Good morning everyone

I’ve been lurking for most of the year so far, having taken some time off from active conversation as we worked through some fairly significant issues here. We aren’t done yet, but let’s just say we’ve come a long, LONG way. I came out of lurkdom for this conversation mainly because I wanted to extend my condolences and encouragement in this situation. I think you’ve already gotten some really good feedback for what you can do for your own safety and security, along with protecting your kids. I can’t improve on what’s already been said in that regard. I will say that having some pretty steep issues of my own, and being married to someone with steep issues of his own, yea there were some moments in the last six months where we each thought it was time to toss in the towel. I think we’re past that point now, even though we still have a lot of work to do. We’re each getting our own financial lives in order, sometimes working individually and sometimes working together. Having relied on him the last three years way more than I should have, I can say that yes it feels darn good to be working my way out of that position again. So I applaud you on your efforts to date, and I’d encourage you to hang in there and keep plugging away with some of the steps you’re already taking, along with some of the suggestions made the last few days. It does get discouraging and frustrating at times because we can see where we want to be, and it’s very clear we’re not there yet. But just keep plugging away with it. Then, perhaps after you’ve gotten yourself even more financially secure, you can deal with your marriage issues from a position of strength rather than vulnerability. Either he’ll meet you with that effort or he won’t, but you’ll come out ahead either way.

I hope you continue to let us know how you’re doing, and just know that you’re moving in the right direction even if some days it feels like you’re not moving at all. Keep your chin up as best you can, and do something nice for yourself once in awhile to remind yourself that you’re totally worth all this hard work.

re: landline is how the kids get hold of us

Then I would leave it in. In no way, shape, or form, would I leave your kids without a way to get hold of you in your current situation. The only other option is to get that 4th line from TMobile and use it as the “house phone” if you can trust that your husband won’t take off with it.

Another option is if it makes financial sense, is to swap it out for a WalMart $15/month “landline,” but that is WiFi dependent. When we got rid of cable and landline, dropping the “bundle package” only saved us $30 a month. But I was so annoyed at our cable company that we did it anyway. But my kids are older, and I am usually always home, and my kids all have cell phones on the “one flat rate for the entire family” from tmobile.

Rent is for a townhouse and its is in both our names

Electric is high but our electric company says its for heat as we are an end unit house and have bad insulation

Water is Laundry we do an average of 2 loads a day.

I own all the cars out right. We have no payments except for the loan I am paying off through my job.

Reducing the cable bill to basic only , debating on the landline as the younger kids use it to contact us.

Cell phone is for 2 of the kids, and they help with this bill when they can. Husband pays for his own phone seperate from ours.

Alot of this I know but somethimes it helps to have others point it out. Thanks for your time and your feedback, its appreciated.

This is the best response

We are actually looking at Tmobile. It is almost 200 cheaper. Everything is seperate. We share no bank accounts, and the cars are in my name only. Only because he would sell it righ out from under me to take care a gambling urge. Actually ALL the bills except our lease are in my name, hence why I have all the debt and need to clean it up inorder to make some life changes.

I really do appreciate all the advice. And now I need to go call Tmobile 😉

Tmobile will buy out your contract

and they have a special going for $100/month, unlimited talk text and data for 4 lines. That is something concrete which will buy you breathing room.

Cable/internet/landline. If you have an unlimited talk/text you might not need a landline. Scary, but it’s not so bad once you take the plunge. $260 is really high, IMO. Even with all three, you likely could trim that back to a $100 a month plan (basic cable, decent internet, landline.) Check competitors.

The rest of what I’m going to say will likely not sit well with the group. My comments come from a place of Been There, Done That, and sometimes Still Doing It. Apologies in advance.

1. You CAN get out of debt on your own. Sure it would be nice to have your partner along for the ride, but in the real world sometimes that doesn’t happen. And waiting for it to happen isn’t going to get you out of debt. Continue taking back your power.

2. You are doing a great job keeping your emotional head above water. I GET why your Cable/Internet/Landline is so high: it’s ONE LESS THING your family can bitch to you about. I get it, I understand it, and I even support the “old you” in doing it.

But I am going to suggest that the things you did to mollify and keep the peace aren’t working for you anymore.

3. You cannot change your husband. But you CAN influence your children. Get them involved in a budget meeting. Give them power in having a say in how (your) money is spent. It creates buy in, cooperation and most importantly, creates a new family tree for them.

4. IF YOU HAVE A JOINT ACCOUNT, CLOSE IT NOW and put ALL YOUR MONEY into a separate, solely owned and accessed by YOU account. Hopefully you have already done this as part of taking back your power. You cannot control what he contributes, but you CAN control what he TAKES.

5. You have likely already decided that the emotional and hassle cost of getting a divorce is higher than the cost of letting things go on. I’m not going to tell you that is right or wrong, but I will suggest that you start looking in to Co-Dependents Anonymous (CODA) meetings.

When I led coping skills workshops for battered women, I would always make someone come up to the front of the group and ask them to (gently) push me in the shoulder and keep doing it no matter what. They’d push for a little while, then I’d say things like “stop, don’t do that, yada yada.” They’d stop and I’d direct them to keep going, they were supposed to keep pushing no matter what.

So they’d resume.

Then I would step to the side. They’d stop. I said, NO, keep pushing in the same spot just like you’ve been doing. They would look confused because now I was out of range. I’d say, go on, keep pushing, same spot.

It only took a few more seconds for them to realize the important life lesson: IT ONLY TAKES ONE PERSON TO CHANGE THE DYNAMIC. When you change YOU, by default you force the other person to change too.

(at least as it pertains to your relationship with them.)

I suggest looking for prepaid phones

You can get unlimited straight talk $48.92 a line includes tax. You can drop the cable for netflix. Also drop the landline. I would get to couponing. I love the blog common sense with money. She has a free couponing ebook. Those are the ones I see right up front.

Where are you located?

Because from my Okie point of view some of this sounds a little high, but if you are in some place like CA then it’s pretty close to average for your basics.

Let the old debts alone as long as they aren’t hollering at you. As DR says, “don’t poke the bear”.

You make too much money to get your student loan put into forbearance. Whose student loan is it? Yours, your husbands, or a child? If it is your husband’s then it is not your bill, he needs to make that payment himself since he’s not paying anything else. I figure, however, it’s for the child that is no longer living at home. Did the child take out loans too? If not, could they perhaps pay some on the loan each month. After all it was their education not yours.

What is the loan for may I ask?

My suggestion, lay this in front of your husband and say “the kids and bills are half yours. I need you to start paying your half.” If he refuses to, then you need to decide what is truly best for you and the children, because you are feeding him, clothing him and all the other stuff I mentioned earlier. Your money will go a lot further if you aren’t doing that. Plain and simple.
It’s time for him to man up.

All I can say is …. “what Mitch said.”

Well, let me say something else …. allowing this “man’s” behavior to go on is called enabling. When he has to pay some consequences for his behavior that hurt worse than the gambling losses, THEN he MIGHT be willing to listen but not before. What sort of consequences? Being cut off from his children for lack of support, no sugar momma footin’ the bills, and getting kicked out permanently for lack of support of his wife and children. It DOES NOT MATTER that you earn enough to support this person and that or whoever. It is still his responsibility to support his children, whether you two stay together or not.

Okay, that’s it. I am getting down off my soapbox! Grrrrr

Ok, let’s look at the numbers

We’ll ignore the “man” in this equation. If you feel comfortable, can you post your income and your bills? You say you make more than enough, so let’s see where your money is going. Do you have a WRITTEN budget(before the month begins) of what will be paid that month? If not, go ahead and do one for May.
We follow what we call a ZBB, or Zero-based budget”. Put your income at the top of the page. Underneath that, subtract all the stuff you need to pay. Your income minus your expenses should equal zero.

Income 2000
mortgage 800
car payment 300
car ins. 100
food 300
utilities 200
student loan 200
credit card 100

Income(2000) minus expenses(2000) equals zero. Your numbers will be different – this is just numbers thrown together quickly. So, time to do yours!

I’ll wait… :-)

No he wont go to counseling.

We need more than marriage counseling and I realize that. I am just trying to figure out how to pay down MY debt. Hes a gambler. Thats where all his money goes. We also have 6 kids of which 5 are at home. So I am trying to work a plan but can not seem to get ahead even without his income, I make over more than enough to suppurt the kids and myself.

Feeling Frustrated

Hey all, I have been trying to work the plan for year and am in the same situation as I was before. Here is the issue… how can i work the plan when my spouse in not on board. I am at a loss and just not sure what to do from here. I make too much money to be so stressed out and not have bills paid. We have seperate accounts but he doesn’t provide what I need to cover the bills because I make enough on my own to cover everything but not take care of old bills. I tried to have his money direct deposited into my account to pay bills but he says it doesn’t make him a man to have his women controlling his money and he cut it off. So tired of being frustrated and tears for too long.

Prom tux rental

Can anyone point me to a decent place to rent a tux online ? Our local places are high. Gotta love small town living. LOL My son got invited last minute and now I am working the prom budget.

Living in squallor (was: driving shed)

I appreciate the question about the driving shed, because it brings up something I have been wondering for quite some time.

When is something necessary versus a want?
I know it’s different for every person, and maybe it’s because I have been decluttering. Examples in my life (for which I don’t have answers yet):
Still haven’t fixed the door my DDnow17 broke. Probably about $150
I have several large items which need to be hauled away which no one wants (piano which needs significant restoration, bed frames, various broken or intact stools, shower door). I get charged for haul away, about $150.
Dishwasher stopped working. I tried fixing it myself. Nope. So if I’m lucky, I’ll get it fixed for less than $200, otherwise I will have to replace it to the tune of about $400.
Car repairs, most of them fairly major and safety issues. I was able to break them down in to groups of 3, and in order of safety, but they’re going to run about $800 each.
After 10 months of financial drought, we still don’t have a good emotional grip on our spending. We brought in about $800 extra this month + $65 for essay writer and blew it (feels like) on things we have been putting off for months. And our laptop was stolen, so that had to be replaced. And we ate out, three times, for the first time in like a year. I guess I can take the viewpoint that just like rain falling on arrid, parched earth, water isn’t going to immediately sink in, there’s going to be run off as the earth can’t absorb it.
But I digress. The point is: I’m tired of living in what feels like squallor due to all the stuff which is in disrepair. But I really hate living in debt too, and I really liked the feeling of paying two bills off entirely last month (another is set to pay off this Friday.)
I liked the statement someone made about the driving shed: is the cost of doing nothing going to result in a higher catastrophic cost versus spending the money now? That’s kind of where I’m at with the car. The rest is just me being tired of living in garbage.


Our Men’s Ministry at church

planned a Men’s Conference on Mother’s Day weekend! Can you believe it? LOL It’s all about the men, even on Mother’s Day weekend? They are actually meeting on Friday evening and Saturday till noonish, I think. That leaves Saturday afternoon/evening and Sunday. A lot of times we go out to eat but not usually on THE day, restaurants are too crowded and it seems those that do something special only take reservations and/or want to bump the prices up for a dish that’s already on their menu. Anyway, to avoid the crowds we’ll do something later in the week. I’ll call my grandma on Mother’s Day to wish her a happy day. Both our moms are deceased so there is no big get together planned.

We are located right outside Washington DC in Montgomery County MD, so cost of living is high

The student loans are mine $78k.

The loan is a advance from my job that was used to buy our minivan outright after our last year broke to beyond repairable. This was for 5000.00 and will be done in August. I pay 250 a pay.

We are under a contract with the phones until Sept. .. should I just drop it?

Cable and internet along with landline will be revaulated and adjusted tonight.

Our electric and water, I have tried to get down… its a struggle.

We use coupons and I am pretty good at shopping as I am providing for 7 people.

I think I covered anything.

Ok I will base this on take home pay ( after taxes and insurance)

Income 4400.00

Rent $1600.00
Electric 400.00
Water 170.00
Car Ins. 177.00
Cell phone 230.00 (3 phones)
student loan 267.00
Judgement 200.00 ( this has to be paid monthly or they will garnish my wages)
Cable/internet/ Landline $260.00
Groceries 600.00
Loan 500.00
Savings 50.00

Wow, after breaking it all out, its barely enough. With students loans (75K) and other Old debt adds up to about 100,000.00 I use no credit cards.

A very satisfying feeling

When we started the TMMO 5 years ago dh had not purchased any new clothes in at least 2 years prior to that. Then unemployment for 18 months and being gazelle intense for 5 years hit and well let’s just say his summer wardrobe was pretty bad.

Today we went shopping for warm weather clothing for him. He was like a kid in a candy shop, never before has he been enthusiastic about clothes shopping (neither of us are big on it generally). We didn’t go hog wild a new shirt for work, 7 new good quality colored t shirts, socks, underwear and a couple of pairs of shorts (we bought him 2 pairs of new shoes last month). We’ll purchase a few more things on tomorrow for work and home because his size is sometimes a bit hard to find.

When we finished the shopping and were headed over to do our monthly big shopping at Sam’s Club he was grinning ear to ear. I said “it’s a good feeling isn’t it?”

“What?” he replied

“Going in and buying a new summer wardrobe with cash and KNOWING it belongs to you…”

“…and not the bank, yes it is wonderful.” He finished my sentence and added his remark.

From there we did cash purchases at 3 other places and came in below budget. It was truly a wonderful feeling.

I did my budget for May and paid all the bills

I got the kids discount glasses online from a site mentioned on here. I found a great online tux shop and saved $70 on son’s tux. The suburban decided to get a hole in the radiator. We ordered a new with gift cards earned on swag bucks. Thank you Amazon. LOL It is now time to replace the suburban. It is costing more and more in repairs. So,we started the new to us car search for two vehicles. One car is to replace the suburban for hubby . If we sell the suburban we should get a small car for about the sale price of it. The second is for me to drive. We have shared a car for 5 years ! We have been saving to buy a smaller suv and hopefully should have the money by September for one for me to drive. I also found presents for our next kids birthday at kohls 60% off. I am proud ! I actually got something done in the last week. LOL

Didn’t get too much done this week/weekend and it looks like the week is beginning much like last week

His car got hit in the parking lot where she works as she was getting ready to begin her evening shift. Basically, the other driver backed out of the space and didn’t/couldn’t see out of her back window of the SUV and bumped into my kid. FL is a no fault state, so the insurance co can duke it out. She picked up her car this am and not quite fixed, so back to the shop it went. My am today has been eaten up with taking dealing with this situation and taking her to work. She’s already found a ride back to the dealership between shifts.

The pool is still not clean…I’m tired of the rain that comes and dumps pollen, leaves and sticks into it. Will work on that this week since I am not going to the TPC golf tournament this year–no obligations, so giving away tickets to people who like that sort of thing.

going to pay the bills. My allergist discounted my bill, so I’m happy to pay whatever she charges. The dentist also made sure everyone got whatever work we needed before the insurance got dropped and will discount us a little on services–20 years with the guy, so wanted to stay with him.

On the bright side, the business is doing ok. We have some students and we will do a grand opening at the end of the month. We have invited the other schools in the federation to join us, so this should be fun. I think my kids are looking forward to breaking something and there will be a seminar on that–guess I need to purchase some wood boards and dowels and some concrete blocks.

After spending $225 in a single week for gas

for the ‘new to us’ vehicle and SUV ($125 main vehicle, $100 on DH’s work), the kids and I decided to pool our resources and we are getting a moped this Friday. It’s a bit of a hard hit ($800), but we just can’t keep spending $225 or more a week on gas getting the kids to and from work (mostly) and to and from school. Especially since starting this Friday we have money coming out for medical insurance.

We are living in gratitude, as the gas money came out of odd job payments from baseball umpiring and babysitting, so we’re not “out” money per se. I try not to look at the $900 not going to getting out of debt (it would pay for 2 credit cards.) Oh well. It will pay off in the long run, especially with two of them working more or less full time when school gets out.

So the homework is, we redid our budget to accommodate the purchase of another vehicle and have adjusted our payoff schedule for CCs. I’m also putting up a new babysitting ad for summer care in my home today. I have a feeling that my tutoring gig is going to end in a month and the girl I take to and from school is moving, so there goes my extra income !

So what bills does he pay?

Or what does he spend his money on? How does he contribute to household expenses?

Dave would say that you two have a marital problem first before a money problem and to work on first things first, the marriage.