Following the money

Old 05-20-2011, 01:36 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I'm reading this thread and in my mind I hear the theme song to Cheers.... I feel SOOOO at home here!!!!

Cheers Theme Lyrics

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

You wanna go where people know,
people are all the same,
You wanna go where everybody knows
your name.
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Old 05-20-2011, 02:35 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Money is why I divorced my wife and have not remarried her even though we are together again. It was and is to protect myself financially. Even today all of our money is separate, and one of the boundaries is that she will always have a full time job and pay half the rent. If she can't pay her half, we don't live together.

That said, two things I don't ever want to know?
  1. How much money she has spent on alcohol and marijuana since 1983.
  2. How much money I have spent on alcohol and marijuana since 1983.

I'm just going to go with denial on this one. I love denial.


P.s. 1983 is when I started drinking.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:58 PM
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I just reread my post and it makes me look like an alcoholic. Let's just say I did my share 10-20 years ago, and that it would take me another 20 to catch up to my wife.

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:53 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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In some ways I am grateful that XABF is terrible with money, because otherwise he probably would have pressured me to quit my job, and then I'd be in a much worse situation than I am now. So the $30k of debt I'm paying off since he left is well worth it by comparison.

I took over the finances just before our vacation this summer. We couldn't afford to go, but XABF insisted we go anyway, so go we did. Even brought my laptop so that we (I) could check his bank statement and his American Express balance and re-tabulate the budget as we went.

"Fortunately" he was drunk half the time, so while we were spending money on the expensive hotels he had picked out, we skipped half of the expensive dinners. Unfortunately, that also means that I skipped dinner half the days, because he was laying drunk on the floor yelling at me, or worse, wandering around drunk in the hotel parking lot yelling that I was making a fool of him.

After the "vacation" I tried to give it back, but he refused, so I kept tracking it because at the time I thought that was better than it not being done at all. Tracking his budget was a terrible job, because he never followed it.

On the plus side, though, since I was the one tracking, I removed as much money as I could out of the budget sheet, and he didn't notice. As long as I sent him at least $100 every two weeks (payday), and used at least one credit card to buy something, he didn't notice that I wasn't putting forward anything else.
And the few times he did, I'd just mention that it was because I was paying for something really expensive later, so he'd let it go and assume that was the truth.

Even so, life is so much easier without carrying a leech around on my personal finances.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:55 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Thanks so much to each of you for all your input. I am sitting here trying not to completely lose it. I spent many hours today looking at our finances (didn't even go as far back as I had planned). I feel SO stupid right now for being so naive, trusting that the numbers he gave me for planning were correct (skip the alcohol even). All along he has made it sound as if we could stay on budget, save money in our 401k and put a little away for college. The reality after I went through it all is we are off budget every month by $800, no money for college but the 401k is okay. My stomach is in knots. I feel like I am failing my kids and when I went to talk with AH to say we needed to sit down and talk about it all he said back was "oh I can't wait". He has been the one to pay our bills so he knows that we are bleeding money and have been for a while. SO why in the world would he go plan two deep sea fishing trips and ask where we should go on a family vacation?! I guess he is a lot sicker than I really thought. I didn't think he was that out of touch with reality. Right now I can't even think straight to try and figure it all out. Thank God I have some anti-anxiety meds hidden upstairs. I think I am going to need it to sleep tonight.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:05 PM
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Sounds like your A has about the same attitude to discussing things as mine does -- there's a very good reason I put the kibosh on moving out of state, even though it wasn't far from here...right now we live with some of the lowest taxes on alcohol in the country, we'd be on the streets in a week if we were in a place with higher sin taxes!
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:06 PM
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Because he he living in OZ. And deep sea fishing and family vacations are so much more fun than paying the everyday necessities. I'm really sorry you had to find out this way. That just stinks!
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:51 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Be glad that you found the discrepancies now...and can be aware of what you need to do. Being off budget every month by that much can start the domino effect of maxing out credit cards, HUGE late fees, over credit limit fees, cash advance fees for ATM purchases and the big shuffle off borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.

If there is any way you can cut off the spout, please do so before it gets worse. because of his overspending, it's you and the kids that will pay the price and go without.
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Old 05-21-2011, 01:07 PM
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Money is a super touchy subject for me and my wife: it brings out the worst in me. I suppose its the un-dealt-with resentment of years of badly spent cash!

I've felt for a long time that my wife and I shouldn't have a joint account. A joint account is between two trusting parties, and obviously that was not possible.

She's finally into recovery and I think it might be the wrong time to send the message that closing the account sends, although she says she is willing to do it if I insist. To her it symbolises a further separation on top of that which we have already made.

One of the draw back is that if we have separate accounts, and try to share the expenses in some other way, we will have to have more rather than less talks and communication around the subject of money.
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:54 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Budget and money spending has always been a touchy subject for AH (go figure). If I had a job I would get my own account, but right now it doesn't make much sense for us. As he likes to point out all the time he is the one and only one that makes the money. Our budget is super tight for a couple of reasons (AH was laid off a few years back and his new job does not make as much). We have been lucky to have a nice savings account, but that is rapidly going away, so we do not have credit card bills etc. His POV is that he is not worried about spending money because we have money in the bank. Not sure how he thinks we can continue to save for the kids college if we don't watch it.

We sat down and discussed the budget. He was surprised to see in black and white what he is spending every month. I think his habits were glaring back at him and hard for him to deny how bad it really is. We agreed to cut back in certain areas (like eating out) and he advised me that he stopped drinking 2 weeks ago (which I kinda knew based on smell) HOWEVER I pointed out that he took out $100 in cash just this past week. He had no clue what he spent it on, got pissed that I was mico managing him etc. (Quacking) All I said back was 1) I am simply pointing out that taking money out of an ATM is one thing he said he would cut back on 2) if he wants to build trust back into our relationship then he needs to tell me when he is ready to do that (which he clearly is not ready). During our talk we gently discussed his addiction and I explained to him that his bottom could be a divorce (if he ever hits one) which is what I am fearful will happen if our relationship does not improve. I told him I am giving it sometime, working on me before I make that decision but stability is what both I and our kids need. I honestly think that within the next few months I will know what I need to do. He has found recovery before so I know what it looks and feels like and I know when he is just going to AA and not working a program.

Being able to come here and express myself and think out what I need to do with all of your support is incredible. Thank you!

My plan is to work on me until the kid go back to school in the fall. If my relationship with AH is not moving in a positive direction then I will seek out f/t work. Last night I found two places for my girls to go before and after school. Within the next few months I will talk to my friend who as been trying to get me to come back to work (pretty sure she can help me get a job where she works). By this time next year I think I should be good to go (emotionally and financially) if that is where my life is taking me. I will be able to save most of my paycheck which will off set attorneys fees and moving expenses. I have even looked at what housing I think I will be able to afford. It all seems so crazy when I look around and see what a nice life we (could) have if AH only wanted better for himself and for his family. That is something I have no control over. I give those worries to my HP.
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Old 05-21-2011, 03:38 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I didn't know my AXH was A until I finally got the place to myself for more than a few days at a time: he wanted to be a trucker and I put him through school. He'd been treating me horribly up to that point and I was trying to figure a way out of the marriage, and saw this as my chance.

During his initial absence/schooling, I cleaned the apartment to find urine between the waterbed mattress and liner; I found empty bottles of cheap gin and vodka stashed in places I hadn't looked before...After those physical pieces of evidence surfaced, I was able to make "sense" (?) of some things I hadn't been able to explain during our marriage.

I also realized he had never done Direct Deposit in the job he had before he went to trucking school, but I had always done direct deposit. He would always deposit the same amount of money in, and I thought that was his income. I later learned that he was always taking cash out that he didn't tell me about.

It got worse before it got better; he tapped our checking account from the road, once he became a full-time truck driver (they had him do Direct Deposit), and one night when the ATM machines were not functioning properly (not keeping track of the balance), he was able to tap $100 more out of checking than was the available balance.

Also, he would tell me how much his check was supposed to be when it was direct deposited... but it was always short of that: I found out he was getting advances on his "pay."

After the ATM disaster, I went to the bank. We'd been charged $80 in overdraft charges after he tapped it out $100 beyond the available balance, $20 at a time/per withdrawal (and we were then charged $20 per time for each overdraft). The bank worked with me and closed our account because of the circumstances. Basically, this meant his trucking deposit would hit non-post. (he'd have to get the remaining two figures of his paycheck some other way.)

Most banks won't do that, but you can drain the account to 0 and put the money into a NEW account with ONLY your name on it.

I also drained the savings account and put it only into my name.

I had to declare bankruptcy anyway as we divorced, and in addition, we owed state and federal taxes, and he agreed in the divorce papers to pay federal and I agreed to pay state.

Three years later, the IRS sent me paperwork charging ME for the taxes he DIDN'T Pay, as well as penalties and interest, that totaled TWICE the amount we would have owed. (He had almost nothing taken out of his check, claimed something like 5 dependants - we had no children)

The morale of this sucky experience: I learned to take care of myself. I Let go of his finances and got my own. If I had stayed married, I'd've filed Married Filing Separately. I would have paid more taxes out of my income, but at least I wouldn't have been held responsible for his indiscretions.

I got help from the tax advocate by goign to site and looking up "Tax Advocate" and this got me FREE help, not like the people who advertise on the Net to help, but want a fee. They can answer questions. Advocates are former IRS agents, so they can let us know what's up.


Over this past year, my AH found a way to keep drinking without having it show up in any of our accounts/credit cards, since our finances have been really bad.

He started stealing alcohol.

He is/We are currently paying the third restitution fee of $200+ dollars. Yes, he has been caught 3x in the past year. The most recent time was in March. The police were only called the first time. That is why he is not in jail.


I can't control what the alcoholic does with money. I can separate out my own finances and find out my rights in case he gets into financial trouble. I can learn if he has put my name on a credit card and advise the credit card company that this was done without my knowledge or consent.

What a mess.
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Old 05-21-2011, 03:50 PM
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oh by the way - with the taxes, I went through the IRS and did an Offer in Compromise to pay HALF of the taxes. Got a loan from my dad, since you have to pay it all at once, was successful, and I have no idea if my AXH paid the other half at all - and I don't have to care. This was about 15 years ago and once I paid in the OIC, it went completely off of my record. Yea.
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