Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

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stanford73
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Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:42 pm

[In order to best assist the member, replies which bring up non-financial issues will be removed. --admin LadyGeek]

I was about to reply to the thread I started "Help: Husband's Surprise Debts" but was surprised to find it locked. I just wanted to thank everyone as I've been reading & re-reading the responses--some very detailed & actionable--and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the good advice. Thank you all very much. I wish I'd found this forum years ago and gotten a much-needed wake up call then, as I think I'd be in a much better position financially now. Oftentimes, when financial issues become wired into a marriage from the start with chronic unemployment, it becomes your "normal" and you are the proverbial boiling frog. Your insights are beyond valuable. As some of you have suggested, I will come back and stay engaged here asking questions.

I appreciate the financial roadmap many of you offered, including Bfoot7's advice and summary of my situation:

Frankly it seems there are two questions here, and only two:
1. Is your husband willing to put you in exclusive control of finances and go on a cash allowance provided by you?
2. If he is not willing to do so, are you willing to leave him?


My husband has agreed to gather the paperwork I've asked for: bank statements, HELOC & IRA paperwork, all accounts/PWs, list of debts, etc. that a few of you listed. I will take this one step at a time, drill down and see what progress we can make without getting lawyers, accountants, etc. involved yet. If we can work together and he agrees to let me take over the finances, while I get up to speed quickly, I think we can get on track--at least, I'm hopeful after reading your advice.. As someone said, at this age/stage, the "ship has sailed and the barn door is closed." We have what we have. We also both have marketable skills, a work history and ability to make money going forward. I just don;t know where all the money has gone and I need to find that out and stop the bleeding.

I have a question on the HELOC. Although my signature is on the initial paperwork, why is it that US Bank would allow my husband only to withdraw money? Shouldn't they require approvals from both signers on the HELOC?

And, a few of you have mentioned using an accounting system to track our finances. Can you please point me in the right direction on which ones to consider?

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:47 pm

This is all good news.

On the HELOC, it's very likely that it's set up to allow either borrower to singly write HELOC checks with a single signature. My wife and I opened a HELOC in 1996 for an adoption and I'm the only one who has ever signed checks. Once the HELOC balance is zero, you can close it. You don't have to, but you can.
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Stinky
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Stinky » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:49 pm

Congratulations to you for plowing through all the comments. It sounds like you have a good plan. I wish you the best of luck.

On your HELOC question, DW and I both signed the original papers with State Farm Bank. But either of us can access it, by writing a check. Whenever there’s a balance outstanding on the line, we get a monthly statement in the mail.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

clip651
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by clip651 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:09 pm

Thank you for posting a followup. It sounds like you are heading in the right direction, which is great to hear. Please do keep asking questions here, as you learn and go along. You can also search for previous posts and read the previous discussions.

The forum wiki has a ton of useful information as well:
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Outline ... l_planning
Much of the wiki is geared to investing, which isn't your main current issue. But the information there may be valuable to you in the future when you have a better handle on things.

best wishes,
cj

aristotelian
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by aristotelian » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:18 pm

One thing, you should not be logging in under his credentials. You guys should either be logging in together, or he should give you agent authorization so you can properly log in to his accounts using your credentials. Admittedly, this is very low on your list of priorities right now but it's low hanging fruit.

delamer
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by delamer » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:20 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:47 pm
This is all good news.

On the HELOC, it's very likely that it's set up to allow either borrower to singly write HELOC checks with a single signature. My wife and I opened a HELOC in 1996 for an adoption and I'm the only one who has ever signed checks. Once the HELOC balance is zero, you can close it. You don't have to, but you can.
In fact, with our HELOC either of us could just get online and transfer funds from the HELOC to our linked checking account.

However, you could have a HELOC (or other account) set up so that two signatures are required to withdraw.

ronno2018
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by ronno2018 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:22 pm

I really wanted to comment in that last thread, but in the end I just wish the both of you the best.

There was some remarkable advice given and I like the path you have chosen.

Gideont
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Gideont » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:25 pm

To keep track of expense I highly recommend YNAB https://www.youneedabudget.com/

It’s changed m financial life and helped me finally understand my spending habits.

delamer
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by delamer » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:26 pm

I use Quicken to track income, expenses (you can get up a budget), and investments.

You can download transactions from checking, savings, and credit card accounts to make them easier to track. Each transaction can be assigned a category — like groceries, vehicle insurance, prescriptions, etc. — that you set up in your budget.

You’ll spend some time getting things set up, but once that’s done updating is easy.

KlangFool
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by KlangFool » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:36 pm

stanford73 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:42 pm

I just don;t know where all the money has gone and I need to find that out and stop the bleeding.
stanford73,

You don't know. But, can you honestly believe that your spouse does not know? If your spouse really does not know, is there something mentally or physically wrong with your spouse?

What does your spouse say when you asked where the money had gone? The answer would give you great insight as to what you are facing here.

The amount is just too big to disappear without your spouse noticing.

KlangFool

BarbBrooklyn
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by BarbBrooklyn » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:45 pm

Klang, I think what you say is true, but I'll always remember a quote from Jack Nicholson in the 1980's "You can spend a million dollars a year on cigarettes and magazines and [stuff --admin LadyGeek]...".

If the OP tracks both income and outgoes herself, she'll be able to see where the money is going.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is undiagnosed cognitive decline.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."

Chuck5781
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Chuck5781 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:45 pm

Glad to learn your situation may get addressed, best of luck to you. The thread was one of the most thoughtful I’ve read.

I would like to add, a fundamental issue all of us can learn from is an old accounting/management concept of “dual control”. That is, it is a good practice when involved with financial matters that more than one person is given the opportunity to review and monitor financial records. Those of us who sit on Boards, or are involved with charities or business or clubs - need to make certain we give more than one person a peek at original financial records. A good example is simply having the bank send a duplicate monthly statement to another individual, or having someone who doesn’t write checks, reconcile the account. An important element is the document needs to come directly from the institution, and not be copied or otherwise have the chance to be altered by someone.

Today, most financial institutions have text and email alert systems - as you put together your plans, consider including these as a dual control function. Having a text message come whenever the account balance changes, or drops below a balance,might be annoying at times, but these reminders are simple and inexpensive.

As the saying goes, Trust but Verify.

HomeStretch
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by HomeStretch » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:50 pm

I use Excel to track net assets as well as income and expenses. Find the accounting method that works best for you.

Best of luck. You can figure this out. Feel free to post again with any questions along the way.

ohai
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by ohai » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:59 pm

OP, some people don't like finance aggregation programs like Mint, but I find this to be really useful in sorting through all your miscellaneous spending categories. It could just be that husband spent the money on normal expenses, and that those expenses were just higher than you had in your mind.

campy2010
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by campy2010 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:00 pm

I would also request a current credit report. You should pull your own credit report too.

Katietsu
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Katietsu » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:22 pm

Some good suggestions above about YNAB, Mint, Quicken, etc. These are all computer/smartphone based answers. If that works for you, great. If you would prefer, there are plenty of paper and pencil budgeting systems. Just like some people can control their spending better with cash instead of cards, sometimes physically writing things done makes it easier to absorb. Go with whatever works for you.

Some banks now have some excellent financial tools built right in. If you run all your income and expenses through a single checking account, that might be helpful.

You can take a look at Dave Ramsey’s stuff. It really helps some people and really turns others off.

I suspect that there is a good chance that you will not find some big leak or problem like some posters have speculated. You may find that maintaining a middle/upper middle class lifestyle with a 3000 sq ft house, taxes, private schools, dinners out, combined with the service of debt, has just been too much for your cumulative income. Unfortunately, acquiring debt for this reason is not uncommon at all.

Trader Joe
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Trader Joe » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:28 pm

stanford73 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:42 pm
I was about to reply to the thread I started "Help: Husband's Surprise Debts" but was surprised to find it locked. I just wanted to thank everyone as I've been reading & re-reading the responses--some very detailed & actionable--and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all the good advice. Thank you all very much. I wish I'd found this forum years ago and gotten a much-needed wake up call then, as I think I'd be in a much better position financially now. Oftentimes, when financial issues become wired into a marriage from the start with chronic unemployment, it becomes your "normal" and you are the proverbial boiling frog. Your insights are beyond valuable. As some of you have suggested, I will come back and stay engaged here asking questions.

I appreciate the financial roadmap many of you offered, including Bfoot7's advice and summary of my situation:

Frankly it seems there are two questions here, and only two:
1. Is your husband willing to put you in exclusive control of finances and go on a cash allowance provided by you?
2. If he is not willing to do so, are you willing to leave him?


My husband has agreed to gather the paperwork I've asked for: bank statements, HELOC & IRA paperwork, all accounts/PWs, list of debts, etc. that a few of you listed. I will take this one step at a time, drill down and see what progress we can make without getting lawyers, accountants, etc. involved yet. If we can work together and he agrees to let me take over the finances, while I get up to speed quickly, I think we can get on track--at least, I'm hopeful after reading your advice.. As someone said, at this age/stage, the "ship has sailed and the barn door is closed." We have what we have. We also both have marketable skills, a work history and ability to make money going forward. I just don;t know where all the money has gone and I need to find that out and stop the bleeding.

I have a question on the HELOC. Although my signature is on the initial paperwork, why is it that US Bank would allow my husband only to withdraw money? Shouldn't they require approvals from both signers on the HELOC?

And, a few of you have mentioned using an accounting system to track our finances. Can you please point me in the right direction on which ones to consider?
It is great to see that you continue to move forward. Your scenario is fairly complicated, as are all relationships. I am sure that you will successfully work through this with your spouse.

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celia
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by celia » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:41 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:36 pm
stanford73 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:42 pm
I just don;t know where all the money has gone and I need to find that out and stop the bleeding.
stanford73,

You don't know. But, can you honestly believe that your spouse does not know? If your spouse really does not know, is there something mentally or physically wrong with your spouse?

What does your spouse say when you asked where the money had gone? The answer would give you great insight as to what you are facing here.
Some people have mentioned that the important thing is to look to the future. But looking at the big past losses could be very worthwhile as you both "learn" from them. For example, if there were automatic payments being made from a checking account and they are still being made, that might be something to stop/decrease, or possibly recover money if you've been over-charged.

If you haven't already done so, you can put some bills on automatic payment, like the mortgage, utilities, property taxes, or anything that has large penalties for paying late. In fact, if past bills were paid late, that is the first thing I would fix, as penalties and interest are just wasted money that can be prevented (after you understand your budget and make some changes).

And if anything tangible was purchased in the last 60 days or so and is still new, just return it. Get in the habit of returning anything you end up not needing. These small things add up, but can help you make progress.

Saving$
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Saving$ » Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:42 pm

Another vote for tracking every cent that comes in and goes out - this is incredibly powerful information on which you can act. I meant to edit my reply to the previous thread to echo that advice.

If you prefer not to use an online service like Mint, but you do want to get your all your bills into one place with the pdf/electronic version of the paper bill, I recommend Finovera. All my bills go there, which prevents me from needing to download from multiple sites. Out of an overabundance of caution, I do not let Finovera download bills from the one entity at which I have both a bank account and from which I receive bills, because once connected to the entity it automatically downloads the bank account info.

If you prefer to enter your transactions manually onto a program that is on your computer (rather than online) you have a few options as listed below. The most important thing is that you use a program that both tracks a budget/spending, and also allows you to view your entire net worth (house as an asset, less the mortgage and heloc, etc., retirement accounts, IRS debts, etc.)

- Downloaded and installed version of Quicken (vs online version)
- MoneyDance - this is probably the best answer based on previous discussions on this forum. I plan to convert 25+ years of Quicken data to MoneyDance in a few years when some pressing time consuming issues are behind me. Search this forum for info on MoneyDance.
- GnuCash - Free and open source, with a fairly active community. I have not used it in about 10 years, so it should be vastly improved now - or maybe not - but even then it was fine for what it is, which is a complete, and free, and consistently updated, double entry accounting system.
- Excel spreadsheet - some like this, but I don't recommend this solution. The above packages will all have canned reports/ charts / graphics that will allow you to easily visualize your data, view it in a matrix, etc. the value of which is highly underrated. Your brain processes data differently depending upon how it is presented. Don't give up the options of different presentation. I know some on here will say you can slice and dice an Excel spreadsheet however you want, but that takes significantly more learning than using canned reports and graphics.

There is more of a discussion here: viewtopic.php?t=270719

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celia
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by celia » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:10 pm

mptfan wrote:
celia wrote:To prevent DH from pulling out select pieces of mail, have all joint mail forwarded to a P O box that you control. You can let it pile up for a week there without worrying about having to go thru all the mail every day.
So you think it's wrong that the husband hide things from the wife, so your solution is that the wife set up a P.O. box so she can hide things from the husband?
She doesn't have to hide anything. She can gather all the mail once a week or whenever and go over all the bills with one of them opening the mail at the kitchen table and the other adding a number to a spreadsheet. At least, that's what I would do.

This is not HER problem, but THEIR problem and they need to gather accurate numbers jointly and figure out what to do jointly. Using the abilities/strengths of each person should give a better outcome than one person doing it all alone (as was done in the past or might be done in the future). If they work together on this, that could make both of them feel better about making progress as time goes on. And if they decide to go on a "financial diet" to decrease spending, it does no good for only one person to do that if the other person increases spending. They would probably want to do it together and celebrate goals met along the way.

The idea of a post office box was only to get a better chance of being able to see all the mail. The disadvantage is that some senders will be notified of their new address and change their records accordingly. Then when the post office forwarding ends (in 6 months?), some senders may not realize they need to go back to the home address. stanford73: If temporarily changing to a PO Box, when you stop using it, you should forward all the PO Box mail back to the house so the senders can be notified.

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celia
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by celia » Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:16 pm

Saving$ wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:42 pm
If you prefer not to use an online service like Mint, but you do want to get your all your bills into one place with the pdf/electronic version of the paper bill, I recommend Finovera. All my bills go there, which prevents me from needing to download from multiple sites. Out of an overabundance of caution, I do not let Finovera download bills from the one entity at which I have both a bank account and from which I receive bills, because once connected to the entity it automatically downloads the bank account info.
This is a good point I forgot about. If someone opts out of paper statements being mailed, using a PO Box will not help at all. If you get any bills electronically or do online banking, you probably want to start a new email account you can both access and have all bills and banking, investments sent there instead.

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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:16 pm

After receiving several PMs, this thread has been moved from the locked thread (Help: Husband's Surprise Debts) to a stand-alone follow-up discussion.

Threads are locked for a reason. However, a member may PM a moderator to discuss the lock and provide a rationale in support of removing the lock. Several PMs have provided that rationale.

As noted in the first post of this thread, relationship concerns are not productive to the discussion, nor are they helpful to the member, and will be removed.

This thread is now unlocked to continue the discussion.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by JoeRetire » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:23 pm

stanford73 wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:42 pm
My husband has agreed to gather the paperwork I've asked for

I just don;t know where all the money has gone and I need to find that out and stop the bleeding.
It sounds like a good concept.

Do you trust your husband to provide all the paperwork this time, rather than hiding anything that might be bad, as he has done in the past? It will be hard to make the right financial decisions without the appropriate information.
I have a question on the HELOC. Although my signature is on the initial paperwork, why is it that US Bank would allow my husband only to withdraw money? Shouldn't they require approvals from both signers on the HELOC?
Read the documentation of the HELOC.

It would be unusual to require both signers when withdrawing money. It's possible to set it up that way, but few do.
Very Stable Genius

ColoRetiredGirl
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by ColoRetiredGirl » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:45 am

Gideont wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:25 pm
To keep track of expense I highly recommend YNAB https://www.youneedabudget.com/

It’s changed m financial life and helped me finally understand my spending habits.
I totally agree with using YNAB. Someone here mentioned it a little over a 1 year ago and it changed my life. You will know where and how every dollar was allocated or used. There is a small learning curve but worth the effort to use it. Good luck!

HomeStretch
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:11 am

It’s a good time to organize all the account/vendor statements/invoices into file folders in one spot (either paper or electronic). Also set up an online account for yourself for each account so you can access financial information yourself whenever you want to.

See if there are any opportunities to reduce # of accounts, # of holdings, # of credit cards, etc. Simplicity makes managing and tracking much easier.

I don’t personally use account/expense aggregator apps but in your case it might be a good easy way to see all daily account balances and get real time feedback on spending.

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Tamarind
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Tamarind » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:58 am

I second the suggestion for Mint. It's very easy to set up with one set of credentials and puts all the income and expenses in one place for tagging and analysis. You can also set budgets that run on expense category across accounts. You'll also get alerts any time large transactions hit, or if spending in a category spikes.

The catch is you do have to connect *all* of your accounts - Banks, credit cards, retirement, loans, etc. If one of the banks won't work with Mint, add a "manual" account and update that one regularly by hand. If there are a lot, do a few at a time as you learn about them.

Topic Author
stanford73
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:25 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions on apps. I signed up for the free trial of YNAB & will check out Mint. (My grown kids all use Mint & like it.)

I sat down with DH yesterday for 2 hours, reviewed the current budget and we agreed to the following: (1) weekly meetings; (2) no cc use; (3) I will take over the finances; (4) all decisions (personal & business) on expenditures made jointly; (5) both continue working FT as consultants; (6) keep the house until 70 & reevaluate, as necessary (income, etc.). I am still gathering all the bank statements and other docs, but I have PWs to all of DH's bank accounts now & we've both been registered on Credit Karma for awhile. Although I haven't yet verified the numbers, DH says he tapped HELOC & apparently also $6k of the 401K :annoyed to cover taxes and shortfalls in income over 6 years.

I thought I'd include the budget we went over yesterday to get your input. We need to reduce our food/entertainment costs and our internet/cell phone costs seem high. You'll notice there is no budget line for estimated IRS taxes. No quarterly taxes have been paid in 2019. Thanks, in advance, for looking this over.

Income His
Nov. $4,445
Dec. $10, 653
Jan. $9,923
Feb. 17,692

Income Hers
Nov-Dec 5,000 + SS
No CC debt

Expenses

IRS (5% interest; bal $44, 672k) $575 (autopay)
Mortgage PITI(3.8%; bal $309k) $3,570 (autopay)
Citi CC (bal $8,833; 18.49%) $200.00
Cap One CC (bal $2,231; 24.40%) $86.00
Chase CC (bal $10,402; 16.50%) $255.00
US Bank cc (bal $6,140; 13%) $165.00
HELOC (bal $81,216; 4%) $377,00 (autopay)
Auto insurance (2 vehicles; PIF) $135.00 (autopay)
Dues (homeowner's assoc) $53.00
Sprint (3 lines) $200.00
Comcast (internet, cable) $247.00
Utilities (gas, water, elect) $500.00
Food/Entertainment $1,000
Term Life Ins. ($600k) $367.00 (autopay)

Expenses (Dec.) 7,730
Net (Dec) 2,923

Expenses (Jan) 7,730
Net (Jan) 2,192

Expenses (feb) 7,700
Net (feb) 9,992
Last edited by stanford73 on Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

drawpoker
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by drawpoker » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:33 pm

Am glad to see you are making real progress here.

Just one thing caught my eye on your financials - I recall you are still under FRA, right, on your social security. (But husband is over FRA)
If that $5,000 in other income you show for Nov-Dec is typical for most of the year (?) you are going to be over the earnings limit. You will have to pay back SSA, and, they will reduce your future benefit checks accordingly.
Last edited by drawpoker on Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by TallBoy29er » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:35 pm

You are a Rock Star for how you are approaching this.

I only have a sec, but your cable/internet is ridiculous. We have Comcast (GA), and use them for internet only, for $65/month. If you want cable, you can use something like SlingTV, or YouTube, for between $25-$50 per month. There's an easy $100+ saved per month. You may need to buy a Roku type device if you do not have a smart tv, but those can be had for a $30 one time cost.

Your cell phone costs seem high as well. Why three lines? There may be phone leases in that cost. If that is the case, you should think of keeping your phones longer than the typical 2 years, and your costs should drop substantially.

Topic Author
stanford73
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:36 pm

drawpoker wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:33 pm
Am glad to see you are making real progress here.

Just one thing caught my eye on your financials - I recall you are still under FRA, right, on your social security. (But husband is over FRA)
If that $5,000 in other income you show for the month is typical for most of the year (?) you are going to be over the earnings limit. You will have to pay back SSA, and, they will reduce your future benefit checks accordingly.
I filed for SS at 62, but I am now 67, so past FRA (as well as husband) and no penalties on income.

Topic Author
stanford73
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Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:45 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:35 pm
You are a Rock Star for how you are approaching this.

I only have a sec, but your cable/internet is ridiculous. We have Comcast (GA), and use them for internet only, for $65/month. If you want cable, you can use something like SlingTV, or YouTube, for between $25-$50 per month. There's an easy $100+ saved per month. You may need to buy a Roku type device if you do not have a smart tv, but those can be had for a $30 one time cost.

Your cell phone costs seem high as well. Why three lines? There may be phone leases in that cost. If that is the case, you should think of keeping your phones longer than the typical 2 years, and your costs should drop substantially.
Thank you! This forum gave me the confidence I needed to get after it quickly. Feeling better and more hopeful now.

I'll look into what we can do with Comcast to lower it. As for Sprint, one of the lines is dedicated to DH business; two personal. My iPhone is still on a lease, I think. We don't typically upgrade phones. Worth drilling down to cut these costs.

HomeStretch
Posts: 3515
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:47 pm

Sounds like you made progress. Sorry to hear more debt (401k loan and CC balances) came to light. Keep working on getting a complete list of assets and liabilities together as well as an easy method to track expenses with an eye towards what can you cut.

Who does your taxes? You need to get a handle on your 2019 tax liabilities. Since no/not enough taxes have been paid, you won’t be able to avoid under withholding interest and maybe penalties. Consider whether you should make a 4th quarter payment by 1/15/2020. Eventually you should learn how to use tax prep software so you can run your own tax projections (very useful skill).

Here are some observations after looking at your expenses:
1. There is no line item for taxes. You need to get current on payment of your 2019 liability and stay current in the future.
2. Monthly debt repayments are $5,363 of which $1,793 is high interest CC debt repayments. Do you have the assets to pay off the $28k CC balance?
3. Check with your HOA to be sure your dues are current.
4. Check with your town to be sure your home and auto property taxes are current.
5. Do you need life insurance at this point ($367/month)?
6. In your expenses, I don’t see line items for:
- Home maintenance/repair, insurance and property taxes - are the insurance/taxes escrowed perhaps and included in your monthly mortgage payment of $3,570?
- Auto property taxes and repair
- Healthcare premiums and out-of-pocket expense. Perhaps Medicare premiums are being deducted from SS?
7. There is no line item for 401k loan debt/repayments.
8. There are no line items for charitable giving and gifts. A temporary halt on these makes sense.
Last edited by HomeStretch on Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

DesertDiva
Posts: 697
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:49 pm
Location: In the desert

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by DesertDiva » Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:55 pm

Take care of yourself. This is a financial comment.
:wink:

Topic Author
stanford73
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:05 am

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:05 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:47 pm
Sounds like you made progress. Sorry to hear more debt (401k loan and CC balances) came to light. Keep working on getting a complete list of assets and liabilities together as well as an easy method to track expenses with an eye towards what can you cut.

Who does your taxes? You need to get a handle on your 2019 tax liabilities. Since no taxes have been paid, you won’t be able to avoid under withholding interest and maybe penalties. Consider whether you should make a 4th quarter payment by 1/15/2020. Eventually you should learn how to use tax prep software so you can run your own tax projections (very useful skill).

Here are some observations after looking at your expenses:
1. There is no line item for taxes. You need to get current on payment of your 2019 liability and stay current in the future.
2. Monthly debt repayments are $5,363 of which $1,793 is high interest CC debt repayments. Do you have the assets to pay off the $28k CC balance?
3. Check with your HOA to be sure your dues are current.
4. Check with your town to be sure your home and auto property taxes are current.
5. Do you need life insurance at this point ($367/month)?
6. In your expenses, I don’t see line items for:
- Home maintenance/repair, insurance and property taxes - are the insurance/taxes escrowed perhaps and included in your monthly mortgage payment of $3,570?
- Auto property taxes and repair
- Healthcare premiums and out-of-pocket expense. Perhaps Medicare premiums are being deducted from SS?
Thank you for looking this over! Yes, I agree--we need to make a 4th quarter tax payment & I will figure out how to use the tax prep software, so we are current going forward. THIS is the biggest stress point and biggest negotiation I have with DH.

To answer your questions:
-Thought is to payoff highest interest rate CCs first; no assets other than income to payoff
-DH does the taxes, but in 2018, he had an accountant look them over.
-If HOA dues aren't current, we get a notice in the mail--those dues are on autopay now; I get the mail everyday, as I'm the only one with the mailbox key.
-Property taxes are included in mortgage payment.
-Financial planner told us we needed term; policy terminates at age 70.
-Home maintenance/emergencies are paid from my emergence fund or DH cc
-Need to add auto repair--I typically pay for my car & DH for his
-Both on Medicare at $135/mo taken out of SS; no premium for Medicare Advantage
-Need to add a line for 401k debt repayment

How do we determine what gets paid first, or do we decide on a percentage for all debts? Thought was to knock out the highest CC card first & go from there.

User avatar
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 520
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Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:20 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:35 pm
You are a Rock Star for how you are approaching this.

I only have a sec, but your cable/internet is ridiculous. We have Comcast (GA), and use them for internet only, for $65/month. If you want cable, you can use something like SlingTV, or YouTube, for between $25-$50 per month. There's an easy $100+ saved per month. You may need to buy a Roku type device if you do not have a smart tv, but those can be had for a $30 one time cost.

Your cell phone costs seem high as well. Why three lines? There may be phone leases in that cost. If that is the case, you should think of keeping your phones longer than the typical 2 years, and your costs should drop substantially.
I agree with this point. I also think your utilities are very high. Your house may be large but I have 3500 SF and pay ~$133/month for electricity/gas/water and sewer (Colorado also). It seems like you may be able to lower this, e.g. setting your thermostat lower in the winter, etc. If you use Xcel for utilities, they offer a budget billing option so your bills are averaged over the course of the year which may help with budgeting. I would estimate you could cut back on this by 50% or so. Glad you are making progress! :D

delamer
Posts: 9492
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by delamer » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:24 pm

stanford73 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:05 pm
HomeStretch wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:47 pm
Sounds like you made progress. Sorry to hear more debt (401k loan and CC balances) came to light. Keep working on getting a complete list of assets and liabilities together as well as an easy method to track expenses with an eye towards what can you cut.

Who does your taxes? You need to get a handle on your 2019 tax liabilities. Since no taxes have been paid, you won’t be able to avoid under withholding interest and maybe penalties. Consider whether you should make a 4th quarter payment by 1/15/2020. Eventually you should learn how to use tax prep software so you can run your own tax projections (very useful skill).

Here are some observations after looking at your expenses:
1. There is no line item for taxes. You need to get current on payment of your 2019 liability and stay current in the future.
2. Monthly debt repayments are $5,363 of which $1,793 is high interest CC debt repayments. Do you have the assets to pay off the $28k CC balance?
3. Check with your HOA to be sure your dues are current.
4. Check with your town to be sure your home and auto property taxes are current.
5. Do you need life insurance at this point ($367/month)?
6. In your expenses, I don’t see line items for:
- Home maintenance/repair, insurance and property taxes - are the insurance/taxes escrowed perhaps and included in your monthly mortgage payment of $3,570?
- Auto property taxes and repair
- Healthcare premiums and out-of-pocket expense. Perhaps Medicare premiums are being deducted from SS?
Thank you for looking this over! Yes, I agree--we need to make a 4th quarter tax payment & I will figure out how to use the tax prep software, so we are current going forward. THIS is the biggest stress point and biggest negotiation I have with DH.

To answer your questions:
-Thought is to payoff highest interest rate CCs first; no assets other than income to payoff
-DH does the taxes, but in 2018, he had an accountant look them over.
-If HOA dues aren't current, we get a notice in the mail--those dues are on autopay now; I get the mail everyday, as I'm the only one with the mailbox key.
-Property taxes are included in mortgage payment.
-Financial planner told us we needed term; policy terminates at age 70.
-Home maintenance/emergencies are paid from my emergence fund or DH cc
-Need to add auto repair--I typically pay for my car & DH for his
-Both on Medicare at $135/mo taken out of SS; no premium for Medicare Advantage
-Need to add a line for 401k debt repayment

How do we determine what gets paid first, or do we decide on a percentage for all debts? Thought was to knock out the highest CC card first & go from there.
There is nothing for gasoline for your vehicles or for out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Consider cancelling the term life and putting the premium toward your credit cards.

HomeStretch
Posts: 3515
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by HomeStretch » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:27 pm

Taxes are first priority. But if you have extra to pay above monthly CC minimum payments, I agree with paying on card with highest interest.

Not sure if your credit will support another card, but you might look for a card with zero interest for a period of time. There can be a balance transfer fee. Transfer $28k CC debt to such a card and you can put the entire $1,793 per month you are paying now towards principal for a 15 month payoff. You can check doctorofcredit.com for CC recommendations.

What about home insurance premiums? Are they being paid as part of mortgage payment?

Financial planner may have recommended life insurance until age 70, but do you need it for $367/mo? Did planner sell it to you (and is getting a commission)?

User avatar
JoeRetire
Posts: 4523
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:44 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by JoeRetire » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:27 pm

stanford73 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:05 pm
How do we determine what gets paid first, or do we decide on a percentage for all debts? Thought was to knock out the highest CC card first & go from there.
You must pay the minimum on everything.
After that, pay off the highest interest rate CC aggressively. Once that is paid off, then tackle the next highest interest rate. Etc.
Very Stable Genius

daheld
Posts: 738
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:14 am
Location: Midwest US

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by daheld » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:52 pm

You've gotten (and made yourself) some good suggestions here, so I will skip over some. Big things I see:

-Knock out credit cards per the methods others have suggested.
-Keeping that insurance policy for nearly $400/month is insane. Are any of your kids in a position, as adults, where they couldn't provide for themselves whatsoever if you were to die? If the answer is "no", then I would drop it immediately. Term life insurance is a great vehicle for financial stability when you're relatively young and have young dependents who otherwise could not provide for themselves. This is not your situation and that money will help you get out of financial trouble.
-Food, entertainment, and internet can all be trimmed somewhat I'm sure.

Between getting rid of that insurance policy, trimming your internet bill, and cutting back on entertainment, I would guess you could free up $750/month. That, plus your monthly surplus earnings, could pay off your credit card balances very quickly.

User avatar
Tamarind
Posts: 1869
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:38 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Tamarind » Tue Nov 26, 2019 3:08 pm

Well done, OP.

As others have said, knock out all those little credit card bills with the next cash you get. Suggest you lay your hands on the physical cards and either cut them up or freeze them in a container of water. Debit cards only for both of you for a while.

You're going to need to make "catch-up" estimated tax payments and I would not wait for the 4th quarter deadline in January, as you already owe penalties for the ones missed to date. Go ahead and calculate your tax liability based on year-to date income and start figuring out how to pay it. If this was a good year you may be paying every spare dollar to the IRS for 2019 liability for the next several months.

For cell phone, try Cricket or a Sprint MVNO. Your budget is $35/line per month. Is the 3rd line necessary?

Your utilities seem very high. Can you break that out further so you can tell if water, electricity or heat is the issue?

Your food budget can get smaller and may have to. What if you became vegetarian until your debt is cleared?

Keep your internet, cancel your cable.

I would be tempted to keep the term insurance on your DH. How much is it? :D

About the 401k, did he take an early distribution or is it a loan?

MtnTraveler
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:32 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by MtnTraveler » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:35 pm

I didn't realize you are in Colorado. Since you are look into the senior citizen property tax exemption. Basically as long as you are over 65 and have lived in the house 10 yrs the first 100k of property taxes on the house is exempt.

clip651
Posts: 502
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by clip651 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:46 pm

stanford73 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:25 pm

I thought I'd include the budget we went over yesterday to get your input. We need to reduce our food/entertainment costs and our internet/cell phone costs seem high. You'll notice there is no budget line for estimated IRS taxes. No quarterly taxes have been paid in 2019. Thanks, in advance, for looking this over.

Income His
Nov. $4,445
Dec. $10, 653
Jan. $9,923
Feb. 17,692

Income Hers
Nov-Dec 5,000 + SS
No CC debt

Expenses

IRS (5% interest; bal $44, 672k) $575 (autopay)
Mortgage PITI(3.8%; bal $309k) $3,570 (autopay)
Citi CC (bal $8,833; 18.49%) $200.00
Cap One CC (bal $2,231; 24.40%) $86.00
Chase CC (bal $10,402; 16.50%) $255.00
US Bank cc (bal $6,140; 13%) $165.00
HELOC (bal $81,216; 4%) $377,00 (autopay)
Auto insurance (2 vehicles; PIF) $135.00 (autopay)
Dues (homeowner's assoc) $53.00
Sprint (3 lines) $200.00
Comcast (internet, cable) $247.00
Utilities (gas, water, elect) $500.00
Food/Entertainment $1,000
Term Life Ins. ($600k) $367.00 (autopay)

Expenses (Dec.) 7,730
Net (Dec) 2,923

Expenses (Jan) 7,730
Net (Jan) 2,192

Expenses (feb) 7,700
Net (feb) 9,992
You have done a great job gathering information and getting started! Congratulations! Thank you for updating us. You can now begin to plan your path forward with real information to work with.

A couple of things stand out to me:

1) you say you've paid no estimated taxes yet for 2019. Do you have an estimate for what those taxes will be? Have you looked at last year's tax return and compared it with this year's income, etc? Others can better advise you on the nitty gritty details, but you'll want to get going on making a payment for 2019 taxes ASAP.

2) are there any liquid savings outside of retirement accounts currently?

3) The interest rates on credit cards are of course quite high. The one with the highest rate (Cap One CC, 24.4%) has the smallest balance ($2231). If there is any extra money around (after figuring out the tax issue), I would throw it at that one and try to eliminate that balance first. Then that monthly payment can be redirected to future taxes or another credit card, depending on where you are at. You can also keep an eye out for any balance transfer offers (preferably with the cards you already have, not with a new one) which might help you consolidate and save interest. Check the fine print and the timelines on the offers, though, and be sure you'd be saving and not setting yourself up for higher interest once the promotion period ends.

The way you've listed income, expenses, and net is confusing to me. (I can't tell how much you two made so far this year, for instance, or whether you both worked al through the year this year.) Are you saying you have an extra $2000 or so a month to work with? In that case, you can work on figuring out taxes and credit card payments to maximize use of that money. But somehow I don't think that's what you're saying here. (Do you mean you are short 2000-3000 a month, and haven't paid taxes yet??)

Again, congrats on excellent progress! Keep chipping away at understanding the present (and the past as needed) and planning for the future.

best wishes,
cj

User avatar
LilyFleur
Posts: 847
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:36 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by LilyFleur » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:55 pm

I got this idea from another Boglehead. They recommended I increase the amount of taxes withheld from my pension check instead of sending in estimated taxes quarterly. Not all of us are good at sending in estimated taxes!

I don't know if you could simply go into your online portal for social security, and set higher withholding amounts for your state and federal taxes, so that your highest estimated income taxes for the year (from all income sources) would be withheld. That is what I did for my pension check.

If you err on the side of too much withholding, then you could use your refund to pay down the HELOC.

I wish you the best, and welcome to our community; I have learned so much here!

Topic Author
stanford73
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:05 am

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:58 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:20 pm
TallBoy29er wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:35 pm
You are a Rock Star for how you are approaching this.

I only have a sec, but your cable/internet is ridiculous. We have Comcast (GA), and use them for internet only, for $65/month. If you want cable, you can use something like SlingTV, or YouTube, for between $25-$50 per month. There's an easy $100+ saved per month. You may need to buy a Roku type device if you do not have a smart tv, but those can be had for a $30 one time cost.

Your cell phone costs seem high as well. Why three lines? There may be phone leases in that cost. If that is the case, you should think of keeping your phones longer than the typical 2 years, and your costs should drop substantially.
I agree with this point. I also think your utilities are very high. Your house may be large but I have 3500 SF and pay ~$133/month for electricity/gas/water and sewer (Colorado also). It seems like you may be able to lower this, e.g. setting your thermostat lower in the winter, etc. If you use Xcel for utilities, they offer a budget billing option so your bills are averaged over the course of the year which may help with budgeting. I would estimate you could cut back on this by 50% or so. Glad you are making progress! :D
I thought the utilities were high, too. I need to check the actual bills. The water bill over the summer months was $600 per month, which was double what it was last year. Same amount of water usage. That budget billing sounds good.

Overall, do you think we can dig out of all these bills? Seems a bit overwhelming. And, in order of priority, is it IRS, CC, HELOC for payments/extra payments?

Elena
Posts: 343
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Elena » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:01 pm

I am very proud of you.

Question:

Do you enjoy the big house and need the second car? (large and projected expenses add up by a lot). Cutting on $1,000/mo. food & entertainment is $12,000/yr., but car and large house mortgate/HOA/tax eats more bread.

Topic Author
stanford73
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:05 am

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:01 pm

MtnTraveler wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:35 pm
I didn't realize you are in Colorado. Since you are look into the senior citizen property tax exemption. Basically as long as you are over 65 and have lived in the house 10 yrs the first 100k of property taxes on the house is exempt.
Yes, and thank you for mentioning it! We already have the senior exemption. I read an article about it years ago. We pay just under $5k in property taxes.
Last edited by stanford73 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

Topic Author
stanford73
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:05 am

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:16 pm

clip651 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:46 pm
stanford73 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 1:25 pm

I thought I'd include the budget we went over yesterday to get your input. We need to reduce our food/entertainment costs and our internet/cell phone costs seem high. You'll notice there is no budget line for estimated IRS taxes. No quarterly taxes have been paid in 2019. Thanks, in advance, for looking this over.

Income His
Nov. $4,445
Dec. $10, 653
Jan. $9,923
Feb. 17,692

Income Hers
Nov-Dec 5,000 + SS
No CC debt

Expenses

IRS (5% interest; bal $44, 672k) $575 (autopay)
Mortgage PITI(3.8%; bal $309k) $3,570 (autopay)
Citi CC (bal $8,833; 18.49%) $200.00
Cap One CC (bal $2,231; 24.40%) $86.00
Chase CC (bal $10,402; 16.50%) $255.00
US Bank cc (bal $6,140; 13%) $165.00
HELOC (bal $81,216; 4%) $377,00 (autopay)
Auto insurance (2 vehicles; PIF) $135.00 (autopay)
Dues (homeowner's assoc) $53.00
Sprint (3 lines) $200.00
Comcast (internet, cable) $247.00
Utilities (gas, water, elect) $500.00
Food/Entertainment $1,000
Term Life Ins. ($600k) $367.00 (autopay)

Expenses (Dec.) 7,730
Net (Dec) 2,923

Expenses (Jan) 7,730
Net (Jan) 2,192

Expenses (feb) 7,700
Net (feb) 9,992
You have done a great job gathering information and getting started! Congratulations! Thank you for updating us. You can now begin to plan your path forward with real information to work with.

A couple of things stand out to me:

1) you say you've paid no estimated taxes yet for 2019. Do you have an estimate for what those taxes will be? Have you looked at last year's tax return and compared it with this year's income, etc? Others can better advise you on the nitty gritty details, but you'll want to get going on making a payment for 2019 taxes ASAP.

2) are there any liquid savings outside of retirement accounts currently?

3) The interest rates on credit cards are of course quite high. The one with the highest rate (Cap One CC, 24.4%) has the smallest balance ($2231). If there is any extra money around (after figuring out the tax issue), I would throw it at that one and try to eliminate that balance first. Then that monthly payment can be redirected to future taxes or another credit card, depending on where you are at. You can also keep an eye out for any balance transfer offers (preferably with the cards you already have, not with a new one) which might help you consolidate and save interest. Check the fine print and the timelines on the offers, though, and be sure you'd be saving and not setting yourself up for higher interest once the promotion period ends.

The way you've listed income, expenses, and net is confusing to me. (I can't tell how much you two made so far this year, for instance, or whether you both worked al through the year this year.) Are you saying you have an extra $2000 or so a month to work with? In that case, you can work on figuring out taxes and credit card payments to maximize use of that money. But somehow I don't think that's what you're saying here. (Do you mean you are short 2000-3000 a month, and haven't paid taxes yet??)

Again, congrats on excellent progress! Keep chipping away at understanding the present (and the past as needed) and planning for the future.

best wishes,
cj
Thanks, cj, for the kind words and encouragement.
To answer your questions:
1) I don't yet have an estimate. I've asked my husband for our tax returns for the last two years and his YTD salary. Income is lower this year, and last year, he paid 2018 taxes in full. The IRS debt that remains is from bits and pieces of balances owed since 2011. So, he has been chipping away, but unfortunately, the biggest chunk of those payments was made with the HELOC funds.
2) The only liquid savings are in my emergency fund of about $3k.
3) Zero balance transfers are a great idea.

The "net" amount listed in the numbers above is what we have leftover at the end of the month after expenses, BUT without taxes calculated in.
Last edited by stanford73 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Atilla
Posts: 1402
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 7:44 pm

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Atilla » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:23 pm

celia wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:10 pm
mptfan wrote:
celia wrote:To prevent DH from pulling out select pieces of mail, have all joint mail forwarded to a P O box that you control. You can let it pile up for a week there without worrying about having to go thru all the mail every day.
So you think it's wrong that the husband hide things from the wife, so your solution is that the wife set up a P.O. box so she can hide things from the husband?
She doesn't have to hide anything. She can gather all the mail once a week or whenever and go over all the bills with one of them opening the mail at the kitchen table and the other adding a number to a spreadsheet. At least, that's what I would do.

This is not HER problem, but THEIR problem and they need to gather accurate numbers jointly and figure out what to do jointly. Using the abilities/strengths of each person should give a better outcome than one person doing it all alone (as was done in the past or might be done in the future). If they work together on this, that could make both of them feel better about making progress as time goes on. And if they decide to go on a "financial diet" to decrease spending, it does no good for only one person to do that if the other person increases spending. They would probably want to do it together and celebrate goals met along the way.

The idea of a post office box was only to get a better chance of being able to see all the mail. The disadvantage is that some senders will be notified of their new address and change their records accordingly. Then when the post office forwarding ends (in 6 months?), some senders may not realize they need to go back to the home address. stanford73: If temporarily changing to a PO Box, when you stop using it, you should forward all the PO Box mail back to the house so the senders can be notified.
Signing up for informed delivery thru the postal service will give you a heads up on every piece of mail that is coming in. Any missing pieces will be noticed and can be questioned. :D
Moderator Warning-Free Since 2017.

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 863
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by HawkeyePierce » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:24 pm

If you reach the end of the 34 day YNAB trial and are still unsure about it, you can likely get another three months free if you email their support. Definitely takes some time for YNAB to click. I highly recommend working through the educational resources on their website. They offer a variety of written documentation, recorded videos and live workshops so you should be able to find something for whatever learning style suits you best.

YNAB is more than just expense tracking like Mint, it's an entire budgeting philosophy around giving every dollar a job and if you aren't bought into that system the software probably won't work for you.

Topic Author
stanford73
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:05 am

Re: Follow Up: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by stanford73 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:25 pm

Elena wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:01 pm
I am very proud of you.

Question:

Do you enjoy the big house and need the second car? (large and projected expenses add up by a lot). Cutting on $1,000/mo. food & entertainment is $12,000/yr., but car and large house mortgate/HOA/tax eats more bread.
We do enjoy the house & we need the 2nd car, which is a 2001 Volvo station wagon with 210,000 miles on it. Our other car is a 2010 with 114,000 miles. Both are paid off.
Last edited by stanford73 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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