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Story 181 for Stupid Tax
The Ultimate Stupid Tax--A Marriage Destroyed
Original story submitted by Shelly
on December 25, 2012
Location:Nebraska
Age: 45-55
Gender: female
on December 25, 2012
The Ultimate Stupid Tax--A Marriage Destroyed
I keep looking back at the last 23+ years to see how I could have predicted this, how I could have prevented it, or how I could have changed it, but I cannot see a good answer.
I married my husband in 1989. At the time I didn't realize what a control freak his father was. Maybe my first hint should have been when, a few weeks before the wedding, he told me that he didn't think we should get married.
At first we had no debt. Within a few years, though, my husb began to take out loans to support/enlarge his livestock business. My parents had always been very conservative with money and I was reluctant to go into debt, but husb and his father--a banker--insisted it was better to use "other people's money" to build a business. Trouble is, the loans never got completely paid off, just carried over and even increased year to year. Little by little things got worse and worse.
When I look back at the overdraft fees, late fees, interest being paid on loans...it makes me sick to think of the money lost for no reason other than not being accountable. I pointed these numbers out to husb and his dad...and they had no reaction. I cannot comprehend how this didn't get thru to them.
Gradually my husb involved me less and less in his business--although he always expected me to sign loan papers, bullying me into it several times--once in front of my parents when they were visiting--and I didn't want to cause a fuss so did it. He did NOT like to hear any of my suggestions about improving the business, things that weren't working, etc. I tried to be a partner by organizing his office (he's terrible at organization, keeping track of expenses, etc., etc., etc.) giving suggestions for how to do things better or differently, and so on. I truly wanted to be his partner, wanted him to be a success.
Within the last few years I realized that his true business partner was his father and both of them were willing to do anything to continue on the spiral of increasing debt without a real plan as to how to get out of it. They were willing to lie, manipulate, bully, etc. his mom and I, bankers, bank board members, friends, neighbors, businesses, to continue this.
And we allowed them to. I did not know WHAT to do...I was an at-home mom and didn't want to give that up. From their past patterns I knew that any money I brought into the household would be expected to go to household expenses--not that that was wrong, of course, but my doing that would only allow husb. and father-in-law to continue to throw away more and more and more money on the business. Anything I'd make would be a tiny drop in the bucket and would be taking me away from my kids. Husb was not reliable to do anything for or with anyone but himself.
I desperately wanted to change the situation but saw no way to. He'd cashed in his retirement, gotten me thrown off the bank board of directors (my being there brought in a small amount of cash and provided our insurance); we had no savings, crushing debt...but I was not willing to leave or divorce without a Biblical reason--I really wanted to make it work, somehow.
Well, God didn't see it that way. This summer I found out that he had a girlfriend, and he did not want to break it off with her or make any effort to make our marriage work. After much prayer and talking with my pastor I realized that he'd also abandoned me and our marriage long ago. I had Biblical reasons to leave, and, as my pastor pointed out, he needed to be held accountable for his behaviors. So I moved out.
Looking back I'm not sure where I went wrong...and what I could/should have done differently. Perhaps held him accountable years ago when "money" things started to go bad...refused to sign more loans (although even after I refused to sign any more his dad did). They were willing to go to any extent to continue to fund their "business", up to and including lying, manipulating, etc.
I don't know exactly what my advice is...I guess to realize that marriage should be a partnership and hold that person accountable, even when it's difficult.
51 of 56 found this story helpful.
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Story 182 for Stupid Tax
Cell Phone
Original story submitted by Bill
on December 4, 2012
Location:Los Angeles, CA
Age: over 55
Gender: male
on December 4, 2012
Cell Phone
I was told by the Verizon salesman that I had to take the 10.00 data plan for my "Smart" phone. I told him at that time I didn't need it, didn't want it and asked why it was mandatory. Again I was told it was a "Smart" phone and if I wanted the phone the dta plan was mandatory. 2 years later, I find out that my phone is not a "Smart" phone and I did not need the data plan. Don't know if I'm more mad at myself or at the saleman for lying to me.
40 of 46 found this story helpful.
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Story 183 for Stupid Tax
Insurance Lesson Learned
Original story submitted by Robin
on November 30, 2012
Location:Kansas City, MO
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
on November 30, 2012
Insurance Lesson Learned
After my husband and I were first married we re-evaluated our life insurance needs. He had a small life insurance policy and we decided to increase the insurance and shop around. After getting a new policy in place, we canceled his original life insurance policy.
One day in the mail we received a bill for a quarterly life insurance payment. Without checking with my husband, I assumed this must be a quarterly bill for his new policy.
Instead the bill was for the old life insurance policy we had cancelled. We were told by our insurance representative that the company tactic is to continue sending bills even though you have asked to cancel the policy. Unfortunately we paid $350 in stupid tax but I have learned a valuable lesson! One can never be too careful...
49 of 52 found this story helpful.
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Story 184 for Stupid Tax
Sneaky!
Original story submitted by Marisa
on November 26, 2012
Location:Washington
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
on November 26, 2012
Sneaky!
I paid off my visa last week with the intention of never charging again, ever, and wow did that feel good! The next day I left on vacation and I was using my debit card, and feeling so good about the fact that I was paying cash for everything. When I got home I checked my bank account and the charges I put on my debit had not gone through my account. I thought "well, it's the long weekend, it will be there Monday". Today came and I checked my bank account twice and the charges still weren't there. Finally the second time, my eyes traveled down the screen and I realized that I had used my credit card instead of my debit card!! The graphics on my credit card are similar to the debit card so I kept grabbing the wrong card. Sneaky on the bank's part?? They were probably hoping that I would reach for the wrong card, then tell myself "oh well, I'll just pay it when the bill comes" for about the next 6 months. Now I'm paid off for the second time and that card is no longer in my wallet!
22 of 39 found this story helpful.
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Story 185 for Stupid Tax
Car Trouble...or brain trouble?
Original story submitted by Brandi
on November 21, 2012
Location:Kentucky
Age: 25-34
Gender: female
on November 21, 2012
Car Trouble...or brain trouble?
I misjudged the distance between my car and the SUV in the next parking spot over. I scraped a 1-year old vehicle with my 14-year old no-turn-radius van that I am driving as we work on Baby Step 1 for the 4th time!!! But, this time is a charm. I figured out what we had been missing the first three times -put money in savings! I had always been so much more interested in the Debt Snowball that we would go back under every time an event such as this one would happen. So, even though I will have to pay a large stupid tax (about $1000) for this misjudgment, I'm happy we have the money in the bank and in our cash flow. We will just pick right back up next month, keep plugging away at it because paying cash feels great!
12 of 12 found this story helpful.
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Story 186 for Stupid Tax
Building that Ivory Tower
Original story submitted by Thomas
on November 14, 2012
Location:Fort Bragg, NC
Age: 25-34
Gender: male
on November 14, 2012
Building that Ivory Tower
Images for this Story
A medical evacuation helicopter lands as paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team secure the area, July 23, 2012, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Photo by Capt. Thomas Cieslak
A medical evacuation helicopter lands as paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team secure the area, July 23, 2012, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan. Photo by Capt. Thomas Cieslak
Being in the military, we move about every 3 or 4 years between duty stations. We thought we had enough time at Fort Bragg for my wife to complete a medical degree at a nearby university. I deployed to Afghanistan...and deployed to Afghanistan again, volunteering the second time to do my part in the war and keep my family in the same place for awhile so the kids can have a somewhat normal childhood and my wife enough time for school.
Now we have to move, known as a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) to our next duty station.
She's not complete with her course.
Total Stupid Tax: more than $4000
We failed to measure before we started to build the tower. We were caught up in the moment and didn't realize we would have to move this year rather than remain at Fort Bragg.
Good news is that her pre-med requirements are out of the way and at our next duty station, she has at least 3 years to get her graduate degree done.
7 of 10 found this story helpful.
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Story 187 for Stupid Tax
Butt dialing hurts! (the bank account)
Original story submitted by Terese
on November 12, 2012
Location:Omaha, NE
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
on November 12, 2012
Butt dialing hurts! (the bank account)
I have a cell phone that is not "smart"- I just make calls and text on it. Surprise surprise when I found a $10 per month charge on my bill for a navigation app. Too bad it took me four months to notice it! Verizon would not refund the fees, even though I had never actually used the application. I must have butt dialed to activate it. The moral(s) of the story? 1. Pay attention to your bills 2. lock your phone keypad or call the phone company and BLOCK services on your phone.
18 of 19 found this story helpful.
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Story 188 for Stupid Tax
No brainer
Original story submitted by Thrifty
on November 10, 2012
Location:Kerners, C
Age: over 55
Gender: female
on November 10, 2012
No brainer
I want to tell young kids today to "listen" to your older parents or grandparents about finances. I sure wish my daughter would! Because of listening to my mother that raised me with both of us living on social security my husband and I are debt free, even our home. Don't buy things except for homes and a well needed car if you can't pay cash for it. Don't use credit cards if you can't pay off the balance the next month. Especially don't take vacations and put them on a credit card unless you have saved the money to pay it off afterwards. You can drown in credit card debt before you know it! Always save money for a "rainey day". Don't buy clothes, shoes etc just because others have all the fad stuff. Shop after clothing goes on sale because it always will. If you get a lump sum of money and have any debt...pay the money on the debt or pay it off if you can. That's how we paid off our house in 11 yrs. When my husband started getting large bonuses instead of throwing it away buying "stuff" or expensive cars etc. we paid it on our home. We have been married 26 yrs and will retire in 5 yrs debt free and a large summ of money still saved up plus a large 401K. We are not rich, but used our money wisely as we received pay increases and bonuses. We just didn't greatly increase our living expenses.
One last word that is a "no brainer"...stop spending money that you don't have!!
25 of 28 found this story helpful.
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Story 189 for Stupid Tax
Emergency fund between jobs saved me!
Original story submitted by Grateful Andrew
on November 10, 2012
Location:Tampa, Florida
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
on November 10, 2012
Emergency fund between jobs saved me!
I started listening to Dave last year and I have read every book at least six times, and devoured everyone of his Audio CD's and DVD's almost to the point where it is an obsession. With that said, I finally had an Emergency Fund and was between jobs so I went six weeks without a pay check. I was able to pay all my bills on time and buy food. Although it was a bit scary to go six weeks without a check and no credit cards in my name to fall back on, I stayed home every single night and read books or watched a movie and packed my lunches. I got through it without losing sleep or borrowing from a family member. It was the greatest feeling in the world. I owe everything to Dave Ramsey. This man has changed my life in ways that nobody ever has or will.
16 of 17 found this story helpful.
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Story 190 for Stupid Tax
Dave Was Right!
Original story submitted by Rosie
on November 6, 2012
on November 6, 2012
Dave Was Right!
I recently started watching the Dave Ramsey videos and had finally saved $500 dollars in my emergency fund. Good thing, because the next week I got a speeding ticket for $152 that I was able to pay off no problem.The unexpected happens, glad I saved.
5 of 5 found this story helpful.
3.9 out of 5
rated 3.9 by 12 people
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