Stuck in Debt...Help Please
#1
My husband and I are recently married and have also even more recently accrued an enormous amount of debt. We are in the horse training business and had to purchase a large truck (2016 Silverado 3500 dualie) to haul our horse trailer to shows. Recently, we also purchased a 2018 Malibu since our old 2001 F150 is on its last leg and not safe to drive long distances anymore. I would have been happy with a cheaper, older vehicle but my husband insisted on a newer model since newer vehicles require less maintenance initially.

Needless to say, we are now making two car payments a month on vehicles that we will not fully pay off for another 6 years. I work at Kroger making $8.25 an hour and he depends on clients bringing in new horses every month, so our income is extremely unstable. Our rent is well over $1,000 a month and our health insurance and phone bills are an extra $500 per month, while our electric bill is never under $150 (we are serviced by a corrupt co-op that is the only one in our area, and this bill is even after I dry our clothes on the line, shut off all our lights, barely run the AC, and never use the dishwasher).

My husband was raised in a farming family where debt was par for the course. These days, you pretty much have to go into debt as a farmer to survive; you need new equipment, seed, feed, etc. I was raised the exact opposite. My parents treated debt like cancer and did whatever they could to avoid it. I didn't have any student loans, we only bought used vehicles, and we never went on vacations or out to restaurants.

My husband also grew up in a family where his mother was verbally abusive to him as well as his father, and that has affected our marriage in this way: every time I even remotely contradict him or suggest otherwise than he suggests, he takes it very personally and feels like I'm disrespecting him. I can literally never say No to him. If he wants to go out to eat, then I go along with it. If he wants to buy a new car, I can't say otherwise without him getting frustrated and angry and saying things like "You don't trust me. You don't respect me. You don't think I can provide for you." Buying the Malibu was a nightmare. I really didn't want it, and was almost in tears as we signed our life away on the mountains of paperwork.

I've talked to him about it as politely and gently as I can, but we haven't really gotten anywhere and I am frightened that we are in so much debt with no end in sight. I wanted to be a stay at home wife and mother but now I am frantically looking for a second and third job. I currently work in the Kroger produce department and I'm afraid all the heavy lifting will cause me to miscarry. I am doing whatever we can, to the point of ridiculousness, to save money, and then he wants to go out to eat several times and gets upset if I remind him that we need to save money.

I really don't mean to throw my husband under the bus here. He is a good man and takes good care of me. He comes from a very dysfunctional family and I know a lot of his faults come from that background, so I don't want to be too hard on him. However, I am worried that we will never get out of debt and never be able to buy the home and property we both want. Furthermore, if something were to happen to him (and accidents/death are common in the horse business), then there is literally no way I could keep up with all the monthly payments.

I am sorry for the long post. I feel like I only come here when I need something. Thank you all for reading Heart


St. Mary of Egypt, Ora Pro Nobis!







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#2
I don't have much in terms of solutions, but a lot of sympathy.
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My late husband came from a similar family, as did I.  My parents paid cash for everything but the house, which was paid off in less than 10 years, both houses they bought.  My husbands family was crazy stupid about money and still are.  His parents have gone bankrupt 3 times that I know of.  My husbands father actually told him, I was there, I heard it, that "saving for a rainy day", a big thing in my family, was foolish.  He said, I am paraphrasing, 'son, I have been broke and I have had money and I found that you will always go thru broke times so you should enjoy the times when you have money'.  Not, 'save for a rainy day is a good idea'.  Not, 'retirement comes sooner than you think'.  It was, 'spend it while you got it'.
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Money problems were constant in my marriage, even tho we made really good money.  It seemed that the more we made, the more he spent.

Like I said, I don't have a solution if your husband does not see a problem.  What is the plan when the baby comes (congratulations on that!)?  Daycare is expensive.  Trusting a stranger to care for your baby in their house is, well, too much trusting for me. You will spend every dime you are making at the store in daycare costs, lunch and gas money, clothing for work, etc.
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What does your husband think will happen, how does he think life will work, when the baby is born?  Does he see you going back to the store full time?  Does he see you staying home with the baby?  Has he put pen to paper to figure out the actual numbers?
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For me, as an individual, I follow Dave Ramsey's advice.  Pay off all debt and stay out of debt.  Hard to do when you are starting a business, tho.  I do see both sides, in a way.  But you are frightened.  You are worried.  You feel vulnerable. How to convince your husband to go in this direction, I don't know, it never worked for me.  My husband knew about Dave Ramsey, Ramsey was on talk radio in our town, but my husband didn't like it.  He seemed to think that saving money and being out of debt wasn't any fun, not a challenge.  What my husband never knew tho, was the sense of relief, the sense of peace you have when you don't owe anyone any money.  Those loans weigh heavily on your shoulders, don't they?  When my own car was finally paid off and I had no such bills anymore, well, I can't really express the sense of relief and freedom I felt.
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You need life insurance on your husband.  Women worry because, too often, everything falls on our shoulders.  You are right, if he dies, you are in big, big trouble without his income.  What do you do in that case?  You keep one vehicle, whatever you own outright and you let the bank/finance company come and take everything else - give them the keys, be polite, but let it go, you can fix your credit later, feeding and caring for the baby is more important than your credit score. In that (awful) case, you may have to load up the car with whatever you can carry and start over again.  Life insurance on the main income earner will go a very long way to ease your concerns, and Dave Ramsey also addresses this issue - he has life insurance on himself even tho he is wealthy, specifically because it makes his wife rest easier.  Life insurance for healthy young men is not that expensive, so insist on it.
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I am sorry you are going thru this.  Try some deep breathing and prayer.  I find the Rosary to help me calm down and focus my soul and my mind.
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#3
(06-12-2019, 11:44 AM)SacraCor714 Wrote: I am sorry for the long post. I feel like I only come here when I need something. Thank you all for reading Heart

It's a bad situation.  Find a hiding place and start putting what amounts to $20/week in it.  Don't take anything out of it for a long time and don't tell anyone about it, not even your husband.  If your husband is as reckless with money as you describe, he will never notice as long as you don't say anything.  You can accomplish this by cashing your paycheck from Kroger before depositing the funds if you keep a bank account.  If your husband does notice, and asks you about it, don't hesitate to tell him the full truth, though.

Once you reach $1500 (approximately 1-1/2 years at $20/week), put it in an envelope as your emergency fund to cover one month's expenses in case you bring in no money for a whole month.  Continue stashing the $20/week and more if you can get away with it.

Go out to eat with your husband if he wants.  Defer to his judgment as long as what he wants is not mortal sin.  But you need to take care of business, too, if you've chosen a bad husband who will not do so, at least for the sake of your children.
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#4
I can really sympathize with your situation. I work full-time 2nd shift, taking on a supervisor position so my wife could work part-time and be home with the kids more often.
Things were smooth for a while financially, we finally got credit cards paid off this tax season. And then all at once things went to hell. Her car stop running, so that was $1100 on the card, I was in the ER and that was another $400. Plus other things came up, so now we're back up to $2800 in credit card debt. We had a leak in our kitchen ceiling from the bathroom, so that's all ripped apart at the moment. And today I noticed that we will need to replace our water heater because the tank is rusting. Not to mention my student loan payment each month.
Between her income and my salary, we make just barely enough to pay our bills to get by. Occasionally I have a little extra money for personal spending, but now things are gonna be strapped. I thank God that my job is stable and my health insurance is good. It could always be worse.

I hope things look up for you soon.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' - Ecclesiastes 1:2

Malachi Martin was right.
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#5
(06-12-2019, 11:17 PM)Augustinian Wrote: I can really sympathize with your situation. I work full-time 2nd shift, taking on a supervisor position so my wife could work part-time and be home with the kids more often.
Things were smooth for a while financially, we finally got credit cards paid off this tax season. And then all at once things went to hell. Her car stop running, so that was $1100 on the card, I was in the ER and that was another $400. Plus other things came up, so now we're back up to $2800 in credit card debt. We had a leak in our kitchen ceiling from the bathroom, so that's all ripped apart at the moment. And today I noticed that we will need to replace our water heater because the tank is rusting. Not to mention my student loan payment each month.
Between her income and my salary, we make just barely enough to pay our bills to get by. Occasionally I have a little extra money for personal spending, but now things are gonna be strapped. I thank God that my job is stable and my health insurance is good. It could always be worse.

I hope things look up for you soon.

I have literally made the transition from living with $20,000 of debt (student loans) to completely out of it in three years.  The key is being ruthless to yourself (figuratively) until the debt is paid.  No eating out, even if there is "extra" money left from a paycheck.  No memberships.  No cinema.  No mobile phone.  No car.  No rent.  Nor mortgage.  No medical insurance.  No sodas.  The littlest thing that you don't need that you can stop, stop it if it is costing you money...not because it will save you all that much materially, but it will break the habit of HAVING to buy things.

I lived in an industrial space with no hot running water or electricity for 8 years to get out of debt and build savings.  Heated with wood fire.  Cooked meals at home in a rudimentary kitchen.  Showered from a 5-gal. bucket of water heated on the wood stove.  Washed clothes and dishes in a wash pan.  I was very fortunate in my circumstances to be able to do that, but I also put in the effort to discipline myself.

Most folks are not willing to do what it takes to break the cycle...and credit is too easy right now.

I live in the middle of farm country, and have lived in farming and ranching communities all my life.  The farmers' way of life is a poor way.  It's a way that sets them up to lose their farms and then stand there wondering why...when all along all they had to do was look at their books.  No profit?  No business.  Time to diversify.

I run a manufacturing business now with no debt, and have had to diversify several times to keep orders coming in.  If the bottom line is in the red, you're doing it wrong.
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#6
(06-13-2019, 09:36 AM)yablabo Wrote: I have literally made the transition from living with $20,000 of debt (student loans) to completely out of it in three years.  The key is being ruthless to yourself (figuratively) until the debt is paid.  No eating out, even if there is "extra" money left from a paycheck.  No memberships.  No cinema.  No mobile phone.  No car.  No rent.  Nor mortgage.  No medical insurance.  No sodas.  The littlest thing that you don't need that you can stop, stop it if it is costing you money...not because it will save you all that much materially, but it will break the habit of HAVING to buy things.

I have a wife and two kids. As great as that worked for you, there is absolutely no way I can do that.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

'Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes: vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' - Ecclesiastes 1:2

Malachi Martin was right.
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#7
(06-13-2019, 09:47 AM)Augustinian Wrote:
(06-13-2019, 09:36 AM)yablabo Wrote: I have literally made the transition from living with $20,000 of debt (student loans) to completely out of it in three years.  The key is being ruthless to yourself (figuratively) until the debt is paid.  No eating out, even if there is "extra" money left from a paycheck.  No memberships.  No cinema.  No mobile phone.  No car.  No rent.  Nor mortgage.  No medical insurance.  No sodas.  The littlest thing that you don't need that you can stop, stop it if it is costing you money...not because it will save you all that much materially, but it will break the habit of HAVING to buy things.

I have a wife and two kids. As great as that worked for you, there is absolutely no way I can do that.

I am sorry.  I didn't intend that to you specifically.  The quotation was a mistake. 

My whole point is that people can take drastic measures to take their lives back.  It is simply that they usually do not want to.

In regard of the OP:  I do not really understand in general why a person who is in debt would contract marriage, but that is just me.  I do not know why one person would see another person with a debt-loving philosophy as attractive.  I also do not understand in general why a woman would contract marriage with a man who will not or can not provide a home.  I get in the specific case if you do not keep yourself from falling into sexual sin, it's better to marry than to burn, but if you're not having a problem with that...then what is the appeal?  Why marry into a situation that is going to require the wife to work outside of the home?
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#8
Have you considered speaking with the priest who married you?  If he gave you financial advice during your Cana instruction that would be a good place to start.  Finances are the number one issue in marriage.vvFor what it's worth, I have the same problem in my marriage though not as bad.  My husband is not interested in making a budget or eating out less often.  And I am just not a confrontational person; I'm not remotely a "hardass" lol.  I'm a bit of a pushover and I give up easily.  

I just try to remember Scripture and what Our Lord said about clothing and feeding us and that we should "be not solicitous".  If you're stuck in this situation, God understands.  He only expects of you what you are capable of doing.  If that means suffering grievously while you see your husband spends away your future, maybe that's all you can do.  But if you can squirrel money away secretly, you should do that too.
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#9
(06-12-2019, 09:13 PM)yablabo Wrote:
(06-12-2019, 11:44 AM)SacraCor714 Wrote: I am sorry for the long post. I feel like I only come here when I need something. Thank you all for reading Heart

It's a bad situation.  Find a hiding place and start putting what amounts to $20/week in it.  Don't take anything out of it for a long time and don't tell anyone about it, not even your husband.  If your husband is as reckless with money as you describe, he will never notice as long as you don't say anything.  You can accomplish this by cashing your paycheck from Kroger before depositing the funds if you keep a bank account.  If your husband does notice, and asks you about it, don't hesitate to tell him the full truth, though.

Once you reach $1500 (approximately 1-1/2 years at $20/week), put it in an envelope as your emergency fund to cover one month's expenses in case you bring in no money for a whole month.  Continue stashing the $20/week and more if you can get away with it.

Go out to eat with your husband if he wants.  Defer to his judgment as long as what he wants is not mortal sin.  But you need to take care of business, too, if you've chosen a bad husband who will not do so, at least for the sake of your children.

Yes, squirrel away money.  $5 here, $20 there and don't tell anyone.  Hide it good.  Bury it in a can in the garden.  Pull up the edge of the carpet under the dresser.  Tape an envelope to the bottom of your own dresser drawer and fill the envelope.  Think of some creative spot.  Putting money inside a sock in your drawer is not a good hiding place.  Under the mattress is not a good spot.    But hide money for an emergency.  Do not be ashamed of this.  Do not feel guilty of this.  You are doing this to protect your family.  And if he straightens up, keep your little stash a secret anyways, just in case.  It sucks, I know.
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#10
Sounds like you're gonna have to earn cash. One option: stay home with the baby and do family daycare. Get another woman who can be your assistant and help you with this.
"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
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