4/3/14 Dead Broke

Saturday , 29, March 2014 Leave a comment

Dear Susan:

My soon-to-be ex-wife made a real mess of our finances. I trusted her with the banking and bill paying because she has always worked as a bookkeeper. Everything was okay for the first couple of years, then things started happening that made me suspicious. Like my credit card would be declined or the ATM machine would tell me there wasn’t enough in the account to give me the cash I’d requested. When I confronted her she always had what sounded like a good excuse.

What I didn’t know was that she was seeing another man who got her into meth. When she decided to leave, she emptied out the bank accounts and the house. I’ve got an attorney and I’m going to ask for half of everything, but I have a feeling it has all already been spent on partying. She stopped paying the house note months ago and so it is in foreclosure. I can’t afford to catch it up or refinance, so I’m just going to walk away. Same thing with my truck and boat. Gone!

What do I tell my friends and family? We used to go to concerts, nice restaurants and take vacations together but I just can’t afford that now. I’m not going to let them pay for me, even though they’ve offered. I feel like I’m losing them too because I can’t join in.

Dead Broke

Dear Broke:

Never, never, NEVER let someone else handle your money without checking up on it from time to time. Set it up with your bank so you can check your balances online. A quick look at the checking account would have tipped you off that no money was going to the mortgage company. You can do the same thing with your credit cards. My guess is that there were a lot of cash advances being taken out.

You’re probably right that your money and stuff all went to partying, but sue for it anyway. Your ex might come into some money one day. Make sure you have a judgment against her that you can haul out on that happy day.

As for your friends and relatives, they are just going to have to accept your regrets when you can’t attend their more costly activities. Don’t go into (more) debt trying to keep up. Save your money and when you get back on your feet you can join them. Plus, I’m sure they do SOME things that aren’t expensive, like barbeques and house parties. Show up for those and invite them to do things you can afford.

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