The Lifestyle Digs

How I lost over 200 Pounds!

How I lost over 200 Pounds!

Ha ha! As you can probably tell by the photo, this is more about a break up story than a weight loss story.

But if that’s what you’re looking for – I did lose a good deal of weight recently, just not 200 pounds! Read about it in the post my year to a healthier lifestyle.

Debt reduction

I’ve been debt free for a few years. I did it by divorcing a man who couldn’t control his credit card spending. That’s how I lost over 200 pounds! And my debt!

If you remember my post 15 stupid money mistakes, the deadbeat hit the mark on some of them. MLM scams, credit cards, loaning money, living somewhere we couldn’t afford, not saving for retirement, and using credit cards for points.

I live this stuff. That’s what makes me more of an expert than writers who compile information from other people’s stories. Living it!

Anguish

I felt completely helpless. No matter how much I begged him not to get involved with scams, not to give money to his lying relatives and friends, and quit using the credit cards, my pleas fell on deaf ears.

He had two personal credit cards and Home Depot gave him both a personal and business credit card. They all had limits around $10,000.

All maxed out by the end of our relationship and their collections departments were calling.

Fortunately mostly calling on his cell phone, which he eventually disconnected.

He kept buying stuff so he could get “points”. Not that I ever recall cashing in points for anything.

How did it happen?

Our story is probably not much different than other couple’s stories. A hard working couple who just can’t seem to get ahead financially.

Spender versus saver.

He was self-employed with a finishing carpentry/handyman repairs business. When he got injured, we had no income. Often I had to use my credit cards for cash advances to pay the mortgage and other bills. That’s how my debt happened. There was no escape.

That mortgage was a killer, about $1,000 every two weeks. The house was no great shakes. Real estate is really expensive in the Greater Vancouver Area. We’d looked at a house that was $100,000 cheaper in a nice neighborhood, but further away than most of our clients. He scoffed at it because there wasn’t room for a workshop. We ended up buying more house than we could afford. After I got laid off from my job, things got tighter.

I couldn’t convince him to put aside money for retirement. Oh sure, he did every now and then when there was some extra cash. It was just as quickly withdrawn to pay credit card bills or buy something else.

And what was he buying on the credit cards? Sometimes it was tools and supplies he needed for jobs. Just as often it would be stuff for his relatives or friends who never paid him back. If they went out for something to eat, he always ended up paying – on his credit card.

He didn’t listen when I said never buy food on credit.

He got screwed over time and again by these idiots who promised to repay him and it really bugged me. I mean – it really pissed me off.

Money management

We were debt free a few times but he couldn’t stop spending. The most important thing after becoming debt free is to incur no further debt. He didn’t get that. Once the credit card had room, he’d go buy more stuff.

It’s like going on a diet and reaching your desired weight. That doesn’t mean now you’ve reached your goal that you can pig out and put all the weight back on.

We didn’t go into credit card debt to enhance our lifestyle or take vacations. For the most part we paid cash for those things because I refused to go into debt to buy new furniture or take trips. If we couldn’t afford it, we did without.

I was better at dealing with money, but he just couldn’t seem to accept that. Or maybe he knew I was better, but just didn’t want to shift the control of the money over to me.

I think that’s a male thing where they don’t want to relinquish control over the money even though they’re no good at handling finances.

Many marriages break up due to money fights. Especially when one is a saver and the other a spender.

Life since losing over 200 pounds

The toughest part of living alone is there’s no one else to help pay expenses. The biggest expense of course being rent. Luckily my utilities are included in the rent, but I’m paying it all by myself and it takes up a huge chunk of my monthly income. Likewise there’s no one else helping pay for daily living expenses – groceries, food for dogs and horses, gas and insurance for the car and so on. No one’s helping me save for retirement or paying down debt. I have to do all these things by myself.

Like many of my readers, I’ve never had a good paying job. A lower salary means it’s harder to repay debt and save for retirement.

Fortunately, I’m finally debt free. That’s something I accomplished after the break up, primarily because no one’s running up the debt any more.

This makes me really cautious about going into another relationship. My past experience tells me if I’m going to have a man in my life, he needs to be financially responsible. If the man has debt from his inability to control his spending, he’s not going to be a match for me.

You learn and move on.

Aside from struggling to pay bills and save for retirement on a single low income, I’m happier living single. Beats living with debt and getting pissed off at someone who’s not onboard with controlling his spending.

When you get divorced later in life, it’s harder to get back on track financially especially when your income is low. I keep at it. I’m a horsewoman. I’m tough!

And that’s the main theme of what The Lifestyle Digs is all about. How I’m doing it!

More reading:

Who’s Taking Care of the Finances?

Taking Control of Debt on a Low Income15 Stupid Money Mistakes

 

 

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