Trying to avoid debt

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2003
Trying to avoid debt
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 2:49pm

I am 3 months married, and trying to find a job (Denver), but my money is just draining. I have two checking accounts; one is back home (GA) and my parents are able to put money from a trust fund into that which I live on basically. Rent is paid from that account, basically I live off that money that should be treated as savings for a house or something. It was given to me by my grandmother for college and etc. College was paid for, no loans thank God.

When I got a job here, I was working when I first moved here and was up until 4 months ago, I set up the second checking account with a bank here so I could do direct deposit, but I am always accumulating overdraft fees. 

Should I just close this local account?   My thinking is : well I have to have an account here for when I do get back to working so I can cash my check, but I feel like I am paying the bank just to keep my pennies there

I don't want to get into debt. 

My husband works full-time, but does not make a lot..yet I am the one who grocery shops, pays the vet bills (wellness plan set up with Petsmart..a specfic amount is taken out of my GA account monthly in order to get free office visits and other this worth it??). I pay my half of rent, my cell phone too.

On top of all this: I am slipping back into Depression and have an appt. with a psychiatrist which will add the cost of medicine to this.

Anyone have some advice?  I feel like I pay for a lot and I'm the one not working and it's not by choice. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 6:07pm

What did you do before?

Sometimes for the sake having SOME income and to avoid the getting the blues (different from clinical depression), having a job, any job, is good.  Where have you been looking?

If the checking account is costing money, it makes sense to close it for now and re-open one when you have a job. 


P.S.  Also replied to you in Job Seeker forum with some practical info. specific to Denver.  I lived there for over 20 years.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2012
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 7:01pm

You and your hubby need to have a sit down and have a serious talk about money.  Perhaps you have done that already but it is always something that needs to be reviewed and changed as life circurmstances change.    Some suggestions I have read about is each person paying a percentage towards household bills (rent, utilities, food, and other common expenses) so that if one partner earns 65% of the income then they pay 65% of the bills.    He cannot expect you to keep paying half when you do not have an income (or very reduced one). 

You can include in your discussions future goals (buying a home as an example) and how you hoped our inheritance could be used for a downpayment for a home rather than month to month bills.  Perhaps hubby would be more than willing to foot most if not all the bills if it meant protected your nest egg for a down payment.  The money is already there. . and it always seems much harder to save.  Then have a plan for when you do get back to work. 

Maybe it is to combine your money and accounts rather than each paying a portion of the bills.  I realize it is different strokes for different folks but dh and I opened up joint accounts and pooled our money together from the get go.  There was no you pay for this, I'll pay for that. . etc.  All bills paid from the same account and all our paychecks went to the same account.  You can still have sepreate spending accounts. 

Part of your discussion should include a budget  (his/hers and ours if you choose to keep complete seperate accounts).  You both need to work together towards financial goals (buying a house, NOT getting into debt) and come up with ideas and ways to accomplish them.

Good Luck


PS - I have dealth with depression off and on for years.  It would probably help to bring this up with hubby, have an honest open disucusson on everything financial that way you won't feel likeyou are baring the burden of your money situation.  After all you are partners in life. 

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 11:11am

Hi Sarah, and welcome to the board.

I agree with PP that you and your DH need to have a real sit-down about...everything.  Before DH & I married, we went on an Engaged Encounter weekend which was a 48-hour marathon of listening to talks, writing about what we felt, and sharing with each other what we'd written.  Topics included spiritual and emotional but very practical things too, such as handling money, having children, making investments, etc.  We pooled our money even before we got married, with each of us keeping a small account for ourselves, but being paid into it equally.

I realize that you came to the marriage with a trust fund, so my own logistics may not work for you, BUT the principle is the same:  you are life partners now, and you have to communicate about EVERYTHING.  Money, depression, everything.  And be honest!  Money is an issue fraught with emotion, and a couple has to be able to talk about it.

As someone else said, this is going to be a constant renegotiation for a long, long time.  You have to get used to having honest conversations about money, roles, and so on, otherwise each member takes the other for granted, resentments fester, communication closes off, and love suffers.  DH and I have been together for almost 30 years, married for 22, have raised 3 children, and been through counseling twice - once before we even got engaged and once when we'd been together about 10 years.  There have been times when we barely scraped by, times when we were $100K in debt (NOT including mortgage), and now I'm happy to say that we are way out of debt, paying for private college tuition, own our home, have a strong retirement plan, etc. etc.  BTW my DH suffers from depression, our son is bipolar, and I am just starting Serafem for PMDD, so we have quite a bit of experience with mood disorders.

On a practical note, I would cancel the local checking account if you can't manage it.  I've banked with a credit union that has no branches anywhere near me for 30+ years, and had no issue with it.  You don't need a local account as long as there are ATMs to withdraw money from your home account.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2001
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 3:11pm

I won't repeat things that others have said, because they are valad remarks, and I would have said quite a few of them myself.

One of your bigest problems is poor bookkeeping!  Close that local account, and find one that offers free checking; the credit unions are a good idea.  Then keep account of what you spend in your check register!  Then, you will know when you are about to run out of money.  Never ever take out the last few dollars; even if you have to do without something, hold them sacred.  Years ago, I would not take out the last $5 of the amount that I had to spend, then the next paycheck there would be $5 more.  Saving as I went along.  (this isn't expressed very well, but DH needs me, so I'm in a hurry).  I worked at a bank (in good ol' GA), and if we made 3 overdrafts, it was " Goodbye, Charlie".   Anyway, try it, you'll like it!