Author Topic: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning  (Read 64544 times)

olivia

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #100 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?

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #101 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?

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #102 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.

James

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #103 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.

handsnhearts

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #104 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.

Exflyboy

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #105 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...




Cpa Cat

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #106 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.

sleepyguy

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #107 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.

1967mama

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #108 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #109 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #110 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #111 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.




Unique User

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #112 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??
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 01:14:55 PM by Unique User »

wintersun

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #113 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.

Apples

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #114 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.

mm1970

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #115 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.

midweststache

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #116 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.)

iluvzbeach

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #117 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.

ChicagoGirl

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #118 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.   

Chicken

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #119 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.

handsnhearts

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #120 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.

RexualChocolate

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #121 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.

Exflyboy

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #122 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!


mozar

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #123 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.

Kris

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #124 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. 

Exflyboy

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #125 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.

Pigeon

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #126 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.

Cinder

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #127 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!

richschmidt

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #128 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.

Cassie

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #129 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!

kathrynd

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #130 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.

penguins4everyone!

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #131 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.

LizzyBee

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #132 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!

Singularity

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #133 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. 

Spondulix

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #134 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?
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 12:33:12 AM by Spondulix »

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #135 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.

ZiziPB

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #136 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. 

1967mama

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #137 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 :-(

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #138 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.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #139 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!

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #140 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.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 11:32:15 AM by dagiffy1 »

charis

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #141 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?

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #142 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.

Exflyboy

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #143 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!

justajane

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #144 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.

JLee

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #145 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.

Argyle

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #146 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #147 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.

Imustacheyouaquestion

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #148 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.

Zx

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Re: Just Woke Up To Discover I'm Drowning
« Reply #149 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.