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Socialized
Oct 27, 2010


I posted in the "Bad With Money" thread, and was recommended to make my own thread here about my economic woes.

This is what I said in that thread:

We have 250 dollars [≈ cost of PS3 gaming system, 2011] in our checking account and 10 in our savings. We have 3 relatively low limit (highest is $3000) credit cards, all of which are nearly maxed out. I have about 2000 dollars [≈ One Starbucks latte per day for a year] in student loans, and have been bad at paying them back. I was able to defer for a while, but now I have until February to get rid of my past-due balance before I default (its only 150 dollars though). My wife has over $30,000 [≈ Per capita income - Netherlands, 2005] in student loans, but we've been pretty good at making those payments.

I bring in $1900 [≈ One Starbucks latte per day for a year] a month working a full time job along with a second, part time job. My wife doesn't work. She tries to sell stuff through one of those Mary Kay-style companies, but has very few customers and has spent much more on updating her stock and placing orders to keep her account active than she has made in profit. She has earned less than $1000 [≈ Traditional cell phone cost per year] in the past two years doing this. So, this isn't very much money at all for two people. We even decided against enrolling in my company's 401k program because having so much taken out of my check every week would be disaster.

We have a higher than average grocery budget because we get a lot of junky food and are impulsive when it comes to grocery shopping. We also eat out a lot and she drinks at bars with friends fairly regularly (and is bad at bar dice). Add to this online shopping habits, a monthly Zales payment, a monthly massage appointment, and now a monthly payment for a $1000 [≈ Traditional cell phone cost per year] Verlo mattress. At least the rent for our 1-bedroom apartment is decent (500 a month with water, heat, and electricity included). Did I mention we have four (4) cats, too? All they do is eat and poo poo in a box and pee outside the drat box which really adds up as well.

We do get some help from generous family. When the brakes went out for the second time on my car, my in-laws gave us one of their old ones and bought a new Ford for themselves. He payed the car insurance ahead, so that's a cost we don't have to worry about for a little while.

I've been complacent for a while and have been only recently really paying attention to our finances and wrangle them into order. Things have gotten a bit better, we don't bounce checks nearly as often (but just did a week ago).

We are pretty young (I'm 21, she's 22, and we got married two years ago) but this is just dumb. I also feel my wife has unrealistic expectations. She's talking about having kids soon and wants to buy a house, going so far as to talk to a realtor and see if we could be approved for a mortgage. The banker never bothered to even call back. I'm just glad we're very healthy and have few medical expenses, just $50 for my contacts every 3 months.


So please, I really need help getting my life on track before I run away/divorce/stop giving a poo poo about anything. I will answer any questions to the best of my ability as the thread goes along. Obviously there is a lot of E/N attached to this. I'm not going to make a thread there, but I don't know how kosher it is to delve into it here. I guess if asked about it, I will try to answer. I remember reading part of Zaurg's thread, and several people mentioned him in the other thread. Is this Zaurg-level nonsense? How did his saga end?

JohnnyRnR posted:

All of your financial problems can be solved by your wife getting a fast food or gas station job.

You'll be just fine.

grack posted:

Convincing someone to do this can be very, very difficult, especially if they have a post-secondary education (as his wife clearly does).

Exactly this. The grocery store nearby (where I work my second job) is almost always hiring new people, especially now as college and high school students are going back to school, starting at $9 per hour. That's pretty good for a cashier/bagger, right? Well, that's below her. She says she doesn't want a job where she's face to face with customers that often. Her explanation is that she's done it before (a Dairy Queen job in high school for a few months and cold-calling alumni in college) and hated it. When I bring it up, she says I "don't get it" because I've never had a job like that.

reflex posted:

Tell your wife to get a job because marriage is a team sport, she's sitting on the bench, and you're both losing because of it.

I have told her she needs to get a job many many times. I'm almost to the point of giving up on that. I know all her responses by now. She's applied everywhere but of course no one has called back because no one is hiring. No, she hasn't followed up on any of them, she's never done it in the past and got hired before! If I tell her I'm worried about our situation, she tells me I have no right to because I don't know what we can and can't afford because I don't actually handle the finances. Which, sadly, is true. I haven't been paying attention to our finances and bills because I left it to her because she doesn't work. I earned the money, she spent it. Obviously, this is was a huge mistake.

froglet posted:

Would it be cheaper for you if she just quit the Mary Kay thing? I know a lot of these enterprises involve buying your own stock and it sounds like she's buying in more than she can sell, so maybe it'd be cheaper if she just stopped buying stuff and allowed her account to go inactive? Maybe she could get a job with regular hours instead?

I think it would be, yes. She actually sells very little. Sometimes she'll order stuff for her friends who are broke and promise to pay her as soon as possible. Most take a while. One friend owes $50 right now, and another owed us $90 dollars for almost a year before paying us back. Between that bullshit, ordering product to keep her account active even if she's not selling anything, and how often they change their product line, it's a money sink.

drat Bananas posted:

Holy crap, the Mary Kay-offshoot doesn't get to be counted as a "job" if she's made less than $1000 in two years. That's less than $10 a week! Even with the worst hours possible in fast food, retail, etc you'll make a lot more than that. Is she still in school? Did she get the degree?

She dropped out of school after her third year. Her major was Psychology, with a minor in theater and human development. She realized that she would need years more of grad school to get anywhere with that sort of degree and didn't want to do that. She lost her loans after being on academic probation for too many semesters due to poor grades so we couldn't afford it. Her excuse for the grades were because of major stress from working so much (alumni association and the theater) and from planning our wedding (her mother almost ruined it and wasn't onboard until almost 3 months before the date).

Jeffrey posted:

I have a feeling I know my response to this future E/N thread already.

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Juanito
Jan 20, 2004

I wasn't paying attention
to what you just said.

Can you repeat yourself
in a more interesting way?


Socialized posted:

I have told her she needs to get a job many many times. I'm almost to the point of giving up on that. I know all her responses by now. She's applied everywhere but of course no one has called back because no one is hiring. No, she hasn't followed up on any of them, she's never done it in the past and got hired before! If I tell her I'm worried about our situation, she tells me I have no right to because I don't know what we can and can't afford because I don't actually handle the finances. Which, sadly, is true. I haven't been paying attention to our finances and bills because I left it to her because she doesn't work. I earned the money, she spent it. Obviously, this is was a huge mistake.
I think this is where you need to start. It sounds like you've started, but you need to figure out exactly what is going on, and then rein in the spending. Time to handle your finances, man, because it's going to destroy your relationship.

Is there a neutral wise third party you might be able to involve? Like an older family friend, or someone else who your wife would be willing to listen to? Sometimes it helps so she's not just hearing it from you. My sister had serious financial problems with her husband, and someone from the church they went to was able to start meeting with them and get them on track with getting out of debt, and not blowing all their money.

Monthly massage appointments? This is a bad expense considering the bills you've mentioned. Learn how to give each other massages and save that money.

Night Gaunt
Jan 9, 2007



I don't think anyone is going to have much to say until you post a list of your expenses. Tell your wife that you'd like to work on the finances together and look at how she keeps track. You can also make an account on Mint.

Aside from that, can you please tell me what jobs are worthy enough in your wife's eyes? She's a dropout with terrible grades. No one's going to be falling over themselves to hire someone like that.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

You probably both suck at money but your wife's mentality sounds worse, so yes there are definitely parallels here with Zaurg, although their income was much higher and his wife worked at least. At least you don't have a kid or a house, that's good.

She needs to be told that her financial mindset is completely broken, but it needs to come from someone whose authority/financial wisdom she respects and who she doesn't have a tight relationship with (so definitely not you, and probably not close friends/family).

razz
Dec 26, 2005

Queen of Maceration


Sounds like the only poor decision you've made is marrying a lazy entitled brat (and not discussing financial expectations before marriage). Hope you don't mind supporting her for the rest of your life.

Also, why do you let her handle the finances?

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


razz posted:

Sounds like the only poor decision you've made is marrying a lazy entitled brat

She's still the guys wife, that's a bit much.

OP, I'm sorry your having to go through this poo poo, it sucks, but I'm just going to put it out there that you really need to consider if this is the right person to spend the rest of your life with. Think about it now while it's still relatively easy to get out of this relationship. Don't wait until you have kids to realize this might have been a mistake.

I won't even touch your financial issues right now, but take some time alone, even if you have to go sit in a parking lot for an hour, and really think about things.

Bruegels Fuckbooks
Sep 14, 2004

i keep my word and i will kill you like i said
killing me? thats impossible for anyone


You need a divorce, stat. This is the best time to do it because neither of you have any money.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

If I remember right, zaurg's thread ended with basically unanimous calls from goons for


I definitely wouldn't immediately jump to the big D, but if your wife refuses to rein in her atrocious spending habits and financial mindset, you may have to consider the option. Marriages are a partnership, finances are a big part of it, and if you're on completely different pages, that can easily be a dealbreaker along the same lines of kids/no kids.

Main Paineframe
Oct 27, 2010
LIKES: GUMMI BEARS

DISLIKES: JEWS, BLACKS, GAYS, HISPANICS, GYPSIES, ABORIGINES


Rein in your spending. Your wife's minimal income is a problem, yes, but the problem here is that you're spending way more than you make. You can't solely blame your wife, either. When all your cards are maxed out, you're way behind on your student loans, and you're bouncing checks on a regular basis, you don't have to carefully examine the financials to know it's time to cancel the monthly massage appointments and say "no" to financing a $1000 mattress. Your combined income is lower than it could be, but the real issue is that you overspend on everything except rent, and make no effort to keep your expenses lower than your income.

That said, you need to put your foot down. That bit she said about you not knowing what the two of you can afford? You really needed to call bullshit right there. "The financials" are actually pretty simple - you know exactly how much you make at the two jobs you work, right? Well, your monthly mandatory expenses and your discretionary spending should add up to less than that. With all those debt payments and ridiculous extravagances, you're probably blowing more than half your income on monthly payments alone, before even factoring in your "impulsive" shopping habits or her penchant for drunken gambling or the four pets. It's not impossible for a couple to live on $1900/mo, but it requires actual fiscal discipline, which neither of you really seem to realize the importance of.

Go tally up your monthly recurring expenses, and subtract them from your monthly income. Whatever's left is the absolute maximum you can afford to spend on food, pets, going out, drinking, gambling, and online shopping each month. And involve your wife. You two need to learn these lessons together.

fiery_valkyrie
Mar 26, 2003

you're obviously confused and aroused


I know we're all still a bit jaded by our years of experience with Zaurg, but I think the first page is a little too soon to jump to the divorce option....

OP, there are definitely a lot of similarities between your situation and what we saw with Zaurg, it certainly wouldn't hurt for you to re-read his first thread to see what advice was offered there, but the absolute basic that you need to start with is a budget.

You and your wife, together, need to draw up a budget and then stick to it. No matter what else you do, individually or together, you are guaranteed to fail unless you have a budget that you both agreed on together.

Unfortunately drawing up a budget as a couple can have some pitfalls, because you're not just deciding how to spend your money. You're deciding as a couple where you see your relationship heading, what your priorities are (babies? mortgage? travel? early retirement? working parents? one partner staying at home? further education?)If you haven't really discussed any of that stuff before, it could be challenging, but you need to talk about this because budgets need goals. What are your short, mid and long term goals and how are you going to pay for them?

My advice is to start there and see how you go.

Good luck, and keep us updated.

HookShot
Dec 26, 2005

"You dont mess with the matters of the wombat the end of the day it is still murder."


Also OP, the Zaurg saga never ended. He almost made a really good financial decision that would have led to them owning their home free and clear and being debt free in something like 5-10 years (I can't remember the details) but then his wife convinced him it was a terrible idea. Then she got pregnant again and Zaurg closed the thread.

Accretionist
Nov 7, 2012


Why is she still doing the Mary Kay thing? She'd make more via paid surveys.

Engineer Lenk
Aug 28, 2003

Mnogo losho e!

Socialized posted:

Exactly this. The grocery store nearby (where I work my second job) is almost always hiring new people, especially now as college and high school students are going back to school, starting at $9 per hour. That's pretty good for a cashier/bagger, right? Well, that's below her. She says she doesn't want a job where she's face to face with customers that often. Her explanation is that she's done it before (a Dairy Queen job in high school for a few months and cold-calling alumni in college) and hated it. When I bring it up, she says I "don't get it" because I've never had a job like that.

How does this logic work? Clearly you know exactly what that job entails.

If she's on board with a moderate religious component to finance stuff, look into Dave Ramsey. I think getting her in a group situation with other folks with similar money woes will help her realize she needs to get a job, and she doesn't have the luxury of being over-picky.

Cicero
Dec 17, 2003

Jumpjet, melta, jumpjet. Repeat for ten minutes or until victory is assured.

fiery_valkyrie posted:

You and your wife, together, need to draw up a budget and then stick to it. No matter what else you do, individually or together, you are guaranteed to fail unless you have a budget that you both agreed on together.
The immediate problem isn't really that they don't have a budget, although it wouldn't hurt to make one, especially to help make a case for change. The immediate problem is that their financial attitudes are broken, the wife's especially if low-wage jobs are "below her", she works for an MLM instead of a real job, and she wants a house and kids even though they're both poor AND in major debt.

Now, the simple fact that the OP posted this thread indicates he realizes they're in terrible shape and he's probably willing to make the necessary, painful adjustments (not to mention he already has two jobs). So getting his wife onboard in terms of financial mindset is the next major step, without that there can be no substantial change.

THE RED MENACE
Jul 24, 2007

Shots ring out from the center of an empty field.
Torii's in the tall grass.
He's a beautiful mental jukebox, a sailboat explosion.
A snap of electric whipcrack.


Socialized posted:

The grocery store nearby (where I work my second job) is almost always hiring new people, especially now as college and high school students are going back to school, starting at $9 per hour. That's pretty good for a cashier/bagger, right? Well, that's below her. She says she doesn't want a job where she's face to face with customers that often.

quote:

She dropped out of school after her third year. Her major was Psychology, with a minor in theater and human development. She realized that she would need years more of grad school to get anywhere with that sort of degree and didn't want to do that. She lost her loans after being on academic probation for too many semesters due to poor grades so we couldn't afford it.

What the gently caress. That's a pretty lovely attitude to have about work (especially in this economy). Six months ago I was doing delivery at minimum wage for a construction company. I have a degree in aerospace engineering from a a top 10 university. She needs to get her poo poo together.

If your wife ever decides to be an adult this will be a lot easier for you both.

Main Paineframe
Oct 27, 2010
LIKES: GUMMI BEARS

DISLIKES: JEWS, BLACKS, GAYS, HISPANICS, GYPSIES, ABORIGINES


Cicero posted:

The immediate problem isn't really that they don't have a budget, although it wouldn't hurt to make one, especially to help make a case for change. The immediate problem is that their financial attitudes are broken, the wife's especially if low-wage jobs are "below her", she works for an MLM instead of a real job, and she wants a house and kids even though they're both poor AND in major debt.

Now, the simple fact that the OP posted this thread indicates he realizes they're in terrible shape and he's probably willing to make the necessary, painful adjustments (not to mention he already has two jobs). So getting his wife onboard in terms of financial mindset is the next major step, without that there can be no substantial change.

Before the wife can be brought onboard, the OP has to be brought onboard. Their current spending habits are absolutely horrible, which I think is actually worse than the wife's refusal to get a real job or her dreams of having a house anytime this decade. Combined they're making about $23k, yet the OP doesn't even hint at trying to get their extravagant spending under control. He's almost entirely focused on the fact that his wife doesn't have a real job, but that won't fix their "impulsive" grocery shopping or their online shopping "habit". He's clearly not really taking this seriously enough, because if he was, the fact that his wife is wasting money on loving bar gambling while they're maxing out their credit cards and bouncing checks should be driving him absolutely loving nuts. These are fundamental problems in the way they treat the money they do have, and adding another part-time $9/hr job isn't going to help by itself - they'll just expand their lifestyle to fit the increased income if they don't get their spending habits under control.

Hell, let's look at some estimated monthly costs (I'm making a lot of assumptions, obviously):
Rent: $500
Cats: $120 ($30 per cat)
Her Loan: $350
His Loan: $40
Mattress: $83 (assuming they're making payments for a year and there's no fees or interest whatsoever)
Contacts: $17 (I'm breaking the quarterly cost down into a monthly one)
Monthly Massage: $60?
Credit Cards: $280 (assuming 4% minimum payments, one $3000 card and two $2000 cards)
A loving diamond store: who knows?

Okay, so just from the stuff in the first post, with plenty of items missing or unknown, we're already up to $1450 a month in expenses. Now, his total income is about $1900. So they're already down to $450 to spend for the entire month. Can they fit food expenses, going out to eat constantly, going out drinking, impulsive shopping behavior, an online shopping 'habit', and "being bad at bar dice" into $450 a month? Maybe they could fit half that stuff into that budget if they were careful, but they're not careful at all with their finances. Even if their income went up enough to pay for their current habits, though, pretty much everything on that list are things whose costs can easily expand along with one's income. No amount of income is going to save a pair so addicted to buying poo poo on a whim without thinking it through; the wife's low income is something that needs to be addressed, sure, but it'll all just be wasted if the two of you don't learn to think before you buy.

Eden
Jul 1, 2007
One hella classy dinosaur

OP please please please just promise us that until this is all sorted out, you WILL NOT have a baby! Wrap that poo poo up because even besides the massive amounts of E/N and immaturity involved, you cannot even nearly afford a baby right now or in the near future.

I don't even know where to start because your situation is a mess. Counselling would be great as you and your wife obviously have some kind of communication issues at least, and you have a lot of things to work through to get her on board. Is there any way you could afford it/get cheap counselling?

I think you probably already know what things need to be cut. Massages (who gets those and why?), bars/drinking/gambling, junk food and eating out (she doesn't work, why can't she cook!?), buying $1000 mattresses, online shopping habits, Mary Kay "job", I won't touch the cats because that leads into stupid derails.

Do you think you can cut these things? As I said, your wife needs to get on board here and if she doesn't, you guys have serious issues. She also needs a job. I get a feeling she might be right into the housewife mindset with the way she's talking but you know her better than me.

What work do you do? Is there any way you could be earning more?

It would be great if you could post a proper budget/financial outline.

Edit to add: You also need to change your mindset. Don't say things like "car insurance is paid ahead so we don't need to worry about that for a while". Yes you do. You're living paycheck to paycheck. How do you think you will be able to afford it in the future? You need to start saving now.

Eden fucked around with this message at Aug 17, 2013 around 08:39

April
Jul 3, 2006



I'm going to take a different approach here, and assume that the OP is not going to change his wife right now, and that he's going to have to start by working with what he has.

So:

First, OP, can you please post a list of all the credit cards and loans, with balances, interest rates, and payments? Also, your expenses (including massage, cats, etc) in an average month? Let's look at some actual numbers here, and see what we are dealing with. You might be able to get a forbearance or deferral on the loans, but without some other changes (as others have noted), it won't help you.

Once we have this information, we can help you put together a budget, to try to get some of this under control. Do not advance to the next step until you have a workable, sustainable budget.

Second, open a bank account in your name only and have the bulk of your paychecks deposited into it. You are the one working these jobs, changing your direct deposit shouldn't be a problem. Give your wife an allowance for the fun things she wants. Yes, I know exactly how demeaning and awful that sounds. But if you are trying to take control and make changes you need to genuinely take control. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU GET TO BLOW MONEY ON WHATEVER YOU WANT. It means that you will take full responsibility for paying all the bills and allocating funds for food, cat care, and so on. It also means that you are going to have to be the one to make the hard changes, and hope that she'll follow along.

DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU ARE FULLY COMMITTED TO FIXING YOUR FINANCES. If you take control of all the money coming in, and continue doing stupid poo poo while restricting your wife's spending, it's a guaranteed divorce. And given that she hasn't worked since you got married, you'll probably be stuck with alimony.

Third, if your wife doesn't want to work customer-intensive jobs, but does seem willing to work, have her contact Manpower. If she has some basic typing/computer skills, she can probably get some secretarial type work, and start building a resume for better positions. I don't know if she actually wants a job right now, you would know that better than us. Not having access to your income for a few weeks might change her mind though.

Finally, I want to add that you guys are really young, and you're in a position that couples decades older than you struggle with as well. It's going to be extremely hard to fix it, and you might not make it. The good news is, you guys are YOUNG!!! If you can fix this now, you will be miles ahead of everyone you know in a few years.

OP, let's have some concrete info here, and see if we can get you guys in a better place.

razz
Dec 26, 2005

Queen of Maceration


You guys that are posting budget advice are missing a really crucial part of the OP's post.

Socialized posted:

I haven't been paying attention to our finances and bills because I left it to her because she doesn't work. I earned the money, she spent it.

He makes all the money and she handles the finances. How is the OP supposed to get "on board"? What makes you think she's going to just all of a sudden say "Oh yeah honey you're right, we're kind of in a bad spot right now so I'll let you handle the finances from now on!"

Do you really think she's going to give that up willingly? She gets free access to the money to get massages, go to the bars, get 4 cats, etc. while the OP has to work two jobs. What's the incentive for her to want to change? She gets to sit at home and piddle with make-up and play with the cats and buy whatever she wants.

The OP basically said it ends in a huge fight every time he asks his wife to look for a job. Talking about budgeting is going to lead to the same huge fight. It's all just the same fight about money and power. They're going to fight, fight, fight about it every time any sort of financial issues gets brought up. Sorry OP. Sounds like you've gotten yourself into a pretty lovely situation. I don't really have any advice besides just saying "that sucks".

Leroy Diplowski
Aug 25, 2005

The Candyman Can

Visit My Candy Shop

And SA Mart Thread

I think the other posters have covered most of the major points, but I would like to address the whole your wife not working thing.

It's intuitive to tell someone they need to get a job many many times when they really do need to get a job, but it's usually the opposite of effective. Especially coming from a spouse.

You guys are going to (hopefully) be having a series of sit down conversations over the next couple of days and weeks. The stakes are pretty high for both your finances and the future of your relationship. There's a good chance that you are going to have to make some decisions that she's really going to hate. It's not going to be pretty, but there's one really important thing you can do to strengthen the relationship in the long term.

Listen to her.

Take as much time as it needs to let her say whatever she wants to say and take it all in with an open mind. Even if you do the opposite of everything she wants you to do (and judging by the op this will likely be the case) it will work wonders in easing the pain. Especially if you completely cut her spending off.

Once you're done listening be clear, concise, and decisive. If she goes nuts, threatens, etc when you start depositing your paycheck into an account that she cannot access just be calm.

You guys are young and now is about a billion times better that 5 years from now in tackling this issue. I think ya'll will be fine.

One thing that my wife and I did when we were newly married and broke was to have "free days" every so often. We'd leave our cards and cash at home and check out all the nearby parks, woods, lakes, rivers, fishing spots, libraries, government buildings, sports fields, or just wander the mall making fun of all the things we couldn't afford. The only rule was we couldn't spend a single dollar the entire day.

also, check out the the post about the work from home call answering in this thread. They need 1000 people, and $11 per hr isn't bad.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...enumber=37#pti8

E: for clarity

Leroy Diplowski fucked around with this message at Aug 17, 2013 around 17:17

HooKars
Feb 22, 2006
Comeon!

razz posted:

He makes all the money and she handles the finances. How is the OP supposed to get "on board"? What makes you think she's going to just all of a sudden say "Oh yeah honey you're right, we're kind of in a bad spot right now so I'll let you handle the finances from now on!"

Do you really think she's going to give that up willingly? She gets free access to the money to get massages, go to the bars, get 4 cats, etc. while the OP has to work two jobs. What's the incentive for her to want to change? She gets to sit at home and piddle with make-up and play with the cats and buy whatever she wants.

The OP basically said it ends in a huge fight every time he asks his wife to look for a job. Talking about budgeting is going to lead to the same huge fight. It's all just the same fight about money and power. They're going to fight, fight, fight about it every time any sort of financial issues gets brought up. Sorry OP. Sounds like you've gotten yourself into a pretty lovely situation. I don't really have any advice besides just saying "that sucks".

Sometimes people don't realize that their situation is really that dire until they sit down and actually analyze it together and look at it from a mindset of life goals they are working towards and how things that matter very little in the short term like Starbucks or massages are actually keeping them from their long term goals. People get complacent and like to hide their heads in the sand and go with the flow. Framing it in a way of looking towards the future and getting your poo poo together to work towards common life goals can be a much bigger incentive to get turned around then personal attacks on spending or employment, it becomes less of a blame game and more about working towards a common goal as a team, even if it's going to be a challenge. It certainly doesn't hurt to try. He's the one working so he has a right to know and should be involved in managing the finances - if she's not happy with that then like someone else stated, he can actually forcibly take it away from her by setting up a new account. Obvoiusly he shouldn't immediately jump to that though and I do think it's going to be tough - unfortunately when you're 20 and 21, there often aren't major life goals in the near future that seem worth working for and making sacrifices for, they just feel too abstract and far away.

I would like to see a budget of what you think your monthly spending is. Its hard to give advice without that.

Higgy
Jul 6, 2005

That'll do Piggly. That'll do.


Socialized posted:



We have 250 dollars [≈ cost of PS3 gaming system, 2011] in our checking account and 10 in our savings. We have 3 relatively low limit (highest is $3000) credit cards, all of which are nearly maxed out. I have about 2000 dollars [≈ One Starbucks latte per day for a year] in student loans, and have been bad at paying them back. I was able to defer for a while, but now I have until February to get rid of my past-due balance before I default (its only 150 dollars though). My wife has over $30,000 [≈ Per capita income - Netherlands, 2005] in student loans, but we've been pretty good at making those payments.


What is the balance on your credit cards and what are the % APRs on each one?
How much, exactly, is left on each of the two student loans you mentioned?

Socialized posted:

I bring in $1900 [≈ One Starbucks latte per day for a year] a month working a full time job along with a second, part time job. My wife doesn't work. She tries to sell stuff through one of those Mary Kay-style companies, but has very few customers and has spent much more on updating her stock and placing orders to keep her account active than she has made in profit. She has earned less than $1000 [≈ Traditional cell phone cost per year] in the past two years doing this. So, this isn't very much money at all for two people. We even decided against enrolling in my company's 401k program because having so much taken out of my check every week would be disaster.

Your wife is making negative dollars, get her to stop that at the very least. Is the $1900/month for just the full time job or is that both combined?

Socialized posted:

We have a higher than average grocery budget because we get a lot of junky food and are impulsive when it comes to grocery shopping. We also eat out a lot and she drinks at bars with friends fairly regularly (and is bad at bar dice). Add to this online shopping habits, a monthly Zales payment, a monthly massage appointment, and now a monthly payment for a $1000 [≈ Traditional cell phone cost per year] Verlo mattress. At least the rent for our 1-bedroom apartment is decent (500 a month with water, heat, and electricity included). Did I mention we have four (4) cats, too? All they do is eat and poo poo in a box and pee outside the drat box which really adds up as well.

Estimate your monthly grocery expenses to the nearest whole number.
Estimate your "entertainment".
How much per month for Zales, massage, and the mattress?
How much for cat supplies?
See the pattern here?

Socialized posted:

We do get some help from generous family. When the brakes went out for the second time on my car, my in-laws gave us one of their old ones and bought a new Ford for themselves. He payed the car insurance ahead, so that's a cost we don't have to worry about for a little while.

How far ahead? Do you know how much this cost will end up being and when you should expect to pay it?

Socialized posted:

I've been complacent for a while and have been only recently really paying attention to our finances and wrangle them into order. Things have gotten a bit better, we don't bounce checks nearly as often (but just did a week ago).


Socialized posted:

We are pretty young (I'm 21, she's 22, and we got married two years ago) but this is just dumb. I also feel my wife has unrealistic expectations. She's talking about having kids soon and wants to buy a house, going so far as to talk to a realtor and see if we could be approved for a mortgage. The banker never bothered to even call back. I'm just glad we're very healthy and have few medical expenses, just $50 for my contacts every 3 months.

You cannot afford kids or a house right now so just put that out to pasture. You need to list out your monthly expenditures. Itemize and categorize and combine that with your monthly income. You will never have a good idea of where you stand if you keep guessing at this stuff.

Accretionist
Nov 7, 2012


Does your wife truly acknowledge and accept that you two are poor as poo poo?

HelloIAmYourHeart
Dec 29, 2008

Send us signals in the glow
of night windows


Why did you guys get married so young? Was there religion involved? I don't think religion actually has anything to do with your finances, I'm just curious.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002

This could be too paranoid to be effective, but it's a thought.

...

See, stuff like that make me confident in my decision to convert a Jovian moon mine shaft into a survival bunker!

Eden posted:

Massages (who gets those and why?)

I get massages every once in a while.

Why? Because my neck/back is like knotty iron and it feels goddamned fantastic to have someone who knows what they're doing get in there and work it.

That said, they're a sometimes thing (maybe once or twice a year) and I can absolutely afford it. The OP, on the other hand, sounds like he can definitely have his wife cut that out, or he can just do it for her instead.

Eden
Jul 1, 2007
One hella classy dinosaur

Volmarias posted:

I get massages every once in a while.

Why? Because my neck/back is like knotty iron and it feels goddamned fantastic to have someone who knows what they're doing get in there and work it.

That said, they're a sometimes thing (maybe once or twice a year) and I can absolutely afford it. The OP, on the other hand, sounds like he can definitely have his wife cut that out, or he can just do it for her instead.

That's what I was trying to get at - if one of them has an injury or something that they use the massages to relieve. However, as you said, you can afford it whereas they can't, certainly not with that frequency.

April
Jul 3, 2006



No updates or additional information, I'm guessing the OP told his wife about the thread, and she didn't react well.

Socialized
Oct 27, 2010


April posted:

No updates or additional information, I'm guessing the OP told his wife about the thread, and she didn't react well.

I'm creating a post right now! Please be patient.

(dear god in hell no way am I going to tell her about this thread)

Socialized
Oct 27, 2010


Sorry to keep you all waiting. I thought you might appreciate some information about our debts. We do use mint, which is very handy to keep all this information in one area.

Credit Cards!

Citibank Platinum
Balance: $3,047.06 / $3,000
APR: 17.99%

UW Credit Union Student Visa
Balance: $996.70 / $1,000
APR: 11.85%

Chase Bank Credit Card
Balance: $498.26 / $500
APR: 18.24%



Student Loans!

NelNet Student Loan
Payoff Amount: $1,965.99
Monthly Payment: $50.00
Payoff Time: 40 months
This is my student loan, that I'm $150 behind on.

Great Lakes Stafford Loan 1
Payoff Amount: $4,352.11
Monthly Payment: $55.00
Payoff Time: 80 months

Great Lakes Stafford Loan 2
Payoff Amount: $5,437.47
Monthly Payment: $45.00
Payoff Time: 121 months

These two are my wife's. Its less than I thought, but she says that there is MAYBE another loan currently being deferred?

Other poo poo!

Verlo Mattress
Amount: $1,100
Monthly Payment: $91.66
APR: 0% until September 2014, then 29.99%
When we got married two years ago, we bought the cheapest (~$200) mattress we could find. For our two year anniversary we decided to upgrade to one that isn't complete poo poo. Of all our debts, I'm most okay with having this one. A nice mattress that will last a long time is completely worth it in my opinion. Also, this isn't on our credit. My father-in-law has a credit account with Verlo and bought it with that. We are making payments to him for this. This payment is second priority after rent, because if we miss a single payment on this, my mother-in-law will burn the Earth and we will never get a single favor from them ever again.

Zales
Amount: $1,031.95
Monthly Payment: $129.00
APR: 0% until April 2014, then 29.99%

Apparently when we first picked out my wife's rings, she wasn't very content with them because she couldn't get the jewelry store to solder/customize it the way she wanted. So I let myself get talked into upgrading them. I'm worried about this one. She was paying $50 a month instead of the full payment, and I just saw the other day how high the interest rate is and how close that time comes and did the math for how much we have to pay to get it payed off in time. gently caress.


I'm currently trying to hammer out a decent budget. I will post our current "budget" soon and also try to answer questions that have been asked so far.

Socialized
Oct 27, 2010


Okay, I'm going to answer questions. First off though, we had a HUGE fight yesterday and I kinda sorta ended up saying I didn't want to be married anymore because of her attitude and our situation. WELP. But then we made up and she's not mad anymore which is good, I guess? But as usual, things aren't resolved. She believes that I won't be happy unless she's making as much as or more than me, so she doesn't want to hear me talking about her lack of income unless I'm making 100% and she 0%. Part of this attitude comes from our past. Same goes for chores. I can't stand coming home to see my wife on her computer or sleeping, and seeing the apartment a cluttered mess, with dishes piling up, the litter boxes gross as hell, and all that stuff. I think she should be doing a lot more, considering how little she does to bring in more money. A big problem I have is a lack of motivation. I don't feel like doing the dishes because they'll just keep piling up. I'll the trash and recycling sit for a long time. I only vacuum once a week, but it needs to get done more often than that. I wasn't motivated to control our finances, and this is where it has gotten us.


Juanito posted:

Monthly massage appointments? This is a bad expense considering the bills you've mentioned. Learn how to give each other massages and save that money.

She hosed up her back in an ATV accident when she was a kid and has a lot of lower back pain. I've been trying to get a better at giving them myself, but I'm no match for a professional.


Engineer Lenk posted:

If she's on board with a moderate religious component to finance stuff, look into Dave Ramsey. I think getting her in a group situation with other folks with similar money woes will help her realize she needs to get a job, and she doesn't have the luxury of being over-picky.

She's not. Other people have mentioned trying to find someone who's authority she'd trust but isn't too close, and I really can't think of anyone.

Eden posted:

OP please please please just promise us that until this is all sorted out, you WILL NOT have a baby! Wrap that poo poo up because even besides the massive amounts of E/N and immaturity involved, you cannot even nearly afford a baby right now or in the near future.

I don't even know where to start because your situation is a mess. Counselling would be great as you and your wife obviously have some kind of communication issues at least, and you have a lot of things to work through to get her on board. Is there any way you could afford it/get cheap counselling?

I think you probably already know what things need to be cut. Massages (who gets those and why?), bars/drinking/gambling, junk food and eating out (she doesn't work, why can't she cook!?), buying $1000 mattresses, online shopping habits, Mary Kay "job", I won't touch the cats because that leads into stupid derails.

Do you think you can cut these things? As I said, your wife needs to get on board here and if she doesn't, you guys have serious issues. She also needs a job. I get a feeling she might be right into the housewife mindset with the way she's talking but you know her better than me.

What work do you do? Is there any way you could be earning more?

It would be great if you could post a proper budget/financial outline.

Edit to add: You also need to change your mindset. Don't say things like "car insurance is paid ahead so we don't need to worry about that for a while". Yes you do. You're living paycheck to paycheck. How do you think you will be able to afford it in the future? You need to start saving now.

Holy poo poo, not going to have kids. Not now, maybe not ever.

I don't think there's any way we could afford counseling.

I'm not sure what I could do to earn more. I'm a blue collar laborer. My full time job pays $10.60/hr. My health insurance comes from this job, which takes a chunk of cash out so I need as much overtime as I can get. However, how much work I have relies on how much business other places do so my hours can be unpredictable. Plus, my boss is planning to hire another person for my department to cut down on our overtime. My second job is stocking produce at a grocery store, midnight to 8:30am Saturday and Sunday mornings, every other weekend. They pay is excellent, over $13/hr starting, and time-and-a-half on Sundays. I earn $100 every Saturday I work, $150 every Sunday. But, there's not much room for advancement. I may be able to go full time, but those positions are hard to come by, and get filled very quickly from their pool of part-time workers. Plus, its all by seniority, and I've only been working there for two months or so. What happened though is since we had that extra $500 a month coming in, we thought we could spend the same and be okay. This was incorrect. We should have stopped spending but didn't.

Accretionist posted:

Does your wife truly acknowledge and accept that you two are poor as poo poo?

Not really.

HelloIAmYourHeart posted:

Why did you guys get married so young? Was there religion involved? I don't think religion actually has anything to do with your finances, I'm just curious.

Long story short: She gave me an ultimatum. I was at a point where most of my happiness and self-worth were wrapped up in her due to various issues. I thought we would be happy together, and I truly did want to spend my life with her. No religion was involved.

HookShot
Dec 26, 2005

"You dont mess with the matters of the wombat the end of the day it is still murder."


Do you love your wife?

Socialized
Oct 27, 2010


HookShot posted:

Do you love your wife?

Of course. We have a lot of issues, but I truly do want to work through them with her.

HookShot
Dec 26, 2005

"You dont mess with the matters of the wombat the end of the day it is still murder."


Socialized posted:

Of course. We have a lot of issues, but I truly do want to work through them with her.
Ok, I just wanted to be sure. A lot of your post comes off like you have a lot of resentment against her, so that's the obvious question to ask, especially given the story of how you got married. Better to get that question out of the way first, so now the focus can be working on your problems together.

April
Jul 3, 2006



Socialized posted:

Sorry to keep you all waiting. I thought you might appreciate some information about our debts. We do use mint, which is very handy to keep all this information in one area.

Credit Cards!

Citibank Platinum
Balance: $3,047.06 / $3,000
APR: 17.99%

UW Credit Union Student Visa
Balance: $996.70 / $1,000
APR: 11.85%

Chase Bank Credit Card
Balance: $498.26 / $500
APR: 18.24%



Student Loans!

NelNet Student Loan
Payoff Amount: $1,965.99
Monthly Payment: $50.00
Payoff Time: 40 months
This is my student loan, that I'm $150 behind on.

Great Lakes Stafford Loan 1
Payoff Amount: $4,352.11
Monthly Payment: $55.00
Payoff Time: 80 months

Great Lakes Stafford Loan 2
Payoff Amount: $5,437.47
Monthly Payment: $45.00
Payoff Time: 121 months

These two are my wife's. Its less than I thought, but she says that there is MAYBE another loan currently being deferred?

Other poo poo!

Verlo Mattress
Amount: $1,100
Monthly Payment: $91.66
APR: 0% until September 2014, then 29.99%
When we got married two years ago, we bought the cheapest (~$200) mattress we could find. For our two year anniversary we decided to upgrade to one that isn't complete poo poo. Of all our debts, I'm most okay with having this one. A nice mattress that will last a long time is completely worth it in my opinion. Also, this isn't on our credit. My father-in-law has a credit account with Verlo and bought it with that. We are making payments to him for this. This payment is second priority after rent, because if we miss a single payment on this, my mother-in-law will burn the Earth and we will never get a single favor from them ever again.

Zales
Amount: $1,031.95
Monthly Payment: $129.00
APR: 0% until April 2014, then 29.99%

Apparently when we first picked out my wife's rings, she wasn't very content with them because she couldn't get the jewelry store to solder/customize it the way she wanted. So I let myself get talked into upgrading them. I'm worried about this one. She was paying $50 a month instead of the full payment, and I just saw the other day how high the interest rate is and how close that time comes and did the math for how much we have to pay to get it payed off in time. gently caress.


I'm currently trying to hammer out a decent budget. I will post our current "budget" soon and also try to answer questions that have been asked so far.

This is a good start. What are the minimum monthly payments on the credit cards? And can you get confirmation on the possible other student loan?

Accretionist
Nov 7, 2012


How insistent is she on keeping the Mary-Kay poo poo going? Does she tell her friends that she's actually making money?

Never you mind
Jun 5, 2010


What kind of attitude does your wife have about marriage? I ask because some of her behavior indicates that she thinks married = someone else takes care of me. Stopped working, won't look for work, dropped out of school around the time of the wedding, now looking for a house and kids because that's what married people do. What does she want to do with her adult life? Nothing wrong with wanting to be a homemaker and raise children, but you have to be able to support yourselves first. Money doesn't just show up because you're married.
You two need to have a long talk that isn't just about budgeting, but is also about goals and desires in life. For example, Your wife seems to want to spend money to show people that there is money to spend: online shopping, out with friends, upgraded wedding rings. If she connects money with status and that's important to her, it's important that you both acknowledge it - same with other underlying attitudes associated with money. Identifying these attitudes may make it easier to find a strategy for your finances.

The disparity in chores doesn't speak well of your ability to work together. Not working doesn't mean she needs to wait on you hand and foot, but it also doesn't seem fair to expect someone working two jobs to handle the trash, dishes, and cats while she hangs around a dirty apartment all day.

It kind of sounds like she's playing at being an adult but still wants to act like a kid - doesn't want to get a job, doesn't know what she wants to do for a living, wants to have fun and spend money, doesn't feel like doing chores.

Main Paineframe
Oct 27, 2010
LIKES: GUMMI BEARS

DISLIKES: JEWS, BLACKS, GAYS, HISPANICS, GYPSIES, ABORIGINES


Socialized posted:

Okay, I'm going to answer questions. First off though, we had a HUGE fight yesterday and I kinda sorta ended up saying I didn't want to be married anymore because of her attitude and our situation. WELP. But then we made up and she's not mad anymore which is good, I guess? But as usual, things aren't resolved. She believes that I won't be happy unless she's making as much as or more than me, so she doesn't want to hear me talking about her lack of income unless I'm making 100% and she 0%. Part of this attitude comes from our past. Same goes for chores. I can't stand coming home to see my wife on her computer or sleeping, and seeing the apartment a cluttered mess, with dishes piling up, the litter boxes gross as hell, and all that stuff. I think she should be doing a lot more, considering how little she does to bring in more money. A big problem I have is a lack of motivation. I don't feel like doing the dishes because they'll just keep piling up. I'll the trash and recycling sit for a long time. I only vacuum once a week, but it needs to get done more often than that. I wasn't motivated to control our finances, and this is where it has gotten us.

Your marriage will not survive this. She's lounging around all day and going out drinking all night, barely working at all and barely making nothing. Meanwhile, you're working two jobs, are extremely stressed and busy, all you have to look forward to when coming home is having fights about the fact that she's spending more than you're bringing in, and she's beaten you down so much that you're starting to feel like it's your fault the chores aren't getting done and the checks are bouncing because you're not taking the time after your sixty hour workweek to get all the finances in order and do all the chores while she eats, sleeps, and then goes out to blow all the money you made that day on buying drinks for all her friends. The only thing you need to do here is put your loving foot down, because it doesn't really matter how mad she gets right now - if she doesn't stop acting like a child and start pulling her weight, then the two of you will end up divorced anyway. The biggest problem here isn't even that she's not doing anything, it's that when you try to ask her to do things, she gets so mad at you that you end up feeling like it's your fault for being stupid enough to suggest it.

This is exactly the thing Zaurg did - he'd go to his wife intending to hammer out a compromise, and she'd refuse to accept it and they'd start fighting and screaming, and the next thing he knew, his wife won the argument and he was agreeing to whatever she wanted and he thought maybe she had a point after all. He was just so beaten down and stressed that after a certain amount of yelling and bickering, he lost all will to continue, tuned out, and started agreeing to anything and everything his wife demanded just so he could get it over with and get out of there.

Socialized posted:

Long story short: She gave me an ultimatum. I was at a point where most of my happiness and self-worth were wrapped up in her due to various issues. I thought we would be happy together, and I truly did want to spend my life with her. No religion was involved.

This doesn't sound much like a functional relationship, to be honest. You two are doomed.

Uranium 235
Oct 12, 2004

i'm wild for radiation (FopeDush is the man)

Socialized, do you want to live a life in which your partner brings in no income? Do you want to work two jobs to support her for the rest of your lives?

If the answer is no, then you need to make it clear to her that she needs to get a real job, even if it's a minimum wage job. It doesn't matter if it's not what she really wants to do, because I really doubt you're working your dream job(s) right now. She has a lot of student debt, and that's her responsibility. She needs to do something to pay for it, even if it requires interacting with customers (imagine a feigned gasp here).

Uranium 235 fucked around with this message at Aug 18, 2013 around 21:18

Accretionist
Nov 7, 2012


It seems like trying to directly address the central issue won't work:

quote:

She believes that I won't be happy unless she's making as much as or more than me, so she doesn't want to hear me talking about her lack of income unless I'm making 100% and she 0%.

She's a money pit and it sounds to be slowly building up into a Zuargian emotional drain, too.

I can't help but think that the only route forward is moving her from the Mary-Kay poo poo onto something which'll actually contribute. If what she's doing actually contributes then maybe deluding herself will lose its appeal.

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HooKars
Feb 22, 2006
Comeon!

If you add up the costs of merchandise and any out of pocket spending on parties etc that are never reimbursed - on average DOES she actually make 0% (or a negative percentage?)

Is there any reason why she won't sign up for some kind of temp agency? That should put her in an office style job rather than retail. BFC has a good thread if you want someone to give a look at her resume

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