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Family Finances
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Jim's comment got me to thinking about how we transitioned our responsibilities for bill paying and filling out the dreaded IRS forms.

My first husband was a late bill payer, late tax filer. He had this absurd notion that there were real people receiving these things, and if he paid late, they would realize that he was strapped for funds, but making an earnest effort to meet his obligations.

BS, I told him, when I found out because we started getting collection calls. A machine, a low level number cruncher, whoever, doesn't give a rat's patoot about your earnestness or lack thereof. All they see is that you pay at the last possible moment--or past the deadline--and our credit rating is screwed.

I may be a flower child, but I'm not that much of a flower child. And I really don't like being harassed by bill collectors, nor do I appreciate my interest rate being jacked up (this is when we carried a substantial amount on credit cards).

So I took over. It took a few years, but eventually the "late pay" notices went away and our credit rating recovered.

When I discovered my second husband doing the same thing, I hit the roof, confiscated all the records and checkbook, and said genius or no genius, you can't handle money for beans (I used a different word, but Eric would scold me). I'm doing the family finances.

So when he was hospitalized, completely disabled, (the VA only took 2 1/2 years to evaluate and award disability benefits), at least I didn't have to worry about messed up finances dumped in my lap. His idea of keeping records was to distribute them generously onto every flat surface available. I keep them all in one box, sort and organize for the tax accountant.

All I had to worry about was how to pay them off. Which, eventually, watching my nickels and dimes, I did, paying bills online, on time.

I am grateful to the VA for taking care of hubby and I am grateful for my sustainable financial situation, after so many years of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Thank goodness for Social Security!

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