In which I bare my soul, and credit cards.

 

Last night my husband told me that we have a decision to make about land that we own.

We have land abroad (in Israel) that is currently undeveloped. The city wants to  start building homes in that area, and has asked for those who own property to either:

a) give a down payment for the development in the next two months ($35,000)

 or

 b) sell.

The problem is, which I have spoken about countless times (and screamed from the rooftops) is: we are a ONE income household barely making ends meet. On top of that, we are about $30,000 in the hole. That’s right, student loans, car loan, credit card debt has brought us to that point.

1/3 of the debt is all me.

My fault.

I did it.

I wont lie.

I cant sugarcoat it.

I do have a spending issue.

The thing is, I work ALL THE TIME. I work because, I have no choice. I work because I have two children and a husband who decided late in life to get a college degree. I get home right in time to help feed dinner to my girls, change them in to PJ’s and put them to bed. They don’t see me at all.

No wonder they refuse to get off their dad’s lap to hug me. He’s with them all the time. I cry because of this.

The guilt kills me.

The pressure kills me.

So of course, the only outlet I have is shopping.

I buy everything.

Just this past week I purchased:

  • Shoes for my husband and I ($150)
  • A pressure cooker                    ($50)
  • A bread maker                           ($70)
  • A cookbook for the bread maker ($20)
  • Two mini sofa chairs for the girls   ($50)
  • Brazilian hair straightening ($250)

Did I need all this stuff?

No.

Did it make me feel good buying them, and receiving them in the mail?

 Yes. 

Is it temporary?

Yes.

I have all these underlying issues that are keeping me from being financially secure.

I told my husband that we should sell the land, pay off ALL OUR DEBT and have his dad keep the rest of the money for us for when we move to Israel in 3 years.

My husband refuses. He says he doesn’t trust me and that if we get our debt down to zero, I will bring it back up again.

I want to tell him he’s wrong… but I cant.

I want to tell him that this time will be different, but I don’t trust myself.

I told him that if we paid off our debt, we w0nt have to pay interest fees anymore- that’s money we are throwing away. He says that it makes total sense, but still doesn’t trust me.

My husband doesn’t trust me.

It hurts, but I cant blame him.

He heard that his best friend just bought a house. It really hit home for him. I told him that his friend graduated college a few years ago, that this friend is expecting his first child only now, and that our paths are different from his.

I want to be able to tell him that will be us in a few years, but can I really?

Can I really trust myself?

I want to make a change,  I want to have a financial future that is better than my parents. They have never owned a home and have lived from hand to mouth even when they had a lot of money.

I want better for  myself and my family.

I want to make this change.

I need to make this change.

 

I’m just not sure how.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “In which I bare my soul, and credit cards.

  1. cuteellaisbold

    I don’t know what to tell you…I do know that there are a lot of personal finance blogs out there who might be able to guide you. Many who started off in debt and are now doing very well. Let me know if you want a few to check out. I follow several of them on Twitter if you want to take a peak.

    Reply
  2. IdleMindOfBeth

    let me first say that I understand – I’m there (in many ways) – and I’m in the process of working my way out of it

    not to sound too cliche, but you just started the change. you made it public, inviting people to support you, and hold you accountable.

    I agree with cuteellaisbold, there are LOTS of personal finance bloggers out there, LOTS of them. You could start there, or with Dave Ramsey’s program, or with a simple google search for something like “debt reduction plan”, or at your local library. There is a TON of info out there on the subject.

    My best assvice is to do some research, pick a strategy, and start it. Give it a couple of weeks, or a month, and then tweak (or trash) it, and go from there.

    The best thing I’ve done to help get control of our finances was to list EVERY SINGLE THING I buy, EVER. (Well, except for cash, but I’m a debit card girl.) I set up a spreadsheet and categorize it all, so that I can’t argue with myself about why I “needed” this and that and the other thing at the end of the month, but have to pay the mortgage late because the money isn’t in the account. After a couple months of seeing it in black and white, it really made me stop and think, BEFORE buying xyz blah blah that I wanted, or “needed”.

    Good luck with it. It’s a long, sucky journey, but it feels OH SO GOOD to make progress on it!

    Reply
  3. clearheaded

    I LOVE mint.com. You enter all of your credit cards, atm cards, and other accounts. It gives you a blow by blow accounting of your expenditures. It is painful. For instance, I have spent (this is painful to admit) over $3K this year in insufficient fund fees. Why? Because I too have a spending problem. But with mint.com I have really gotten a hold of my spending, now the issue is making enough money to support little things like my mortgage and utilities.

    Side note: when you do get to Israel, you and I do know that spending on clothes will go down, unless you can fit into the whole “Kulum olim arbaim shekelim” mess (that’s what those stores were when I lived there).

    Reply
  4. heather...

    I had as much credit card debt as you…maybe even a little more. It took me years to pay it off. Once I did? I gave all the credit cards to Mike. It sucked, but it was the only way I could prove to him that I wouldn’t spend any more.

    Suck. I wish I had a million dollars, I would give it all to you.

    xoxo

    Reply
  5. Sugar & Ice

    If you really want to make a change, then do it! I am a mega saver. I haven’t always been this way, but since I’ve been on my own I have been about as frugal as they come. I also don’t want the financial fate my parents have. Find a strategy that works for you. My brother and sister in law did the Dave Ram.sey strategy, and it forced them to save a ton. It’s like money boot camp though…so be prepared!

    Reply
  6. eden

    Mate.

    I did exactly what Heather did, and gave my credit card to Dave. Annoying, but true. Now money is tight so we are racking the bills up again. I hate money.

    Good luck with it. And don’t forget … you are STRONG. You had TWO PREEMIE BABIES. Debt? Pfffffffft. Puh-lease. Once Gemini Girl puts her mind to something, she can do ANYTHING. xoxox

    Reply
  7. pillarr1

    My personal experience make me look at things a lot different. I used to make a lot of money and spent it too. I had a TON of debt, like 70K not including my student loan. Then I lost my job! What was I going to do. There is nothing like no income flow to make you straighten up. Luckily, I got married 2 months later and was able to give up my apartment and move in with my now husband. I owned a house in Florida that I sold and paid off all of my debt except the student loan. If I didn’t have that house I would have been screwed. Now we have no car payment, no credit card debt, and we are renting out another house that we own. I don’t work but my husband does so we do OK. My advice to you is think about if you lost your job – what would you do? Don’t put your family at risk like this. I know you deserve to spend, but get this under control (and it will take years) and you will be able to live without the stress. Decide you are going to pay one thing off and do it. Then move on to the next thing.

    Reply
  8. Aubrie

    I’ve been reading your blog for months but have never commented until now. I feel what you’re going through. I used to be a crazy saver, had a ton in savings and no debt except student loans (mostly because I didn’t want to be like my parents who are now going through bankruptcy and possibly losing their home they have lived in for 25 years).
    Fast forward two years, two moves to different states, living on my own for the first time, getting married, having a house that falls a part, now a car that falls a part and getting fired for the first time in my life…I have no savings and tons of debt and married a man with his own debt. We were doing a good job of paying things off, but aren’t sure what we will do once I stop getting paychecks if I don’t find another job. We are trying to pay things off so we can start a family, but now that seems like it will never happen. And then I find myself spending money on idiotic things because I am bummed out and at home with nothing to do. My mom started going to a therapist for her spending and I am trying to pick up and try some of the things she has to do. Money is sad and hard and horrible…

    Reply
  9. kerry

    You’re so brave for talking about this.
    I would say to sell the land and pay off the loans then CUT UP the credit cards and close the accounts. Maybe except for one since you need that for your credit rating. But do not use it!

    I completely understand it’s an emotional thing. I know you were talking about it in therapy. How is that going?

    Reply
  10. Aubrie

    There is an interesting article in this months Oprah about spending and why we do it. Not really any suggestions on how to stop, but interesting nonetheless.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s