June 04, 2012

Burnin' Down the House...

Ok, not really, I just like that song.  A strangely inordinate amount in fact...

This has been a rough time since my last post.  If you're new here, you won't know that BB and I participated in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University about 2 1/2 years ago, right before our Littlest One was born.  As we worked through the course, we made choices to stop spending in our previous way, to save money, to stop using our credit cards, to put aside an emergency fund in case of things like a broken water heater, roof damage, major medical issues and the like.  It's also for the event of BB losing his job - it should see us through 6 months of expenses - house payment, utilities, insurance, tuition, gas, groceries and the like, so we don't incur credit card debt again.  We worked hard, discussed, mulled over, crunched numbers, all in an effort to create a budget in which we allocated every single dollar, every single month.  This doesn't mean we actually spend those dollars - just that we know exactly where they're going.  My favorite visual is that of creating buckets for our money - each bucket is for a specific purpose, and each month we put our money in the appropriate bucket.  If we need to do something for that purpose, we can ONLY do that for which we have money!  Simple, right?

Apparently not...I received a phone call the other day from a credit card company asking me when I'd be making a payment...Now, I wasn't surprised entirely - we did decide that we would use a single credit card for any online purchases (plane tickets, Amazon, eBay, anything we couldn't purchase in person with cash), and then pay the balance in full as soon as the transaction posted.

I had kept my end of the bargain up - I only used that card for a few surprise gifts for BB for Christmas (paid it off as soon as we arrived home from the in-laws), a few Mary Kay expenses when I was waiting for a customer's check to clear but needed to make the purchase (which I paid off as soon as the check cleared).

BB, however, did NOT keep that bargain.

He has, I believe, an addiction to auctions.  Online, in person, eBay, doesn't matter - he will sit and bid on other peoples' old stuff in hopes of scoring a fabulous deal that he can clean up, and then turn around and sell for twice what he paid.

Well, recently, he began searching for wood planes, and found many through eBay.  Rather than bidding on one at a time, he was bidding on 6 or 7 of the same type of plane, and has, since then, incurred a rather astonishingly large balance on our credit card...and hadn't made payments for 3 months...

Needless to say, when I discovered this (I admittedly hadn't checked the online things because I knew I hadn't spent money on it, and he told me he hadn't!), I freaked out.

I'm not worried - we can pay it off, but it means that all our buckets for little things, and some not-so-little things are now empty...we were 1/3 of the way towards a Walt Disney experience for our family, and that's gone.  We had money set aside so I could have custom window blinds done in all the windows of the house...that's gone.  We had money set aside to finish the first phase of our basement completely with real flooring, not just painting the concrete floor.  That's gone...as are the beginnings of the "paint the house", "replace the hardwood floor", "put in a fountain and gazebo in the backyard" funds.

I'm frustrated, angry, upset, feeling a bit betrayed...but mostly, I'm just sitting here reeling.

He was the one who gave me a hard time for my financial unhealthiness back when we were dating (I was a credit card junkie!!!!), and I worked hard during our courtship and the early days of our marriage to pay off my debts, and to slowly but surely change my ways...I only used money I earned in my Mary Kay business to pay off my debts.  I only use Mary Kay money to order more Mary Kay products and supplies.  I only use Mary Kay money to pay for conferences, business clothing, gas after I go to appointments (I add up my miles, and pay for that much gas each month by writing a check to the family checking account), stamps, pens, envelopes, business cards, prizes, gifts, shipping and the like - that is all paid for out of the money I earn as a Consultant.

I clip coupons, I scout sales, I search out bargains, and gamble that items I really need will be there in my size when they go on clearance.  I plan out meals, stock up my pantry, slave over my vegetable gardens to help have a good harvest, preserve our veggies, recycle containers, plan my errands so that I am most efficient in my driving, check out books, CDs, and movies from the library so that we don't spend money on a Netflix subscription, or pay per view channels.  I monitor my cell-phone usage so as not incur overages.  I don't send text messages, or download things that cost money.  I upcycle my old clothing to be repurposed (I seriously have a shirt, that I made over from a dress that ended up as a skirt and blouse, and now the skirt is a dress for Princess that I bought in the 8th grade...yeah I'm that person).  I fanatically run around behind the children chirping "turn out the lights", "shut the door", "turn off the water", "don't flush - I need to go too!" so we can save that way...I line dry every article of clothing, our sheets, our towels, Littlest One's diapers.  I don't even use cleaning products unless I'm in a time crunch - I make my own laundry detergent, window/glass cleaner, bath salts, baby wipes, and disinfecting cloths (like a Clorox wipe).  I use cloth towels and rags to do my cleaning, so they can be washed and reused rather than thrown away...

We only eat out if I have a coupon for the restaurant, or if it's "Kids Night".  We make our own pizzas because delivery is too much money...

I've been scrimping and saving and working SO HARD to make sure we're sticking to the plan, so that our sacrifices now will allow us special things (like Disney World!) sooner...

And then I discover this...the roughest part for me is that he just didn't tell me he was spending.

I've have watched and reminded him that we were running over on our "blow money" and that we needed to rein it in...

I just don't know what to do...a "friend" told me she'd flat out leave him and take their kids if her husband did that to her...and her name's not on their credit cards anymore, and she makes more than he does - so she knows it would be a dig at him...

No, I'm not thinking of leaving.  I'm just struggling with trust right now.

He turned over the credit card, and I actually suspended our account - all we can do with it now is pay it off.

BB has a business trip coming up, so he'll use a card, and get reimbursed, but last time, he spent that before it even hit our checking account.

I'm just fighting all the nasty broken person emotions.  I want to be mad, I want stay mad, I want to treat him badly - say mean things, do mean things...

Please pray that we'll get through this with a stronger marriage on the other side...that we'll be able to work together, as a team, as partners, to pay this off, and being rebuilding...

Pray for me, that I'll be able to let go of the resentment and anger I'm feeling...

3 comments:

Penny said...

trust is the hardest to get and the most hurtful to lose...I understand your feelings and I hope you guys can really discuss this and that he will understand that he needs to do the most work to get this all paid off...and I really hope he realizes what a wonderful wife he has that would do all the things you do to help your family be debt free....I will pray for you both...

Layla said...

Kork! That is a rough one, I'm sorry, friend. I really think you will get past it, because you want to, and you're willing to deal with the anger and resentment up front instead of denying it exists and repressing it. I hope you two can talk it out - what's done is done, he made a mistake, his motivation is what needs to be discussed, not what he did - it's done. You did what you could do to fix it by suspending the account and taking the card - but that won't fix the motivation. The core of the problem must be exposed. It could simply be an addiction, or it could be a happiness thing...that's what spending is to me, it brings temporary happiness. Or it could be anything else. I admire you for doing all you have done and continue to pay off debt, and honestly, I'd love more suggestions on stuff. You've helped me before with that but I'd love a recipe for laundry detergent.

Anyway, there's my two cents on the situation. Thinking about you and praying for the best.

FarmWife said...

Oh honey. I have no advice to give but can only say I'm praying for you and for B.B. as well.

I love you.