Author Topic: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt  (Read 12313 times)

bestname

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You have a good income, so it might not be necessary for you but - Have you considered babysitting on the weekends your kiddo is with her father? In a HCOL area you can typically get close to $100 a night (all cash).

Blonde Lawyer

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Just a few thoughts.  You might not want to pare down your budget too much until after the divorce is final.  If you are negotiating child support and alimony you don't want to look like you need less money than he does.  Mediators/judges are supposed to cross out frivolous expenditures but what they consider frivolous is very different from a mustachian.

Second, the family courts where I am like the children to remain in comparable households.  They don't want the kids eating steak in one house and ramen in the other.  They try to avoid this scenario by making sure each parent has the same amount of money to work with.  I'm not sure what the court would do if one parent was being uber frugal with that money.  They might make the argument that the child support is for the kids and should be spent on cable, better, food, toys, clothes etc and not paying down mom/dad's debt. 

It's up to you to decide if this philosophy is sound or not.  I was involved in a case where dad was forced to enroll the kids in certain expensive extra curriculars.  Divorcing doesn't get rid of the spendy ex.  Spendy ex can still try to dictate how you raise the kids.

You might want to keep your budget plan in your back pocket for post divorce instead. 

monstermonster

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Thinking about you and wondering how it is going?

bhleigh

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There are many side income gigs you can do when you don't have custody of your daughter. Since you love spreadsheets, what about part time clerical work? The babysitting idea was a good one. Also, bar tending always made me a few hundred bucks in tips in a weekend.

Go with a one bedroom place. Get a pull out couch for the living room and give your daughter the bedroom.

Take the budgeting slowly. You are about to change your whole lifestyle. Pare down one thing each month, and see how it fits your life.
There are no problems. Only solutions we haven't found yet.

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zoe2dot

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #54 on: September 20, 2017, 06:45:14 PM »
How's it going? Did you get by on $300/month for food for both of you?
I'm scaling back my $250 / month  grocery habit for just me.

CU Tiger

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #55 on: September 22, 2017, 11:22:18 PM »
Is feeding a single female plus a 6 year old girl (healthily) feasible on 300 bucks a month (I'll only have her half the time)? I've spend so long just not caring because he'd spend the rest of the money anyway that we currently spend a STUPID amount on food/eating out. I am willing to completely cut out dining out and eat practically vegetarian if it gets me out of debt faster.

I'd love to be able to take a part time job on the weeks that I won't have my child, but I have no idea how that would be feasible since I already work full time and I'd only be able to work every other week. Any ideas on additional non-traditional income?

Yes, it really is feasible. With more meatless meals, bulk cooking, and some planning, you can really spend a lot less on food. There are dozens of good resources online that can help you cut your food bill. One place to start: drink plain old tap water. Cokes, juice, milk, bottled teas, coffee...all those are spendy and mostly, full of sugar/empty calories. I watched a tragic documentary about Americans who lost everything due to financial idiocy, and one of the things I noticed is that every time you saw their kitchen it was full of 2-liter cokes, bottled water, energy drinks, etc., completely stupid. I used to drink a lot of soda, but have mostly switched to water. If I really want a flavored drink, I make iced tea at home. It is cheaper than any bottled beverage.

Example of how you can think about cutting your budget and using all your food: Roast a chicken. Eat chicken for a meal or two. Make some sandwiches with the leftovers. Make chicken salad with the rest of the leftovers. Then boil the carcass to make broth, toss in the last of the meat and a package of frozen vegetables, and you have soup. You can eat this for several meals. Getting five or six meals from one chicken is not bad.

Breakfast cereal is expensive. Oatmeal is not. Eat that.

Cutting out meat for several meals a week can help a lot. Beans are nutritious and filling, and inexpensive. Rice and beans, bean soup and cornbread, bean burritos with delicious salsa, as Alton Brown says, Good Eats!
There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less. - G.K. Chesterton

lhamo

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2017, 09:26:14 AM »
When DS (teenager, eats like an adult male) and I were on our own for several months, I was spending between 3-400/month on groceries and that was with quite a lot of luxuries.   You don't necessarily have to cut out meat entirely to lower your bill.  For example, I found a big chuck roast on sale this week (I think it was $3.59/lb, a bit under 4 lbs, $13 and change).   I threw that in the crock pot with half a big jar of salsa from costco (pack of 2 jars around $5.50, so about $1.40 for the salsa).   Once the beef was cooked, I shredded it.   Makes enough beef for four portions that will feed the entire family dinner, plus a leftover burrito or two.   I also get my tortillas and lettuce at costco at less than half the price of grocery stores.   I buy canned beans in bulk when they are on sale for $.50/can or less (can sometimes get them for $.33/can -- cooking your own in bulk would be cheaper but I try to reserve freezer space for more valuable items like sale meat).  I do splurge on sour cream and make my own guacamole, but that maybe adds $1/meal.  Anyway, my point is that by planning ahead (mostly buying the sale meat and freezing excess, and buying most of the other ingredients at costco or on sale, I can make a meal of burritos that provides around 6 servings for about $1/serving.  And it is really easy to whip together once you have the cooked beef stored up in the freezer.  So if I know I have some busy days coming up, I pull a container of beef out to defrost and then if the family is clamoring for takeout I can say "but I was going to make burritos tonight!"  They love burritos, so that usually shuts them up.
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KungfuRabbit

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #57 on: September 26, 2017, 10:19:03 AM »
Uh. Take him through the ringer.

He racked up debt. He's keeping the stuff. He's keeping the dog. He makes more money. You're going to split it 50:50?

Nice guys finish last. by being his "friend" you are screwing himself and enabling him.  It's your choice, but it's a bad choice.

ItsGettinReal

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #58 on: October 10, 2017, 01:30:44 PM »
Hey all!

A very long overdue update.

I'm officially in my new apartment and enjoying frugal, single life. Ended up moving a month early in August to get a unit within bike riding distance of work for a decent price. I looked at house sharing and I couldn't find anything remotely close that didn't seem shady as heck. I'm currently paying $1285 for my two bedroom. I'm doing REALLY well at eating on the super cheap- it helps that when I forget lunch like I so often do, I can just go home to eat instead of buying something like I used to. Right now I'm on day three of a big tray of baked ziti and meatballs. I also found before and after school care for $75 cheaper than I had estimated and her school is walking distance from my apartment.

My Dad did not agree to help with a personal loan, but that's fine. I'm on track to have it all paid off in slightly less than 2 years. 3 if you include student loans. This does not count a potential yearly bonus of approx 6k which is looking more and more likely. OH OH AND I convinced my employer to pay $35 per month for my phone (so my total bill is now $40).

I'm currently using the YNAB app and tracking spending/paydowns meticulously. I have almost 1k per month to throw at debt and it looks like I'm going to be receiving a 4% raise that I didn't expect come November!

Overall, yes, I'm digging myself out of a lot of debt but I am managing it well and am really happy for the first time in ages.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 01:33:18 PM by ItsGettinReal »

snacky

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #59 on: October 10, 2017, 01:39:39 PM »
The last sentence of that post was the best one. :D
Enjoy what comes
Be amazing at everything
Stomp on the hearts of the unworthy

elaine amj

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2017, 02:14:37 PM »
So excited for you!!!!
My journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/realigning-spending-to-match-our-future-goals-a-canadian-journey/

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 was everything I dreamed of and more. Super excited that Camp Mustache Canada 2018 is now a thing!

Moonwaves

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #61 on: October 11, 2017, 05:12:43 AM »
Great to hear things are looking so positive overall.

bhleigh

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #62 on: October 11, 2017, 08:13:33 AM »
Awesome job! Keep going!

I might suggest you start a small journal (handwritten or typed) to record this new part of your life. You can record the recipes that are frugal, tips you learned along the way, strategies that didn't work out, and other such things. When you have removed all of the debt from your life, give the journal to your daughter as a life lesson.
There are no problems. Only solutions we haven't found yet.

My Journal: B-Leigh's Mid-Life Crisis Avoidance

mxt0133

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #63 on: October 11, 2017, 10:25:36 AM »
Just got caught up on the post.  Glad that things are going well.

One thing that was not stated in any of the replies was child support.  Is your husband not paying child support since you have custody and she only visits every other weekend?

LadyMuMu

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #64 on: October 11, 2017, 11:10:46 AM »
Glad to see the positive update. Just wanted to pipe in on three issues that may or may  not still be pertinent.

1. Separate ALL finances except for kid. That means no pet insurance/food/vet. Otherwise you'll find yourself paying for a dog you don't see and don't have choice over treatment options. Offer a lump sum if necessary on the dog.

2. Similarly, separate your streaming services. One might have a rate hike more than the other--how will you balance? Also--it's against the user agreement if nothing else. You can ditch both, donate $60 to your local PBS station and have Passport Access to all of PBS kids and adult programing online or through streaming like a Roku. You and your kid will be smarter for it!

3. If you have an Aldi, check out MashUpMom.com. She publishes a weekly meal plan of dinners based on Aldi specials and sales. Last week it was 6 dinners for a family of 4 for $60. You could do it once or twice a month and have an awesome freezer stash.

Peony

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #65 on: October 11, 2017, 11:19:12 AM »
Posting to follow. I love your positive attitude and am rooting for you.

ItsGettinReal

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #66 on: October 19, 2017, 08:59:05 AM »
Thanks for all the kind words, all!

As for child support, we're 50/50 custody so there is none. We split all child costs and it's gone well so far.

For the dogs, I agreed to pay his pet deposit for the apartment and have washed my hands of all pet related expenses in return.

BHleigh I LOVE the idea of journalling all of this and keeping it for my daughter.

ATR

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Re: Case Study: Getting Divorced and Splitting a Mountain of Consumer Debt
« Reply #67 on: October 19, 2017, 03:29:34 PM »
Posting to follow! So impressed with your determination and I am rooting for you :-)