5/19 Monday Check-in

Avatar for cl_beckymk
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Registered: 03-19-2003
5/19 Monday Check-in
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Mon, 05-19-2003 - 11:32am
Hi everyone, it's already Monday again.

Time for our weekly check-in! Let us know all your ups & downs of this past week, etc...

Becky

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Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 12:02pm
So far on the money front things have been well. However, have other issues to deal with, my mom ended up with some unexpected surgery on Tuesday for a ruptured colon, so if you could keep her in prayer/positive thoughts that would be nice. She's doing well but will need to go back for some surgery in 3 months to repair things. She should be out of the hospital today or tomorrow.

We did get another unexpected $200 check from the local missions at the church Sunday, so that was really nice because my DS turns 3 on Thursday and his birthday present had consisted of some "Bob the Builder" underwear (think it will convince him to stop using diapers??????) but at least now I can get him a small something. We are having to post-pone his party until June because of my mom, so it will be nice if he at least has a present to open now. :) (No, I am NOT buying him a $200 present...just thought it might sound like I was taking the whole thing and buying him a gift!).

Things are looking up, sort of...we are sort of doing the "counting your chickens before they hatch" type thing (or however that saying goes!)...contemplating how we are going to do things once DH gets his license as if it will magically increase our income or something. LOL! One thing DH is wanting to get back to is *putting me on an allowance* and I know that sound horrible but really it's not. What we did before we moved into this house, was he gave me X dollars for the bills (plenty to cover it) and then he would take the extra and put it in a savings account (he's very good at saving!), so he could go out and buy extra things to fix up the house or we would use it for vacations, etc... It was also there if I had unexpected bills, etc... Anyway, it worked pretty good for us until we moved and it literally took every penny of his paycheck to pay bills, etc... and He got the $20 if he was lucky allowance per week. ROFLMBO!!!! Also, trying to figure out if the one company calls to hire him in a couple weeks if he should go ahead and take it, of course, we have no idea if he's even going to be offered the job, etc...

He has another computer coming in to fix on Saturday, so that will be some spending money for him. Not a lot but every penny helps as we all know.

So, I'm *trying* to be cautiously optomistic, although I'm started to get excited about the idea of him actually ended up making more than he did before at Real Estate...I know it won't be right away and will take longer and we will have different expenses but it will be *so* nice not to have to fret with "How much longer can we stay in our house?" always nagging at the back of my mind and basically holding my breath every time we right out another mortgage check because the *reserve* goes down by a month then. I don't know if this makes any sense at all. LOL!!

The only thing I do know is we are going to have to charge quite a bit for him to start with the Real Estate but shouldn't take him too long to recover those costs...DH wanted to pull his 401K for it and I'm fighting him tooth & nail NOT to do that. I would rather put it on the charge than deal with all the tax implications for the 401, not to mention, I would rather leave that there for if we desperately *really, really* need to take it (i.e. all credit from everywhere else has been used up - we still have quite a bit of open credit we can use that I've just been avoiding do as much as possible but at least it's there if necessary). I don't think I can get it through his head all just exactly how much of a penalty we will get nailed with and all the taxes we would have to pay - defiantely would be more than we would pay in interest on a CC right now, even if it took us a while to pay it back.

So, that pretty much catches us up to where we are at right now...still struggling but slowly (as each new hurdle is past) becoming a little more hopeful that we will come out in a better position than where we were at before.

Becky

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 12:15pm
Things are going OK, I paid the bills, I did make two stupid mistakes, I forgot to put in two transactions and got charged two NSF fees so I had to charge a few necessities on the card i'm using the rest of what I have in the pantry. My DH did get $20 for his B-day so he can smoke for this week, I got a late b-day gift i'm going to use some of it as a snowflake and get a few things we need with the rest. I did rent a game for the kids and movie for me and my DH.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 12:21pm
I'm doing okay. No debt movement this weekend either way, which was good. I got some credit cards in the mail, one was automatically replaced by MBNA, and one was a new Fleet card that had 0% balance transfer offered, so I rolled everything onto it. As soon as they came in, I gave them to DF. I gave him my Amex card too.

My gardening is really coming along. We purchased many tools and supplies last month, mostly DF paid for them. It's still 'his' money and 'my' money, but in the end it's really 'our' money.

He's installing a dishwasher peninsula in the kitchen, so every weekend he's been spending ~$200 at Home Depot between gardening and construction. It should be finished Memorial Day Weekend.

My food shopping menus and lists were saving us ~$40/week. But yesterday was a 'big' shop, and came to over $100. We stocked up on a lot of snacks, they should last through June.

No word on the inheritance(s).

The possibility of a four day work week (along with a 20% cut in pay) is something I would do in a second. I'm just waiting for the subject to be brought up again. I could do it painlessly once my debts are paid off, because the $500/month less is the same amount I'm currently putting toward debt.

I'm reading 'Your Money or Your Life'. It's kind of old news, but a good remember-when to the excess of the 80s and 90s that caused my debt and spending behavior in the first place.

Lee Ann

www.werenotafraid.com

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Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 1:19pm
Pretty good weekend. Our only spending was for lunch out, Saturday, with my parents. This was to celebrate my birthday (Sat) and my mom's birthday (Sun).

Today is grocery day and I have a really long list (Yuck) have to include next Monday, Memorial Day, on this week's list. My brother and his family will probably be in for a visit so I have to plan for extra people. I use to shop Saturday mornings with DH. I switched to Monday after work and shop alone. It's a little more work but my spending has gone down. I've also stopped stocking up the pantry. I only buy what we need for a week using a meal plan and a list. I would rather have my money in a savings account instead of extra groceries in the pantry or freezer. Shopping only for the minimum amount needed for the week forces us to use what we have on hand. Things are fresh and I don't have the extra work of prepping things for storage in the freezer. Also by having everything fresh I don't have to remember to thaw anything for dinner. I don't think I waste as much since I have less and have to use everything I bought. I refuse to go shopping more than once a week so if we don't have it we do without until the next week's trip.

The bills are paid. Just have to wait a few days for the utility bills.

Everyone have a great week.

My new motto "It's not a sale, a good deal, or a necessity if I have to charge it.

jb

Avatar for mymartes
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 1:47pm
We got back yesterday from our weekend trip w/the kids. We had a good time, although the weather was crappy. We took $500 to spend and came back w/$105. I feel more relaxed. I didn't have to cook. We did a little shopping at the outlets. My h and I had $500 each to spend on a wardrobe. Bought a few things for the kids. NO CHARGING. Well, I couldn't even if I wanted to. We cut up all our ccs except one which is frozen in a metal can in the freezer.

I will be snowflaking the $105. I haven't sat down and balanced our checkbook yet. When I do, I'll post on the snowflake board.

My h changed his w2. Difference in pay is $71.69 not much.

MYM

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 2:10pm
Things are just terrible here. We are still waiting for three invoices to be paid. I haven't paid the mortgage for the first time ever, credit card, phone, medical and gas bills are all outstanding. I think the writing is on the wall here. I need to work. DH just doesn't agree, but I can't stand the stress of owing people money anymore. I pay the bills, not him, so he is insulated from the whole thing. I am thinking of starting a home daycare so I can make some cash and keep DS home at the same time. It would be a lot of work, but the only other option is paying for daycare and finding a job, and we ant to keep DS home if at all possible. The net income would be about the same, when you factor in the tax advantages of working at home. My friend just had a baby, and I was thinking of having her toddler over a few times a week this summer so I can "test" out the daycare thing. I know this is no one's fault but my own, but it still makes me very unhappy. Hope you all are doing better than me. Anyone know anything about WIC and foodstamps?

wendy

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 4:26pm
Hang in there!!

I am on food stamps and don't know a lot about WIC, although it seems more complicated at least here to get WIC. The income standard is higher but you have to go through a physical and there has to be a *nutritional* need to qualify (at least that is what our state website says).

As for the food stamps, it goes by your gross income, family size and assets, etc...

Just find out where your local Department of Human Services is, you just go in there and apply. Takes it a while to see if you are approved or not (maybe about a month or so). I know it took me 2 interview type meetings to qualify. The first one you explain why you are there (i.e. applying for food stamps, etc...) and they will ask you all the members of the family, names, etc..., how much you have in the bank, your rent/mortgage, ummm...that's all I can think of for the first interview. Then they give you a date & time to come back with paperwork and do the rest of it. At that point, you need to bring in everyone's SS#, copies of the last paychecks, bank statements, title to your car if you have one or the payment booklet. I think that about covered it. Every state is different in how they do it, so that is how it was done here. There are certain *exception* expenses that don't count as assets against you for qualifying, a certain amount of rent, 1 car, and I forget what else (I think things like jewelry, clothes, etc...they don't make you value all that stuff and count it). They figure out something regarding the car & rent/mortgage.

With DH's unemployment, a family of 5, we qualified for $142/month for it. They weren't very informative here and I found out 90% of what I know via our states website and by trial & error. You can't buy any paper goods, diapers, toothpaste, soap, etc...

Hope this helps you a little bit, etc... they do ask about your education, skills, etc... and they did ask me why I wasn't working (with 3 kids that would be impossible for me to make any kind of money that would be more than daycare), nothing was said about it, just a question on the form.

Becky

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 5:58pm
I just finished Mundis' book. It was very encourageing. But I can't decide if I want to leave CCCS and try it on my own. DH is VERY unhappy with his new job. It's a small business that hires within their own family/church group. They are a very different religion from us, so DH is feeling like the fifth wheel. He gets most of the "butt chewing" then the other two who started at the same time (they are members of this church). So with DH depressed about moving and putting all his eggs in one basket makes me depressed. DH feels like any day he'll get canned and we just can't go through that again (he was laid off at the first of the year). So, I'm back to looking for full-time position (i'm a part-time on line tutor) for some sort of safety net. We moved from Fort Worth to Waco, and Waco isn't exactly a hot-bed for chemists (which is what I did before I got sick of corporate america). But, there were a few ads in the classified. So keep your fingers crossed.

I'm just blah. I'm 32 and will it ever get better? I mean it seems like I'm fighting this battle to stay afloat for my entire adult life. My DH has had some really bad luck in the job department and now with this job, ugh!!!! I'm behind on the ford pymt and they're getting mad and it just seems all so hopeless. No I'm not suicidal, but geez, for those of you who made it to the promise land (no debt), did you feel like this? For those of you who finally found the "job" you like, did you ever feel like there wasn't one?

So, we muddle along, trying to be happy and not worry about the empending doom that seems to be lurking just right under our noses.

Lori

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 8:41pm
Hello everyone. Staying afloat here. Had a few bad days last week. Everything is paid, just barely, I am trying to hoard money because I start my new job next week and sometimes the timing is weird so you miss a paycheck, trying to anticipate that. Hopefully afterwards I will have snowflakes because I am getting a check for the vacation I earned at current job, and my new job pays a little more.

Lori, sometimes I look at my balances and freak, but go and read the archives here because there have been a lot of great conversations about paying for your past vs. future and other helpful topics.

Rebecca

Avatar for meandmypea
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-20-2003 - 8:48am
This whole month has pretty much sucked for us in general. Last week, I could only pay the minimum on my Discover card. It's my target card, and I aim to pay $450 a month. I haven't been able to do that since February or March. I sucked it up and took an hard, honest look at Quicken, and found that we've fallen behind on the cc portion of our debt reduction plan by 3 months, due to not being able to stay on track with our planned payments, and also by charging some stuff again. :-(

There was some good news last week. I applied for a cc at my work (I work for a bank) to transfer $6000 of our debt to a 0% interest card good until August 2004. I really hope that we get it.

I put the rest of our bills in Quicken for the remainder of May. Good news is that I should be able to snowflake $400 with my May 31 paycheck. Even better news was when I went to work yesterday, I found out I'm getting a High Performer bonus of $160 on my May 31 paycheck, so I'll be able to add to my snowflake!

That's about it here. Things are improving slowly, but surely.

Bridget

Bridget

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