Re: Significant others Participation

It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy my lunches it’s just an “inconvience” to him. Buying lunch it’s warm all the time right away. He doesn’t have to wait for the microwave at work. Although, he could eat lunches cold and he really doesn’t like sandwiches.

But he never wants to talk about money EVER!!! And he needs to know that even though he needs tools for work (he’s a mechanic) he needs to know how much he has to spend on tools a month and not start a tab with the Snap-On truck 27% (in Canada anyway) interest on that tab is killing us.

I do know that he was never taught about finances by his parents. His parents are quite muddy with money and I don’t want to have to be a mother to him and give him an allowance. I should be able to tell him and ask him what is acceptable and maybe set aside an amount of money every month and say that’s what WE can afford in the way of tools and then the rest goes to everything else.

His tool buying has stopped us from being able to save anything and at this moment our boys have started to take on his spending as that’s how life is and mommy is just a penny pincher. How aggeravting that is. So now his influencing the boys and making it hard for us to get ahead.

This is such a hard problem. In our marriage I always heard about how his mother kept the house so wonderfully clean, she always put her husband first, she always gave without asking for anything, and the bills were always paid. Well, his mother had five daughters to help with the housework. She remarried when her kids were teens so I expect that she was just being a newlywed. When I gave our kids chores he took them away, said his kids didn’t need to help me keep the house clean. He took all the credit for the good things and gave me the blame for all the bad stuff including the financial troubles. Anyone want to guess why we’re divorced? Oh, by the way since the divorce nothing has changed for him but I’ve got checking and savings accounts plus was approved for a credit card ($200 limit, paid in full every month). All of my bills are paid. He’s got one savings account (can’t have checking due to owed money for closed account), no credit card, and his credit score is in the pits. And he still thinks he can buy a house in the next couple of years.

Tell your husband that both of you need to sit down and talk about things. Leave the kids with someone else for a few hours. Or if the kids are old enough start talking with them. Try starting with the basics like this is our income for the month and we have to pay these bills (rent, mortgage, car insurance) and we need money for these things (groceries, gas, lunch money). My kids didn’t get it until I showed them my expected monthly income then subtracted all the bills and other things. And I also compared the leftover bit with things they can relate to such as how many rented movies or video games it would cover.

I completely feel everyone’s frustration on this point. It’s *very* difficult to work towards financial stability if you’re the only one who apparently has that goal. If anyone knows the key to convincing spouses that it’s a good idea to pay down debt, save for the future, and live within a budget, please share.

Vivian, I think it’s great you started educating your kids early about finances–that’s one thing my parents missed with me, and now look where I am. 🙂

There’s a book I know of called “How to Debt Proof Your Kids” that might give some more pointers on raising kids with some kind of financial literacy.

My biggest problem is their dad still takes no responsibility. He’s facing the possibility of being evicted. his solution is to move in with us for a few weeks. Didn’t want to get into an argument in front of the kids but he’s not moving in with me. It helps that I rent 2nd floor apartment and my parents are in the 1st floor apartment. they also don’t want him living here.

After the divorce I was homeless for about five months but was able to live in a motel room. No fridge but I could have a microwave and a cooler kept stuff cold. My mom works in a restaurant and she gave me ice from there. State agencies give you more help if you’re homeless (place with no kitchen really helps). So yeah I do feel sympathy for the ex but after nearly four years of freedom I really don’t want him around any more.

Significant others Participation

Hi all,

I’ve been reading all the questions and suggestions that have been going on recently and I have tried to get my significant other to do the same.

At this moment we are about $50,000 in total debt. Although two pieces of debt are low interest and the hishest balances I’m not that worried about it. I have my significant others income directly being deposited into my account because of the fact nothing would get paid otherwise.

As much as I try to include my other in the financial decisions he just doesn’t want to hear it as it “gives him a headache” (in my opinion he’s being a baby) I’m the one who budgets and he’s the one that is trying to spend the money that we don’t have.

How in the world am I suppose to have his participation when he can’t even sit down to look at a budget that I have made so that he knows how much money we have?

Any ideas? I really hate that he calls me his personal financial planner after I went to school for accounting and personal finance. He would spend the debt payments if he had access to my debit card. And he begs for money for lunch right after I made him lunch. Last time he needed money he even took a $500 loan at – can you believe it?

He calls you that because in a sense, you ARE being his finance advisor and even controlling the income/outgo.

Remind this guy there is no free lunch If you choose to make his lunch, simply point to the lunch on the counter as he sticks his hand out wanting money for lunch (That’s insulting if you make him a lunch but he’d rather buy one, eh?). If he balks and says he doesn’t like the lunches you make, offer him a guided tour of the kitchen and let him make his own. Guys do that a lot I think, because in many cases, we let them.

Maybe you two could sit down and figure out what you’re both happy (or unhappy) with. Everyone needs their dignity, and it sounds from your letter like your dear spouse has given up some of his. At least, you seem to view it that way, hence “he begs for lunch money”.

Even if you handle the bills and finances, he should be in on your decisions. In a way, it’s good that he recognizes that you are better at keeping track of this stuff. Trust me. 🙂 My spouse fights me all the way, despite the fact that I have at least some clue as to how to deal with personal finances. Anyway, your husband might be fine with both of you having an “allowance” of some kind for spending money, while you take care of the bigger financial picture.

It may give him a headache – heck, it gives all of us a headache! – but I think it really is necessary that both of you discuss things and come to an agreement.

In the meantime, remember to be grateful that he’s working, willing to hand over the financial upkeep to you, and recognizes that that’s not his strength. You’ve got a good foundation there.

Okay, I’ll stop rattling on now. Your message struck close to home for me so I had a lot to say. Good luck!

Finally saw “Maxed Out”

And really was surprised at the content…. Like Suze Orman (Spelling?) being sponsored by the Parent company of FICO…. But another part, in the 50’s ‘documentary’ type show with “Mr Money”… Made by “Sutherland films”. Trying to look into whether or not that was real or just made for this film…. My last name… It would figure a good Scotsman was behind that

I’m glad you posted about this. I’d been wanting to see it so I did a Google search and found it on Google videos. My husband and I just watched it. None of it really surprised me. But man, the parts about hose women whose college student kids committed suicide over credit card debt just about did me in. I have a son who got credit cards right out of high school. Before he knew it, he was about $8000 in debt. He hasn’t paid it off but he isn’t depressed about it, either. He’s managing it but slowly, very slowly. I need to send him the url for Maxed Out.

Everyone should watch that. And the lady who went missing too… It was very sad they found her the way they did….

I’ve never seen this clip or movie or whatever it entails. Needless to say I’ve actually told a credit card company that wanted me to sign up for a card that it can cause suicide. People get so far in debt they think it’s their only way out. They have a insurance policy for the beneficiaries, but I’d rather have the person instead of the money any day. It saddens me to think that finances can kill. I’m sure it can cause high blood pressure and heart attacks just as well.
In this day and age with so many places closing, it’s hard to even keep a roof over your head let alone any luxuries.

I know exactly how you feel

savingsI know exactly how you feel! We married and started a family early and had 3 kids by the time we were married 10 years.

We were independent from the start, living in towns far from any close relatives. I saved a little $$s in a 401K (about 6K in 3 years) and we bought our first home. The only way I could save that money was to have it automatically taken out of my check so I never saw it. So that’s how we bought our first home.

Now after 25 years and a divorce 🙁 I look back and realize that we made a lot of money but working and having kids at a young age and having to pay for child care is costly. I remember lamenting that I didn’t have any really nice furniture and I shopped for clothes at thrift stores and yard sales. We also invested heavily in the kids sports, travelling extensively as part of elite club teams.

Cha ching. It all adds up. And the debt!! Well that’s always been in the picture. We paid off credit cards three times using our home equity only to run them back up. Now that I’m dealing with half the income, there’s no hiding from it. I have to turn and face the debt and careless spending monster headon and just stop the madness. I feel encouraged and optimistic about the future, and feel that I’ll be in control of the finances. I think the key is learning to live within your means and not spend more than you make. As the kids grow up and leave home, AND you remain debt free, there’ll be less stress on the marriage and more $$s in the bank.

As far as buying stuff, I’ll never buy furniture, cars or any other similar big ticket item new again. It takes some work to find, but there are bargains out there to be had on beautiful possessions and in the future I’m committed to staying away from “payment plans” by finding these deals.

One way to think of how much you pay for things, is to divide the cost of the item by the amount of money you get paid on an hourly basis. Then, you realize how many hours you work just for that particular item.

When you realize that if you make $10 an hour and you just have to have a new pair of Jordan sneakers at $250 a pair, you worked 25 hours or just over 3 typical workdays just for those shoes.

P.S. I use these as an example, as I saw people on the news recently sitting outside stores waiting for them to go on sale for that price. His newest ones.

I just thought of something. Near where I live is a second-hand store. It’s connected to a pawn shop. People who need money sell their furniture and appliances to this place and they clean it up a bit then put it up for sale. They also go to auctions. Have you tried auctions? My dad’s bought a lovely couch at an estate auction (elderly man moving out after wife’s death) for only a dollar. Nice couch just nobody wanted it. Sure, it’s used but quite often furniture goes cheap in auctions unless two or more people really want a particular thing.

How does your dad know when these auctions occur? I’ve tried to find out about them in my area but have had little luck.

My dad gets flyers in the mail. Often they’re listed in newspapers. Look for auctioneers in the phone book. Call them up and ask if they have any sales coming up. I bet they’d give you all kinds of info because they get paid a percentage of the sales. To register to bid you’ve got to provide ID and I think most places use your address to mail you flyers about upcoming sales. Sometimes we’ve gone into restaurants or stores and they’ve had flyers up by the register or posted on a bulletin board. Hope this helps.

Recently I heard a man asking Dave Ramsey how to get sofas while paying off debt.

Apparently the man asking had sofas that were falling apart. Dave told the caller to hit garage sales in the upscale neighborhoods in his city – and to get a very high quality sofa that way for a few hundred dollars.

I usually find auctions in the local newspaper. In the summer they are listed with the garage sales. The estates sells are usually the best, they sell everything from a lawnmower to the house itself! Good luck!

Re: I’m not sure if everyone on this blog realizes

I must say, I was thinking something similar about our own home not so long ago. I really, really, really want to furnish our home in my own style and decor. I want to go the the furniture stores and just pick & choose items of my very own.

We have a lot of furniture in our home, but pretty much all of it was somewhere else before it was here. If that makes sense. My husband’s grandparents sofa and chair are in our living room. They are the only pieces I am seriously considering keeping – although they will be reupholstered and restuffed.

My primary hold up is that now that we have decided to tackle our debts in earnest once and for all, I refuse to finance furnishings for our home. We will save up and pay cash for them or do without until our debts are much, much, much, much smaller than they are. I watch HGTV, pour over catalogs and gather ideas. Some of them are up on the wall. I want to make this house our home without creating more debt.

I understand your frustration, believe me.

I am considering going to visit the local hotel liquidation places in search of a couple of pieces sometime this year, depending on how much we save up. Whatever happens, I refuse to finance the items at loanshark rates, through some furniture store, or on credit cards. It would be terrific if I could find some bored very classy person who is just plain bored with their decor willing to give it all to us so they can redecorate with the latest and greatest. Does that ever happen?????

Most of my furniture and even dishes came from the contents of abandoned storage units. My dad buys these lots a couple times a year. it’s good stuff usually and you can’t beat the price. He paid $50 for one unit that actually held stuff from three separate units. We got a gorgeous china hutch, six desks, three dressers, two couches, two kitchen tables (no chairs), tons of dishes and pots and pans, TVs, TV stand, two entertainment centers, a foot stool, two kitchen cabinets, and lots more decorative household items. I’ve also bought a great glide rocker from a yard sale for $5. My computer came from my ex, he bought a fancy new computer last year and gave me the old computer, which he’d bought new the year before.

And my income for 2007 wasn’t much over $14,000. When my kids complain about the used furniture i pull out ads for local stores or get on the internet and show them how much things cost. Then I put that price into things they can understand like buying this item for $400 is equal to buying ten $39.95 video games. Last year i took a composition class and did a report on the cost of nursing home care and compared the annual cost to how many years of my income it would cost. (One year for my grandma would have cost 8 years of my total income.) This comparison had a bigger impact on both me and my classmates.

Remember, what you’re doing is teaching your kids by example. You want your kids to grow up being responsible with their money, not being careless and getting into debt.

I also had another thought. When I moved into my house from a one-bedroom apartment 2 years ago, I found brand new furniture at bargain prices by going to a Raymour & Flanigan Clearance Center near me. I wouldn’t have known about them except for the fact that their outlet store is right near where I live.

Basically their furniture is either damaged or discontinued. I got some of both. Living room couch said it was damaged, but after 2 years, I can’t find any! I’ve had my bedroom set for 30 years, so I did get a new one there as well. It was a fairy tale set, something I would have gone crazy over as a teenager … but still appropriate for an adult. Armoir, dresser, vanity, and bed. Now, this set is most definitely damaged. You can see nicks, and in some spots, a few gouges. If I were handy, or could afford to hire someone who was, those spots could easily be fixed by someone who works with wood.

I also got an enormous wood desk for my computer … this item has the largest amount of damage, but after using it for 2 years now, I hardly notice it, because none of the damages get in my way at all.

I bargained them down from their original clearance price after looking at all the damaged spots … someone who’s good at bargaining could have probably done even better than I did.

I don’t feel at all embarrassed by the damaged spots – in fact, family and friends applaud me for finding new pieces at fractions of the original cost. These days, I think most people tend to admire any good method for saving money!

Anyway, you may have already considered this option, or even have done it yourself, but just in case my own experience could be helpful to you, I thought I’d share it.

I’m not sure if everyone on this blog realizes

I’m not sure if everyone on this group realizes you don’t have to pay ANYTHING for items for your home or clothes if you use freecycle. I’m a group owner and moderator for a Freeycle group in CT. This is a nationwide group that tries to recycle things people no longer want or need so it doesn’t go to the landfills or dumps. It’s not junk. Really nice stuff some times. People truly have the helping others mentality. What goes around comes around. Just go to and find your state, then closest town that has freecycle. You can be on many groups. Please read the rules for each group though. Usually your on moderation until you post correctly. You can NOT ask for money for any item. I’ve received clothing, file cabinets, toys, clothing, baskets, dishes, etc… all for free. Your post is either a WANTED or OFFER.

Now one thing you can’t do is post a LIST of all your wants. Typically one or two things at a time won’t scare people away from giving something to you because they won’t think your greedy. Also just because you ask for something doesn’t mean someone has it. You can make a list for all things your offering though. Last week I got some books and games. That woman was cleaning out her house and is constantly posting things she’s getting rid of. People have offered old cars on occasion, laptops (OLD), computers that still run but might need tweeking, printers, maternity clothing, baby items, coupons, lamps, bureaus, bed sets, storm doors, cans of paint, shingles for your roof, lumber, dishes, appliances, car tires etc…

We give things all the time away on freecycle. My daughters given full bags of diapers because her daughter outgrew the size and numerous baby clothes and toys.

On another note, the freecycle groups also have “cafe” groups where you can chit chat, some of the cafe’s allow selling items, announcements of yard sales etc. Just don’t ask for an item and sell it at a yard sale. The person who gave it to you just might show up at the yardsale. LOL.

I hope this helps. Remember do NOT buy anything for your home, clothes, furniture, toys etc because you CAN get it for FREE. The money you would save could go towards your bills. Good luck!

My husband and I started off with hand me downs for the first few years. Then every time we got our tax returns we’d get some furniture a little at a time. We still don’t have anything fancy though. I’m not the type to pay a lot for stuff no matter how much money we have to spend.

Have you tried your hand at arts & crafts? You have probably seen tv programs, magazines, websites, etc. that show you in detail how to renovate furniture, paint, and decorate on a small budget by making a lot of things yourself. I have friends who have done gorgeous decorating by stripping and refinishing old furniture themselves, making their own curtains, etc. In addition, I’ve found that what’s really nice about do-it-yourself home decorating, is that your home will be completely uniquely you.

I should add that I have given up on trying to do any of these myself, lol! I am very bad at doing things with my hands!! I feel your frustration, too. I hate going to
others homes when they have big TVs, nice furnishings, and a gorgeous home. I was always brought up that those things weren’t important but it gets tiresome not having them.

In my case, it’s simple. They were lucky enough to get high paying jobs that I never got. I worked for one employer for 25 years and my loyalty was rewarded with low wages and no retirement. Now after 25 years of teaching at the University of San Francisco part time, I earn the whopping sum of $24,000 a year. Meanwhile a guy I know with no college education is making $90,000. He’s obnoxious about it and I don’t know how he stays employed as he is such a loud mouth.

Hang in there. Hopefully better days are around the corner for both of us. Best wishes.

Re: No assets – please help!

old furnitureI’m living on old furniture and painted concrete floors. I run some paint over the worst spots every six month or a year, have washable bath mats. I can’t get new flooring or tiles until I have paid off a lot of my debt.

The furniture, short of 2 desks, a flat TV and a fourteen year old sofa-sleeper and love seat are all from my folks. When I rented and lived in a flat overseas in the UK, I got crafty:

Headboards: Go to a notions/crafts store get One 8″-12″ diameter ring, can be wood or metal. Hang the ring about 2′ above your bed. Running sheer coloured or white fabric through and around the ring, to leave about 6′ hanging’, then, with thumbtacks, affix the bottom of the fabric splayed out behind the bed itself. if you want, 2 small artificial nosegays can be stuck to the wall at say the mid-point above your pillows.

Depending on the kid’s ages and genders, a large piece of felt, any colour, can be stuck to the wall with thumbtacks or ‘blu-tack’ which will not put holes in your walls… going from about 2-3 feet above their pillows to a foot behind their bed, and you and they can cut out shapes of animals and so on for them to have a felt board play land above their own beds. They can take the shapes and set a new scene every day/week/month/etc

Hitting the thrift store for a small dinette set and later, getting some fun paint and metallic pens etc, you can dress these things up. Hey, we call it all ‘Retro’ now!

If you lived close to me, *I* have a table and chairs you could have. Nothing wrong with ‘hand me downs’ call it recycling ! In our ‘disposable society’ many decent, good pieces are simply turfed out and they would so be loved and cared about by others.

But, Shay, one more thing if I may, many folks with all those nice things do NOT have a happy family. Their kids are usually left to their own, both parents working and there’s really not a lot of happiness in those nice places. Look at what you DO have, embrace them all hard and realize you may in fact be richer than many. I do have some nice things, but no mom and dad, no sisters or brothers, no kids. Just me, my fella and five dogs. Those dogs bring me a lot of joy. Your endeavors to trash the debt will hold many rewards for you in due time.

No assets – please help!

I’m frustrated!

I’ve been married 10+ years w/3 children. We rent and have no “good” furniture. We eat off of a card table and fold up chairs. We have a free stained couch. Our mattress is 12+ years old. We have no headboards and the dressers are hand me downs. We have old do it yourself put together desks, dressers, and entertainment center. There isn’t one thing in our house that I would consider a nice piece of furniture. You would think we made terrible money, but we make six figures! We are working very hard to pay off our debt and not use credit cards.

In addition, when I look at the things we do have, I can hardly find one thing that we actually bought ourselves. Christmas presents, birthdays, and wedding gifts are what surround me. Our families are generous, but when I realize all we’ve ever bought were a toaster oven and computer equipment, it frustrates me.

How do others budget and purchase things for their home? What priority is this in your life? Do you have a special category for home furnishings, household items and furniture?

In the past I would have just thought about putting it on a credit card, but no more. I just don’t know how to pay off debt and somehow make our surroundings more pleasing and not embarrassing.

I am just amazed when I go to others homes and see lots of furniture and even more amazed when it is beautifully decorated. Please, somebody tell me how everyone but me is able to decorate their homes. I’m clueless…

used furnitureMy hubby and I have been married almost 10 years. We just bought our home last summer. Before that, we rented apartments (ugh).

ALL of my furniture has been purchased (with cash) from thrift stores, garage sales or off of Craig’s List. You’d be amazed at what you can find.

Just a couple weeks ago, I got a nearly new sectional with two recliners – that have built in massage – and a queen size hide a bed off of Craig’s List My cost? ZERO! Some woman had bought it then didn’t like it so she bought something else. The power of credit cards, I’m guessing. So, instead of selling the set she didn’t like, she gave it away.

My dining room table – a beautiful oak set with tile inlay on the top came from Craig’s List. $75.

All my furnishings are like that right down to the curtains. In fact, I don t think I’ve bought anything new for my house now that I think about it. Yet, everyone that comes over comments on how beautiful it is.

It takes time to do it this way. But, start looking and thinking previously owned.

Good luck!