marriage

Written Conversations: “How Did I Let That Happen to Me?”

Paulette: I’m here with Jeri Jones, mother of my two best friends since I was 10 years old. She packed my lunch for me in high school. That tells you everything.

Jeri: I did.

Paulette: You made your own bread.

Jeri: I did. It was really good too.

Paulette: Oh my god, we would not even give anyone a bite of our sandwiches in high school. They were like, can we have a bite. We were like, no. I want every bite of this sandwich. It was the best.

Jeri: That makes me feel good you know.

Paulette: I know, I am so glad. So my mom, just paid you to make my lunches…

Jeri: To make – yeah because…

Paulette: How did that come about?

Jeri: I was making your lunch and I had very little resources. At the time I had quit my high paying job as a sales rep and I had two teenage daughters and no job and MS holding me back from doing jobs that would pay me more money. So, I had to learn to live on a budget. It was hard, it was really hard. My mom and dad helped and I thank god for them. But, mostly I did it on my own. I asked if I could use my dad’s VA loan to buy this house. By the way, your mother found this house and your dad did the closing.

Paulette: What?

Jeri: Yes, he did.

Paulette: Oh my gosh.

Jeri: Yes. I needed to leave my husband and I did not have the resources. They were always used up. I was living even with my husband at the time. We were living check to check, week to week and it’s not a fun or good feeling, it made – it made me sick to my stomach at times. It made me worry and have a lot of anxiety, because I was the one paying the bills, but I had no control over what went out of the account. And I think I would have done it differently had I known that. I would have had a separate account. I didn’t do that in my first marriage. It can go away easily.

Paulette: Yeah.

Jeri: Yeah, and then you can’t pay bills and juggling whether or not, okay, last month, I caught up on the cable bill, this month I have to catch up on the electric bill, or which credit card do I not pay this month. It wasn’t fun. I wish and hope that my children or anyone I know does not live that way. And unfortunately, I know a lot of people who do live that way, paycheck to paycheck. We were having the most fun we could.

Paulette: I know. It’s so fun to have fun though.

Jeri: I know. And you need to have fun when you are young, you really do, because you don’t know what will happen.

Paulette: So how old were we when that stuff was going on?

Jeri: You guys were 11-12, the time we lived in the Carlyle house.

Paulette: Oh my gosh. And I remember it like I had left this family of financial chaos and found like an oasis of structure and calm. I drank so much of your SunnyD. You had the best groceries. The food was amazing.

Jeri: I was making $60,000 at that time a year. So we should not have been in that position. I should have been able to afford it, but like I said, I also got into spending to keep up with everyone in my circle too. Things became important. I don’t think originally I thought that way when I was young, but I came to because it was important to my husband.

Paulette: That will be like an interesting article, like what is keeping up with the Joneses? The evolutionary drive is so strong, I am obsessed with evolutionary psychology.

Jeri: Really! I haven’t gotten into it.

Paulette: Oh it’s so interesting.

Jeri: I bet it is.

Paulette: It’s really hard to prove it, and the science, it can have trouble in the scientific community because you can’t run an experiment and evolve humans again. But we just don’t talk enough about how the hardware – we can never update our hardware. The hardware we got is the hardware we got for right now. And like we are still acting like we are in tribes of 150.

Jeri: Those roots are deep.

Paulette: It’s crazy.

Jeri: And the other thing as a 63-year-old woman, who was a nurse and lived a little bit, was out in the world – I was a working woman in the medical sales field and it all comes down to the basic male need, to spread his seed.

Paulette: That is exactly what the science says. Like read the Moral Animal, yes.

Jeri: Okay, I was going to have to do.

Paulette: There is this book called the Moral Animal that like seriously I was not okay for like a month. I felt like a robot who had read her own manual. That’s what it feels like. Explain a little bit about like who I was to your family starting from when I was 10.

Jeri: You were a bit of sunshine. You were chatty and you and the girls were always busy. You entertained each other. I just like kids.

Paulette: That makes me feel so good because in my memory I am the kid who like owes you a $5,000 grocery bill. I just went over and I was like, my god, I cannot eat imitation crab at this point as an adult because I ate so much of that at your house as a kid. I cannot stand imitation crabs and like whenever you guys had it, it was like, oh my god, it was so good.

Jeri: That’s so funny. Oh no, the food never worried me. There was always money for food and I am Italian and that comes first, I guess, feed your kids, and you were one of my kids.

Paulette: And you know what’s funny is that you guys were from the Seattle area and you introduced me to so many things and cooking, like I ate artichoke with you guys.

Jeri: Oh that’s…

Paulette: I am like, oh my god, what is this. And then that’s probably – so then I – we were in Florida at that time, and then I ended up moving to Seattle and probably I loved Seattle so much because it has so much of the stuff you guys taught me to enjoy.

Jeri: That’s interesting. Wow.

Paulette: You made me a foodie.

Jeri: Very cool. I made you a foodie, okay.

Paulette: And like how everyone cleaned together, so remember one of the first things Lou said to me, so what were the rules in your house for me. Do you remember?

Jeri: I don’t.

Paulette: He said to me, it must have been literally like the first or second time I hung up with you guys. And he goes, you want to play with my girls, you can play with my girls. When we are playing, you are playing with us. When we are cleaning, you are cleaning. And I was just like, okay, like thems the rules. And I cleaned more – I cleaned more at your guys’ house than I ever cleaned at my house, cumulatively.

Jeri: Yeah. It’s so funny.

Paulette: We would just put on music.

Jeri: Loud music.

Paulette: Loud music and clean for like two hours.

Jeri: Yeah.

Paulette: And everyone would clean.

Jeri: Right.

Paulette: And it was like fun.

Jeri: Right. And then you are done.

Paulette: And then you are done.

Jeri: Yeah.

Paulette: I think you guys taught me about teamwork and like the joy of working together.

Jeri: That’s good to know.

Paulette: Yeah.

Jeri: Thank you for letting me remember that.

Paulette: Yeah.

Jeri: Bringing it to my attention. It’s so easy to forget.

Paulette: So I have one more question. I probably have a few more. We are going to talk till the hour is done. So when I come over to Jeri, I had to set a timer for an hour, because she has MS and I am not allowed to wear her out. So we just gab and gab until the timer goes off.

Jeri: We do. And there’s never a dull moment.

Paulette: No.

Jeri: Yeah. So, what’s your other question?

Paulette: So, my question with me and money is what the fuck is wrong with me.

Jeri: What do you mean?

Paulette: Like, what is wrong with me – so I totally spent my fuckoff fund. So last year I made $35,000 and I spent $56,000.

Jeri: You can’t keep doing that.

Paulette: I know. I need to switch those numbers.

Jeri: Yes, you do, you do. And I understand this is a time in your life when you have the energy and the desire to go do and see things. Now, I am going to tell you at 63, I don’t feel the same way, but I did when I was your age. Anywhere new was just exciting and fun and now I really like my house. I just…

Paulette: That’s great.

Jeri: Yeah, I mean, we sit and watch history channel and science channel and you know where they take you to different countries. Aerial America has been fantastic. And I feel like I am probably getting a better view of America than if you drive through it. You drive through it, you are getting the people and the emotions and the feel but looking over it, you are getting the beauty of each individual state.

Paulette: Yeah.

Jeri: So there’s lots of stuff where we say, okay, where are we going tonight? We went to the south seas the other night – last night with pearl diving.

Paulette: That’s so cool.

Jeri: Yeah.

Paulette: I know. So I need to like say no to those things for a while. Someone recently said to me about my dad – oh no, his brother said about my dad, your dad was just always kind of like a, yeah, sure, like, let’s do it, kind of guy. And that is totally me. And I appreciate – the reason that I can like not hate myself for is appreciating the other side of it, which is like I have to fun, I am up for anything, I am spontaneous, and that’s great. But then the downside is that I have to say yes to everything and there’s so much to say yes to that you can just very easily do that until your money is gone.

Jeri: And many people do. It takes spending to keep up with people that you think you need to impress, but the bottom line is if you need to impress them, they are not your friends. I love the Johnsons for that reason. They genuinely have money. They’ve had trips – but they like to come hang out at my house. They sleep in my spare room and when we were friends in Seattle he used to love coming to my house because he could wear blue jeans. So, I don’t know.

Paulette: They intimidated the hell out of me, they were like the first best friends, they had the two sisters that were perfectly aligned, they were just a very – they are like everything you want your family to be.

Jeri: Yes.

Paulette: And I just, I remember actually that is the first time I remember writing to please someone else because when they would go on vacation with them, I had to write the funniest letters to be the cool friend back home.

Jeri: Oh, I bet that was a lot of pressure. You had to keep up with them, and they really had the perfect life now. There was a smart man.

Paulette: Yeah, and just like morally and spiritually kind soul.

Jeri: Yes, he is, definitely.

Paulette: And I think that there is a lot of hatred of rich people that is not…

Jeri: Warranted.

Paulette: Warranted. Greedy people. There’s a difference. And there’s one of the – I think a great opening line for a story is: rich people are the only kind of assholes everyone wants to be.

Jeri: Yeah. And just as that great.

Paulette: It’s like I love Dave Ramsey but he acts like government is terrible and business is amazing, like, there should never be any…

Jeri: Free enterprise, yeah.

Paulette: Yeah. But that’s too far at one side and then it’s like everyone personally wants to be a rich person but then it’s like, oh the rich, blah, blah, blah. I think there’s a level of richness that is really unhealthy for a human person that people cannot take. I think it makes you not need anyone.

Jeri: That’s a good thought. Anyone or anything.

Paulette: And then you can afford to be a total fucking asshole and there’s just something that breaks in a human being that makes you a total asshole usually.

Jeri: Right.

Paulette: Some people have the internal structure but like if you are not – if you let yourself get identified with it, that’s when it’s a problem.

Jeri: Then it’s an ego thing.

Paulette: Yeah, your ego just gets to run wild.

Jeri: Right.

Paulette: You need to have your ego smashed around a little bit every now and then.

Jeri: Yes, to remind us of who we are. I would say, in general, people aren’t as poor as they think, they just spend money impulsively and unwisely.

Paulette: I think we lose sight of where luxury starts. In America, it’s very easy to do that, and I think that’s one thing.

Jeri: It is.

Paulette: That was one of the things that Peace Corps was good for was…

Jeri: I was just going to say that. You really learned that.

Paulette: Yeah, and I didn’t even – I did not have it that hard physically in Peace Corps, I had a nice little house, I had a nice little shower, I had hot water, even though to get it hot you had to have the water pressure of three two-year-olds peeing on your head, because the more water you put out the colder it got. And the same temperature that it was outside, it was in my shower; so when it was 42 degrees in Paraguay, it would be 42 degrees in my shower. And there’s no shower curtain, it’s just an open bathroom and I would sit under that hot water, you had to wear rubber shoes because the water heater was in the showerhead. It was just little machine and would go – shhhhhh, you could hear it going. And then I would do it to the smallest amount because then it would be super freaking hot and I would try to shower and I would take too long and all the power in my house would go out.

Jeri: Oh no!

Paulette: And then I would be naked, wet in 42 degree blackness, and I would just start screaming for the next door neighbors to come flip my switch out in front of my house until they hopefully heard me. So after that, luxury tile doesn’t matter so much. You are like, oh my god, it’s warm in here, it’s warm in the shower and I can wash shampoo out of my hair without worrying that I will be pitched into darkness.

Jeri: Right. We have forgotten the basics, most Americans have, yeah, they have forgotten the basics. What you really need to live, I mean, people live like you’ve seen.

Paulette: Yeah, and that wasn’t even – to me, that felt like I was staying with what I would call the global middle class. If you averaged every single person. It was so interesting, when there was the earthquake in Haiti, the Paraguayans were donating money to Haiti. You don’t even think about those levels when you’ve never lived anywhere else.

Jeri: No, you don’t think about those. And I don’t know, are these things being taught in school.

Paulette: And the important thing to me was to love the people there. I loved my host moms so much, she is like…

Jeri: I know you did.

Paulette: I have three moms, I am so lucky. I have three women in my life who I am like, that’s my mom.

Jeri: That’s awesome. You are lucky.

Paulette: So whenever I would hear myself giving a pity party later, and it’s worn off a bit, I’ve forgotten, I would just be like, that’s so unfair to Conchena like for me to like, oh, poor me, I have to go to Ross Dress for Less instead of Nordstrom.

Jeri: Right. I know. Yeah, that would really make you think – yeah.

Paulette: And she’s doing better. The last time I went down there they had a car.

Jeri: Wow!

Paulette: But they were struggling real hard the first time I was there, because the father had just gotten sick and couldn’t work. And did I tell you about the Ross Dress for Less silverware?

Jeri: Uh-uh.

Paulette: So, in Paraguay, it’s like this big joke that they eat all this really hard meat but the silverware is so cheap, it’s like a plastic handle connected to a metal – like the part with the tines on it. And that would always bend so then everyone is always bending their fork back on the table, like it’s just like a movement, like you bend your fork back. So when I was about to leave Paraguay I came home and I came back and I brought Conchena, two sets of Ross Dress for Less silverware that were $12.99 each probably or even cheaper like $10.99. She was so excited and then she just loved them which was nice.

Jeri: What a wonderful thing.

Paulette: And then I went back like a month later and they are in the china cabinet, like in the box, unopened.

Jeri: No!

Paulette: And I am like, and not the china cabinet but they had like a thing there just with random stuff in there, things on display. They would do things like if you got a new stereo, you’d put the box on display in your living room.

Jeri: Really?

Paulette: Yeah. And any fun little trinket thing.

Jeri: Right, yeah.

Paulette: And I was like Conchena please just use those, like, they are nice. And she’s like, no, I can’t do it. I was just like, Conchena they weren’t that expensive, like, I want you to use them. No, she would not do it. It remains there to this day.

Jeri: But that was important to her.

Paulette: Yeah. And there was this other day, I was just cleaning out my house and throwing out trash and I heard my sister in the backyard, they didn’t have trash service, so you put all your trash in the backyard and you pile it up and then the chickens would scratch at it and spread it around and then you had to rake it up again, and then you burned it and it was terrible for the environment but I secretly loved it, because you know how I love fire so much. Remember, when we were little, we wouldn’t stop playing with fire?

Jeri: Fire!

Paulette: It was so fun, I just got to burn things all the time. I loved it. So I was piling things in my fire pit to burn and I hear my little host sister who was like 11, giggling back there with her friend. And like I am like, what are you girls doing. And they have all these things lined up on the outdoor sink there, they had a disposable McDonalds cup that I had gotten from the city in the capital. Somehow I had the cup in my house, and then a Victoria’s Secret bag that somehow I had like someone had sent me a gift or something, probably my mom got me like socks at Victoria’s Secret, and they had that up there. And my host sister just holds the disposable McDonalds cup, she’s like why would you throw this away? She just saw a cup and I looked at it and I saw a cup.

Jeri: Trash, yeah.

Paulette: Well, she changed the way I looked at it. Like it’s still a cup, we just say that’s a disposable cup.

Jeri: Yeah, and I have gotten that, I guess, Catholic guilt complex, I can’t throw things away, I have a really hard time doing it but I am also very practical, so I don’t want to keep anything I don’t need.

Paulette: Yeah.

Jeri: But why wouldn’t you wash it out if you had it or keep it there so that if you had cookies or something to give to someone you can have, you know, give them a giveaway cup. We’ve lost – I think, in America, we’ve just lost our respect for things. It’s not – we only need what we need to function and everything else is a luxury. It’s like all of a sudden we need all kinds of stuff to function.

Paulette: Where do you think you got your ideas about money?

Jeri: Well, my mom and dad were always very frugal. My dad came from nothing and my mother’s family was not very wealthy either. They’d been through some hard times. I find myself now – I wash out baggies. I know. You could laugh at that. I used to laugh at that but why spend money on something that I can use again two or three times.

Paulette: So that changed.

Jeri: That changed, yeah. Now, we are in money saving mode because we are retirement age. We are not big money earners but because of MS for me, and because my husband has always been a good money manager, although he didn’t have a lot, yet, we live very well, but we don’t go out and do things. The disease worked for me in that way. It taught me, I don’t need things the newest, latest thing to be happy. I am alive. Some days I can walk. I get to enjoy laying around on my ass all day. That’s something. And I get a parking sticker that says I can park closest. There are some perks. What can I say? I have to focus on those. Life can be enjoyed without access I think. Took me a long time to learn that.

Paulette: We had a lot of access when we were…

Jeri: We did too.

Paulette: But both our families had this mix, I like boats, we lived on the water, our families were so similar in that way. And I did not know that until very recently, until 20 years later.

Jeri: Did my daughters know that?

Paulette: I have no idea.

Jeri: Oh you’ve never talked to them about it. I haven’t either. I am a very, very good enabler type person.

Paulette: I thought you guys had put 100% your shit together and I would not have eaten all of your very expensive imitation crab and individually bottled SunnyD if I had any idea. To me, that was like, you could just sneak in here and pretend to be one of your kids.

Jeri: But you were, you became one of the kids, it did you know that’s how I wanted it.

Paulette: It was a lot of unpaid child labor.

Jeri: That’s right.

Paulette: Oh god, it’s so funny.

Jeri: That is funny. I know. I had a very good way of being able to make things look like everything was okay.

Paulette: I think everyone does or I don’t know, like…

Jeri: A lot of people do.

Paulette: A lot of people do. The good on paper thing.

Jeri: Yeah. We looked good on paper. I went from living that life to being very poor, not being able to work. My job was paying for a driver so that I could continue to work because I would get somewhere and then I would not be able to get back. I started the jerking and I’d have symptoms. And so, they hired me a driver and I guess at that point realized that was an extra expense. For a while, what I did is train new people, so they would drive me. And they were putting themselves in a position to be sold and they needed to get rid of all the dead weight I guess. They were also paying for a very expensive drug that I was on. They were a self-insured company. And so I was I was kind of expensive, I was bringing in a million dollars a year for the company, but you add those things up and they needed me to go away. So, they gave me a job in Tampa that I had to drive to myself. And I was not capable of doing it.

Paulette: Do you think they did that knowing that you wouldn’t be able to do it?

Jeri: Yeah.

Paulette: Wow.

Jeri: There are downsides to big corporations. There are upsides. The money is good. The benefits are good. I think people do base a lot of their self worth on money, what they are capable of making. I think I did for a while. I don’t anymore but I learned to live differently. And part of that was because of the illness. When you can’t do things, and my husband doesn’t want to do things, we save a bunch of money that way. His favorite phrase is she can’t and I don’t want to.

Paulette: What should my phrase be? I am a writer. I just need to be like no emotion about it, that’s the thing, like I think from not being able to do so much after my family went bankrupt when I was 8, and all the no’s and all the can’ts and all the excuses, and like did not have – like I want to make more money and I am an entrepreneur as well as a writer…

Jeri: You really are.

Paulette: I am still a writer, like I just have to be like oh that is not within the realm of my – that is something I chose to give up when I chose to become a writer. And I can’t get there, like, out to dinner, yeah, sounds great.

Jeri: And I don’t know how to control that except put a limit on it. You would have to do it yourself.

Paulette: That’s the thing. You are holding the key to the jail cell.

Jeri: Right.

Paulette: You can just be like, no.

Jeri: Yeah. Hey, I’ve spent everything this week that I’ve allotted myself, I’ve already borrowed from next week, no.

Paulette: Never do those words come out of my mouth.

Jeri: And I am very practical and those words do come out of my mouth.

Paulette: So how do I day to day – I mean, you know me, I’ve tried everything. So wait…

Jeri: You really have.

Paulette: We need to back up, because we need to say, okay, five years ago – five years ago, I was what I hope will be the rock bottom of my financial life, for my entire life. I had like $100 in my bank account, my house was being short-sold in Florida, it was a nightmare time. I had gotten a part time job as a waitress. I was making $320 a week, and my pit bull attack money, I got a attacked by a pit bull when I was 23 and that money finally came through, it was $750 and that’s literally like how I made it through the summer. And I said to myself, the only way I made it was my pit bull attack money came through, and I was like…

Jeri: Oh man!

Paulette: I hate that that sentence describes my life. Like that’s the worst sentence to be like this is true about my life right now.

Jeri: Right. It’s just that you have to say no to other things, and it is hard. So it always comes down to self-discipline.

Paulette: I got none.

Jeri: You could work on it.

Paulette: So, what I did, remember, I was like, okay, this is enough, and I started a blog.

Jeri: Yes, you did.

Paulette: I put very a basic excel chart on a blog and I said, I am going to post how much money I have every month in each of these accounts.

Jeri: That was very brave.

Paulette: And no one else cared except Jeri. And so, partially because you are home and you are connected to experience internet.

Jeri: I am home, right, and I have to lay down a lot, I don’t walk that well. So, I wanted to follow Paulette, I followed her through the Peace Corps blogs, and this one just led right into that, and I did keep up with it. By the way, I did not know I was the only one. I never knew that until she told me years later.

Paulette: But then that was like, it was like a fake out pressure because when I would get those things, I would be like, I don’t want to disappoint Jeri. So I was like, I got to – I can’t be in the worst place, I remember the first few months, my chart, I got out of debt and then completely went almost back where I was over a five-month period. I was very upset. And that is but a blip in the history.

Jeri: I tried to cheer you on.

Paulette: You did cheer me on, it was great.

Jeri: I tried to cheer you on and give you honest feedback. There were lessons that I know you would have to learn yourself and I tried to share some of my experience with money, which by the way totally flipped for me. It just flipped for me. I think the first thing that happened was when I got married my husband said, do you have a credit card. Yes. How much do you owe? And he said, the first thing that has to happen is that needs to get paid off. And you do not put anything on the credit card unless you have the money to pay it at the end of the month. And that’s how we lived, that’s how I lived. And it was a good way to save money because if it was an impulse buy and maybe I couldn’t really afford it, I’d already spent what I was allowed to spend, I would think by the time the next week or month rolled around, I didn’t want it anymore. And so it saved me a lot of money on impulse buys because I was very much an impulse person. See something and think immediately how I could use it and how awesome it would be to have it.

Paulette: See something, buy something.

Jeri: Yes.

Paulette: Like see something, say something, but for people who can’t stop spending.

Jeri: Yeah. So I was like that. I was very impulsive.

Paulette: I don’t think I am like a shopaholic because I see those people and they had like tons of bags and hidden things. I am a funaholic.

Jeri: Funaholic, yes you are, yeah. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be a funaholic. I think you are.

Paulette: I know.

Jeri: Yeah. And you know what you are. Enjoy it. But be responsible.

Paulette: I know. How do we control the beast, the fun beast?

Jeri: The fun beast has to say no to itself sometimes.

Paulette: The fun beast doesn’t wanna.

Jeri: I know.

Paulette: Fun beast wants to have fun.

Jeri: And I don’t know how to help you with that. That’s something like quitting smoking or it’s one of those things you have to decide for yourself you are going to do.

Paulette: Yeah.

Jeri: And you have to be strong willed about it. I know. It’s so much fun to have fun.

Paulette: It’s fun to have fun and to do it up, and you are like, we did it up. Just go all out.

Jeri: Go all out. Where does that come from?

Paulette: It’s so funny how my dad and Paula and Beth’s dad are so similar.

Jeri: Yeah, in that way.

Paulette: Those big personalities are like, one time my dad rented a limo to take us to the airport. And it’s just that kind of thing, I will never forget it. And he let me call Paula and Beth from like the first phone on a plane like when planes first had phones. He let me call Paula and Beth from the plane and god knows how much that cost.

Jeri: Right.

Paulette: I am 35 years old and I am like that was the best. That was the shit.

Jeri: He did make you kids happy. He was a good person and a fun guy to be around.

Paulette: Yeah.

Jeri: Very genuine, but he liked to have fun, and he liked to do stuff.

Paulette: Yeah, we like to do stuff. And all of our friends are like that too, like people that Paula and Beth married, just like fun to do it guys. But it’s like, I equate spending money with fun.

Jeri: And it doesn’t have to require spending money. You can have fun going to a free park and hiking or whatever. There’s fun to be had. You have to search for it.

Paulette: All my friends are so broke though. My one friend, Ryan, he’s my yoga teacher and he’s a realtor as well. And we are in an accountability group together, where we help each other with our businesses. And we were doing something where I was telling him about feeling so guilty because I had gotten invited to Nigeria and I had to buy my visa, it was $300 and we were in a cafe talking about it. I was like, I don’t have $300. And he like slammed the table with his hands, he’s like, $300, Paulette to go to Africa? He’s like, this is why you need to make more money. We can’t live like this.

Jeri: That’s right.

Paulette: He’s like that is like nothing for this opportunity, just go. And the way that my dad died when I was 17, just in an accident…

Jeri: You were at a very vulnerable age.

Paulette: It just formed my world view.

Jeri: Yeah. I see that. I see where it would affect you that way. Plus your family is a lot of fun.

Paulette: I know.

Jeri: You know?

Paulette: Yeah. But I have to – so I am bringing in professionals; every month, I will have a different financial expert or some other psychology kind of expert to come in and to help me on a different topic. So the first one is a financial therapist, Amanda Clayman, she’s so nice and so great.

Jeri: That’s cool.

Paulette: And then my friend Erin who wrote this book called Broke Millennial who is like this boss ass bitch in New York. I have a few different, other people or 12 over the year and then I am going to basically write the money memoir that I was going to write but that book didn’t sell along with this like very prescriptive book about what they tell me about being a funaholic and spending all your money when you should save and take care of yourself.

Jeri: Yeah, if you could just do a little of both, I mean, or do…

Paulette: Balance.

Jeri: Yeah, there has to be a balance. I think you have to have a Fuck Off Fund.

Paulette: Yeah, I know and I don’t know…

Jeri: Everyone should.

Paulette: How did I let myself lose mine after I became the fucking Fuck Off Fund girl?

Jeri: I know. When I needed to leave, I had to ask my mom and dad for help.

Paulette: And how old were you?

Jeri: 38.

Paulette: Yeah. It’s interesting because people who are married, it feels like an insult to be like I am keeping this $10,000 as my Fuck Off Fund and you might be the person I need to tell to fuck off.

Jeri: But don’t call it a Fuck Off Fund. Call it a – hey, you might need a new refrigerator or a washer and dryer.

Paulette: But then the other person would – when you need a new refrigerator, would be like, you need a new refrigerator.

Jeri: Oh yeah, you would have to have your own – I do recommend that.

Paulette: Would you hide it?

Jeri: Yeah. No. I would not hide it, but I wouldn’t have their name on it, and allow them to do the very same thing.

Paulette: Because Dave Ramsey is all about when you get married you combine your finances.

Jeri: Yeah, I know, I was all about that too when I got married the first time. You have to be real careful with that, because – no, no, if you ever find yourself in this situation where someone has – your partner, your husband has taken all the money out of your bank account, that takes your power to do anything away. So, I do recommend having some money that’s just yours. I never believed that before. I thought everything should be combined. We are a married person, but not everybody is capable of following through.

Paulette: Yeah.

Jeri: How did I let that happen to me? I am a smart woman.

Paulette: I hear so many women say that. I’ve heard at least five of my closest friends say something along those exact same lines, totally – how did I let it happen to me?

Jeri: I know. But I should have known better. I was very naive, I was a Catholic schoolgirl and I was gullible, very gullible. And I wanted to believe so bad that I believed what I was being told even though the evidence did not go there.

Paulette: And how many – I just don’t want to say like how many good men have we had in our lives, so many.

Jeri: Yeah.

Paulette: I have known many wonderful men.

Jeri: I have too.

Paulette: It’s not about like every guy is an asshole, it’s not about that, but some are.

Jeri: But some are. Some don’t develop it until they are 40 or 50 years old.

Paulette: And some women too.

Jeri: And some women too.

Paulette: I mean, it’s not – men need a Fuck Off Fund too.

Jeri: Yeah. Men do too, I think everyone…

Paulette: But men are more likely to have one.

Jeri: Right.

Paulette: Well, our timer went off.

Jeri: I know.

Paulette: I have to go.

Jeri: I know.

Paulette: Love you!