DEAR MARY: I try to save some money out of every paycheck, but life happens, and I spend whatever is necessary on whatever emergency arises. My problem is that if there is any money left over, I feel compelled to spend it on myself. All of the arguments my husband and I have are over money. Because I make more than he does, he thinks I should pay all of the bills. I'm resentful, which also makes me want to spend money.
Please do not suggest that I talk to my husband because if we start talking about money we will end up in a huge fight, and I give him the silent treatment for days. I am embarrassed about my behavior concerning money, but I do not know how to change, especially when I do not have any support from my husband. I am seriously considering a divorce. -- Jo, Tennessee
DEAR JO: If I am not allowed to suggest that you talk to your husband, let me just go ahead and suggest that you divorce him now. That's going to happen anyway, so why drag it out?
There is no help for someone like you who has her mind made up and her heels dug in, insisting that she will not do the very thing she knows that she must.
DEAR MARY: I am writing to thank you for this column and the Debt-Proof Living website. I have just finished paying off two of my three credit cards!
I went through a great deal of personal pain earlier this year (family and health issues), got ticked-off with everything and decided to take back control of my life instead of putting everyone ahead of me.
My first step was to get out of debt. Thank you for being there with all of your advice, hints encouragement and the recipes. They are fantastic. -- Wendy, email
DEAR WENDY: Great news! I am so proud of you and want to encourage you to just keep going. One step at a time; one day at a time.
DebtProofLiving.com is more than a website and the name of my monthly subscription newsletter. It's a method of money management, consisting of five elements. When put into daily practice, it has the effect you are experiencing now -- a life change that starts with getting out of debt.
I can't wait for your next report and the next and even the next! Staying connected with one another allows us to be accountable, and that's just another secret to finding financial freedom.
DEAR MARY: I have a department store credit card for a store that is closing. It's paid off, but I am curious how this will affect my credit score. I do believe their sister companies are staying in business. -- Kara, Indiana
DEAR KARA: If the company is filing for bankruptcy protection, the courts will handle all of its debt and credit matters en masse. And if it is reported, your report will carry an explanation for why the account was closed. That should not affect your score by more than a couple of points either up or down, if at all.
As for this "sister store," I have no idea. Why don't you pick up the phone and ask customer service??You can get a definitive answer right away.
Mary invites questions at email@example.com, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.