Author Topic: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in  (Read 18786 times)

Hadilly

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2019, 08:51:32 PM »
So, what changes have you made since you started posting here?

bogart

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2019, 09:25:31 PM »
                               
Thank you for this post.

My wife has a love/hate relationship with being a SAHM.

She likes being in control, but she misses work.

She misses friends.

She misses having a reason to put on nice clothes.

She actually was just offered a part time job yesterday. Itís 3 days per week and $18 per hour.

It would bring in about $1,000 net per month.

Iím not sure if itís worth it or not. I feel that we could easily cut $1,000 of expenses from our spending every month.

I'd have gone nuts as a SAHM.  If I were your wife I'd absolutely 100% take that part-time job (or find a better one), $1,000 or not.  I haven't read this whole thread and don't know how much of what you've described is a problem that started after you became parents (and your wife a SAHM) but to me, that's  the glaring problem -- not because she's not bringing in income, but because (apparently) she (and you) are making decisions that are crippling your -- and let's be honest here, your kids' -- futures.  So what stands out to me (as a mom who'd have hated being a SAHM) is the thought that that's not the place your wife wants to be either.  And for the sake of her sanity and your (plural) futures, she should get back in the workforce ASAP.

I could be wrong.  I could be projecting.  But yikes.

profnot

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2019, 09:33:47 PM »
I suggest you start thinking more long term.  What do the two of you want out of life that involves money?
College for the kids?
A one-week family vacation every year?  (Perhaps a family resort where they entertain the kids so you and DW get some alone time?)
The security of term life insurance?
A comfortable retirement?
A long and healthy life?

What will it take to make those things happen?

Put $ numbers to these wish list items and work back from your after-tax income.

>If you decide on zero fast food delivery, could that buy you out of debt and get that one week vacation?
>If DW took the kids to the library instead of shopping, could that help pay off your mortgage?  There's lots of fun activities for even little kids at the library.  All free.
>What fun side hustle ideas could you two generate so DW starts making money when the younger kid goes to kindergarden?


Perhaps you two could get Dave Ramsey's DVDs for Financial Peace University and watch them together.  Without fighting.  With only respectful and collaborative discussion.  You will grow up together while watching these DVDs.  I don't agree with Ramsey's investing advice but he can't be beat for getting on a budget and getting out of debt.  He has that nailed.


If DW hates grocery shopping (sympathy to her on that!), a supermarket near you may offer online ordering so all she has to do is select items & pay online, later drive to the market, park in a special slot, use a smartphone app to alert them of her arrival, and a staff person brings the groceries out to the car.  Kids never get out of the car.  Very popular in my town.



To add onto Laura33's excellent list - Watch out for rationalizing.

I know a family who has financial problems similar to yours, OP.  I know their numbers because the wife asks me for advice sometimes.
Their main problem is they can rationalize any expense. 
*They can't cut out wine: what is life without some wine now and then?  (Cost: $350+ a month.)
*Charging $1K at Target for Xmas gifts when they are broke is not unreasonable.  It's only Target.
*The family was invited to a cousin's destination wedding in France.  They were offered a place to stay.  "Airfare, etc, etc, won't cost much.  They can't pass up this opportunity."
*Weekly mani-pedis for the wife cost $95 each plus tip.  It's her "My turn for a treat" time.
The parents are in their 50s, have zero savings for anything, owe $40K to credit cards, and have 25 years left on a 30 year mortgage because they have refinanced so many times.  Their older kid graduates from high school in 4 years. 
Their ability to rationalize non-essential purchases just boggles my mind.


Best of luck to you and your family!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #53 on: January 19, 2019, 03:33:53 AM »
I think after all the responses its pretty obvious what needs to change. Were a family of 6 and don't live as frugal as many but I cant even fathom what your spending in certain categories.

To me the answer and solution is simple , just get started and I would break up your food category to be Food and Household as 1 category and Entertainment as another. Food and household being only what you buy at the grocery store that your actually utilizing at home.

My DW shopped 17 out of the last 21 years and when I first started realizing how much we were spending I took it over. I am the first one at the store every morning , have got to know the butcher and people in other departments. I only buy whats on sale and make meals accordingly and spend on average 650$ a month for family of 6. And that less than a third of what my DW was spending on convenience. Takes me maybe 10 minutes a day in the store a few blocks away and I Stop at Aldis once a week for big bulk stuff.

Start nibbling away one category at a time. Took me about a year as I went through every category but funny thing is our life hasnt changed really and were spending half as much.

Adam Zapple

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #54 on: January 19, 2019, 05:42:07 AM »
Some meals work better than others as leftovers.  Learn to make a good chilli from Google then eat it all week.  Large batches of rice and beans or lentils can be used several times during the week as a side or the main meal.  Pre-cooking a pound or two of ground beef or turkey and then using it in a salad, tacos, or pasta is very easy.  Same with Crock-Pot pulled pork.  Big batches of potato salad and pasta salad are good for lazy summer days.  This Sunday, start small and big batch a meal that you will eat two or three times during the week then take it from there. 

If you need more motivation picture a doctor diagnosing your kids with type 2 diabetes because that is what you are setting them up for if they continue to eat Dunkin and McDonald's.

horsepoor

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #55 on: January 19, 2019, 07:52:56 AM »

She actually was just offered a part time job yesterday. Itís 3 days per week and $18 per hour.

It would bring in about $1,000 net per month.

Iím not sure if itís worth it or not. I feel that we could easily cut $1,000 of expenses from our spending every month.

Unless childcare and commuting would effectively wipe out her increased earnings, you probably need to do both.

I'm also curious if any changes have happened yet.

Jon Bon

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2019, 10:10:55 AM »
Cooking classes!

I bet they have date night themed ones. Sounds like an awesome way to:

1. Get out of the house.
2. Spend QT with spouse.
3. Learn how to freaking cook!

I do want to leave you with some encouragement. The low hanging fruit here is INCREDIBLE. You dont even have to pick it, just find a basket and it will fall in!

It sound likes you have a similar family structure to me. We rarely eat out. I am not trying brag, but want to tell you it totally can be done easily. Kids are super easy to cook for. Start smart small start easy. There is the whole internet out there of easy meals. I would say maybe sit down with the wife and pick 2 days a week that you will cook meals at home? What day of the week are least crazy and would be easiest to cook. And you also commit to eating the leftovers for lunch the next day or so. That would knock out 4 meals a week. DO IT!


EnjoyIt

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2019, 10:48:45 AM »
I don't see anything for a retirement fund (IRA or a 401k from work?) or other investments. Are there none? Or did you leave that out?

I have a little over 13k in a work IRA.

But we borrowed about $4,000 against it (they call it a loan and they deduct $35 from my paycheck every week to pay it back) for a vacation we went on last year.

Thatís the extend of our retirement fund, unfortunately.

@The_Rooster,
You came, asked for advice, now what?  What is your plan?  I doubt it was just to share information.  What is your next 5 agenda items to stop being wasteful and start working on a happier and more financially stable life?

BicycleB

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2019, 11:12:25 AM »
@The_Rooster, I admire your courage. You came on here in the midst of confusion, shared everything you could bring to mind, and are getting tons of advice. Yet you're not clearly united with your spouse on financial matters, don't have a track record of financial decisions, haven't shown you're ready to do things that need to be done.

I'd support your wife in getting that job. I hope she accepted it. I would combine that support with a serious pitch that the two of you, as a couple wanting a good life for both, are actually behind on multiple levels. I would seek to get her to understand that being in debt is a financial emergency, that the lifestyle you've had to date is financially one where your own actions have cut your financial legs out from under you, that changes are needed. Then repeat your commitment to her happiness, and find a way for her to take the job, in return for her accepting some family habit changes, such as one of you grocery shopping for the week's breakfast food on the weekend instead of buying it from restaurants.

You guys are cruising for a bruising, health wise as well as financially. Yet changing this deal is a concert. Can you yourself personally do one grocery trip per weekend to buy breakfast food, and start developing a weekend habit of planning as many lunch and dinner meals as possible that you yourself cook/lay out in advance, to show support for HER work plan?

I had a friend whose fondest childhood memories were when he'd get up early and join his dad in Dad's weekly jaunt to the grocery store. You never know when the "sacrifices" or habit changes that look so foreign at first will turn out to be wonderful experiences.

Can you set positive habits in motion, such as one date night per month for pleasure, one Family Time activity per weekend that is limited to Free Activities Only (parks, board games, walks)...and one Monthly Financial Talk between you and your wife? This last suggestion is because what we measure is what we improve. The positive family habits are sugar to make the medicine go down, but are also great family values closeness building with the subliminal benefit of making your relationships intentionally self-directed.

Keep us posted on any little move you make that has positive intent. I for one will be thrilled. It may be a while before you meet "our standards". But improve you can. Whether you experience disaster or avert it, thrive in the future or watch passively while your habits crush you, is up to you.  No pressure....   :)

Good luck!!!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 11:36:14 AM by BicycleB »

AMandM

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #59 on: January 19, 2019, 07:25:31 PM »
First off, The_Rooster, congratulations on beginning to face up to your demons! It is hard, probably turning out to be harder than you anticipated. I'm guessing the responses have revealed that not only your financial situation but also your underlying problems are worse than you thought. Don't lose hope!  You started with the thesis that you want to do better, and you can!

Read what Laura said and take it to heart. She is very wise.

However, you don't have to wait till you have figured out all the answers to Laura's deep and important questions to take some steps to reduce your spending.  You can bail out a boat even while you figure out why it's leaking.  So... about your food expenses. The good news is that there's huge room for savings as well as improvements in your health. The bad news is that all of it requires changes in habits; it's not a one-time fix like lowering your thermostat or dropping a duplicate media service.  These changes are hard, so start with manageable ones. The core issue is that you have to prepare food at home, instead of paying others to prepare it for you and bring it to you. Since your area has delivery of fast food, it must also have grocery stores that deliver, or InstaCart, or Google Express, or at least Amazon.  So figure out what are the easiest foods for you to prepare and order some groceries!

Don't let the best be the enemy of the good.  Any step you take in this area means savings. So don't fret about the people who only spend $200 a month on food, don't try to upend your menu, don't start to cook everything from scratch all at once. Heck, you could save a bundle with almost no effort if you just duplicate your current eating patterns, only you buy frozen foods from the grocery store and heat them yourself instead of ordering them hot.

Later you can buy ingredients and start assembling a meal yourself. Here's a simple formula for a thousand different super-easy crockpot dinners:  one meat, one pound frozen vegetables, a cup of salad dressing or bottled sauce. Boom. The meat can be a single chunk (a roast, a whole chicken) or smaller pieces (chicken parts, cubed meat). Bonus, you can probably have leftovers for lunch the next day.

You can do this! Good luck! Let us know how it's going. Even one small step is progress.


APowers

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #60 on: January 19, 2019, 08:36:23 PM »
[snip]

Don't let the best be the enemy of the good.  Any step you take in this area means savings. So don't fret about the people who only spend $200 a month on food, don't try to upend your menu, don't start to cook everything from scratch all at once. Heck, you could save a bundle with almost no effort if you just duplicate your current eating patterns, only you buy frozen foods from the grocery store and heat them yourself instead of ordering them hot.

[snip]

You rang? Lol!

I have literally been reading this thread with my hands on my face in shock and amazement. Wow. Wow. Wow.


But seriously, The_Rooster, listen to the advice SO many people have posted here. I agree that your food spending is head-asplodingly high, but just shifting out of the restaurant/take-out mode will likely cut that right in half AND be twice as healthy. I mean, at $2,600/month, you could literally hire someone at $20/hr to grocery shop, cook from scratch, AND do the cleaning. But eating at restaurants gives you none of those benefits. I think the suggestion of finding the prepared meals in Costco that they make with fresh ingredients (I've seen them, they come in a foil pan, ready to pop in the oven) would cut your food spending drastically, and be no more time/effort spent than you currently spend on take-out.

lhamo

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #61 on: January 19, 2019, 09:12:53 PM »
Just changing the daily habit to stopping at the grocery store to get a roasted chicken and a bagged salad for dinner (leftovers could easily be used in a sandwich the next day) would save them a ton.  And be much healthier.

Laura33

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #62 on: January 20, 2019, 08:04:43 AM »
She actually was just offered a part time job yesterday. Itís 3 days per week and $18 per hour.

It would bring in about $1,000 net per month.

Iím not sure if itís worth it or not. I feel that we could easily cut $1,000 of expenses from our spending every month.

What does your wife think?  She bears the brunt of either decision, so shouldnít it be her call? 

CindyBS

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #63 on: January 20, 2019, 11:43:08 AM »
As a long time SAHM, frequently when it would not be my first choice (special needs son), I have some sympathy for your wife.

When I did work part time, that really helped in a lot of ways, not just financial.  I would recommend she seriously consider it.

As far as cooking - there is a lot of people saying "learn to cook!"  - which I agree with.  However, if you or she can't cook - going to cooking classes or even getting a book from the library may be too much or too overwhelming.  For very, very basic cooking lessons I would recommend going to the kids section of the library and getting some cookbooks for kids.  Often there are very detailed pictures and the recipes tend to be appealing for kids which will help the transition from fast food/restaurant to healthier food. 

Also - given your hair on fire emergency on eating out and lack of skills, I think it is reasonable to buy processed food and pre cut/pre washed fruit and veggies until you both sharpen your skills and cook from scratch.    Cooking the vast majority of your meals from scratch should be the goal long term for both $$ and health reasons.

Some fairly easy kid friendly meals I would recommend:

peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a piece of fruit. 
Breakfast for dinner - scrambled eggs, pancakes or frozen waffles, with cut up fruit

Chicken tenders (from frozen section of store - eventually phase out of this and cook chicken from scratch) with carrot sticks

tacos - buy pre-seasoned meat if needed (eventually phase out of this).  shredded lettuce, cheese and salsa
grilled cheese sandwich with some steamed veggies

Buy a roaster chicken that can be used for multiple meals - including the shreds that can be used for tacos above. 

The vast majority of these can be prepared in less time than it takes for grubhub to arrive. 


Giro

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #64 on: January 20, 2019, 12:21:45 PM »
At this rate, you are not going to be able to afford your diabetes and heart disease medications.  And what if you get too sick to work?
The most important thing about your family's diet is not even the cost in $$, it's the cost in health. 
Change this for your family, please. 

Cassie

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #65 on: January 20, 2019, 01:03:44 PM »
It sounds like working p.t. would be great for her mental health.  I am not a health nut and not a great cook. I would really be concerned about your kids health as well as the adults.  My kids ate cereal and milk or fruit for breakfast 6 days a week. Saturday I made eggs and bacon or pancakes which is easy. One night a week we had breakfast for dinner which the kids loved and was one of the 2 things I made on Saturday. Lunch was sandwiches and fruit. I always kept easy things in the freezer to just put in the oven if busy or tired. Lots of easy stuff for dinner: grilled cheese and soup, hamburgers with a veggie and starch, hot dogs, spaghetti, tacos, etc.  As my cooking skills got better I bought the Home and Gardens cookbook and would make the easy stuff. Put chicken breasts in the oven with barbecue sauce, baked potatoes and cook in oven. Roasts and pork chops all go in oven with potatoes. Make a veggie for dinner is so easy. I was a SAHM for awhile and the home front was my job. I grocery shopped once a week with a list so I had everything I needed. Once I returned to work we ate out Friday night only. My husband worked nights so the kids and I ate dinner alone and he had leftovers when he got home.

AMandM

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #66 on: January 21, 2019, 08:09:53 AM »
Oh, and one more thing:
Quote
We do have 1 credit card in collections for $4,500 but I was told its better to just ignore that because paying it off won't help our credit.
You don't pay your debts because it helps your credit, you pay your debts because you spent someone else's money and your self-respect and honour require you to fulfill your obligations.

I'm not saying that card should be your highest priority debt, but you should definitely pay it back along with all the others.

horsepoor

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #67 on: January 21, 2019, 08:41:09 AM »
@The_Rooster almost everyone here has focused on dialing down your food spend.  However, from your last few comments, I get the sense that not much has changed.  It may seem inconsequential and boring to take some PB&J to take to work, or to make some spaghetti instead of ordering takeout, in the face of thousands in debt.  However, those dozens of little decisions are what will bail you out in the end.  I thought this MMM post might inspire you (and you might decide to plow through the rest of them as well, if you haven't already).  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/08/01/a-millionaire-is-made-ten-bucks-at-a-time/

better late

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2019, 09:00:05 AM »
When I went back to work I did so part time much like what you described the offer your wife has. It was helpful financially as income but also made me so much more aware of what it takes to earn that $5 or $10 dollars I might otherwise have spent thoughtlessly. I knew it at an intellectual level with my husbandís income but I really started to FEEL holy heck this is my LIFE Iím frittering away when I started working.

thesis

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #69 on: January 21, 2019, 09:52:28 AM »
I have a little over 13k in a work IRA.

But we borrowed about $4,000 against it (they call it a loan and they deduct $35 from my paycheck every week to pay it back) for a vacation we went on last year.

You are making $135k per year and you BORROWED $4k from your IRA?! For a vacation?

Nooooooooo! Why? WHY would you do that?!

I'm joking around, but seriously, if you are making that much and have to borrow money from the ONE place where it is properly invested, something is seriously wrong. But I mean, this is how people live. This is average. What you will find is that, once you get these patterns and habits straightened out, you are in an excellent position to really sock money away and reach those FIRE goals.

Great advice offered so far. Mad props for getting on these boards to seek advice. You are waking up to the reality of your situation, so I'm excited to come back and see what positive changes you will experience :)

poniesandFIRE

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #70 on: January 21, 2019, 10:16:13 AM »
How is your wife's mindset on all this? Is she ready to make changes too?

There are a ton of great youtubers who are sharing frugal tips and home cooking and meal planning advice. Maybe you and your wife could have a date night watching some and see what you could implement ASAP? I recommend The Frugal Freaks - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp8xYwLpOi2qg-aoHvlvf9A/videos and Slay This Debt - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXCq2D3t0YH0ABlMo3RbJBw/videos, but there are tons out there if they aren't your style.

You need to make some drastic changes both for your health AND financial situation.

Just Joe

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #71 on: January 21, 2019, 10:53:44 AM »
Baby steps.

For me, many things in life involve getting past the idea that "this task will probably be miserable". Its stupid but that's who I am. It applies to projects, chores, etc.

However anything can and should be broken down into baby steps if you don't want to do it but recognize it needs to happen. 

Sometimes the baby steps can amount to thinking about it, studying the problem (like with this thread seeking feedback), and then action items like picking recipes and making the shopping list. Then the cleaning up afterwards. After a while it becomes routine and you'll wonder why it ever seemed like an unhappy task.

I needed to learn to cook to help my wife who is just as tired at the end of the day as I am. Also, she participates in some community activities that make her very happy that I support. On those evenings I need to be the family cook and I happily (now) do this. Just takes a few minutes to pick the meal and buy the ingredients at the next grocery store trip which is easy.

I started with some guidance from her and free self-study here: https://www.allrecipes.com

There are also hundreds of recipes shared here in the forums with folks who can define HOW to do whatever needs to be done.

They have some easy recipes that might take 15-20 minutes of prep max and then time in the oven or slow cooker.  Nobody has died from my cooking yet.

Then you may find that you need to adjust your "tools" to your best work flow. We did not need to buy anything but we did reorganize the cabinets a little. Our kitchen amounts to a crockpot, stove/oven, airfryer (gift), microwave and various pots and pans. The microwave alone is a capable tool.

lhamo

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #72 on: January 21, 2019, 11:27:13 AM »
Suggestion:  If you/your wife do start cooking more at home, do NOT try to combine it with a major dietary change right away.  Right now your bodies are used to eating tons of fast and processed foods.  If you pick recipes that are purposefully healthier, they will taste different and probably be unpalatable.

Try a basic cookbook like Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything -- I think he also has a quick meals option that might be good to start with.  It is pretty much guaranteed that even a recipe that calls for a whole stick of butter in it is going to have no more fat in it than the burgers, etc. you have been eating regularly.

Also, while on-line recipe compendia have their purpose, they can be very hit or miss -- poorly written recipes abound, and there are also quite a lot that simply don't turn out well.  Even ones with lots of stars.  Until you learn to cook a bit, enough to evaluate a recipe, it might be better to stick with something like the Bittman books.  They give you a good basic knowledge.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #73 on: January 21, 2019, 02:42:33 PM »
OP, have you considered showing your wife this thread?

Perhaps her seeing things laid out, and the comments of a bunch of strangers will inspire change.

At the end of the day, numbers don't lie. If you don't make changes...you'll end up 10 years older, making further excuses as to why you can't save (college, the government, something else), and your family's health will be further in the crapper.

You're in the great position in that you make a ton of money and spend a ton of money. Shifting everyone's behavior, even if slowly, will be extremely fruitful if you all can follow through with it.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #74 on: January 21, 2019, 05:43:47 PM »
Start with food, and start small. For instance, what can you preprep for breakfast the night before? Get the kids to help you like it's a fun thing. Get them to make decisions about flavour. You're going to need to make very small changes, one at a time.

Think muffins. Muffins are super easy, not that different from doughnuts for kids used to starch and sugar for breakfast, and you can make a huge batch on a sunday night. They also freeze well. How about blueberry muffins? Apple spice muffins? Pumpkin spice muffins? If they need to be sugar sprinkled to get the kids to eat them, do it. You can also do savory muffins - ham and cheese, spinach and feta, cheese and corn. They're all basically one recipe with different additions.

Step two would be to work on lunches. What will the kids eat that can be preprepped?

I wouldn't try to make too big a change or go to healthy from the get go. This is about making small changes, seeing how they go and then making more very small changes.

The_Rooster

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #75 on: February 02, 2019, 06:05:51 PM »
Hi everyone.

Thank you for all the replies. I decided to come back and give an update, as I’ve been through a pretty rough few days.

On my way home from work a couple of days ago, I stopped at a drive through. I hand the cashier my debit card and she hands it back - declined.

This doesn’t make sense. I had looked at the account a bit earlier and there was a little under $1,000 in my checking account.

So I log into my mobile app while I hand the cashier an alternative payment method, and to my shock, my account shows NEGATIVE SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Quickly call the bank and am horrified to hear that the State put a levy on my bank account for past due taxes.

I have $103 in cash in hand, a credit card with a small available balance, and a full kitchen of food.

That’s about it.

My paycheck deposits into that account too.

So I quickly applied for a bank loan to pay off the levy.

Here is our January 2019, as copy and pasted from Mint. Believe it or not, we tried to change our food habits this month.

Your Spending
CATEGORY   SPENDING
Total   $9,980.28
    Export to CSV
Food & Dining   $3,143.58
Home   $2,434.56
Shopping   $1,649.01
Auto & Transport   $842.34
Kids   $509.09
Taxes   $325.00
Uncategorized   $238.00
Entertainment   $235.19
Personal Care   $193.84
Gifts & Donations   $126.97
Health & Fitness   $122.93
Business Services   $67.29
Financial   $44.85
Pets   
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 06:12:52 PM by The_Rooster »

lhamo

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #76 on: February 02, 2019, 06:30:15 PM »
Holy mother of god -- how on EARTH did you spend over 3.1k in one month on food?  That's $100 A DAY! 

You don't have any wiggle room any more.  You need to stop the excess spending NOW.  Come on -- adult up.  Go to the library and get some basic cookbooks.  Go to these two sites and pick some recipes for the next week.

www.budgetbytes.com

https://www.leannebrown.com/index/ (you can also download her free pdf cookbook on her site)

No more excuses.  You can feed your family for $400-500/month easily by using just these two resources.  None of this $3k/month on food silliness.  Just making this one change will allow you to pay off that tax lien in a couple of months.

Seriously.

OtherJen

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #77 on: February 02, 2019, 06:33:50 PM »
You canít afford your life. Full stop.

Entertainment, personal care, random shopping, restaurants: it all has to stop. I hope this is clear now. $100 per day on food is insane. At this rate, youíre on track to spend $36,500 just on food/dining and almost $20,000 on ďshoppingĒ in 2019. Where is the money going?

The_Rooster

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #78 on: February 02, 2019, 06:38:54 PM »
Holy mother of god -- how on EARTH did you spend over 3.1k in one month on food?  That's $100 A DAY! 

You don't have any wiggle room any more.  You need to stop the excess spending NOW.  Come on -- adult up.  Go to the library and get some basic cookbooks.  Go to these two sites and pick some recipes for the next week.

www.budgetbytes.com

https://www.leannebrown.com/index/ (you can also download her free pdf cookbook on her site)

No more excuses.  You can feed your family for $400-500/month easily by using just these two resources.  None of this $3k/month on food silliness.  Just making this one change will allow you to pay off that tax lien in a couple of months.

Seriously.

Honestly, Iím not sure.

When Iím on a desktop I will go into Mint and download the food transactions.

Iím on mobile right now so I donít see all the itemizations.

And to be honest, Iím freaking out more over the levy than the food right now.

Everything just seems to be falling apart.

Dee18

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #79 on: February 02, 2019, 07:15:57 PM »
Sounds like it is time to freeze the debit and credit cards in a block of ice in the freezer and only use cash for a while. Also delete all credit card info from Amazon, etc.  How did you spend $500 on two young kids in January?  And $3000 on food?  Thatís 10 times what you need to spend.  And why were you even at a drive through? 

horsepoor

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #80 on: February 02, 2019, 07:39:12 PM »

On my way home from work a couple of days ago, I stopped at a drive through. I hand the cashier my debit card and she hands it back - declined.

This doesnít make sense. I had looked at the account a bit earlier and there was a little under $1,000 in my checking account.

So I log into my mobile app while I hand the cashier an alternative payment method, and to my shock, my account shows NEGATIVE SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Quickly call the bank and am horrified to hear that the State put a levy on my bank account for past due taxes.

I hope this is the wake up call you needed to get this turned around.  You make plenty of money to fix this, so you don't need to feel like things are falling apart.  You do need to realize that you have been pouring gasoline on a hair-on-fire emergency, and need to stop right now and take control of this situation.

BicycleB

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #81 on: February 02, 2019, 09:32:12 PM »
What results from this will be controlled by the actions of yourself and your wife.


former player

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #82 on: February 03, 2019, 12:32:25 AM »
My first reply on this thread said that you need to get your spouse on board with sorting out your finances because you can't afford to get divorced.  I'm changing my mind here, and beginning to think that unless you both make radical changes in your attitudes neither of you can afford to stay married.  I'm not sure who is the bigger problem here, you or your wife, but together you are in a destructive way of life that can only end in bankruptcy.

Here's a link to Financial Peace University.  You can't actually afford to pay for it at the moment, but the 7 characteristics of debt free people might give you both a starting place -

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/7-characteristics-of-debt-free-people

englishteacheralex

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #83 on: February 03, 2019, 12:44:20 AM »
Um...seriously? You just recommended that this dude get divorced to solve his problems?

Don't get divorced. If you think the $6k levy is bad--divorce is a financial atomic bomb.

Financial Peace University isn't that expensive for what you get. I attended it and then was a coordinator for it. I think it's just what the doctor ordered. Sign up ASAP and go with your wife! People love to rag on Dave Ramsey on these forums and personally, I disagree with some of his higher level advice about investing, but he gives you a basic blueprint for personal finance and his clientele is a little more "real world" than Mustache-land.

You will find people in the class that are just like you with money, and maybe even some that are doing worse than you with money (I remember a guy in my class who was selling luxury real estate, divorced twice, and up to his eyeballs in debt)...it will be really encouraging and give you some basic tools to work with. And he's great about getting married couples to work together.

Well worth the $100 membership fee. Take out a loan on your 401(k) for it! Jk. But it would be a better use of a 401(k) loan than a vacation...

former player

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #84 on: February 03, 2019, 02:06:49 AM »
Um...seriously? You just recommended that this dude get divorced to solve his problems?

I didn't recommend divorce.  My first post said "Trying to limit expenditure without getting a significant other on board is a recipe for divorce - which you cannot afford.  So if you have a significant other you should have a look at the following thread about getting them on board with the MMM program -
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/"

OP is now a month on from that post.  Things have got worse, not better, with higher spending and more debts coming out of the woodwork.  In the last month there has been over $7K in spending that is very likely attributable to OP's stay-at-home-with-the-kids spouse - food, home, shopping and kids.  That is completely out of control.    Total spending for the month has been way over even OP's highest take home amount.   And yet there is no indication that OP has talked to his spouse with any effect whatsoever.  Unless things between OP and their spouse change radically bankruptcy will inevitably follow and bankruptcy is a high indicator for divorce -  which means that I am afraid that OP may have to choose between the two or go through both at once.

Don't get divorced. If you think the $6k levy is bad--divorce is a financial atomic bomb.

Right.  But you will find people on the forum who have divorced spouses with out of control spending habits and said it's the best thing they ever did.  Of course, OP is certainly a part of the problem here as well, and there are two kids under 6 whose lives will be adversely affected.  But unless things change radically and soon those kids their parents' lives are heading for the rocks anyway.




MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #85 on: February 03, 2019, 02:25:43 AM »
I kinda feel like you and your family have a spending addiction and this might be your rock bottom. Maybe you needed this to happen to really understand how bad things are. Thereís nothing we can say that isnít obvious and that you donít already know. There are two pages of people giving you advice about your eating and you discover how bad things have gotten at a drive thru. The universe is trying to talk to you and I donít think youíre listening, so, most likely, itís going to get worse. All of this is going to catch up and compound, but not in the good way. And youíll wring your hands and still not make all the hard decisions you and the family need to make.

My suggestion is to seek some therapy for yourself first and then couples therapy. You donít seem strong enough on your own to overcome this and we as internet strangers arenít enough. Get professionals, get a team and beg for help and support. Your hair isnít on fire, your house is and you and your family are stuck ina room while it burns around you. Save yourself and your family. Now! No magical fairy is going to fix this for you. The choice is yours. Do better than you have done. Itís not too late, but it wonít get better until you decide to act and save your family.

Malkynn

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #86 on: February 03, 2019, 06:22:52 AM »
Holy mother of god -- how on EARTH did you spend over 3.1k in one month on food?  That's $100 A DAY! 

You don't have any wiggle room any more.  You need to stop the excess spending NOW.  Come on -- adult up.  Go to the library and get some basic cookbooks.  Go to these two sites and pick some recipes for the next week.

www.budgetbytes.com

https://www.leannebrown.com/index/ (you can also download her free pdf cookbook on her site)

No more excuses.  You can feed your family for $400-500/month easily by using just these two resources.  None of this $3k/month on food silliness.  Just making this one change will allow you to pay off that tax lien in a couple of months.

Seriously.

Honestly, Iím not sure.

When Iím on a desktop I will go into Mint and download the food transactions.

Iím on mobile right now so I donít see all the itemizations.

And to be honest, Iím freaking out more over the levy than the food right now.

Everything just seems to be falling apart.

And this, right here, the bolded part is the root of the fucking problem.

If you can't see that the levy is DIRECTLY caused and potentially solved by your absolutely INSANE spending habit (particularly on food), then you have fallen so far down the self-delusional-spending rabbit hole that you can't even see clearly.

Your spending is the reason you are in this situation and your future spending is the ONLY solution to it.

As said above, you could wipe out that negative 6K in just over 2 months by spending reasonably on food alone.
JUST ON FOOD ALONE.

If you can see that food spending in particular is the source and solution to all of your problems and that it should be your object of laser focus right now, then you should see how insane it is to say that this levy is distracting you from caring about your food spending.

You are living in Crazy Land!!!
And yes! Everything IS falling apart, and you are saying that watching it fall apart is distracting you from the obvious solution!

I...can't...I can't even...

I truly, truly hope this is a troll post designed to rile us all up, because otherwise I am deeply concerned for the future of your poor children.

If you are real, and your life is actually on fire, you need to seek professional help immediately to learn strategies to counter these extremely self destructive behaviours. Obviously just wanting to change isn't working, you need professional help to see why you insist on standing in your own way and keep pouring gasoline on the dumpster fire of your absolutely disastrous finances.

You have received countless posts of helpful advice on food shopping and meal planning and you don't sound like you've tried even one week of eating at home. People have put significant time and energy into crafting well curated posts for your benefit and you don't seem to have tried anything that's been suggested.

Maybe us yelling at you is harsh but maybe you need it.
So here goes...

DO SOMETHING BEFORE YOUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE IS IRREVERSIBLY DAMAGED.

DO SOMETHING!

Spending on therapy will be the single smartest investment you could ever make at this point. So just do it.

wenchsenior

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #87 on: February 03, 2019, 08:11:03 AM »
Hi everyone.

Thank you for all the replies. I decided to come back and give an update, as Iíve been through a pretty rough few days.

On my way home from work a couple of days ago, I stopped at a drive through. I hand the cashier my debit card and she hands it back - declined.

This doesnít make sense. I had looked at the account a bit earlier and there was a little under $1,000 in my checking account.

So I log into my mobile app while I hand the cashier an alternative payment method, and to my shock, my account shows NEGATIVE SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Quickly call the bank and am horrified to hear that the State put a levy on my bank account for past due taxes.

I have $103 in cash in hand, a credit card with a small available balance, and a full kitchen of food.

Thatís about it.

My paycheck deposits into that account too.

So I quickly applied for a bank loan to pay off the levy.

Here is our January 2019, as copy and pasted from Mint. Believe it or not, we tried to change our food habits this month.

Your Spending
CATEGORY   SPENDING
Total   $9,980.28
    Export to CSV
Food & Dining   $3,143.58
Home   $2,434.56
Shopping   $1,649.01
Auto & Transport   $842.34
Kids   $509.09
Taxes   $325.00
Uncategorized   $238.00
Entertainment   $235.19
Personal Care   $193.84
Gifts & Donations   $126.97
Health & Fitness   $122.93
Business Services   $67.29
Financial   $44.85
Pets

Ok, let's take a deep breath.

First of all (unlike some of the others here), I don't have much trouble believing you could spend so much on food.  As I said in my first response to you, my husband and I are BIG spenders in this area compared with the typical board member.

On average, we spend ~275$/month on dining out. BUT, for the most part, it is only ONE PERSON (my husband) doing the majority of the eating out (lunch and sometimes breakfast) on workdays only.  And we very rarely go out to dinner. 

So if we can spend that much with only 1 person eating only 1-2 meals out for about 20 days/per month...then it stands to reason that if 4 people were eating that way (BUT STILL EATING DINNER AT HOME), we would easly be spending 1,000$/ month on eating out alone, and still not have accounted for dinners (usually more expensive) or any weekend food spending, or any other grocery spending/booze, etc.  Add those in, and I have little trouble seeing how the bill for 4 people adds up to 3K/month.

Fundamentally, you just have to face the fact that eating out is a black-hole pit for money, and you simply CANNOT eat out regularly and keep spending reasonable. It's as simple as that. You have to break that habit, so that eating out is a special occasion event or at the very least a weekend only type of occurrence.

Apart from that, I get the feeling that either you haven't disclosed your full back taxes situation in your original post, or you have been living in a pattern of denial (not opening bills or scary looking mail, not actually looking at your line by line spending every month).  Or there is another spending problem happening, like spending addiction/gambling etc.  Or some combo of the above.

HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO YOUR WIFE ABOUT HOW BAD YOUR SITUATION IS?  Does she understand and acknowedge just how bad things are? Is she on board with changing things?  You can't just 'slide' gradually into trying to fix this kind of problem.  You both have to acknowledge it, grapple with it, come up with an actionable plan, and ATTACK it. 

You make plenty of money, twice the national median household income.  There is no need for you to live with this kind of distress.  But the two of you have not been thinking or behaving like adults. It is your responsibility to face this situation head on, and handle it.

 

OtherJen

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #88 on: February 03, 2019, 08:20:47 AM »

First of all (unlike some of the others here), I don't have much trouble believing you could spend so much on food.  As I said in my first response to you, my husband and I are BIG spenders in this area compared with the typical board member.

I donít think itís a lack of understanding of how one could possibly spend $100 per day on food. My husband and I recently spent $60 for one dinner out. We are well aware of how quickly it would add up if we ate restaurant food more than once or twice per month.

I think most of us are expressing shock that the situation has gotten measurably worse in the 1-month period since Rooster first posted here. Food spending has gone UP by several hundred dollars. ďShoppingĒ has not changed at all, even though Christmas has been over for more than a month (that was the previous excuse for the high ďshoppingĒ expenditure).

I sincerely hope for the sake of the OP and his family, this is rock bottom and a much needed wake up call.

wtp1020

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #89 on: February 03, 2019, 09:39:23 AM »
I'm sorry to hear about your debit card -6K state tax issue, how terrifying.

A book that helped me get out of debt is Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. It's about as basic as it gets in terms of how to begin digging out of trouble. I had no idea how to handle money, my parents were a prime example of what not to do and I learned well! I reached my lowest point when I was afraid to get the mail. I was having bad dreams about opening bills and juggling who to pay first. It was incredibly scary and my anxiety was increasing each time I used my credit card and did stupid things with money.

Dave's book helped me lay out how to get started. I followed his Baby Steps plan because the way I was doing it wasn't working. It sounds like you need the most basic plan and some guidance, this is the one that helped me. My husband and I made too much money to not have any left at the end of each month. Where was it going?? Go over each charge in your bank account. If not a necessity, get rid of it. Subscriptions, Target trips, eating out? Nope, no more.

Along with your wife, your new second job needs to be saving and smartly allocating each precious dollar you earn and bring home. Don't piss it away on eating out, shopping and uncategorized purchases. You are in the middle of a Hair on Fire Emergency, start slashing your spending and get on a budget immediately.

Even if you set a $300 weekly food budget (which is pretty high), you'd be in far better shape than what you're spending now. I see an easy $4,300 a month that could be cut from your spending. (2k food, 1.6k shopping, 250 uncategorized, 250 entertainment, 190 personal care) And just like that you have $4,300 to begin paying off that bank loan for your past due state taxes.

I too hope this is your rock bottom and wake up call. You make an amazing amount of money... protect, conserve and nurture it!! Get angry about wasting it. Get your wife on board and turn this around.



« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 09:41:21 AM by wtp1020 »

The_Rooster

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #90 on: February 03, 2019, 09:40:47 AM »
Hi everyone.

Thank you for all the replies. I decided to come back and give an update, as Iíve been through a pretty rough few days.

On my way home from work a couple of days ago, I stopped at a drive through. I hand the cashier my debit card and she hands it back - declined.

This doesnít make sense. I had looked at the account a bit earlier and there was a little under $1,000 in my checking account.

So I log into my mobile app while I hand the cashier an alternative payment method, and to my shock, my account shows NEGATIVE SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Quickly call the bank and am horrified to hear that the State put a levy on my bank account for past due taxes.

I have $103 in cash in hand, a credit card with a small available balance, and a full kitchen of food.

Thatís about it.

My paycheck deposits into that account too.

So I quickly applied for a bank loan to pay off the levy.

Here is our January 2019, as copy and pasted from Mint. Believe it or not, we tried to change our food habits this month.

Your Spending
CATEGORY   SPENDING
Total   $9,980.28
    Export to CSV
Food & Dining   $3,143.58
Home   $2,434.56
Shopping   $1,649.01
Auto & Transport   $842.34
Kids   $509.09
Taxes   $325.00
Uncategorized   $238.00
Entertainment   $235.19
Personal Care   $193.84
Gifts & Donations   $126.97
Health & Fitness   $122.93
Business Services   $67.29
Financial   $44.85
Pets

Ok, let's take a deep breath.

First of all (unlike some of the others here), I don't have much trouble believing you could spend so much on food.  As I said in my first response to you, my husband and I are BIG spenders in this area compared with the typical board member.

On average, we spend ~275$/month on dining out. BUT, for the most part, it is only ONE PERSON (my husband) doing the majority of the eating out (lunch and sometimes breakfast) on workdays only.  And we very rarely go out to dinner. 

So if we can spend that much with only 1 person eating only 1-2 meals out for about 20 days/per month...then it stands to reason that if 4 people were eating that way (BUT STILL EATING DINNER AT HOME), we would easly be spending 1,000$/ month on eating out alone, and still not have accounted for dinners (usually more expensive) or any weekend food spending, or any other grocery spending/booze, etc.  Add those in, and I have little trouble seeing how the bill for 4 people adds up to 3K/month.

Fundamentally, you just have to face the fact that eating out is a black-hole pit for money, and you simply CANNOT eat out regularly and keep spending reasonable. It's as simple as that. You have to break that habit, so that eating out is a special occasion event or at the very least a weekend only type of occurrence.

Apart from that, I get the feeling that either you haven't disclosed your full back taxes situation in your original post, or you have been living in a pattern of denial (not opening bills or scary looking mail, not actually looking at your line by line spending every month).  Or there is another spending problem happening, like spending addiction/gambling etc.  Or some combo of the above.

HAVE YOU SPOKEN TO YOUR WIFE ABOUT HOW BAD YOUR SITUATION IS?  Does she understand and acknowedge just how bad things are? Is she on board with changing things?  You can't just 'slide' gradually into trying to fix this kind of problem.  You both have to acknowledge it, grapple with it, come up with an actionable plan, and ATTACK it. 

You make plenty of money, twice the national median household income.  There is no need for you to live with this kind of distress.  But the two of you have not been thinking or behaving like adults. It is your responsibility to face this situation head on, and handle it.

Thank you for believing in me. I really donít know how we are spending this much on food. Itís not like we are living an incredible lifestyle eating at five star restaurants every day.

 As you said, itís not that hard to spend $100 a day for food. Our family of four is easily $75 at a restaurant. For one meal.

 What hits me harder, is that I thought we are doing better this month. We are eating at home a lot more. I really have to dig down into the itemizations and figure it out.

Cassie

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #91 on: February 03, 2019, 09:53:20 AM »
Donít eat out for a month or go shopping for items.  Not even fast food and then see how much money you have left.

simmias

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #92 on: February 03, 2019, 09:57:56 AM »
Thank you for believing in me. I really donít know how we are spending this much on food. Itís not like we are living an incredible lifestyle eating at five star restaurants every day.

 As you said, itís not that hard to spend $100 a day for food. Our family of four is easily $75 at a restaurant. For one meal.

 What hits me harder, is that I thought we are doing better this month. We are eating at home a lot more. I really have to dig down into the itemizations and figure it out.
$75 for a family of four with two kids eating from the children's menu is still a lot.  You can't afford to go to places like that any more.  Pick cheaper places if you absolutely have to eat out, or use a Groupon or something.

Is your wife bored?  My brother's ex-wife was a SAHM who shopped to alleviate the boredom.  It was a ridiculously expensive habit.

Have you talked to your wife about your family's spending issues?  Maybe I missed it.

Also, just because you're not eating out at "five-star restaurants" doesn't mean that you're not living a lavish lifestyle.  $3,000 a month on food is a fucking lavish lifestyle.  $1,600 a month on "shopping" when you don't even know what you guys bought is nuts.  You don't make enough money to afford your lifestyle.  It's that simple.

You need to make some serious changes.  Hard changes.

OtherJen

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #93 on: February 03, 2019, 10:02:02 AM »

Thank you for believing in me. I really donít know how we are spending this much on food. Itís not like we are living an incredible lifestyle eating at five star restaurants every day.

 As you said, itís not that hard to spend $100 a day for food. Our family of four is easily $75 at a restaurant. For one meal.

 What hits me harder, is that I thought we are doing better this month. We are eating at home a lot more. I really have to dig down into the itemizations and figure it out.

What are you eating at home? If itís mostly takeout or delivery, that isnít going to be any different than eating in the restaurant. It is more expensive to have someone else prepare your food. Even if he four of you lived on frozen meals prepared at home for a month, that would cut your food expenses down by at least 50%.

I second everyone else who asked: is your wife aware of any of this? You keep saying that youíre going to dig down, youíre doing x-y-z, etc. Is your wife involved and aware? If so, what is her take on the situation. If not, WHY NOT?

rocket354

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #94 on: February 03, 2019, 11:07:24 AM »
I really donít know how we are spending this much on food.

<snip>

 What hits me harder, is that I thought we are doing better this month. We are eating at home a lot more. I really have to dig down into the itemizations and figure it out.

I'm guessing alcohol is involved in that food bill. Buying alcohol at restaurants is extraordinarily expensive.

Anyways, in all bluntness, your post reads like another delay. You'll "have to figure it out", that is, you now have to take even more time before you feel you need to make a change.

You are spending that much on food because you spend that much on food. It might be primarily your decision, or in part from pressure from your wife. But for whatever reason you are going to restaurants when you don't need to and spending money you don't need to.

It will stop when you decide to stop. I think you can do that, but from experience in dealing with the psychological traps people fall into you are likely to be in a much bigger hole before you decide to stop digging. And, unfortunately, nothing in your posts has indicated in any way that you have a better chance than the average person at overcoming their own psychological momentum.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #95 on: February 03, 2019, 11:50:04 AM »
@The_Rooster
So.....What is your plan?  What are you doing to fix the problem?  Is the spouse on Board?
Share with us and it will help keep you more accountable.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #96 on: February 03, 2019, 12:54:10 PM »
Three things to do now that are basically obvious:
1  Discuss all this with your wife.
2  Do an analysis of your monthly spending.  What got spent on what, where, and why?
3  Keep a food diary for everyone, for everything that gets eaten - what was eaten, where it came from (i.e. if a restaurant, name it, if fast food takeout, name it, if fast food delivered to house, name it, if food actually cooked at home, say so.   Once  you have some data, figure out why all those meals that were not home-cooked were not home-cooked - why were you at a restaurant, getting takeout, etc.

Just for background, I commuted an hour each way to work when DD was young, and I still managed to get a home-cooked dinner on the table every night, to have a home-made breakfast for us every morning, and to pack her and me a lunch.   DH hated packed lunch, ate lunch at work.  For me slacking off was picking up a barbecue chicken on the way home from work - I still cooked everything else.  So while your wife is a SAHM, and when she does go back to work, there is no reason why one or preferably both of you can't be handling meals better.

One caveat - at this point your kids are used to all this fast food and restaurant eating, they may well be resistant to shifting to eating at home.  Too bad, so sad, you trained them, now you have to get them to adjust expectations.  Try to frame it positively, all changes for the better are easier to make than changes for the worse.  So don't say, Mommy and Daddy are broke and have to stop spending, go for Mommy and Daddy are tired of restaurant meals that taste so-so* and aren't good for us, we are going to start making our own wonderful food.  And if they have friends whose parents make food they like, get recipe ideas from those parents!

*Most of us on here find that we prefer eating our own cooking, most restaurant meals are not as tasty, or they charge high prices for things we can make just as easily at home.

And maybe go over to the Case Studies Group and post your details there?

BicycleB

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #97 on: February 03, 2019, 01:36:35 PM »
Your family should not eat restaurant food until the tax bill is paid.

Zero. No restaurants, no delivery, no take-out. NONE!! Eat only food that you buy from grocery stores only, and somehow heat, cook or otherwise prepare at home.

You just have too much confusion to succeed with half measures. Zero is an amount everyone can understand. Your family needs to band together in a surge of shared sacrifice. Anything less than a clear definite change is going to fail.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 02:11:09 PM by BicycleB »

JZinCO

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #98 on: February 03, 2019, 01:58:26 PM »
Thank you for believing in me. I really donít know how we are spending this much on food. Itís not like we are living an incredible lifestyle eating at five star restaurants every day.

 As you said, itís not that hard to spend $100 a day for food. Our family of four is easily $75 at a restaurant. For one meal.

 What hits me harder, is that I thought we are doing better this month. We are eating at home a lot more. I really have to dig down into the itemizations and figure it out.

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With each issue that the forum is trying to help The_Rooster about the conversation goes like: 1) State acknowledgement of overspending 2)Respond to suggestions with excuse making 3)Come back later to report backsliding on progress they claimed they wanted to do.
This reminds me of cyclical traps that addicts find themselves in. I don't think tips from forum posters will be as effective as some serious financial/mental health counseling.

Or based on how ludicrous this thread is, I'm waiting for the hat drop *Surprise! You were all trolled.*

I'd bet on the latter but I have first-hand experience with the former. It went something like this: 1) Out of control spending, that was talked about corrective but it never happened. 2) Suddenly the $250K salary dried up but the spending habits were ingrained and debt payments remained. 3)Willingness to really try and restart a career were low. Bank took the house. 4) With no health insurance and retirement accounts depleted in order to survive, health suffered. 4) Strokes, mental impairment, divorce. And so on until hell is fully realized.

The_Rooster, get some therapy to figure your lifestyle out. Sell your house and downsize, get out of every voluntary subscription, lease, etc that you can. Go fully spartan. Rice and beans if you have to. If your family complains, tough shit. The top priorities are fixed debts, the IRS and creditors. The second is health. The third is retirement and saving. Family amenities are dead last.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Trying to get out of this destructive lifestyle I'm in
« Reply #99 on: February 03, 2019, 03:08:31 PM »
And if you have to veg out in front of the TV, find old episodes of 'Til Debt do us part and watch them.  Gail Vaz Oxlade pulls no punches.  Read her books (from the library of course, you are not buying ANYTHING until you get this under control).