I didn’t post about it, at the time. But, in June we got a letter saying we were being sued for a medical bill. The next day, we got an letter about filing for bankruptcy. I was very dismissive of it, and went to throw it away, and Brad stopped me. He said maybe we needed to think about it. Wait…what?
After some time, and back and forth, Brad told me how we had about $30k more in debt than I knew about. All the credit cards were maxed out, the min. payments were more than we could afford. We probably did need to file for bankruptcy, actually.
I was in shock. My nice life was ruined. How could he not tell me? How did this happen? I was furious, I was scared, I started to open my mouth to say something, and the words just wouldn’t come. Thanks MS. I literally could.not.say.a.word. I cried, and we didn’t speak for 3 days.
I’d been asking him, repeatedly, to let me help with the money stuff. Because, if something happened to him, I had no idea what our financial situation was, what bills we had, who I had to pay. I was brushed off time and again. Well, now I wasn’t going to give him a choice.
We sat down and laid out everything. Our bills alone came out to about $400 more than he brought home every months. That wasn’t counting food or gas or anything like that. So, we canceled cable. We rolled one cell phone into another plan. We had some tax return left we could put on a credit card. That helped some, little things had our bills down to exactly what Brad brought home. I turned off the A/C and opened the windows…in GA…in June. I hiked a lot in June. The kids were in Indiana, I was furious at Brad, and it was free. We changed his withholding, we paid off a credit card, we called and got some interest rates lowered.
I made him write down everything. Every dollar we owed, every asset we had. Up until then, he said he had a handle on things, but, he didn’t actually know how much we owed. Payments came do, and he clicked pay. We ate a lot of ramen and mac and cheese while the kids were gone. And, I told him we were going to have a big budget meeting every 3 months.
So, fast forward…we’re now 6 months in. We were able to pay off a small credit card right away, with left over tax return There were a couple instances of random money coming in…an overpayment to a dr coming back to us, a MS survey I took that paid, and, at some point my ex went to one of those unclaimed money websites and found the state owed him $3000…well, he owed me more than that. So, when we clicked to cash out, it came right to me. Another credit card got paid off. Those payments rolled into the next credit card payment.
At the last budget overview, I was able to cross a debt off the list and I told Brad “Next year, I want these 2 things paid off”. He said he didn’t know how that was going to happen, but, if that was my goal, we’d work toward it.
Around June, Brad was also offered a “promotion”. But, his boss wouldn’t tell him pay, or responsibilities. The company had a history of doing this, Brad had gotten 3 “promotions” that never came with the pay raise he was promised, and meant he continued to do his old job while they piled on more responsibilities. So, Brad said he’d love the title, as soon as he knew pay and responsibility. For about a month, his boss pushed. Brad kept repeating himself. They then forced the job on another guy. Who hated every minute of it.
New boss comes, in late Sept. Other guy makes it clear he’s not going to keep the “promotion”. New Boss (Who is also the VP of one of the departments) goes to Brad, asks Brad where he sees himself in the company. Brad goes out on a limb and tells VP “Actually, I want your job.” VP takes it well, is very encouraging. Brings up the promotion again. Brad lays out his terms, again. In late Oct Brad is told the job is his, he’ll get paperwork. We’re skeptical. He hears “you’ll get it tomorrow” for a few weeks. Things seem to be moving along, but, he still doesn’t know pay or responsibilities. He starts backing out of responsibilities for current position, to prep for new position. He picks the guys to replace him. (Yes, they had to promote TWO people to do the work he was doing. A fact that was causing a decent amount of stress for everyone).
The day after Thanksgiving Brad gets the paperwork. It outlines the new position, and his 20% pay raise!!!! He signs it and sends it back in. So, he has less work, he’s looking forward to the work he has to do now. He thinks it’s fun. And more money.
After I saw that, I said “Remember how I said I wanted to pay off those 2 debts next year and you said you weren’t sure how to manage that? I think you just did.”
All in all, in 6 months, we’ve paid down about $9000 in debt. We’ve still managed to have fun. It’s really opened up our communication, because Brad has tended not to tell me things because he’s afraid I’ll get mad. Well, this happened and it was a pretty big deal. And,I got mad. And…guess what? We were ok anyway.
His promotion also came with a requirement to be in CA for one work week a month. Which sucks. But, it’s great for the frequent flier miles account. And, that lets me fly the kids to IN to visit their dad, instead of having to drive them. If this had happened a few years ago, I don’t think we’d still be together, California weeks used to be really, really rough. But, we’ve grown a lot and now they are just annoying. I did tell him if he’s gonna be out there that much, I’d like to go out once or twice a year too. Especially since the plan is to live there in 10 yrs or so.
In other news, my MS is basically a non-issue anymore *knock on wood*. There are days I hurt a lot, or I’m tired. But, it’s been just over 2 yrs since the diagnosis and they told me to be prepared to be in the hospital a couple times a year. They told me the medicine I wanted wasn’t strong enough to prevent a relapse. They told me it was really bad…and, I’m fine.
My kids are doing well. They have adjusted well to the move, and the new schedule. They are getting used to flights to see their dad, and him driving down to surprise them. He’s getting married Jan 1. Because they wanted the kids there. I told him I’d fly them up for his wedding, but they picked a date the kids would already be there. They’ve been dating like, 2 months. But, the kids seem to like her, so, that’s nice (and a definite change of pace.).
I tried to change out my nose stud for a ring, and my nose is not happy about it. But, I really love how it looks, so, I’m spending far too much time using the saline solution trying to get it to heal up.