Not on the same ledger, never have been - Talk About Marriage
Financial Problems in Marriage When financial times are tough, it adds to the stress we deal with on a daily basis. This section is for talking about how financial problems affect our relationships and ways to cope.

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-27-2015, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Not on the same ledger, never have been

My exWS is a financial basket case. She earns a good income but cannot control nor wants to control her spending.

After years of nagging her to reduce the amount of gifts around the Xmas tree she tells me this year things will be different. Wrong! There were still plenty of unnecessary gifts (stocking fillers - damn that expression!). And then after all is open each child receives a card with $150 WHAT?!

I kept it cool not to ruin Xmas but that was it - I gave up. In my mind I gave up. I can't beat it. I wont join it but I'll never beat it.

because the kids are older now gifts from relatives tend to be cash or gift cards. Both my son and daughter are each sitting on about $450 in cash. About a year ago I opened for each of them a savings account. They have about $200 hundred each in there via direct deposit.

So I tell them to put the bulk of their cash in those accounts. "One day you'll have a good portion of the price of your first car" etc i tell them. My son resists, he wants to buy a few more XBox games, my daughter a little more compliant.

Step in Mum who encourages son to spend his money. "It's his, it was a gift...." etc. So he is turning out just like her. Spend like it's the 80's all over again. My son and daughter have now agreed to put $100 each into their accounts.

Not a bad thing a $100 but the simple fact remains that I feel more old school than ever and it just cements those things, those differences of opinions and values that have divided me and my exWS. I told them to bank at least $300. But no, that's a bridge too far - all supported by Mum.

Seriously I'm feeling like the odd one out. She has got them right on her side when it comes to the value of a dollar. Shame.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2015, 03:57 AM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

Have you suggest counseling and seeing a financial advisor about this?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2015, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

Hi EleGirl - nah, not worth it and she wouldn't do it anyway. It's a lost cause. Let me explain it another way.

My exWS keeps cat food out all day for the cats. This is in the laundry. I have asked her repeatedly to only feed the animals in the morning and after work. Many times I have had to spray the ants which come after the food left there (though not this summer so far - the ants have discovered the kitchen). One of the cats is overweight since being snipped and has become crazy for food. On this basis alone it is not a good thing; the cat is feeding all the time. Plus the mess of course.

So what happens when I raised the subject recently? An argument ensued. It follows the same path. She accuses me of speaking down to her or treating her like a child. She will often say "don't lecture me". It's the same with money, with trying to discuss her affair way back, with anything. An argument erupts because she can't deal with the subject matter. Her old trick of attacking my 'style' is brought out - nearly every time I want to raise something which invariably puts her under the spotlight. It's her inbuilt defence mechanism

I have lived like this for years - so I barely bother discussing anything beyond things which are necessities like matters concerning the children or groceries or whatever. The Xmas gift money and banking and cat subjects were unavoidable but I knew what the outcome would be before I opened my gob.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2015, 05:20 AM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

I'm confused. Are you still living with your ex wife? If so, why?

The money for your kids was a gift. Despite your wanting them to save it, it's theirs to do with as they wish. Assuming the gift was given freely with no strings attached.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2015, 06:19 AM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

I was wondering if he is still living with ex wife too, or trying to control what she does living it separate places. Kind of confusing.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2015, 12:27 PM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

If she is your ex then it's none of your business how she spends her money. I'm in the opposite boat, I'm a saver, my husband is a spender (likes his new TV's computers and cars) but our two children are like me. They put all of the money they make at their jobs and gifts into their bank accounts. They both hate shopping (yes even the teenage girl probably got that from me). When they saw that their Dad bought a new TV last month they both said "Dad we do not need another TV".
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

OK - We owe a sh*tload to the bank. The mortgage is huge. But mainly it's about not wanting to disrupt my children's lives. The fact is we share this debt. Renting a room with strangers can be $150 per week. Renting a home $450-$500 per week - as much as weekly mortgage repayments. So I'm here.

We share this debt and the incoming is being outstripped by the outgoing. I'd like to unload my share of the debt on her and take an amount equivalent to a 50% share of market value less bank loan. But she can't access anything near that amount - neither of us could buy the other out. The bank will not give us any further credit against the mortgage. Yes I should consider who owns what and allow them their own decisions but she can't control herself and children need guidance.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 10:09 AM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

Kids adapt quickly so the disruption to them may not be as bad as you think. If you stay in that situation, don't expect anything to change. Plus, if you get your own place you can instill the values/expectations on your kids without her interfering.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-31-2015, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

Thanks for your replies - I know what to do. Doing it is the hard bit - particularly when you are drowning in debt.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 02:26 PM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

Buy Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University Home Study Kit and do it with your entire family (kids included) for $139. Your children will need your focused help on determining their own financial goals and budgets (at a kid level.)

Everyone might not end up on the exact page, but you will probably grow a bit more like minded. It would also give you ideas on how to get closer to your own financial goals.

Financial Peace University - DVD Home Study

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-07-2016, 02:38 PM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

A budget will actually free you and encourage you and your wife once you see your money growing.

We were $30K in debt a year ago. My husband's company picked up and left town and transferred everyone out of state, so he had to take a lower paying job to stay near home. We didn't know if we'd even be able to make ends meet.

Out of fear and desperation, we listened to Dave Ramsey, made a budget, and have not only paid off $11,000 of our debt in a year, but we have saved $ for other expenses. We even have an envelope for Birthday Gifts, and even for Black Friday. We put an agreed amount into those envelopes every month and don't go into debt for those things, yet still can pay our debt and save for other things.

When the money is gone in an envelope, we don't spend anymore in that category...until next month, when more money is put in the envelope.

Our food budget is $5 per person per day. We split up the money in 4 envelopes, each lasting for 8 days, not 7. That way we have plenty of money for food the last week (31 day months) When we run out of money for the week, we stop buying food. If we don't have milk for a day or two, we don't care...we aren't accruing debt. We never eat out, but when our debt is paid, we are going to eat out, and make an envelope for eating out, and never overspend.

Once your wife listens to Dave, she will hopefully begin to soften.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-09-2016, 10:09 PM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

IIRC, the two of you aren't married (I can't remember if there's official recognition of long-term partnership there or exactly how that's treated legally)? Is she still drinking heavily? Did you find employment?

In other words -- are things the same as they were (i.e., she still has all the power)?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 01:27 PM
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Re: Not on the same ledger, never have been

Can you sell the house? How much equity is in it?

If you move out then she will be fully responsible for mortgage and costs of running the house, you say she has a good income so what is stopping you from moving out?

Have you sought legal advice? There is conflicting info given as to the date assets are valued, some say at date of official separation but I have heard of others being told it is at divorce date.

This won't get better, don't wake up in 5, 10 or more years with the same problems, less money and less time to regain your wealth. You may find that leaving now will be hard at first but with the financially incompetent ex off your hands you will have the chance to rebuild.
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