly learned a lot of lessons in that marriage; but there are only a few I care to share. I stuck it out for nearly 20 years. I *KNEW* my marriage was a disaster in 1990; but we didn't even separate until 2001. I was an idiot. Most people will say my reactions are extreme. But I'll never marry again. Oh, my girlfriend keeps making some good rational arguments for doing so. She knows that if she can show we will save money on taxes or something, I might be persuaded. But I'm fairly happy the way things are now. And I'm not married. Why change what works? Certainly I never found marriage to work.

The point here being that I don't know how to fix your relationship problem. But I can see your posts are shouting relationship problems. And those seem to be your biggest problems. And perhaps you need to solve that first.

Anyway, I've had my say. I'll bow out and let other people comment. Hopefully they can offer more useful advice.

- Joel

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306125 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 3:05 PM
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I think Joel said everything that needed to be said.

That was awesome, thank you.

Ishtar

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306126 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 3:12 PM
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The wife here-
I will admit I have not taken the time to read the thread. But figure have idea of what it says after all I am married to the man. I just do not have the time to read it.

With that....

Ok all thanks for the ones that actually thought about there is another side to the story. And that it really was/is inappropriate for him to be dissing on me in a forum that is not showing LOVE for your spouse but this sadly has been the norm for him.
For your information on other point of view. If anybody is the thrifty spender it would be me. We have been married just over 10 ½ years. We have 3 daughters the oldest being 9 1/2 . Because I am nit picked at I am very cautious of what I buy.
Our girls live in hand me downs for the most part and so do I. I have 4 different families who pass all their unwanted clothing and other items to me. I look through and set aside keeps for now or future. Then I sell the rest for spending money. I guarantee without a shadow of a doubt. I have not spent more than 3k in 10 years on clothing items for us 4 girls. That is an average of $75 a year per person. I do not believe most folks out there can say that themselves. Including my husband whom has I am sure spent 3k just on himself for clothing/shoes items in that same 10 years.

Our girls take gymnastics and dance yes but he failed to tell you his money is not paying for it. I worked out a deal with the owner whom happens to think of myself and the girls as family. I clean the studio during my free time to cover the expense so it is not costing us but my time. In which I would gladly do any day for them to have the experience and social benefit of it.

I have not sat at home for 10 years doing nothing. I ran a daycare out of our home for 6 ½ of those years. Which is exactly what I was doing prior to our being married. It was a mutual agreement that 4 years ago I dropped to 1 child part time. Because needed to be able to take 2 of our kids to and from speech therapy, 2 of our kids have asthma (and was needing to be able to deal with them) and one has blood sugar issues. I needed to be able to focus more on being a mom for their needs at that time. Plus my husband could not stand coming home to the noise of my running a child care out of our home.
Plan was to open back up this year possibly but due to the fact that in the mean time someone on the watchdog list as a sexual assault bought the house across the street. So I am no longer able to relicense. I have done cleaning jobs before have done 2 businesses for these last 4 years and decided since I do not have a degree that I would start working on getting more clients doing it so can still get decent pay. I am now up to 4 more clients and 2 one time things and am confident I will get more. (Heck as of right now I am scheduled to work 58 hours next week and still do all the normal mom duties.)
It really urks me when he attacks my character and hard work to make himself look good. I can just about guarantee no one on here takes hand me down toys cleans them thoroughly and gives them as Santa presents or presents from themselves like I do.
Many things he did not share in our debt issues I am sure like the unexpected need to tear out walls cealings plumbing electrical etc due to manty years of my saying we have a issue as we seemed to get sicker and it turned out to be we had numerous plumbing leaks in our home.
Or that when he is cycling due to his BP and or his ADD impulsivity, he gets obsessed with something and spends during it. I guarantee he has spent atleast 100 dollars a month sometimes as high as 700 in 3 months on books or whatever he is obsessing over. If just figure it as 100 that is almost 30k right there in 10 ½ years of marriage. Yes I have spent money but not even close to the extremes he has. But no matter it is a problem we have to deal with now and we will slowly but surely get it payed off and as long as he doesn’t cycle and spend crazily we will be ok.

Heck just last year he spent 500-1000 on wii stuff starting a few months before Christmas. I was pissed and said well at least save it to make as the Santa gift then. But was it saved for Christmas no it was up and running within the week.

I am trying not to lose my sanity living with a Bipolar husband that cycles often. But I am human to and have had my own medical issues also. One being it is very likely I have MS but it has not shown on the scan yet. This is according to my Dr. not me making it up and I in the last 2 weeks started another episode due to all the stress. If anybody knows anything about MS stress is not a good thing. And you have not only feet issues but extreme exhaustion issues, burning, tingling sensations, nerve issues in many different places, etc.. I am doing the best I can under the circumstances and for my family I will do just about anything. But continuing to add and mound stress upon stress to life is not only not good for bipolars but also is horrible for people with MS. I just want to live day by day and trust GOD will proved for us and that we will survive this if we just keep doing the best we can.

Sorry to get on here to and take up your time
The wife that works harder than you think

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Author: tconi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306127 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 3:23 PM
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most people here are Well Aware that we are only reading one point of view -
but without the other, addressing what has been presented is really all one can do.

I can just about guarantee no one on here takes hand me down toys cleans them thoroughly and gives them as Santa presents or presents from themselves like I do.

and here, I can just about guarantee that you are incorrect.


peace & perspectives
t



getting popcorn ready

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306128 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 3:25 PM
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In your case, I think your relationship problems might be more ... problematic. Why? Because I suspect you are part of the problem. Oh sure, the wife is probably sabotaging your efforts; but that could be because she's already given up on you. I just can't tell from your posts. But clearly you're having a hard time dealing with the problems at hand and your posts leave me with a certain ... impression I can't shake.

I keep thinking about SoccerDad9998, who had a similar problem in regard to his marriage and finances, but who insisted from the start that he loved his wife and was committed to the marriage. We had to come up with various workarounds, and Joel, you came up with a brilliant suggestion, but once he got started with the pay-down things began to work.

aoeuid, would it be easier on your wife if, instead of starting a cleaning business she took some sort of cashier's job through the Christmas season? Even places like McDonald's need people who can work weekday mornings and early afternoons until the high school students are out of class. It won't be fun, and I doubt she'll like it, but you may be able to work out some sort of compromise: X amount of what she earns goes into family funds, the rest she can spend on Christmas gifts or something she wants but can't afford.

I really hope the two of you can sit down together and start working toward a shared goal.

Nancy

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306129 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 3:33 PM
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Thank you for posting. Would you be willing to get your own id here so we can help separate the two of you?

I'm glad to hear a different side of the problem. And I hope the two of you can work out your differences and resolve the problem, for the sake of your kids if nothing else. Is counseling a possibility? Preferably both of you together, but individually if nothing else.

Nancy

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306130 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 3:57 PM
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Sorry but I don't have the time for this so no I will not be getting my own id. Have no plans on getting on here again. I have kids to go pick up now and yes I am in counseling, no he is not and he has numerous times refused couples counseling. But recently when I said I want a divorce I am done with the games. He finally agreed to see our Pastor only since we do not have money for anybody else.
So yes I am TRYING.....

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306131 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 4:01 PM
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Thanks for posting, aoeiud WIFE

I admire you for jumping in here. Yes, doing the best for each other and your family is hard work.

What I understand is that the current monthly bills are higher than the assured salary. Glad to hear that you have a good week of cleaning jobs coming up. After setting aside money for taxes on your income, will you be able to put money towards the credit card debt?

I hope you and your husband can work towards goals: balancing expenses with income, building up an emergency fund,and saving for what you want (wii or college expenses or retirement or trips).

Short range ideas:
lower expenses (pay back the debt so the interest payments are lower/ put off some purchases)
sell more books and toys (use the money to pay bills)

YeilB

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Author: Gingko100 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306132 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 4:06 PM
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aoeuid wife: I don't think anyone here is saying it's all one side or the other. We don't know. And based on (now) 55 posts there's no way to know anything for sure. Clearly there's a relationship problem. And clearly there's a budget problem. beyond that...well, we don't live your life.

However - the first post I posted on this thread was about the need to work TOGETHER to create a shared budget that you both swear to stick with. That's the key. Whatever else is going on, if you a) agree together to the spending outgo b) track it to the dollar monthly and c) decide together when busts occur what to do about them and where to offset elsewhere in the budget - it will get better.

I would encourage you to get your own ID to post here. And to post a realistic budget with your income and spending. This board is known (infamous?) for its tough love in ripping apart budgets, but it's actually very helpful to get the feedback and outside advice on it. It can be hard to set up a budget at first.

I am not interested in deciding where blame lives. That's a no-win game that solves nothing. I do hope we could help you with tools to get the $$$ under control. Based on everything posted here on both sides bankruptcy will not solve your problems in any long term or fundamental way, so you need to find another solution. This board can be good for helping tailor that.

Someone else mentioned Dave Ramsey - I heartily endorse him and think he could really help you guys. He's very sensible when it comes to budgeting and getting out of debt. He's an evangelical Christian, which is front and center on his show (I find it a bit tiresome at times, as I'm not Christian but I respect he lives true to his ideas), and I think his investing advice is terrible - but is advice on budgeting, working together as a family, and getting out of debt is stellar, and he can be very inspirational. You can google his show. You can subscribe to the podcast free (one hour per day) or listen to the show streaming on iheartradio, or listen to it on the radio. He's good at helping people help themselves from what I have heard.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306133 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 4:17 PM
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Ok, knowing that ADD is not the only mental health issue also puts a different spin on things.

From personal experience, I know that bipolar meds don't completely stop mood swings, and counseling is very valuable in learning to recognize one's own mood swings (and thereby mitigate the damage that they do).

And I'll stop there.

Ishtar

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Author: impolite Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306134 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 4:32 PM
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and here, I can just about guarantee that you are incorrect.

I not only find or buy used items and then clean them up for Xmas, I have then passed them on (after a year or more of use by my children) to relatives with younger children AND THEY'VE DONE THE SAME.

I see your cheapass ways, and raise you a 5 mile walk in the snow to school!

impolite

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306135 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:11 PM
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And those that call me out on being too rough on my wife, I hear you. You are right. I'm just so frustrated. That is an explanation, not an excuse. I will work on not dragging her through the mud and please call me out again on it, if I continue to do it.

^^Kudos for your non-defensive response!

Thank you for your kind words. I am not really king of the jerks. Nobody's perfect.

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306136 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:13 PM
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How is stating FACTS, being a victim? I'm just asking for ways to help solve OUR problem.

You said she would say how "bad" you are. Those who claim that everything isn't there fault don't receive positive feedback.

FACTS can be spun. When marriages are stressed, facts are not seen the same way by both spouses. It was clear from your posts that your marriage is in trouble. Hopefully, your pastor can help with the underlying issues amd allow you to work together on the financial issues possible.

Facts not listed can also change the interpretation of other facts. Bipolar is not trivial fact that wasn't listed. The other fact that I didn't see earlier is that the youngest has been in school for only ten weeks. I had assumed it was longer.

Others have recommended Dave Ramsey. I personally don't like him, but he has helped many get out of debt.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306137 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:17 PM
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Yes,to Nancy and others that are wondering . . . are marriage has pretty much been a mess since day one. And we will have 'toughed it out' for 11 years, come this Christmas. We have been to three different marriage therapists. And, are currently getting free counseling from a very wise and emphatic pastor.

We are growing further and further from each other . . . Bummer. We stay together at this point because it is cheaper than a divorce, and we are concerned about the damage it will do to our three wonderful daughters (ages 5, 7 and 9).

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306138 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:22 PM
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Sorry but I don't have the time for this so no I will not be getting my own id. Have no plans on getting on here again. I have kids to go pick up now and yes I am in counseling, no he is not

**I have been for years. My therapist and my shrink say I am fine. I have been RELEASED by them.

and he has numerous times refused couples counseling.

***Because it costs money and we have never done the things that were suggested in the past. It is like a very heavy person hiring a personal trainer to get in shape . . . but the coach potato never does what the trainer asks him to do. That is a waste of time for all involved.

But recently when I said I want a divorce I am done with the games.

***Fair fight rules so don't use the divorce words. We are both Christians. She has no christian grounds to divorce me. She told me to get a lawyer. A threat. A manipulation. I said, "I am not getting anything. If you want to get a divore, THEN you get your lawyer. I am not divorcing you. You will have to divorce me and then tell our three daughters (who adore me), why you are divorcing me.

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Author: LLRinCO Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306139 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:25 PM
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Raising your children in a home where the parents fight is far more damaging than divorcing. They need to see how loving people treat each other, how to compromise and most of all be in a loving, happy environment. Even if you don't argue in front of them, they feel the tension.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306140 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:26 PM
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Ok, knowing that ADD is not the only mental health issue also puts a different spin on things.

From personal experience, I know that bipolar meds don't completely stop mood swings, and counseling is very valuable in learning to recognize one's own mood swings (and thereby mitigate the damage that they do).

And I'll stop there.

Ishtar

***Yeah, and I saw my shrink last week. She said, "you look fine, you sound fine." I told her a little of the family drama. Not a new story to her. She told me, "you take care of yourself and you take care of those girls."

"And, I'll see ya again in six months. If you need to see me sooner, you know my number."

So, yes - I know how to manage my swings. And, I am BP 2, so my swings are not that drastic any way. Do I sometimes mess up when managing my mood swings. Of course. I am a fallible human. Even 'normal' people have bad mood days . . .

And if I were such a BIG MESS, wouldn't she want to see me weekly or at least ONE a month? She pushed it out as far as she could. Some of the meds I take, you can only get a six month supply of . . . before you must see your shrink again.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306141 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:29 PM
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Raising your children in a home where the parents fight is far more damaging than divorcing.

^^You can't paint with such a broad brush! For some it is, for some it is not. We are not clones of one another.

They need to see how loving people treat each other, how to compromise and most of all be in a loving, happy environment. Even if you don't argue in front of them, they feel the tension.

^^Agreed. I have told my wife that the BEST thing for our daughters is for them to see a Mommy and Daddy that really love and enjoy each other's company. Yet, her priorities tend to be -- the girls FIRST, then our pets, then her friends, then facebook, then TV, then dirt, then me . . .

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306142 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:34 PM
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I hope that your pastor is a good marriage counselor.

The anger is obvious, and useless.

Are either of you interested in saving the marriage or is it time for a lawyer? It is either let go of the past and work on the future or get a lawyer.

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Author: impolite Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306143 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:46 PM
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***Fair fight rules so don't use the divorce words. We are both Christians. She has no christian grounds to divorce me. She told me to get a lawyer. A threat. A manipulation. I said, "I am not getting anything. If you want to get a divore, THEN you get your lawyer. I am not divorcing you. You will have to divorce me and then tell our three daughters (who adore me), why you are divorcing me.

Duuuuuude highly suggest you back up off this "tell our kids that you are divorcing me" BS. Holy "Way to use the kids' college fund on therapy for them instead", Batman!

The bottom line to this whole mess isn't what she is or is not doing wrong (or even to your liking): it's that what you are doing currently isn't working, so what are YOU doing to fix it?

Here's a hint: telling her what she's doing wrong doesn't qualify as YOU doing something. It's just more kvetching, which again - ain't working.

YOU. If you two can't work together well right now, then fine: what are YOU doing, today, to get out of this mess?

impolite

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Author: nomes79 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306144 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 5:48 PM
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I wouldn't cling too tightly to the "Christian grounds" of divorce. You don't want to find yourself ignoring that issue (for better or worse) until you are served papers by a lawyered-up almost ex-wife.

As someone else said, the kids probably understand the situation a lot better than the two of you might (since they have a slight bit more perspective). Some kids in that situation might even resent the parents for forcing marriage to "work," for the kids' sake (I did...my wife still does). Using the kids themselves as a manipulation tool won't work too well, either.

In this last post, you are arguing with your wife on your own ID. You are clearly working at cross-purposes to each other, and as you pointed out, this is not going to be financially sustainable. You both have to figure out how to manage that (together or separately). Instead, the resentment will fester, and out-of-control spending on everyone's part will be symptomatic of that.

It IS a tough love board...well, a tough board, anyway, but they won't steer you in the wrong direction...

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306145 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 6:14 PM
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I have told my wife that the BEST thing for our daughters is for them to see a Mommy and Daddy that really love and enjoy each other's company. Yet, her priorities tend to be -- the girls FIRST, then our pets, then her friends, then facebook, then TV, then dirt, then me . . .

You know, this isn't really a marriage counseling board. We often express our opinions about a marriage, based on the posts people write, but in a case like this, we really don't have the resources to put a marriage back together.

What we are looking for are ways to help the pair of you deal with debt. And that is really what you and your wife should be working on. I doubt that paying off all the debt will resolve the problem. It sounds as though the marriage is being torn apart by much worse problems. But resolving the debt will remove a major problem and will be even better for your daughters future, because you and your wife can then focus on things like college funding for your children or retirement plans so your kids don't have to support you later on.

Can we get back to considering ideas to resolve the debt problem without being dragged into a long series of "he said she said" posts?

Nancy

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306146 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 6:29 PM
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Can we get back to considering ideas to resolve the debt problem without being dragged into a long series of "he said she said" posts?

Nancy

^^agreed Nancy. It seems like step one is a detailed budget. Correct?

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306147 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 6:59 PM
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Yeah, and I saw my shrink last week. She said, "you look fine, you sound fine." I told her a little of the family drama. Not a new story to her. She told me, "you take care of yourself and you take care of those girls."

"And, I'll see ya again in six months. If you need to see me sooner, you know my number."

So, yes - I know how to manage my swings. And, I am BP 2, so my swings are not that drastic any way. Do I sometimes mess up when managing my mood swings. Of course. I am a fallible human. Even 'normal' people have bad mood days . . .

And if I were such a BIG MESS, wouldn't she want to see me weekly or at least ONE a month? She pushed it out as far as she could. Some of the meds I take, you can only get a six month supply of . . . before you must see your shrink again.



I can snow my psychiatrist when I go for med refills every 6 months, too. He thinks I'm doing great.

But I didn't used to be able to snow my psychologist, and she was the one I worked with most to work on the insight issues.

I'm also bipolar 2. My depressions are long and debilitating and as I get older the hypomanias are less and less. Takes all the fun out of it.

But, frankly, with the amount of detail that you're writing about private matters to strangers combined with your defensiveness and inflated self-esteem as well as a need to fix everything RIGHT NOW, I'd be concerned that you're in a hypomanic state right now.

But I'm not your doc, just a fellow sufferer.

Ishtar

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306148 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 7:03 PM
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It seems like step one is a detailed budget. Correct?

Tracking expenses and a detailed budget. As you get a better idea where your money is going you can use that information to tweak the budget.

We'll be waiting for you!

Nancy
and remember to include things like insurance in the budget

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306149 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 7:20 PM
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Ishtar wrote:

But, frankly, with the amount of detail that you're writing about private matters to strangers combined with your defensiveness and inflated self-esteem as well as a need to fix everything RIGHT NOW, I'd be concerned that you're in a hypomanic state right now.

But I'm not your doc, just a fellow sufferer.

***Yeah, I'm a bit hypo right now. It will pass. It always does.

***I have always read like an open book ('you're writing about private matters to strangers,), I have nothing to hide. Its not like I got a meth lab in my basement and I am trying to drum up new customers...

I view it just as the 'arena of ideas' and find it 'strange' (but all too common) why people have to personalize everything. Maybe I have a touch of Asperger's and that makes it hard for me to be more empathic. I don't know. But I do know that about 98% of my students 'love' me . . . so I must not be half bad. Every month, I will usually have at least one student that I taught 10, 15 even 20 years ago come up to me and excitedly say, "Hello! Remember me Mr. X?!" We live in a small town. About 20k.

And, I get along with my peers at work. And I have had my two best friends -- one for over 30 years, the other for over 20 years . . . so again . . . i must not be half bad.

Alas! I'm being defensive again! Save me Epititus!

"Only the morally weak feel the need to defend themselves!!!"

Thanks Epititus!!!

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306150 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 7:28 PM
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Nancy wrote:

It seems like step one is a detailed budget. Correct?

Tracking expenses and a detailed budget. As you get a better idea where your money is going you can use that information to tweak the budget.

We'll be waiting for you!

Nancy
and remember to include things like insurance in the budget

^^Do you know of any good links where we can print out a template for the above things that you mention?

Thank you.

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Author: ishtarastarte Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306151 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 7:39 PM
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http://www.youneedabudget.com/

There's a bunch of worksheets here: http://www.gailvazoxlade.com/resources.html

http://www.nfcc.org/financialeducation/monthlyincome.cfm

That should get you started.

But the simplest is a small notebook. Write down the date, place, category of purchase and amount every.single.time. you buy something or pay a bill.

Ishtar

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306152 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 7:45 PM
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Thanks a bunch Ishtar!

One BP helping another. Grin. The world still is a good place. Grin. I hear ya on the depressions increasing and the hypos decreasing . . . that would STINK. So far, I have about a 60% hypo, 20% depression, and 20% normal. I hope I can keep those type ratios. However, I hear its typically gets worse as one ages. Stink. I'll be 49 in May.



http://www.youneedabudget.com/

There's a bunch of worksheets here: http://www.gailvazoxlade.com/resources.html

http://www.nfcc.org/financialeducation/monthlyincome.cfm

That should get you started.

But the simplest is a small notebook. Write down the date, place, category of purchase and amount every.single.time. you buy something or pay a bill.

Ishtar

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306153 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 9:14 PM
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I hope that your pastor is a good marriage counselor.

The anger is obvious, and useless.

Are either of you interested in saving the marriage or is it time for a lawyer? It is either let go of the past and work on the future or get a lawyer.

^^^^^^^I can only speak for myself, but I am interested in saving the marriage. I will not seek a divorce. The only thing that I can think of at this point is if she started sleeping around with other men and/or abusing our daughters.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 306154 of 308542
Subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut it out'? Date: 10/30/2012 9:16 PM
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YOU. If you two can't work together well right now, then fine: what are YOU doing, today, to get out of this mess?

impolite

***I'm cutting back my spending. I have not bought a book in a month. I usually buy about 10-20 books a month (most of them used). I have sold over 300 dollars worth of books on Amazon.

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Author: aoeuid One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore)