:::: MENU ::::

Utilities, Security Deposit Return and The Ex!


I could get VERY used to my utility bill in this apartment!  Last month was $78 and this month it’s $65!  Granted we aren’t in the heat of summer yet but I have been running the air a lot!  I am so excited about yet another savings opportunity over the house!

I also received a partial refund from the $1,800 security deposit husband #2 and I placed on the rental home.  They are trying to keep $900 for pet stains on the carpet.  I’ve already mailed my objection and  included a copy of my inventory sheet where I meticulously noted all of the pet stains on that carpet.  I even had throw rugs all over the upstairs the entire time we lived there because it was disgusting!  I think I once posted about that in fact.  There is no way I am going to shell out $1000 to fix the crappy carpet they had in there!  The manager at the leasing management company was always very difficult to deal with so I had prepared myself for something like this to happen.  That’s why I was ready with my inventory copy. While I do not want ONE more thing to deal with I wasn’t going to sit back and walk away from that money.  I personally think that places bank on people being busy and letting stuff slip by and it has certainly happened to me in the past, but not this time!

Things continue to deteriorate with husband #1.  He only took the kids from late Monday night until Thursday school drop off and then had to travel for work–or at least that is what he told me via text.  DS has expressed that he wants to talk to the counselor about these changes and that he would like to invite his Dad to visit with the counselor too.  I’m leaving that to him as he is old enough now.  I am pretty proud though that he wants that to happen.  I hope his Dad doesn’t disappoint but (repeat after me…) I do not have control over that!  On the same topic I had a momentary slip down to his level this week.  The cruise he is taking with NW and the kids was booked at the end of January/beginning of February.  He started talking to me about needing passports for the kids in April.  I immediately signed the paperwork and got it back to him.  Since April things have gone downhill and he sent a text last week (on my Friday) saying he was going to take the kids out of school to get their passports.  Uh.  No.  You can do it after school.  He adds that he found out he needs a copy of my license. Sorry–I cannot drop what I am doing at work to get you my license and  sorry you are not taking them out of school.  He was angry.  He left town for the holiday weekend with NW and the kids were with me.  All was well.  I take the kids to him Monday night and then pick up DD from school on Tuesday as is our routine for dance class.  She immediately launches into me asking why I did not let them go get their passports with their Dad.  This is the crap that I used to just step over and move on from.  I wouldn’t call him on it b/c I didn’t want the fight but I’m done with propping him up as Dad of the Year.  I calmly explained that he wanted to take them out of school and I knew her brother had a test that he couldn’t miss.  She eased up but then I went to battle via email with the ex. It ended with my proclamation that I will NOT provide my license and he can make travel plans that don’t require passports–period. I don’t care if he loses $2,000. Things escalated and I was completely dug in on my position.  Friends couldn’t make me budge (even though they made valid points about the time coming that I would want the kids to have passports for our travel), family couldn’t convince me to ease up with reminders that I was only hurting the kids, etc.  I hit a wall with his constant characterization of me as a bad guy and so my thought process was “you want to see bad guy?  here goes!”

I know…I know.  Dumb.  My therapist talked me off the ledge and suggested that I involve the kids in the steps that I go through to get them what they need (in this case, the license).  She urges me to show the kids all the things I do to make his life easier (that he continues to deny I do) and let time do its thing.  I’m so sick of being patient but I will do as she suggests.

I’ll be posting new numbers soon and they are looking good!  I had a big chunk from Pampered Chef and the returned Security Deposit (and yes, I can negotiate the check and still dispute their decision) so stay tuned for that good news!


Happy Friday!



  • Reply Jennifer |

    Sounds like your ex and mine are long lost brothers. It is good you are talking to a counselor. I have been divorced for 8 years and still find it helpful to talk to one every once in a while.

    And for the record, I would have reacted the exact same way. And don’t worry, as the kids get older they do catch on that Mom does everything and Dad is just a parent of convenience…meaning when it is convenient for him.

    Can’t wait to see the new numbers.

  • Reply Sarah |

    Actually, it looks like you don’t have to appear but you have to give him more than a driver’s license. If a child is under 16 and only one parent appears, they have to have a notarized statement from the other parent plus other information.

    If you fill out the application online, it gives you a sheet with instructions. The website is very good.

    We are just applying for passports for our kids as their old ones are expired and we are trying to find a time when we are all available to go down to the post office.

  • Reply Cathy C. |

    You didn’t have pets while in the house, right? I don’t see how you could be charged for the pet stains. Plus, $900 is much more than they can take for that if a pet deposit had been charged. Our tenants paid a non-refundable $450 pet deposit and had 2 more pets in the house than authorized. Our carpet was destroyed and our property manager told us all we could charge was the cost for cleaning the carpet which totaled $450. He said if we tried to get more than that and it went to court, judges almost always side with the tenants.

    The landlord is obviously trying to get as much as he can towards replacing the carpet since he’s trying to sell. You could easily fight this and win in court, though your costs might not be worth the battle. Threaten them with it for sure though as they will most likely back down. If you have pictures and documentation at move-in, you should be fine. Good luck!

  • Reply Lisa |

    Good for you for saving that inventory! Keep on ’em. And how awesome is it that you can apply the deposit refund to debt! I am in awe of your utility bills, too. Also, I wanted to say “Yay!” for your PC income. You sure are determined and focused regarding the debt. You’ll be out of it all in no time. “Keep on swimmin’…”

  • Reply margot |

    Glad you are fighting your landlord. People get taken advantage of way too often like that.

    Also, it’s so nice to read about a young boy who has knows how to access a healthy way (counselor) to deal with his emotions and life’s bumps. He’s going to be a much more functional adult and spouse in the future as a result. If only all kids learned to deal with life this way.

    Also, as you know, your husband’s trashing of you is a total deal-breaker. That’s just something grown-ups shouldn’t do in a divorce situation. I’d go nuts on that, as you seem to have done. And please do stop putting your life energy into propping up your ex’s reputation and image as a dad. Obviously, you don’t need to trash him to your kids, as you know. But you also don’t need to hide his faults or over-compensate for him. It’s draining on you. It’s exhausting. And your kids can handle the truth.

  • Reply OneFamily |

    I agree with Margot. Your kids are old enough now that you don’t need to put any more energy into making him something he’s not, for them.

    I’m really surprised your old landlord would try to take advantage of an attorney, not to smart in my book 🙂 That’s a lot of money and I would fight it too.

  • Reply OC Budget |

    I don’t know what your ex is thinking about taking the kids out of school to get passports done… most libraries (and some post offices?) open after 3pm or 4 pm or 5 pm (depending on your kid’s school). In fact, i got my passport stuff done at a library after my work hours.

    Hang in there

So, what do you think ?