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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 10:38:55 AM

Title: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 10:38:55 AM
Greetings! I found MMM a couple of days ago after clicking an article on Yahoo about the Go Curry couple who retired at 30.

Just a little surfing and reading and blowing out my cerebral cortex and I am AWAKE and ALL IN. But I'm in worse shape than anyone I've read about so far. Perhaps someone could give me some pointers?

I'm 50 and so is my wife. I work as an Instrumentation Technician and gross about 70k. My wife is self-employed as a Licensed Massage Therapist and makes about 12K, so our income is around 82K.

Debts:

105,000 in school loans, which I'm not paying at the moment

19000 in credit card debt

17000 owed on 2012 Nissan Sentra. Our other vehicle is a 1988 Toyota Landcruiser, which just enjoyed 6000 worth of repairs...all of which went to credit card.

I also have some personal loans from family that I wish to repay ASAP: 13,900


I am on a rice and beans diet, buy veggies once in a while to juice. For health reasons I no longer eat dairy or meat. Someone told me that means I'm vegan, but it's not a moral choice, merely a health choice. I've been doing that for two weeks now and have found it's also a financial boost!

My wife likes this whole idea of the MMM life but is loathe to give up shopping at Whole Foods, New Seasons, and Trader Joe's as she comes from a family that ate only organic, non-GMO, simple foods. She also likes nice things (who doesn't), likes to go to the beach for the weekend and stay in hotels and eat out (who wouldn't), etc, but I am more than willing to give it up for 10 or 15 years to get to my goal.

Just today she was looking through some ads and announced that Seaside has a new hotel with a covered salt water pool. Oh, have I ever swam in one of those, it's wonderful...and I repeated what is now my mantra: Sounds fun, too bad I'm looking for ways to NOT spend money.

All that to say that I'm all in and my wife likes the idea but isn't keen on going all in.

As for daily living expenses, at the moment we live rent free in a huge mansion that is on the market. We live in it and take care of it until it sells. So we have no rent, no power bill, no water bill, no nothing except the owners wanted us to pay for internet and cable: 130 per month.

Since this house is way out in the country, about 5 miles from anything and 25 miles from work, I can't sell the Sentra (which I drive) in order to bike to work and save massive bucks!

My wife needs a larger vehicle to carry her massage table and her equipment, as she has clients all over the area and drives to them to give massage. This is rare and partly why she has such loyal clientele.

I work 4 tens, weds through saturday, and have been looking around for someplace I could work part time on the 3 days I have off, or thinking of some part time business I could start, or really just anything to bring in more money. I want to start taking massive monthly hacks at our debt but feel like my income is stagnant for now so that I have to find a way to make 82K income work hard while the rent free life lasts.

We have no toys to sell: no bikes, motorcycles, boats. No rec vehicles of any kind.

So here I am, just waking up and finding myself in a horrible situation from my own amazing stupidity and ignorance. Words really don't do me justice, I think. But I'm awake now.

I'm not putting anything into work's 401k program to make my net check bigger, and my plan is to attack the highest interest/lowest balance first and do the snowball thing. Other than that I don't know what to do.

Any suggestions?

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 05, 2015, 10:45:03 AM
Have you already subtracted the amount of expenses from your wife's 12K? i.e. gas, equipment, wear and tear on the car? If not, then she really isn't making very much. If her clients like her so much, perhaps she should be raising her rates. Or find more clients. Or find another career entirely. What about working at one of those places where the clients come to her?

Looks like you have a sweet deal with your housing. Capitalize that and definitely debt snowball your credit cards.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 10:53:26 AM
Thanks for replying!

This is definitely a low point in her income level since I met her ten years ago. For a time we lived out of state, so she flew in for a week every month to make 1200 and see friends, and with all the write offs and after taxes she netted 700. We've come back to the area but her clientele has shrunk from the days when she was grossing 1400 per week, but she wasn't trying to grow it while we were gone.

We expect her income to double by the summer. If not then we have some decisions to make. She's not ALL-IN with this, though, so I doubt I could convince her to quit massaging and find something that makes more sense! Her clients have become her family and she's not about to give this up.

It's so frustrating to see all that's possible but large changes just aren't possible at the moment.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: bacchi on April 05, 2015, 10:58:43 AM
The good news is that you make good money.

The bad news is you have to make TOUGH decisions now.

1) Sell the Sentra and get a less expensive car. Think Yaris or Fit or Civic, used.

2) Think about selling the Landcruiser. I know you just put $6k into it but it sounds like a money pit (and gas-wise, it is). Get a more reliable car.

3) Drop cable. Get hulu+ or netflix or amazon prime instead.

4) I'd personally let the food argument go but you can buy organic rice and beans. Get some tortillas and an avocado and there ya go -- healthy breakfast/lunch/dinner for very little.

You haven't listed your spending but you should be able to wipe out the personal loan and CC debt in a year. You have no mortgage or rent. Your non-debt expenses should be like $1500/month, max.

Yeah, a 2nd job, even for a year, would help a lot.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Kris on April 05, 2015, 11:01:20 AM
Wow.  That is a lot of debt.

Step one is to sell the 2012 car. Pay off the loan, and buy a similar car that's a much older model, say, 2005. 

Wnat are your monthly expenses? It looks to me like you should be able to put about 90% of your monthly salary towrd debt, especially since you have no housing expenses.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: tomk2 on April 05, 2015, 11:01:55 AM
Congratulations, waking up is the first step. Frankly, I don't think your story is much different from the reader case studies mmm presents. Check that article series, but here's the TL;DR:
you can't afford beach weekends and eating out. Remove the ads that are temptations. Can you cut the cable? You should consider trading down cars, you both should look into making more money.
Sounds like you're good on the general principles of that. Make sure you comfortably bring your wife along. You'll work best as a team. Make sure she knows your financial situation.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: aschmidt2930 on April 05, 2015, 11:08:58 AM
With your financial picture, your wife does not have a job, she has a hobby. She's making under minimum wage. If you're both all in, she needs a new job.

Sell the car immediately, and get something cheaper. Owing 17k for a car is insane with credit card and student loan balances like that.

With that said, you can climb out of this quickly with a few lifestyle changes and an increased household income.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: cavewoman on April 05, 2015, 11:24:43 AM
She can keep her clients AND work at a place where the clients come to her. Start looking at chiropractic offices, many will have a therapist who comes in 3-4 days a week. My SIL does this and makes 20/hr + tips, then still has days to take individual clients.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ambimammular on April 05, 2015, 11:52:25 AM
Wife needs to get a full time job and schedule her clients for her off days or after work. She's not working enough to get a seaside vacation. Most of her week is vacation time.

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Unique User on April 05, 2015, 11:53:52 AM
What are your expenses and how much do you have to throw at debt per month since you have no rent/mortgage?  Does your 401k have a match?  Will your wife entertain another job, $12k isn't much when you have debt and no retirement savings at 50. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 11:58:25 AM
LOL I am taking this, as I should, as slaps in the face. As if you are all telling me, "You said you were awake! You're still dreaming...WAKE (slap) UP (slap)!"

You are right. I should sell this car now and buy something cheaper. Unbelievably I just gave to charity (9 months ago) a perfectly nice 1991 Toyota Corolla that ran fine but didn't look good, and against my better judgment I agreed to let it go because "we deserve to drive something nice at our age". Stupid stupid stupid.

I agree that my wife has a hobby. Today I suggested that if she doesn't double her income by this summer then we have some choices to make. But, as I said before, she is NOT all-in. If she can't double her income, she won't give it up to work full time someplace. She just won't.

It's going to be harder for her because she grew up in less than poverty, lived in tents with sand floors in the desert with her family, no running water or sewer and bathing in rain water, nothing nice ever, her Dad didn't believe in working but DID believe in spending any money he did have on ridiculous nonsense. 

I don't know if I can ever get her to adjust to the MMM lifestyle. She lived with nothing for almost two decades, forced upon her, and doesn't want to go back  even if not going back to it means we stay in debt till we die. It's that ingrained. She is good with money (debt free with savings when I met her), but in this situation she needs a moustache! Count on her as being a 3/4 convert and nothing more and I will have to work with that.

I need to count our spending for a month to itemize it out, but as an example the last time my wife came home from grocery shopping she had a bag of pinto beans, a bag of brown rice, and vegetables for salad. She found some Heidi Ho cheese and also some almond milk yogurt (because I won't eat dairy). Again, I am willing to ONLY eat rice and beans and some veggies, while she goes out of her way to free me from that constraint.

Then again, this is all new. I only discovered MMM 3 days ago and the Go Curry couple last week.

So I'm selling the car. We owe more than it's worth, but if I can get close to what it's worth I'll just pay the loan off (we have the Dave Ramsey "emergency fund" at about 6000, but figure we will owe taxes so not sure how much of that will be left).

I will then look around for a cheaper, fuel efficient car. If not, maybe I can bike to work. It's 25 miles and the roads getting there aren't the safest (2 lane country roads), and I have to always do one way in the dark whether I do dayshift or night shift. It might not be worth the danger?

Would you recommend me working 7 days per week if the second job only paid 10 an hour? I've been scouring the local job market and that's about all I can find.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 12:01:57 PM
What are your expenses and how much do you have to throw at debt per month since you have no rent/mortgage?  Does your 401k have a match?  Will your wife entertain another job, $12k isn't much when you have debt and no retirement savings at 50.

Yes, 401K has a match at 4%.

My wife won't entertain another job, no. She charges 70 an hour and won't work for 10. Obviously the people who can afford her have money to spend, and so she sometimes does other work for them and charges 20 an hour. She also does pet sitting and gets 35 to 50 per day. She is NOT lazy, not by a long shot, but she has "standards". She is a 3/4 MMM convert....for the time being.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 12:09:59 PM
The good news is that you make good money.

The bad news is you have to make TOUGH decisions now.

1) Sell the Sentra and get a less expensive car. Think Yaris or Fit or Civic, used.

2) Think about selling the Landcruiser. I know you just put $6k into it but it sounds like a money pit (and gas-wise, it is). Get a more reliable car.

3) Drop cable. Get hulu+ or netflix or amazon prime instead.

4) I'd personally let the food argument go but you can buy organic rice and beans. Get some tortillas and an avocado and there ya go -- healthy breakfast/lunch/dinner for very little.

You haven't listed your spending but you should be able to wipe out the personal loan and CC debt in a year. You have no mortgage or rent. Your non-debt expenses should be like $1500/month, max.

Yeah, a 2nd job, even for a year, would help a lot.


The no-rent situation won't last, it's just the way it is at the moment. A great blessing but I can't count on it lasting for long.

We could cut cable, but this isn't our house and the TV in the main room (where the kitchen is and where my wife spends most of her time) isn't a smart TV and we can't switch it for one that is. This will be a hard sell to my wife, but maybe I can talk her into it.

I am going to sell the Sentra. You've all been unanimous with that, so that's first.

Selling the Landcruiser would be harder because the 6k in repairs is still on the credit card. It is a gas hog, yes, at 15 mpg on the freeway and much less in the city. At the moment she bunches her massage appts on the same days/areas of town so to save fuel, and I don't know that we could afford to buy her something large without getting a loan, even if it is well used. I would hate to be making payments on the repairs while making payments on another rig.

Or maybe this makes sense. I obviously can't trust my own judgment or I wouldn't be in this mess.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Merrie on April 05, 2015, 12:27:24 PM
The 6k on the credit card is sunk costs. It shouldn't make a difference to the decision about the fate of the Landcruiser. First look into how much it would cost to get a cheaper, more fuel efficient vehicle that would meet her needs space-wise.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: bacchi on April 05, 2015, 12:34:23 PM
We could cut cable, but this isn't our house and the TV in the main room (where the kitchen is and where my wife spends most of her time) isn't a smart TV and we can't switch it for one that is. This will be a hard sell to my wife, but maybe I can talk her into it.

Unless the TV is 20 years old, a laptop can plug into it with the right cable. Really, though, cable is low hanging fruit at this point.

I personally wouldn't bike 25 miles on 2 lane country roads in the dark.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 05, 2015, 01:01:57 PM
She also likes nice things (who doesn't), likes to go to the beach for the weekend and stay in hotels and eat out (who wouldn't), etc, but I am more than willing to give it up for 10 or 15 years to get to my goal.

I wanted to highlight this part, because I want you to clarify what you want. Are you attempting to implement MMM principles so that you can FIRE? Or in order to pay off your debts? Or both?

Because this sentence implies that the dialing back is a short term thing for you, but if you want to FIRE, you would likely have to dial back these things permanently.

The MMM model isn't the Dave Ramsey model - "If you will live like no else, later you can live like no one else." This implies that you will eventually up your consumption. I guess if you are a very high earner and save up millions, you could calculate your FIRE expenses at 75K or higher, but most people on here have them much lower, i.e. their eventual plan is not to stay in hotels and eat out all the time. Their goal is to have their freedom, and this includes getting off the hedonic treadmill.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Argyle on April 05, 2015, 01:06:50 PM
If you track and then post your monthly expenses, we can comment more helpfully.  And perhaps if your wife sees that this is all leading up to solvency and freedom to buy what you decide on, debt-free, she will be more inclined to get on board. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: frugaldrummer on April 05, 2015, 01:07:25 PM
First of all, a minor correction: your wife doesn't really make $70 an hour. she makes, at best, 70 minus self-employment taxes of around $6 minus $5-10 in mileage expenses to get to and from clients, so say $55 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours work depending on travel time, so maybe $30 an hour. Still nothing to sneeze at, but she needs to keep it in perspective.

What is she doing today to advertise her services and increase her clientele?  Also, does she have and back or wrist problems? (Many masseuses become unable to work with age due to problems in these areas).

How big is her massage table?  I have a Toyota matrix hatchback which gets great gas mileage and accomodates a vibraphone or a full drum kit, perhaps she could fit her table in this? 

Also, I agree she needs to get her income up....if she can increase her clientele, great.....if not, a part time morning job would still leave her free to do massage.

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: waltworks on April 05, 2015, 01:22:46 PM
I am having trouble wrapping my brain around a $70/hour job in which one makes $12k/year. That's what, something like 30 minutes a day average?

-W
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Another Reader on April 05, 2015, 01:35:36 PM
What's the story with the $105k in student loans?  Why are you not paying them?  Are they in forbearance?  If not, have you defaulted?

You can BK out of the consumer stuff if it comes to that, but what's your plan for the student loans?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Yonco on April 05, 2015, 01:38:29 PM
Start listening to Dave Ramsey, and read a few of his books.  It sounds like youll be focused on debt elimination for a few years( Daves specialty) and not necessarily financial Independence( MMM special)
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 01:54:38 PM
I am having trouble wrapping my brain around a $70/hour job in which one makes $12k/year. That's what, something like 30 minutes a day average?

-W

On average 3 hours of massage a week, give or take, at 70 an hour.

Now, when I met her she had two days per week in which she'd have 5 massages, and two other days in which she'd have 3 massages. She took the other 3 days of the week off. She had no debt, about 50k in 401k, and plenty of cash.

Then she met me and we got married, both for the first time, at 40. I still remember our first purchase: a 1000 dollar 40" flat screen, which we put on credit. It went downhill from there.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 01:57:28 PM
She also likes nice things (who doesn't), likes to go to the beach for the weekend and stay in hotels and eat out (who wouldn't), etc, but I am more than willing to give it up for 10 or 15 years to get to my goal.

I wanted to highlight this part, because I want you to clarify what you want. Are you attempting to implement MMM principles so that you can FIRE? Or in order to pay off your debts? Or both?

Because this sentence implies that the dialing back is a short term thing for you, but if you want to FIRE, you would likely have to dial back these things permanently.

The MMM model isn't the Dave Ramsey model - "If you will live like no else, later you can live like no one else." This implies that you will eventually up your consumption. I guess if you are a very high earner and save up millions, you could calculate your FIRE expenses at 75K or higher, but most people on here have them much lower, i.e. their eventual plan is not to stay in hotels and eat out all the time. Their goal is to have their freedom, and this includes getting off the hedonic treadmill.

My first goal is debt eradication.

Second goal is FIRE...not sure what that is, but I assume it's living within your means as inexpensively as possible, so that at 4% gain on your green employees, you can never work again.

All I see right now are sirens and lights going off, the ship has sunk and the tip of the bow is sticking up out of the water, and my wife and I are hanging on right there.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 02:00:12 PM
What's the story with the $105k in student loans?  Why are you not paying them?  Are they in forbearance?  If not, have you defaulted?

You can BK out of the consumer stuff if it comes to that, but what's your plan for the student loans?

Yes, the loans are in forbearance. They are our lowest interest debt, and with the other debt in the midst of it, paying on them would be bb's fired at Everest. So we decided to not pay them back until our other debts are zeroed out, then we can put everything we've got at those student loans.

The problem was that I didn't realize we are in EMERGENCY conditions. I was asleep/stupid/ignorant. I've been spending more than I made my whole life.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Argyle on April 05, 2015, 02:04:25 PM
Coming here and inviting the face-punches are the first steps towards a whole new life.  You done good.  You've found the lifeboat, hauled yourself in, and you're rowing away from the wreck.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: handsnhearts on April 05, 2015, 02:09:51 PM
You make a good income, and you are living rent free for now.  those are great blessings and you can use them to move forward quickly.  Most people have a lot of debt with high housing costs. 

If you are taking home about 5000 per month, you should be able to pay the family loans in 3-4 months, and take the rest from there!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 02:15:28 PM
First of all, a minor correction: your wife doesn't really make $70 an hour. she makes, at best, 70 minus self-employment taxes of around $6 minus $5-10 in mileage expenses to get to and from clients, so say $55 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours work depending on travel time, so maybe $30 an hour. Still nothing to sneeze at, but she needs to keep it in perspective.

What is she doing today to advertise her services and increase her clientele?  Also, does she have and back or wrist problems? (Many masseuses become unable to work with age due to problems in these areas).

How big is her massage table?  I have a Toyota matrix hatchback which gets great gas mileage and accomodates a vibraphone or a full drum kit, perhaps she could fit her table in this? 

Also, I agree she needs to get her income up....if she can increase her clientele, great.....if not, a part time morning job would still leave her free to do massage.

Thank you for the suggestions. We just blue booked our Nissan and will search for something that works for her, too.

No back or wrist problems. She just got new business cards made. She only wants word of mouth advertising because of safety issues going into peoples' homes, and her word of mouth advertising has historically given her all the work she could handle. Basically she gives business cards to her clients to hand out and has gotten 4 new clients in the past 2 months with this method.

A major client who winters in Palm Springs is coming back to town, and this is an 800 per month client with many referral possibilities. I'm willing to wait till summer to see how it turns out. If not, part time job is on her horizon. :)
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 02:17:25 PM
If you track and then post your monthly expenses, we can comment more helpfully.  And perhaps if your wife sees that this is all leading up to solvency and freedom to buy what you decide on, debt-free, she will be more inclined to get on board.

Thank you. We are starting that today, every cent.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cpa Cat on April 05, 2015, 02:29:17 PM
I am having trouble wrapping my brain around a $70/hour job in which one makes $12k/year. That's what, something like 30 minutes a day average?

-W

On average 3 hours of massage a week, give or take, at 70 an hour.

Now, when I met her she had two days per week in which she'd have 5 massages, and two other days in which she'd have 3 massages. She took the other 3 days of the week off. She had no debt, about 50k in 401k, and plenty of cash.

Then she met me and we got married, both for the first time, at 40. I still remember our first purchase: a 1000 dollar 40" flat screen, which we put on credit. It went downhill from there.

It sounds like there's a lot of hope here for your wife. That lady made it to age 40 without debt, living within her means and saving for retirement. Apparently you ruined her. ;)

In all seriousness, I think you should be able to convince her to get back to where she was at 40. She has a variety of side gigs - massage, pet sitting, etc. She doesn't want to advertise the massage gig too much - that's cool, but she could entertain renting a space somewhere in order to make the whole thing more practical - then schedule her 5 appoints (or 3) back to back - no travel. Her clients will visit her there.

In addition, she can advertise her pet sitting business. Every time she picks up a pet sitting client, she can give them her masseuse card.

With your debt situation, she needs to dial it up to something approximating full time. That doesn't mean she has to go work for "the man" - but she does need to start treating her job like a job. It sounds like she's done it before, so it shouldn't be much of a leap to do it again.

For yourself, I'd take that $10/hour job on your off days, then quit it if the pet sitting gig grows to where you and your wife can work it together.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Another Reader on April 05, 2015, 02:37:49 PM
Good job on handling the student loan fire.

What are your payments on the Nissan Sentra?  My concern is you have to have reliable transportation to get to your job and I'm not sure how you will purchase that after you sell the Nissan and come to the table with cash out of your emergency fund.  Have you done the Dave Ramsey thing of listing all your debts smallest to largest?  In your shoes, I would cut every other expense to the bone, get some more money in the bank and get ahead on some of the other debt before I dealt with the car.  If the house sells, you could move closer to your job and sell the car then.

If you write up a case study with all the numbers, you will get a lot of feedback on how to cut your expenses and pay off the debt.  You can make a list of action items to sit down and discuss with your wife.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Unique User on April 05, 2015, 02:43:28 PM
What are your expenses and how much do you have to throw at debt per month since you have no rent/mortgage?  Does your 401k have a match?  Will your wife entertain another job, $12k isn't much when you have debt and no retirement savings at 50.

Yes, 401K has a match at 4%.

My wife won't entertain another job, no. She charges 70 an hour and won't work for 10. Obviously the people who can afford her have money to spend, and so she sometimes does other work for them and charges 20 an hour. She also does pet sitting and gets 35 to 50 per day. She is NOT lazy, not by a long shot, but she has "standards". She is a 3/4 MMM convert....for the time being.

You need to put 4% in your 401k to get that match.   I think most people on these boards would agree with me, you're 50 and that's free money. 

To a certain degree I understand your wife's reluctance, but she also needs to be realistic.  She  works 3.5 hours per week and you guys are in an emergency.  You're 50, in debt with no savings.  When our income was lower we did a variety of odd jobs to increase money coming in.  We've made money selling curb/dumpster finds, done caretaking and even the last two years with great income, I've still done some mystery shopping work and have a fiverr account.  Check out the side hustle threads for her, although maybe the pet sitting and massage is enough. 

Increasing income is only part of it, if you don't know what you are spending or spend that extra money to make yourself feel good about being in such a bad situation, you won't get ahead.  Track your money, but you also need to find inexpensive outlets for fun as you make these changes. 

Without housing costs, you should be able to knock out the personal loan and cc debt fast.  In terms of what you should do with the student loans, I'll have to leave that to the experts here that will know if you have any other options other than paying the whole amount back due to age/income. 

Since you are both 50, another good exercise would be to look up what you can get in SS.  There are a couple threads on here on how to estimate, DH is in his early 50s so I'm certainly taking his SS into account with our plans. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 05, 2015, 03:06:04 PM
Since she works so few hours a week, couldn't her second "job" be to work on lowering your household expenses? What's your grocery budget? If it's anything above $400 (and I'm guessing it is), then she could work on meal planning, cooking from scratch, etc. If you have a clothing budget, she should spend time organizing your clothes so that you realize how much you have and don't need to shop for those anymore. She could go through your stuff and sell things on Craigslist. If you're worried about safety, these days you can always meet some place neutral in public.

Your debt is such that you do indeed need to sweat the small stuff. If she won't work for $10 hr, working on lowering your expenses could be just as good for your bottom line.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: midweststache on April 05, 2015, 03:37:26 PM
Since she works so few hours a week, couldn't her second "job" be to work on lowering your household expenses? What's your grocery budget? If it's anything above $400 (and I'm guessing it is), then she could work on meal planning, cooking from scratch, etc. If you have a clothing budget, she should spend time organizing your clothes so that you realize how much you have and don't need to shop for those anymore. She could go through your stuff and sell things on Craigslist. If you're worried about safety, these days you can always meet some place neutral in public.

Your debt is such that you do indeed need to sweat the small stuff. If she won't work for $10 hr, working on lowering your expenses could be just as good for your bottom line.

This. You make the comment that your wife isn't lazy, and I don't want to push back against that too much because, well, I don't know her situation exactly, but if she's only working 3.5 hours a week and then wanting to go on these weekends away and dine out and only buy organic groceries, it seems she wants to reap the benefits without doing the work (which to me seems lazy).

BUT, if as justajane suggests, she's working on ways to lower your costs at home, then such pursuits might be worth it. I also wonder if there are massage therapy schools in your area and, if so, if your wife would be qualified to teach at one? I don't know what the process is for teaching massage therapy, but that could continue to offer a flexible schedule, bring in more money, and be in a field your wife clearly loves. She might even get some benefits out of the deal (like a 401k)!

Finally, do you have a plan in place for paying off your debts? I didn't see any %s on the debt interest, and I know people have different priorities, but getting a really detailed breakdown of monthly income, budget, loan payments, assets, liabilities, etc. (see "How to Write a Case Study") would be super helpful.

Welcome to MMM! Best of luck! We're all rooting for you!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Sofa King on April 05, 2015, 04:03:32 PM
With your financial picture, your wife does not have a job, she has a hobby. She's making under minimum wage. If you're both all in, she needs a new job.



I concur.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Exflyboy on April 05, 2015, 05:13:26 PM
I read the part about your Wife grew up in poverty and doesn't want to go back.

Well here is a facepunch for you... You ARE going back.. either that or you will never be able to afford to retire.. I doubt your Social security payments will pay your debts and allow you to live at your current level of spending.

Want that?.. no didn't think so, well then you could with a lot of commitment (and assuming you never lose your job) be both debt free and close to being FI by normal retirement age.

You Wife needs a real job and you need to get shit paid off (starting with CC's) stat!

Sorry but your both in a world of hurt and this is going nowhere good.

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: clifp on April 05, 2015, 06:04:26 PM
By the standards of this forum you are really bad shape. But by the average American standard just a bit below average..

Most of the specific advice is good. Whole paycheck is crazy expensive and I think its worth keeping careful track of how much you spend there, and identify specific things you can buy else where. Costco sells plenty of organic stuff now and it's 1/3 price of Whole Food.

To me the the number 1,2,3 priority is to get your wife on board.  One of my best friends was married to a high spending wife, after she passed away, he married a woman who was determined to have a farm,and they are managing to go through his late wife's inheritance at rapid rate. However, the truth is despite my friends view that's it is his wifes fault he is co-contributor to their problems.

Any chance you can get your wife to participate in the forum?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 06:21:37 PM
Well it's worse than I told you, because I forgot to mention we owe 22k to a previous employer for breaking the 2 year contract stipulating I'd pay back moving expenses if I left early.

In other news I just interviewed to go back to that job and, if I land the position, this 22k debt will be forgiven. My income will also double, almost exactly. We find out if I get this job in the next couple weeks. I was told I'm the most qualified candidate and most likely will get the job, but it isn't mine yet.

If I get this job, and it's out of state, I'm moving there by myself to live with people I know already and renting a room. Costs to live at this place will be 750/month, plus food. I discovered that if I bike it from there to my new job it's a hair over 8 miles. This is in the Bay area, so I could do it weather-wise. My wife will stay here rent free.

My wife, bless her heart, asked me if I could support her once I moved down there. I was incredulous, of course. If she is "working" and living rent free, paying only the Landcruiser gas and her food...and she needs money from me to live...I told her she had no business living and working here if that's the case.

She does have an obligation to stay in this mansion until it sells...which could be 1 month or 5 years since it's a property worth millions...so we will be separated and I'm willing to pay that price to be FI one day.

We are going to wait to sell the Sentra until after I find out whether or not I land this new job. If I do, I'm selling the Sentra and not buying any car, just a bike. If I don't get it, I'm selling the Sentra and buying a Tercel or something.

I just started tracking every cent we spend today, so I should have the data to write up my case study by first week of May. Thanks for the punches to the face and the withering body blows. I need it!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 06:29:37 PM
By the standards of this forum you are really bad shape. But by the average American standard just a bit below average..

Most of the specific advice is good. Whole paycheck is crazy expensive and I think its worth keeping careful track of how much you spend there, and identify specific things you can buy else where. Costco sells plenty of organic stuff now and it's 1/3 price of Whole Food.

To me the the number 1,2,3 priority is to get your wife on board.  One of my best friends was married to a high spending wife, after she passed away, he married a woman who was determined to have a farm,and they are managing to go through his late wife's inheritance at rapid rate. However, the truth is despite my friends view that's it is his wifes fault he is co-contributor to their problems.

Any chance you can get your wife to participate in the forum?
[/i]

Zero chance! I read her all the posts you guys have sent, and I also sit her down and read her articles on MMM. I think just marinating in this MMM way of life is going to win her over. She's pretty frugal with buying food and she's already talking about buying bulk beans at Costco and so forth, so her brain is starting to churn out some ideas already. She marched into the room this morning wearing an outfit that looked nice. "Like it?" she asked. "It cost 13 dollars!"

She's on board with being frugal but she's always cringed when Dave Ramsey talked about the rice and beans, tunnel vision burning passion. She thinks you just don't need to be that severe or something. I think we'll get her there.

I am more than the co-contributor to our problems. I am the main cause of the problems! Just me going all in is going to help us a lot.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Exflyboy on April 05, 2015, 07:34:31 PM
Ruminating out loud might be a good way.. You might want to consider ruminating on some of the sucesses too.. Mine just by way of an example started out at $160k in debt and ended up at FI in about 17 years.

Your salary (if you get the new job) will be similar to our combined salary so there is no reason you can't nail this.

But getting your Wife to see the light is clearly goal number one.

Goal number two is to not buy crap you don't need

#3 is get that CC paid off ASAP

#4 is pay off the other debts (unless the APR is less than say 3%)

#5 is to start maxing out 401k (including the catch up contribution)

#6 is to invest the rest in Roth IRA's and taxable investments.

As to investments I would say your going to have to be heavy in stock ETF type investments in order to get the growth you need.

All the best!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 05, 2015, 10:12:25 PM
We had The Talk this evening. My wife is on board.

All of your advice is gold to us and we are putting our noses to the grindstone. Looking for P/T work on my days off, recording every cent spent, paying off CC debt.

Right now my wife has a lady for whom she can work for 20 an hour all she wants till the work is done, and she's ready to put in the hours.

I'm optimistic and excited to get down the road!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Argyle on April 05, 2015, 10:23:52 PM
Fabulous!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: lemanfan on April 06, 2015, 01:14:21 AM
Nice!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: FIRE me on April 06, 2015, 01:26:14 AM
I'm optimistic and excited to get down the road!

Well done. In just a few years, you'll be posting in the “Share your Badassity” section.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Retire-Canada on April 06, 2015, 07:37:27 AM
She marched into the room this morning wearing an outfit that looked nice. "Like it?" she asked. "It cost 13 dollars!"

I'm glad she's making some changes. You need to point out that she has more than enough clothes to wear already and that $13 could have gone to pay down your high interest CC debt. So it's not exactly MMM kung fu that deserves a pat on the back.

You guys are at an age where there isn't a lot of time left to pay off debts, save and invest before you are forced to retire by something age related.

If you can pay off your debt say in 3 years and start saving say 40% of your after tax income you'll be ready to FIRE in 25 years. In reality SS will kick in and help out so it's not quite that bad.

What I'd suggest is you split up your debt and your incomes so you are tracking thing individually and you can each see what your actions are producing more clearly and have some personal responsibility. You can always take all the debt depending on how it was accrued and the disparity between your incomes so all she has to do is work on getting a 40% savings rate out of her side of things while you work on killing the debt.

If she is living rent free with a paid off vehicle and can't save 40% of her income that will make the prospects for FIRE pretty bleak.

Congrats on getting started with the process. No matter what happens you'll be better off taking some action now than waiting another 10yrs to address your situation.

-- Vik
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: pachnik on April 06, 2015, 07:48:51 AM
Congrats on getting started with the process. No matter what happens you'll be better off taking some action now than waiting another 10yrs to address your situation.

+1  This is exactly what you need to keep in mind.  I am so glad to hear your wife is on board now.  This just makes it easier because now you are a team.

Welcome to the journal section too!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: netskyblue on April 06, 2015, 08:07:13 AM
IDK why everyone's focusing so hard on the wife's income.  82k is still a crapton of money.  If you're not rolling in excess cash every month, there's a massive amount of cutting you can do.  You could support 2 households on 82k in many places.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Retire-Canada on April 06, 2015, 08:13:16 AM
IDK why everyone's focusing so hard on the wife's income.  82k is still a crapton of money.  If you're not rolling in excess cash every month, there's a massive amount of cutting you can do.  You could support 2 households on 82k in many places.

If they are married and she's wanting seaside spa treatments, hotels and fancy meals while they are hundreds of K's in debt in their 50's she's and they want to FIRE she's going to have to both spend less and earn more.

We aren't talking about to 25yr olds that can invest and grow their money for 30yrs before a traditional retirement age.

-- Vik
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: netskyblue on April 06, 2015, 09:03:27 AM
IDK why everyone's focusing so hard on the wife's income.  82k is still a crapton of money.  If you're not rolling in excess cash every month, there's a massive amount of cutting you can do.  You could support 2 households on 82k in many places.

If they are married and she's wanting seaside spa treatments, hotels and fancy meals while they are hundreds of K's in debt in their 50's she's and they want to FIRE she's going to have to both spend less and earn more.

We aren't talking about to 25yr olds that can invest and grow their money for 30yrs before a traditional retirement age.

-- Vik

Oh I see what you mean.  Although if you're in your 50s and not most-of-the-way there already, you're probably not going to FIRE.  You're probably just aiming to "retire" at that point.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Blonde Lawyer on April 06, 2015, 09:25:25 AM
I see only one person mentioned your student loans.  Are those your loans or her loans? Even if you are in forbearance, interest is still accruing.  Are they federal or private? Do you have a high interest rate?  You owe a lot of people money but do you still have good credit? If so, you might want to try refinancing your loans.  I would need a lot more info on your situation before I could say if it is a good idea for you or not.

Here is a link to my story about refinancing my loans.   http://www.mystudentloanrefinance.blogspot.com/ 
I realized I retell it so often that I might as well just be able to point people to it.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: kathrynd on April 06, 2015, 09:30:15 AM
Wow. Just wow.

How do people get to this age, and have less than nothing?
Just to show you, it is never about how much money a person makes.

For the OP...you have a hard road ahead of you.
To me, it doesn't sound like your wife is on board at all.
She already is homeless, in poverty, and her head is stuck in the sand.

If you and her divorced, what would she do?

For the OP, I actually don't suggest working more hours.
Until the wife is on board, or you divorce, it will be futile.

If you could give us a breakdown of your payments you are currently making
and net income, maybe people would have a better idea of how to help.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Blonde Lawyer on April 06, 2015, 10:24:40 AM
Wow. Just wow.

How do people get to this age, and have less than nothing?
Just to show you, it is never about how much money a person makes.

For the OP...you have a hard road ahead of you.
To me, it doesn't sound like your wife is on board at all.
She already is homeless, in poverty, and her head is stuck in the sand.

If you and her divorced, what would she do?

For the OP, I actually don't suggest working more hours.
Until the wife is on board, or you divorce, it will be futile.

If you could give us a breakdown of your payments you are currently making
and net income, maybe people would have a better idea of how to help.

I think divorce could be a very bad idea here. He would likely get stuck w/ the debt and alimony since she isn't working much.  He will be supporting her one way or the other.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: mm1970 on April 06, 2015, 10:55:09 AM
It's funny that you mentioned the Whole Foods thing.  I just did my shopping this weekend, and shopped at Whole Foods and the 99c Only Store.

The difference is staggering.

http://frugalhealthysimple.blogspot.com/2015/04/a-tale-of-two-stores.html
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: 2ndTimer on April 06, 2015, 11:27:24 AM
It sounds like you are making progress fast in terms of behavior changes.  A year from now you should see a significant drop in your debt level.  Hang in there.  You are really lucky to have a partner who can make the transition from Whole Foods to CostCo bulk beans so quickly.  Many people here find it takes a lot longer.  Now just keep plodding along plugging the leaks
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ldk on April 06, 2015, 11:33:40 AM
You've listed your debts (by my calculations and assuming you need to repay the $22k in moving costs) at ~$177k.  Aside from the car, are there any other assets you can liquidate or tap into?

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 11:47:20 AM
Thanks everyone for sticking it to us.

My wife had a meltdown last night though. She can't appreciate the tough love and feels like everyone is attacking. She is taking your comments personally for some reason that I can't fathom, whilst I only want the truth.

For example, her massage business that she's been doing for 17 years changed her life in many ways and also the lives of the people she works on, who inevitably become family. My wife is the kind of person who can be massaging someone and be going along fine, then suddenly starts welling up with tears and feels like sobbing and has a hard time keeping herself together. As she talks to her client, she learns that the lady just found out her husband was cheating on her last night and is leaving her and her kids for a younger woman and is barely able to hold together herself. My wife somehow picks up on that.

Things like this have happened many times, as my wife has some kind of power of empathy that seems to result in her feeling what her client is feeling while she works on them. It's uncanny. So when I read the post where someone called her small-income-massage-business a "hobby", she was devastated.

It doesn't help explaining that this comment came from an income perspective only, not an occupational worthiness perspective. She felt that I was "taking sides" with the MMM crowd and abandoning her, etc. It took a lot of talking to get her to understand that there's only one side, and we are all on it, and that this advice an perspective is coming from a lot of people who have DONE IT and LIVED IT and KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. This web site and this forum is pure gold, as far as I'm concerned...but my wife doesn't want to read it or have it read to her. I'm to assimilate the knowledge and then tell her what we need to do. If I agree to that, then she's all in.

There are troubles ahead but I think she's game for anything as long as I phrase it correctly. She's all about the presentation and I'm all about the facts. If the truth is that I'm an idiot and a buffoon and the sole cause of our situation, so be it. Anything but the truth is a lie or an illusion, and that's what got me here.

I was thinking the articles and forum posts lit a fire in her like they did me, but it came out last night that they were devastating to her. We have agreed that I will keep leaning hard into this, learning and getting punched in the face, and I will tell her what we are going to do and how we will live. She will go along with what I say. I guess there's more than one way to skin a bird.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: olivia on April 06, 2015, 11:53:46 AM
Forum members tend to rag more on the person not telling their side of the story, so tell your wife not to take it too personally.  I do agree she needs to ramp her business up big time, but it sounds like she's already on board with that.  Best of luck on killing your debt!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Kris on April 06, 2015, 11:56:43 AM
Thanks everyone for sticking it to us.

My wife had a meltdown last night though. She can't appreciate the tough love and feels like everyone is attacking. She is taking your comments personally for some reason that I can't fathom, whilst I only want the truth.

For example, her massage business that she's been doing for 17 years changed her life in many ways and also the lives of the people she works on, who inevitably become family. My wife is the kind of person who can be massaging someone and be going along fine, then suddenly starts welling up with tears and feels like sobbing and has a hard time keeping herself together. As she talks to her client, she learns that the lady just found out her husband was cheating on her last night and is leaving her and her kids for a younger woman and is barely able to hold together herself. My wife somehow picks up on that.

Things like this have happened many times, as my wife has some kind of power of empathy that seems to result in her feeling what her client is feeling while she works on them. It's uncanny. So when I read the post where someone called her small-income-massage-business a "hobby", she was devastated.

It doesn't help explaining that this comment came from an income perspective only, not an occupational worthiness perspective. She felt that I was "taking sides" with the MMM crowd and abandoning her, etc. It took a lot of talking to get her to understand that there's only one side, and we are all on it, and that this advice an perspective is coming from a lot of people who have DONE IT and LIVED IT and KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. This web site and this forum is pure gold, as far as I'm concerned...but my wife doesn't want to read it or have it read to her. I'm to assimilate the knowledge and then tell her what we need to do. If I agree to that, then she's all in.

There are troubles ahead but I think she's game for anything as long as I phrase it correctly. She's all about the presentation and I'm all about the facts. If the truth is that I'm an idiot and a buffoon and the sole cause of our situation, so be it. Anything but the truth is a lie or an illusion, and that's what got me here.

I was thinking the articles and forum posts lit a fire in her like they did me, but it came out last night that they were devastating to her. We have agreed that I will keep leaning hard into this, learning and getting punched in the face, and I will tell her what we are going to do and how we will live. She will go along with what I say. I guess there's more than one way to skin a bird.

Ugh.

Okay, I am very glad that you are able to accept the tough love.

But your wife?  She needs to get a grip. 

I completely get that your wife's massage business is very important to her and to the lives of the people she works on.  But she can understand, can't she, that the "hobby" label was income-only perspective, can't she?  I'm sorry, but if her feelings get that hurt to the point where she is accusing you of taking sides with the big, mean internet strangers, she's going to have a long, tough road getting to financial independence with you.  This feels like one more indication she may not have the ovaries to buckle down.  (I'm still reeling a little at the fact that she actually asked you whether you would support her if you get that new job... wow, that's a lot of cognitive dissonance for someone who is in one hell of a debt emergency.)

Okay, sorry, I just had to get that out.  Obviously, she's not going to read this because she can't handle what we're saying.  I hope you're able to figure out how to continue presenting the cold, hard facts to her in a way that feels like she's getting a relaxing spa treatment instead of a punch in the face.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 12:23:41 PM
You've listed your debts (by my calculations and assuming you need to repay the $22k in moving costs) at ~$177k.  Aside from the car, are there any other assets you can liquidate or tap into?

No. None. I have an electric guitar that I paid retail of 900 for. An amp I paid 100 for. That's it. I have a couple thousand in 401k and wife has about 20k in 401k.

Right now I am tracking our spending cent by cent for a month, so I can't do a full rundown of our spending till that's over, but the debts I can think of off hand are these:

Navient Student Loans: 101,350.39
...of this, 84k is at 7.5%
...and 17k is at 6%

Care Credit: 2548.45
...no interest at the moment

SW Credit Card 6393.83
...at 15.24%

Cap One CC: 5862.51
...at 4.83%

Credit Union CC: 4982.67 (This one is from the original car loan, which when we transferred to our CC was more than the car was worth, so they put the balance on this credit card)
...at 4%

Car Loan: 13,175.04
...at 1.69%

Relocation payback 22,000
...no interest, but paying 1000 per month at their insistence. Not negotiable unless I want to pay balance in full. That's the only other option other than paying more per month.

If I didn't fat finger my calculator, that comes to: 156,312.89


Our other bills are:

Verizon: 176.00
Cable/Internet: 120.00
Fuel: 200.00 or so
Food: Guessing at 250.00


Again, after a month I'll have our spending down to the cent, but this is my best guess.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 12:32:29 PM
(I'm still reeling a little at the fact that she actually asked you whether you would support her if you get that new job... wow, that's a lot of cognitive dissonance for someone who is in one hell of a debt emergency.)

Okay, sorry, I just had to get that out.  Obviously, she's not going to read this because she can't handle what we're saying.  I hope you're able to figure out how to continue presenting the cold, hard facts to her in a way that feels like she's getting a relaxing spa treatment instead of a punch in the face.

I am reeling a bit from that, also. One of the accusations in the heat of battle last night was that SHE was the one that's been awake this whole time, it was me that was asleep. She knew full well what was going on and she's glad I'm on board now.

This morning, after the heat of battle, we talked a bit more and I pointed out that she claimed to be the awake person yet she asked me to support her if I moved to California and left her to live here with no rent to pay, no utilities, and no bills other than food and gas.

There was silence on the line. No response.

She takes persuading, she can't be reasoned into or talked into something. You have to present your case and then she goes to marinate on it for a few days, then comes back with her new outlook on it. I'm confident this will happen. It's frustrating but I have to take her the way she is, and most of her is awesome.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Megma on April 06, 2015, 12:43:07 PM
Thanks everyone for sticking it to us.

My wife had a meltdown last night though. She can't appreciate the tough love and feels like everyone is attacking. She is taking your comments personally for some reason that I can't fathom, whilst I only want the truth.

For example, her massage business that she's been doing for 17 years changed her life in many ways and also the lives of the people she works on, who inevitably become family. My wife is the kind of person who can be massaging someone and be going along fine, then suddenly starts welling up with tears and feels like sobbing and has a hard time keeping herself together. As she talks to her client, she learns that the lady just found out her husband was cheating on her last night and is leaving her and her kids for a younger woman and is barely able to hold together herself. My wife somehow picks up on that.

Things like this have happened many times, as my wife has some kind of power of empathy that seems to result in her feeling what her client is feeling while she works on them. It's uncanny. So when I read the post where someone called her small-income-massage-business a "hobby", she was devastated.

It doesn't help explaining that this comment came from an income perspective only, not an occupational worthiness perspective. She felt that I was "taking sides" with the MMM crowd and abandoning her, etc. It took a lot of talking to get her to understand that there's only one side, and we are all on it, and that this advice an perspective is coming from a lot of people who have DONE IT and LIVED IT and KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT. This web site and this forum is pure gold, as far as I'm concerned...but my wife doesn't want to read it or have it read to her. I'm to assimilate the knowledge and then tell her what we need to do. If I agree to that, then she's all in.

There are troubles ahead but I think she's game for anything as long as I phrase it correctly. She's all about the presentation and I'm all about the facts. If the truth is that I'm an idiot and a buffoon and the sole cause of our situation, so be it. Anything but the truth is a lie or an illusion, and that's what got me here.

I was thinking the articles and forum posts lit a fire in her like they did me, but it came out last night that they were devastating to her. We have agreed that I will keep leaning hard into this, learning and getting punched in the face, and I will tell her what we are going to do and how we will live. She will go along with what I say. I guess there's more than one way to skin a bird.

Ugh.

Okay, I am very glad that you are able to accept the tough love.

But your wife?  She needs to get a grip. 

I completely get that your wife's massage business is very important to her and to the lives of the people she works on.  But she can understand, can't she, that the "hobby" label was income-only perspective, can't she?  I'm sorry, but if her feelings get that hurt to the point where she is accusing you of taking sides with the big, mean internet strangers, she's going to have a long, tough road getting to financial independence with you.  This feels like one more indication she may not have the ovaries to buckle down.  (I'm still reeling a little at the fact that she actually asked you whether you would support her if you get that new job... wow, that's a lot of cognitive dissonance for someone who is in one hell of a debt emergency.)

Okay, sorry, I just had to get that out.  Obviously, she's not going to read this because she can't handle what we're saying.  I hope you're able to figure out how to continue presenting the cold, hard facts to her in a way that feels like she's getting a relaxing spa treatment instead of a punch in the face.

Been following this and have to chime in...

It is a hobby, no one is saying it's not important to her or that she isn't valuable to her clients. I'm sure she is and I'm sure she loves it and gets a lot of benefit from it - but not money, or very little money at least. You can do a lot of important and valuable (for wellness and happiness) and not generate income. Personally, I volunteer a lot and feel it's very valuable but it's not a job because I'm not paid.

You are presenting it as her job/business so people on the forum are responding in a way to make it more profitable to help solve your debt situation, if she wants it to be her job/business it needs to make money. If she is doing it for other reasons, that is ok too but there needs to be some awareness that she needs to contribute a certain amount of income based on your (as a couple's) debt situation, either through a viable massage business or something else.

She clearly thinks massage is very valuable, some suggested her teaching it as another gig. Sounded like a great idea to me, maybe she would be interested in this as a suggestion?

Also, dagoffy1, you have said several times that this all your fault but from reading your posts I think your wife is at least equally to blame. You are bringing in the primary income and supporting her (as evidenced from her asking you support her staying near her clients if you take this new job offer, bc she cannot support herself alone) and she is also very inflexible about cutting some expensive (eating out, vacations). Overall, I think we have been harder on your wife but I think that is because you are not the only issue, you are at least willing to change.

I don't want to pile on to what has already been said about your wife, but really I want to say that you should not say/feel that everything in the current situation is your fault just because she wasn't in debt when you met her.

It seems that you can bring her around more, but it will take time.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Argyle on April 06, 2015, 12:50:44 PM
There is also the fact that some people are supporting two folks on ~82k.  So it's not as if your wife is really the problem.  As I understand it, she was living within her means until you two got together.  If she were staying at home raising a kid, you guys would make it on 82k.  So why you are not making it on 82k is also your problem.  I think tracking your expenses, as you're doing, will be an eye-opener and go towards figuring out the next step.

Now, of course it would help if your wife had a big income-producing job.  But that isn't absolutely crucial for you to be able to get your finances in order and start getting on top of your debt.  So I think you're right to avoid an attitude of "It's all her fault."  She may not be making a ton of money.  But you personally are spending beyond your means, and that's the most important thing — not how much you make.   And that is the most important thing to get a handle on.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: madamwitty on April 06, 2015, 12:52:24 PM
Wow...it sounds like you've dug yourself quite a hole. But as others have said, half the battle is "waking up". It will be a long, hard road ahead of you, but everything is going to be OK in the end! Best of luck.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: 1967mama on April 06, 2015, 01:03:50 PM
Maybe "part time work" is a little less harsh than "hobby?" I get your wife's reaction -- I tend to take things quite personally as well. She sounds like a very kind, sensitive and intuitive woman. I often wonder if some of the face punches would be delivered in person as harshly as they are on this forum?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: zinethstache on April 06, 2015, 02:23:22 PM
I just read your thread... and wow oh wow, what a fine pickle you are in! You are for all intents and purposes your wife's "sugar daddy" there is NO way around that. If she was poor all her early life it should bother her ALOT to have to depend on you. However, likely that fact has not sunk in yet. I agree with your tactic of giving her the facts so she can marinate on them.

I am the MMM advocate in my household and like you the breadwinner and I had a tough road with my DH. We were starting from 0 debt, AND DH had already FIREd so our path was a very different one, but the process was the same. I still say today that DH is only say 85% MMM, he still has some spending habits, as do I, that are hard to break. You need to build your MMM muscles over time and stick with your plan. I am three years in to my FI plan (I skipped the part about get out of debt, only because we'd never had alot) and looking back it feels so good how far we have come. Continue with your plans, keep working on the DW, you need to nurse her into the fold, not push her out.

I've got DH now on year two of an extensive garden, THAT is so awesome to me. He is already FI and now really works on our DIY activities as well as manages our passive income stream of rental properties. I feel he works every bit as much as I do and cannot WAIT until I can join him so we can split the duties.

I hope you get that job as it takes care of two really big hurdles for you, a chunk of debt and more income. I would hold off on the $10/hour job until you know about this job, then proceed.

I can't wait for the unveiling of your spending, it seems it should be so small, but I think you will be surprised at what you find there.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Josiecat on April 06, 2015, 02:33:14 PM
Your hair is on fire.  The spending needs to stop NOW.  She is not in a position to be working 3.5 hours a week.  You guys cannot afford that.  Sorry she's bummed, but she needs to grow up and look at the situation and you two need to work together.  Get your income UP and your expenses DOWN. You can do this. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 02:33:39 PM
Thanks, zinethstache!

You are right about DW. I am her retirement now. As good as she was with money...zero debt, large savings, and 401k account...when I met her, what she never considered was her retirement. Being self employed, she had no SS money coming at the end, no health insurance save catastrophic insurance, and so forth.

Like you I am curious about our spending. We have always thought about spending money as though we were going to spend as little as possible to get what we wanted to get: groceries, car repairs, clothes, whatever. But never budgeted. It's a little hard because we never know what she is going to make next month, and I hate the uncertainty of that.

I see that MMM is involved with youneedabudget.com and they've interviewed together and stuff, but I can't help thinking that paying 60 bucks for that budget software he's selling is absolutely UN-moustache-like...or what do YOU think?

I guess it would help to have a way to see where all your green employees are going and have a place for each one and to see it graphically, but then again I could do that with Excel or something.

But pardon me, I'm on my way to Costco to buy my food for the rest of April: a large bag of pinto beans! I guess a part of me enjoys punishing myself for being financially stupid, but on the plus side it saves money, too.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 02:37:54 PM
Your hair is on fire.  The spending needs to stop NOW.  She is not in a position to be working 3.5 hours a week.  You guys cannot afford that.  Sorry she's bummed, but she needs to grow up and look at the situation and you two need to work together.  Get your income UP and your expenses DOWN. You can do this.

Yes, my hair WAS on fire! It's all burned off now. It's my scalp that's on fire, and it hurts more!

Everything hinges on getting that job in the next few weeks. If I do, I know what we'll do next, of course.

If I don't, then I'm selling the Sentra, buying an el cheapo gas saver car AND getting a second job. I've also thought about selling the Sentra now, buying a bike and having my wife take me half way to work every morning (where the two lane country roads end) so I can bike the final 12 miles.

That landcruiser gets 15 mpg on a good day, but I think not paying the insurance and monthly payment for the Sentra trumps the extra Landcruiser gas we'll spend?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 06, 2015, 02:39:50 PM
Use Mint instead of YNAB. It's free.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: frugaldrummer on April 06, 2015, 02:42:41 PM
Quote
She does have an obligation to stay in this mansion until it sells...which could be 1 month or 5 years since it's a property worth millions...so we will be separated and I'm willing to pay that price to be FI one day.

A few months, or a year - fine.

Five years?  No way.  Surely there is SOMEONE else reliable who wants to live in a mansion for free????

If you get this job, you should definitely take it - twice the pay and forgiving a $22k debt is awesome!  I realize your wife will likely have to work harder to build a clientele in the bay area and may have more competition, but she should be able to build something up.  The key will be to keep your housing costs down there.

Let's say you are earning 150k/yr, and can keep your expenses down to $40k, taxes maybe $30k - that would give you $80k per year to throw at those debts!  You could actually be out of debt in 3 years and then be throwing money into retirement funds hand over fist. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: midweststache on April 06, 2015, 02:53:03 PM
Navient Student Loans: 101,350.39
...of this, 84k is at 7.5%
...and 17k is at 6%

Care Credit: 2548.45
...no interest at the moment

SW Credit Card 6393.83
...at 15.24%


Cap One CC: 5862.51
...at 4.83%

Credit Union CC: 4982.67 (This one is from the original car loan, which when we transferred to our CC was more than the car was worth, so they put the balance on this credit card)
...at 4%

Car Loan: 13,175.04
...at 1.69%

Relocation payback 22,000
...no interest, but paying 1000 per month at their insistence. Not negotiable unless I want to pay balance in full. That's the only other option other than paying more per month.

If I didn't fat finger my calculator, that comes to: 156,312.89


Our other bills are:

Verizon: 176.00
Cable/Internet: 120.00
Fuel: 200.00 or so
Food: Guessing at 250.00

What are your monthly payments on each debt?

After the $1,000 relocation loan payment, you should be hitting the 15% credit card with every spare dime.

You should also refinance the hell out of those student loans. I've heard people say good things about their experiences with SOFI; even a 5% interest rate on student loans would be a huge boon to you.

If you can't refinance (you mentioned something about not paying them right now, and I think you have to be in good standing with your accounts to refi) you should hit the 7.5% loan with everything as soon as your high-interest CC is paid off. If your SLs are calculated anything like ours, that loan is costing you $17.25 A DAY in interest.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: handsnhearts on April 06, 2015, 03:06:10 PM
As someone who previously did massage therapy (and grew up poor with bad financial literacy), I can relate to your wife. I'm not ok with some of the things that have been said about her on this journal. In fact, I found them downright offensive.

However I also am concerned that you said that you are going to decide and she is just going to have to go along with it. While I understand where you are coming from, that won't work well in the long run. You can get your own financial house in order, and maybe lots of the blame is on you, but if your partner isn't at least helping some, then it will be very difficult to make big changes.

But take care of business, use your money wisely, have your wife do that work waiting for her, and do your own smart moves. Give yourself some time to adjust, get better at this, and give your wife that time too. If that $13 outfit would have been $100 before, you saved $87. Just a thought.

You can do this and be kind too. People here get off on being mean in the guise of "face punches" sometimes. It is unnecessary after the first moment. We can't make time speed up, nor should we want to. And this stuff take time, just like it took time to get into.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: JLee on April 06, 2015, 03:07:26 PM
If you are shopping at Whole Foods, I'd be surprised if your grocery budget is $250/mo. I'm curious to see how much that ends up being once you've tracked it for a few months.

What are your expenses and how much do you have to throw at debt per month since you have no rent/mortgage?  Does your 401k have a match?  Will your wife entertain another job, $12k isn't much when you have debt and no retirement savings at 50.

Yes, 401K has a match at 4%.

My wife won't entertain another job, no. She charges 70 an hour and won't work for 10. Obviously the people who can afford her have money to spend, and so she sometimes does other work for them and charges 20 an hour. She also does pet sitting and gets 35 to 50 per day. She is NOT lazy, not by a long shot, but she has "standards". She is a 3/4 MMM convert....for the time being.

She charges $70/hr, but she's earning FAR less than someone working full time for $10/hr.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 03:07:32 PM
Use Mint instead of YNAB. It's free.

I have a mint account. It just won't connect with some of my cards for some reason. We used to have about 12 credit cards with full balances, but now 3 or 4. I haven't logged into mint for so long, but maybe the CC's I have left will work with the site.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 03:14:31 PM
If you are shopping at Whole Foods, I'd be surprised if your grocery budget is $250/mo. I'm curious to see how much that ends up being once you've tracked it for a few months.

What are your expenses and how much do you have to throw at debt per month since you have no rent/mortgage?  Does your 401k have a match?  Will your wife entertain another job, $12k isn't much when you have debt and no retirement savings at 50.

Yes, 401K has a match at 4%.

My wife won't entertain another job, no. She charges 70 an hour and won't work for 10. Obviously the people who can afford her have money to spend, and so she sometimes does other work for them and charges 20 an hour. She also does pet sitting and gets 35 to 50 per day. She is NOT lazy, not by a long shot, but she has "standards". She is a 3/4 MMM convert....for the time being.

She charges $70/hr, but she's earning FAR less than someone working full time for $10/hr.

OK, I got the scoop. We straightened things out this morning on the shopping for food thing.

Whole Foods was where she got the meat we bought. Since I don't eat meat anymore, Whole Foods is out.

We got things like frozen steel cut oats, yogurt, and various things she wanted to try at Trader Joes. We are now making our own steel cut oats, pouring them into a rubber silicone cupcake thing, then freezing them. Works the same. Other things she bought at Trader Joes she can get elsewhere. So Trader Joes is out.

She used to get all our veggies at WinCo for juicing and salads, but somehow got the idea I hated WinCo veggies and so she started buying them at New Seasons. We straightened that out today. She's going to get that stuff at WinCo.

She's already shopping at CostCo, but now she's going to buy beans and rice there in huge bulk, as well as coconut oil and other things in bulk.

Whatever we were spending, it's going to get less. I can't wait to see what happens. I'm not sure, but I think I looked in the mirror today and saw a wisp of hair on my upper lip. I might have been seeing things, though.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 03:23:32 PM

She charges $70/hr, but she's earning FAR less than someone working full time for $10/hr.

You are correct, of course. We went for a drive yesterday and talked about it. I figured after all her deductions and cost of doing business, she was netting a 375 dollar bi-monthly paycheck.

This amazed her, as she puts in a lot of hours. After some more discussion, I saw that she was just doing massage for many months and a few hours here and there for 20 an hour helping friends. These last two weeks, however, she has spent 8 to 10 hours per day on many days helping an elderly lady friend of hers. This work seems nearly endless so it could go on for years if she chooses.

For her own sanity and comfort, I'm going to go with what she has made the last two weeks and call that her normal income. If she puts her nose to the grindstone, it will actually BE that and not just what I choose to call it.

She does all the shopping and 95% of the cleaning of this mansion we are living in, and that's basically "earning" our free rent. So on second thought I think she might be earning more than is readily apparent.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: 1967mama on April 06, 2015, 03:24:21 PM
Winco -- I buy all of my beans, oats, flour, wheat and rice at Winco. At my store, it is against the wall behind the bulk section. Perhaps your wife isn't aware that they sell these items there? It might worth price comparing with Costco before buying large quantities. They also have bulk spices where you fill your own bags -- pennies on the dollar!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: netskyblue on April 06, 2015, 03:36:22 PM
My biggest areas of saving since I converted to Mustachianism (other than mindfully reducing spending on "stuff") was cutting the cell phone bill - I was paying $70ish a month, now under $25 most months with Ting ($540/year) and asking an independent insurance agent to price me out the lowest car & renters insurance I could get for the same coverage, and dropping comp & collision (don't have the exact numbers, but I think it was $600ish a year).  We didn't ever have cable, so no cutting there.  We do have, and want to keep, Netflix.

Maybe $1140/year sounds like small beans to someone with your kind of paycheck, but that's more than 1 whole paycheck to me!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cassie on April 06, 2015, 03:42:34 PM
Here Winco is cheaper then costco & you can get things in bulk.  I agree with the poster that said people can get kind of mean on here & that is not very helpful. YOu guys are a team & need to work together since that is how you got into this mess. Give your wife a hug:))
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 03:58:50 PM
Here Winco is cheaper then costco & you can get things in bulk.  I agree with the poster that said people can get kind of mean on here & that is not very helpful. YOu guys are a team & need to work together since that is how you got into this mess. Give your wife a hug:))

I will take the face punches for both of us, but I'll give the hugs to her :)

Thanks for the heads up about WinCo being possibly cheaper beans. I'll look into that.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 04:00:43 PM
My biggest areas of saving since I converted to Mustachianism (other than mindfully reducing spending on "stuff") was cutting the cell phone bill - I was paying $70ish a month, now under $25 most months with Ting ($540/year) and asking an independent insurance agent to price me out the lowest car & renters insurance I could get for the same coverage, and dropping comp & collision (don't have the exact numbers, but I think it was $600ish a year).  We didn't ever have cable, so no cutting there.  We do have, and want to keep, Netflix.

Maybe $1140/year sounds like small beans to someone with your kind of paycheck, but that's more than 1 whole paycheck to me!


1140 a year in savings sounds like a DREAM. I see MMM recommends Republic. Problem is you have to buy your own phone and we don't have the cash for that after getting a 10,666 tax bill last night. I get a 20% discount off my Verizon cell bill which I thought gave me some whiskers, but I see that once again I have far underestimated how cheaply cell phones coverage can be had.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: rmendpara on April 06, 2015, 04:20:40 PM
Don't get too caught up in trying to fix everything overnight. It's overwhelming, and more likely to cause you to fail if you decide it's impossible and give up.

Take a few days to come up with a list of everything that needs to be improved.
1) Come up with a budget by month.
2) Stick to the budget from #1. If there's an exception, figure it out and make sure it doesn't keep happening.
3) Start reducing expenses where possible (lower tier cable/cell/tv packages are low hanging fruit). Medium to long term, look at vehicles, entertainment spending, housing, etc.
4) Most importantly, set goals and check in each quarter.

In the long run, it's behavioral issues that got you into this mess. So, work to correct those behaviors, and also learn to think about finances rationally rather than emotionally. "My clients love me and I love them" is not a valid argument why it's okay to not have a successful (financially) business. No one thinks your wife is a dud. None of us knows her.

However, objectively, your wife's business is not succeeding. Help her come up with a plan to make more. You mentioned she used to make $50k+ years ago? Why not now? Most therapists I Know charge $50/hr+ at their office. I can't imagine someone coming to my house for less than 100/hr. Simple way to make more money. 1) Massage more clients, 2) and/or charge more per massage. It's up to you both on how to make progress on those two fronts.

Wish you both well. No need to put one another down. What's financial independence without someone to share it with? No one suggests you dump the bimbo (not really saying she's a bimbo, just to clarify). You're a grown up, so act like one. Both of you.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ambimammular on April 06, 2015, 04:42:23 PM
Seriously, some people just like to throw divorce around, like it's some punishment for not being as frugal as your partner.

I'd like to think your poor gal can be as inspired as you were, with some more time and information. Most of us weren't born content with what we have. It's just might take her a while to come around.

I also like the perspective that her cleaning/house maintenance is what is earning your accommodations. That's usually the largest part of any budget. In that way, she's totally doing her share.

Because that small business of hers has great potential for income growth, your wife is the easy target. And a bigger shovel (more income) will help you guys fill in your black pit of debt all the faster.

Tell her, we're wanting what's best for your futures. We're all cheering for you.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: 1967mama on April 06, 2015, 05:03:13 PM
Two blog entries by Mr. & Mrs. Money Mustache on "The Talk" with your spouse that you might enjoy:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/04/25/having-the-talk-with-a-current-or-potential-mate/

http://www.mrsmoneymustache.com/serious-savings-without-the-sacrifice-part-1/
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Argyle on April 06, 2015, 05:08:37 PM
Don't pay for YNAB when your hair is on fire.

I track everything with a paper and pencil.  I actually find it fun.  It focuses you on the figures.  And no question that it's cheap.

One question I have: whose student loans are those?  If they're yours, I think it's inappropriate for folks here to be ragging on your wife for not working and paying them off.  Sure, you're married and you're in this together.  But if it was you and not your wife who ran up that $101,350.39, I think we're ragging on the wrong person.  (Not that I think we should actually be critical of anyone.  But to the extent that we are, we need to get responsibility straight.)  I get that she could be ensuring your mutual future and pulling her own weight by working more.  But if someone told me, "Start working full time so you can pay off your SO's $101,000 debt," I'd be a little cranky too.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 05:48:23 PM
Don't pay for YNAB when your hair is on fire.

I track everything with a paper and pencil.  I actually find it fun.  It focuses you on the figures.  And no question that it's cheap.

One question I have: whose student loans are those?  If they're yours, I think it's inappropriate for folks here to be ragging on your wife for not working and paying them off.  Sure, you're married and you're in this together.  But if it was you and not your wife who ran up that $101,350.39, I think we're ragging on the wrong person.  (Not that I think we should actually be critical of anyone.  But to the extent that we are, we need to get responsibility straight.)  I get that she could be ensuring your mutual future and pulling her own weight by working more.  But if someone told me, "Start working full time so you can pay off your SO's $101,000 debt," I'd be a little cranky too.

Oh no, they are ALL mine. They are what makes me the bigger earner, too, by far. And I have never said my wife was the problem. She is far more into staying on the coast for a weekend or eating out or seeing a movie than I am, but then again I'm more of an impulse buyer. Both have to stop and stop now.

The only problem she MIGHT be is that she may not be all-in. I think she is now. When it comes to Starbucks and stuff like that when she wants to hang out with her girlfriends, this might be a wrestling match for the future. Baby steps. She's onboard and I'll pick my spots as we get battle hardened.

As I type this she is looking at prices at WinCo and writing them down, then going across the street to Costco to compare. I would be doing this, but she was already in town for an appt. When I called her to say I was going to do some price comparing, she said she would do it since she was out already and why should I drive another car out there when she would pass by there on her way home?

She's all there. You just have to put it the right way to her and then she wants to marinate in it for a bit. She's not an X's and O's, paint by the numbers person. Sell her the big picture and how all these little things, one at a time, help us and then she's in.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: okits on April 06, 2015, 06:33:43 PM
I think you're getting substantial benefit just putting a lot of attention into this.  Figuring out where your money is being spent, what you have to pay off, eliminating what behaviours don't make sense. Understanding how much or little you are earning.

You won't be able to change everything overnight, so aim for the biggest improvements, first. If your wife spends $5 for Starbucks with friends, don't sweat it. You can give yourselves "fun budgets" to blow on whatever you want, so you stay on track for the big things by loosening up a little on the smaller stuff.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: kathrynd on April 06, 2015, 06:46:53 PM
As a suggestion, you and your wife could live off her income.
Use the envelope or jar system.
If you are not familiar with this, you make a budget for your expenses, and designate how much you will allow each pay...and then put in the jar/envelope.
If you allow $50 week for food, after the money is gone, there is nothing until the next payday.

With your income, pay the minimum on all bills except one.
Pick one  bill to put the remainder of your pay on.

Get rid of, or cut up your credit cards, so you won't be tempted.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: wordnerd on April 06, 2015, 07:35:15 PM
You've gotten a lot of good advice. You might consider starting a journal on here to document your progress. Might help with accountability and keeping you motivated after this initial push. Best of luck to you!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 06, 2015, 08:06:38 PM
Do you mean just continue on this thread as a journal?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: swick on April 06, 2015, 08:29:29 PM
Do you mean just continue on this thread as a journal?

There is a "journal" section on the forum. It is only viewable by members and does not show up in search results.  You could start a new thread in that section, or if you would like I (or another Mod) can move this whole thread into the journal section. It's where you aren't necessarily asking for advice on a specific topic but more sharing the journey and getting help along the way.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: teen persuasion on April 06, 2015, 08:33:24 PM
Thanks, zinethstache!

You are right about DW. I am her retirement now. As good as she was with money...zero debt, large savings, and 401k account...when I met her, what she never considered was her retirement. Being self employed, she had no SS money coming at the end, no health insurance save catastrophic insurance, and so forth.

Like you I am curious about our spending. We have always thought about spending money as though we were going to spend as little as possible to get what we wanted to get: groceries, car repairs, clothes, whatever. But never budgeted. It's a little hard because we never know what she is going to make next month, and I hate the uncertainty of that.

I see that MMM is involved with youneedabudget.com and they've interviewed together and stuff, but I can't help thinking that paying 60 bucks for that budget software he's selling is absolutely UN-moustache-like...or what do YOU think?

I guess it would help to have a way to see where all your green employees are going and have a place for each one and to see it graphically, but then again I could do that with Excel or something.

But pardon me, I'm on my way to Costco to buy my food for the rest of April: a large bag of pinto beans! I guess a part of me enjoys punishing myself for being financially stupid, but on the plus side it saves money, too.

Why does she have no SS coming?  Hasn't she been reporting her SE earnings all along?  Will she be eligible for 1/2 your SS?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Exflyboy on April 06, 2015, 09:43:56 PM
Speaking of phones.. I spend $5 a month with Ptel... Airvoice wireless is $10 a month.. You don't need data (you can't afford it).. texting is the cheapest, just get a $13 phone from Walmart.

You can't afford car repairs.. learn how to do your own.. I never had a car go into a garage yet!.. oil changes,timing belts, engine rebuilds its ALL DIY (except for tire changes and wheel alignments)

Also start comparison shopping when your insurance comes up.. the Hartford was cheapest for us for both home and car.

Check your getting the best deals on internet access.

Always take lunch to work, never eat out etc etc.

It CAN be DONE.. It HAS been done.. check out my link below for proof... $160k in debt to almost $2M Networth (counting the house) in 17 years.... It CAN BE DONE!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: horsepoor on April 06, 2015, 10:32:19 PM
1.  I think WinCo offers a discount if you buy a whole bag of a bulk item - 50# of beans or whatever

2.  There's got to be something more economical than a Landcruiser that can transport a massage table. Assuming the thing folds, check out a Honda FIT.  They have an amazing amount of room in back, and get 40 MPG, and would be more reliable/cheap to repair than the LC.

3.  As has been mentioned, you need to at least be getting your 401(k) match.  It's free money, and you don't have a long time to save for retirement.

4.  If you're out of contract, you might be able to move your phones to Ting, instead of buying a Republic phone.

Good luck!  With the current free rent you should be able to make some major progress on your highest-rate debts.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 12:35:47 AM
Speaking of phones.. I spend $5 a month with Ptel... Airvoice wireless is $10 a month.. You don't need data (you can't afford it).. texting is the cheapest, just get a $13 phone from Walmart.

You can't afford car repairs.. learn how to do your own.. I never had a car go into a garage yet!.. oil changes,timing belts, engine rebuilds its ALL DIY (except for tire changes and wheel alignments)

Also start comparison shopping when your insurance comes up.. the Hartford was cheapest for us for both home and car.

Check your getting the best deals on internet access.

Always take lunch to work, never eat out etc etc.

It CAN be DONE.. It HAS been done.. check out my link below for proof... $160k in debt to almost $2M Networth (counting the house) in 17 years.... It CAN BE DONE!

As for internet and cable, we don't have a choice at the moment. This isn't our house, our cable account, nor our TV. I think we maybe be able to get the owners to call in and cancel cable/internet for us, but internet is useful. I asked wife tonight if she wanted to cancel cable and she doesn't want to do it. She is the only one that watches TV. We both watch Netflix, but that's on a TV we brought and keep in another room. Someone mentioned that most modern TVs have a connection in back that would let it function as a smart TV, more or less, if connected to a laptop feeding the signal to it. I'm going to look tomorrow to see if I can do that, then if it is possible I'll run the cable cancel idea past her again.

I'm going to call Verizon and find out how much it will cost to break our 2 year agreement, which is up next February. Getting a cell phone like you said for 5 or 10 per month would be fantastic. We are paying for her mother's phone as well as our 2 phones, currently paying 176 per month. Dropping that down to 30 would be wonderful, a savings of 140 or so per month. Depending on what it costs to break the contract it might pay to do it, as long as we don't have to buy new cell phones.

I DO change my own oil. The last repair was a transmission rebuild, and it had to be done quickly and done right, and I have no idea about any of it. It was challenging for a transmission shop, as it took them 10 days to get it right. She needs that vehicle to work and I need mine to get to work, so we needed two vehicles back quickly. As it was she rented a car 3 or 4 different days when she needed to be out and about for massage. We go in opposite directions for work.

We got a very cheap deal on insurance. I'm eager to sell this Sentra (when I hear about this CA job) and seeing that insurance drop like a rock to having only collision on the Landcruiser. I did shop around for the Honda FIT and just by seeing pictures of it I know my wife won't want it. I don't want to hit her with too much at once, so I'm going to keep looking around and include her in on the search.

The more I read what you tell me and what others tell me, I'm excited to go all in. If I was single, it'd be easy. I'd live on beans, never use heater/air conditioner, walk or bike everywhere, no cable, nothing. But she is a little skittish at tons of change at once, and I need her buy in or this is going to get nasty fast.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 12:39:20 AM


Why does she have no SS coming?  Hasn't she been reporting her SE earnings all along?  Will she be eligible for 1/2 your SS?

Well, I assumed she had no SS coming because she was self employed, but now I realize I was thinking about the R/R system. Yes, she is current on all taxes. My bad.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 12:49:10 AM
As a suggestion, you and your wife could live off her income.
Use the envelope or jar system.
If you are not familiar with this, you make a budget for your expenses, and designate how much you will allow each pay...and then put in the jar/envelope.
If you allow $50 week for food, after the money is gone, there is nothing until the next payday.

With your income, pay the minimum on all bills except one.
Pick one  bill to put the remainder of your pay on.

Get rid of, or cut up your credit cards, so you won't be tempted.

I love this advice, living off HER income. She doesn't make enough currently to support that, but she could ramp up her income quickly soon. The other problem with living off her income is that we never know how much that is going to be, exactly, as people get sick or go out of town or die. The latter has happened a lot in the past 8 years, she's lost maybe 7 or 8 clients. A few more went away permanently with the economy crash. A few have moved away.

But if we can get her core clientele up again this would work and it's a fantastic idea. I also like the envelope method. A lot depends on whether or not I get this job.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: onwisconsin on April 07, 2015, 06:24:57 AM
What's the deal with the 10K tax bill?  I didn't see you mention any details about that.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 06:56:31 AM
What's the deal with the 10K tax bill?  I didn't see you mention any details about that.

Just found that out night before last :(

We have 8000 in savings and it's all going to that bill, and the remainder will be the first thing gone.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: James on April 07, 2015, 07:19:18 AM
I didn't read all the replies, but did want to suggest something regarding your wife not making a lot of money.


Don't focus on making her "buy in" to MMM. That sounds like a losing battle, and a waste of your energy. Focus instead in making sure YOU are living MMM principles.


You mention she grew up in poverty, so she knows how it works. The key is that you simply don't have the money to spend. You don't have to convince her not to spend money, you need to show her that there is no money to spend. Set up automatic payments to get rid of your paycheck as soon as it comes. Cut up credit cards. When she wants to go to the sea and stay in a motel, you just say there isn't money to pay for it. Make the lack of money a scapegoat, and it will change your lifestyle.


Of course once you get through the PANTS ON FIRE DEBT EMERGENCY you are in right now, you can then figure out how to continue that lifestyle. It might take more convincing to avoid the beach once you have good money in the bank, but at that point the habits and lifestyle will be changed, so you won't have those things to fight.


Finally, make sure you are finding new things to do when you avoid spending money. Instead of going to a hotel, find a cheap way to enjoy life. Find a hobby or sport you both can enjoy without spending a lot of money.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: laka on April 07, 2015, 07:22:46 AM
Use Mint instead of YNAB. It's free.

I have a mint account. It just won't connect with some of my cards for some reason. We used to have about 12 credit cards with full balances, but now 3 or 4. I haven't logged into mint for so long, but maybe the CC's I have left will work with the site.

Quick plug for YNAB - I've used Mint for years, but having everything automatically entered really did NOT help me with figuring out where my money went.  With YNAB, you enter all of it, which had the effect of making me really pay attention to what I was spending.  And I really felt a shift in how I was thinking about money when I started using it.

When I checked YNAB out initially, I thought I'd just figure it out (as I do with most software).  It wasn't helpful that way. So I watched some of the videos, and it clicked.  I'd really recommend the 30 day free trial, and sign up for some of the into classes - they give one copy of the software away in each one.  If nothing else, spend a little time learning about YNAB's system. You probably could do it in Excel, it's just a matter of if you WILL do it and HOW. 

I'll also counsel patience with your wife. It sounds like she is coming around, which is great. But remember that before you had this lightning bolt from the sky, you thought things were a-ok as they are too.  It takes time to get on the same page. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: olivia on April 07, 2015, 10:36:27 AM
What's the deal with the 10K tax bill?  I didn't see you mention any details about that.

Just found that out night before last :(

We have 8000 in savings and it's all going to that bill, and the remainder will be the first thing gone.

Is there no getting that lowered?  Did you use a (good) accountant?  Could you put money in IRAs to lower the amount owed?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 10:59:39 AM
I didn't read all the replies, but did want to suggest something regarding your wife not making a lot of money.


Don't focus on making her "buy in" to MMM. That sounds like a losing battle, and a waste of your energy. Focus instead in making sure YOU are living MMM principles.


You mention she grew up in poverty, so she knows how it works. The key is that you simply don't have the money to spend. You don't have to convince her not to spend money, you need to show her that there is no money to spend. Set up automatic payments to get rid of your paycheck as soon as it comes. Cut up credit cards. When she wants to go to the sea and stay in a motel, you just say there isn't money to pay for it. Make the lack of money a scapegoat, and it will change your lifestyle.


Of course once you get through the PANTS ON FIRE DEBT EMERGENCY you are in right now, you can then figure out how to continue that lifestyle. It might take more convincing to avoid the beach once you have good money in the bank, but at that point the habits and lifestyle will be changed, so you won't have those things to fight.


Finally, make sure you are finding new things to do when you avoid spending money. Instead of going to a hotel, find a cheap way to enjoy life. Find a hobby or sport you both can enjoy without spending a lot of money.

Excellent advice, thank you. I'm pretty sure now she's all in, judging from our talk this morning. Not happy about it, but there's nothing to be happy about when your hair is on fire!

She's talking about working 7 days a week and I am, too, but I'm wondering if having one day off a week each would be a hedge against burnout?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 11:01:44 AM
What's the deal with the 10K tax bill?  I didn't see you mention any details about that.

Just found that out night before last :(

We have 8000 in savings and it's all going to that bill, and the remainder will be the first thing gone.

Is there no getting that lowered?  Did you use a (good) accountant?  Could you put money in IRAs to lower the amount owed?


There's no getting it lowered. Our accountant knows all the tricks. My wife has gone to her for years, and she's done well enough that she's now the VP of her company, but will still personally do our taxes.

From now on I will put money into work's 401k to make sure to keep our taxable income low.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: James on April 07, 2015, 11:14:57 AM
Excellent advice, thank you. I'm pretty sure now she's all in, judging from our talk this morning. Not happy about it, but there's nothing to be happy about when your hair is on fire!

She's talking about working 7 days a week and I am, too, but I'm wondering if having one day off a week each would be a hedge against burnout?


I think it is excellent to make a goal, and then do whatever it takes within reason to meet that goal. So I would suggest making a goal to pay off all the debt, and work 7 days a week to meet that goal. Once you meet your goal I would step back from the hectic "hair on fire" schedule to avoid burnout, and finding a pace you can manage longer term. Your new goals will just be a balance between too much work and too much time to reach FI, no one else can make the decision for you, but it is a good topic for discussion.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: handsnhearts on April 07, 2015, 11:21:01 AM
[quote author=dagiffy1 link=topic=34862.msg617752#msg617752 date=1428389350

I love this advice, living off HER income. She doesn't make enough currently to support that, but she could ramp up her income quickly soon. The other problem with living off her income is that we never know how much that is going to be, exactly, as people get sick or go out of town or die. The latter has happened a lot in the past 8 years, she's lost maybe 7 or 8 clients. A few more went away permanently with the economy crash. A few have moved away.

But if we can get her core clientele up again this would work and it's a fantastic idea. I also like the envelope method. A lot depends on whether or not I get this job.
[/quote]

I would suggest, if I were to go back to massage therapy now, I would take a much different business/entrepreneurial approach to the business. She will always have fluctuation in the number of clients at any given time. A significant proportion of the business needs to be dedicated to attracting new client all the time. There  are many ways to do this that can minimize the risk when going to a client's home. But separate the amazing good healing work from the business of attracting new clients. This, in retrospect, is why I wasn't as successful as my skills should have made me. Also, never turn down work in the field, even if it for less money. You can always stop doing something if it isn't working for you, but keep a "yes" attitude. I have some other ideas for her too. Let me know if she is interested from someone who has been there. I also think you need to step back and let her develop her own business.

You have more than enough issues on your side of the equation to keep you busy for a while. I had the same problem when I first got excited about making financial progress, and I was pushing on DH pretty hard. But realistically, the majority of the problem was me. I have plenty of my own things to work on. When my own shit is more taken care of, I can then kindly suggest some improvements for DH. Also, although he was bleeding some small amounts of money, I was the one with all the debt, no assets and spending money inappropriately frequently. Now that my end is doing better, he is trying harder too. So unless she is spending big amounts often, or spending big amounts impulsively , focus on yourself for now.

I think you have acknowledged that you are the main problem, but because there is a lot about your wife here, you have started throwing her under the bus a bit. Just focus on your habits only for now. Track your money. And don't say things like "she will have to get used to it". Very patronizing. Your wife is a person and has her own thoughts about how to do things. If you don't agree, fine. If she doesn't agree with you, that is fine too. Don't make a power dynamic that will cause you problems in the long run.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Exflyboy on April 07, 2015, 11:32:37 AM
Speaking of phones.. I spend $5 a month with Ptel... Airvoice wireless is $10 a month.. You don't need data (you can't afford it).. texting is the cheapest, just get a $13 phone from Walmart.

You can't afford car repairs.. learn how to do your own.. I never had a car go into a garage yet!.. oil changes,timing belts, engine rebuilds its ALL DIY (except for tire changes and wheel alignments)

Also start comparison shopping when your insurance comes up.. the Hartford was cheapest for us for both home and car.

Check your getting the best deals on internet access.

Always take lunch to work, never eat out etc etc.

It CAN be DONE.. It HAS been done.. check out my link below for proof... $160k in debt to almost $2M Networth (counting the house) in 17 years.... It CAN BE DONE!

As for internet and cable, we don't have a choice at the moment. This isn't our house, our cable account, nor our TV. I think we maybe be able to get the owners to call in and cancel cable/internet for us, but internet is useful. I asked wife tonight if she wanted to cancel cable and she doesn't want to do it. She is the only one that watches TV. We both watch Netflix, but that's on a TV we brought and keep in another room. Someone mentioned that most modern TVs have a connection in back that would let it function as a smart TV, more or less, if connected to a laptop feeding the signal to it. I'm going to look tomorrow to see if I can do that, then if it is possible I'll run the cable cancel idea past her again.

I'm going to call Verizon and find out how much it will cost to break our 2 year agreement, which is up next February. Getting a cell phone like you said for 5 or 10 per month would be fantastic. We are paying for her mother's phone as well as our 2 phones, currently paying 176 per month. Dropping that down to 30 would be wonderful, a savings of 140 or so per month. Depending on what it costs to break the contract it might pay to do it, as long as we don't have to buy new cell phones.

I DO change my own oil. The last repair was a transmission rebuild, and it had to be done quickly and done right, and I have no idea about any of it. It was challenging for a transmission shop, as it took them 10 days to get it right. She needs that vehicle to work and I need mine to get to work, so we needed two vehicles back quickly. As it was she rented a car 3 or 4 different days when she needed to be out and about for massage. We go in opposite directions for work.

We got a very cheap deal on insurance. I'm eager to sell this Sentra (when I hear about this CA job) and seeing that insurance drop like a rock to having only collision on the Landcruiser. I did shop around for the Honda FIT and just by seeing pictures of it I know my wife won't want it. I don't want to hit her with too much at once, so I'm going to keep looking around and include her in on the search.

The more I read what you tell me and what others tell me, I'm excited to go all in. If I was single, it'd be easy. I'd live on beans, never use heater/air conditioner, walk or bike everywhere, no cable, nothing. But she is a little skittish at tons of change at once, and I need her buy in or this is going to get nasty fast.

OK I see your still waking up.. But here is a prime example of something you dropped in without thinking about.

YOU PAY FOR HER MOTHER'S PHONE...... Excuse me?.... I sure hope there is a very good financial reason (like good for YOU) for you to be paying for her phone.

You can't be doing this stuff! I understand you will need to tread carefully because you need to keep your Wife on board, but if my Wife said to me we need to start paying for her Mothers phone I'd have a freaking melt down.

She's either pay for her own phone or she wouldn't have a phone... Period...



Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cpa Cat on April 07, 2015, 11:40:20 AM
Put the IRS debt on a payment plan. You can do it right online.

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Payment-Plans-Installment-Agreements

The IRS' interest rate on the $10,000 of tax debt will be much better than some of your other debt.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: sleepyguy on April 07, 2015, 12:10:00 PM
OMGosh, 82k pretax... rent free... shit ton (large % bad) debt.

Sorry wifey... 'need' a large car, this and that for $12k/yr... sorry but i made that at 13yrs old.  That don't fly.  Ramp that up to at least 30k+ or can it.

Kill that CC debt and pay your family back... that is a priority.

did you graduate from every degree available?  at 50 you still have 100k loans?  that is really absurd.

My advice to you both is start living like college kids (spending wise, not the drinking/partying :).  Get that CC debt gone... and pay your family back... YES they remember.  That's a start.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: 1967mama on April 07, 2015, 12:16:55 PM
Another free budgeting program is:

https://www.daveramsey.com/everydollar/

It just came out about a week ago, so I haven't read any user reviews on it yet. It seems similar to YNAB, on first glance.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 12:45:52 PM

I would suggest, if I were to go back to massage therapy now, I would take a much different business/entrepreneurial approach to the business. She will always have fluctuation in the number of clients at any given time. A significant proportion of the business needs to be dedicated to attracting new client all the time. There  are many ways to do this that can minimize the risk when going to a client's home. But separate the amazing good healing work from the business of attracting new clients. This, in retrospect, is why I wasn't as successful as my skills should have made me. Also, never turn down work in the field, even if it for less money. You can always stop doing something if it isn't working for you, but keep a "yes" attitude. I have some other ideas for her too. Let me know if she is interested from someone who has been there. I also think you need to step back and let her develop her own business.

You have more than enough issues on your side of the equation to keep you busy for a while. I had the same problem when I first got excited about making financial progress, and I was pushing on DH pretty hard. But realistically, the majority of the problem was me. I have plenty of my own things to work on. When my own shit is more taken care of, I can then kindly suggest some improvements for DH. Also, although he was bleeding some small amounts of money, I was the one with all the debt, no assets and spending money inappropriately frequently. Now that my end is doing better, he is trying harder too. So unless she is spending big amounts often, or spending big amounts impulsively , focus on yourself for now.

I think you have acknowledged that you are the main problem, but because there is a lot about your wife here, you have started throwing her under the bus a bit. Just focus on your habits only for now. Track your money. And don't say things like "she will have to get used to it". Very patronizing. Your wife is a person and has her own thoughts about how to do things. If you don't agree, fine. If she doesn't agree with you, that is fine too. Don't make a power dynamic that will cause you problems in the long run.

Thanks for your advice. My wife has been doing this for 18 years now, so she's pretty much seen and done everything. Her problem was the same as mine: neither of us paid attention to the fact that our hair was on fire. She's hustling for new clients and working for a lady for 20 an hour during gaps between appointments.

I haven't thrown my wife under the bus at all, that's just your opinion. I'm stating the truth, because that's what I care about most. Anything other than the truth is a lie and I'm not going to live under a lie (no problems here financially, we'll make it!) anymore. This is why I'm just as blunt about myself as I am about her. If this rubs you wrong I guess that's how it's going to be.

And I will say things like "she will get used to it", because it isn't patronizing. You are welcome to your opinion, but I won't change how we do things because you do not like it. There is no power dynamic other than us together doing this, and I'm confident she's all there now. It just took a few days to get a taste for it and now she's excited to get going, and that gets me even more excited.

There isn't anything to "work on", as you put it, other than learning as we go. I'm sure we will find better and better ways to save money and get the most bang for our bucks, so that will be ongoing. We are selling a car despite living in the country, cutting internet out of our lives, getting rid of our expensive cell phone plans for cheaper ones, manhandling our grocery bill, and looking for ways to work 7 days a week. I'm satisfied with our start after only 4 or 5 days to think about it.

Once I see the light, I'm all in immediately and I've always been that way with anything I chose to do. There will be no more Starbucks, no more eating out, no more not bringing lunch from home, no more buying books or music or DVDs, no more movies and popcorn, biking everywhere we can, etc.

I'm sure you'll have opinions about how I've said all this, too, but that's OK. I didn't sign up for marriage counseling or a therapy session and we will figure this out as a couple as we always have.

What I love about this site is the bottomless information fountain about living this life and getting better and better at it. Every cent is ours and we don't want to trade it for anything other than absolute need; otherwise, it goes to debt.

I was concerned she didn't share that mindset, and for good reason. Several days ago she asked me if I'd support her here when I went to CA to work, and was even talking about how there's a nice new hotel on the coast with an indoor saltwater pool and wouldn't that be fun for a weekend?

Then today she shot out of bed with fire in her eyes and on a mission, hitting on all MMM cylinders. What a change, and I'm proud to call her my wife. I think she and I are doing well at adapting from the old to the new. We didn't even know this lifestyle was possible or even existed a week ago today, and now we are ready to eat rice and beans and play Rummy and Yahtzee for our entertainment if we can't go outside in the regular Oregon downpour.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 12:52:19 PM
OMGosh, 82k pretax... rent free... shit ton (large % bad) debt.

Sorry wifey... 'need' a large car, this and that for $12k/yr... sorry but i made that at 13yrs old.  That don't fly.  Ramp that up to at least 30k+ or can it.

Kill that CC debt and pay your family back... that is a priority.

did you graduate from every degree available?  at 50 you still have 100k loans?  that is really absurd.

My advice to you both is start living like college kids (spending wise, not the drinking/partying :).  Get that CC debt gone... and pay your family back... YES they remember.  That's a start.

Well, hello! Yes, things have changed. She IS ramping up the income. You should see her work the phones.

And no, family hasn't forgotten the loan. I don't LET them. I even made them an excel spreadsheet totaling everything and taped it to their fridge. I did this because they weren't even concerned enough to know how much they loaned me in the first place, so I made sure they knew and when they could expect payments. They said they couldn't care less but if I wanted to pay them back, I could.

Oh, we are living like college kids. We are still bleeding from the cuts down to the bone. Hasn't been enough time to even scab over yet. Can't wait to see real numbers changing as time goes by.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 07, 2015, 01:01:23 PM
Speaking of phones.. I spend $5 a month with Ptel... Airvoice wireless is $10 a month.. You don't need data (you can't afford it).. texting is the cheapest, just get a $13 phone from Walmart.

You can't afford car repairs.. learn how to do your own.. I never had a car go into a garage yet!.. oil changes,timing belts, engine rebuilds its ALL DIY (except for tire changes and wheel alignments)

Also start comparison shopping when your insurance comes up.. the Hartford was cheapest for us for both home and car.

Check your getting the best deals on internet access.

Always take lunch to work, never eat out etc etc.

It CAN be DONE.. It HAS been done.. check out my link below for proof... $160k in debt to almost $2M Networth (counting the house) in 17 years.... It CAN BE DONE!

As for internet and cable, we don't have a choice at the moment. This isn't our house, our cable account, nor our TV. I think we maybe be able to get the owners to call in and cancel cable/internet for us, but internet is useful. I asked wife tonight if she wanted to cancel cable and she doesn't want to do it. She is the only one that watches TV. We both watch Netflix, but that's on a TV we brought and keep in another room. Someone mentioned that most modern TVs have a connection in back that would let it function as a smart TV, more or less, if connected to a laptop feeding the signal to it. I'm going to look tomorrow to see if I can do that, then if it is possible I'll run the cable cancel idea past her again.

I'm going to call Verizon and find out how much it will cost to break our 2 year agreement, which is up next February. Getting a cell phone like you said for 5 or 10 per month would be fantastic. We are paying for her mother's phone as well as our 2 phones, currently paying 176 per month. Dropping that down to 30 would be wonderful, a savings of 140 or so per month. Depending on what it costs to break the contract it might pay to do it, as long as we don't have to buy new cell phones.

I DO change my own oil. The last repair was a transmission rebuild, and it had to be done quickly and done right, and I have no idea about any of it. It was challenging for a transmission shop, as it took them 10 days to get it right. She needs that vehicle to work and I need mine to get to work, so we needed two vehicles back quickly. As it was she rented a car 3 or 4 different days when she needed to be out and about for massage. We go in opposite directions for work.

We got a very cheap deal on insurance. I'm eager to sell this Sentra (when I hear about this CA job) and seeing that insurance drop like a rock to having only collision on the Landcruiser. I did shop around for the Honda FIT and just by seeing pictures of it I know my wife won't want it. I don't want to hit her with too much at once, so I'm going to keep looking around and include her in on the search.

The more I read what you tell me and what others tell me, I'm excited to go all in. If I was single, it'd be easy. I'd live on beans, never use heater/air conditioner, walk or bike everywhere, no cable, nothing. But she is a little skittish at tons of change at once, and I need her buy in or this is going to get nasty fast.

OK I see your still waking up.. But here is a prime example of something you dropped in without thinking about.

YOU PAY FOR HER MOTHER'S PHONE...... Excuse me?.... I sure hope there is a very good financial reason (like good for YOU) for you to be paying for her phone.

You can't be doing this stuff! I understand you will need to tread carefully because you need to keep your Wife on board, but if my Wife said to me we need to start paying for her Mothers phone I'd have a freaking melt down.

She's either pay for her own phone or she wouldn't have a phone... Period...

Yes, yes...I know I know. I threw a fit myself, but in the end gave in. I know it's ridiculous. In the past we have "paid" (quotes because it's still on CC) for her Mom to fly to her sister's funeral from WA to CA, paid her flights so she could come see us, paid for her car repairs and new tires and whatever else.

She has a house worth 90k (depressed part of the state) paid off, no debt, and 800 per month coming in from SS....while WE are 156k in debt....so that means her Mom has a quarter million dollars net worth greater than we have, and we just can't do it anymore. She'll have to find a way through her other kids or friends or something.

Yes, I'm more than willing to show everyone how stupid I've been. This has come to an end.

Oh, I might still be stupid, but I don't have to practice it financially.



Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Unique User on April 07, 2015, 01:13:06 PM
Once I see the light, I'm all in immediately and I've always been that way with anything I chose to do. There will be no more Starbucks, no more eating out, no more not bringing lunch from home, no more buying books or music or DVDs, no more movies and popcorn, biking everywhere we can, etc.

I think it is awesome how you have embraced this, just make sure that you have figured out substitutes so you don't burn out or blow a bunch of money because you feel deprived.  I.e., no buying books/movies/dvds - get them from the library, no starbucks - ramp up good coffee at home, no restaurants - check out mystery shopping.  And since you can't work 24/7, look into free or low cost fun - free concerts, hikes, parks, museum free days, etc.  I'm sure you can come up with tons of options, the key is making sure you can sustain the focus for the long haul.  With us it is a delicate balance, but the library, the outdoors, all the free attractions in our city, the occasional free meal out and 50% off days at Goodwill certainly help us from feeling deprived.  Good luck!

PS - Don't beat yourself up too much, you're here now right??
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: wintersun on April 07, 2015, 01:23:19 PM
I think you are on a roll now that you have started.  And I also think that for many people connection is the very thing that they live for, work for, want.  And you have a great connection with your wife.  Not everyone is so lucky and it sounds as though you appreciate her and the connection you have.  For me, money is secondary to the personal connections that make it all joyous.

YNAB rocked my world and changed our lives.  I highly recommend it.  If you decide to get it you can get $6 off by using a referral code from one of the people here on the forum, just search for the word YNAB and several will appear.  It has saved us serious bucks since we started to use it.  I spent some time figuring out what categories to use and I watched several of their videos.  Without the videos it will not work. 

I find the game of lowering bills, spending less at the grocery store and reducing the electric bill to be really fun.  My DH goes with the flow but I am the one who is leading the way.  He is slowly seeing the benefits and is feeling such relief now that our savings are growing again.  He also loves hanging the clothes on the line or the drying rack, who knew?  He also has always been really nudgy about me trying to change him so I had to move slowly and diplomatically.  Your wife sounds like she is taking on these ideas at high speed!!!

  After many months my DH agreed to having a limited amount of spending money each month with which each of us  can do as we please.  I would recommend this for you and your wife so that if she wants to buy a $13 outfit it is none of your business and if you want to give $20 to a hobo it is fine.  We actually include quite a lot in the personal spending category. 

It includes all clothing and shoes, eating out, books, entertainment, electronics, cell phone purchases, addiction purchases such as junk food or alcohol, grooming such as haircuts, beauty products, courses, travel, exercise costs such as gym membership or equipment and non doctor suggested supplements.  Also if I want to buy a new cushion for the house and it is not really necessary that comes from my personal money not our money.  If he wants to eat out and I don't want to spend the money he invites me out to eat and treats me.

I would definitely start a MMM forum journal once you have written a case study to lead it off with.  Look at the case study guidelines and read a few others to get a feel for what is easy to read and what is confusing.  The easy to follow case studies get more responses I think.

I find the MMM forum journals  really inspiring.  You will be not only helping yourself but helping others if you start one and commit to regularly updating it.

BTW, that is really cool that your wife is so empathic and intuitive. I bet her clients adore her.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Apples on April 07, 2015, 01:44:18 PM
I will just add on at this point, but I really think you guys need a detailed joint budget.  You need to know exactly where each of you are spending your money before you can begin to cut expenses.  A budget also gives really good groundwork for "but we already spent x on eating out this month, and we had agreed to x+$10, but another meal that you're suggesting would be x+$50, so we can't go".  So it's not you being a fun sucker, but the budget showing the money just isn't there.  That helps a lot in my relationship.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: mm1970 on April 07, 2015, 01:55:19 PM
Quote
It is a hobby, no one is saying it's not important to her or that she isn't valuable to her clients. I'm sure she is and I'm sure she loves it and gets a lot of benefit from it - but not money, or very little money at least. You can do a lot of important and valuable (for wellness and happiness) and not generate income. Personally, I volunteer a lot and feel it's very valuable but it's not a job because I'm not paid.

This is an important point.  I have friends who quilt.  A couple of them do it for a living.  One of them had her own business and did it "full time".  But there got to be a point that she needed health insurance, and the economy was going south, and she couldn't make a living at it anymore.

So she dialed way back on her business, to weekends only, and got a full time job (as an activities director for an old folks home).  She did that full time job for a good decade, at least.  Got her hip replaced too during that time (while she had insurance).  Eventually, she got to the age where she could retire (on SS), and the economy had picked up again.  So she's back to her quilting business (but PT now).  Her husband was working too and he just retired.

It's important that you are noting the "worth" of the house you are living in and the cleaning/shopping/cooking that she does.  That is also very important.  Don't underestimate that.  I have been working hard this year to keep our grocery budget at $80 a week for my family of 4 (plus our pre-paid CSA, which means actually $100 a week).  It is a crap-ton of work and time.  But if I'm successful, our grocery bills will be a FULL $5000 less than last year.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: midweststache on April 07, 2015, 02:07:09 PM
I will just add on at this point, but I really think you guys need a detailed joint budget.  You need to know exactly where each of you are spending your money before you can begin to cut expenses.  A budget also gives really good groundwork for "but we already spent x on eating out this month, and we had agreed to x+$10, but another meal that you're suggesting would be x+$50, so we can't go".  So it's not you being a fun sucker, but the budget showing the money just isn't there.  That helps a lot in my relationship.

In regards to budgeting, I will also say that YNAB as a budget tool has helped motivate me, not just because of the detail but because of the progress. It's super-depressing the first few months to see how far you have to go, but as you keep making gains it gets pretty exciting! It's also very useful for comparisons and see where you can cut. I thought we were pretty bare bones, but after some reassessments this year we've trimmed almost $200 in spending (cut gyms, reduced Netflix costs, trimmed grocery spending, reigning in our dining out, consciously using less electricity, etc.) YNAB helps me visualize that and reminds me of my financial goals. It's something you and your wife could work through together (bringing all your debts/assets to one place, looking at interest rates, setting a budget, focusing on what debts to pay off first, etc.)
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: iluvzbeach on April 07, 2015, 02:08:03 PM
dagiffy1, congratulations on waking up and discovering that you're in a world of financial hurt. That's the first step in turning things around. It isn't going to be an overnight process to reach a point of having a positive net worth, but you also didn't get to be 156K in the negative overnight. Although it looks tough and like it will be an uphill battle, you can do this!

Twelve years ago I had 50K in credit card debt and made significant life changes to pay it off one month at a time. Then although I was no longer in debt, it still took years before I learned to really begin stashing away money. Today I can happily say that my hubby and I have a net worth of over 775K and the majority of that is in liquid assets. Just like Exflyboy says, you can totally turn this around and have a significant net worth that will allow you to retire in less time than you might think.

One thing I wanted to point out in regard to your wife's upbringing and her desire to never live like she's poor again...I grew up quite poor and after I dug myself out of debt (getting my mom on board with the same process), my mother and I realized that when you grow up poor, it seems like the tendency is to quickly spend any money you get when you do come into some.  After all, you better spend it before it's all gone, right?  It sounds crazy, but I think there's something to this and I think a lot of people in our society do the same thing.  I'm sure there's some sort of psychology behind this, but I am not a psychologist so I'll leave it to them to provide the name to it.  Anyway, what I learned from all this is that if I always spent money as soon as I got it (or even borrowed it before I got it) was that I would always be broke - a vicious cycle. Now I know that it feels much better to have money in the bank than it does to always be spending it. Don't get me wrong, I love a great glass (or bottle) of wine, a luxurious massage and the best of hotels.  In fact, I love to travel to faraway places, but we utilize credit card rewards and airline miles, plus save for those specific trips, so that we can afford it. The two of you will be able to do the same things, but you need to focus first on reducing some debt pretty significantly before you do so.

By the way, I totally agree that this is a hair on fire situation, but I am not a proponent of 7-day work weeks. I think we all need some downtime to recharge our batteries and you don't want to burn out and give up on your payoff plans. One thing I might suggest is to set a short-term goal to either pay off a certain amount or stick to a pre-determined tight budget and then once you've met that goal take a little weekend trip where you set a very limited budget ($250 - $500), just so that you don't feel totally deprived and give up. I know others may disagree, but that's my two cents.

I look forward to continuing to read about your progress.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ChicagoGirl on April 07, 2015, 02:46:50 PM
Many commenters have echoed many things I would have suggested.

I am a massage therapist also, I just thought I would add one thing...does your wife barter her massage therapy services?  It's a great way to save money.  I currently barter my massage therapy services for the following:  Haircuts/color ($110 savings every 6 weeks), spa services, accounting services, jewelry, work done on my car and the list goes on!  A lot of people are willing to barter for massages...and it would be a great way to save money and still enjoy some extras for zero dollars, the only investment is a little time.  I have even gained paying clients this way.

The key to a good barter is for it to be for a service you might have sought out anyway and both parties are benefiting.  I have had to turn down a few barters that just weren't interesting or beneficial on my part. Also, the barter should not infringe on time that is better spent earning real dollars. 

As for yourself instead of picking up an extra job that requires a strong commitment hours-wise and reporting to yet another boss.  Do you have any talents or side work you could do at your leisure to earn extra money. I believe there is a forum on MMM about "side-gigs" for extra cash that other MMM's are doing.   
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Chicken on April 07, 2015, 03:36:31 PM
No one else (that I see) has said it yet but you should be making payments on your student loans, they are the only debts you have not escapable via bankruptcy and that is a realistic possibility.  I think too many people here are looking at the respective incomes and saying that the wife needs to get her act together (like he has done anything yet) when really it's you.  22K from moving debt? sounds like you left a higher paying job voluntarily and irresponsibly.  You don't get to have a midlife crisis when you've still got student loan debt.  That student loan debt isn't your wife's fault, and if she's got more in her retirement than you with your respective incomes that's saying something.

This really isn't the right website for you though, best case scenario you retire without having the government garnishing your social security checks to pay back your student loan debts.  Homeless people on the street are further along towards retirement than you are.  You're whole life isn't ahead of you anymore, you need to plan for the worst case scenario (for example loss of job leading to bankruptcy).  What if 5 years from now we have a downturn, you get laid off and are looking for work for a few years who's going to hire the late 50's tech over the fresh out of college 23 year old?  You should contribute to your 401k now for the matching at a minimum, otherwise you are throwing away free money and money that is protected if bankruptcy becomes a necessity. 

Look hopefully it all works out there is no reason to be negative about past decisions beyond the positive of not making those same past decisions.  You need to first get a handle on your situation more like Dave Ramsey style than even worry about early retirement.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: handsnhearts on April 07, 2015, 03:37:29 PM

I would suggest, if I were to go back to massage therapy now, I would take a much different business/entrepreneurial approach to the business. She will always have fluctuation in the number of clients at any given time. A significant proportion of the business needs to be dedicated to attracting new client all the time. There  are many ways to do this that can minimize the risk when going to a client's home. But separate the amazing good healing work from the business of attracting new clients. This, in retrospect, is why I wasn't as successful as my skills should have made me. Also, never turn down work in the field, even if it for less money. You can always stop doing something if it isn't working for you, but keep a "yes" attitude. I have some other ideas for her too. Let me know if she is interested from someone who has been there. I also think you need to step back and let her develop her own business.

You have more than enough issues on your side of the equation to keep you busy for a while. I had the same problem when I first got excited about making financial progress, and I was pushing on DH pretty hard. But realistically, the majority of the problem was me. I have plenty of my own things to work on. When my own shit is more taken care of, I can then kindly suggest some improvements for DH. Also, although he was bleeding some small amounts of money, I was the one with all the debt, no assets and spending money inappropriately frequently. Now that my end is doing better, he is trying harder too. So unless she is spending big amounts often, or spending big amounts impulsively , focus on yourself for now.

I think you have acknowledged that you are the main problem, but because there is a lot about your wife here, you have started throwing her under the bus a bit. Just focus on your habits only for now. Track your money. And don't say things like "she will have to get used to it". Very patronizing. Your wife is a person and has her own thoughts about how to do things. If you don't agree, fine. If she doesn't agree with you, that is fine too. Don't make a power dynamic that will cause you problems in the long run.

Thanks for your advice. My wife has been doing this for 18 years now, so she's pretty much seen and done everything. Her problem was the same as mine: neither of us paid attention to the fact that our hair was on fire. She's hustling for new clients and working for a lady for 20 an hour during gaps between appointments.

I haven't thrown my wife under the bus at all, that's just your opinion. I'm stating the truth, because that's what I care about most. Anything other than the truth is a lie and I'm not going to live under a lie (no problems here financially, we'll make it!) anymore. This is why I'm just as blunt about myself as I am about her. If this rubs you wrong I guess that's how it's going to be.

And I will say things like "she will get used to it", because it isn't patronizing. You are welcome to your opinion, but I won't change how we do things because you do not like it. There is no power dynamic other than us together doing this, and I'm confident she's all there now. It just took a few days to get a taste for it and now she's excited to get going, and that gets me even more excited.

There isn't anything to "work on", as you put it, other than learning as we go. I'm sure we will find better and better ways to save money and get the most bang for our bucks, so that will be ongoing. We are selling a car despite living in the country, cutting internet out of our lives, getting rid of our expensive cell phone plans for cheaper ones, manhandling our grocery bill, and looking for ways to work 7 days a week. I'm satisfied with our start after only 4 or 5 days to think about it.

Once I see the light, I'm all in immediately and I've always been that way with anything I chose to do. There will be no more Starbucks, no more eating out, no more not bringing lunch from home, no more buying books or music or DVDs, no more movies and popcorn, biking everywhere we can, etc.

I'm sure you'll have opinions about how I've said all this, too, but that's OK. I didn't sign up for marriage counseling or a therapy session and we will figure this out as a couple as we always have.

What I love about this site is the bottomless information fountain about living this life and getting better and better at it. Every cent is ours and we don't want to trade it for anything other than absolute need; otherwise, it goes to debt.

I was concerned she didn't share that mindset, and for good reason. Several days ago she asked me if I'd support her here when I went to CA to work, and was even talking about how there's a nice new hotel on the coast with an indoor saltwater pool and wouldn't that be fun for a weekend?

Then today she shot out of bed with fire in her eyes and on a mission, hitting on all MMM cylinders. What a change, and I'm proud to call her my wife. I think she and I are doing well at adapting from the old to the new. We didn't even know this lifestyle was possible or even existed a week ago today, and now we are ready to eat rice and beans and play Rummy and Yahtzee for our entertainment if we can't go outside in the regular Oregon downpour.

Nice to see you defending your wife again!  :). Glad she's onboard too. You'll go far quickly.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: RexualChocolate on April 07, 2015, 05:25:05 PM
I don't think the board has done a great job explaining the dire situation you are in financially:

Getting an unexpected tax bill of that size as a salaried employee is indicative of not having any grasp of your finances. It also means you'll have some underpayment penalties. I kind of don't understand how its that high- that's your entire federal tax liability for a year.
Currently over 10% of your pretax salary goes to interest alone, not even principle.
You have a negative net worth at 50(approx -120k I believe). Your hair is on fire as much as it possibly can be.
You need to cut all expenses off including her mother. You and your wife can be as emotional as you want, but the cold hard reality is that you're very far behind for even traditional retirement.

However, making this chilling realization at 50 is lightyears better than the average American and you have time and the income to recover. It sounds like you've made the realization, now committing to the action is key. Your sketchy living situation means you should be able to have a gross annual spend of less than 20k a year. The rest can go to debt repayment and then eventual investment.

Good luck. You'll need it. I'd use mint to track my networth (Assets - Liabs = Equity) and make sure its going up every month.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Exflyboy on April 07, 2015, 05:33:11 PM
Agreed.. with your wife adding to the effort this will be so much easier.. But funding other family members (I.e MIL) has to stop.

My MIL has wasted every dime she ever made.. she got $150k from a Government payout a few years ago and despite my pleading and my Wife's investment help she pissed it all away.

There is no way we are spending one red cent on her care.. her bad behaviour is not my problem, we give money to worthy causes, not LOST causes!

Sounds harsh but its not like she hasn't had opportunities to turn it around... Not my job!

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: mozar on April 07, 2015, 05:38:20 PM
Just wanted to be supportive and say I paid off 120k worth of student loans over 5 years making 55k a year in gross income.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Kris on April 07, 2015, 05:41:15 PM
Speaking of phones.. I spend $5 a month with Ptel... Airvoice wireless is $10 a month.. You don't need data (you can't afford it).. texting is the cheapest, just get a $13 phone from Walmart.

You can't afford car repairs.. learn how to do your own.. I never had a car go into a garage yet!.. oil changes,timing belts, engine rebuilds its ALL DIY (except for tire changes and wheel alignments)

Also start comparison shopping when your insurance comes up.. the Hartford was cheapest for us for both home and car.

Check your getting the best deals on internet access.

Always take lunch to work, never eat out etc etc.

It CAN be DONE.. It HAS been done.. check out my link below for proof... $160k in debt to almost $2M Networth (counting the house) in 17 years.... It CAN BE DONE!

As for internet and cable, we don't have a choice at the moment. This isn't our house, our cable account, nor our TV. I think we maybe be able to get the owners to call in and cancel cable/internet for us, but internet is useful. I asked wife tonight if she wanted to cancel cable and she doesn't want to do it. She is the only one that watches TV. We both watch Netflix, but that's on a TV we brought and keep in another room. Someone mentioned that most modern TVs have a connection in back that would let it function as a smart TV, more or less, if connected to a laptop feeding the signal to it. I'm going to look tomorrow to see if I can do that, then if it is possible I'll run the cable cancel idea past her again.

I'm going to call Verizon and find out how much it will cost to break our 2 year agreement, which is up next February. Getting a cell phone like you said for 5 or 10 per month would be fantastic. We are paying for her mother's phone as well as our 2 phones, currently paying 176 per month. Dropping that down to 30 would be wonderful, a savings of 140 or so per month. Depending on what it costs to break the contract it might pay to do it, as long as we don't have to buy new cell phones.

I DO change my own oil. The last repair was a transmission rebuild, and it had to be done quickly and done right, and I have no idea about any of it. It was challenging for a transmission shop, as it took them 10 days to get it right. She needs that vehicle to work and I need mine to get to work, so we needed two vehicles back quickly. As it was she rented a car 3 or 4 different days when she needed to be out and about for massage. We go in opposite directions for work.

We got a very cheap deal on insurance. I'm eager to sell this Sentra (when I hear about this CA job) and seeing that insurance drop like a rock to having only collision on the Landcruiser. I did shop around for the Honda FIT and just by seeing pictures of it I know my wife won't want it. I don't want to hit her with too much at once, so I'm going to keep looking around and include her in on the search.

The more I read what you tell me and what others tell me, I'm excited to go all in. If I was single, it'd be easy. I'd live on beans, never use heater/air conditioner, walk or bike everywhere, no cable, nothing. But she is a little skittish at tons of change at once, and I need her buy in or this is going to get nasty fast.

OK I see your still waking up.. But here is a prime example of something you dropped in without thinking about.

YOU PAY FOR HER MOTHER'S PHONE...... Excuse me?.... I sure hope there is a very good financial reason (like good for YOU) for you to be paying for her phone.

You can't be doing this stuff! I understand you will need to tread carefully because you need to keep your Wife on board, but if my Wife said to me we need to start paying for her Mothers phone I'd have a freaking melt down.

She's either pay for her own phone or she wouldn't have a phone... Period...

Yes, yes...I know I know. I threw a fit myself, but in the end gave in. I know it's ridiculous. In the past we have "paid" (quotes because it's still on CC) for her Mom to fly to her sister's funeral from WA to CA, paid her flights so she could come see us, paid for her car repairs and new tires and whatever else.

She has a house worth 90k (depressed part of the state) paid off, no debt, and 800 per month coming in from SS....while WE are 156k in debt....so that means her Mom has a quarter million dollars net worth greater than we have, and we just can't do it anymore. She'll have to find a way through her other kids or friends or something.

Yes, I'm more than willing to show everyone how stupid I've been. This has come to an end.

Oh, I might still be stupid, but I don't have to practice it financially.

I'm glad you realize this, and I hope your wife does, too: You have GOT to stop helping out your mother-in-law, NOW.  She is in FAR better financial shape than you are. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Exflyboy on April 07, 2015, 06:04:02 PM
I do hope your taking our face punch inputs in the way that they are meant.. I.e you want a turn around and we want to support you.. You CAN do this.

You can do this... BUT... as we have said before but this is job #1... letting other family members leech off you (as well as having anything other than an "austerity budget" is simply "no bueno".

Anything above food, clothing and housing has to stop imediately.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Pigeon on April 07, 2015, 07:14:18 PM
You and your wife are making some amazing changes. Don't set yourself up for burnout though. Make sure you keep a little fun in your lives. You can still have movies and popcorn, just get the movies from the library and pop your own corn. I would probably aim for working six days a week rather than seven.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cinder on April 07, 2015, 07:55:33 PM
I read the part about your Wife grew up in poverty and doesn't want to go back.

Well here is a facepunch for you... You ARE going back.. either that or you will never be able to afford to retire.. I doubt your Social security payments will pay your debts and allow you to live at your current level of spending.
I have a friend who grew up poor, and he is appalled that I do my shopping at thrift/second hand stores (Plato's Closet in a college town).  He refuses to ever consider doing that, b/c he had to have all his clothes second hand growing up.  If you do it right, they are like new and in style, but the mental stigma of ill fitting, junky looking clothes is hard for him to get over...

Don't pay for YNAB when your hair is on fire.

I track everything with a paper and pencil.  I actually find it fun.  It focuses you on the figures.  And no question that it's cheap.

You can get pretty far with the YNAB way of looking at finances without YNAB.  Start listening to the podcast he does, Go back and listen to them from the beginning... You can do a lot of the tracking yourself, pen and paper or spreadsheet. 

Mint.com is more of a reaction based 'where did my money go', and YNAB is 'where do I WANT my money to go'. 

I personally just use mint to keep track of our spending and provide the rough 'net worth' calculator, and a few rudimentary 'budget' categories just to give a quick glance for things like food, dining, medical, gas. 

Anything that doesn't sync up automatically, I use the app on my phone to enter it right when I spend it.  Cash, one or two credit cards that are used so infrequently they're not linked, etc...


Keep up the good work, you have a big hole to dig yourself out of, but at least you're filling it in instead of digging it deeper!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: richschmidt on April 08, 2015, 08:07:20 AM
As I was reading through the thread, I was wanting to suggest that your wife might relate better to Paula's way of thinking over at AffordAnything.com. It's a similar but different perspective compared to MMM, and it might connect with her, especially since Paula is also a self-employed woman.

I echo those who have suggested working 6 days instead of 7. This is a marathon you've started here. Sure, there are sprints involved at times, but you're needing to set some new patterns you can sustain for years, not just the next few weeks. Just like you need daily patterns of work, rest, and sleep, you need weekly rhythms, too.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cassie on April 08, 2015, 06:53:06 PM
i agree about working 6 days. Everyone needs a day to rest or you will crash & burn. Good luck!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: kathrynd on April 08, 2015, 08:01:35 PM
i agree about working 6 days. Everyone needs a day to rest or you will crash & burn. Good luck!

For a whole year, I had 4 weekends off.
During the week, at the factory I worked at, I worked 40 hrs, and on the weekend I worked overtime 2-16hr shifts (double shifts)
So I worked 72 hrs a week...working 7 days a week.

This allowed my income to increase enough, to qualify to buy an 11 unit apartment building.

So, if working 7 days to get out of debt is needed...do it.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: penguins4everyone! on April 08, 2015, 09:34:34 PM
dagiffy, i just want to give you some props.  Read this whole thread yesterday.  I worked as a credit and debt counselor for 5 years, hearing the most facepunch worthy excuses for bad behavior all damn day.  I won't even begin to tell you how terrible of decisions people have made (take out a heloc on your mama's house to pay off 50k in credit card debt, then rack up another 50k? all while being behind on child support and making $12/hour?  Now your mama lost her house?  How about getting 200k in student loan debt for an undergrad degree in vocal performance?  How much time do we have i can share all day)

Anywho, no one i spoke with ever had a come to jesus moment like this, like ever.  People were willing to admit bits and pieces were mistakes, no one willing to own up to their mistakes and face the music like you are.  To turn around one day and admit that you are the problem and you are going to fix your own behavior whatever it takes, that's tremendous.  You have to see yourself as the solution to your unraveling, and begin to take more pleasure in the extra credit card payments than you ever did using it.

You'll be able to get back to that beach hotel with your wife one day, and it will feel incredible. (maybe you will have booked the room with free credit card points :))  I wish you all the best.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: LizzyBee on April 08, 2015, 10:26:03 PM
I read the first page of this thread pretty thoroughly and then had to skim to get to the end so excuse some of this advice if it's already been said. First off, congratulations for this huge turning point in your life. It sounds like your wife is really getting on board with these HUGE changes. I think it's completely normal for her to be hesitant at first given she wasn't the one to have the epiphany in the first place. When I first discovered MMM all I wanted to do was tell my husband everything I learned all at once, but I knew that would actually just backfire and turn him off. I had to think very carefully about how to communicate all of the information while speaking his language. One of the things I've done to get him as excited about MMM as I am is to appeal to why he would want to retire early. For him it's being able to spend more time with our families who live out of state. I bring this up every now and then to keep the motivation going. It's been 2 years now and I'd say hes about 98% invested as I am. Spend some time slowly creating a shared vision for what being debt free and (eventually) retired would mean for the both of you.

Another thought I had is around your budget. Have you sat down and created a detailed shared budget? Sometimes seeing all of the expenses on paper is really eye opening. You can then have a shared conversation around what cuts make sense and if you could cut even more. It sounds like at this point you are more willing to make drastic cuts than your wife is. It also sounds like she wants certain luxuries that you don't find necessary (e.g. vacations). Could you allow a certain amount for frivolous spending per person per month? My husband and I have separate checking accounts and I never even see how he spends that money. He doesn't ask me for permission to spend the money and vice versa for me.  For now, while paying off debt, this could be a very small amount for both of you.

It sounds like you and your wife both have made so much progress since you opened the thread. Congrats to you! You will have that first debt paid off before you know it. Please post when you do so that we can all celebrate with you!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Singularity on April 08, 2015, 11:14:41 PM
i agree about working 6 days. Everyone needs a day to rest or you will crash & burn. Good luck!

Congratulations, Your making a lot of quick progress.  This is a marathon so careful about the 7 days a week perhaps see how 6 days a week works for a month or alternate 6 days / 7 days.  At some point with too much stress or lack of sleep the quality of your work goes down and you can make mistakes. 

Looking forward to hearing about your progress.

For budget recipes, www.budgetbytes.com is a great resource.  I also agree YNAB is an amazing tool for planning and seeing real-time budgeting and quick adjustments moving money between categories.   They have a free trial and the videos are really helpful. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Spondulix on April 09, 2015, 12:17:30 AM
I read the part about your Wife grew up in poverty and doesn't want to go back.

Well here is a facepunch for you... You ARE going back.. either that or you will never be able to afford to retire.. I doubt your Social security payments will pay your debts and allow you to live at your current level of spending.
There is a huge difference between living in poverty and living below your means. Telling someone they are going to live in poverty (when poverty meant living on a dirt floor) is pretty harsh.

OP - I'd really suggest looking for resources that will help you question your relationship with money (especially her fear of "lack of money"). The book "Your Money Or Your Life" comes up a lot around here, or I really enjoyed "The Seven Stages of Money Maturity."

[edit: missed a page of responses] For making your own budget, I really like iheartbudgets.net. They have case studies on the website so you might be able to find someone in a similar financial situation. Have you refinanced your student loans?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 10:39:02 AM
No one else (that I see) has said it yet but you should be making payments on your student loans, they are the only debts you have not escapable via bankruptcy and that is a realistic possibility.  I think too many people here are looking at the respective incomes and saying that the wife needs to get her act together (like he has done anything yet) when really it's you.  22K from moving debt? sounds like you left a higher paying job voluntarily and irresponsibly.  You don't get to have a midlife crisis when you've still got student loan debt.  That student loan debt isn't your wife's fault, and if she's got more in her retirement than you with your respective incomes that's saying something.

This really isn't the right website for you though, best case scenario you retire without having the government garnishing your social security checks to pay back your student loan debts.  Homeless people on the street are further along towards retirement than you are.  You're whole life isn't ahead of you anymore, you need to plan for the worst case scenario (for example loss of job leading to bankruptcy).  What if 5 years from now we have a downturn, you get laid off and are looking for work for a few years who's going to hire the late 50's tech over the fresh out of college 23 year old?  You should contribute to your 401k now for the matching at a minimum, otherwise you are throwing away free money and money that is protected if bankruptcy becomes a necessity. 

Look hopefully it all works out there is no reason to be negative about past decisions beyond the positive of not making those same past decisions.  You need to first get a handle on your situation more like Dave Ramsey style than even worry about early retirement.

My Early Retirement will be age 65 or 67.

I left a higher paying job for a lower paying one, along with taking a 27k hit on having to repay relocation assistance, because my wife was extremely unhappy living anywhere but Portland, OR. So we left the Bay area, me making 120k, to come back to Portland to make 60k. (The cost of living isn't much less here than where we lived in CA) While in CA, she insisted on flying back to Portland every month, ostensibly to work, being gone 1 or 2 weeks, and making about 1000 dollars. Out of that subtract airfare, gas, food, and repairs to Landcruiser.

When I said that had to stop, she refused, saying we "needed the money" but also because these trips were important to her sanity. At about the time we moved back, it was either move or divorce. One way we justified the income decrease was that she was making 1000 going back for a week, so living there would be 4000 per month. Not quite enough to make up for what I lost, but it was something. Of course, the income stayed at 1000 per month AND we were now paying back the relo assistance.

SOME of those school loans are just as much hers as they are mine, as we lived on student loans and grants I got my going to school for the first few years we were married. The school I went to was a 2 year intense program in which you clocked in in the morning and clocked out when you left, and put 40 hours in every week. I had to do this because my degree is in liberal arts, which is basically worthless, but I stupidly went to a private school back in the day. Anyway, when you graduate the 2 year program, everyone who wants a job has one because the demand is so high. Employers fly out to the school to interview graduates months before the end to hire them. During this two years, I lived by myself in a disgusting apartment so dilapidated that the bottom of the fridge was 6 inches out from the wall but the top of the fridge was against the wall. You didn't want to be outside after dark if you could help it. Often you woke up to find someone had broken car windows all up and down the street the night before. I lived on potatoes and peas.

Aside from the 40 hours of intense schooling, I tried working, but in that small town there was only hard labor jobs, and so for a while I was doing 60-80 hour weeks and found my grades dropped from straight A's to C's, and I got sick over and over again. Out of 22 people in my class, 4 worked. After a few months, only 2 worked. So I got by with federal funding, family loans, and once in a while my wife pitching in. She stayed in Portland to work while I moved 3.5 hours away to this school. I was putting in more hours than she was but little did I know she was furious, it wasn't fair, that she had to work while I didn't.

I received offers to work in Oahu, Reno, Boise, Sandpoint Idaho, and a few other places when I was done. I chose Reno, making 60k and my wife flying back to Portland every month. After a year I was told I would be laid off, so I got the 120k job in the bay area, with my wife still flying back for work. Eventually I saw that in her mind she never moved, that she still living in Portland but stayed out of town when she wasn't working. She didn't want to make a life outside of Portland and she wasn't happy.

So when I got the chance, I moved back here to Portland and she was ecstatic. She didn't get the increase in income she predicted, but I did get the cut in income plus a 27k debt that we've paid down to 22k now.

Yes, I know it was stupid. I have regretted it ever since. I should have just sent her back to Portland where she could be happy and me stay in the Bay area.

Yesterday I presented her with a plan I worked up on Excel using an idea someone on here  mentioned: living on her income while paying debts with mine, and doing it if I get the CA job again and move there. She immediately wanted to know why SHE had to pay the monthly bills. Inside I just cringed. I told her it's all the same money pot, but this was a goal to work toward and a good one. I did a breakdown over time of what our monthly minimum bills would be as we paid off debts, got new phone plans, and so forth, and a year from the day I start in CA she'd have to gross 112 per day for 5 days.

Now, she earns 70 an hour massaging and she has another job where she can work for 20 an hour when she wants. I figured that's 8 massages per week. Two a day makes 4 days working. Or if she did one massage, she could work hourly for 3 hours. I thought it was an easy sell. It wasn't.

She demanded to know if I was going to work 7 days a week when I was in CA. I said not at first, as I was told if I get this job that I'd be required to study on my own time to get up to speed and weekends were pretty much it. This pissed her off. Why should she work her ass off here in Portland while I'm just living the good life in CA on the beach, sipping Mai Tais?

I reminded her I would have no car, bike to work, live in an 8x9 room living with roommates, and wouldn't be living the life of Reilly as all of my income would be going to debt. She was still angry. She's been working her ass off forever and now I'm going to CA to take it easy?

With her income streams, the first 3 months of this year she has made 3800 dollars gross. I didn't say it, but I wondered how she could be "working her ass off" if that was what she brought in?

And further I had to answer again why SHE had to pay the monthly bills. I didn't even work when I was at school out of state (apparently the 40 hours I spent at school were irrelevant, a responsible person would put in a full time job, too), and now I want her to pay the monthly bills? I showed her why this would be awesome, that she didn't have to work 7 days a week, just enough to gross a certain amount. With her earning power I thought this would be attractive to her, but she is incensed.

She has declared me to be lazy and declared herself to be someone who "works her ass off". She has declared that I should work 7 days a week if SHE is paying the monthly bills. At this point I do believe I am going to just go do my own thing if I get the CA job and not involve her in any of this. She can pay her necessities and I will go earn as much as I can somewhere to bail myself out of this debt. I won't give her a dime to live on, as she lives rent and utilities free, plus she can easily support herself. She has declared that this, too, is laziness on my part. I should financially support her, because she has worked her ass off.

Still keeping track of spending, but feel like giving up. Noticed that we spent 860 dollars the first four days, almost all of it on a naturopath and meds that she needs. Not covered by our insurance, we have to pay cash out of hand for this guy. I can see this has to stop, but then again medical bills arise from health issues which must be addressed. Noticed we spend a lot on bottled water. I drink none, but my wife insists because the water filter I use isn't good enough for the quality of water she wants. I have lived all week on 2 dollars worth of pinto beans plus some veggies I juiced.

Still going at it. Not giving up...yet. Perhaps if I get this CA job next week and move away things will brighten up.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ZiziPB on April 09, 2015, 10:51:16 AM
dagiffy1, it sounds to me like you and your wife could benefit from some marital counseling.  I can see a lot of pent up resentment and unfulfilled expectations on both sides. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: 1967mama on April 09, 2015, 10:56:54 AM
dagiffy1, it sounds to me like you and your wife could benefit from some marital counseling.  I can see a lot of pent up resentment and unfulfilled expectations on both sides. 

+1

Sorry to hear things aren't going well :-(
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 11:07:12 AM
dagiffy1, it sounds to me like you and your wife could benefit from some marital counseling.  I can see a lot of pent up resentment and unfulfilled expectations on both sides.

Could be. I don't resent her for her failings. I resent her resenting me for mine, both real and imagined, I suppose.

There won't be any counseling, though, as we spent some time doing that before. The counselor spent our time together talking with us and then telling my wife what she needed to work on. When we got home, my wife remembered none of it. I know it sounds bizarre, but that's what happened.

When I asked him what I needed to work on, all he had for me was that I needed to remember that there are different ways of thinking in this world and I needed to respect them.

The problem, really, is that we are completely incompatible. 100%. And we knew it early on.

My wife had a dad who didn't want to work for a living and so they lived as vagabonds, and then she had a ten year relationship with a man who had zero motivation to do anything, so my wife's identity is tied up in how hard she works and expects me to fill every spare moment doing something.  Her best friends are women who are like this, also, though she laughs about how they work themselves into the ground. She drives herself into the ground and expects me to do the same.

When I don't obey opens up a whole can of worms! Who knows what is really driving these reactions. Unless I am insane and have recently received severe blows to the head and can't reason clearly, her response isn't rational. Something else is driving it. I am giving up on including her and just going to work on getting there myself.

I love the idea of hard work, chipping away at a goal, and living simply and happily. I'm glad I found this site and others like it to show me this way of life. Just wish I'd found it sooner.

All I can say is that I am going to have to do this by myself and that I am willing to do what it takes.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on April 09, 2015, 11:26:16 AM
Noticed that we spent 860 dollars the first four days, almost all of it on a naturopath

Holy shit dude, y'all can't afford to spend money on scam artists right now!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 11:30:01 AM
Noticed that we spent 860 dollars the first four days, almost all of it on a naturopath

Holy shit dude, y'all can't afford to spend money on scam artists right now!

Yep. And what are the chances that she will stop seeing him? Zero.

What I do get is a nod of affirmation and a "yep" when I say we have to stop seeing that guy.

I really don't know what to do. I know that he has radically changed my life for the better and she wants that for herself, too. I decided that I'm not going to see him again. We have insurance and if I have some health problems I'm going to go see an MD so insurance will pay for it.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: charis on April 09, 2015, 11:40:42 AM
If you are 100% incompatible and planning on living separately in different states, why are you staying together?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 11:50:52 AM
If you are 100% incompatible and planning on living separately in different states, why are you staying together?

Divorce is not an option. Simple as that.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Exflyboy on April 09, 2015, 11:53:05 AM
Working her ass off?

When you'll be making $10k a month and she made $3800 in 3 months?

Sounds like she wants her cake and eat it!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 09, 2015, 11:59:12 AM
So sorry dagiffy1. Your recent post was painful to read. How long have you two been married?

The worry is that, even if you do whatever it takes to get out of this hole, that your wife will undue all the progress you have made. I really have no advice, only sympathy for your situation and the hope that you two will find a way to come together. Although I do think it is telling that you say you are 100% incompatible. I'm not sure how two people like that can come together long term.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: JLee on April 09, 2015, 12:01:49 PM
If you are 100% incompatible and planning on living separately in different states, why are you staying together?

Divorce is not an option. Simple as that.

From the looks of things, you may want to consider making that an option. You only get one life...no sense in letting someone make it shitty.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Argyle on April 09, 2015, 12:04:38 PM
I'm confused about how she can be working herself into the ground and yet making so little.

It sounds as if everyone has some non-negotiables (including "no divorce"), but everyone having non-negotiables has added up to this situation.  So if each person keeps the non-negotiables, nothing will change.

I'd suggest that you go to a counselor on your own. I know the response to this is often "Why should I go to a counselor when the other person is the problem?"  The thing is that what you have is a dynamic between two people, and either one can change that dynamic, because when one person does something different, 50% of the dynamic changes.  Make sure you get a good counselor, of course.  Go see several before you decide.  Don't see one who's eager to jump to the conclusion that it's all her fault or all your fault.  It's not a matter of fault here, it's a matter of making changes to the dynamic.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 12:06:12 PM
Working her ass off?

When you'll be making $10k a month and she made $3800 in 3 months?

Sounds like she wants her cake and eat it!

I understand where you are coming from. Her 20 an hour job is labor, cleaning and painting a house for a friend of hers. All inside work.

Of course, her 70 an hour job is physical, too, but she claims she has no physical issues whatsoever from massaging people.

When she works, it isn't mental work, it's physical. So I could see why she says (over and over again, it's her favorite phrase) that she "works her ass off". But at those income rates and that income, she can't be "working her ass off" often?

I think she compares herself to me working for this pharmaceutical company, fine tuning instruments that control the automated process of making medicines. There IS no hard labor here. Most of our work is paperwork due to the staggering amount of regulating bodies of not only the USA but every country we sell drugs to. She knows this.

So I'm putting in 40 hours per week, getting up at 430 a.m., leaving for work at 530 a.m. and then getting home at 530 p.m., but not doing labor per se, so I didn't "work my ass off".

The job in CA is a technical training instructor position basically teaching apprentices how to do what I'm doing here. This, too, is not "working my ass off".

Meanwhile, she is living in an opulent mansion, all her needs taken care of and all bills paid, and "working her ass off".

And now I'm asking her to pay our monthly expenses so that I can put every dime I make against our debt? Why should SHE "work her ass off" to pay for our monthly expenses when I'm just paying off debt, and I definitely do NOT "work my ass off". I think this is the crux of the matter.

How I could ever just work 5 days a week in CA making 10k per month while she lives where she's always wanted to live and "working her ass off" to pay our monthly bills?

I should work 7 days a week to make it fair, I guess.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Imustacheyouaquestion on April 09, 2015, 12:07:44 PM
It sounds like you could both benefit from some therapy and/or marital counseling. Maybe, since your wife grew up with a literal vagabond dad for an example, she has skewed expectations of "hard work." Her massage practice may be fulfilling and feel very worthwhile, but at $70/hr bringing in $12k per year, she's working less than 4 hours per week. That's not working your ass off, that's basically doing part-time work you really enjoy and essentially being retired. She definitely seems in denial about the road you're heading down if you don't change course rapidly -- which is trying to survive on social security or never being able to retire.

As for you, you basically went 0-60 over the course of a few days, from jumping full-on into MMM, to being proud of all the changes your wife was making, to saying that you'll be living in different states and she can fend for herself. That much radical change over the course of a few days kind of seems unstable to me.

If you have irreconcilable differences and are planning on living separately on separate incomes in different states, why stay married on paper? Why is divorce not an option?

And if you are planning to stay married, then the two of you need to get a handle on many issues about how you are living and making decisions together.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 12:17:26 PM
I'm confused about how she can be working herself into the ground and yet making so little.

It sounds as if everyone has some non-negotiables (including "no divorce"), but everyone having non-negotiables has added up to this situation.  So if each person keeps the non-negotiables, nothing will change.

I'd suggest that you go to a counselor on your own. I know the response to this is often "Why should I go to a counselor when the other person is the problem?"  The thing is that what you have is a dynamic between two people, and either one can change that dynamic, because when one person does something different, 50% of the dynamic changes.  Make sure you get a good counselor, of course.  Go see several before you decide.  Don't see one who's eager to jump to the conclusion that it's all her fault or all your fault.  It's not a matter of fault here, it's a matter of making changes to the dynamic.  Good luck.

I see what you are saying. I DID go to a counselor, a different one, for many months. She finally wanted my wife to come in, and she did.

Wife was convinced that I was there just telling my side of the story. My wife immediately started telling the counselor all the bad things about me, but was surprised that I had already done that.

I do not live in a fantasy world. I see no benefit from living in an illusion. I know what my faults are and I own up to them. When I saw the counselor by myself, I gave both sides of the story, to my wife's surprise. This counselor's opinion was that we were not going to make it as a married couple. Just two bizarrely different people.

When we went to the other marriage counselor, it consisted of my wife telling the guy all the stuff I did which was wrong. My response was just to tell him my opinion of what she was saying. I don't have much to say about the things she does that are "wrong". My problems with her have always stemmed with what she said about me. We all suck, let's face it, in one way or another. She just has some deeply held beliefs about how life needs to be lived, and I refuse to get in line.

Our fights are usually, but not always, stemming from her correcting my behavior in some manner: the way I clean things, the way I dress, the way I drive, how I say things, etc. I think about what she says and determine if I'm buying it or not. Her way of looking at life and living is pretty much set in stone. Change or lack of order and organization are very hard for her. I like change and chaos, it makes me feel free and alive. So there you go. In the best of times it's going to be hard.

Living the MMM life is serious change, but in my mind it's bringing order to chaos so I would have thought she'd like it. I was wrong.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: RQO on April 09, 2015, 12:19:48 PM
dagiffy: I'm a firm believer that we should all realize that we can afford almost anything , but we cannot afford everything.  That's to say, compromises must be made.  Your wife appears to have more non-negotiables than she has income to support.  With your income, that might ordinarily be fine, but with your debt, it obviously is not.

Why not compromise with her that your paycheck will also go towards half (or possibly even more) of all necessary household expenses there in Portland, but that she be fully responsible for the bottled water, witchdoctor, Landcruiser upkeep, etc.?  That way, you're helping out with the necessities, but not all the luxuries.  She would obviously still be able to pick and choose what's important to her, but picking and choosing would be necessary.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 12:24:35 PM
It sounds like you could both benefit from some therapy and/or marital counseling. Maybe, since your wife grew up with a literal vagabond dad for an example, she has skewed expectations of "hard work." Her massage practice may be fulfilling and feel very worthwhile, but at $70/hr bringing in $12k per year, she's working less than 4 hours per week. That's not working your ass off, that's basically doing part-time work you really enjoy and essentially being retired. She definitely seems in denial about the road you're heading down if you don't change course rapidly -- which is trying to survive on social security or never being able to retire.

As for you, you basically went 0-60 over the course of a few days, from jumping full-on into MMM, to being proud of all the changes your wife was making, to saying that you'll be living in different states and she can fend for herself. That much radical change over the course of a few days kind of seems unstable to me.

If you have irreconcilable differences and are planning on living separately on separate incomes in different states, why stay married on paper? Why is divorce not an option?

And if you are planning to stay married, then the two of you need to get a handle on many issues about how you are living and making decisions together.


Apparently her changes were not done wholeheartedly, just to pacify me. She resents the whole thing underneath it all. She hasn't enjoyed the "coming to Jesus" moment that I have. I thought she was embracing it, but she was just co-existing. When I brought out my plan, that sent her over the edge. There were no changes, it just seemed like there were. Oh well.

I realize I can't expect her to go on this journey with me. She just won't do it. She won't leave Portland. If I go to CA, I'm going alone and I'll stay there alone until and unless I come back. I realize that now. She just has expectations that cannot be fulfilled in me living this MMM life. I'm almost in a panic situation. I see how dire it is. In her mind she's already been living this life for decades and now instead of coasting I want her to ramp up? Preposterous.

 If I go to CA, I'm leaving in a few weeks. NO time for counseling. IT also costs money. No money for counseling.

I see her reasoning. I just can't agree with it. My options are limited.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: charis on April 09, 2015, 12:26:38 PM
What you are proposing is tantamount to leaving your wife.  That's ok, but divorce is not an option?  What am I missing here?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 12:34:11 PM
What you are proposing is tantamount to leaving your wife.  That's ok, but divorce is not an option?  What am I missing here?

Well, the difference is that I am her retirement now. It's going to me, my job, my insurance, my retirement package that she lives on at the end. I imagine that if I hadn't pursued her that she'd have married someone else in a much better financial position, but she didn't. She married me.

When we married we made a commitment to each other. I'm going to honor it even if we aren't living together.

If we divorce she has nothing but her skills. Self-employed so no insurance, or if she gets it it will be prohibitively expensive. She can look forward to "working her ass off" until she drops dead, because at best she can make maybe 35k per year. That's what she made at her peak.

I'm not going to divorce her just because we can't get along. I promised I'd take care of her in our vows and that's what I'm going to do. Financially, at least. And yes it'll suck living the life of a single man but not able to pursue a mate to share life with because I already have a wife.

I will need to stay in the CA job until I'm retired. She won't move. This is just how it is, at least for now. Don't know if that explains it or not.

EDIT: when this mansion sells and she has to pay rent and utilities some place, I will start sending her money. But she doesn't need any more than what she is making except when she sees the witch doctor. She can't afford him on what she's making even though there's no rent or utilities to pay.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 12:39:12 PM
dagiffy: I'm a firm believer that we should all realize that we can afford almost anything , but we cannot afford everything.  That's to say, compromises must be made.  Your wife appears to have more non-negotiables than she has income to support.  With your income, that might ordinarily be fine, but with your debt, it obviously is not.

Why not compromise with her that your paycheck will also go towards half (or possibly even more) of all necessary household expenses there in Portland, but that she be fully responsible for the bottled water, witchdoctor, Landcruiser upkeep, etc.?  That way, you're helping out with the necessities, but not all the luxuries.  She would obviously still be able to pick and choose what's important to her, but picking and choosing would be necessary.

I explained to her that our paychecks would go into the same pot of money. It wouldn't be "her" money that paid the monthlies, the plan was for her to earn enough so that the net income she brought in would equal our monthlies. Then we would KNOW that all of MINE went to debt relief. But it's all the same pot of money.

This doesn't help her. Why does SHE have to pay the monthlies while I live in CA and not working 7 days a week? She's been working her ass off!

She can't be reasoned with, I have always had to reach her some other way. She doesn't think logically, more conceptually. The whole IDEA of this seems wrong; therefore, it is. It feels wrong, therefore it is. She's very empathetic, sympathetic, and nurturing and I am not. Yet that is how I can get through to her. I haven't come up with anything she can relate to that way.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 09, 2015, 12:40:49 PM
So, you're 50 now and plan on retiring when you are 65 or 67. That means you are going to live separate from your wife for up to seventeen years? During that time, you will support her fully, including paying for a second apartment in a different city? You have to realize that this is crazy. It's just not tenable.

How long have you been married? A decade? Two decades? Your commitment is admirable, but I just don't see how it's tenable. You don't "deserve" (whatever that means) to punish yourself for the rest of your life just because you married someone with whom you are not compatible. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 12:50:55 PM
So, you're 50 now and plan on retiring when you are 65 or 67. That means you are going to live separate from your wife for up to seventeen years? During that time, you will support her fully, including paying for a second apartment in a different city? You have to realize that this is crazy. It's just not tenable.

How long have you been married? A decade? Two decades? Your commitment is admirable, but I just don't see how it's tenable. You don't "deserve" (whatever that means) to punish yourself for the rest of your life just because you married someone with whom you are not compatible.

We've been married 9 years. Yes I thought of the untenability, too. But on her side, why should she now have to work till she drops because she married a guy who wasn't financially solvent and who ended up divorcing her when she was 50?

I know paying two rents and so forth is not tenable, but so is paying back 101,000 in school loans. I made the commitment and now I have to pay the piper. It's a miserable situation but I can't cut and run. Maybe it will get better? Or maybe not.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: richschmidt on April 09, 2015, 12:53:19 PM
dagiffy: I'm a firm believer that we should all realize that we can afford almost anything , but we cannot afford everything.

This is the mantra behind the website I mentioned earlier, www.AffordAnything.com. You might point your wife toward it at some point, dagiffy. It might help her see that she can afford some things she wants, but not others. Or, if she wants to afford them, she needs to hustle and earn more money so that she can afford it.

It's heartbreaking to read about how she treats you & to think of the two of you living separately for that long. I hope that some other option presents itself. But I admire your commitment to keeping your commitments!

As for the shared financial situation... perhaps it would be better to do some financial separating. Perhaps you keep separate accounts for your income, and then split all the basic bills (which really should include your rent, utilities, and food as well, if/when you move to CA... but I'm not sure you could sell that to her), and then you're each free to do what you want with the rest of it. You might have to cancel the credit cards, so she doesn't just rack up massive debt on one. A debit card would prevent her from doing that.

This would allow her to see how much she can truly afford to spend on lattes, naturopaths, and weekend getaways, and it would allow you to pour a ton of money toward debt. This might be just the nudge she needs to expand her business... because she sees that's the only way she can afford the lifestyle she desires. She can afford anything, but not everything.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 12:55:34 PM
So, you're 50 now and plan on retiring when you are 65 or 67. That means you are going to live separate from your wife for up to seventeen years? During that time, you will support her fully, including paying for a second apartment in a different city? You have to realize that this is crazy. It's just not tenable.

How long have you been married? A decade? Two decades? Your commitment is admirable, but I just don't see how it's tenable. You don't "deserve" (whatever that means) to punish yourself for the rest of your life just because you married someone with whom you are not compatible.

If we did decide to divorce, I'd probably have to give her half of what I make anyway, right? Equal rights for women and equality and all that jazz. From friends who have gotten divorced, the man has gotten absolutely hammered. I know one guy who can only afford to live with his Mom at the age of 47 while he continues making the payments on the large house that his ex-wife lives in.

The judge won't care that I have 130k in debts and only a short time to pay them before I can't work anymore. He's going to see that my wife makes 12k and I make 120k and she needs to be supported for the rest of my life. I guess I could be wrong but that's what I've seen happen to people I know around here.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: swick on April 09, 2015, 12:58:04 PM
Sorry you are in such a difficult situation :( I would pull out your marriage vows and read them in the light of what you are both not doing. I imagine there is not a lot of love, cherish and respect going on.

If you get divorced, yes you will be breaking part of your vows, but you (her?) are probably breaking some of them regardless with how you are living now.  Also, you seem to be forgetting that with the huge difference in finances, you will be supporting her anyways - for the foreseeable future. It does give you both the option of finding a partner better in line with your beliefs and goals for the future.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: charis on April 09, 2015, 01:00:19 PM
 
If we did decide to divorce, I'd probably have to give her half of what I make anyway, right? Equal rights for women and equality and all that jazz. From friends who have gotten divorced, the man has gotten absolutely hammered. I know one guy who can only afford to live with his Mom at the age of 47 while he continues making the payments on the large house that his ex-wife lives in.

The judge won't care that I have 130k in debts and only a short time to pay them before I can't work anymore. He's going to see that my wife makes 12k and I make 120k and she needs to be supported for the rest of my life. I guess I could be wrong but that's what I've seen happen to people I know around here.

I thought you wanted to support her for the rest of her life.  You just said you can't divorce because you need to support her financially.  With that in mind, you post above makes NO sense.  Who cares whether the judges orders you to support her if you were going to anyway?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 01:03:55 PM
dagiffy: I'm a firm believer that we should all realize that we can afford almost anything , but we cannot afford everything.

This is the mantra behind the website I mentioned earlier, www.AffordAnything.com. You might point your wife toward it at some point, dagiffy. It might help her see that she can afford some things she wants, but not others. Or, if she wants to afford them, she needs to hustle and earn more money so that she can afford it.

It's heartbreaking to read about how she treats you & to think of the two of you living separately for that long. I hope that some other option presents itself. But I admire your commitment to keeping your commitments!

As for the shared financial situation... perhaps it would be better to do some financial separating. Perhaps you keep separate accounts for your income, and then split all the basic bills (which really should include your rent, utilities, and food as well, if/when you move to CA... but I'm not sure you could sell that to her), and then you're each free to do what you want with the rest of it. You might have to cancel the credit cards, so she doesn't just rack up massive debt on one. A debit card would prevent her from doing that.

This would allow her to see how much she can truly afford to spend on lattes, naturopaths, and weekend getaways, and it would allow you to pour a ton of money toward debt. This might be just the nudge she needs to expand her business... because she sees that's the only way she can afford the lifestyle she desires. She can afford anything, but not everything.

She doesn't treat me poorly, really. She sees me as lazy, as trying to get out of doing work, as putting undue hardship on her, a lot of "woe is me and how could you do me this way" stuff lately.

She loves me, cooks for me, does my laundry, helps me where she can. She's no ogre. She is just on a different plane than I am about how she sees everything and vocal about it. Any time I present an idea to her, she is suspicious of my motives and thinks I'm doing it to take advantage of her and to get out of doing something.

I will point her to this way of thinking but I'm not going to explain anything to her. She hates the computer and the internet and navigates it with frustration, so I doubt she'll go for reading youcanaffordanything.com.

Maybe I'll take the advice of adding our two separate monthlies together and dividing them between us and keep two separate accounts.

The problem is that unless I give her that goal to shoot for, she is going to go along at her 12k annual earnings while expecting me to "work my ass off" 7 days a week because that's what a husband should do for his wife. This is why I gave her a number to shoot for and asked her if she thought she could do it.

But that's what sent the whole house of cards down, instead.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 01:04:42 PM
If we did decide to divorce, I'd probably have to give her half of what I make anyway, right? Equal rights for women and equality and all that jazz. From friends who have gotten divorced, the man has gotten absolutely hammered. I know one guy who can only afford to live with his Mom at the age of 47 while he continues making the payments on the large house that his ex-wife lives in.

The judge won't care that I have 130k in debts and only a short time to pay them before I can't work anymore. He's going to see that my wife makes 12k and I make 120k and she needs to be supported for the rest of my life. I guess I could be wrong but that's what I've seen happen to people I know around here.

I thought you wanted to support her for the rest of her life.  You just said you can't divorce because you need to support her financially.  With that in mind, you post above makes NO sense.  Who cares whether the judges orders you to support her if you were going to anyway?

In a divorce I think I would get a worse deal than if we stay married and I send her money when she needs it. That's all.

My main thrust with ALL of this is to get out of debt and save enough to retire. If I'm sending her 2500 per month in a divorce settlement, I'll never make it.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 01:07:18 PM
Sorry you are in such a difficult situation :( I would pull out your marriage vows and read them in the light of what you are both not doing. I imagine there is not a lot of love, cherish and respect going on.

If you get divorced, yes you will be breaking part of your vows, but you (her?) are probably breaking some of them regardless with how you are living now.  Also, you seem to be forgetting that with the huge difference in finances, you will be supporting her anyways - for the foreseeable future. It does give you both the option of finding a partner better in line with your beliefs and goals for the future.

An excellent point, Swick. This is definitely a down time with us and a lot of not cherishing and respect and stuff but I hadn't considered that breaking vows is breaking vows.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 01:08:58 PM
dagiffy: I'm a firm believer that we should all realize that we can afford almost anything , but we cannot afford everything.

This is the mantra behind the website I mentioned earlier, www.AffordAnything.com. You might point your wife toward it at some point, dagiffy. It might help her see that she can afford some things she wants, but not others. Or, if she wants to afford them, she needs to hustle and earn more money so that she can afford it.

It's heartbreaking to read about how she treats you & to think of the two of you living separately for that long. I hope that some other option presents itself. But I admire your commitment to keeping your commitments!

As for the shared financial situation... perhaps it would be better to do some financial separating. Perhaps you keep separate accounts for your income, and then split all the basic bills (which really should include your rent, utilities, and food as well, if/when you move to CA... but I'm not sure you could sell that to her), and then you're each free to do what you want with the rest of it. You might have to cancel the credit cards, so she doesn't just rack up massive debt on one. A debit card would prevent her from doing that.

This would allow her to see how much she can truly afford to spend on lattes, naturopaths, and weekend getaways, and it would allow you to pour a ton of money toward debt. This might be just the nudge she needs to expand her business... because she sees that's the only way she can afford the lifestyle she desires. She can afford anything, but not everything.

I like this idea a lot. I'm going to think about proposing this to her.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: JLee on April 09, 2015, 01:35:28 PM
So, you're 50 now and plan on retiring when you are 65 or 67. That means you are going to live separate from your wife for up to seventeen years? During that time, you will support her fully, including paying for a second apartment in a different city? You have to realize that this is crazy. It's just not tenable.

How long have you been married? A decade? Two decades? Your commitment is admirable, but I just don't see how it's tenable. You don't "deserve" (whatever that means) to punish yourself for the rest of your life just because you married someone with whom you are not compatible.

We've been married 9 years. Yes I thought of the untenability, too. But on her side, why should she now have to work till she drops because she married a guy who wasn't financially solvent and who ended up divorcing her when she was 50?

I know paying two rents and so forth is not tenable, but so is paying back 101,000 in school loans. I made the commitment and now I have to pay the piper. It's a miserable situation but I can't cut and run. Maybe it will get better? Or maybe not.
Do you have children together that caused her to stay home and forsake a working career? Sounds to me like you are a dual income couple, and she just didn't happen to choose a career that she could live on. Did she marry you 9 years ago just so she wouldn't have to worry about working anymore?

I'm noticing some huge communications problems and trust problems here - counseling is likely a necessity if you want to have a successful relationship.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Josiecat on April 09, 2015, 01:38:42 PM
Is it possible that she is keeping her income low, because she knows if you divorce she will get more $$? 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: supomglol on April 09, 2015, 01:40:10 PM
Dagiffy1,
This is a very interesting post, From the moment I read your OP I correctly assumed how I would read your tone on Page 4. 

The only real difference between our two relationships is that I had the foresight to see this coming.  I learned early on that my wife was a bit of a spend-thrift; and she too enjoyed the "finer things in life".  She equated the number in her bank account equal to the number available to spend at any given moment. 

I'f I'm to be honest: I used her lack of financial savvy-ness in combination with some choice examples from her poorly managed financial past as leverage to take full financial control of our relationship early-on.  As a result, I control the bank accounts, investments, bill-payments etc.  My income represents roughly 90% of our current income.  I set up a system whereby our direct deposits are put into an account she doesn't have direct access to; and then I have an automatic distribution set up to provide her with a monthly "allowance".  This took some convincing on my part (she wanted 100, I wanted 50 per week).  The stipulation was that she spend that money on whatever she wants to (eating out, nails, hair, etc.).  Note that is still $3,000 per year if you think about it.  I also have an unregulated system of mentioning off-hand how we can't afford this or that - even if we technically could.  Odiously she had to put trust in me and my financial abilities to allow me this much control; and I would be foolish to break that trust.  The only account she worries about is her own, which gets automatically populated with $75/week.  This combination of activities provides for a "false" sense of financial comfort, which is a bit of a mind-game I play on myself too; to prevent from making large ticket impulse purchases.  The trick is keeping her dis-interested in numbers like our NET worth, Annual Income, Annual Bonuses, etc.  If she knew we had several hundred thousand dollars at our "disposal" I would hear constant whining about wanting to go on vacations; how we "can't spend it when we're dead" etc. 
Is it more work for me to keep up with 99% of the finances?  Yes, absolutely.  But I can tell you with no doubt in my mind that if this system were not in place, I would be constantly fighting off each and every purchase.  There is no way I would have or would still be married. 

This is a lesson in avoiding income-creep; where more money = more spending.  We've kept our spending the same, while our income has increased; but this would not have been possible without the above. 

Unfortunately she doesn't have any real interest in the MMM lifestyle just like your wife; there is no convincing.  If she was left to her own devices we would be your typical consumers, spending every penny we have and then some.  In many ways I think this may be the greatest weakness in our relationship as we truly have two different paths. 
Sometimes my wife's day consists of just like what you describe, shopping, napping, with a dash of TV watching; and the only thing that stops it from infuriating me beyond belief is the knowledge that I am still saving >50% of our NET income this year.  In your situation, with the work you are putting in, I'm sure its tough to come home to that every day.  I know it still wears on me sometimes. 

You need to recognize that she equates income with spending opportunities.  If you are truly on-board with MMM than you do not feel that way any-longer. 
That difference of opinion will tear you apart in every conceivable way.  I have been there.

My wife ended up deciding that she wanted to go back to school and is now ending her 3rd full-time semester in college with solid career prospects.  If she hadn't decide to become a income participant we wouldn't still be married; and nobody could make that decision but her.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 01:41:45 PM
So, you're 50 now and plan on retiring when you are 65 or 67. That means you are going to live separate from your wife for up to seventeen years? During that time, you will support her fully, including paying for a second apartment in a different city? You have to realize that this is crazy. It's just not tenable.

How long have you been married? A decade? Two decades? Your commitment is admirable, but I just don't see how it's tenable. You don't "deserve" (whatever that means) to punish yourself for the rest of your life just because you married someone with whom you are not compatible.

We've been married 9 years. Yes I thought of the untenability, too. But on her side, why should she now have to work till she drops because she married a guy who wasn't financially solvent and who ended up divorcing her when she was 50?

I know paying two rents and so forth is not tenable, but so is paying back 101,000 in school loans. I made the commitment and now I have to pay the piper. It's a miserable situation but I can't cut and run. Maybe it will get better? Or maybe not.
Do you have children together that caused her to stay home and forsake a working career? Sounds to me like you are a dual income couple, and she just didn't happen to choose a career that she could live on. Did she marry you 9 years ago just so she wouldn't have to worry about working anymore?

I'm noticing some huge communications problems and trust problems here - counseling is likely a necessity if you want to have a successful relationship.

Definitely huge trust problems. Counseling doesn't fix everything. It's a shot in the dark.

When we married we I was in school. The idea was that she would support us so that when I got out I could make a good living for us, but she'd still work some.

Our situation doesn't allow that at the moment. We both need to work like it's the only thing that matters right now. She's willing to work more than she is now but I'd better be ready to work 7 days per week, preferably 16 hours a day, so that it's fair to her.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 01:45:11 PM
Is it possible that she is keeping her income low, because she knows if you divorce she will get more $$?

No. Don't think so? In her mind, she is "working her ass off". She told me that several times yesterday evening. She never mentions divorce, only I offer it as an alternative thinking if she'd be happier without me, then go ahead. Either trust me or don't. But choose one.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 01:48:41 PM
Dagiffy1,
This is a very interesting post, From the moment I read your OP I correctly assumed how I would read your tone on Page 4. 

The only real difference between our two relationships is that I had the foresight to see this coming.  I learned early on that my wife was a bit of a spend-thrift; and she too enjoyed the "finer things in life".  She equated the number in her bank account equal to the number available to spend at any given moment. 

I'f I'm to be honest: I used her lack of financial savvy-ness in combination with some choice examples from her poorly managed financial past as leverage to take full financial control of our relationship early-on.  As a result, I control the bank accounts, investments, bill-payments etc.  My income represents roughly 90% of our current income.  I set up a system whereby our direct deposits are put into an account she doesn't have direct access to; and then I have an automatic distribution set up to provide her with a monthly "allowance".  This took some convincing on my part (she wanted 100, I wanted 50 per week).  The stipulation was that she spend that money on whatever she wants to (eating out, nails, hair, etc.).  Note that is still $3,000 per year if you think about it.  I also have an unregulated system of mentioning off-hand how we can't afford this or that - even if we technically could.  Odiously she had to put trust in me and my financial abilities to allow me this much control; and I would be foolish to break that trust.  The only account she worries about is her own, which gets automatically populated with $75/week.  This combination of activities provides for a "false" sense of financial comfort, which is a bit of a mind-game I play on myself too; to prevent from making large ticket impulse purchases.  The trick is keeping her dis-interested in numbers like our NET worth, Annual Income, Annual Bonuses, etc.  If she knew we had several hundred thousand dollars at our "disposal" I would hear constant whining about wanting to go on vacations; how we "can't spend it when we're dead" etc. 
Is it more work for me to keep up with 99% of the finances?  Yes, absolutely.  But I can tell you with no doubt in my mind that if this system were not in place, I would be constantly fighting off each and every purchase.  There is no way I would have or would still be married. 

This is a lesson in avoiding income-creep; where more money = more spending.  We've kept our spending the same, while our income has increased; but this would not have been possible without the above. 

Unfortunately she doesn't have any real interest in the MMM lifestyle just like your wife; there is no convincing.  If she was left to her own devices we would be your typical consumers, spending every penny we have and then some.  In many ways I think this may be the greatest weakness in our relationship as we truly have two different paths. 
Sometimes my wife's day consists of just like what you describe, shopping, napping, with a dash of TV watching; and the only thing that stops it from infuriating me beyond belief is the knowledge that I am still saving >50% of our NET income this year.  In your situation, with the work you are putting in, I'm sure its tough to come home to that every day.  I know it still wears on me sometimes. 

You need to recognize that she equates income with spending opportunities.  If you are truly on-board with MMM than you do not feel that way any-longer. 
That difference of opinion will tear you apart in every conceivable way.  I have been there.

My wife ended up deciding that she wanted to go back to school and is now ending her 3rd full-time semester in college with solid career prospects.  If she hadn't decide to become a income participant we wouldn't still be married; and nobody could make that decision but her.

OK, this is NOT my wife. She does watch a lot of TV but it's usually when she's taking a break from cooking, cleaning, laundry, vacuuming. This is NOT a lazy woman. This is a woman who prides herself on "working her ass off". She stays busy being productive and doesn't sit around goofing off, napping, shopping, etc. She won't even take an ibuprofen when she needs one. She's hard core.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: okits on April 09, 2015, 01:50:10 PM
Unsure how it works in the U.S.  If you stay married and she signs up for new credit cards, takes out additional loans, and accumulates more consumer debt to fund her lifestyle, are you jointly on the hook?  In determining spousal support, will the judge consider that your wife has the capability to earn more ($35k/yr), she is just choosing to earn $12k?  In a divorce, will she end up shouldering part of the debt burden?  If she can undo all your debt reduction while married, knowing you'll pay $X alimony is better. It limits the financial damage and you know exactly how much you have to budget with.

I'm sad you think it's impossible to reconcile your differences. That is certainly the best route. It sounds like you don't have much of a partnership anyway, with her poor opinion of you (lazy) and focus on your perceived faults. You're in a tough spot.  Research all options (including staying with her and ending up destitute - I know you don't want this but it is an option) and pick the least awful one.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: mabinogi on April 09, 2015, 02:11:01 PM
You've used the expression "works her ass off" probably a dozen times now in reference to your wife, and I just don't get it. As a stay-at-home mom, I do all the things your wife does - cook, clean, laundry, grocery shopping, bring in a little extra income from side gigs, etc - PLUS I take care of a toddler (soon to be a toddler and an infant) full-time...and I still wouldn't say that I work my ass off. I also find the time to manage our finances, since that's not my bread-winner husband's strong suit, exercise, and take a nap most days. In what way, exactly, does she work her ass off?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 02:17:07 PM
You've used the expression "works her ass off" probably a dozen times now in reference to your wife, and I just don't get it. As a stay-at-home mom, I do all the things your wife does - cook, clean, laundry, grocery shopping, bring in a little extra income from side gigs, etc - PLUS I take care of a toddler (soon to be a toddler and an infant) full-time...and I still wouldn't say that I work my ass off. I also find the time to manage our finances, since that's not my bread-winner husband's strong suit, exercise, and take a nap most days. In what way, exactly, does she work her ass off?

I think it's that her work is all labor intensive. I'm not sure. She tends to exaggerate for dramatic effect, but this is her favorite phrase.

She would also tell you she's older now, so she doesn't have the energy she did when she was 30. Also, she's having some health problems which sap her of energy. So you can't compare her to anyone else.

All the work she does is physical, so I think this means "working her ass off". And if it's away from home, she spends a LOT of time on the road driving. With traffic the way it is around here, this is "working her ass off fighting traffic all day".

When she gets home from a full day, she's pretty spent.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: richschmidt on April 09, 2015, 02:23:11 PM
Maybe I'll take the advice of adding our two separate monthlies together and dividing them between us and keep two separate accounts.

The problem is that unless I give her that goal to shoot for, she is going to go along at her 12k annual earnings while expecting me to "work my ass off" 7 days a week because that's what a husband should do for his wife. This is why I gave her a number to shoot for and asked her if she thought she could do it.

But that's what sent the whole house of cards down, instead.

To be clear, I wasn't suggesting you pool your incomes and then split them down the middle. I was suggesting you each keep your own income and split the basic bills. From your summary, I wasn't sure how you were reading it.

You've said she makes more than enough to pay for her basic needs. That's great. If she's not receiving your income, she'll see that if she wants to afford more luxuries, she can work for them.

If it'll help, you can commit to her that you're pouring all of your excess income into paying down the debt... and maybe it'll help if she knows that the reason for this is so you can eventually enjoy some of those luxuries without the guilt or stress of wondering how you're going to pay for them later. You're doing it for both of you, not just for yourself.

I know some couples who handle their finances separately, splitting bills, etc. It seems to work for them. Fortunately, my wife and I are on the same page about finances, for the most part. Occasionally we disagree, but we work it out. If we had dramatically different ideas about where the money should go, we'd probably have to separate our finances somehow.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: supomglol on April 09, 2015, 02:23:18 PM
Dagiffy1,
This is a very interesting post, From the moment I read your OP I correctly assumed how I would read your tone on Page 4. 

The only real difference between our two relationships is that I had the foresight to see this coming.  I learned early on that my wife was a bit of a spend-thrift; and she too enjoyed the "finer things in life".  She equated the number in her bank account equal to the number available to spend at any given moment. 

I'f I'm to be honest: I used her lack of financial savvy-ness in combination with some choice examples from her poorly managed financial past as leverage to take full financial control of our relationship early-on.  As a result, I control the bank accounts, investments, bill-payments etc.  My income represents roughly 90% of our current income.  I set up a system whereby our direct deposits are put into an account she doesn't have direct access to; and then I have an automatic distribution set up to provide her with a monthly "allowance".  This took some convincing on my part (she wanted 100, I wanted 50 per week).  The stipulation was that she spend that money on whatever she wants to (eating out, nails, hair, etc.).  Note that is still $3,000 per year if you think about it.  I also have an unregulated system of mentioning off-hand how we can't afford this or that - even if we technically could.  Odiously she had to put trust in me and my financial abilities to allow me this much control; and I would be foolish to break that trust.  The only account she worries about is her own, which gets automatically populated with $75/week.  This combination of activities provides for a "false" sense of financial comfort, which is a bit of a mind-game I play on myself too; to prevent from making large ticket impulse purchases.  The trick is keeping her dis-interested in numbers like our NET worth, Annual Income, Annual Bonuses, etc.  If she knew we had several hundred thousand dollars at our "disposal" I would hear constant whining about wanting to go on vacations; how we "can't spend it when we're dead" etc. 
Is it more work for me to keep up with 99% of the finances?  Yes, absolutely.  But I can tell you with no doubt in my mind that if this system were not in place, I would be constantly fighting off each and every purchase.  There is no way I would have or would still be married. 

This is a lesson in avoiding income-creep; where more money = more spending.  We've kept our spending the same, while our income has increased; but this would not have been possible without the above. 

Unfortunately she doesn't have any real interest in the MMM lifestyle just like your wife; there is no convincing.  If she was left to her own devices we would be your typical consumers, spending every penny we have and then some.  In many ways I think this may be the greatest weakness in our relationship as we truly have two different paths. 
Sometimes my wife's day consists of just like what you describe, shopping, napping, with a dash of TV watching; and the only thing that stops it from infuriating me beyond belief is the knowledge that I am still saving >50% of our NET income this year.  In your situation, with the work you are putting in, I'm sure its tough to come home to that every day.  I know it still wears on me sometimes. 

You need to recognize that she equates income with spending opportunities.  If you are truly on-board with MMM than you do not feel that way any-longer. 
That difference of opinion will tear you apart in every conceivable way.  I have been there.

My wife ended up deciding that she wanted to go back to school and is now ending her 3rd full-time semester in college with solid career prospects.  If she hadn't decide to become a income participant we wouldn't still be married; and nobody could make that decision but her.

OK, this is NOT my wife. She does watch a lot of TV but it's usually when she's taking a break from cooking, cleaning, laundry, vacuuming. This is NOT a lazy woman. This is a woman who prides herself on "working her ass off". She stays busy being productive and doesn't sit around goofing off, napping, shopping, etc. She won't even take an ibuprofen when she needs one. She's hard core.
Who are you trying to convince, me or you?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 02:26:19 PM
Unsure how it works in the U.S.  If you stay married and she signs up for new credit cards, takes out additional loans, and accumulates more consumer debt to fund her lifestyle, are you jointly on the hook?  In determining spousal support, will the judge consider that your wife has the capability to earn more ($35k/yr), she is just choosing to earn $12k?  In a divorce, will she end up shouldering part of the debt burden?  If she can undo all your debt reduction while married, knowing you'll pay $X alimony is better. It limits the financial damage and you know exactly how much you have to budget with.

I'm sad you think it's impossible to reconcile your differences. That is certainly the best route. It sounds like you don't have much of a partnership anyway, with her poor opinion of you (lazy) and focus on your perceived faults. You're in a tough spot.  Research all options (including staying with her and ending up destitute - I know you don't want this but it is an option) and pick the least awful one.

We have enough credit cards so that she doesn't need to open another one. We have many credit cards with zero balances, keeping them open for credit score. One more would be zero but she used it to "pay" for the 6000 in repairs recently.

The 2nd one has a large (6393) balance, mainly due to doctor bills that were beyond what we were bringing in and not covered by insurance.

The 3rd credit card (around 5000) was created to catch the excess part of our car loan when we refinanced and the bank said we owed more than it was worth. That excess was put onto a low interest credit card.

Like I've said, when I met her she spent within her means. Granted, her means were more than double than they are now. She wasn't saving for retirement but she was in the black. This is not a foolish woman, it's just that she's been "working her ass off" and doesn't like the idea of ramping up at her age after working her ass off for so long.

She was expecting to coast by this time in our lives, and I guess it doesn't matter that we are actually destitute. She's tired. That and her suspicious nature suspects me of trying to get out of my obligation to support her financially, not work and stand by while she "works her ass off".
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: JLee on April 09, 2015, 02:28:50 PM
You've used the expression "works her ass off" probably a dozen times now in reference to your wife, and I just don't get it. As a stay-at-home mom, I do all the things your wife does - cook, clean, laundry, grocery shopping, bring in a little extra income from side gigs, etc - PLUS I take care of a toddler (soon to be a toddler and an infant) full-time...and I still wouldn't say that I work my ass off. I also find the time to manage our finances, since that's not my bread-winner husband's strong suit, exercise, and take a nap most days. In what way, exactly, does she work her ass off?

As an unmarried guy, I do all the same stuff while working 40+ hours a week. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc is all handled (because if I don't do it, well, it doesn't get done!). If you remove kids from the equation, it's sure not all that impressive to say "I can adult all by myself!"  :P
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 09, 2015, 02:28:58 PM
+1 to the idea that your wife is not "working her ass off." Trust me, she isn't. I am a SAHM to three young kids who still manages to make more money than your wife does freelancing on the side. Two adults do not create that much work in the house.

She is a lady of a fair amount of leisure, and don't let her convince you otherwise. This would be okay if it was mutually agreed upon and you could afford it. But neither of these are the case.

The reality is that she has to move where you get a higher paying job. Why don't you bargain with her that when the student loans and other debts are paid off that you two will move back to Portland together? You can't afford to pay for two places. You just can't.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: JLee on April 09, 2015, 02:30:12 PM
Unsure how it works in the U.S.  If you stay married and she signs up for new credit cards, takes out additional loans, and accumulates more consumer debt to fund her lifestyle, are you jointly on the hook?  In determining spousal support, will the judge consider that your wife has the capability to earn more ($35k/yr), she is just choosing to earn $12k?  In a divorce, will she end up shouldering part of the debt burden?  If she can undo all your debt reduction while married, knowing you'll pay $X alimony is better. It limits the financial damage and you know exactly how much you have to budget with.

I'm sad you think it's impossible to reconcile your differences. That is certainly the best route. It sounds like you don't have much of a partnership anyway, with her poor opinion of you (lazy) and focus on your perceived faults. You're in a tough spot.  Research all options (including staying with her and ending up destitute - I know you don't want this but it is an option) and pick the least awful one.

We have enough credit cards so that she doesn't need to open another one. We have many credit cards with zero balances, keeping them open for credit score. One more would be zero but she used it to "pay" for the 6000 in repairs recently.

The 2nd one has a large (6393) balance, mainly due to doctor bills that were beyond what we were bringing in and not covered by insurance.

The 3rd credit card (around 5000) was created to catch the excess part of our car loan when we refinanced and the bank said we owed more than it was worth. That excess was put onto a low interest credit card.

Like I've said, when I met her she spent within her means. Granted, her means were more than double than they are now. She wasn't saving for retirement but she was in the black. This is not a foolish woman, it's just that she's been "working her ass off" and doesn't like the idea of ramping up at her age after working her ass off for so long.

She was expecting to coast by this time in our lives, and I guess it doesn't matter that we are actually destitute. She's tired. That and her suspicious nature suspects me of trying to get out of my obligation to support her financially, not work and stand by while she "works her ass off".
Newsflash!

She is an adult. You don't have an "obligation" to support her financially. Has she spent the last 20 years staying home raising kids for you? Does she have the capacity to work?

My SO is ~5 years ahead of me with plans for FIRE and she is being careful to make sure she's not going to lean on me too hard in the early years while her 'stashe continues to grow. We're both adults with the ability to work - one of us does not have to financially provide for the other.  If you both want to? Sure, you're adults. Make that decision.  Her entitlement and outright expectation that she doesn't have to make a living while you do? Absurd.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 02:30:20 PM
Dagiffy1,
This is a very interesting post, From the moment I read your OP I correctly assumed how I would read your tone on Page 4. 

The only real difference between our two relationships is that I had the foresight to see this coming.  I learned early on that my wife was a bit of a spend-thrift; and she too enjoyed the "finer things in life".  She equated the number in her bank account equal to the number available to spend at any given moment. 

I'f I'm to be honest: I used her lack of financial savvy-ness in combination with some choice examples from her poorly managed financial past as leverage to take full financial control of our relationship early-on.  As a result, I control the bank accounts, investments, bill-payments etc.  My income represents roughly 90% of our current income.  I set up a system whereby our direct deposits are put into an account she doesn't have direct access to; and then I have an automatic distribution set up to provide her with a monthly "allowance".  This took some convincing on my part (she wanted 100, I wanted 50 per week).  The stipulation was that she spend that money on whatever she wants to (eating out, nails, hair, etc.).  Note that is still $3,000 per year if you think about it.  I also have an unregulated system of mentioning off-hand how we can't afford this or that - even if we technically could.  Odiously she had to put trust in me and my financial abilities to allow me this much control; and I would be foolish to break that trust.  The only account she worries about is her own, which gets automatically populated with $75/week.  This combination of activities provides for a "false" sense of financial comfort, which is a bit of a mind-game I play on myself too; to prevent from making large ticket impulse purchases.  The trick is keeping her dis-interested in numbers like our NET worth, Annual Income, Annual Bonuses, etc.  If she knew we had several hundred thousand dollars at our "disposal" I would hear constant whining about wanting to go on vacations; how we "can't spend it when we're dead" etc. 
Is it more work for me to keep up with 99% of the finances?  Yes, absolutely.  But I can tell you with no doubt in my mind that if this system were not in place, I would be constantly fighting off each and every purchase.  There is no way I would have or would still be married. 

This is a lesson in avoiding income-creep; where more money = more spending.  We've kept our spending the same, while our income has increased; but this would not have been possible without the above. 

Unfortunately she doesn't have any real interest in the MMM lifestyle just like your wife; there is no convincing.  If she was left to her own devices we would be your typical consumers, spending every penny we have and then some.  In many ways I think this may be the greatest weakness in our relationship as we truly have two different paths. 
Sometimes my wife's day consists of just like what you describe, shopping, napping, with a dash of TV watching; and the only thing that stops it from infuriating me beyond belief is the knowledge that I am still saving >50% of our NET income this year.  In your situation, with the work you are putting in, I'm sure its tough to come home to that every day.  I know it still wears on me sometimes. 

You need to recognize that she equates income with spending opportunities.  If you are truly on-board with MMM than you do not feel that way any-longer. 
That difference of opinion will tear you apart in every conceivable way.  I have been there.

My wife ended up deciding that she wanted to go back to school and is now ending her 3rd full-time semester in college with solid career prospects.  If she hadn't decide to become a income participant we wouldn't still be married; and nobody could make that decision but her.

OK, this is NOT my wife. She does watch a lot of TV but it's usually when she's taking a break from cooking, cleaning, laundry, vacuuming. This is NOT a lazy woman. This is a woman who prides herself on "working her ass off". She stays busy being productive and doesn't sit around goofing off, napping, shopping, etc. She won't even take an ibuprofen when she needs one. She's hard core.
Who are you trying to convince, me or you?

lol well all I know is this: we are living in a 7000 square foot mansion with 3 floors, 6 bedrooms and 5 full bathrooms. She is keeping it clean and we have two cats that have the run of the place. She does all the shopping (shopping for me now consists of buying beans, rice, and some veggies however), the cooking (I can make my own rice, beans and veggies now), cleaning this place. I help where I can, but her standards are way above mine, almost OCD if you ask me.

On top of this she works outside the house. This stuff is never undone. The house is always spotless. SOMEONE is doing this, and it ain't me.

I'm trying to convince YOU, cuz I already know! She does have time to work more outside the house and I hope she does.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 02:31:48 PM
Unsure how it works in the U.S.  If you stay married and she signs up for new credit cards, takes out additional loans, and accumulates more consumer debt to fund her lifestyle, are you jointly on the hook?  In determining spousal support, will the judge consider that your wife has the capability to earn more ($35k/yr), she is just choosing to earn $12k?  In a divorce, will she end up shouldering part of the debt burden?  If she can undo all your debt reduction while married, knowing you'll pay $X alimony is better. It limits the financial damage and you know exactly how much you have to budget with.

I'm sad you think it's impossible to reconcile your differences. That is certainly the best route. It sounds like you don't have much of a partnership anyway, with her poor opinion of you (lazy) and focus on your perceived faults. You're in a tough spot.  Research all options (including staying with her and ending up destitute - I know you don't want this but it is an option) and pick the least awful one.

We have enough credit cards so that she doesn't need to open another one. We have many credit cards with zero balances, keeping them open for credit score. One more would be zero but she used it to "pay" for the 6000 in repairs recently.

The 2nd one has a large (6393) balance, mainly due to doctor bills that were beyond what we were bringing in and not covered by insurance.

The 3rd credit card (around 5000) was created to catch the excess part of our car loan when we refinanced and the bank said we owed more than it was worth. That excess was put onto a low interest credit card.

Like I've said, when I met her she spent within her means. Granted, her means were more than double than they are now. She wasn't saving for retirement but she was in the black. This is not a foolish woman, it's just that she's been "working her ass off" and doesn't like the idea of ramping up at her age after working her ass off for so long.

She was expecting to coast by this time in our lives, and I guess it doesn't matter that we are actually destitute. She's tired. That and her suspicious nature suspects me of trying to get out of my obligation to support her financially, not work and stand by while she "works her ass off".
Newsflash!

She is an adult. You don't have an "obligation" to support her financially. Has she spent the last 20 years staying home raising kids for you? Does she have the capacity to work?

We have no kids. Married at 40. So...no. She DOES work, she just needs to ramp it up more. Making 12k annually just won't cut it.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: JLee on April 09, 2015, 02:34:19 PM
Unsure how it works in the U.S.  If you stay married and she signs up for new credit cards, takes out additional loans, and accumulates more consumer debt to fund her lifestyle, are you jointly on the hook?  In determining spousal support, will the judge consider that your wife has the capability to earn more ($35k/yr), she is just choosing to earn $12k?  In a divorce, will she end up shouldering part of the debt burden?  If she can undo all your debt reduction while married, knowing you'll pay $X alimony is better. It limits the financial damage and you know exactly how much you have to budget with.

I'm sad you think it's impossible to reconcile your differences. That is certainly the best route. It sounds like you don't have much of a partnership anyway, with her poor opinion of you (lazy) and focus on your perceived faults. You're in a tough spot.  Research all options (including staying with her and ending up destitute - I know you don't want this but it is an option) and pick the least awful one.

We have enough credit cards so that she doesn't need to open another one. We have many credit cards with zero balances, keeping them open for credit score. One more would be zero but she used it to "pay" for the 6000 in repairs recently.

The 2nd one has a large (6393) balance, mainly due to doctor bills that were beyond what we were bringing in and not covered by insurance.

The 3rd credit card (around 5000) was created to catch the excess part of our car loan when we refinanced and the bank said we owed more than it was worth. That excess was put onto a low interest credit card.

Like I've said, when I met her she spent within her means. Granted, her means were more than double than they are now. She wasn't saving for retirement but she was in the black. This is not a foolish woman, it's just that she's been "working her ass off" and doesn't like the idea of ramping up at her age after working her ass off for so long.

She was expecting to coast by this time in our lives, and I guess it doesn't matter that we are actually destitute. She's tired. That and her suspicious nature suspects me of trying to get out of my obligation to support her financially, not work and stand by while she "works her ass off".
Newsflash!

She is an adult. You don't have an "obligation" to support her financially. Has she spent the last 20 years staying home raising kids for you? Does she have the capacity to work?

We have no kids. Married at 40. So...no. She DOES work, she just needs to ramp it up more. Making 12k annually just won't cut it.
There's my point. Married at 40, and she wants you to carry her financially, while she earns ~20% under a minimum wage income?

If she works so hard around the house, price out what it would cost to have someone come by every week. Even at $300 a month for house cleaning, she's still only 'making' $15,600 a year (still under minimum wage at 40 hours a week). Hell, I make more than she does annually simply by renting out two rooms in my house! It's simply unacceptable...
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 02:38:16 PM
+1 to the idea that your wife is not "working her ass off." Trust me, she isn't. I am a SAHM to three young kids who still manages to make more money than your wife does freelancing on the side. Two adults do not create that much work in the house.

She is a lady of a fair amount of leisure, and don't let her convince you otherwise. This would be okay if it was mutually agreed upon and you could afford it. But neither of these are the case.

The reality is that she has to move where you get a higher paying job. Why don't you bargain with her that when the student loans and other debts are paid off that you two will move back to Portland together? You can't afford to pay for two places. You just can't.

OK. I don't know what she does when I'm at work. I'm gone for 11 hours on the days I work.

Well, that won't work. She is tired of moving (in the two years that I've been out of school, we have moved 6 times). She has also declared that she wants to work (massage work) till we are out of debt.

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 09, 2015, 02:38:52 PM
Close off all the bedrooms and rooms in this mansion that you don't use. Then the cats don't get in them and she doesn't have to clean, except perhaps every few months. Your valor (in defense of your wife) here is sweet but also rather clueless. There's absolutely no reason that she needs to clean five bathrooms when only two people live in the house. What are you doing? Rotating the bathrooms you urinate and bathe in? Sleeping in different beds every night?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: caliq on April 09, 2015, 02:42:19 PM
Why does she have to keep this entire giant house spotless all the time?  Presumably showings for a house that massive are rather irregular and scheduled in advance. 

Can't you just shut off the majority of the house (after cleaning it very well) and only allow your cats to run about in a normal-house-sized area?  This would significantly reduce the amount of work your wife has to do to clean.  Then she (or both of you!) can clean up when a showing is scheduled -- and do a dusting/vacuum once a week in the closed off rooms anyways, to keep things relatively clean. 

This thread is like a rollercoaster!  At first I was feeling sorry for her, and then you, and now I'm just confused as to what is actually going on here...
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 02:45:29 PM

There's my point. Married at 40, and she wants you to carry her financially, while she earns ~20% under a minimum wage income?

If she works so hard around the house, price out what it would cost to have someone come by every week. Even at $300 a month for house cleaning, she's still only 'making' $15,600 a year (still under minimum wage at 40 hours a week). Hell, I make more than she does annually simply by renting out two rooms in my house! It's simply unacceptable...

We know what it would cost. The owners had weekly cleaning done. A house this size was about 800 per month.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ZiziPB on April 09, 2015, 02:46:52 PM
I may be wrong, but I'm detecting a fair amount of sarcasm when the OP is talking about his wife "working her ass off"...
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 09, 2015, 02:50:47 PM
Can you explain why in the heck why this doctor costs so much? He/she sounds like a huckster. I've been to actual specialists like orthopedists or dermatologists that cost far less than that. This is the type of spending that has to go. I know you know this, but she absolutely has to come to her senses if you are to ever get ahead.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around where all your money is going, since you don't even pay for housing. Could you provide us a snapshot of a recent credit card bill?
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 02:52:25 PM
Why does she have to keep this entire giant house spotless all the time?  Presumably showings for a house that massive are rather irregular and scheduled in advance. 

Can't you just shut off the majority of the house (after cleaning it very well) and only allow your cats to run about in a normal-house-sized area?  This would significantly reduce the amount of work your wife has to do to clean.  Then she (or both of you!) can clean up when a showing is scheduled -- and do a dusting/vacuum once a week in the closed off rooms anyways, to keep things relatively clean. 

This thread is like a rollercoaster!  At first I was feeling sorry for her, and then you, and now I'm just confused as to what is actually going on here...

The only up and down part was when I THOUGHT she had gone all in. I was very happy and very proud of her making this hard choice. Turns out she didn't, and she just flipped out when I presented my plan to her. We are right now pretty much at where we started: me all in and her not so much. Oh well, you can't have it all.

She has a thing about cleaning. That's all I'll say about it. She does pet sitting and when she sits for people, let's just say they never ever again want to use anyone but her.

There are a few rooms closed off to the cats but just a couple. She can't bear that her babies would not be able to be with her wherever she is, whether in bed or elsewhere.

I wondered at first what she did all day and when she told me she was both a bit pissy that I'd ask and she explained herself really well. I don't have mistrust issues, I have trust issues. If she says it, that's good enough for me. But maybe there is some fat to be trimmed in here someplace. We'll see as the days roll on what is what. Things are kind of touchy at the moment so....
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 02:57:18 PM
Can you explain why in the heck why this doctor costs so much? He/she sounds like a huckster. I've been to actual specialists like orthopedists or dermatologists that cost far less than that. This is the type of spending that has to go. I know you know this, but she absolutely has to come to her senses if you are to ever get ahead.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around where all your money is going, since you don't even pay for housing. Could you provide us a snapshot of a recent credit card bill?

I can when I get home.

All our money was going to savings to pay off the huge tax bill we knew was coming. When we got the 10,666 news the other night, we had 10k put away. I don't want to have zero cash in the bank so I sent 8k off.

Also, I have been paying 750 per month just on the relocation repayment.

The witch doctor charges 95 an hour and he's famous around here because he's helped so many people. He changed my life, I'll say that much. Not so much my wife, she has some issues and he's having a hard time pinning down what's going on. In the last 3 months I'm sure we've paid him 3000 to 3500 dollars in treatment and drugs.

That's where our money was going.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: caliq on April 09, 2015, 02:59:32 PM
But why are two people using all but a couple rooms in a house that big?  It just doesn't make any sense. 

My husband and I live in a 1500 sq ft ranch with two big dogs (100 lbs and 70 lbs) and a cat, and we don't even have a couch in the living room because we'd rather hang out in our finished basement.  There's three bedrooms -- the master, the 'dog room' with crates/water bowls/food storage, and my office/closet which is constantly closed off and only used for storage, basically...if I go in there to work then I leave the door open, and the animals can come in, but otherwise it's closed. Stays pretty clean that way.

Honestly it sounds like you guys have an extreme case of lifestyle inflation and have been living way above your means for a significant portion of your lives.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 03:01:18 PM
I may be wrong, but I'm detecting a fair amount of sarcasm when the OP is talking about his wife "working her ass off"...

The sarcasm is there because she says it so much! And I know from experience that she exaggerates dramatically to make her points. I've heard this one so much that it's comical to me, but I don't laugh in front of her. I tell her she doesn't know what the phrase really even means, as I've had jobs that were so demanding that she's never known a time in her life that she could do them for a day, much less over a long period.

She says that's nonsense, she's worked in warehouse. She knows what work is. So now she says it all the time and I pretend to believe it, even though I don't. She WORKS a lot sometimes, but she doesn't "work her ass off".
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 03:02:02 PM
But why are two people using all but a couple rooms in a house that big?  It just doesn't make any sense. 

My husband and I live in a 1500 sq ft ranch with two big dogs (100 lbs and 70 lbs) and a cat, and we don't even have a couch in the living room because we'd rather hang out in our finished basement.  There's three bedrooms -- the master, the 'dog room' with crates/water bowls/food storage, and my office/closet which is constantly closed off and only used for storage, basically...if I go in there to work then I leave the door open, and the animals can come in, but otherwise it's closed. Stays pretty clean that way.

Honestly it sounds like you guys have an extreme case of lifestyle inflation and have been living way above your means for a significant portion of your lives.

We live here for FREE! We are watching it and taking care of it until it sells. It isn't ours.

You can't close the basement off. It's fully finished and there are no doors to close down there. The main floor is closed off where it can be closed off: the master bedroom. There aren't any other doors to close.

You can't block off the upstairs except for the bedrooms, and the one we don't use is closed off. Don't know what to tell you.

As I tried to explain, my wife has a thing for cleaning. If I walk into a house I'll think it's clean. My wife, however, sees it as "filthy". She likes to use that word, too. FILTHY!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cpa Cat on April 09, 2015, 03:10:13 PM
The only up and down part was when I THOUGHT she had gone all in. I was very happy and very proud of her making this hard choice. Turns out she didn't, and she just flipped out when I presented my plan to her. We are right now pretty much at where we started: me all in and her not so much. Oh well, you can't have it all.

Maybe you should ask her to come up with a plan and present it to you, instead?

Not in an angry sort of way. Just say, "I realize that my plan went over like a lead balloon. I think it might be better if you come up with a plan, instead, so that I know where your mind is at on this and we can start talking about this. I really want your input on this and I want to tackle this as a team. I think it's going to go better if our starting point is -your- starting point, instead of mine."

You might have better luck getting her on board if you're not just telling her what to do. Let her tell you what to do and then start negotiating.

You did a 180 in your way of thinking and started presenting plans within the timespan of a couple of days. The first real plan turned into an emotional bomb. Ok. It happens. This is a big change. It's going to take a couple of tries.

If her response to "Why don't you make a plan" is to explode, then just say, "Ok. Well, I really do want your input. So I hope you'll give it some thought. But let's not fight right now." And then let her cool down and see what happens.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: caliq on April 09, 2015, 03:11:16 PM
But why are two people using all but a couple rooms in a house that big?  It just doesn't make any sense. 

My husband and I live in a 1500 sq ft ranch with two big dogs (100 lbs and 70 lbs) and a cat, and we don't even have a couch in the living room because we'd rather hang out in our finished basement.  There's three bedrooms -- the master, the 'dog room' with crates/water bowls/food storage, and my office/closet which is constantly closed off and only used for storage, basically...if I go in there to work then I leave the door open, and the animals can come in, but otherwise it's closed. Stays pretty clean that way.

Honestly it sounds like you guys have an extreme case of lifestyle inflation and have been living way above your means for a significant portion of your lives.

We live here for FREE! We are watching it and taking care of it until it sells. It isn't ours.


Yeah, but why are you *using* the whole house?  Do you have like, a sewing room and a reading room and a cat room and an office and a workout room?  I think you said 7 bedrooms -- that ridiculous list would only take up 5 of them, plus one for you to actually sleep in...so maybe a guest room that gets a lot of use?


My point is, why has your use of this house (lifestyle) expanded to the point where taking care of the house is apparently a full time, physically demanding job for your wife? 

If she's turning down paid work in order to clean, then redesign your lifestyle to reduce the cleaning...Yes she's got a thing about cleanliness; so do I.  But that is why I close off certain rooms, why I bought a Roomba so we weren't fighting about vacuuming up dog hair on a daily basis, etc etc.  You have the ability to change the way you do things on a daily basis, and it's amazing how much impact small adjustments can make.  I would be overwhelmed at the idea of cleaning a house that big...I'd probably be in tears before even starting.  It's not really surprising that your wife thinks of it as a major burden.  I'm just trying to point out that there are relatively easy ways to reduce that burden (and I'm *not* saying to run out and buy a Roomba!).
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Imustacheyouaquestion on April 09, 2015, 03:17:26 PM

She is a lady of a fair amount of leisure, and don't let her convince you otherwise.

She was working and saving money, living below her means "in the black" until she married you at age 40. Suddenly, while married, her spending increased to the point where her outlays for things like organic groceries, naturopath doctors, weekend getaways with saltwater pools, etc, were higher than the money she was taking home working part-time. If she is having health problems and lacking energy, this is even more reason to take saving for retirement seriously, if you don't want to both work until the day you die.

The thread swings all over the place. You realize she needs to work more and bring home more money, but then you defend how much work she does around the home. You won't accept divorce as an option, but you are okay living separately and essentially leaving her. You don't know how she spends her time, but you are sure it's "working her ass off." You know your marriage has communication problems, but you don't think there's any way to solve them.

It sounds like she is playing both sides of the card in many regards. She wants a job that is fulfilling and is important to her, but won't accept that her current $12k earnings aren't enough to support the lifestyle she wants. She is CHOOSING to drive to their houses (in an inefficient car that will cost you way more in repairs until you ditch it, no less) to make less than minimum wage, but then wants to complain about how tired driving all day makes her.

So many things in the life you're describing aren't optimal, from a financial or just general happiness perspective. But when people point these out, there's no possible way you could make changes or apply them to your situation. You say you are committed to the MMM way, but I don't think you've really internalized how many changes you will need to make to implement a mustachian lifestyle. Maybe you and your wife need to mull over your life situation (work, contributions to the household income stream, how you are going to spend money, priorities for paying down debt vs. lifestyle experiences, housing opportunities, etc) together and figure out a way forward, instead of you just presenting her with plans that she doesn't want to follow.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cassie on April 09, 2015, 03:35:29 PM
Usually when there is a big difference in income & people are divorcing with no kids the lower income earner gets alimony for 3 years to improve their circumstances. That would be a lot cheaper then paying for them forever. I agree with the poster that says there is a way to close off rooms & lower the amount of cleaning that needs to be done.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cinder on April 09, 2015, 04:09:11 PM
I explained to her that our paychecks would go into the same pot of money. It wouldn't be "her" money that paid the monthlies, the plan was for her to earn enough so that the net income she brought in would equal our monthlies. Then we would KNOW that all of MINE went to debt relief. But it's all the same pot of money.
...
She can't be reasoned with, I have always had to reach her some other way. She doesn't think logically, more conceptually. The whole IDEA of this seems wrong; therefore, it is. It feels wrong, therefore it is. She's very empathetic, sympathetic, and nurturing and I am not. Yet that is how I can get through to her. I haven't come up with anything she can relate to that way.

I never understood that argument.. I've seen it from both my DW and her mother.  Her mother would give her some money, and 'THAT EXACT MONEY' had to be spent on something specific....

I was like 'it doesn't matter, we can pay for it with our credit card/ check / random other $20 bill, but just because it's not that exactly $20, you have a problem with it?'
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 09, 2015, 04:15:24 PM

She is a lady of a fair amount of leisure, and don't let her convince you otherwise.

She was working and saving money, living below her means "in the black" until she married you at age 40. Suddenly, while married, her spending increased to the point where her outlays for things like organic groceries, naturopath doctors, weekend getaways with saltwater pools, etc, were higher than the money she was taking home working part-time. If she is having health problems and lacking energy, this is even more reason to take saving for retirement seriously, if you don't want to both work until the day you die.

The thread swings all over the place. You realize she needs to work more and bring home more money, but then you defend how much work she does around the home. You won't accept divorce as an option, but you are okay living separately and essentially leaving her. You don't know how she spends her time, but you are sure it's "working her ass off." You know your marriage has communication problems, but you don't think there's any way to solve them.

It sounds like she is playing both sides of the card in many regards. She wants a job that is fulfilling and is important to her, but won't accept that her current $12k earnings aren't enough to support the lifestyle she wants. She is CHOOSING to drive to their houses (in an inefficient car that will cost you way more in repairs until you ditch it, no less) to make less than minimum wage, but then wants to complain about how tired driving all day makes her.

So many things in the life you're describing aren't optimal, from a financial or just general happiness perspective. But when people point these out, there's no possible way you could make changes or apply them to your situation. You say you are committed to the MMM way, but I don't think you've really internalized how many changes you will need to make to implement a mustachian lifestyle. Maybe you and your wife need to mull over your life situation (work, contributions to the household income stream, how you are going to spend money, priorities for paying down debt vs. lifestyle experiences, housing opportunities, etc) together and figure out a way forward, instead of you just presenting her with plans that she doesn't want to follow.

You are right. If I was single, this would be easy. But I'm not. I'm ready to do anything, she is not. For too many reasons. No amount of advice will change this. No amount of inquiry into our situation, my answers, your further inquiry, my answers, your incredulity, my rebuttal...NONE OF THAT WILL CHANGE OUR SITUATION.

This has turned into a therapy thread, and I made the mistake of explaining our situation over and over again. About 75% of the time you people are misunderstanding and I have to clarify. I AM TELLING YOU HER REASONS, NOT MINE. For me? This is easy. I'm all-in and I'm raring to go. For her? No. And you all want to know why. So I tell you. You answer me...but it does NOT MATTER. SHE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE, ok? She's been like she is her whole life.

i.e. THE HOUSE IS NOT DIRTY AND DOESN'T NEED TO BE CLEANED. Doesn't matter. MY WIFE WANTS TO CLEAN IT ANYWAY BECAUSE IT IS "FILTHY". Nothing any of you can say will change that fact. NO matter how many rooms you close, how many you use...IT ALL HAS TO BE CLEANED. THIS IS THE WAY SHE IS.

It isn't simple when one doesn't want to change. She needs to make more money, but she won't quit massage. Period. No amount of MMM advice will change that. None. It doesn't matter what I say or do, how hard core I am, what lengths I will go to...SHE is not going to put up with it.

She doesn't want to sell the Landcruiser. I can't make her. It's in her name. NOTHING ANY OF YOU CAN SAY WILL CHANGE THIS. No advice will work. She will not sell it. Move on to the next thing.

You have all made valid points. Sometimes there is not solution. I am married to someone who isn't ready to do this, for her own reasons, which you people don't agree with. IT DOESN'T MATTER THAT YOU DON'T AGREE, SHE DOESN'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK.

And, for the record, I am not TELLING her what to do. I presented her with my idea. She went off like Mussolini from the balcony. How many times do I have to tell you people she will not go for this MMM stuff?

You ALL give great advice, and I'm lapping it up. But I'm married and I'm on my own here. No counseling, therapy, or compromise is going to work. There can be no compromise, we have to go all in!

So I'm not going to post anymore about this. I'll post again after I get the news about the new job, how I'm making progress, and how it all worked out. Until then, thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it.

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: JLee on April 09, 2015, 04:27:47 PM
This
Quote
It isn't simple when one doesn't want to change.
Plus this
Quote
No counseling, therapy, or compromise is going to work.
plus this
Quote
There can be no compromise, we have to go all in!

presents an unwinnable situation.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: supomglol on April 09, 2015, 05:23:10 PM
Good luck to you, I think you will eventually arrive at the solution. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: mm1970 on April 09, 2015, 05:35:51 PM

She is a lady of a fair amount of leisure, and don't let her convince you otherwise.

She was working and saving money, living below her means "in the black" until she married you at age 40. Suddenly, while married, her spending increased to the point where her outlays for things like organic groceries, naturopath doctors, weekend getaways with saltwater pools, etc, were higher than the money she was taking home working part-time. If she is having health problems and lacking energy, this is even more reason to take saving for retirement seriously, if you don't want to both work until the day you die.

The thread swings all over the place. You realize she needs to work more and bring home more money, but then you defend how much work she does around the home. You won't accept divorce as an option, but you are okay living separately and essentially leaving her. You don't know how she spends her time, but you are sure it's "working her ass off." You know your marriage has communication problems, but you don't think there's any way to solve them.

It sounds like she is playing both sides of the card in many regards. She wants a job that is fulfilling and is important to her, but won't accept that her current $12k earnings aren't enough to support the lifestyle she wants. She is CHOOSING to drive to their houses (in an inefficient car that will cost you way more in repairs until you ditch it, no less) to make less than minimum wage, but then wants to complain about how tired driving all day makes her.

So many things in the life you're describing aren't optimal, from a financial or just general happiness perspective. But when people point these out, there's no possible way you could make changes or apply them to your situation. You say you are committed to the MMM way, but I don't think you've really internalized how many changes you will need to make to implement a mustachian lifestyle. Maybe you and your wife need to mull over your life situation (work, contributions to the household income stream, how you are going to spend money, priorities for paying down debt vs. lifestyle experiences, housing opportunities, etc) together and figure out a way forward, instead of you just presenting her with plans that she doesn't want to follow.

You are right. If I was single, this would be easy. But I'm not. I'm ready to do anything, she is not. For too many reasons. No amount of advice will change this. No amount of inquiry into our situation, my answers, your further inquiry, my answers, your incredulity, my rebuttal...NONE OF THAT WILL CHANGE OUR SITUATION.

This has turned into a therapy thread, and I made the mistake of explaining our situation over and over again. About 75% of the time you people are misunderstanding and I have to clarify. I AM TELLING YOU HER REASONS, NOT MINE. For me? This is easy. I'm all-in and I'm raring to go. For her? No. And you all want to know why. So I tell you. You answer me...but it does NOT MATTER. SHE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE, ok? She's been like she is her whole life.

i.e. THE HOUSE IS NOT DIRTY AND DOESN'T NEED TO BE CLEANED. Doesn't matter. MY WIFE WANTS TO CLEAN IT ANYWAY BECAUSE IT IS "FILTHY". Nothing any of you can say will change that fact. NO matter how many rooms you close, how many you use...IT ALL HAS TO BE CLEANED. THIS IS THE WAY SHE IS.

It isn't simple when one doesn't want to change. She needs to make more money, but she won't quit massage. Period. No amount of MMM advice will change that. None. It doesn't matter what I say or do, how hard core I am, what lengths I will go to...SHE is not going to put up with it.

She doesn't want to sell the Landcruiser. I can't make her. It's in her name. NOTHING ANY OF YOU CAN SAY WILL CHANGE THIS. No advice will work. She will not sell it. Move on to the next thing.

You have all made valid points. Sometimes there is not solution. I am married to someone who isn't ready to do this, for her own reasons, which you people don't agree with. IT DOESN'T MATTER THAT YOU DON'T AGREE, SHE DOESN'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK.

And, for the record, I am not TELLING her what to do. I presented her with my idea. She went off like Mussolini from the balcony. How many times do I have to tell you people she will not go for this MMM stuff?

You ALL give great advice, and I'm lapping it up. But I'm married and I'm on my own here. No counseling, therapy, or compromise is going to work. There can be no compromise, we have to go all in!

So I'm not going to post anymore about this. I'll post again after I get the news about the new job, how I'm making progress, and how it all worked out. Until then, thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it.
Yep, she's an adult and you cannot change her.  Nobody can. 

If you change, there's a possibility that she'll see it and also want to change.

Or maybe she won't.

If you refuse to support her if you move, then that may force her to change.

Or maybe it won't.

My husband has always been frugal, but when I first got frugal, I suggested we cancel cable.  You'd have think I kicked his dog (we don't have one). 

Four years later he suggests we cut cable.  (Inconveniently right before I went on mat leave, but whatever.)
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Kris on April 09, 2015, 08:07:56 PM
Dagiffy, I know you said you aren't going to post anymore about this.  But can I suggest two thingsL

1) try the plan suggested above: ask your wife if SHE would be willing to come up with a plan that she would be willing to do in order for you two to get out of debt.

2) If she refuses, go see a divorce lawyer, explain the situation, and see if he/she thinks you have a case. A consult should be free.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Ascotillion on April 09, 2015, 08:13:10 PM
If I'm being blunt, you sound like you're making a martyr out of yourself here. People are giving you good advice but you're insistent that a divorce won't work because of financial reasons (apparently wrong, I don't know anything about America) and personal moral reasons (outdated and a bit stupid - who takes marriage vows completely literally anyway).

Most of the people here are in agreement that the marriage sounds unhappy. You're giving your side of the story where you're the perfect understanding husband and she's the evil, manipulative shrew (that's not to say it's not true, but we don't have any other sides to compare) and you seem to be just following the script of what a good husband does without really thinking about it. Look at the difference between the happiness gained by being what you think is a good person and suffering for decades or actually doing what you want to do in life without albatrosses around your neck. Yes, it's callous and rude.

That said, this is good reading. I'll be devouring this thread as it happens.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: kathrynd on April 09, 2015, 08:43:32 PM
Dagiffy,

Sorry you are going thru this.
It sounds like realty is hitting you pretty quickly, that your wife is not on board, and never will be.

You will never get ahead or retire early while being married to this particular woman.
By letting her go, maybe  she will find a 'sugar daddy' and you will find someone more compatible.

I would suggest, that you cancel all the credit cards and credit NOW.
It may  decrease your credit  score, but if you ever need to use it, you can always explain your reasons why.
Paying off the cards , while she has the ability to run up the card again, is futile.

If you move for that job, you may want get a legal separation prior.
Don't send back any money.
If the mobile phone/ cable etc  are  in your name, transfer them to your wife's name...or cancel them, so she can connect them in her name. If they refuse to connect in her name, that is a great lesson for her to learn.

She already has the income to support herself, while living in a free rent home.
When this place sells, she can then decide whether to find another home to be a 'care taker' for, or get a better paying job to pay rent somewhere.

You know what you need to do
It's your choice to make.

She may be a really nice person,but she is  going to financially ruin you, if you allow it.




Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ysette9 on April 09, 2015, 08:48:23 PM
Phew, dagiffy1, what a thread! I really feel for you as well as the frustration that I am sensing from other posters. Mainly though it makes me feel weary to think about you in your current partnership because your marriage feels to me like a lead weight, not something supportive. I imagine it is hard for you to get a sense of what I mean because you are in the thick of it and have been for a while. Additionally your are nobly (sacrificingly?) loyal to your wife which seems to give you the sense that you are powerless to change a lot in your situation.

In my humble opinion, a marriage is a partnership. Your partner should lift you up, bring out the best in you, support your hopes and dreams because they are JOINT hopes and dreams. I don't see that you have that. I see that you are trying with all your might to paddle up stream while your wife is letting water seep in the boat and simultaneously rowing in the opposite direction. You are spending a ton of energy trying to do the right thing (and let me say, you have made dramatic strides in a very short amount of time; hats off to you) but what you can do is limited, as you are well aware.

Have you thrown all the money stuff aside and tried to talk to her about her dreams? What does she really want in life? What does that look like and what would it take to get there? Do those dreams look anything like your own? Once you get the dreams down, can you then begin to talk about what it will take $$-wise to make those dreams a reality?

I really admire your commitment to your marriage. Frankly though you sound miserable. Aside from a sense of duty, I see no reason for you to waste the precious years left in your life in a situation that does not support your needs, emotionally, spiritually, financially. Just because your wife is a nice person does not mean that she is the right person for you or that you are obligated to stay with her and continue to support her self-defeating ways. It is permissible to put yourself and your needs first. Good luck. We are all rooting for you.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cinder on April 09, 2015, 08:49:18 PM
i.e. THE HOUSE IS NOT DIRTY AND DOESN'T NEED TO BE CLEANED. Doesn't matter. MY WIFE WANTS TO CLEAN IT ANYWAY BECAUSE IT IS "FILTHY". Nothing any of you can say will change that fact. NO matter how many rooms you close, how many you use...IT ALL HAS TO BE CLEANED. THIS IS THE WAY SHE IS.

My mother would run the vacuum 2x per day, constantly dust things and everything had to be just the right way.  Whenever anyone would visit, she would apologize for how terrible/messy the house was (it wasn't.)   

She also wasn't very logical/reasonable... whatever she thought was true, she would always believe that and it took a LOT to convince her otherwise. 
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Faraday on April 09, 2015, 09:50:34 PM
Damn. I had a big 'ol response a few nights ago that got wiped out when my computer crapped out. (storms here lately). Now I'm very sorry I didn't post what I wrote. I'll try to re-conjure and summarise:

Wholly Krappe people, lay off the wife unit here! This guy found us, confessed his financial sins, then we started stabbing the wife with lawn darts right in the face. WTF? All I can think of here is the Monty Python scene where the crowd wants to burn the cute little blonde because "She's a witch!"

Back up a minute with me and review some of the critical points here:

OP has taken responsibility for the vast majority of the debt (or damn near all of it). He's excited about fixing that and he's looking for us to help. Some good advice has been given. Most excellent.

OP has told us his wife is very highly EMPATHETIC. She probably likes the weekend getaways because it gets her closer to her HUSBAND and away from all the other needy folks with whom she's EMPATHIZING. If she's as sensitive as he says, she feels the pull between her empathy for her clients/friends/supplicants and her husband, and she spends money because she knows he really, really likes to spend money.

Remember, OP told us how empathy was his wife's superpower, and he said "she will come along with things later after she figures it out". Let's look at that a little differently: She will come along when she finds a way to empathize with OP and she's sure he's not turned into a freaking fruit loop. OP all but painted this big, giant billboard for us that says "I AM IMPULSIVE". Wife ain't no fool. She knows this very well by now - she's the empath, they are good at that stuff.

Suddenly, OP gets MMM Religion, makes this giant about-face, starts saying things and talking things that the wife has never, ever heard come out of his mouth before.

Never, EVER heard come out of his mouth before. And it's words totally counter to the spend-spend-spend culture in the US. Naturally, she's skeptical. She's gotta let this cake bake a few days and see if it's something delicious, or if it comes out of the oven a flaming bag of poo.

What's one of the first things OP does after he gets religion (at OUR urging?)??? After knowing she grew up poor as hell, he starts to question her frugality creds. Suddenly and without warning, based on Internet Strangers urging, Dear Husband is turning into this...person...that she doesn't know and can't EMPATHIZE with and seems to have FORGOTTEN that she knows all about frugality and self denial and stoic living - been there, done that. And dear husband is acting like SHE'S the one spending him into the ground?!?!?

And now, OP goes to her talking about how he needs to move away and they need to live apart so he can settle a $22k debt. She not only thinks he's gone batshit crazy, she feels like she's been stabbed in the heart.

She asks him for his support if he does this, just to see if he still actually loves her or not. And you rats here on the forums are telling the OP to give her the 'ol heave-ho if she doesn't pack his bags for him. WTF?

Don't forget - while she's cleaning this giant, filthy house, she's got time to think and stew on this stuff. She's thinking there must be a whore in all this somewhere - why would dear husband give a crap what Internet Strangers think anyway?!?

dagiffy, I'm gonna shoot my mouth off at you a bit. Let me know if you think I'm full of it or not:

1) Your wife will "come along" with you when you give her the ability to empathize - give her the opportunity to read you, meditate, and help. Your wife is a therapist in life and needs to be able to offer aid and comfort to feel connection and...empathy.

You've got to ask for her help making your new religion work. Not talk to her about what she's got to give up RIGHT NOW. This isn't about stabbing her in the eye, it's about identifying the highest-impact financial moves you can make RIGHT NOW. You've already said the magic words: You are in kind-of a "Dave Ramsey style situation".

So, dagiffy, you confess your financial sins to your wife just as you have to us, (you have done this, right?), you explain how you've "got religion", and you explain that you realize, if you don't put this new religion into practice, that if you ever got hit by a bus, your DW would be a bag lady hanging out at the WalMart and life as she knows it would end.

Then, you explain that if you keep screwing up like you have, she'll be a bag lady down at WalMart anyway, because there will be nothing to live on.

Your wife's ability to deliver therapy and aid to anyone else will evaporate. There will be no Land<anything>, no nothing. Who you are as a couple and anything you have achieved up to this point will evaporate into nothingness. It will be as if you have never existed.


And then you identify for her the debt you are going to work on first. You explain to her what you are going to do about that, and you beg her to help you funnel your income at that debt like a flamethrower of love.

2) DON'T argue with her about the job you MIGHT get back MAYBE SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE. Take steps to get the job (for the purposes of losing the $22k debt), see if they offer it to you, THEN discuss with her what to do.

One thing you BETTER do, though, is figure out how long you have to work there to get that $22k forgiveness. If it's 20 years, that's just stupid. Figure out what the minimum time is that you'd need to be there (I'm sure you knew that from the prior employment) and use that as the number to discuss with your wife as the minimum time you need to live separate.)

3) You DO know that to an empath, the idea of living separately is damn near a death sentence anyway, right? You DO know that YOU provide your wife with shelter from the needs she's constantly serving out in the world - you are her recharger, her energy, her driving light in the pouring rain. If you take this job that requires you to live separate, it's gonna hurt bad.

Think about all the really shitty parts of this. You could end up missing those all-important birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, weekends and just random "today sucked" days with her.

She never forgets your birthday, isn't that right? And the time or two you've forgotten or nearly-forgotten hers, it was like you stabbed her in the heart, right? If you take the job, is it going to make it difficult for you to heed the call and be the husband she needs?

4) When you've picked your easy debt to resolve quickly, resolve that debt, then make a big deal out of it. Talk about the monthly $$'s you'll now have that you can put toward other debts. Then you know what you do? You take your beautiful wife out to a decent dinner at a place she likes.

Yeah, i said it. Waste just a LITTLE bit more money...to show her how much you appreciate her teaming with you to wipe out that debt. Make that accomplishment feel good, show her how you want to celebrate it with her and how much you appreciate her help.

5) One final thing: pick a project, an objective, a need that SHE has, and work with HER on it. When I got the MMM religion and my wife unit wasn't on board, I explained to her how we could use what I've learned to fund a project SHE wanted. I took a pause from my rabid paying-down-debt efforts, we started a new bank account and when we got to a $$ value she needed, we executed on a project for HER. We pulled together to accomplish something important to HER. Let me tell you, it made all the difference. My wife pulls with me on this like crazy and does a great, great job now where before, she didn't.

My biggest danger? Is when I slip up and buy something I shouldn't have. It sends the wrong signal, so I've learned not to do that, to keep on pushing toward the objective and celebrate with her when we DO make that objective.

And most important, most vital of all: Once you have the MMM religion, you don't let go. Hear me? You've started down a path you cannot jump off - you've got to stay on this path so she'll know you are serious, so she will be able to see how all this crap benefits her in the long run.

When you do that, like you said earlier in the thread, this woman will pull the same direction with you like a draft horse. And you'll be that man she loves to empathize with.

dagiffy, thanks for your postings in this thread and KUDOS to you for finding us and for wanting to turn your life around. DON'T LOSE THE FAITH, and BRING HER ALONG as you change!

I wouldn't blame you if you told us all to go to hell. It's not like any of our scurvy asses are coming to your McMansion tomorrow morning to cook you breakfast. Oh, that's right, SHE does that, the empathetic one!

And if you need to, show her what I've written. Tell her there's another guy like you married to another woman like her, out here on MMM. Tell her that we were up to our asses in debt, I damn near ran my wife off talking about this MMM crap.

Tell her that when I quit blaming my wife for nickels and dimes, and instead attacked the DOLLARS I was wasting, we worked our way out of $50k of debt. After only a few years, we're out of debt (except mortgage) and we're up $250k.

Tell her that at the age of 53, I could be facing a layoff soon (I'm the major earner and carry the bennies) but that we are in the best position we've ever been in to survive the layoff and find the next opportunity. We aren't sweating a buttload of debt and wondering what to sell to buy our next meal because today we can now thrive on her salary alone, where before, we could not make it on both our salaries combined.

Imagine that in your case. Being able to live debt-free on HER salary alone. Wow...that's an awesome thought, isn't it?

The true breakthrough for me was to quit sweating the damned small stuff and attack the big stuff that wasn't caused by her individually at all. Just set a course, tell her about it, and GO. Then celebrate when that one is done and move on to the next one.

OK, I'll shut up now 'cause my wife tells me sometimes I talk too much..... :-)
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: kathrynd on April 09, 2015, 11:10:30 PM
Without going back through all the posts..I believe the OP stated they lived on student loans.
The wife earned money too, but the majority of the income came from the student loans?

I don't think anyone is attacking the wife.

The OP has discovered he is drowning (his words)

He doesn't have a lot of time to fix this situation.
He needs to be aware, that fixing the debt problem, only to have the wife undo everything, would be devastating.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Ascotillion on April 09, 2015, 11:43:50 PM
I don't think we should demonise his wife but he's said constantly that the marriage doesn't work because they're too different and he explicitly said "compromise is not an option". Demonising the marriage seems more accurate and doesn't lay the blame on either party.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: HowMuchCanAKoalaBear on April 10, 2015, 12:43:10 AM
To the OP  you have just discovered MMM,  realised you need to pay off debts, save and invest more and would get to retire sooner that you thought, you're pretty pumped . Wifey doesn't want any bar of it because she already retired ages ago she already works? 3 hrs a week so what does she care ?

Good luck with changing her mind.



Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Faraday on April 10, 2015, 05:41:20 AM
I will add that it's 1 AM, and there's been so much equivocation and slowly revealed details in here that it's very possible I'm misremembering things. I do think going forward, they should separate their finances, as other people have suggested, and he would get further with his wife by changing his approach.

Hey MonkeyJenga, stay with me here. You had it right before. :-) :-) :-)

The facts is:
- Dear Husband brought all the debt to the relationship, and then continued to rack it up during.
- Ain't nobody here on MMM forums coming to cook him breakfast. Dear Wife does that.
- These are the Tough Times. You want to bring Dear Wife along with you to the Good Times. When you do, it's awesome.
- Dear Husband doesn't have to turn her into a devotee of frugalism. His mission is to solve this problem, not be a preacher.

Right now is the hard time, and Dear Husband has woken up and realized it. That's most excellent. He's the major breadwinner. That does not mean wife has retired. Everyone keeps forgetting: wife has achieved "zero mortgage overhead" and keeps them in that damn-lucky situation. So she's sheltering them from cost as long as they get to live in that house rent-and-mortgage free. If she's keeping the house clean also, then that's a LOT of value, an awful lot of value right there. So if you are trying to say "wife has retired", you need to go back and re-read the thread. She does a lot of, "outreach work", but that doesn't mean she's quit-out on our poor guy!

When I Found Frugalistic Fervor (FFF, get it? :-) ), I went ape-shit crazy over this stuff. It was the answer to questions I'd been trying to figure out on my own for at least 20 years of a really tough career. I wasn't so easy to live with and I realize that now.

I went nutso on her for incurring $325 INTEREST on a department store credit card. We fought like hell over that damn $325 when we had other debts looming 10x and 20x that size. Instead, I quit attacking her and started to look at how the CREDITOR handled things, and realized the department store had all kinds of damn tricks to KEEP her from paying off her card...to actually PREVENT her from maintaining a zero balance and avoiding interest!

When I figured that out and looked at it that way, all I had to do was attack that recurrent debt. She watched and she saw and learned, I didn't have to say a thing. She realized the store was trying to get their discounts back in credit interest. When I explained to her that $325 eliminated any savings she was getting, she got mad and today there's $0 interest on that card and she pays it off ASAP herself.

And in the meantime, if we need clothing, she's got a way to get it at about 10% of original price now that she knows how to work that vendor's coupons and specials and discounts and sales. I call it her "clothing superpower" and whenever we get in a bind, I call on her to use it and she does. Got me a $350 winter coat I badly needed (I didn't have one at all and winter got really bad this year.) for $45 on sale a year ago January (during a warmer winter).

Know what my Dear Wife used to say? "Well, debt doesn't matter, I figure I'll never retire. I'll just work a job until I die." Know what changed her mind on that? One of her hands got hurt so badly that she couldn't type (she's a medical coder, they HAVE to use a keyboard). When she realized she might not HAVE a choice about working, I didn't have to sell her a damn thing - she got on-board pronto. (Of course, my dramatic "Wal-Mart Bag Lady" prediction helped paint a vivid picture. But that's beside the point... :-) )

Dear Husband has woken up and it's our obligation to support him 110% on that. We aren't their kids and none of us are sleeping in their bed or cooking their breakfast. His marriage is none of our business. Unless someone here on the forums really DOES want run the wife off and cook him breakfast, we aren't here to tell him to ditch her, we are here to help him get from the crappy times to the great times.

There's a real danger here - we don't want Dear Husband to burn out before he makes progress. You all know what I mean: you get the realization, you start working, and when things don't turn around in a month or two or 12, you get discouraged. You're making progress, but you aren't THERE yet. You aren't on the PLUS side, and it gets you down.

We are here to help him turn his newfound religion into action, to help him persist and succeed and bring his wife WITH HIM from the bad times to the great times.

And, he's already told us he's over 50, so the clock's a tickin people. He's gained self awareness and senses his own mortality. We are here to support and provide information, so let's do what WE do and leave dear wife alone, let her do what SHE does.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 10, 2015, 05:53:41 AM
mefla - That was an elaborate narrative!

I think most of us are focusing on the wife, because we can't understand how a woman getting paid 70 dollars an hour makes so little and seems to be so unwilling to increase her income. If they are to ever get out of debt and retire, she has to earn more.

I don't see a situation in which the man ruined the long suffering woman through his terrible spending. I see a couple who both consumes too much. Hell, she just spend $800+ on a naturopath! Plus, if the student loans were for living expenses and tuition so that he could get a higher paying job to support both of them, then they are not just his "fault" or responsibility. That's absurd.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Faraday on April 10, 2015, 06:08:00 AM
mefla - That was an elaborate narrative!

I think most of us are focusing on the wife, because we can't understand how a woman getting paid 70 dollars an hour makes so little and seems to be so unwilling to increase her income. If they are to ever get out of debt and retire, she has to earn more.

I don't see a situation in which the man ruined the long suffering woman through his terrible spending. I see a couple who both consumes too much. Hell, she just spend $800+ on a naturopath! Plus, if the student loans were for living expenses and tuition so that he could get a higher paying job to support both of them, then they are not just his "fault" or responsibility. That's absurd.

justajane, you're right, you're right about that. But don't forget:

- Wife "virtual earns" A FREE HOME for the two of them, and she busts her butt cleaning it. HE didn't say anything about HELPING her clean that house - he talked about it like it's HER JOB. No one here has factored in the cost savings she's bringing to all this by avoiding payment of a mortgage. That's HUGE VALUE.
- She's empathetic, so she's had at least the last 9 years to pick up and emulate HIS behavior. No, he's not "ruined the long suffering woman" (I like that... ) but it's going to take awhile to turn her around. Remember, HE's the IMPULSIVE one and he's told us so...
- He's been neglecting the student loans, he told us that. It wasn't that he acquired them, it's that he's letting that nuclear bomb get bigger and bigger until it goes off in their face when their social security is garnished to repay whatever hopeless number it's climbing toward at 7%-or-better interest (I about DIED when I read that...)

justajane, I don't mean to contradict what you are saying (sure looks like I am, sorry about that). OF COURSE you are right about that $800 naturopath. But that dude has debt problems that make $800 look like one baby diaper "oops" vs. an entire broken sewage plant.

When I started my mustachian journey, I and my wife were not in debt to his magnitude, but it was a fairly analogous scenario. And NO, wife wasn't on board - because society was telling her otherwise. When one or the other spouse has "MMM revelation", they've got to understand that we are quite literally being subversive to the constant barrage of messages that US capitalism is foisting on us relentlessly: spend spend spend, it's "good for the economy", and here's the credit so you can do it!

It takes awhile for some people to realize that we're really on the front lines of a war for personal freedom. To free ourselves from becoming wage slaves from people who's express intent is to keep us being wage slaves. That's really a kind of conspiracy theory and empaths don't buy conspiracy theories easily. What they know is what they can sense in the immediate locality from the people they love and care for.

We need to be coaching this poor guy to action, not telling him to ditch a wife who's putting a free roof over his head. And here we are running him off...he's all but ditched the thread already. All I can hope for is that sheer curiosity will bring him back to read it - I sure don't expect him to comment any more. It ain't like we're his best buddies if we're telling him to "ditch the wife".

He's gotta show some results of his new religion and I promise you, she'll figure it out - she'll get on board and it will change not only their finances but their relationship as well.

Which reminds me: Has anyone told the poor guy to make up his cash flow spreadsheet so he'll know WHICH debt to attack first? I was quite surprised when I made my cash flow spreadsheet then worked on understanding what my highest costs were and how to affect those costs the most.

Nowhere in the principles of frugalism does it say "Ditch the spouse". Even if said-spouse sucks at money management and "spends with her heart" instead of her head.

It's up to Dear Husband to grow a set and Be The Man. That means attacking the worst of this mess and not his wife.

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: justajane on April 10, 2015, 06:23:19 AM
mefla - I understand your perspective more now, thanks. You certainly make some good points.

You seem very focused on the adjective "empathetic" and extrapolating a lot from that one word. But, point taken, they've been living a certain way for years and years. He just found the MMM religion and is expecting her to change overnight. That's likely unrealistic and also unfair. I didn't call him out on it originally, but I thought it was a terrible idea to read these posts to his wife. In hindsight, I should have considered that lapse of judgement in my perception of the situation.

I don't think anyone's intent here was to "run him off." We only know what the OP tells us, and while you are clearly more in tune to the other side of the coin (i.e. the wife's perspective), you must also recognize that you are filling in gaps that might not be accurate either. I still maintain that if, when confronted with the severity of their financial situation, an individual is not willing to change one thing about their spending practices/perception of cleanliness/job situation, then that person is intractable. That is certainly how she comes across here, even factoring in bias.

If I can speak for myself, though, I have to admit that one reason I was reacting as such was their relative age and debt load. They both need to do a 180 ASAP, and it will take both of the on board to do so. If they were 30, I probably would have reacted differently.

Dagiffy1, I know you and your wife are real people on the other side of this screen, and I am sorry if my advice or words caused undue distress or strife.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cinder on April 10, 2015, 06:45:55 AM
... Amazing Advice ...

Wow.. Thanks for that Mefla!  As someone who is a more rational/logical thinker, it's hard to put yourself in that mindset.  Lots of times I feel like I'm bucking against the train with my wife, and why won't she just see that the numbers make it all make sense!  It's hard for me to express things the way you have above, and I'm sure it's a hard learned skill. 

It's a very good alternate viewpoint for this situation.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Pigeon on April 10, 2015, 06:51:57 AM
mefla +100

We get one side of the story. I find these stories where somebody joins the cult and expects their spouse to buy into it instantly very sad. The inevitable board suggestion is to divorce immediately. Or for the new cult member, usually the guy, to start treating his wife like a child.

If you have been living a certain way for years, it isn't unreasonable to expect that change might take a little time. Marriage is a partnership. The OP has a bunch of excuses about why counseling won't work. The my way or the highway approach is rarely successful.

OP I hope it works out for you.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Cinder on April 10, 2015, 06:54:24 AM
She has a thing about cleaning. That's all I'll say about it. She does pet sitting and when she sits for people, let's just say they never ever again want to use anyone but her.

Sounds like she isn't charging enough for the pet service!  You do the first few at a lower introductory rate, and then increase your rates!  OF COURSE people would have you sit for them if you were actually 'below market' for the service you provide!


There are a few rooms closed off to the cats but just a couple. She can't bear that her babies would not be able to be with her wherever she is, whether in bed or elsewhere.

I think they were implying that both of you don't need to use the entire house, so the babies wouldn't be without her...

One word of caution though, we always keep all the doors open in our house, now that the cats are used to it, if any are closed, they tend to scratch at the doors to get in. 

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on April 10, 2015, 07:28:40 AM
What I've learned is that both OP and wife have spent money on quacks and con artists like naturopaths. Frankly if you are an easy mark you will never be FI because some other fraud can always sell you a more magic crystal or whatever silo of quackery you're in.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Faraday on April 10, 2015, 07:57:17 AM
You seem very focused on the adjective "empathetic" and extrapolating a lot from that one word.....

We only know what the OP tells us, and while you are clearly more in tune to the other side of the coin (i.e. the wife's perspective), you must also recognize that you are filling in gaps that might not be accurate either.

I HATE not knowing the whole story. So I read and re-read these threads that I participate in. He gave us a LOT of info on the wife up-front. Too much, really. That was a clue. What SHOULD he be coming to us for? A case study, not marriage counseling.

Quote
I didn't call him out on it originally, but I thought it was a terrible idea to read these posts to his wife. In hindsight, I should have considered that lapse of judgement in my perception of the situation...

Tru, tru!

Quote
I still maintain that if, when confronted with the severity of their financial situation, an individual is not willing to change one thing about their spending practices/perception of cleanliness/job situation, then that person is intractable. That is certainly how she comes across here, even factoring in bias.

We only know what the OP tells us, right? :-) :-) :-)

Quote
If I can speak for myself, though, I have to admit that one reason I was reacting as such was their relative age and debt load. They both need to do a 180 ASAP, and it will take both of the on board to do so. If they were 30, I probably would have reacted differently.

OMG YES YES YES. Their age...the ticking time bomb is so loud! I think that's why ALL of us here react the way we do in these scenarios. Age makes ALL the difference. The time value of money really does reflect the value of our own time on earth, doesn't it?

Quote
Dagiffy1, I know you and your wife are real people on the other side of this screen, and I am sorry if my advice or words caused undue distress or strife.

Yes yes yes. I hope we hear back soon, and I hope he does these things:
- Start a spreadsheet and list cash inputs/outputs.
- Identify the ones to attack first. Whether you do it  Dave Ramsey style (small but big psych win) or MMM (attack highest interest rate with all vigor), attack SOMETHING and destroy it. Be The Man.
- Celebrate the win and move on to the next item. Feel things get better. Feel the weight lift.
- Start a case study here if you need guidance on the HOW-TO.
- Pray that we've not poisoned the Dear Wife against frugalism itself.

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: cerebus on April 10, 2015, 08:01:06 AM
What I've learned is that both OP and wife have spent money on quacks and con artists like naturopaths. Frankly if you are an easy mark you will never be FI because some other fraud can always sell you a more magic crystal or whatever silo of quackery you're in.

Yep I don't know, this whole thread just seems like a slow motion trainwreck to me. It's hardly worth talking about FI, more like triage measures to stop the hemorrhaging of money; but it will not be easy to make ends meet in old age, and it might be necessary to rather plan for post-retirement income streams like at-home hairdressing or consultancy work than actual retirement.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: wintersun on April 10, 2015, 08:47:39 AM
I would love to see someone create a super simple fact post for this thread, facts only.  I can't seem to do it.  Any takers?


My Two Cents Worth

Phase One: 

Take the $120,000 job and pay off all your debt.  You could see each other 4 times a year and talk on the phone daily.  Plenty of folks do this to save money or pay off debt, look at all the guys on oil rigs, ships and all the Asians who send money back home to their spouse. 

Get YNAB, it is the bomb in my opinion to figure out where you are spending.  Start with it today on trial and see if it is for you.

Create a case study on here.

Figure out how much your wife needs to live on in her opinion, including money for personal expenses.  If she is into naturopaths and is empathic I am guessing she is into a more alternate holistic lifestyle and she may not trust traditional medical stuff. Respect that and make sure she has enough to cover her expenses.  You may not agree with it but it is her belief system and I would posit that she probably knows a great deal more about health than you do and how to ward off long term disease (which is super expensive).

Perhaps your wife can barter some massage for couples counselling in the weeks before you leave. It sounds as though she enjoys the barter economy.

While you are living alone until the debt is paid off you will have loads of time to finesse your YNAB usage. 


Phase Two:
Once the debt is paid off you will know what is next. 

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: dsmexpat on April 10, 2015, 09:09:41 AM
If you marry a hot 20 year old with options everywhere with no pre-nup who expects you to provide for her while she raises your children and then divorce her when she hits 35 with no life skills or employment history then you're an asshole who should provide for her, that was your part of the deal.

If you marry a 40 year old who already has 22 years under their belt as an independent adult who continues to work and with whom you have no children then you should be contributing equally and should both be able to survive without the other. My wife and I were both very eager to preserve our financial independence going into marriage and we have been successful doing it, but there again we are both adults who aspire to more than being a parasite.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Imustacheyouaquestion on April 10, 2015, 12:44:04 PM

- Wife "virtual earns" A FREE HOME for the two of them

I think one of the problematic assumptions here is that living rent-free is a "free lunch" for OP. The status quo situation is to keep living there without thinking about making a change, but they haven't really considered the opportunity costs of living there.

- 25 miles from where he works, requiring a car. He could ditch the Sentra and associated payment by moving to within biking distance of work.
- However many hours of work his wife spends per day cleaning the place (sounds OCD, but who knows). Multiply that by $70 (her hourly rate). Every day they live in the "free" mansion, they're losing hundreds of dollars in potential income if the wife was working outside of the house instead.
- I would assume there are some household supplies being used for the daily cleaning - sprays, paper towels, etc. This could be reduced by moving to small apartment.
- Cable/internet costs are required because there's no smart tv option at the house. Ongoing monthly savings if they move somewhere and cut the cable.

On the whole, the "free" mansion might be a good arrangement for them. But part of the problem is that there is no conscious lifestyle design happening or considering whether alternate options are possible.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ZiziPB on April 10, 2015, 01:18:34 PM
We haven't heard from the OP in a while.  I suspect it's going to be the usual "crash and burn" case, especially given the emotional ups and downs clearly showing in his posts.  There was no real plan or logic in there whatsoever.

He found MMM 5 days ago, had an epiphany, talked to the wife who is disinterested which put him off and now he's lost interest himself...   
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Allie on April 10, 2015, 03:01:05 PM
Over the past week, OP found MMM, realized he is drowning in debt, made a complete turn around, ambushed his wife with this life change, asserted that his wife will never change, then bowed out.  What. The. Fuck.

It took years and years to get my husband anywhere near on board with a high savings rate.  This doesn't mean he isn't an amazing man or the best husband and father to my children it just means we are two different people with different goals and aspirations.  It certainly doesn't mean we should divorce. 

I would suggest starting with a reasonable plan.  Not a full on, balls out, MMM plan, just a reasonable set of goals.  Ostensibly, the plan is to repay the debt and get to a position where you can retire before your bodies or minds make it impossible to work.  With 150k in debt that should take 3-6 years depending on your ability to tighten the belt and produce income.  That leaves you with a decade or so to build a nice stash to supplement any SS benefits you get. 

There are plenty of stories on this forum of people who dug out of a hole, got a spouse on board, increased income, and went on to have nice plump stashes within a few years.  I have one.  But, I'm certainly not alone.  Good luck!

Start a journal.  It's a friendlier place to air your dirty laundry, with gentle face taps instead of face punches.  :)
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: frugaldrummer on April 10, 2015, 03:02:05 PM
Quote
However many hours of work his wife spends per day cleaning the place (sounds OCD, but who knows). Multiply that by $70 (her hourly rate). Every day they live in the "free" mansion, they're losing hundreds of dollars in potential income if the wife was working outside of the house instead.

THIS.  She does sound like she might suffer from OCD, in which case, she IS "working her ass off" because she's obsessing about keeping this giant mansion clean.  And the many hours spent doing that are keeping her from ramping up her business to the anticipated income level. 

Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: kathrynd on April 10, 2015, 06:43:04 PM
MY husband and I are retired, and we live rent free for the 7-8 months of the year, that we travel.
It isn't a big deal. We certainly don't spend hours and hours cleaning, and the home owners usually always  have pets (we house sit)

Yes, it does sound like the wife is OCD. She could use it to her advantage, and clean houses, or offer her services to clean before and after moving into an apt/house rental.

The OP may be all gung-ho after finding MMM.
Nothing wrong with that. Everytime he turns around the wife is wanting to spend more money. More than she earns.
They don't have children, and she doesn't have the right to quit pulling her weight, especially when she cannot financially survive without him.
She doesnt have the right to continue spending money they don't  have.

If making his breakfast and other meals is a big deal, I'm sure he is quite capable of cooking for himself.

Sounds like there are problems in this marriage, and whether this is the final straw, who knows.
Better to separate now, than wait 5 years, and be in the same debt.

If the OP takes this new higher paying job, she will want to take more weekend vacations...because ' they deserve it'.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zamboni on April 10, 2015, 07:26:06 PM
Wow, this is quite a thread.  I've had it open for several days just reading a few posts at a time for work breaks.

I'm going to stick to simple financial advice that has already been said:

-Absolutely start contributing whatever is needed to get the full company match on the 401K.

-YNAB is worth the money unless you are an excel spreadsheet freak like some of us. Start putting all of your information in it (they have special tips on how to start budgeting from a deficit).

-Working 7 days a week is probably not a good long-term plan.  6 days a week is fine.

-Cut up credit cards.  All of them.  Period.  Definitely cancel any with a zero balance and cancel/freeze the rest (some suggest saving one and literally freezing it in a container of water in the back of the freezer. That way you might have to let it thaw before you can use it which gives plenty of time to reconsider the expenditure.  That doesn't really work, of course, since you just need the number to spend, not the actual card.) 

-You can close a credit card account while you still have a balance, by the way.  Don't worry, they will be happy to close it and keep sending you the bill to pay over time.  You don't need her permission to close them, but it would be prudent to tell her so she is not embarrassed at the store.  Then check your credit reports regularly to make sure she hasn't opened another one you don't know about (yes, I once had a spouse open a joint credit account without my knowledge or permission.)

-Cash only for both of you for all purchases from here on out until the debt is all gone.     

-My opinion is you should ditch the "free" mansion.  They used to pay $800 to have it cleaned and now your wife is cleaning it for them.  Effectively you are paying at least $800 in rent via labor.  It's not really living "rent free."  To say that is delusional.  They have hired you to do a job for them, and you and your wife are under no obligation to keep doing it. Certainly there is no more obligation than with any other job. Seriously consider telling them April (or May) will be the last month you can live there and find somewhere much, much smaller to live.

Just my $0.02.

Good luck on your journey!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Spondulix on April 10, 2015, 08:21:11 PM
We need to be coaching this poor guy to action, not telling him to ditch a wife who's putting a free roof over his head. And here we are running him off...he's all but ditched the thread already. All I can hope for is that sheer curiosity will bring him back to read it - I sure don't expect him to comment any more. It ain't like we're his best buddies if we're telling him to "ditch the wife".
This thread went from 1000 views to almost 10,000 in the past 24 hours. Another recent discussion about a user who's wife cheated is over 35,000 reads. It's really unfortunate people are genuinely are asking (and need) FINANCIAL help and don't realize they are getting baited for personal information so the herd can analyze their PERSONAL issues like they aren't in the room. I get that they are related, but I would never tell a stranger who's told me three paragraphs about their life (and relationship) to leave their spouse... that's called judgement, not advice.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: rothnroll on April 10, 2015, 10:00:31 PM
Jeesh,
the sense of entitlement by this guys wife is insulting!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Faraday on April 11, 2015, 04:52:09 AM
Jeesh, the sense of entitlement by this guys wife is insulting!

Hilarity! :-) :-)

This thread went from 1000 views to almost 10,000 in the past 24 hours. Another recent discussion about a user who's wife cheated is over 35,000 reads. It's really unfortunate people are genuinely are asking (and need) FINANCIAL help and don't realize they are getting baited for personal information so the herd can analyze their PERSONAL issues like they aren't in the room. I get that they are related, but I would never tell a stranger who's told me three paragraphs about their life (and relationship) to leave their spouse... that's called judgement, not advice.

+1 Spondulix. I recall your thread where you figured that out. (sheepish grin, that might have been my first "lay off the SO" sermon) I participated in another purely financial thread -  the judgement and poo-flinging were intense with zero regard for situational awareness. I'm starting to suspect the forums have been infiltrated by trolls and 12 year olds with nothing to do but try to ruin lives.  (I'm not exaggerating....) The idea of the "facepunch" is useful, but never in the hands of children and fools.

Personal issues CANNOT be here. There's no way, absolutely no way, anyone in these forums can give valid personal advice or counseling on a relationship. Finances, sure. There is a "high math content" to finances, and that's an area in which a pure stranger on a forum might be able to add wisdom, because the situational awareness required there is LOW: I don't need to know HOW you ended up with your credit card debt to tell you how to prioritize paying it off.

Also beware: in the interest of freedom, there's no overarching, benevolent Solomon who makes things right in ANY objective sense. This place is just a watering hole on the dangerous internet. Horrible things can be said here, just like anywhere else.

There's a kind of wisdom you have to have, about what you say and post here that maybe you've got to be burned before you get it.  It's much more of a shark tank than a welcoming "Occupy" Movement!

And BTW: +1 to what "Zamboni" said above. Your points are all ROCK SOLID!
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Zx on April 11, 2015, 10:38:48 AM
I know I said I wasn't going to post anymore until things are a bit more settled.

My mistake, and a big mistake, was attempting to explain why my wife says and does the things she does. This got replies and I had to explain more, and so forth and so on and it just got ridiculous.

I couldn't care less about blame or shame or finger pointing or any of it. Who cares? It just has to stop.

I am not going to share any more about our marriage, our relationship, or how my wife is handling all this.

I will just say this for now: At this point today, here at 9am pacific time on Saturday April 11, 2015, I am satisfied with my wife's behavior, frugality, and mindset. I am happy with her efforts to support this MMM mission, and it IS a mission.

I am also satisfied with my own efforts and passion for the mission....


P.S. After saying I won't do it, now I"m doing it. You have to understand that I'm living with a woman that is near 100% feelings on the "logical vs feeling" scale. What she says is usually not what she means. I'm not trying to be funny. On the other side, what YOU mustachians (all of whom I love and have respect for) say is NOT what she hears, and then reacts to. You are trying to be logical, reasonable, and let's say "honest" in your assessments and advice. Worthless.

Forget it. You have NO idea who you are dealing with and are completely CLUELESS in giving her advice, and I am being logical and blunt about this to YOU. No one, not even me, can reach her with plain spoken English. It doesn't work.

The case in point, which gave her a 4 day long swoon into depression and misery, was the now-infamous statement which a lot of you agreed with that said: at 12k annually, she has a hobby. Not a job. Perfectly sensible, right? If you said that about ME and MY job? I'd say, oh, you know something? You're right!

Now, what she heard was...and I quote..."They are telling me that I'm shit. That my job is shit. They are saying I'm worthless and I may as well just go and put a bullet in my head!"

And before you make the logical conclusion that she is mental, bi-polar, or needs therapy, know this: you have to quit using logic with her. She has a legion of friends that love her just how she is, and she them. Her clients become her family. When someone gets cancer and needs a care giver to help with their spouse until they die, they call my wife. Over and over again. She can meet animals for the first time, and in 5 minutes they are ready to leave with her and not even look back at their owners. I've seen her walk up to a fence out in the country, where we saw Texas Longhorns for the first time, 2 out in this field, and she spent 20 minutes at the fence talking to them and got one of them to approach her. Her pets, whether they are cats or dogs or anything else, follow her around like dogs. Cats that won't come when called WILL come when she calls. People who have a fear of being touched and refuse to hug anyone will hug her. She isn't LIKE you. Or me.

You can't talk to her the way you talk to me or most other people and expect to help her. I forget that. A lot.

Now, back to the hobby remark. We have had many conversations about it. She tells me that it didn't matter what you meant. All that matters was how you made her FEEL.

My response was that her feelings were based on a lie, because the insult and derisiveness existed in only one place: her head. If she would have listened to me about what you all MEANT, then she could have saved herself all that suffering. I told her that if you all meant what she FELT you meant, then they wouldn't have said that at 12k annual income, she had a hobby. Not a job. What they would have said was, "You are shit. Your job is shit. You are worthless and may as well go put a bullet in your head."

But nobody said that. What they said was that the income you made revealed what looked far more like a hobby than like a job. That's all. There was no value judgment on you OR your work. At all.

For just a few moments she grasped that idea and calmed down a bit. I think she can do better at discerning what people mean vs what they say, as I deal with her every day and she has gotten better at that. But her natural reaction will be to FEEL and not stop to REASON IT OUT. As I said, it's all in how I present things to her.

If I get excited, as I have been about MMM, I forget that I need to talk to her feelings and not to her brain. As she has time to marinate in it, her feelings will inform her thinking and THEN she gets it. Her way of seeing and interacting with the world has it's advantages and disadvantages, just like yours does and mine does, and trying to explain to you how she is behaving isn't fair to her or you because you have no idea who you are dealing with.

So this is the last post I want to see about how my wife is, how our relationship is, how I need to start acting and talking, or anything else.

What I want, and need, and beg for...from you MMM masters...is the truth about finances. The unvarnished truth. I can take face punches well. It's the body shots that hurt.

I have read your posts, (though not most of the ones on this last page) some of them more than once, and we are implementing what we can implement and things are coming around fast. I'm not going to post in THIS thread anymore, but the next thread I start in the "Ask a Mustachian" area will be a Case Study with all pertinent info, like a month's spending broken down.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: RexualChocolate on April 11, 2015, 10:50:12 AM
Why did you marry this woman? I'd last a week.

People are welcome to live in their own heads reacting to stimuli at random, but I choose to surround myself with people who share my reality.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: ysette9 on April 11, 2015, 11:00:11 AM
Thank you for the explanation, Daggify1. I think another poster was correct that this is a great place to get concrete financial advise and have someone double-check your numbers, but we are not a bunch of relationship gurus. I speak for myself in saying that I am a somewhat typical engineer, though probably stronger in the communication area than math. That said, I think here we all default to logic, numbers, logic, and more numbers. I am married to an engineer who is also very logical (most of the time) so having these types of conversations is really about getting another viewpoint, tweaking some things, and getting suggestions on how we can improve. I don't have to dance around and figure out how to package my message because my partner's mind works very similarly to mind.

What that means is that I (and probably many others here) just don't have an appreciation for what it is like to be married to someone who is so dramatically different, whose mind works so differently, sees the world through a difference lens. You love this woman, married her, and are committed to working with her through all of her quirks. That is on you and we probably are very poorly qualified to understand how to deal with that type of a personality. Like you said, we can give financial advice and support you through your journey.

Good luck and thanks for posting again. We really are rooting for you and want you to succeed.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: Davids on April 11, 2015, 02:56:59 PM
Damn, $6K of repairs on a 27 year old car, I would have just junked it and bought a used car for $3K-$4K.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: MoneyCat on April 11, 2015, 03:16:25 PM
You mentioned you were reluctant to get rid of cable because you don't have a smart TV.  If you get a Roku box, then any TV instantly becomes a Smart TV.  The Roku 2 is selling used on Amazon for about $45 right now and then you can stream Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, etc. over it instead of paying for cable.  Can you get over-the-air channels where you live?  That saved me a ton on watching sports.
Title: Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
Post by: kathrynd on April 11, 2015, 06:48:20 PM
Asking for financial support is fine...but until you stop the leaks..nothing you do will change your situation.

Good Luck...you will need it.