Sunday, March 27, 2011

When you think it can't possibly get does.

It turns out that I am not good a math. Turns out that forgotten income that was lost in January is much more detrimental to our precarious financial state that you would think.

The short story is that I forgot that I had some $400 a month coming in from a retainer type agreement for a local bank, I did all they needed as needed when needed for a set rate. I had arranged for this money to go directly toward a credit card bill so there was no chance of spending it and that way I would never miss it. Thus it become "forgotten" unseen money. Well that agreement ended with a change in management in December.
Now fast forward to March, we have been extremely short on money for the last two months, having to dip into reserved tax money and "vacation" money (not really ours given to us by in-laws so we could come visit), and for the life of me I could not figure out what the problem was. I mean, I had worked so hard to cut our expenses, I should have been seeing a difference but in fact we were coming up shorter than ever. As I sat in our bank parking lot on Friday in tears over the fact that my husband had gotten paid the day before and already all the money was completely gone (to bills), I realized I had forgotten about the $400 which had been taking care of one of the credit card bills completely. And then I began to cry harder (thankfully both kids were sleeping in their car seats as I try very hard to never let them see me upset), how am I supposed to come up $400 more a month. I feel like I have been backed into a corner, I am going to have no choice but to at least go back to work part-time, otherwise we are just going to keep drowning.

I feel like I have completely failed my family and myself.

And to top in off, in the mail I noticed a letter from my husband's student loan servicer (he never opens his mail) so I opened it and found that his loan had come out of deferment and they now would like $798 and by the way this is already past due 45 days.

I am so overwhelmed, I do not even know what to do. Bankruptcy really wouldn't even help that must as the majority of our debt is student loans which would not be forgiven.  I just want to run away or wake up from this nightmare.

How is it that two people with advanced degrees have ended up in such a mess.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

So I am back...

It has been awhile, a day turned in weeks, weeks turned into months, and before I knew it I hadn't been on here in a long time. It also means I haven't been that into my "journey".

But I am back...physically and mentally...or somewhat...

So what have I been doing? Well we joined the YMCA, which was a lot to lay out each month, especially when you are trying to save and cut back. But it has been worth it. I have been going to the gym almost every morning while my son is in preschool to work out, and I am able to leave me 1yr old in child watch at the ymca and have some "me" time.  I started out with just 30 mins and have worked up to 1 1/2 hours. I have rediscovered my love of YOGA and pilates. And have lost 10lbs.

Financially, we have cancelled Time Warner cable and internet and switched to Direct TV and DSL. Savings almost $100 per month, we also downgraded our smart phones to regular cell phones and have saved $80 per month. I have been diligently cutting coupons and trying very hard to save money at the Grocery store. I have greatly curtailed my outside coffee and lunch habits, trying to limit any unnecessary food  expenses. By joining the YMCA, I have been able to save Gas by going to a YMCA near my son's preschool, instead of driving home and back while he is at school. Also by creating a GYM habit I have been able to keep myself from shopping while he is at school, which used to be the favorite pastime.

Unfortunately we have had many unforeseen expenses over the last few months, lots of illness and ER visits with lots of copays. My husband's 16 yr old jeep finally became to unsafe to keep driving, and needed to many repairs to make it worth while, so we purchased a used mini-van and took a short term loan to finance it. Originally, we planned to pay off the loan with our Tax return but now I am not sure if that is right plan, as the interest rate on the loan it quite low. So I think it might be more prudent to put the tax money on the credit card with the highest interest rate. I guess we will seen.

We are also going on a trip in the coming month. My husband side of the family always gets together sometime near Easter, they all meet up in Florida where my in-laws live. We have not gone to this get together in several years. Unfortunately my husband's grandmother in not in good health and may not be with us much longer so my husband really wants to go this year to see her and have her see our children. So my mother in law has graciously given us money towards this trip. We cannot afford to fly, so we are going to be driving. I am sure that unexpected expenses will come up, but we will be staying with my in-laws so at least we do not have to pay for lodging. Family is more important than money....

So that is a quick catch up...I will be back more often, as I find I need this outlet in order to be more successful and accountable in this journey.