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Question
Posted by: Bubbley | 2012/04/05

How to turn our life around

Hi Doc, I’ ve posted here before with regards to my husband and his evil mother who favours his sister (long dramatic story, basically the mother put all her love and resources into making sure hubby’ s sister had a successful life, which she now has, while my hubby is scraping by). He went to see his mother last night, and FINALLY he admits that’ s getting to him. He asked about his sister (to be polite) and was promptly told that oh she’ s going to live in Europe for a few months (she’ s an actress). It’ s still bugging him this morning, and probably will always bug him. I want to turn our life around now, I’ m tired of this.

We are in major debt, we bought a car that we were told was in good condition, only it ended up costing us over R30k in the end (and we managed to sell it for R7000, my husband is still paying off the debt). There was nothing we could do- we bought it from my husbands bosses nephew and they are a stubborn family who insisted there was nothing wrong with the car and we broke it. Then my husband took out a bank loan to buy a car from a dealer, and the car was also stuffed. Even though we took legal action this time, nothing happened. I then took out a bank loan to fix the car, and it STILL needs about R6000 work on it (which we can’ t afford).

We don’ t ask for much, but we keep getting screwed. I like to think we are good people. We continuously giving away things in our home (things we don’ t use, old clothes, dishes we never use) to a cleaner at my work because she needs them. Other things gets put into the humanity boxes. I buy books from the SPCA sales. I donate to Doctors Without Borders, while my husband always gives food and clothes to a homeless boy that begs near his work. We are good people, but we keep getting screwed. I helped my sister out with her car a few months ago, still waiting for the R3000+ she owes me (which I gave her from my credit card, trying to be a good big sister). I want to register my husband to do a course, so he can finally get some sort of qualification (he did study briefly after school, at his mothers insistence but HE had to pay for it, while his parents spent R50k to get his sister into a school and she was there for one month before she dropped out) so he can move on and find a better job, but we can’ t afford it. Anything extra we earn goes into paying debts.

We would love to travel. I’ d never admit to him (because I am the optimist and he is the pessimist), but I am desperate to have a holiday, move into a nice house (our place is so stupid, we can’ t even leave our dog outside because there are so many gaps in the fence, other dogs come into our yard, etc.). We’ ve been together for YEARS and we’ ve never had a proper holiday (in fact, only once when I got a voucher to stay at a hotel about 10 minutes away, did we have a break).

We are stuck in a major rut and I am desperate to get us out. We have no problems paying off our debts, but we can’ t seem to pay them off for once and for all. We don’ t use our credit cards for junk, we have ONE clothing account which we use about three times a year (no monthly clothes shopping for us), we share a car to save on petrol, we barely use any electricity, hardly ever get takeaways, etc. We have no expensive luxuries (no DSTV, no home phone, no computer, no internet, no fancy cars, no fancy foods).

We are so very, very grateful for the things we do have. We are very grateful for the roof over my head, the food we can buy, the fact that we have jobs. Really, we are extremely grateful. It’ s not wrong to just want a little more.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I'm not the person to give good advice about cars ( and of course I realise this is just a small part of your dilemma ) but there are ways to get an expert assessment of a car before buying it, which is not only a potential source of good advice, but places its actual condition on record.
O'm sure you are indeed Good People. The slime of this world oftenhave a special talent for sniffing out and exploiting good people.
Immediately STOP trying to help anyone else, especially your sister, as you cant afford to do so and don't owe them anything.
And both of you must stop looking over your shoulders at what the lousy mother is doing to spoil the greedy sister.
There's absolutely nothing wrong, either, with wanting a bit more, you both surely deserve it. But sadly one needs even more patience and the ability to pay off all one;'s debts, avoid fresh debt, and start making savings. Once one has a reserve put aside for emergencies, one can start to gradually afford some of the nice things you want, and they'll be all the sweeter when they come.
I very strongly disagree with Kate, whose unkind and obtuse response is most unpleasant.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/04/06

I'm not the person to give good advice about cars ( and of course I realise this is just a small part of your dilemma ) but there are ways to get an expert assessment of a car before buying it, which is not only a potential source of good advice, but places its actual condition on record.
O'm sure you are indeed Good People. The slime of this world oftenhave a special talent for sniffing out and exploiting good people.
Immediately STOP trying to help anyone else, especially your sister, as you cant afford to do so and don't owe them anything.
And both of you must stop looking over your shoulders at what the lousy mother is doing to spoil the greedy sister.
There's absolutely nothing wrong, either, with wanting a bit more, you both surely deserve it. But sadly one needs even more patience and the ability to pay off all one;'s debts, avoid fresh debt, and start making savings. Once one has a reserve put aside for emergencies, one can start to gradually afford some of the nice things you want, and they'll be all the sweeter when they come.
I very strongly disagree with Kate, whose unkind and obtuse response is most unpleasant.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Obvious | 2012/04/05

You seem very jealous of your sister in law but remember it is your mother in laws perogative not to give money 2 her son. So let that resentment go she owes you and your hubby nothing.You cannot change the past.
As 4 giving money to charity, food and clothes to the homeless and lending money to family members just stop u cannot afford it. Rather sell yr old stuff and join a library were books are free.Even one take away is an unnessesary expense.Yr dog is also a luxury needing food and vet fees.(harsh but true)
You must cut down even more and clear your debts.Once you have done this u will have more disposable income and decide if you want to give your extra cash away, pay for studies or pay for a holiday!
l agree with Kate, u need to become more mature and stop moaning. this is all yr own doing and you can only rely on yourselves to change yr situation...........

Reply to Obvious
Posted by: Bubbley | 2012/04/05

Ice, thank you for your reply. I am glad someone understands.

Kate, thank you for your reply too. I am grateful, and yes I do WANT, but that doesn’ t mean I am not grateful. I didn''t mention this in my first post, but I have lived a very difficult life. I have gone hungry before. Many a times because my mother did not have money. We have gone without electricity, without furniture even (repossessed), without even being able to wash our dishes because my mother didn''t have money for dishwashing liquid. I have made many sacrifices in my life. I have, as a teen, run the household because my mother would spend days locked in her room. That is why I am grateful for what I have, because I have had less and I know other people have less. Which is why I help as much as I can. Unfortunately I am in Gauteng, so no ocean for me. Although there are many places to see nearby and at most a few hours away, it costs petrol and entrance fees, which we can’ t afford. We can’ t afford any type of holiday either.I used to walk to my last job (which I was at for four years and didn''t go anywhere). In the freezing cold, in the rain. I walked.

I’ m not complaining that we’ ve lived beyond our means and now we’ ve got tons of debt and we can no longer afford luxuries. I’ m not complaining at all. I’ m looking for advice on how to change the pathetic situation we are in. We would love to have children soon, but we would never be able to afford it.

Reply to Bubbley
Posted by: Kate | 2012/04/05

Really do not sound gratefull for what you do have.
Sounds like I WANT I WANT I WANT...
Something just sounds wrong here and I cant help but not feel sorry for you guys.

Esp.the holiday part, like really. There are so many people who are not able to go on any type of holiday simply because they cannot afford to. A drive to the beach, enjoying the view with my hubby or just taking some leave to do things I want to do (does not mean spending money) is fine for me because you know what, I cant afford to go on a holiday away.

Such is life leanr to deal with it and appreciate the little things that really count and not those you think you deserve.

Grow up! and I dont mean that in a bad way, really.

Reply to Kate
Posted by: ice | 2012/04/05

This brings tears into my eyes...I so feel your pain and frustration. I am not big on praying but I have been told that it works  I can only hope you have faith in HIM. That is the only way you can come out of this rut. Life can be so unfair!! YES you deserve a break, a holiday, a good car, good food, decent clothing and even extra. Please do not give up hope now, one day something will give. I know it is easier for people to say this too shall pass when they not the once in your shoes. Askies.

Reply to ice

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