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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this is the right forum to post this request -<br><br>
Most days, it's clear to me that the important things in my life are in place (family and health). On other days, that knowledge is not enough to keep me from being sad, scared and more than a little mad about our struggles with money.<br><br>
I'd like to know how others refocus to find joy when financial pressures loom. Among you who have "been there, done that" or are "still there, doing it", please share.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"><br><br>
For me, the best thing I did was to get a PLAN to get out from under the difficulties. Once that was in place, for the most part I was able to see the day-to-day as a challenge (a game, even), instead of a struggle. I had enormous credit card debt, and did every stupid thing that people typically do when they have enormous credit card debts. Including getting depressed! But when I finally got a plan to deal with the problem, everything turned around. *I* was in control again, not the money! Then, scrimping and saving became my choice, and not my curse.<br><br>
This is not to say that I *never* get sad about not being able to have/do XYZ (staying at home with my kids is the biggie right now - I so so so wish I could). So if you've already got the plan and the attack attitude, and you're just looking for cures for the momentary self-pity, then what I usually do for that is eat chocolate. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">s
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>obiandelismom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9035721"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">So if you've already got the plan and the attack attitude, and you're just looking for cures for the momentary self-pity, then what I usually do for that is eat chocolate. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"></div>
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Thanks for the laugh! Chocolate is wonderful medicine.<br><br>
Your response made me realize that I'm looking for guidance on two levels:<br><br>
1) Yes, I'm looking for cures for momentary self-pity. But, I'm also seeking experience as to how others hold on to future perspective when the present is oppressive.<br><br>
(I recall a political science professor answering a fellow student's question about a corrupt, oppressive government, "Why don't the people just throw those bums out of office?" The professor said that the citizens were so focused on getting through each day, confronting shortages of food and worrying about the violence around them, that they could not see tomorrow or realize the bigger problem was those "bums" in office. It's been a long time since I was in college, but the professor's words were in my mind today, as I put my thoughts to post today.)<br><br>
2) Also, I'd like to hear how others find peace with partners whose actions have caused or exacerbated financial woes. I chant, "it's just money ... it's just money ...", but I keep thinking <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hammer.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hammer"> .
 

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Do you have a budget? Some kind of plan?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Also, I'd like to hear how others find peace with partners whose actions have caused or exacerbated financial woes.</td>
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I took him out of the money loop.<br><br>
He has 1 credit card for emergencies, and I deliberately called it in and had the limit lowered to $1000. Enough to get him home if he is stranded, needs to hotel and eats or whatever. But not enough that I can't deal with it later.<br><br>
All our accounts are joint owned, but earmarked for different purposes.<br><br>
He has his personal "allowance" for gas money and hoo haas. I also have an "allowance" account for my own hoo haas and neither of us has to explain that money. Then when he fritters it away (which he does) HE deals with it. Not me. Not the house.<br><br>
We have two more checking accounts that are for managing the house money. One is for fixed expenses and one is for flexible expenses. I manage both.<br><br>
We have joint savings accounts too, for us and child, but he doesn't deal with those either. I manage them.<br><br>
A.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>astrophe27</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9036765"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do you have a budget? Some kind of plan?<br></div>
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It has been impossible budget long-term because DH's income is so variable. I'm sure that's feeding the problem.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>astrophe27</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9036765"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">All our accounts are joint owned, but earmarked for different purposes.</div>
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I've been hesitant to set-up different accounts because of the bank fees charged for small accounts. But, maybe I need to consider it again because I can see benefit it segregating monies.<br><br>
So much of the burden of fixing the financial mess is already on my shoulders. Just the thought of taking over responsibility for paying all the bills and putting another adult on an allowance has me sneering. But, I'll be giving it further thought because my approach isn't working.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Naturalyst</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9037389"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've been hesitant to set-up different accounts because of the bank fees charged for small accounts. But, maybe I need to consider it again because I can see benefit it segregating monies.</div>
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Try to find a credit union or a community bank, which usually have FAR lower fees for accounts with small balances than big banks because they're not focused on profiting from fees to the same extent.<br><br>
And, as far as paying bills and stuff, I feel like setting them up on autopayment from a separate account really reduces my stress. And as long as it's a separate account, I don't have to worry about it being overdrawn and automatically affecting my other accounts. Automating as much as possible is really the way to go if you're finding that the dealing with money (ie. the adding and writing checks and things) is what makes you stressed out and panicky.<br><br>
And also, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s. I've totally been there.
 

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I pretty much set mini goals when I want to do things. If I don't do that I lose track. I just set myself on a 5 mo. plan to pay off my debt. I broke it down by month and by week so I know exactly how much I need to to pay it off. Knowing this keeps me from worrying about it constantly because I always have the answer I already came up with.<br><br>
I can't help you with your other question. DH doesn't like to spend $ unless it's completely necessary. He's extremely practical.
 

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I think its important to give you and your family continuous treats. Eat off the good china, improve your cooking and baking skills, have afternoon tea with homemade goodies, give yourself facials, manicures and pedicures. Visit the library and free museums, take bubble baths, make sugar and salt scrubs. Walk for exercise, swap books, join freecycle, send for internet freebies.<br><br>
Also look at this period as a time to build your skills. You can learn to sew or garden, learn everything you can about frugality. Realize there are people out there who get lots of things for free or at reduced costs. I subscribe to a magazine where every month the pages are loaded with photos of people surrounded by all the free things they are able to get from stores. Figure if they can do it, so can you. Focus on this and make it a reality. You can subscribe to the magazine at <a href="http://www.refundcents.com" target="_blank">www.refundcents.com</a>. I cannot begin to tell you how many things I get for free now. I'm an avid reader, I get about 10 different magazine subscriptions for free plus the Wall Street Journal. I trade to get my books for free. I get lots of free food and toiletries by using coupons and rebates. This weekend, we're staying at the Marriott in Washington, DC for half price due to a coupon. I redecorated my home to look like something out of a magazine with nothing but paint, furniture rearrangement, recycling and creativity. I send for internet freebies all year, throw them into a drawer and use them for stocking stuffers at Christmas. I used hotel points to buy my daughter a Dooney and Bourke anniversary handbag for Christmas. Each year our telephone provider lets us get 3 new cell phones. We wait until Christmas to get the phones and consider these as part of our Christmas gifts to each other. I went to culinary school for free and now make my family gourmet meals and bakery products from scratch. I spend $250 dollars for food now, down from $400 previously and I get reguar monthly deliveries from Omaha Steaks, The Kansas City Steak Company and Chesapeake Seafood Gourmet.<br><br>
I lost my 6 figure income two years ago and have been unemployed since. Prior to this I remember reading an article in The Wall Street Journal about a woman who lost her 6 figure income job and decided to live unconventionally. She became a mystery shopper among other things and was able to score tons of freebies, get free trips to Hawaii and other places, plus in the process make about $90,000 a year. I think this article can still be found through Google. I never did the mystery shopping thing, but this woman became an inspiration to me that there are non-traditional ways of living a good life, you have to be creative and do things a little different from the norm. I remember reading another article at I think, <a href="http://www.mainstreetmoms.com" target="_blank">www.mainstreetmoms.com</a> about a woman who lost her job and decided to get everything she needed by entering sweepstakes. She made this work bigtime for her. People think I'm wealthy by the way I live, I'm not, I'm just creative and I've been able to hang in there by being frugal. I determined not to feel deprived and although I don't have nearly as much money, I live just as well as I did before.<br>
I also was able to vacation in Hawaii for free, by using airline and hotel points. Everyone's circumstances are different but everyone with thought and creativity can fashion a nontraditional life that works for them and gets them ahead of the game. Think of this period in your life as an interesting fun challenge although it times it may be hard. You're gaining useful skills that will help you for the rest of your life. Its all in how you look at it.<br><br>
Martha Stewart says she never goes to bed at night without learning something new each day that will help her. I resolved to read and learn something new each day that would help me financially as well as in other areas of my life. Over time as a result things have gotten easier for us financially. You have to make the decision that you are going to triumph over your circumstances. Faith becomes a big part of this.<br><br>
Get your spouse involved in the "get things for free" plan. This will take the focus off of money and racking up future bills. Start with freecycle, drugstore rebates, internet freebies and food couponing and rebates. My dh sneered and said getting things for free wasn't possible, as if it was, everyone would be doing it. He now has a lot more respect for me and is even using coupons now himself. We used to be able to save $20,000 in 6 months easily. Now we make it fun to save our change which doesn't add up to nearly as much, but totals about $500 a year which can be used for Christmas, a mini-vacation or a small cushion. We do still contribute to dh's 401k in addition to saving our change.
 

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We tend to go round and about with our money. We get one thing paid off and the money goes up somewhere else so we're not really any better off, kind of thing. But I make sure we somehow get treats every once in awhile. We do the library thing, thrift/consignment shop thing.<br><br>
A big thing that helps us to not overspend is that we put the budgeted gas money straight into savings and transfer it to our checking as we need it. We have often found that after a few months we have enough extra money in there to do some cool and fun or to do an extra payment somewhere. I draw up a budget for each paycheck and go over it with my husband. And I keep track of his spending because he's awful at it. If he's getting real close to his limit I just gently remind him of how much he's spent. And it's hard. Sometimes we each have $30 spending money and sometimes we have $60. I pay our bills all on one day. We have a few bills that are on automatic payments. Our vehicle loan through our bank dropped our interest rate when we set up the automatic payments.<br><br>
And the number one reason why I don't get upset and worried is because we tithe every paycheck and trust God that our needs will be met. And they always have been. Not our wants, but our needs. Our wants often fit in, too. It is amazing how blessed we've been.<br><br>
Crystal
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can envision many of your "how-to's" applying to improve my family's situation. And, your perspectives certainly give "food for thought" and inspire me to adopt a more positive mindset.<br><br>
The experience and advice of MDC members never ceases to impress.<br><br>
Thank you, all.
 
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