Budget-NO! Balance checkbook?-NO!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2003
Budget-NO! Balance checkbook?-NO!
7
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:21pm
I am at the end of my rope...I've been married for three years and when I entered into this relationship I had about $50 of debt. Now I have about $80,000 because of, mainly, my husband's inability to hold a job or budget (I'm a frugal coupon-clipper).

He now makes most of the money and we have separate checking accounts. He spends $500 or more a month at the bar and says that he won't stop or it's his right. Last year, he spent well over three thousand dollars in overdraft charges just on his checking account. He says he will not balance his checkbook. Between May and June this year, for example, he had $425 in overdraft fees. We use Ameridebt and can't even pay that on time. Since I met him, we literally haven't paid all of our bills in a single month. I beg him constantly not to go out and spend $100's at restaurants or bars or vacations. I beg him to write his expenditures down. I beg him to let me have control of the money so the bills get paid.

We just went to eviction court. We have had our electricity turned off for months at a time and he won't won't won't won't do anything to reduce the amount of money he spends. He even got cable and said "well, we'll just have it and not pay for it". When I tried to cancel it, he called up and said I was psycho and not to cancel it.

Are there any tricks I can do to prevent him from spending more since asking and begging haven't worked? Is there a way to have his checkcard declined at his favorite bar or something of that nature? How can I get ahold of enough money to pay basic bills? I will eventually get a divorce, but I can't even afford that. If you're going to suugest AA or something like that, he is forced to go to it already do to his three DUI convictions but he "doesn't have a drinking problem" and AA is "BS".

Any tips and tricks would be appreciated...I don't want psychological analysis of my husband, just ways to get some money from him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 1:05pm
Sounds like you could use a ((((BIG HUG)))) first and foremost. I would also direct you to the Money & Relationship board as they may have more to say about your situation.

Will he agree to giving you a certain amount every month? Even starting small and increasing it even if it is not enough to pay all the bills but it will be more than you had before?

I know you asked about "how" to get money from him but have you tried to close cc's etc? I don't know if you can *get* money from him but you can make it harder for him to spend.

If your credit cards are joint, close them. His credit is bad so he won't be able to get new cards and keep charging. Sooner or later the bank will bounce his checks instead of letting him continue to overdraw the account. You may have to let him hit rock bottom before he "gets it". I would continue to pay the rent, utilities (the necessary bills), insurance etc but don't pay his cc's any longer. (for the time being, I am not advocating not paying your obligations). I am from Canada so I am not sure what you mean by Checkcard or Ameridebit? Are these atm/debit cards and cc? They only way they will be declined is if he doesn't have the money in the bank (which by the way he is going won't be long and/or doesn't pay Ameridebit.

I know you said you cannot afford a lawyer etc. but what about leaving? Can you stay with family or friends? I am not saying leaving is the best answer as I do not know your whole story but I just want to give you food for thought.

Last but not least have you tried a support group for yourself? If not, I would suggest you go to AA meeting for family members of alcholics (can't remember right now what it is called). They may be able to give you support and courage for you to make the necessary changes that you know you need to do.

Good Luck and please keep posting here for emotional support.

Sandra

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 2:26pm
I used Ameridebt, a credit counseling organization, as a tricky way to close all his accounts without them being joint accounts (since you can't join a credit counseling organization without closing your accounts). We have no joint accounts. He bounces check after check after check with either a paper check or his check-card. He already declared bankruptcy and promptly used my (formerly) good credit to open several new accounts without my knowledge (as he was a banker in the past). He would be charged with a felony if I reported fraud with these accounts. Bankruptcy isn't an option for me--it would only eliminate about $1000 of my $80,000 of debt.

Support groups won't help my accounts from getting charged-off. I need MONEY. He sometimes will give me money, but he oftentimes bounces the check to me! I can't close his checking since it's in his name only (i've tried). I've begged him to do that and he won't. He just doesn't care about paying bills and I don't get it.

I don't have any friends that would take me and a three year old son. My mom would, but still, all the bills are in my name and he REALLY won't help me pay them if I leave.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 4:49pm
Sorry to say but there is no magic way to *get* money. You cannot control or change your dh's behavior. A support group is NOT going to get you money but they may GET you help. You need to look at why you put up with his behavior. By not reporting his fraudulant behaviour you are giving him persmission to keep doing what he is doing.

You said: And I say: You are letting him treat you that way and *I* don't get it.

You said: I say: He's not helping you to pay them now so why not leave? (if that is the only thing keeping you there - that he MIGHT pay the bills).

There is no easy solution to getting out of debt but I think you really need to look after other issues first before your debt or you may never get out. It is so important to get help, support groups, counselling, pastor at a church (whatever). There is more going on here than JUST money. Getting more money is not going to get you out of debt or allow you to pay bills. If dh keeps doing what he is doing the bills will only keep getting bigger and you will keep needing more and more money. That will solve your problem.

I know you probably didn't want to hear this and I am saying this with the YOUR best interests in mind. For your sake and your child's please get emotional support for yourself.

Sandra






Edited 6/7/2003 4:52:26 PM ET by momof2boys1663


Edited 6/7/2003 4:54:26 PM ET by momof2boys1663

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 8:35pm
To me it sounds like you are living in the midst of chaos of a number of different types, alcoholism and financial irresponsibility. Often those two go hand in hand, unfortunately. It also sounds to me like you are asking if anyone here can help you cope with the unmanageability of your husband's addictions because he refuses to. I'm sorry sweetie but I cannot think of much that you can do. The poster above me suggested detaching yourself from his finances then making sure to pay the necessisties while he goes on down to hit bottom with DUI's or a financial "bottom". I agree with her that Alanon would be helpful. Those meetings really help you see what you need to do to take care of yourself. All the people come forward and share how they have coped.

There are no easy answers. My sympathies to you. This sounds very, very difficult for you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 9:23pm
What do you do when you're at the end of your rope? You either let go of the rope, or you take control of it and climb back up. There is no other way. I don't mean to be harsh, and I understand how you believe that more money would solve your problems, but it won't. The problems would just escalate - he might make more money and give you more of it, but he would also spend more and send you both deeper into debt. There is no magic solution or genie who is going to throw you another rope to grab onto. If your DH won't do anything about it, then you HAVE to do something yourself.

>>> I beg him constantly not to go out and spend $100's at restaurants or bars or vacations. I beg him to write his expenditures down. I beg him to let me have control of the money so the bills get paid.<<<

Begging obviously isn't working, so stop begging. It's time for an ultimatim. Tell him directly to either work with you to get control of the finances, or find himself another wife.

>>> We just went to eviction court. We have had our electricity turned off for months at a time and he won't won't won't won't do anything to reduce the amount of money he spends. He even got cable and said "well, we'll just have it and not pay for it". When I tried to cancel it, he called up and said I was psycho and not to cancel it.<<<

I wouldn't go so far as to call him "psycho" (you said you didn't want a psychoanalysis of him), but the guy definitely has some severe problems that can't be fixed with a little more money, or even a lot of it. Honey, if you want to stay with this guy, then you need to get him some serious psychological help.

>>> Are there any tricks I can do to prevent him from spending more since asking and begging haven't worked? <<<

Yes - get a financial separation from this guy and let him hit rock bottom without dragging you down with him any further. Just like an alcoholic, the guy has got to admit he HAS a problem before he will do anything about fixing it. Meanwhile, all the tactics you try will be useless, as he will find ways around them and cause severe emotional distress for you in the process.

>>> Is there a way to have his checkcard declined at his favorite bar or something of that nature? <<<

I don't think so, as long as these cards/accounts are held in his name only.

>>> How can I get ahold of enough money to pay basic bills? <<<

The problem is not how to get money out of him, but how to get him to realize there is a problem and take responsibility for it. Your asking this question makes me believe you are not asking for a solution to the problem, but rather a bandaid fix so he can go on his merry way spending to his heart's content, and make you feel better about it. Better to ask, "How can I get him to realize the basic bills have to be paid before his spending sprees?" Answer: Maybe this guy needs a little time in jail to think about his habits. Get that financial separation and let him dig his own grave.

>>> I will eventually get a divorce, but I can't even afford that. <<<

Talk to an attorney. There are many who give first consultations for free, and some will work with you on a payment basis or even pro bono. Do your own research and find out what it takes to do the paperwork yourself. Let the electric bill go (you've done this before)or something else if you must, and get that separation filed pronto.

>>> If you're going to suugest AA or something like that, he is forced to go to it already do to his three DUI convictions but he "doesn't have a drinking problem" and AA is "BS". <<<

How about you going to Al-Anon?

>>> Any tips and tricks would be appreciated...I don't want psychological analysis of my husband, just ways to get some money from him. <<<

If we knew tips and tricks to get money from our spouses or anyone else, then none of us would be on this board. We'd all be millionaires selling our strategies on info-mercials and the internet. The way I see it, the only way to get more money from him to pay the bills is to make him face up to what he's doing and take responsibility for his actions. Like momof2boys said in another thread, to accept accountability. You cannot do this for him unless you refuse to enable him any longer.

Best of luck to you.

Msfit

                  &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 10:04am
Great big hugs to you! I think you should consider a support group. No, it won't help you pay the bills, but it will provide you some emotion support and there may be someone in the group who has been through what you are currently going through.

I have no idea how you can find ways to get $$ from him.

With that said, here is my 2 cents.....please keep in mind I do not know your entire situation, but it sounds like there may be some emotional abuse. Have you checked out the recognizing abuse board??? Only a suggestion, if I am way off base, please accept my apologies.

Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 10:38am
First of all, here's a ((((big hug))) for you in your current situation. It's a doozy, that's for sure. You've received some great advice so far. The #1 thing I can tell you is that there is absolutely nothing that you can say or do that will change him. If you leave, know that you are doing so to improve your own life, not to wake him up or anything.

I do recommend that you check out alanon meetings for yourself - you'll meet others who are also living with alcoholics - and I'm sure you'll see that financial irrisponsibility goes hand-in-hand with alcoholism. Here's the web site where you can find a local meeting: http://www.al-anon.org/alalist_usa.html

The most important question I would be asking myself is "do I want my current husband to be the male role model for my son?" If the answer is no, then it's time to take steps to improve your and your son's life. Alcoholism ties are strong from father to son - but I strongly believe that environment plays the definitive role in shaping the behavior of your son as he grows up.

You've got a lot to think about - I don't envy you that. I do have some other board suggestions for you though, in case they may help:

1. Toxic Relationships: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-rltoxicrelat

2. Money and Relationships: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-mlrelations

3. Dealing with an Alcoholic: http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppalcoholics

I hope this is helpful. All my best to you,

Danni

All my best,
Danni