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Posts tagged with: responsibility

A Raise on the Horizon?

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My husband’s employer promised him a raise if he agreed to stay in the office and take on more responsibility.

It’s been a few months and my husband has taken on significantly more responsibility and has stayed in the office.

…But still has no raise.

He approached his boss twice and was told it was coming but we have yet to see it.

Of course, part of this problem may be the fact that we are traveling to Italy, paying cash for the trip, and it doesn’t exactly scream ‘We Need Money Now!!’ Little does he know the trip is predominantly funded by a combination of a tax refund and Top Ramen.

Supposedly, the raise is on it’s way… soon. Who knows? Maybe by the time we get home, he’ll have it.

At this point, I’m so happy he has a job, I’ll let the raise thing slide…for now.


A Collections Call…

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Once upon a time, a very long time ago, my husband’s family member took out several cell phones in his name. The bill wasn’t paid and went into collections in 2002. After we married and I took on the responsibility of bill payments and credit checks, I found the collections record on his credit report in 2005. At that time, we weren’t making much, living in a tiny apartment, and didn’t have more than $1,000 to pay off the collections debt.

The collections record finally fell off my husband’s credit report in February of 2009 and I assumed we could move on.

Dave Ramsey says collections follow you for the rest of your life.

I didn’t believe him…

Until my husband received 8 phone calls from a collections agency this week.

I told them my husband’s address was correct as listed on his credit report and if they had anything to send us, to send it through the mail because I sure as Hades wasn’t going to give them any information or promises of payment over the phone. Not surprisingly, they didn’t appreciate my response.

This… is when I start banging my head against the wall.


His, Her, and Our Finances…

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I’ve been reading a lot of finance books lately and they all seem to agree that, in marriage, the management of finances must be shared equally between the husband and the wife. If the responsibility is left to one person alone, the stress level is increased on the money manager and the relationship suffers.

My husband hasn’t paid a bill since 2004.

Don’t get me wrong. Up until recently, my husband was involved in the decision making. I was simply responsible for organizing how bills were paid. We have always worked our finances together – especially after deciding to pay off debt.

In January, my husband started taking more units in school while still working a full time job with side jobs. In June, he signed up for 5 hour night classes and when he isn’t studying, he’s working. Understandably, actively participating in finances isn’t possible anymore.

I didn’t think it would bother me. I’m a nerd. I live for Excel spreadsheets and I balance my checkbook almost hourly for fun. Take over everything? Sounds fantastic!

It’s been 7 months of sole money management and I’m beginning to get a clear understanding of why this is bad.

He doesn’t have a clue about our money and I’m constantly stressed about making the right decisions. I feel like I’m making mistakes and hurting us financially. It’s not that I can’t handle the finances on my own; I hate the sole responsibility. I’d be closer to a breaking point but I’m coasting through knowing he’ll be out of school by next week to offer a reprieve.

I have a countdown marked on my calendar.

I don’t know how people do it alone. Financial stress seems to permeate every part of your life and the feeling that you alone are responsible for the financial success of two people is, at the very least, hugely uncomfortable. We made some great progress on our finances this month (update tomorrow) but the pessimist in me only focuses on what I could have done better.

I miss my financial partner.

Are you a sole money manager? Or do you share the responsibility? What works best for you?


Stretching to new goals…

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I asked my husband to teach me to swim.

Thursday’s post made me realize how silly it was that I didn’t know how, and in these boring months between payoffs, I find myself needing a distraction.

I learned a few things:

1. Bikini tops, though amusing to community pool staff, are not conducive to learning how to swim.
2. It takes an aquaphobic person 17 minutes to be coerced into a 3 ½ foot lap pool.
3. My husband is a very patient man.
4. Swimming, biking, and running on the same day with untrained muscles will cause pain that rivals injuries sustained in a roll over car accident.

As I walk with a limp today, I can’t help but compare this pain to the pain I felt when starting my journey toward a debt free future. It’s painful now and it will continue to be painful in the future. It will never be easy. If it were easy, everyone would be debt free and physically fit.

Pain is a sign of growing, learning, and taking responsibility for the future.

What is my worst financial pain? Not being able to travel. I don’t miss my credit card balance, but I miss the yearly trips that came with it.

What is your worst financial pain? What do you miss the most?



To all the mothers…

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Mother’s Day is on Sunday (thank you to my sister for reminding me). I was going to write a Mother’s Day post on Monday but decided to help out those forgetful holiday folks like myself. You have two days to scratch out a note to dear ol’ ma… and if you can’t afford to pay cash for the gift, DON’T CHARGE ONE!! She’ll understand.

So here’s an open note to my mother – and I’ll try my best not to sound like a Boyz to Men song.

Mom,

Thank you for teaching me that children don’t need money to be happy. You made sure I knew love from my family was worth far more than the cash so frequently doled out to my friends from their uninvolved parents. I had the happiest childhood (and heck, adulthood) a kid could ask for and it was never because you showered me with the finest things in life – you knew you couldn’t buy joy. You showed me love, compassion, kindness, and at times… the back of your hand when I deserved it.

Thank you for teaching me responsibility. You didn’t teach me how to get into a financial mess, but you taught me how to own up to my mistakes and pay for them no matter how much it hurts. And speaking of taking responsibility… um… yes, I was the one who left the candle burning and set the counter on fire 11 years ago. Sorry about that.

Thank you for your faith in me. When we went on that college campus tour and I saw the $26,000 a year price tag, I told you it was a nice dream but it would never happen. You looked at me like I was insane and spent the next few hours with the financial aid department. They told me I had to keep a nearly perfect GPA and you told me you knew I could do it… and I did… but only because you believed in me more than I believed in myself.

I wish every kid could have a mother like you. The world would be a great place.

I love you mom