Help! I'm drowning!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Help! I'm drowning!
9
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 3:45pm
I'm an emotional wreck and I don't know what to do anymore. I've read the books, I read all of your posts, but I feel like I'm losing the battle. I even jumped over and was lurking on the Bankruptcy board. It's getting so bad that I don't want to open my mail and the only phone calls I get anymore are from "out of areas" which translates to bill collectors. I'm in the process of consolidating my husband's and my credit cards bills with the use of a debt consulting company, but the due date for the intial payment if due on 4/15 and I won't have it. My car payment is 1 month late and my house payment is 2 weeks late. The sad fact is is that there just isn't enough money coming in to cover the expenses. And it's not from me not trying. I have a full-time job and a part-time job on the week-ends. I don't want to bash my husband, but he is self-employed and lives in a dream world. He doesn't seem to grasp that if there isn't money coming in weekly, our budget is screwed. You can't make it up--you just keep getting deeper and deeper. I wish he would just get a normal job! We pay so much out for him just to be self-employed. Taxes, insurance, etc. One of the reasons I won't have the money for the debt consoldiation company is because we have to get our taxes done tomorrow. I have put it off as long as possible because we will owe money and I just don't know where it will come from.

It's gotten to the point now that I don't even like watching TV because of the stupid ads that are on. Oh, look how happy you can be if you are one of the lucky people. There's nothing on there but reminders of how much my life sucks. Now I know some of you will bash me, but I really am at my wits end. This is all consuming for me. I can hardly concentrate when I at work and I constantly have this ball of dread in the pit of my stomach. Sorry this is so long, but I had to get it out somewhere.

Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 4:22pm
I'm sorry things are so hard for you. Have you gone to a credit counsellor? I'm not how it works in the US, but here we have a free service that I used. They go through all your debts, a budget and income and show you exactly where you come up short and by how much. It is a real eye-opener and maybe your H needs that. My ex was self-employed as well and I supported the family. Luckily none of "my" money went to his business, but none of the business money went to "us". It was all cycled back in. I'm not in debt because of that though. We split debt free. I did this to myself. But I understand the frustration of being the only one with a "real" income.

Sometimes when a third party lays everything on the line they tend to listen better than to the "nagging" wife. :-) I have no great advice, but know those feelings of dread about phone calls and the mail. It stinks. Hang in there and I hope you can find a solution to tide you over.

Tam

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 5:05pm
I think Tam's advise on going to a third party with your hubby is excellent advise. My dh was somewhat the same way. He had his head in the sand so to speak. No matter how much I *talked* to him about our finances it didn't sink in. I do all the bill paying etc (he hates anything financial) so what I did was to go through my check book over the last few months as well as credit card purchases and I itemized what we spent where (groceries, rent, utilities, eating out, clothes, entertainment etc.) Now you won't be able to show where all the money went but it was a real eye opener for my Dh. At one point we were spending about 5000.00 a month Iincuding our cc charges) but were only bringing in 4200.00 a month. He was amazaed to know we spent 5000.00 a month. Now he is trying to cut back like I am and is more conscious of his spending. By putting it down on paper for your Dh to look at maybe very useful rather than "talking". Hope this helps. Good Luck

Sandra

Avatar for lovmy2kids
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 04-09-2003 - 5:43pm
Nobody here is going to bash you, we have all been in similar situations or we wouldn't be here. We are here for each other. Sounds like you need a big ((hug)) right now. So there it is now we need to figure out what your going to do. Sounds like you already tried the debt counselling thing and your having trouble coming up with the money for your initial payment. What you need to do now is get some quick money fast. Maybe you could have a garage sale? or sell your used books, or sell some antiques you have around the house. Sell anything you can to get money to pay that initial payment and help with the other bills. The next thing you have to do is get Dh on the ball with you. If you haven't already you have to get the numbers down in a simple understandable format. List how much money comes in at the top and then list all your debts and subtract then subtract other things like food, gas, ect. and then your total amount at the end. Sit down with Dh when there are no other distractions t.v. radio ect. and have a good one on one with him. Maybe he could get a part-time job to subsidise his self-employed job. I know its everyones dream to be their own boss so he may not go for giving it up all together. Good luck I hope things work out okay for you.

-Darcy

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 10:20am
Thanks everyone for your tips. I actually have been keeping a spending tracking record and did show my DH all of the money that is being spent at convenience stores. I actually believe that he thinks that because it's only $10 here $15 that's it's not big deal. But when I was able to put all of the spending on a spreadsheet and showed him that we were spending out close to $400 a month at these places it was an eye opener for him. I feel like most of you probably do--I'm the "bill keeper" he doesn't want to do it, so he keeps telling me how bad he is with finances. Well, I agree, but it's a lot of burden for one person to carry. I just feel like such a failure right now. I try to tell myself that this is just a temporary thing and it will pass, but it is coming from all directions. We're getting our taxes done tonight and I'm dreading it, but at least I'll know what we owe and I won't worry about how much it's going to be.

Again, thanks for all of your support.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 12:23pm
Hi there, wanted to write you and let you know I know how you are feeling, I've been feeling that way for awhile now. Keep your head up, we'll figure this all out. I sure hope your dh figures out that you don't have money to spend, it too my dh a LONG time, I had to write it all down and than he was like.....what the, he is doing better. Keep your head up and big hugs to you.

Corinna
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 8:08pm
You say you have read all the books. Have you started a spending journal and developed a spending plan? What measures can you take to reduce your expenditures? Is there anything you can sell? Have you set some firm limits with your husband and let him see the books to see that your standard of living is taking a nosedive? Could you sell your car with the payment and get an old beater until you are more solvent?

This is a lot of work. There are no easy answers. I have found that feeling sorry for myself makes it all much worse. If I try a new approach, set a limit and keep working to feel upbeat the days go better and the solutions come quicker. Maybe you should stop watching television, go to the library instead and get a bunch of novels. Bury yourself in books and keep to your plan until the light is visible at the end of the long tunnel.

Bankruptcy is an option sometimes. Hang around the bankruptcy board and see if that is the way you have to go. It is a serious step and I always hope people will find another way. This is hard but it is worth it. Many of us have turned our lives around and you can too.

Would you consider a Debtor's Anonymous meeting?

cl-12by10

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:02am
Yes, like I stated, I have read the books and I have been keeping a spending journal. Believe me, I am not spending money and stuff that I don't need. I haven't used my credit cards in over a year. I have done all of the stuff recommended. It's just that there's not enough coming in right now. I don't want to file bankruptcy, but again, I am researching my options. I don't consider myself feeling sorry for myself either. I have been proactive--I've looked into selling my car, but my trade is upside down, the bank can't or won't do anything to help me. So, it doesn't make sense to trade it, still owe $10,000 and have to drive a beater and still have a high car payment. I have also gotten a second job. I am looking into selling a laptop that I have that I don't use anymore.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-19-1998
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:10pm
I know *Exactly* how you feel...that knot in your stomach...not wanting to see *those* ads on tv...how your DH is self employed and you take care of the finances...I nevr answer the phone and have tons of unopened mail...I could have written your post myself.

This is my first visit here on this board...I wish you luck and hope we both can turn things around...
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-11-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:20pm
You are not alone. My husbankd and I are currently in foreclosure and face losing our home. We are also in bankruptcy and living paycheck to paycheck. I often wonder what happend to us because we are both middle class professionals. He is a lawyer and I am a special ed teacher. We did not always prioritize our bills and lived beyond our means. Right now I feel very sad, stressed, and alone.