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Travelling on the frugal path to Freedom

How we got to where we are today.

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by , 02-27-2009 at 10:48 AM (1022 Views)
not a success story, more of a self evaluation. And it took over 10 years to get here.

How we got to be in debt? It took some time to get where we are. We have been fortunate, dh has a decent job, just enough to put us into middle class and all the taxes that come with it, just enough to eliminate us from collecting any of the benefits, GST rebates, etc. Whatever.

Dh was able to buy a house for a good price when he was just a young man. He made $13/hr. It was hard, we got married, we had 1 child and one on the way. If I were working it ate all my income + in childcare, driving, uniforms and licensing. So I let my license go. And we looked into home childcare.

It helped, when dh bought the house, it was warm weather, winter hit, and the 1950's house utilities skyrocketed. If it weren't for the childcare, we'd have sunk then. I
applied for interest relief for student loans, that helped. I thankfully had graduated with honors and over 50% was paid off because of it. Who knew? So we were forgiven on the student loan for a few years of no payments.

Dh got his ticket, got a nice pay increase and we decided that we wanted to live in the country, didn't do enough research. We found an acreage. What we didn't know was that everything would cost us so much more. Dh handled all the finances. There was often - we have no money, but other than utilities, I had no idea on finances. Utilities were juggled often late, calls with threatened disconnections. I couldn't work out there, no one needed childcare. The neighbors were a strange mix of people, most drank, and dh joined in. Dh took on a second job maintaining a fleet of vehicles from home. It helped, I sewed and sewed cloth diapers, to get groceries. We had our 3rd child. We slowly went further into debt.

I was isolated out there. Dh drank in the shop while working. It was a very very lonely existance.

Then dh had a car accident, nothing serious, on coming vehicle ran him off the road, he ended up with a mild concussion. That was when things started to spiral.

He didn't tell me but he was having memory problems. GO to take money at the bank machine and drive away with out it. Put something down and can't find it. He was stressed, and it affected everyone.

We fought alot. THings were tense. He miss understood something one night, and attempted suicide. I was going to visit my aunt 20 minutes away, waited so he knew where we were and when I told the kids to say good bye, he thought I was taking the kids and leaving. Where I was really going to visit. That was soo hard. The police told me it wasn't a serious attempt, as he called me, knowing I'd be coming home. He didn't take enough of anything to do serious harm. it was a call for help.

He was in the state of mind, where it was not his fault, caused by everything else. But in talking with the dr. they treated him for depression, but they realized that wasn't the main issue. The black outs and memory loss was of more concern. Catscans and MRI's were performed, and it was found he had bruising and lesions(scarring) from his hockey career(teenager), and the multiple accidents, the last one was the clincher and over whelmed him. The drinking made it worse(he's not an alcoholic) and he quit drinking.

He handed over all finances to me. It was a good choice at the time.

So we decided that the isolation of being in the country wasn't doing us any good. The kids were getting older, ds was starting hockey and it meant alot of driving fromt he acreage. So we decided to sell.

We decided about a year too late, as the housing market was starting to climb in the city . So it ended that our acreage sold for less than what we bought our house for. As a result, I had to re-open the daycare. Our deposit for the house came from credit. I struggled to balance everything.

We kept afloat, but kept having to dip in to the lines of credit.

About that time, my brother passed away and we had a still birth.
Now, there were 2 of us suffering. I didn't care any more, needed something? Charge it. It got out of control. Dh wanted nothing to do with finances, he asked for money, he got it. If I did happen to say no, such as when he wanted a big screen he got all huffy, and we'd fight. So I just stopped saying no. It started to get harder to balance. But dh job would give him a raise and give a little breathing room

THe bank offered a subprime mortgage to us at a variable rate, and we rolled some debt into there. GOod move, but dh suggested we accelerate the mortgage, we went from a target payoff of 23 years to 13. Now this is when gas prices kept going up and up. the kids started getting older, school tuition, sports. The higher mortgage payment was really 3/4 of dh take home pay! So now it started to be come crucial for my childcare. I worked 60 hour weeks for very little money. I finally let the families go, they were taking advantage and I was in tears most nights.

I did take 4 months off. We couldn't afford it, but we did it anyway. Hence higher balances on credit.

I realized we weren't making it. So I reopened the daycare. I took on a different approach, I made ok money going through an agency. But they didn't treat us very well. So I got rid of them. I went independent and started to make a very decent income from home. I started to make progress. I found FV around that time.

But dh still wasn't involved in the finances. So no matter what progress I did, he'd undo it unwittingly. I had a breakdown and he promised to be more involved. Lasted 6 weeks or so.

Then came the RV. He told me to write out the budget, what we had to pay. i fought it long and hard, I didn't want another bill to pay! But rather than fight about it. Last spring we bought an RV. I had it almost paid off, but things have gotten crazy. I don't regret the RV we love it and use it a lot, and it was way cheaper than taking a trip somewhere. I didn't do my usual craft sales this year due to sports being so busy, so we were short all of our Christmas money, dd11 sports have cost us a lot more than usual. There's lots of things.

I am a wimp, and i can't say no, I don't like conflict. My parents fought over money all the time, it terrifies me to discuss. Dh has been an ostrich for too long. Who's to blame? No one, or both of us.

So there it is. It doesn't work when it's all on one person to balance everything. Unless there's only one person spending.

I'm tired, I'm burned out. We are sitting down likely this week and hashing it all out. We are going on a set budget, we are going to the bank to refinance.

He's going to be huffy, but he is also of the attitude, it's only money, it's not our health or our kids, we can earn more money.

I am not looking forward to it. But I can't shoulder it all any more. We need to get together on this.

He works out of the home 8 hours a day. In many ways we have an old fashion relationship. I'm the SAHM, but I also work 10 hour days. He does outdoor work, I do everything inside. But it's not working. He's fantastic with the kids, exceptionally so. I pay the bills, make sure the mortgage is covered, buy the groceries, deal with the schools, drive kids to sports and all that other stuff. For him, it's work, yard work(ds14 does a good chunk of it now) and drives kids to sports. We need to find a better balance. I know he hates doing groceries, I don't mind, but he could cook a meal or two a week. He's home at 4pm most days.

I'm just so tired.

He's my best friend, pretty much my only friend, and i find myself avoiding him. He wants to grumble on how I overspend, how come there's no money(I have money put away that I refuse to touch). But I tracked the last 6 weeks, I've given him over $900, yes some if for gas. But he keeps saying he doesn't spend anything. He does, it's just all little things that he doesn't see it. I have tracked my spending. I have spent $15 on *stuff* the rest was groceries, utilities, debt payments. I did spend on the dog, but I have a budgeted allotment for her, part of it is banked for vet visits and any emergencies that might come up, so it doesn't really count it was within the budget, she needs food, and there are supplies that come into account with a pet. I haven't bought me or the kids anything other than that $15.

I just need us to work together. I don't blame him, he isn't in tune, so can't adjust his spending. But he's chosen not to be in tune, and I have chosen not to push the issue. Cyclical errors.

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  1. porembam's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing your story - life has given you alot to deal with - and you have done the best you can.
    Aside from the money issues you can be thankful that you have a really great family to go through life with.
    Everyone has issues but not all are blessed with one special person that you enjoy being with and can call your best friend.
  2. Debbie-cat's Avatar
    You have dealt with alot in your life and have done very well. You will look back on your years when you and your DH are in rocking chairs and realize you have been through alot together and survived. This is what marriage is about and he is still your best friend.