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January 9th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

I can see it's been awhile again since I've blogged. Just thought I'd share a little of what's been going on in our lives. Late October we made the decision to move. The house we were living in was owned by my parents, and they did absolutely no upkeep on it at all. It was a rent situation, but they wanted us to throw money into repairs, general upkeep, etc. We didn't mind doing the little stuff, but things like the furnace and roof were a little beyond our responsibility. After a couple of years telling them the roof was leaking, and having nothing done, we finally decided that it was time to move out. Needless to say, they didn't take it very well and disowned us. Lesson from this: never have financial dealings with family.

So November was spent packing and preparing for Thanksgiving, and packing. We moved Dec. 1st into our current home, and we are happy here, still a rental situation but we know the landlord well and he is awesome.

So 2010 comes in, and we were happy to get a fresh start to the new year in a new house. Well hubby's paycheck hits the bank on Friday and it is $335 short.
Yep, a garnishment. We had no notice it was coming. Yes there was a judgment for this bill but it's about 8 years old, and quite honestly we haven't made it a priority to pay it off. So yes, it's our fault but sure doesn't make right now any easier. We're probably looking at this going on for the next 9-10 months.

We have no savings, no EF, no credit cards (which I guess is a good thing in the long run), and leaves us with not having enough money to pay our bills, or conversely, if we pay our bills, not enough money for essentials (like gas, food, toilet paper....)

So our options are to increase our income or decrease our expenses. We are working on both. Hubby is waiting on a job to be posted that is "his". Long story short, he applied in June, interviewed in July, and then issues with HR (and budget issues) has delayed it so far. He has already been told by his supervisor that the position is his, he's already doing the work of the job. It should be an increase of about $10,000 yearly, which should, if nothing else, bump us back up to where we were, even after the garnishment. I've applied to Walmart, and am looking to see what else is out there, but really there's not a lot to be had. My trouble is, too, that I haven't worked since 2004, been going to school part time as well as taking care of my children, 2 which are special needs. That gap doesn't look good with employers.

So our other option is to reduce expenses. Unfortunately there's not much to reduce. Our cable/internet/phone is all bundled together through Charter, and we can't stop cable without stopping the other 2, and that's not an option, as hubby works from home 3 days a week, and my daughter attends virtual school. We need the internet. I am looking at reducing our car insurance payment, by lowering deductibles. I have a meeting scheduled with our agent next week. I've cancelled the YMCA membership, which kept costing us overdraft fees because I'd always forget about it. We have a cell phone, but we're under contract, so to cancel that means we have to pay an early cancellation fee up front, so that makes no sense to do that, either.

We will be getting approx $1700 back on our federal tax return, and some on state, so that will help to get us caught up on our bills, and will also get rid of that awful check cashing loan we have out.

So we are literally just treading water here, trying not to drown in the process. To top it off, the coffee maker stopped working today and the deep fryer is missing. It's a little thing, I know, but on top of everything else that's been going on, it's just too much. Right now we're of the mindset, ok what else is going to go wrong? Waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.

So that's my update. Definitely not a pretty one, and really really hoping that we can bring ourselves financially out of this mess and in a better place. Ironically that was our new year's resolution: to become financially better. Now I'm not really sure if that's going to happen. No way we can save if we can't even meet our basic essentials each month.

6 Responses to “wow”

  1. lizajane Says:

    Any extras you can sell on CL or ebay? Any special services you can offer in the paper to bring in extra income? Maybe something will come along and make it a little easier for you.

  2. homebody Says:

    Okay a deep fryer is not a need is it?, but coffee aaahh.... you know you could just boil water and pour it through the thing that holds the filter. DH used to do that all the time since he was the only one drinking coffee. You know we have an extra one we would be happy to get rid of. Maybe DH could mention it at work and someone might have an extra one. Decluttering in the new year and all.

    How long to make up the cancellation fee on the cell? Are you that close to the end of your contract. In other words if it is a $200.00 fee and you pay $50.00 a month, in four months you would be ahead.

    Call Charter and see if they have a hardship program or are running another special.

    I am sorry about your family situation. We lived in a house my parents owned for 7 years and it was a dump! It leaked and was awful, but we didn't pay rent (just the property taxes, which ran about $30.00 a month). It enabled us to buy our home with a 20% down payment. My parents donated it to the local fire department after we moved out for training....

    Hang in there!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    The garnishment may not be good in the short term, but hopefully in the long term it will be better to have that debt off your back!

    You will have to INCREASE deductibles on insurance to get a lower premium. Make sure you have the ability to pay the deductible at all times, so you don't get yourself into a worse situation.

    It sounds like you are looking at lots of options! Good luck.

  4. fern Says:

    Sorry to hear about all those bills.

    Renters normally wouldn't be expected to pay for repairs or maintenance, so I'm surprised your parents expected that of you, unless there was some sort of explicit arrangement that you do so when you rented. I guess you can't be too careful when getting into various financial deals with family. I wonder if there are unspoken assumptions by some family members who expect entitlements, simply becus they are family, that mess things up when it becomes apparent that not everyone shares their views. You really have to treat it as a business transaction like any other, i guess.

  5. Jerry Says:

    I agree about the rental situation - it is not the tenant's responsibility to manage repairs! This information doesn't lead to any repaired relationships, of course, but you were definitely in the right and the parents were in the wrong. Hopefully you will have some insurance that they will come to their senses and stop overreacting in the future. Good luck with everything!

  6. crazyliblady Says:

    I think in exchange for repairs done, your parents should have knocked an equal amount off of the rent or maybe paid you something. At any rate, it should have been agreed to in writing what was expected.

    As far as your financial situation and trying to get a job, have you considered babysitting a few children. That way you could continue to be at home with your children who it sounds like need to you to be at home. Also, check on your car insurance. Are you really driving as many miles per week as they are charging you a rate for? I checked my statement one day and found the company was charging me for driving about 100 miles per week, but I walk to work every day. It did not knock off a lot, but it was something. On your cell phones and home phones, are you paying for features you don't need? Visit this website:
    Text is http://www.thriftyfun.com and Link is
    http://www.thriftyfun.com. There is lots of good information there and a section for trading coupons. Just sign up for a free membership. Good luck. Let us know about how this all goes.

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