DP and I are expecting a tax return of $6,419. We are currently barely staying afloat financially so we are planning to use a lot of that money to pay off old bills. DP has his heart in the right place, but he is rather impulsive when it comes to money. I am a thrift-store-aholic (although in my own defense I am very cheap and rarely spend more than $2 on anything), so between the two of us we need a firm, concrete plan for our money or it will quickly vanish into the wind.
I broke it down like this:
$300 water bill (past due plus a little cushion, must be paid)
$550 electric bill (was turned off due to nonpayment, also must be paid ASAP as we are about to move into an apt that does not include utilities)
$1700 car expenses----this is a tricky one because we are currently 2 months behind on our car payment. We'd like to avoid it going to repo, but it was supposed to be repossessed almost 3 weeks ago, and they have not picked it up yet. We don't know why....they don't return our calls when we've called to inquire, and I'm not about to go drive it back to the dealership for them. So, we are hoping that we can still salvage our credit by making al the past due payments ($340/month) plus late fees (another $50) plus a month ahead (another $340) for a grand total of $1,070. But if the car is already in repo status and we can't get it out then we will go ahead and buy something used for about $1,500. Either way, we will end up spending $1,700 on the car, because our current car needs some work if we keep it, and then of course we have car insurance.
$1100 first month's rent and deposit on our new place (hopefully!) We don't know yet whether we are approved for this apt, but hopefully we are!
$600 moving costs. We have some things in storage but will still need a lot of basic furniture; table and chairs, beds, couch, etc. I expect that by shopping thrift stores and craigslist we can get what we need for $600.
$600 kids' needs--clothes and toys. Both kids are in desperate need of almost everything....ds has 2 pairs of pants that fit and both are threadbare, dd is even worse. Also when we cut my mom off she threw away my son's $70 bike and gave away soe of their other toys. Ds is really upset about that. So, we would like to set aside some money to buy the kids some new toys. All the toys they have now are plastic dollar tree type stuff and I feel awful about it.
$350 court costs to finalize my divorce from ex. That is at the top of my list!!!!
$100 gas (we have to drive out of town to pick up our check at the address it was mailed to and will need to fill up twice)
The remainder of the money (assuming no other emergencies or needs) DP & I agreed to spit evenly and put on two separate debit cards, one for me and one for him. That is our personal spending money on whatever we like, intended to last us for the foreseeable future (until next year's tax return, probably!)
I would like to put money away in savings. the problem is that to do that DP and I would have to go without anything. He feels like he works hard all the time and gets b----ed at by me if he ever buys anything for himself. I know it's true, because I have a hard time buying anything for myself, and I carry that over to him. We both need clothes. He wants a GPS navigator, which I want him to buy used of craigslist, he wants something new out of the store "like a normal person." I would love to have a sewing machine and I feel that would be a money saver since I know how to sew and could make clothes for the kids, curtains for the house, pretty much anything. Since we can't agree on what the money should be spent for, and the "martyr" syndrome thing is hurting our relationship, I agreed with him to just split the leftover money after all bills are paid, and I promised I wouldn't have a word to say about what he did with his money. If he wants to wipe his butt with it and flush it own the toilet, I won't open my mouth.
Regardless I will probably let him spend all his money, and just take most of my money and tuck it away on a debit card or in a CD or something. And then I will spend the rest of another year complaining about my one threadbare bra.
So....rip me to shreds!!!!! What would you do.