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^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money #308049
07/26/13 06:59 AM
07/26/13 06:59 AM
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I've often heard it said that "one of the best ways to help the poor is not be one of them." During times when our family was living hand to mouth and paycheck to paycheck, we were unable to give to others as much as we wanted. Gradually things changed as we made better choices and we became able to share our resources with others in our community and around the world.

As described in our story linked to my sig line, I didn't have many expectations of the guy I married but having "a heart to be helpful" was one of them. My H has maintained a helpful heart (even went overboard a bit when OW needed his help eek) but overall, that is one trait that has helped both of us begin to move into the position of "being a blessing more than needing a blessing."

I'm posting this thread here in the CZ with the hope of getting a good foundation by the end of summer. Please post your experiences with financial challenges you've overcome and tips that might help others do the same.


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #308193
07/27/13 04:50 AM
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Here are some thoughts but I am hoping others will be able to help provide coherent clarity and links to relevant resources.

Basic Family Financial Concepts:

* Budgeting
* Billpaying
* Childcare (options and related expenses)
* Contributions
* Credit
* Education
* Housing (rent and how to afford a mortgage)
* Insurance
* Investments
* Retirement Planning
* Taxes
* Estate Planning
* Blow Money (from the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University program ~ have you heard of it?)
* Other? ________________________

Here are the ideas for what might be included:

Links to articles
Personal experience stories
Inspiring Anecdotes
Challenges to overcome
Open discussion

I am nearly finished developing a comprehensive "End of Life Contacts" notebook so our adult son and daughter will know all of our dealings and desires if something happens to my husband and me simultaneously. If one of us passes, the other will have things all organized, too, as long as I follow through with annual updates like I intend to do every summer.

This is a list of contact names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, account numbers, balances, etc. for all our bank accounts, brokers, CPA, creditors, mortgage holder, insurance agents, etc.

What do you think?

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #308199
07/27/13 02:37 PM
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Hi Ace, I really like Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps here http://www.daveramsey.com/new/baby-steps/

But as someone who has gone from working a full-time job and 2 part time ones, to one full time job, I think what has had the biggest impact is finding a career that pays well. And the next thing I think would help is how to get a raise?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NewEveryDay] #308200
07/27/13 02:48 PM
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And I think a big thing is to get your credit score up. Have the more reliable partner paying the bills and the other one spot check, so you both can make informed choices. Don't take on debt unless you really think you'll be able to pay it off.

For example I have a few neighbors, friends, and family who did cash-out refis and got new furniture and fixed up their houses. But then the economy sank and two income families became one-income. If you can't afford it on one income, maybe the granite countertops can come later.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NewEveryDay] #308204
07/27/13 04:02 PM
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Great points, Neddie.

IMO "Living Within Your Means" is a two-part step that requires much discussion to identify. Agreeing on "lifestyle" is probably one of the most difficult discussions in which to engage pre-marriage and nearly impossible once the expenses start flying after the wedding. Following through is even harder.

One thing I wish we would have adhered to when we got married was my mantra that "we will NOT have children until we can successfully bank my entire salary/wages and live on H's alone for at least a year." The intent was to reduce our lifestyle to where we did not need my job/income (and have the savings for future wants/needs) so I could be a stay-at-home mom when the kid(s) were babies/toddlers/preschoolers. Not only did we not do it, but we had 2 kids and then were forced by necessity to cut back, which was much more painful. I don't regret the cuts, especially when both kids mention today how much they appreciated my being a SAHM during their early years. I just wish we had been smarter about it.

Another way we screwed up was in quitting one job due to being disrespected before H got another one. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb. I wish he had stuck it out. IMO, no matter how difficult, stay with your present job (unless it involves something immoral, dangerous or illegal) until a better - or different - option presents itself.

Another thing, if you make promises to your kids but discover you don't have the funds to follow through, don't borrow and go deep into long-term debt just to save face. Find another way to satisfy or delay such expenses.


Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #308212
07/27/13 06:57 PM
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Found this article by Yahoo Finance on suggestions for 5 Financial Corners YOU Should Never Cut.

The fifth suggestion made sense but seemed out of place initially.

Ace

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #308217
07/27/13 08:05 PM
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A new mattress, who'd a thunk?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NewEveryDay] #308251
07/28/13 01:56 PM
07/28/13 01:56 PM
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I say live within your means and enjoy life.

Life is too short to be stashing away savings while not having as much fun as you can day to day.

Insurance is covered and we have the NHS. This year is our tightest year EVER. We had lots of fun last year.

Both of us work public sector and there has been a pay freeze for 4 years!! I have had one cost of living rise in this time which was good for about 7 a month. The grocery bill increases each week and each week I try to be creative with getting it down.

The way we can save on monthly outgoings now is by buying a huge fridge and freezer so that we can buy in bulk again.


12 years ago I could afford to give up 400/month shift allowance (I did). 10 years ago we could both afford to work part time to limit the amount of time DD spent in nursery (we did).

At the moment we could really do with a little extra....I looked at higher paying jobs but the extra salary would be lost in childcare and I wouldn't see my children.

I would have been content with a smaller house and mortgage but there was no way J was going to do that and my biggest priority was just to get away from the neighbours....I am happier here with not quite enough money than I was living next to them.

Enjoy your money!!!


Married 22years (this year) ~13y since dday(?)
DD17 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Squeaky Tree] #308261
07/28/13 05:10 PM
07/28/13 05:10 PM
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I've been using Mint to track my finances -

https://www.mint.com/how-it-works/


"I feel sad that I focused so much on his potential and so little on mine."
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: believer] #308305
07/29/13 02:08 PM
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Hi ST and B,

Great site you've linked, B. I'll check it out later.

ST, interesting perspective. I know what you mean but it's presenting a whole different avenue now that we're nearing retirement age. More later.

Thanks for your insignts.

Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #308310
07/29/13 03:01 PM
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B, I used Quicken back in the day, it was awesome! Not to budget in advance, but to see where it went, for awareness. Now I have do my banking with Wells Fargo, and they have a similar graph that reflects the money that they touch. A bigger incentive to use them for more of what I do.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Squeaky Tree] #311883
08/28/13 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted By: Squeaky Tree
I say live within your means and enjoy life.

Life is too short to be stashing away savings while not having as much fun as you can day to day.



How do you find the happy medium when you're within 5 years of retirement and you've refinanced recently and therefore still have a mortgage? Is it unreasonable to want to have the mortgage paid off before we retire?

If we chose to, we could pay the mortgage off in 5-7 years instead of the 15 14.5 years we still have to pay on it. But that might mean we have a little less fun, make a few less memories and possibly save a lot more money for a time when we possibly won't have the health or mobility to enjoy it. crazy

Also, some might be asking "How do you find the fine line when your spouse has the opposite perspective from yours, is not concerned about saving, likes high-risk investments.... or worse, just wants to continue having fun with little visible regard to how our retirement years are FUNded?"

Thoughts?

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #311884
08/28/13 07:49 AM
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Well, first of all I would want to know if my current home would be suitable for retirement years. Ours is lovely, but we plan on downsizing to a 1-story in 5-10 years. We hope the new place can be all cash.


Chrysalis
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Chrysalis] #311885
08/28/13 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
Well, first of all I would want to know if my current home would be suitable for retirement years. Ours is lovely, but we plan on downsizing to a 1-story in 5-10 years. We hope the new place can be all cash.


Thanks, Chrys....those are definitely important points.

I vacillate between the possibility of downsizing (and hopefully paying cash for a single level place) and possibly adding a bed/bath suite on our main floor for us with a space for possible live-in caregivers on the lower level (only need to finish the plumbed-in kitchenette).

The latter idea is pretty far-fetched due to the expense but I love our location and would like to stay here (and H says he would, too).


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #311887
08/28/13 12:00 PM
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I think that part of preparing well for retirement is preparing early... We had a 15 year mortgage that we paid double on and paid it off in 7 years. Yes, it meant we didn't have as much fun, but it was a goal and we did it so early in our marriage that we then took what we were paying for our mortgage and had it automatically deducted and into a savings account for retirement.. We also chose a house that was below what we could afford.. My middle son asked me why my husband's employees and other partners live in houses that are so much nicer than ours. Now, our house is nice. Most people would be thrilled to live in our house. Most people that we visit on mission trips would think we live in a palace. I don't need a 5,000 square foot house that looks like something from Southern Living. It is comfortable. It has enough room for us. I certainly don't want to be cleaning any more than I already have. ( And unlike many people we know I don't have a housekeeper. That would make me feel really lazy.) Having a big house just isn't important to me. I'd rather give the extra money to our mission work.

So I think some of this is decided that you have a lower standard of living now so that you can have a better one when you are older. I told my kids as well that so many people I know move into their houses and have to buy all of this new furniture and have it fully furnished. We move into a house and only have some furniture with many rooms empty. As we save money for good quality furniture that we like, we pay cash and gradually get it furnished. But our formal dining room was empty for 5 or 6 years before we had furniture in it....

Just a few thoughts.

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #312664
09/04/13 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted By: Ace

I'm posting this thread here in the CZ with the hope of getting a good foundation by the end of summer. Please post your experiences with financial challenges you've overcome and tips that might help others do the same.


I apologize for not following through with this thread. I see at least one family has asked for the information that is waiting to be compiled here.

Marta, Neddie, ST, B and Chrys have posted some great ideas...thanks for sharing those. I have others that I'll post here soon, I promise.

In the meantime, what are other simple steps families use to set up a budget, stick to it regularly and tune it up when needed? How do you climb back up out of the "overspending mire" after falling off the financial wagon? How have you accomplished minor and major milestones in the family financial realm?

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #312670
09/04/13 11:32 AM
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Well, for the first 4 or 5 years of our marriage, this is what we did;

We went to Wal-Mart and bought a cheap ledger book. We looked at my salary/ then our salary when he finished med school. We made a list of expenses and TOGETHER made a budget. We didn't have a credit card. When I went to the grocery store, I would come home and write 30 Homeland on the grocery line. ( Ah..the days when that would feed the two of us for a week!!!) We wrote down EVERY SINGLE THING. I learned not to get cash because I couldn't keep track of where I spent it. Each year, we would re-evaluate and make a new budget.

We also made sure that we made a category for things like insurance and other things that were once a year expenses. We divided it by the amount of time we had to save up for it, and put it in a little savings account each month.

We lived in a run down apartment. Our furniture was hand me downs from relatives. Our entertainment consisted of going to the dollar movie with my oversize purse filled with microwave popcorn and cold cokes from our fridge. Or we would go to a local lake and have a picnic.


We also stared saving early even though we had no money. We bought a 50 dollar savings bond ( cost 25 dollars) and had it AUTOMATICALLY deducted so we didn't miss it. We continued to do that throughout our married life. ( Though it isn't savings bonds anymore. We have some automatically taken out for college savings plans, investments, savings accounts, etc.) If it isn't in your checking account, YOU CANT SPEND IT. Don't wait to save whatever you have left at the end of the month. You won't have any!!!!

Another thing...rainy days DO happen. That saving can help you. I mentioned in another thread about how our first born had all kind of medical problems. Our savings helped us get through that year. My dad had an accident at a wedding and I paid a fortune to stay there with him... That is what savings are for. Several times my husband hasn't taken a salary when he was getting into his practice or changing one. It didn't phase us. We tightened our belt and lived on savings for a couple of months and it was fine. But that is because we always lived below our means. I can't tell you how many docs have 2nd and 3rd houses with mortgages and tons of loans. They live at their salary and beyond.... Whether you make 20,000 or 1,000,000 a year the idea is to live below your means.

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Marta] #312721
09/04/13 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: Marta
...the idea is to live below your means.


Thank you, Marta. May I live re-live my life and our early marital financial years through you?

I AM serious....what you described is I wanted to do but ...ummmm...we fought so much during those years, I had it in the back of my mind that I was getting out and those thoughts seemed to overrule any financial sense we may have cultivated for the future. Geez....I did not realize that until now when I typed it! YIKES!!!!!

Off to work---glad to be able to say that. I am looking forward to other input here.

Ace

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #312765
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I think our marriage is atypical in many respects because BOTH my husband and I are savers. So we don't have the typical dynamic of the saver vs. spender. We both have our personal weaknesses (me books, hubby Lowes/tools) but we have always had the same goals and priorities.. I think that has helped a lot. I know most people marry their opposite. But we are both first born perfectionists!!!

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Marta] #328853
12/31/13 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted By: Marta
I think our marriage is atypical in many respects because BOTH my husband and I are savers. So we don't have the typical dynamic of the saver vs. spender. We both have our personal weaknesses (me books, hubby Lowes/tools) but we have always had the same goals and priorities.. I think that has helped a lot. I know most people marry their opposite. But we are both first born perfectionists!!!


Hi Marta,

So sorry I didn't reply to your post. It's a new year and I'd like to reignite this discussion and possibly create this thread into something that could be entitled "How Financial Literacy Enhances Marriages" or something like that for the MAgnify Marriages forum.

I really like your ideas, Marta and look forward to further discussions.

Anyone else have other thoughts?

Happy New Year!
Ace

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #328859
12/31/13 08:12 PM
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Ace, a few notes back you make the highly valuable connection between your rocky, conflict-filled earlier marital years and the lack of motivation to forego immediate spending for the benefits of saving.

Wow! That indicates, I guess, a HUGE difference between the NGs and your early years - and, oh btw, the large majority of modern "adults", and I use that carefully.

Old proverb: The true optimist is the one who plants a tree he will never climb.

I finished my MBA in 1975 - an awful year for job-seekers. When I finally was hired, I had $37.00, and a 1967 Olds Cutlass to my name. But I also had Fiancee, who became Bride the next year. I knew (as did she) that WE would be there, together, to reap whatever we sowed, and cultivated, and tended. The month after we married we began whole life insurance plans, $180,000 for me, $120,000 for her. (Two weeks after the plans were approved, my Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer, which meant delaying our actions by that much - two weeks out of a lifetime - would have been incredibly expensive.)

We bought our first house in 1977, when we moved to the Valley, and started work for a large corporation. From Day 1, I put 10% of my gross pay into stock purchases, and as soon as 401K was begun, 6% into that. In 1985 I bought our two-family rental property on a twelve-year mortgage - much work, much worry, minimal direct return, but ASSET ACCUMULATION. In 1991 we sold the first home and bought a larger, newer one to take advantage of the tax breaks involved. We lived in that first house fourteen years, conceived and raised the family there - and made $84,000 on it!

I've explained on my thread how I effectively worked three jobs (and yes, made a massive mistake along the way). I retired in 2008 from the large corporation. The rental property, paid off in 1997, still pays me; the officiating gigs still pay me. Bride is working (four more years) because she wants to get to full pension, so we're covered under her health benefits.

What did we NOT do? We accepted the voluntary reduction of 16% of my raw salary without qualms. We did not waste money on late-model cars, or leases thereof. Since 2004 I've driven a $4,000 1997 Grand Am (but I did bust loose and buy a 1975 MG-B this past summer! blush )We did NOT take exotic vacations, instead buying a used motorhome and touring with the kids up and down the East coast. We rarely dined out, but Bride was a great cook, so we were happier anyway!

I'll not brag any further except to say that somehow into us was instilled an appreciation of postponing a bit today to gather a lot tomorrow, and for me, especially for the ten years Bride was home with her chicks, the trick was to figure out a way to get paid for all 168 hours per week!

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #328909
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Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed


I'll not brag any further except to say that somehow into us was instilled an appreciation of postponing a bit today to gather a lot tomorrow, and for me, especially for the ten years Bride was home with her chicks, the trick was to figure out a way to get paid for all 168 hours per week!


Thanks so much for sharing that NG. And, I don't look at it as bragging when you made such wise choices. Your experiences can help those like me/us who did not choose well, hopefully before it's too late.

Happy New Year,

Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #329145
01/03/14 12:49 AM
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Talk about fortuitous timing....

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/one-family-paid-off-118-150646318.html

Except for the fact that she's much younger, and MUCH better looking, this lady and I seem to share a great deal of rigor.

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #329482
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Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed

Except for the fact that she's much younger, and MUCH better looking, this lady and I seem to share a great deal of rigor.


I just saw them interviewed on TV. They shared a few of the same intriguing concepts but these resonated with me:

(paraphrased)

* Take advantage of being married to get out of debt; set small goals together and find creative ways to make things instead of buying them.

* Live off the most steady income by downsizing and giving up "luxuries" temporarily; commit the other income to debt reduction.

* View your savings accounts as "another bill" that you owe to yourself. Pay yourself, even if it's only a little amount and the savings will add up gradually.


Eventually it'd be good to have a special thread on "Retirement Planning Tip$" but for now I'll park this link here:

7 reasons NOT to pay off your mortgage before you retire

Thoughts?






We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #329555
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It ALL comes down to making choices.

Small things add up, if enough of them are strung together. These questions I'll direct to you, Ace, but they apply to every situation:

1) Do you pay for lawn care? Snow plowing? We never did. Moving into our first house we bought a Sears tractor, for about $900, and used it for 17 years. Normal service around here is now about $40 per session (it was probably less in 1977!), but think of the thousands of dollars we saved - which helped fund those savings initiatives. I only bought a snow-blower in 2006, after my heart attack (doctor's orders) and we shoveled, as a family, until then.

2) We talked about car expenses. 'Nuff said!

3) Are you and/or Mr Ace manually facile? We built things as possible, as opposed to contracting the work. Over three consecutive summers, DS and I built a mid-level 12x14 deck, a 12x8 garden shed (and tractor storage!), and a lower-level 12x12 deck under the original one off the dining-room - and put a hot-tub on it! Leaving out the tub purchase, all together those cost us out of pocket about $2,400. Buying them would have easily been in excess of $20,000. Sweat equity, and wonderful father/son bonding! After he moved out, Bride and I rebuilt the upper deck.

4) Do you know that buying whole tenderloins of beef, cutting and freezing the fillets, yields better meals cheaper than fast-food hamburgers?

5) Dining out? There is a website that offers $25 certificates usually for $10, for restaurants, organized by zip-code. Periodically, they run promotions selling those certificates for $4.00. When they do, we stock up on six or eight, and then use them as we feel the need for a meal out.
This can get tedious ( "NG, it already is!"), but that is EXACTLY the point. Tedium from repetition and consistency - I'll take it!

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #329562
01/05/14 03:11 AM
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When DH and I first married we were so poor, we seriously contemplated bankrupcy. We applied and got food grants on more than one occasion. Clothing grants as well.

Ways we saved (and still do sort of) we were gifted a huge chest freezer, so we bought entire animals. A whole sheep might cost $100 for the animal plus butchery cost, but it lasted 3 months and saved about $300. Ive always have some sort of vegetable garden. I look at the dinted and past by dates on tinned food specials. Almost all of our clothing comes from 2nd hand or consignments store, although in the last 12 months Ive been buying more on trademe (like e-bay)

We own our house freehold and plan on retireing in it so any money we spend on renovations, is going to benefit us long term. This does mean some of our considerations is - will this be a problem when we are elderly? Will we struggle to upkeep this on a pension?

I am the sale queen. My older daughter says my favourite word is 'free' followed by 'sale'. We have an ongoing list of items we want to purchase, and we wait for sales to come before buying them. For example our TV blew up 2 weeks before Christmas. I waited until the boxing day sale at the local warehouse and bought a large flat screen for less than the cost or a full price, much smaller one two weeks previously. It took me 5 years to find and approve of a coffee table! It used to drive DH nuts, but now he sees that we both work part time, and have a much nicer lifestyle than many of our peers who are working full time.

I never pay for handymen/gardeners and its only been the last couple of years we've taken the cars to the mechanic. That has more to do with the cars exceeding DHs skill than having more money. Even my car was a budget purchase. In the begining of 2009 I went around all the yeards looking specifically for a Mazda 6, silver, manual, and I was willing to wait until I found it. I found a 2007 model that was everything on my list and even better the car guy wanted it GONE. He had bought it off a couple who had bought it brand new and then seperated a few months later. This car had 7k on the clock, and was still under warrentee! It had sat on his yard for over a year and he was sick of it. He traded our Terracan in plus 3k. I still have that car, and it rolled over to 100k 3 months ago.

Im fortunate in that we are a healthy family and rarely go to the doctors or dentist. Shoot I hardly even go to the hairdressers because DH likes me with long hair.

I could go on, but in summery, apart from our recent dietry changes, we spend as little as possible and save as much as we can since 2/3 of our income is seasonal.


AKA Lildoggie

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Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #329584
01/05/14 07:11 AM
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Ace Offline OP
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Shoot! I shouldn't have delayed my answers, NG. Lil's post is a hard act to follow but here goes:


1) Do you pay for lawn care?
Used to but not any more.

Snow plowing?
Never have.

2) We talked about car expenses. 'Nuff said!
We paid cash for both our then-barely-used vehicles and also pay to have them maintained but we drive them for decades.

3) Are you and/or Mr Ace manually facile?
No, Mr. Ace does well at yardwork/lawn care but not so much with tools or equipment. I'm pretty creative and loved the ability to take woodshop my Sr. year of HS (before then girls could only take Home Ec....I know, I'm really dating myself, eh?) If anyone's the fixit person, it's me---but I have my limitations.

4) Do you know that buying whole tenderloins of beef, cutting and freezing the fillets, yields better meals cheaper than fast-food hamburgers?
We don't eat much red meat but I buy and roast turkeys all year long. I roasted a turkey last week and pulled it apart and separately froze the remaining breast section and 2 hindquarters. Tonight I made turkey noodle and veggie soup in a huge pot and froze it in ziploc bags set into large bowls which then fit into a sauce pan for reheating. There was enough for 4 nights dinners in the coming weeks.

5) Dining out? There is a website that offers $25 certificates usually for $10, for restaurants, organized by zip-code. Periodically, they run promotions selling those certificates for $4.00.
I've never heard of this web site so I wonder if it's a regional thing. What's the name of it? We don't go out to dinner much but when we do, it's usually because we have been given a gift card or certificate.

I agree with you, NG that it IS a choice. The more educated one becomes, the better choices will be made. That's why I'm hoping we can pool all our experiences, tips and suggestions (good or bad) to learn what work$ better for individual couples and families.

Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #329602
01/05/14 05:04 PM
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NeverGuessed Offline
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I've never heard of this web site...What's the name of it?

www.restaurant.com

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #331767
01/18/14 04:58 PM
01/18/14 04:58 PM
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Ace Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: NeverGuessed
I've never heard of this web site...What's the name of it?

www.restaurant.com




Thanks for the link, NG. Out of the blue, my H asked me to go out to dinner with him, alone, tonight. He let me choose where we go so I'm checking out that web site now.

Also, for anyone interested in saving and planning for retirement, I found an article about a guy and his wife who retired at 30 to become stay-at-home-parents (and enjoy other pleasures in life) so I started the thread on Retirement ideas on the Construction Zone forum. Hopefully we can turn it into an article for MA. At least it could be an informative thread we can move to the <<<MAgnify Marriage>>> forum.

I'd appreciate your input on the Retirement & Marriage thread, too. Anyone who posted retirement-related info on this thread is welcome to re-post it.

Thanks,
Ace

Last edited by Ace; 01/18/14 04:59 PM. Reason: add link

We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #331853
01/19/14 07:48 PM
01/19/14 07:48 PM
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Here's a tip to save money and headaches (and possibly time-wasting complications).

Instead of putting your own credit card numbers, passwords and codes online, buy MC or Visa gift cards which work just like personal credit cards. They have built in limits which cuts down on fraudulent charges.

I posted on a new Rant thread that I am paranoid, suspicious and I worry too much.

For years I have never used personal credit cards online. If I want to buy something advertised that requires a credit card, I use the phone option and always get the name and city/country of the phone rep and I also write down the confirmation or transaction number along with the price, tax, shipping costs, etc.

This morning, I used a new visa gift card to buy something but when the confirmation was emailed, I discovered that I purchased 5 items instead of 1. Because of the gift card limitation, the transaction was declined and the sale was off. Had it been on my personal credit card, I would have had to go through a hassle to have the transaction changed or nullified, or worse, I might not have even noticed.

I'll use the phone option to order the product - only one - tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm posting this tip for others who may want to save themselves time, hassle or money using personal credit cards online.

If you have to use your personal card for purchases online or by phone, here are a couple tips that may seem like common sense but may still be helpful if a crisis diminishes such sense:

* When you use your credit cards online, be sure to print a copy of the receipt and file it along with all the relative information somewhere that you can later compare it to your statement.

* Have the actual card on hand when you make a phone purchase so you have the customer service number handy in case you need to cancel the card quickly.

* Keep track of all purchases in a file or notebook. When your product arrives, put the paperwork with your purchasing info in case you want to take advantage of a money-back guarantee. (Most companies are counting on customers losing documentation, decreasing or negating the guarantee risks.)

* When your statement comes, compare your purchases, dates and amounts. They usually include an 800 number on the statement to call in case of a discrepancy.

Like I said, I'm paranoid, suspicious and I worry too much. But if these tips help someone, it's worth the few minutes to share it.

Ace

ETA: The new Visa/MC gift cards have additional security features, requiring that they be registered on a web site before being used, especially online. Allow extra time to register gift cards before needing them.

Last edited by Ace; 01/19/14 08:32 PM.

We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #333586
02/01/14 01:39 PM
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NeverGuessed Offline
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Well, for the cost-conscious who don't mind airline food....

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/man-eats-for-free-at-airport-145153681.html

Quote:
In the grand tradition of the mad genius who bought mountains of Healthy Choice pudding so he could rack up millions of frequent flier miles on the cheap comes the story of a Chinese man who took advantage of a loophole to eat for free in an airport VIP lounge for nearly a year.

The story was originally covered in the Chinese-language newspaper Kwong Wah Yit Poh in Malaysia, according to the New York Post. The man, who isn't named in the piece, purchased a refundable first-class ticket aboard China Eastern Airlines that came with a complimentary meal at the airline's VIP lounge.

That was almost a year ago. Every day since the purchase (after eating his meal), the man would then rebook his ticket (for free) for a flight on the following day. Then he'd return to the airport, eat, change his flight and go home.

He did this three-hundred times. When it was discovered, he simply turned in the ticket for a full refund!

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NeverGuessed] #346173
05/01/14 06:43 PM
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Marta Offline
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We kind of neglected giving generously on this thread. I recently read this book:

http://www.amazon.com/More-Less-Lifestyle-Excessive-Generosity/dp/0781408202

It was very interesting about how we all have so much more than what we need. This book challenges you in many ways. For example how long could you go without ever wearing an item of clothing twice?? You might be surprised. One girl did it for over a year. Now sometimes she had to wear a tshirt in winter or sweater in the summer. I think she did end up wearing a different top for over a year. Same thing with food. He shows really creative ways for helping other people.

I got this book free through David E Cook books. They give away a book or two every week if you subscribe to the newsletter. It is a Christian book place if that matters to you:
http://www.dccebooks.com/

The free book a couple of weeks ago is a fun couples devotional based on the Song of Solomon..

Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Marta] #346182
05/01/14 08:27 PM
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Marta, that's so true, I go through my stuff every year for the youth rummage sale, and am amazed at the abundance we have! I stop buying much for a month or two, and then forget again! It amazes me how much debate is about all kinds of things when there are folks doing without basic things and meanwhile we have so much stockpiled.

How about we talk about what we're giving? I've been giving of my time, sponsoring 3 women in Al-anon.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Marta] #346290
05/03/14 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted By: Ace
I've often heard it said that "one of the best ways to help the poor is not be one of them." During times when our family was living hand to mouth and paycheck to paycheck, we were unable to give to others as much as we wanted. Gradually things changed as we made better choices and we became able to share our resources with others in our community and around the world.



Originally Posted By: Marta
We kind of neglected giving generously on this thread.


You're right, Marta. The opening paragraph mentioned giving and being a blessing to others but not in the realm of doing so "generously." Good point.

I'm fortunate in that my work involves many opportunities to contribute to enhancing personal lives every day. I'm able to give time, talents and sometimes a listening ear, which often may be more valuable than giving money.


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #374908
01/29/15 06:56 PM
01/29/15 06:56 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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I'm going to have to re-read this again. I got in over my head this summer with family vacations I planned but couldn't afford, and just now finished paying it off. Never Again!

I found this link, I liked the advice there! Save up before you buy!

http://funcheaporfree.com/2012/10/the-7-bank-accounts-every-family-should/


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: NewEveryDay] #423853
06/01/17 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted By: NewEveryDay
I'm going to have to re-read this again. I got in over my head this summer with family vacations I planned but couldn't afford, and just now finished paying it off. Never Again!

I found this link, I liked the advice there! Save up before you buy!

http://funcheaporfree.com/2012/10/the-7-bank-accounts-every-family-should/


Hi NED,

It's been two and a half years since you posted this and much has happened in your life and in ours. How are you doing in your desire to "save before you buy" and "stay within your budget?" Do you have more helpful links you can share?

Does anyone else have thoughts to help with this topic: "How to make/keep/give away money?" Financial Literacy education in our schools is still one of my passions and I apologize for not developing this thread into an article. All help is welcome.

Thanks,
Ace


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Ace] #423950
06/02/17 01:49 AM
06/02/17 01:49 AM
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Mark1952 Offline
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Well, since Acey bumped this and because I have an opinion about it, I'll put in my two cents.

Several years ago, we took the Dave Ramsey course Financial Peace University. During the nine weeks of the class we eliminated two credit cards entirely. We also stopped using all but one, which was tied to a home equity line of credit.

Since then, we put a son through college, not without debt, but trying to keep it to a minimum. We have three vehicles, all paid for, none in perfect shape, all running and useable.

In 2011, the company I worked for began imploding due to changes in the economy and a business model unable to adapt to the changing world of online buying. The cell phone part of the business pretty much stopped and I kept the radio communications portion operating from my spare bedroom at home through early 2013 to help my customers transition to the new FCC rules that finally went into effect in January of that year.

For a couple of years, we depleted savings, I worked odd jobs, did some contract work and got paid a minimal salary for working at a barn where I spent more hours per day than the person who operated the barn. My wife was working, so I had insurance for my continuing health issues and then in the middle of 2014, the company she worked for also imploded. They simply could no longer afford to pay people to do the work while the owners sat around not doing it and getting paid for it.

With the loss of her job, I lost my insurance coverage and the first round of lab tests cost me over 1300 bucks. I negotiated with the University of Illinois Hospital and ended up paying one dollar and seventy five cents more per visit to the dermatology department as a self paying customer than I had paid for my co-pay under the insurance plan. Not sure how much the insurance was paying, but my price went up to $41.75.

My wife got a new job, which she hated but it paid for her insurance. We simply had not enough income to buy insurance through the exchange and were told we did not qualify for enough of a subsidy to make up for the cost of insurance and still pay for the co-pays and deductible of 5K on the cheapest plan that had almost no network anywhere within 50 miles. One med cost me $327 per month without insurance and $247 with it if I paid 572 per month for the plan that covered it. I committed to getting off the meds entirely and worked toward doing that ASAP.

Then in June of 2015, an EF3 tornado went through the property where we had our vacation place. We had some damage, lost one tree, lots of debris to clean up. The guy due west of me, across the street, lost everything. The guy one door east lost everything. The guy one door north lost half of his property and almost all the trees. 4 doors south you couldn't tell what had been there and the section near Pine Lake lost 15 acres of pine trees over 100 years old. The association lost over 15 thousand trees.

I spent the rest of the summer of 2015 assisting cleanup for those worse off than us. I also decided to apply for SS retirement benefits and declare myself retired. On Labor Day weekend in 2015, we sold the vacation property because we simply could no longer pay to keep it, keep it up and get there often enough to use it. Nobody in the family seemed interested enough that I should keep it for them, so we let it go after over 40 years in the family.

We used the money from the sale to catch up on repairs to the house. I put in new floors, painted, fixed stuff, did electrical updates, refinished the kitchen cabinets and changed the trim throughout the house.

In early 2016, my wife had a health problem, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, spent time in the hospital, got a defibrillator implanted, was diagnosed as diabetic, applied for disability and was denied but at least our subsidy for the exchange was enough to afford the insurance that paid the bills for the most part. My only taxable income for the year was SS retirement benefits, which ain't much. For part of the year we did get 125 per month in SNAP benefits. Ever try to eat on 125 per month?

In January 2017, she was finally approved for disability (no lawyers, just stayed after it, reapplied, appealed, called and nagged...) and she began collecting disability officially in January, though it didn't really appear until February and the retroactive part back to November of 2016 showed up in April.

The extra income meant the loss of most of the subsidy toward insurance and we now have insurance with a 7000 dollar deductible and 7300 dollars in out of pocket copays EACH and after one year of taking no meds, I am now having to buy them again. AND at the end of this month, I start on Medicare, which will cost 134 per month, will require some sort of gap coverage plan that will be around 100 and change and a drug plan that will be another 30. My wife's insurance will then go down around 150 per month because it will be only her on the policy but I won't get a subsidy any more. Yes I know that you can get a Medicare Advantage Plan for almost nothing at all beyond the 134 per month. They pay almost nothing unless you have a catastrophic illness and less if you can't find a doctor in the network. The doctors who know me and have been treating me are not in network, so...

Rule of thumb...Pay a lot for insurance up front and they pay a lot when you need to use it. Pay very little for it up front and that is what they pay when it comes time to make a claim. The POINT of insurance, for the insurance company, is to spread the cost sufficiently for them to make a profit while meeting obligations. What often get lost in todays discussions on healthcare is that somebody has to pay the actual bills. You do it or somebody else has to do it. Nothing is free, even if you didn't have to pay for it yourself. (One of my favorite commercial campaigns is about car insurance. They pay for you to get a new car if you wreck your old one. Amazing. You do have to pay extra for it to work like that, though and usually have higher deductibles and they won't always let you pick a different car and...terms and conditions of many pages.)

So, after 6 years of no actual job, hanging onto a vacation place that costs 5000 per year in added expense (taxes, dues, utilities etc) for 4 of those years, incredible medical costs for both of us at times, we decided to refinance what we still owed on the house. We called our regular bank. My credit score was 790. Our payments were cut by over a third. The one "issue" noted was that I didn't use available credit and tend to pay off loans early.

Our only current debt is our home, which is still about 50% equity in spite of having lost about 40 thousand in equity when the housing market around here simply vanished in 08 and 09.It has recovered, but not all of it yet.

For years we watched friends borrow money, use all available credit and buy new cars every couple of years. We had a lot more credit available but didn't choose to use it just in case something happened to our income. We followed Dave Ramsey's advice to "live like no one else" so that one day we could live like no one else. We aren't finishing life with a vast fortune or with two houses and a bass boat in the garage but it looks like we might be able to end up without any debt and had we borrowed every available penny when things were going well, we would have a lot less now than we have. Some neighborhoods near here are still almost 40% bank owned and prices have only recovered about 20% or so.

My advice is to pay off as much debt as possible by any means possible and avoid borrowing just because you can. Sure you can both work two jobs, have a new car, a big house, 200 dollar sneakers and 150 dollar jeans. But let me share a secret with you. The young you is going to have to take care of the old you and if you end up old and in debt, extra jobs, even one perhaps and time away from home can't keep it all going. If it isn't all paid for, 100% of it, when it is time to retire, you simply cannot retire. If you don't have enough to live on and not work, you can't not work.

While it might seem when you are 30, 40 or even 50 that you can keep working until you turn 75, life changes, health fails, things more important than the kind of car you have parked outside show themselves and one trip to the hospital in the middle of the night might turn out to cost you thousands, even with that great insurance.

The neighbors might have a newer car. They might have a bigger house. They might have fancier clothes but unless it all belongs to them with no debt at all, it could all be gone in a matter of months if the job they have worked their whole lives is suddenly gone or one of them has a heart attack or one of the kids has an accident and needs a million dollars worth of therapy just to live to adulthood.

If at all possible, live debt free. Friends who are in their early 40s just paid off their house. They have 9 kids. She is a stay at home Mom. The kids are home schooled and all test in the top 1% in almost every category. The house sits on over 5 acres and would probably sell for over a million if they wanted to sell it. They live like no one else so that one day, they can live like no one else.

You don't have to borrow money just because you can and borrowing money to buy what you cannot afford is never really a good idea. One day you will be old and the young you is who must take care of the old you.

And NEVER borrow money to pay an existing debt you cannot afford to make the payment on.


mark1952.ma@gmail.com

I Was Thinking...

The secret to having a good marriage is to understand that marriage must be total, it must be permanent, and it must be equal.-- Frank Pittman
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Mark1952] #424022
06/02/17 03:23 PM
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holdingontoit Offline
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Sound advice.
Now I just have to take it.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: ^^^ FINANCIAL LITERACY ^^^ How to Make/Keep/Give Away Money [Re: Mark1952] #424110
06/04/17 01:38 AM
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Ace Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Mark1952
Well, since Acey bumped this and because I have an opinion about it, I'll put in my two cents.


Thanks for your input, Mark and for sharing about your challenges you're in the process of overcoming.

Originally Posted By: Mark1952
If at all possible, live debt free. Friends who are in their early 40s just paid off their house. They have 9 kids. She is a stay at home Mom. The kids are home schooled and all test in the top 1% in almost every category. The house sits on over 5 acres and would probably sell for over a million if they wanted to sell it. They live like no one else so that one day, they can live like no one else.


When we were first married, I wish we had the discipline to save/invest my income (and forget about it) while living off H's teaching/coaching salary. I thought about it in the beginning and even started making double mortgage payments on our first house. But then I justified spending my meager earnings when the kids were born and always seemed to need 'stuff.' Hearing about folks like your 40-year-old friends is great. Good for them.

Originally Posted By: Mark1952
And NEVER borrow money to pay an existing debt you cannot afford to make the payment on.


In my opinion, this is where our social culture and educational systems fail our children and they end up repeating the financial errors of their parents and grandparents (aka baby boomers). I believe we should begin teaching financial literacy in an age-appropriate manner beginning with 5-year-old kindergartners.


We're overcoming decades of marital dysfunction including abuse, passive aggression, gas-lighting & infidelity (both of us).

Our Weird and Ongoing Story
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