M$D: June 10, 2036
Cindy’s main concerns, in her words:
My husband and I are separated and the divorce will be final in a couple of months. He no longer lives in the house, so it’s just my income providing for us. We have two children ages 10 and 5. I make $68k yearly (net $4,200), 403B is $132K (my employer matches and I match at the highest rate monthly $292), life insurance ($250K) and employer ($68k), savings $1,650 ($300 monthly), credit card debt is $2,800, rent $1,200 and no more school loans. Then there are monthly expenses which amount to $1,680 (car payment, insurance, utilities, food, kids activities, premiums, etc.)
My financial concerns are not having the three months expenses budgeted in case of an emergency, paying off THAT credit card (it’s killing me), and feeling like I can’t buy a new dress or a pair of shoes without feeling guilty. The guilty feeling comes into play because if I buy myself something, I know something is going to come up that I will need that dress/shoe money for. I live paycheck to paycheck and run out of money before next pay date (paid monthly), so I want to get out of that cycle. Even when my husband was in the picture, this was still the case. He was in debt and couldn’t contribute. Our money was always separate, so I never knew what his net was or personal expenses. Help me get on a plan so I can save and have some money to do whatever I want with. PLEASE.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.