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Second and Final Divorce

February 17th, 2008 at 08:07 pm

After just one year of marriage, it looks like I'm headed for my second (and definately final) divorce. I've realized that I just can't do the hard work required to have a happy successful marriage.

Anyway, does anyone have any suggestions about what to do to protect myself financially if at all possible during this second divorce? We have been married for only one year. We bought a house together, but I put in all the down payment and have made all the mortgage payments. We haven't opened any joint accounts or combined our bank accounts. I have two children from a previous marriage and she has two from a previous marriage.

I'm sorry about the downer post, but I'm just looking for any practical advice to prepare for the coming storm.

Money Dreams

October 21st, 2007 at 03:52 pm

All the thought and reading about personal finances is starting to affect my dreams. Last night I dreamed about buying a new car. The car I was test driving with the wife and kids was a black luxury sedan. I don't know what model it was, but I think it was a cross between a Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW. The asking price was around $60,000. The inside of the car was very nice and spacious. I was really enjoying the car. Suddenly, in the dream I came to my senses and said "What am I thinking, we can't afford this car!" Poof! That was the end of the dream.

Money Fights

October 19th, 2007 at 07:22 pm

I need advice. How do couples discuss money without fighting? Every time I try to discuss finances with my wife it ends up being a fight or just "not the right time".

We've been married for about 8 months now. We have yet to combine our finances. I would prefer having a joint checking account, but we can't seem to get together on it. I would at least like to be able to download information from her accounts into MS Money for tracking and budgeting purposes. She got upset when I mentioned it.

I make about twice as much as she does, but pay almost all the household bills except for her car, her and her kids cell phone bill, and some of the groceries. When we bought our house, I made all the down payment and other purchase payments. I paid for her laptop. I paid for a couple of her children's soccer camps. I'm just feeling used and not like a couple looking towards the future. I have other obligations including child support payments and a child in college to help out.

She mentioned wanting to take the kids to Disney/Universal Studios this spring. Her idea was for her, her two children, and I to go. Apparently taking my 15 year old daughter with us never crossed her mind; of course that's a whole other issue. I just questioned if we could look at the money before planning an expensive trip and she got mad.

Saving Ideas

October 6th, 2007 at 09:53 pm

Here are a few things I've started to do or thinking about inorder to save money.

Brown bag my lunch to work. Actually its a blue bag with the company logo on it. My estimated savings are $15-$20 a week.

Ordering water to drink when eating out.

I feel bad about this, but I reduced my pledge to the Unted Way for next year by about 50%. I guess charity begins at home, especially when you are in debt.

I'm looking at dropping comp and collision on my car and raising the deductible on my wife's car.

My best bet is probably to try and increase my income without a corresponding increase in expenses. A second, third, or fourth of income would be nice. Unfortunately, my youngest daughter is spending more time with her mother, who will be asking for an increase in child support. My life seems to often be one step forward and two steps back.

Jailbird

October 3rd, 2007 at 03:47 pm

One often hears when it comes to personal finances to have "experiences" rather than to accumulate "stuff". I recently had an experience that I don't think anyone really wants to have. After 46 years of nothing but a single speeding ticket, I was arrested and spent about six hours in jail.

I was handcuffed, placed in a patrol car, and transported to the local police station. After sitting on the Group W bench while the paperwork was completed, I was loaded back into the patrol car and driven to the county jail for booking. At the county jail I was "read my rights", patted down, and fingerprinted (no ink involved). Before placing me in a holding cell with 30 other guys, the jailers took my shoes and my belt. "We don't want any hangings."

To make a long story short, as this was my first (alleged) offense and it was a misdemeanor, I was released on my own recognicance after 5-6 hours. The court hearing has been put off until December.

You might ask what this has to do with personal finance. I've learned a few things from this experience.

Two things that you can't put a price on are your health and your freedom.
Anger can be very expensive.
A holding tank levels the socio-economic field
Your career and more importantly your reputation can be ruined with one bad decision

Sacrifice

September 27th, 2007 at 05:12 am

Often sacrifice is brought up as a necessary component of personal finance management. The so called "latte factor".
After watching the first few episodes of Ken Burn's The War documentary, I've realized that I know next to nothing about true sacrifice.

Giving up the gourmet coffee or dropping the Cable TV is nothing compared to throwing oneself into harms way. How would we react today if we had to use rationing coupons? What hardships are we willing to bear for our country today?

Credit Card Factoids?

September 26th, 2007 at 02:16 pm

Here is an interesting link from Mother Jones with various factoids about credit cards.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/exhibit/2007/09/exhibit.html

After reading the following factoid,

"Americans owe $850 billion in credit card debt. The world's 54 poorest countries owe $412 billion in foreign debt."

it occurs to me that Bono should just drop his Debt Forgiveness Campaign and let the American Consumers add the debt to their credit cards. What's a little more debt!

Financial Feelings

September 25th, 2007 at 03:16 pm

When it comes to spending money, I don't seem to have too much trouble denying things for myself, but have much more difficulty in denying things to my wife or children. I can say, "We can't afford it" occasionally, but either guilt, frustration, or fatigue usually get to me eventually and I cave. For instance, I currently drive a 1995 Ford sedan with over 154,000 miles on it and no debt attached. My wife drives a much newer Honda CRV which she still owes about $5,000 on. She wants to get a larger vehicle. I suggested we wait until her car is paid off, a little over a year. She seemed ok with that, but I know the thought will come up again in a month or two. Each time I suggest holding off, I feel a bit more guilt.

When my oldest daughter was entering the sixth grade she took an entrance exam for a private school. She was accepted into the school. At the time she applied, I didn't know exactly how expensive the school was. Once I found out, I ran the numbers and told my wife that we really couldn't afford it. Obviously, I should have researched things more ahead of time. To make a long story short, my daughter graduated from the school last year. The cost to me for 7 years of middle and high school was over $70,000. Her mom and I have also been divorced for about 5 years now.

For some reason I can't seem to be happy if I spend money or if I don't spend money. Maybe it's my Catholic upbringing to have to feel guilty or I'm not doing something right.