There are some many emotions that flood into your head when you realize you will be moving forward alone. The magnitude of life just felt too overwhelming. I was left with a lot of physical and emotional overhead including a large house, three pugs and raising an entitled teenager. I needed to figure out our expenses.
One of the areas that I am embarrassed to admit is that Robin handled all the bills and I knew nothing. In the past, every few months, I would bring up to him that we needed to align on our financial strategy, bills, and passwords. However I would never follow up because secretly I did not want to know. Anyways when my worst fear came true, I had to turn into a forensic scientist to figure out who, what and when we owed money.
I combed over past statements, went into his accounts using the reset password feature and overused the goodwill of my poor credit union manager. She had politely offered “Is there anything I can do?” I quickly took her up on her offer with … as a matter of fact “yes,” could you help me set up my entire bill paying system on-line? I sat with her for hours in her office with my pile of bills as she set up my automatic payments. I am positive she really had thrown out an empty gesture but I was desperate and acted like a real schnorrer (Yiddish term for mooch). I really should send her a plant to thank her.
Ok… I have another true confession, I used the “I am a widow” card. My bills seemed a little bloated and I needed to eliminate unnecessary spend. I called utilities, cable, lawn and cars companies, you name it, to negotiate and share my new situation. It was true, I had lost my husband but, I may have overused it a little to get services cancelled or sympathy for a lower rate. I did not feel too bad as I knew Robin would have thought it was funny. I am happy to report that monthly expenses are trimmed down due to the above tactics and abandoning my addiction to Nordstrom (currently in the 12 step program – my bad on that one)