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Overwhelmed, no way to pay off debt

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    He sounds like a nightmare to deal with. You definitely need to put your safety ahead of financial concerns.

    So, repaying prior year taxes it is.

    Have you considered letting your priest/pastor/minister/rabbi/elder know what you are going through? Perhaps your church group can help?

    What is your housing situation? Your mortgage is small. Do you have a lot of home equity? Have you given any thought to down-sizing or re-financing to free up equity and pay your taxes? I personally wouldn't touch home equity for credit card debt, but I feel taxes are a different matter. If you end up with several years' tax bills of 8k each, that is going to be difficult to juggle.


      Jennifer, my heart goes out to you as it sounds like you were married to my ex's twin. People tend to forget that many of the reasons that couples divorce is that they can't/don't/won't get along. They can't come to a meeting of the minds. So, the fighting that was going on during the marriage, just continues during the divorce proceedings and following afterwards. As much as you never want to see them again, but if you have kids, kid’s weddings, grandkids, etc. you will still be bumping into them for the next several decades at least.

      Prior to going to nursing school, I was a certified Day Care Mother for our county, they paid me to care for children of low income families, so parents could work. Then I became an RN and at the time of the divorce I was one of those involved in setting up a pediatric program at my hospital. Yet one of the ways that they wanted to have the ex get my kids, was to say I was an UNFIT mother! What a crushing thing to hear and my lawyer wouldn't say a thing or allow me in any way to defend myself. My MIL said one of the reasons that I was an unfit mother/wife is I didn't make meatballs! This she told me to my face! Divorce is messy, nasty and brings out the absolute worst in people.

      I don't know if someone at Legal Aide could take your case pro bono, but it sounds like you need some good legal advice and if they are good at both divorce and child support law as well, how much better. You need an advocate on your side. I suspect that you also need some 'ME' time to rest and recuperate, as well as fun time with the kids on the cheap. Use your internet connection to find freebie things going on in your area. Schedule time for a bubble bath with candles and tea to just relax. You have to find ways to get your stress under control, so you can think straight. As hard as it may be to find, you need to develop a friendship with another woman that will be a listening ear.

      It would also help to develop some ways of finding more money to have coming in. There are ways to do so on line. One of the members here shared their eBates referral code. I thought I would rarely get anything, but between eBates and Bing points that pays out rewards, I've earned about $50 since the beginning of the year. There are other things you can do to make money and those little bits and pieces do add up over time and can help pay for Christmas or more. I run an on-line business as well that helps provide for a lot of our living needs.

      I do hope things get better for you soon.


        Gailete I am sorry you had to go through this too. Your ex sounds a lot like mine. I know he will always be in my life in some capacity so I have to learn how to deal with his manipulation. I try to be businesslike (advice I was given) and not make it about personal feelings but he continually tells the kids I get child support so he shouldn't help with other expenses. But he got all of the assets and the business and I took debt that wasn't mine so I do feel like he should contribute to the court ordered items. It's a battle that will go on for a long time.

        As for the house, I bought it last year for $25k and remodeled it with $80k in it altogether. It's now worth $100k so I have equity but I don't want to touch it. And around here that's a good price for a home so I won't be able to go much lower. The utilities are lower than my previous home too so that helps. The biggest financial burden is the credit card debt. The interest rates keep creeping up and less is going to the balance. Of the $700 a month I pay less than half of that goes towards paying it down. And because I'm short a lot I put stuff on them. Maybe if I just cut them up I will be forced to find the money when I need it. At least get out of one of them and free up some cash flow.


          I agree, you should stop using them. The first step to getting out of a hole is to stop digging deeper.

          You've got to get to the point you can pay all of your expenses plus minimum payments on all debt each month, without borrowing a cent. If you can do that, your debts will eventually go away. If you can't do that, they will grow.

          So your task is to decide which expenses are worth staying in debt for and which ones aren't. Only you can say.

          Sounds like you made some smart choices about your current home. Kudos on that.


            Just something to think about.

            This doesn't speak to your situation specifically, but it came to my mind the other day when writing up a review for Amazon on of all things toilet paper. Even during the worst of the financial crises in my life, I still always bought the 'good' toilet paper. I received a case of 96 rolls about a month ago to try and review. To be honest it is toilet paper much like you find out and about in restrooms like WM, etc. It is not particularly soft and only one ply so even to get the job done you have to use a lot. As I wrote my review I did some calculating. The paper is okay if you use enough and even when using 'enough' one roll lasted the time frame of what it usually took to go through 3 rolls of the good stuff! Financially, the difference was $80-90/year of savings by buying the cheap stuff.

            The point is, when you are in a desperate fix financially, nothing that you spend money on, shouldn't be looked at for cuts and savings. Whether it is toilet paper or whatever. How many rolls of paper towels do you use a week? I use one a year and for the rest I use cleaning rags or dish cloths. I see woman buying those great big 6-8 roll packs of paper towels and wonder how long they will last. It is possible to run an American household without the use of paper towels (I only use them when making bacon in the microwave)?

            If many that think they have trimmed everything from their budget, goes through each item they buy one by one, most could find, I would think at least $500-1000 in savings just by changing their buying habits and brands. Don't like cheap toilet paper? Use it anyhow and when the bills are finally paid off, go buy a big package of the good stuff and pay cash as your reward or maybe you won't even be thinking about it anymore. It is amazing what people can get used to if needed. Years ago, we switched from paper napkins to cloth ones which I already had. Doesn't cost anything extra to wash, free to dry, etc. Granted not a big expense, but as you substitute in other cheaper forms of doing things, the more you have for what you NEED. And I found that I like using cloth napkins.


              Originally posted by jawhite View Post
              Saw the accountant and it's worse than I thought. I will end up owing the IRS $8K with what I have to pay back and interest and penalties. He said there is a chance they may waive the penalties but not to count on it. I have to pay the state about $250 and they want their money right away so I have to pay that. He's still working on 2015 and 2016's taxes then I'll know the final amount. He also looked at my divorce decree and said I'm getting screwed big time with the way it's written out. He suggested I take it back to an attorney ASAP and get it fixed or else my ex gets most of the tax benefits even though I pay more for them, even with the child support, which I won't always get. So I need to start planning for that too when it ends in 4 years. More than likely all three kids might still be on my health insurance or living with me and I won't get his help for anything.

              All that said I'm not giving up. I have been shopping for cheaper cell phone plans, insurance, internet, etc. I'm also looking for a part time job and until I find one I will devote at least 8-10 hours a week to money saving ideas or work from home stuff. One way or another I need to reduce expenses and increase income. I did try applying for state assistance for medical, etc and was denied because I make too much. I'm also gathering up anything and everything I can sell and am having a yard sale in May. Hopefully that will bring in a good amount.

              I tried talking to my daughter about getting a job this summer and she got very upset saying she didn't want her whole summer ruined. I thought I was doing a decent job raising them because they get good grades and stay out of trouble but obviously she has some entitlement going on that needs addressed. The boys work hard though and always do odd jobs throughout the summer. They also do more around the house and aren't lazy. She's more difficult though and we fight a lot and anytime she thinks I'm being too hard on her she threatens to go live with her dad. So of course I back off because I don't want to lose my child. Been like this since the divorce too. I will keep praying we resolve this and find a way to work together as a family.

              Thanks again everyone for the great advice. I used to be extremely frugal when we were struggling with the business but have since lapsed on those ways. I know what I need to do and maybe it looks overwhelming right now but I am not a quitter.


              The only advice I can offer is to get on every welfare program you can. Normally I wouldn't advocate for that but since you are already paying the IRS why not get something from it?


                Originally posted by tman2004 View Post
                The only advice I can offer is to get on every welfare program you can. Normally I wouldn't advocate for that but since you are already paying the IRS why not get something from it?
                She already mentioned that she had tried for those programs and was rejected for making too much money.