Re: My wife is making my financial life miserable
02-23-2012 06:52 AM
"My name is ReV...and I am a recovered spendaholic."
I see you also wanted feedback from those who were or are recovered financial issue creators. I thus contribute - but I want to prepend what I share by saying that I have had this talk with many people, and they all say the same thing: "money doesn't matter in a relationship", but it does. It should not be the sole reason you get into one, but the management of money and the mentalities of both people is critical to the success of the relationship.
One of many reasons why I will likely never be married.
Anyway, I won't bore you with the long story, but suffice to say, at 18 years old I went credit crazy starting with a Pac Bell PCS phone. Then an auto approved Robinsons May card. Then a Mervyns card, then a Target card. I squandered all of those. I would get a decent paying job, then immediately finance a car, which isn't too bad, but because I wanted to be "cool" at the time, I would buy more car than I could afford. Job dropped, I no longer could afford the car. Or I would finance cars when unemployed with deferred down payments which aren't bad assuming you actually can come up with the money - which in more cases than not I couldn't.
Eventually I got a really good paying job at what used to be known as SBC Pacific Bell, now AT&T. Base pay was great, plus commission which effectively doubled my check. I had strategized certain transactions so that the commission would come months later, left that job after 6 months, for the next 6 unemployed months they were still sending me full pay checks. Thousands of dollars...and if you asked me what I have to show for that money, I can't account for the bulk of it. I know some went to a cell phone bill, a lot went to clothes. Yes, clothes, that I didn't really need. Nearly $10,000 worth of designer clothes. TO put it in perspective, it would have been about 10-15 shirts and 10-15 pairs of pants, then some boots, belts, and a little jewelry. Of those, I have three of the shirts, none of the pants, today. But I made a ton of more money than that, and have no idea where any of it went to this day.
Switched jobs a few times and started getting more mature mentally about work and the job and how to manage what I was doing. My job tenure started to actually matter. That was 2002, and the first year I stopped letting cars get repo'd. I started to realize that it all began with the workplace, and that I had wrong all along because my parents never told me the truth about working: You. Are. Disposable. I realized that in every single job from 2002 backwards, I got screwed in some way by someone, whether it was out of a raise, out of a promotion, or just punishment I didn't deserve, and because I didn't recognize it for what it was, I made piss poor financial decisions under the presumption that the job would not go anywhere. That affected me a lot.
2003 I made the jump to a new job, my longest running actually, and dated a girl that I moved in with. Her sister stole a bunch of irreplaceable items from me during a fallout and I lost more money, but this time it wasn't my ignorance. I finally moved far away, into a room in a family's house, while I got my stuff together. When I had enough money I moved into an apartment that was low cost at the time, terrible, but allowed me to get some things straight. Unfortunately, I chose to rent furniture which was a huge mistake. In 2004, I got a wage garnishment from the state of California over some old tickets where they wouldn't allow me to make a payment arrangement. I sat down and looked at my finances and credit and realized that I was spending nearly twice what I made every month...and then the white light hit me. I made the hard decision to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, since I knew I owed the money, but could not afford to pay the full rates. Tons of credit cards, loans, the furniture renting, my apartment, my car, everything was bleeding me dry.
Came out of BK in 2007 a much smarter person. The attorney said "nobody finishes the plan", yet I did without missing a single payment, AND I financed a car midstream. I got lucky though...one of the loans which was the largest of my debts at the time got refunded in full, I had gotten significant raises at the job I was at which allowed me to catch up on things, and I got bonuses which I was able to throw at the problem to get it paid down faster than planned.
Today, I am so retentive about my budget and credit that I don't buy anything that doesn't have a practical purpose that I can justify. I do still spend, but I don't overspend. I always have money in a bank account somewhere, and I always make sure that every bill is paid timely. I have to go to work but I'll elaborate on my strategy if it helps as soon as I get a free moment.
| Cabrillo Credit Union MasterCard @ $3,000 | Chevron Visa @ $2,000 | Amazon Store Card @ $1,800 | HSBC 2% Rewards MasterCard @ $950 (redeemed themselves)