That dreadful F word… Finances

I spent a good part of last Thursday afternoon sobbing over an argument with my ex. Grayheart and I got into a conversation about our divorce paperwork and financial declarations. 

(Backstory: Grayheart and I lived in Virginia when we married. We then moved back to my hometown, Miami, to be close to my family. We rented out our home in Virginia and bought a home in Miami. We sold our VA house late last year and put a portion of the earnings away for the estimated capital gains tax. This money was put aside in our joint savings account with the agreement we wouldn’t touch it.

I’ve never been worried about Grayheart not being financially responsible. (Roll your eyes now.) So I didn’t really keep tabs on the money. 

So when he filed our 2015 taxes, he advised that taxes came in a bit over what we estimated by a few grand and that he put that overage on a payment plan that he’d pay. Didn’t think much of it. 

Two weeks ago I get a letter from the IRS. I wondered if I was being audited!

Nope.

The IRS confirming the $800 per month payment plan! (Omg!) I inquire further with Grayheart… and then he starts gas lighting me!

– I told you about this!

– It’s no big deal. Don’t see why you’re making such a big deal about this!

I used the money. Yea, I told you! 

Where’d the money go? To pay your mortgage and child support!

I was so pissed at him, I hung up on him. 

He later apologized, of course, and said he was juggling a lot of balls and thought he told me. Bullshit

I drop it. Still thinking it was like $4K over what we’d put aside. And that he’d only used a portion of the savings.)

Fast forward to last Thursday now:

Me: I’m very concerned that you won’t have the extra $800 per month to pay the IRS. And my name is attached to this!

Him: Why? Have you ever known me to be fiscally irresponsible? 

Me: You’ve been lamenting that you have little money to pay your own expenses while paying child support and my mortgage. How long exactly is this $800 supposed to be in place for? 

Him: Uh. Well, as long as it takes to pay $20K off!

Me: (I literally lose my shit) WHAT THE FUCK?! TWENTY GRAND?!?! You spent ALL the money we put aside??!!

He patronizes me, gaslights me, tries to act like it’s no big deal.

But we all know it’s a big deal. Who wants to be on the hook to the federal government for that much money? Something I had responsibly put money aside for yet was not consulted on how to use it!

I hang up on him because I can’t even think at this point. His attempts to trivialize the conversation were too much for me to handle.

Ten minutes later I get an email from him:

I paid the tax bill on my personal credit card. Receipt attached. I was trying to avoid the $300 convenience fee and the interest charges on my credit card, but I’ll pay it.

You no longer have a tax liability. And you no longer have to worry about how I am going to pay it. The only thing you need to worry about me paying is the child support payment. Which after rent, is my #1 payment priority.

All that crap for it to just… be over.

I cried and cried. 

He solved my problem at this point. But it was bigger than that. He didn’t consult with me, he’s in debt, this is a major stressor which could cause him to have a heart attack… no one here is winning. Had he just spoken to me about it a while ago, we could have strategized a solution. 

Then add in my frustrations on being manipulated and patronized, my disappointment with him, my uneasiness over the financial mess and the divorce-really-sucks-ass blues, I was a blubbering mess for hours. I hadn’t cried like this in quite a bit.

So as much as I try to keep a really positive attitude about it all, there are times when things hit me and I can’t recover as gracefully as I’d like. I bounced back the next day and have been fine since. But man oh man, am I looking forward to the day we don’t really have these financial ties to each other.

And yes damn it! I will get divorced soon! Lol!

xo

(Sorry for the long post. Thanks for hanging in there while I vented!)

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Smart Women Finish Rich

I always knew I wanted to be financially independent and successful. But I just now decided I want to be actively engaged in the process. (Grayheart previously managed our finances.)

A friend just gave me the book “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach. I’ve heard positive things about him and Ric Edelman Financial. I’m going to read it and see if the information proves to be useful and easy to understand. (Frankly, I’ve always had little interest in stocks and found financial investment talk to be overwhelming.) I’ll write a post with my thoughts after I’m done reading it.

Since my separation, I’ve been very worried about money. I fret over the immediate future as well as long term planning. I’m a stay-at-home mom that has now been substitute teaching. (Not exactly a baller these days.) Grayheart is paying the bills but we are paycheck to paycheck. I am not used to this feeling. It’s been challenging trying to balance the desire to be an active parent with the need for financial stability. But I think proper guidance on how to manage what I currently have might get me in the right direction. And the battle might not need to be “motherhood” vs. “financial autonomy.”

My fear of long term financial security comes from ignorance in this field. (Fear. Seems to be an emotion I’m getting well acquainted with these days.) I’d like to think fear and insecurity are normal. It’s when it starts dictating your actions… that’s when it’s dangerous. I’m a terrible procrastinator and am constantly fighting that beast.

Self esteem and confidence seem to be enhanced with financial independence. I feel like I need this trait to be comfortable, proud and a good role model for my family. (Just one more piece of me I’m trying to improve upon to come back bigger and better than before!)

Do you have any favorite wealth management books or gurus you recommend? Please share!

Today’s Mantra: Push past fears. Don’t let fears dictate actions.