Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Money Matters

For the first time in my life, I find myself in a bit of a financial mess.

1) I took a hit in the recent stock market crash.

2) Two people - both quite close - who owed me substantial amounts of money now appear unlikely to ever repay them.

The third person who owes me a substantial amount of money is of course my ex. It wasn't money that I let him borrow. It was money he offered to invest for me in some venture. Only I was stupid enough to hand it over without any guarantees. So now I have only his integrity to guarantee I'll ever see either my capital or whatever it may have earned ever again.

Following the breakup, he told quite a few sordid stories about our financial dealings, going on and on about how me & my family used, swindled & defrauded him & apparently also offered him money not to tell everyone he slept with me & found me not a virgin etc.... At the time, I just wanted it to stop before this sort of talk reached my family. So I never told my parents I'd given him money.

Unlike the other 2 people mentioned here, my ex can quite easily afford to give me my money if he chooses to. For me, it's quite a lot of money. For him, it's peanuts. I'm not sure why he's made no attempt to do that so far. Knowing him, he probably wants to make me contact him & beg for my money back. It's the sort of ego-trip he would enjoy.

Needless to say, I consider these funds well & truly lost because no amount of money is worth having to initiate any sort of contact with my ex.

3) Because I'd been counting on my savings, my investments & the fact that people owed me money, I haven't been as careful in my spending as I would have been otherwise. Especially since my husband left. Shopping & spending have become a major source of comfort. And I've been too distracted to keep count.

Specifically, I've been using credit cards like crazy. In the last month alone, I've managed to max out a credit card with a limit that would have been enough to buy a brand new car. Imagine my shock when I tried to use it to pay for some jewellery yesterday and it wouldn't go through. Insufficient funds. The sensible thing would have been to opt out of that purchase while I took a long hard look at my finances. But I was too embarrassed. So I just handed over another card instead.

Over the last 4 years or so, I've acquired no less than 6 credit cards. Mainly because the salespeople were so persistent I would sign the applications just to get rid of them.

But in all this time, I only ever used one card. It was maxed out only once and that was because I was in the middle of getting married & had a lot to buy. I have since repaid it in full. And other than that one time, I never spent anything on it that I knew my next paycheck wouldn't cover in full. Of course, back then, it didn't have the crazy limit it has now.

The bank must consider me a good customer , because I kept receiving notices that they've increased my credit card limit until it reached the ridiculous number it now stands at.

Now, not only have I totally maxed it out, I've put a substantial amount on an another card.

Of course yesterday, I went home from the mall & destroyed the remaining 4 cards in an effort to stop the downward spiral. Then I called one of the 2 people who owe me money to see when they could pay me back. No good news there. I knew better than to call the other person.

Of course, I have assets I could liquidate. Thank God for the unshakeable belief my parents have always had that real estate is the only and the best investment. I'd feel terrible selling real estate to get spending money, i.e. no return, though. My parents worked so hard to provide these assets for us. I feel I should make better use of them. And of course, my family would have to know and I'd have to explain.

All of this wouldn't be so bad, if my husband wasn't currently unemployed & I wasn't expecting to be similarly unemployed in a matter of months. If I had another year to work at my current salary I would be fine. But no way am staying here another year on my own.

I've been counting on my savings & my gratuity to keep me independent for the time it will take me to find a new job in Sweden. I've also felt confident pushing him about the baby issue because I knew I could finance that too if I needed to so it wasn't like I was asking him for money.

Now that picture has changed. Maybe not drastically, but it has changed.

None of the options are looking particularly good. Mostly I can't help feeling a little bitter about the kind of trouble that trusting your fiance or trying to help a friend or a family member can get you into. I mean, my personal expenditure on its own would have been manageable without these additional blows.

8 years of hard work & am still nowhere near where I want to be financially.:(



Blogger Completely Anonymous and 100% Private said...

I am sorry to hear that.

I am also in debt because I have been using my credit cards since I had to move out of NYC all of a sudden, and since I am currently getting paid peanuts in Jordan.

It was smart not to call that ex of yours. He seems like a big asshole.

I hope it would get better for both of us soon.

10/23/2007 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Safiya said...

Salaam Alaikum,

I'm sorry to hear about that. Insha Allah I will make du'a for you and I hope things get better soon.

Credit cards are evil, wicked things though. I do not trust them. Or rather, I do not trust myself with them.

10/24/2007 02:42:00 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

You are in quite a mess, to be sure. But you also have a good head for these things and accepting the reality of your situation is the first step out. I have faith that you will sort this out and land on your feet. I have also "comfort shopped" and gotten myself into trouble before. Good luck, dear.

10/24/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Blogger roora said...

m3lesh ya loulou. Est3wady Rabena in the money that you lost. Things happen. ISA, Rabena will copensate you back. You have been supporting your friends.
In the mean time, dont make it worse, and try not to use the credit cards.

we have been missing you , I hope you are always doing well ISA.
BTW, happy birthday, I remember you were on 23 OCt, I on 22. Hope you had a great day.

10/25/2007 12:27:00 AM  
Blogger poshlemon said...

It is funny to read your post because I am currently suffering from the exact same problem. Not in the tremendousness of yours, but it is still a problem of being very short on money because of all the 'comfort shopping' I have been doing recently. However, I have learnt my lesson.

10/25/2007 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger Puppy said...

LouLou hi,

I want to share with you with my method of savings. I transfer money from my current account to term deposit account whenever i have extra. They are interest bearing accounts and brings u additional money (interest). On a one hand its another source of income, from another side it stops me from spending too much. Of course i keep some money on current account.

Money matters, but they are just source of keeping us happy. Dont worry about them, you will earn more with time.

I wish you best of luck and start saving :)

10/25/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Highlander said...

Loulou, I worry about you and now I read you have money problems. OK I'm sure you need to be comforted, but I'm also sure you have a good brain. So my advice, don't lie and don't sell your parents real estate. Sell the your car and the motorbike and your other stuff or even your un-essential jewelry pay back your debts in full. Forget the loosers you gave money to. Stay working for the rest of the 7 months you need till you join your husband. Or even better if you can do it stay working and don't go to Sweden until your husband has secured a job and your life. You can travel on holidays to be with him ( there are many cheap flights) and you can also try to maintain your intimacy online. Usually things get the worst before they start getting better. I think now the situation can only improve!
Wishing you the best ..all the way from Libya.

10/27/2007 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger SaRaH said...

Oh Loulou I know what you mean and what you are going through spending to over come disappointment is something I know so much about it.

Just be patient and try to fix things rationally and most of all stop buying things..
If you are going to leave your job how can you pay off this enormous debt???

10/31/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Billy said...

I was looking for Advise on breaking up and found this great site www.saveabreakup.com I gotta admit its great and it worked for me and helped me a lot.

10/26/2010 06:50:00 AM  

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