Yet another uplifting post about all the things I am doing to get my life and myself back into shape was planned for the other day. I’ve paid off the No Good Horrible Very Bad Unexpected Debt in full and my credit was not affected. I resisted the urge for fast food crap more than I gave in last week. And I restarted my auto debit into my savings account, effective this coming week’s paycheck.
And then, enter…the ex.
The ex and I – well, the split was a surprise to him. Things were bad our last few months in our first home, then were touch and go when I moved with him to the second (hey, he had all the money and I had no way to move elsewhere on my own – don’t judge). Then when I announced I’d be leaving when the lease was up, things got bad again, and have been touch and go since. Lately, they’ve been ok.
He thinks in terms of business most of the time, which was a bone of contention between us because I really do not.
Now – when we split, I was hit with a surprise. The credit card and debt owed to his folks for moving expenses to the second home that I thought were paid off? Yeah – totally not. And now I owed him to the tune of $2800. I was floored and upset. I thought this had been handled.
Lesson learned – NEVER turn your finances completely over to someone else. It’s all fine and good if 1 person is predominantly in control of scheduling when things get paid, but always always always at least talk about where the money goes as it heads out the door. Have an inkling of how much you owe, to whom it is owed, and how it is being paid off. That way if anything happens to disrupt the schedule, you’re not paralyzed with shock and fear when you’re left holding the bag for half (or gods forbid all) the debt.
Now – his credit was way better than mine when we got married, so when we bought my car, it was put in his name to get the better rate on the loan. We had no trade in, no down payment, and we got what I thought was a good deal on a 72 month term loan.
Obviously when we split, I took over payments. I am now 6 months away from the car being paid off. We had an agreement that when that happened, he would transfer the title to me (because after a year of trying, we couldn’t get the loan transferred into my name) and I would pay taxes on the “sale” and the title transfer fee.
I assumed I would be paying at most $1500 for my car that I have been driving exclusively for the last 5 years.
The text comes through the other day on research into the whole process of getting the car transferred to my name. I know he will be “selling” me my car. He was researching blue book value and turns out that in perfect condition, my car is worth $10,000 given the year, model, make and mileage. In fair condition, she’s worth $7800 and for trade in value, $6500.
After some more research which turned up a legal way for me to only pay the title transfer fee and no taxes (thank you, Google search), that left the matter of the sale.
Figuring he knows my situation, I told him to name his price.
He figures that because he handled the payments for the first 4 years, he should have a return on his investment – he wants trade in price.
Nevermind that payments were made from a joint account or anything. Nevermind that my paychecks were going into that joint account.
This car, which is my life thanks to the area in which I live, was nothing more than a bad investment that he should have a return on.
My immediate thought afterward, which I did NOT share, was “Just like the marriage. Just like me.”
Fantastic feeling, that – knowing you’re nothing but a bad investment.
Given my state of shock, I didn’t fight, I once again agreed. Because I’m an idiot. So now instead of owing him just south of $2100 (yeah, hasn’t been top priority…esp with student loans breathing down my neck), I now him just north of $8500. The chain representing this debt, which I always envisioned as pinning my upper arms, just got a whole lot heavier.
It also grew teeth, because that means I have another 2 years in the hole rather than less than a year.
So rather than shedding the car payment as I had hoped and PLANNED FOR in January, I get to continue it directly to the ex until the full debt is paid off.
And thus, we begin YET A-FUCKING-GAIN. I am examining things to sell and have a potential buyer for some art supplies if I can ever find the time to actually take pictures and write descriptions for her. I picked up some work transcribing interviews for a friend for his thesis, just out of sheer dumb luck. I was contracted to make a baby blanket for a family member but that money never made it into savings – it paid the utilities for the month on my last apartment.
Some days I feel like I will forever be crushed by this burden. All I want is my freedom. And I don’t see it happening any time soon.
But I will continue to work till I drop, pick up extra work, and scrounge and fight for every penny I can get my hot little hands on because I refuse to let this beat me. The Debt will not win.
I WILL own my home. I WILL follow my dreams. I WILL dig myself out. I just didn’t realize I had further to sink before I could see any real progress being made.