This is killing me

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2010
This is killing me
10
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 9:47am

I've been the one in charge of finances but I don't like to tell anyone no...especially my Hubs since he works so hard. When we first got married, I was the one with the career and the good paying job. We threw that out the window when the kids were babies and my husband enlisted in the Army. I was able to be a SAHM for many years.


We accrued debt but would always pay it down one way or another...however in the last few years it's a mountain I can't get us out from under. Let me say, all of our bills are paid and up to date but we're still hovering @ $25K in credit card debt. I just never knew how to tell anyone to put the brakes on.


Last night the Hubs was in my email and saw a note from our bank that they received the statement from a creditor. He was shocked at the balance. He wants to know how much we owe and I am so scared to tell him. I quite literally couldn't sleep last night and feel like the world is going to end.


I do have a seasonal job with a tax company and we are facing another move mid-summer.


How can I begin to fix this? I tore up all the small cards and most of those actually have small balances hovering from $300 - $600.


I know I'm a terrible person....


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 9:58am

Hi and welcome!

Norma


"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble"- Plautus


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 1:11pm

It is not like you were heading to a spa getaway everyweekend, life just got in the way of your financial situation!




iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 1:21pm

Welcome,

You are not a terrible person. Debt in a relationship takes two people. Just because your DH was/is not aware of the amount of debt and the total doesn't mean he hasn't contributed to it.

You do need to talk. Come up with a budget you can both live with that included paying down debt.

I hope your conversation goes well. Good luck.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 6:02pm

hi and welcome! you are not alone, we are all here the same reason, several of us have stories similar to yours. you are not a bad person, you are a person who has bad debt. it might be eating at you, but that's because you are a good person stretched too far.

you will have to share the whole story with your dh. it will have to happen. get your own head wrapped around the whole picture first, and then study it with him. like marie said- you can't really begin until you know where you are starting from, so gather all your debt statements and figure out how much you owe, to whom, what the interest rate it, and what the minimum payment is. then begin to rough out a budget, all your expenses have to go down on paper along with all your income. start to figure out where your money is going (it's eye opening, believe me). this step alone made me sleep better at night, for once i felt in control because i had a plan.

these are the first steps. if you are in the red, follow marie's advice. if you are in the black, congrats, you are already ahead of the game (a little). if you feel comfortable you can post your numbers here and get great feedback, i did this just a while ago and got some great advice for my own situation.

if you have some savings, that's great. marie talked about a $500 reserve. most people on this board aim for $1000 emergency fund while they are paying off their debt. this is just enough to get you buy in an emergency so you don't add to your debt. once you have the debt repayed you can concentrate on getting your savings up to a 3-6 month fund.

there are numerous debt repayment calculators out there that can help you figure out how much time it will take to pay off with your current interest rates, min. pmts, and your "snowball" (how much extra you are putting towards your principle debt each month).

if you have a chance check out dave ramsey's total money makeover from the library or get your hands on a copy. and read it. it's an inspiring and easy read that will guide you to the steps to take and really get you motivated to take them. it helped me to look at my debt in a new way- a temporary obstacle.

good luck with your impending conversation with your dh. it's not a fun situation, but he will hopefully jump on the debt repayment bandwagon with you and you can have fun seeing those numbers go down each month. it's not going to be easy, but it can be fun.

andi


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2007
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 11:52pm

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2010
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 7:29pm

Thank you for your kind suggestions and the nice welcome. We actually do have a savings fund of about $2500. We have a home that's being rented so I have to be prepared for a big emergency. We also have the house payment paid a month ahead in the event of another problem so when you look at it that way, we're up to $3500 for emergent situations.


We are in the black...barely.... but nowhere near where we need to be. I have been paying more than the minimums on everything. I use our tax money to pay down one credit card by $1K and I just paid off one of the little cards today. So I'm starting to make nibbles.


The hubs has a better idea now and while it's awful, the cards are gone now and in the trash in little bitty pieces so they can't be accessed again....that's a step right?


My job is only for a couple months but since that's all extra for the most part, I'm hoping to get rid of the little cards soon.


I'm sitting here in tears...partly in shame but partly in relief. It's a blessing he discovered this in way because it needs to go away.....I know we can do it. I've listened to Dave Ramsey before and I plan on getting his book.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2007
Sat, 02-13-2010 - 9:36am

Very one has to do there own thing but really don't feel so bad.


I have spent a many of nights through out my life worrying and crying over things.


And not one tear every made me a cent.


So stop feeling so bad because after what you said you are in pretty good shape.


And I am one of those people that don't totally agree with old Dave But I learned the best thing to do is to take a little from a a few people that right money books then do what pays you the most in your own life.


Dave can mess you up by telling you to cancel all your credit cards. I did

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2010
Sat, 02-13-2010 - 9:55am

hi! i am glad that you had the difficult conversation with your dh. that is a huge step in the right direction. it will take you both committing to this process and believe me, you will succeed.

since you both have a handle on the debt, it's time to see what you can do to make your monthly out-flow smaller (and/or) your income bigger. this is part of setting up and sticking to a budget. look at everything you pay for in a month- do you NEED it? do you WANT it? can you pay less for it? dh and i did this and now pay $235 dollars a month less than we did before with another $70 drop pending. we shopped around for car insurance, made sure we had the right kinds of life insurance, took a close look at our cable/ phone/ internet plan to buy only what we really need, took a look at cell phone usage and dropped to a plan that better matched, stopped our netflix, etc, etc. there are usually a couple of things that we either don't really need but pay for anyway, or can get a better rate on by comparison shopping. it helps to remember that once we are debt free we can reconsider the cable or whatever that the sacrifice is temporary and necessary.

you are not alone- i just started tackling my debt this month and the ticker is all CC debt, so really- just jump on the repayment train and chug along here with me.

budget, budget, and chip away girl! congrats on all the cards in the trash, that's a HUGE step. hooray!


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2010
Sun, 02-14-2010 - 12:36am

Thanks so much! Everyone's story has impact on me! I'm sorry we're all in the same boat but it feels better to not be alone.


In the last few weeks, I adjusted our cell plan and it's $50 less now and got rid of some cable options. I'm going to start going through closets, looking for things to sell on eBay.


I


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Mon, 02-15-2010 - 12:39pm

HUGS!

Norma


"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble"- Plautus