Seems like we will never get ahead. . .

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Seems like we will never get ahead. . .
8
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 2:37pm
On thursday I was out with my boys and we got back into our van and it was totally dead!! Would even turn over!!!! We had to get it towed (39.00) and the repairs will be over 600.00. It needed a new battery among other things! GRRRRR!!!! Just when I think we are making some progress this happens!!! Our credit line has basically had the same balance for for the past 2 or 3 years. I manage to pay some down and than something like this happens and we are back to the same balance!!! I feel the only way we will get ahead is if I go to work (on opposite shifts of my dh so that we won't need childcare). We have cut back on our expenses as much as we can except for groceries (and I am working on that). We don't have extras and I badly need new clothes. Just had a baby and nothing fits and we don't have ANY money for me to buy them. I don't really want to go back to work. I quit a very good job to be with my kids not thinking it would get this bad. And for me to get a job opposite my dh's hours would mean working late shifts and not sleeping very much(which really is not an option - doesn't make for a very happy mommy). Does anyone ever feel like their spinning their wheels and not getting anywhere? I just want to scream because I feel so angry!!! I hate being in debt and I hate where we live (cheap rental with 30 year old rugs YUK) but at the same time it is so important to me and us that I be home with the boys. I guess I just need to re focus.

Thanks for listening.

BTW I have changed my user name from *jjiggins* and will be using this one from now on.

Sandra

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 11:57am
Heather, Your words lifted my spirits today! I know what you mean by those who live the high standard of living and say I wish I could stay home OR I HAVE to work. Our old neighbors were like that. She was always complaining that she wanted so badly to stay home BUT she HAD to work. Well geez I guess you have to work to pay for the third vehicle you just bought, your dh's two fishing boats, the camper you just bought and for finishing off your basement (all this in the same year). This cost them more than she made. Don't tell me you HAVE to work. Nothing wrong with having any of it but it's a choice they are making just like us.

I love being at home and even though I hate the 30 year old rugs I would not trade one moment I spend with my sons just so I could have new carpet. I just wish sometimes I could have both and I know with time it will happen. I just was having one of those days and having a little "pity" party as my friend likes to say. LOL

I think I will check out Habitat for Humanity - I've never thought of it. Who knows? Maybe we would qualify.

Thanks

Sandra

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 04-21-2003 - 11:06am
I know exactly how you feel! I'm a sahm too, living in a small apartment, driving old cars, wearing hand-me-down clothes and feeding the entire family on $50 a week (no chips, crackers, prepared foods, or ice cream, ever--probably good for us, but boring! LOL). We recently spent our entire savings on car repairs.

My husband was out of work about a year ago and our debts got out of hand. I ended up having to go back to work waiting tables at night for six months. It sucked! Dh & I never saw each other and I was exhausted all the time. But it did the job, and now we have enough income to cover our expenses--except, of course, the big unexpected ones. I fear if another big one comes up, we'll have to use our credit line to cover it.

But for us, it is definitely worth it. I get so annoyed when women who live in big, nice houses and drive nice cars and have nice clothes and go to the salon every other week tell me they would "love" to be able to stay home with their children and that I'm "lucky" to be able to do it. I understand some people *want* to go to work and enjoy the higher standard of living, and all that's fine, as long as they're honest about it and don't pretend they'd rather be in my shoes! LOL We're a happy family, and love the choices we've made, but, yeah, we're poor as dirt! LOL

One other thing about housing--have you looked into habitat for humanity? I was researching non-profits for an article I'm proposing and realized with surprise that three months ago, if we'd had one more child, we would have qualified for a house. I always thought they were for homeless people or people on welfare or something, but they're actually for working families with at least one steady income who can't obtain adequate housing otherwise. Dh has since gotten a raise, so we no longer fit within the income bracket, and we do have enough bedrooms for our one child, but you just might find you qualify to own your own home that way.

Blessings to you. It's hard but it's worth it!

Heather

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 12:55pm
Darcy, thank you for your words of encouragement. I have often thought about finding some work to bring in extra money. I do now work two mornings a week while dh is home to look after the kids but its little more than pocket change. I wish I had something I know that I loved to do (the way you do) and that it would fit my schedule. I will just have to rack my brain and try and come up with something that I can do which I like. Its hard to get motivate to go to work when so far anything I could do (at nights) is not something I would enjoy doing (for the most part). I know sometimes we have to do jobs we would not necessarily like but I have BTDT and don't want to do it again unless I was in real dire straits which I am not.

Sandra

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 12:46pm
Msfit,

I would love to own my own home BUT we don't have the money for a down payment and I have owned two homes before (we sold our last home as mgt pymt too high and I wanted to be a sahm).. Anything that is no or low down is higher mtg than rent pymt (in our area). I am always number crunching and figuring out mtg pymts etc (I worked in mortgage dept of a bank for 7 years) and so far it would cost us more to buy - especially when you include property taxes, insurance and upkeep/condo fees). I agree on throwing out my money - I hate renting but for now this allows me to stay home and I will just have to be patient and wait for the right time to buy. I also have looked into doing rent to own but so far anything I have found the rent is higher than normal and more than we have to spend at the moment. Thank you though for the tip.

Sandra

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Sun, 04-20-2003 - 3:49am
One tip that would help: Consider buying a house/condo instead of renting. There are programs on the market for first-time home-buyers (and others) for NO money down, to help rebuild credit, etc. - often your mortgage payments are LESS than rent. And interest rates are lower today than they have been in 30 years. With rent, you're just throwing your money away. At least when you're buying a home, some of the money you pay still belongs to YOU.

Call up a realtor and check it out. Information is free.

Msfit

                  &nbs

Avatar for lovmy2kids
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 11:05pm
I think you already said the Key thing. What is the most important to you... I know your overwhelmed by debt and you have a responsibility to pay that debt back. It will not make you a bad person or a bad mom if you have to work a few hours a week to help the family out. You don't need to worry about how your kids will feel 10 years from now the kids will be fine either way. Being tired and cranky or financially stressed out and cranky? Boy that is a tough only only you and Dh can decide.

I work full time outside of the home. First off I enjoy working and absolutely love my job. I work in EMS and get a very fullfilling feeling from it. I use to work rotating shifts so that I would be on nights part of the time and on days part of the time, until we recently moved. Once we moved into a major city we could no longer afford childcare so I decided to stay on nights permanatly. It works well for us. I work 12 hour shift and I rarely see my husband, but this is what it takes right now. I do have the benefit that one child is 9 and in school full time and the other is 5 1/2 starting school in the fall. My children and husband are all involved in sports, and we travel a lot. This wouldn't be possible if dh or I quit working. Once again only you and your husband knows whats best for your family. Do what you feel will best benefit your children, you and dh.

I love my children dearly and would quit work in an instant if they were not being well cared for while I was at work. I just wanted to share with you another side of the spectrum to see that it is possible if that is what you choose.

-Darcy

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 10:38pm
Thank you for the words of encouragement. Its just sometimes I feel like I am spinning my wheels. I agree raising kids is more important than paying off my loan thats why I chose to stay home but I just have days where I wish we didn't owe so much money.

About the van - there are other things wrong that we knew previously about and were going to get fixed in June (not April) and with the battery going (didn't know it was the battery when we had it towed - we thought it was the starter) we figured might as well get it fixed now as opposed to a month and a half away - either way we would NOT had all the money to pay for the origianl repairs that we knew about. My dh and I really like our mechanic and I have been to him for years and have always trusted him.

Sandra

Avatar for zaboz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-19-2003 - 10:12pm
Hi Sandra,

Being with your kids is the most important thing! In ten years you won't remember the biils, you'll remember the experience of watching your kids grow up!

So what is costing $600 on your van?!? That sounds like a lot, considering most batteries are under $100 and they take 5 minutes to replace. Did they give you a breakdown? Do you know or trust the mechanic?! It sounds a little suspicious.

Hang in there! I know it's hard but I have so much respect for people who stay home to raise their kids. It's so important! I know finances are important too but they take a backseat to the most crucial job on the planet, which is raising kids.

So don't get too stressed and try to enjoy the experience. Even if it means that your credit line isn't paid off. So what, it can wait! This is such an important time. Your kids are so lucky to have you around full-time!

Good luck. It will work out!