Author Topic: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning  (Read 64577 times)

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #50 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.

mm1970

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #51 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

2ndTimer

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #52 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

ldk

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #53 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?


Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #54 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.

olivia

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #55 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!

Kris

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #56 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #57 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #58 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.

Megma

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #59 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.

Argyle

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #60 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.

madamwitty

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #61 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.

1967mama

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #62 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?

zinethstache

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #63 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.

Josiecat

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #64 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. 

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #65 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #66 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?

justajane

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #67 on: April 06, 2015, 02:39:50 PM »
Use Mint instead of YNAB. It's free.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #68 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. 

midweststache

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #69 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.

handsnhearts

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #70 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.

JLee

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #71 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #72 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #73 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.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 03:16:29 PM by dagiffy1 »

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #74 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.

1967mama

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #75 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!

netskyblue

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #76 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!

Cassie

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #77 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:))

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #78 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #79 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.

rmendpara

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #80 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!

ambimammular

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #81 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.

1967mama

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #82 on: April 06, 2015, 05:03:13 PM »

Argyle

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #83 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.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2015, 05:13:40 PM by Argyle »

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #84 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.

okits

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #85 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.

kathrynd

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #86 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.

wordnerd

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #87 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!

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #88 on: April 06, 2015, 08:06:38 PM »
Do you mean just continue on this thread as a journal?

swick

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #89 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.

teen persuasion

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #90 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?

Exflyboy

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #91 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!

horsepoor

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #92 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #93 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #94 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #95 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.

onwisconsin

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #96 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #97 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.

James

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #98 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.

laka

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #99 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.