So...and update

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
So...and update
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 12:47pm

As a long time member of the board it is good to share our ups and downs on occaision, so the new folks know we have struggled as well.

I joined the board in 2008, remarried to the most wonderful man, two kids in high school and we both brought in debt from our prior relationships.  We got through the recession both working hard, and me working two jobs, 40 hours a week, then teaching at night.

My daughter graduated high school in 2010, and went on to an in-state college with some scholarships, loans and of course, my assistance.  I had saved and was able to help as much as possible, but she pays for her own spending, books, fees, etc. on top of the loans she will have.  Total now that she is a senior looks like about $92k, and she will have about $22k in loans - not too bad.

In 2010 we were offered to purchase a family cabin in DHs family.  We would still have our much smaller place, and hold that to sell to our kids down the line, but it was something we both wanted to do and a possible retirement home for us much later on.  So a new bill, taxes and insurance for the next 10 years or so, hopefully sooner.  We negotiate a payment deal for less while kids were in school, then escalation after that.

Dh's son graduated a year later, again an in-state school, but he too lives at school.  We do a 33% each with him and his mother, his portion is in loans, and he has to work to pay his fees, etc.  Differece with him is that all his graduation savings, bonds and other money is at his disposal to use for his spending, so he did not see the need to work as early - but he has kicked it into gear.

DH and I have increased our net worth by over $125k in the last 4 years, even with the kids in school.  We were humming along until spring 2012 when I took a buy-out from my job to pursue my passion.  I went with a small firm, independent and thought it could be a good partnership.  Well the guy didn't work out to be a "partner" at all, so a few weeks ago, things blew up just as I was having my best month ever, and I made the decision to go on my own.  It took a while for all the paperwork to settle, but the best clients followed me, and I am moving forward.  I am working out of the house for now and hope to be in an office by September.

DH put $6k from our HELOC into our personal checking account to give me 4 months or so to build before we need my income to support the household again.  He pays about 60% of the bills, but with the kids in school, it is harder.  Actually I could probably make the $6k last at least 6 months.

SO overally we have slipped about $10k in total back into debt and it feels awful.  We have paid down over $8k even after that, so not THAT bad of a back peddle and DH is still putting in about 15% of his pay in retirement savings.  

I will not show any income this year, due to pouring all I have made back into the business, so we should get a decent tax refund as DH has not lowered his withholding rate, and we still get credits for college funding.

I don't know, you are all making good progress and I get down looking at new debt.  But I am doing what I love and am part of a career where only 7.9% of us are women, I know I am paving roads for the future.  I might not be going as fast, but I am doing it the RIGHT way, taking care of people and putting time and consideration into their needs.

Creating your own business is very hard, every choice has much larger impact, and you work many more hours than you can ever imagine.  Doing what you are passionate about also has tasks you don't like so much, but you cannot afford help, so you persevere.  Someday I hope it all works out, as I adore helping people, and when they tell me how I have taken a burden off of them, it is so amazing, it is worth it all.


Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 1:01pm

So glad to hear things have settled down on the job front Marie and you got things "settled".  I hope you had a great canoe trip last week, sorry I missed you while I was up there!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 1:22pm
Thanks, Tracey! Well it was not the 5th anniversary Hawaii trip we had planned, but we did have water, an island and sun!! We canoed over 50 miles, spent two nights camping and just enjoyed a lot of quiet time together. You know, when you are with your best friend and lover in the world anywhere is paradise!
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 1:46pm

Oh I am glad you are not working with that guy anymore! That did just not seem right for you! Thing will get back on track soon for you I just know it.

I know what you mean about being back in debt again. We just took out a loan for a bob cat that is around $30,000. I mean we will always have a loan for something, some kind of vehicle. I just hope it not more than one at a time. both our car and truck are paid off now and we shouldn't need another for quite some time, but living on this rural property we will likely need a loan for a lawn mower at some point. At least the bob cat loan is for 0%. We need to save our pennies for a house. Just competeing priorities here and we can never be proactive enough it seems. But hey! They bob cat will probably last for  20 years if not more. At least it isn't credit card debt. We have come a long way....

Glad to get an update from you. I will keep you posted on getting a job and our house plans. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 02-19-1998
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 2:27pm

Good for you!  It sounds like you've established a good base for your business and next year will be really successful.  Right my dh is finding out whether his Mac is repairable or not. It died at a bad time and it is used professionally quite heavily.  If it does have to be replaced it will be quite pricey beyond the actually PC the software that will need to be loaded in is pricey as well.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 2:43pm

I think that not having unsecured debt is huge.  Rare to not have some kind of secured debt, like a home or vehicle.  And if it is not that, something always comes up. 

Thanks for sharing Marie. 

I wish I could say I had made more progress than I have, but I have learned so much here on DSG that I do believe that even though it may not be so obvious on paper, I have made progress.  Everyone here has helped me to quit digging.  Kiss

Serenity CL making a second marriage work


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 2:58pm
Serenity, Karen, and Emily - Thanks for the kind words. Yes, we will always seem to have debt of one kind or another, but it is not like any of us are out using it to give us a spa vacation or anything, it is all for work or family. I always say that good debt is that which will enable us to make future income. A business, BobCat or Mac all sound like things that will help us gain more in the long run. Your support is MOST appreciated and you folks are part of my journey. Oh, did I also say I chose the new supervisory firm because they have are built to help women? Especially women who have been divorced? -M
Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
Mon, 08-12-2013 - 5:11pm

It's inspiring to see how much you've been able to reconfigure and change your life. That's harder than getting debt free. If you can do that, it's just a matter of time before you achieve your financial goals. May that day come sooner rather than later.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Tue, 08-13-2013 - 3:18pm

I admire the way you have stuck with this self employment or should I say mind saving transtition.  I love the fact that you have only yourself to report too and no one else holding you back.  I know you will make things work, simply because you enjoy what you do...helping others.  Heck, I may get some advised from you myself!  

In six short months, I'm quitting my job in the city.  Thinking seriously about starting an anwersing service/work from home Gal Friday for office people that need an extra hand now and then.  Maybe helping elderly people balance their checkbooks, pay bills, run errands.  Throw in some pet sitting, house sitting, we'll see.  I have a few ideas in my head :)  All I know is that my health is dictating that I slow down and hubby is in 100% agreement.  

Before you know it Marie those kids will be out of college and it will just be the two of you!  Best of luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Thu, 08-15-2013 - 8:48am
CountryGal - Look into doing call center work from home. I know that one option I will look into before getting a live secretary is to get a virtual assistant. That person will make my appointments, confirm them and do some follow up calls. Heck, if you are interested, let me know! But look up the term virtual assistant and see if those companies are hiring. Right now I have a VOIP phone in my home linked to my back office, so I can really work from here until I locate my office (and have enough income to support it.) This is really scary, but today I really did a deep dive and I have 20 actual people I need to see by the end of September who I have already spoken to at least once, 34 people to do first meetings with from a source I have, 10 more from a women's event I did, and I am doing 3 events between now and the first week of October. Lots of activity ahead that has the potential to make September my best month. M