New...Need Support

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2010
New...Need Support
Tue, 01-12-2010 - 4:22pm

I'm Melissa...I'm almost 29 and have kids age 8,7,7,3,&1...and a dayhome lol....and a whole lotta debt..

My story:
My husband & I have a horrible habit of racking up our credit cards. However, it's never been a problem before as we have 2 houses (one is a rental property) and have always been able to take out the equity, refinance the mortgage at a lower rate and still come out about even, if that makes any sense.
However, since the downturn in the economy we don't have any equity left. Plus rental income is a lot lower than it used to be.
We were running our credit cards up pretty high last spring, living beyond our means etc...Recovering from a custody battle...

We had full intentions of reducing expenses & increasing income when we returned from a family reunion (once in a life time kind of deal) in the summer.

We got seriously sidelined by all our plans when my husband's ex decided to file a BS "Affidavit of Arrears" and all of the sudden they were taking 40% of my husbands GROSS pay from his regular time and 100% (ALL) of his GROSS overtime (and yes, apparently they CAN do that). We of course appealed it and sent in a financial statement etc (which we've done previously with a reasonable outcome)...however we got informed while on vacation that we could "Afford" to pay $2,000 a month in child support...right...........

So by the time we got back at the end of July, we were out about $6,000 and 2,000 more was taken in August..leaving us with enough to pay the mortgages and that's about it...ZERO cash the CCs got maxed out.

Awesome...his ex was getting 2,000 a month and we were lucky if we were getting 2,400!

(On a side note, his ex is currently across the world...she doesn't work...she's been living off this child support & "saved up" to be able to go on this month-long I'm a little bitter)

So we've made pmnt arrangements with one credit card (almost 20,000) but are 3 months late in another (39,000) and of course now our cell phones have been cut off and we owe them a "cancellation fee", our utility supplier "de-enrolled" us so we owe them in addition to our new provider..etc etc etc.
We also have 10,000 in student loans that currently aren't getting paid at all and my CC of over 3,000.....Plus personal loans from my parents that helped us cover our butts in August & September...

So basically it seems like an never ending black hole.
Worst part, I'm an accountant. Well used to be, before 5 kids when running a dayhome became the only option.

The good news is, the "arrears" are done as of Jan 30th (Husband opted to not hire a lawyer to fight this as it would have been another $5,000).

I have a debt repayment plan, my husband's cashed out his company stocks to get caught up on house bills & the credit cards, we've managed to reduce one of our mortgage payments, and we've got a really cut-down budget that I know we can live with.

So not looking for a whole lot of financial advice but I am looking for emotional support...because the past 5 months have been hell. I've gone into a major depression and being forced into dayhome really quickly landed me with a very..."challenging" child who basically sucked me dry of energy & the ability to be a good mom to my own kids...
So I'm trying to enter into the rest of 2010 with a positive, "can-do" attitude & I know I need some support with it!

Whew...sorry so long!

~ Melissa ~ ‎"We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us, if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity." - Barbara de Angelis
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-10-2009
Tue, 01-12-2010 - 9:43pm
Good luck put those accountant skills to work :)


student loan paid off 2010

Bathroom remodel loan paid off 2013

Pending Car loan to be paid by the end of 2014!!!!!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 10:45am

I agree with PP. I bet as this recession slowly comes to an end, a lot of companies will be needing help but may be wary of outright hiring. What about picking up some bookkeeping business on the side? You could earn some money that could be earmarked for debt.

Good luck. Sorry you had to go through such a rough few months :(

Bex -

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift -thats why its called the present."

Bex -

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 11:20am


I agree with PP. If you could get some accounting side work that might do two things, boost your income, and boost your spirts--something not child related to get your mind working. That might snap you out of your depression.

Post often. There are some really great ideas here on how to save money and some of the ladies are really funny so it helps with the debt stress.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 12:47pm

I'm almost 29 and have kids age 8,7,7,3,&1...and a dayhome lol

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2010
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 2:21pm

Oh I absolutely agree we were living beyond our means.

In all honesty, the credit cards started with the intentions of renos to complete the rental property (not rentable the way it sat in 2004) and then do the refinance....The first one was planned and well executed...we were both working, and that's when baby #4 decided to come along lol.

Then the jobs layoffs, custody battles (that's the total of one credit card), relocation (ex decided to steal the kids), renters trashing our place (to the tune of $4,000) etc etc...
So when I cut back my budget & examine everything (not like I haven't been oblivious about our spending either), the most extravagant thing on our list is paying a babysitter to come give us a break...and our RV which now of course is worth less than we owe so selling not a good idea. As far as I can tell, we are living under our means just apparently not enough!

So yes, I accept that we were living beyond our means...which is why we are, where we are....but if we didn't have 25% of our income going to debt repayment, we wouldn't be living beyond our means, kwim?

The awesome part is, we were fully prepared to sell our rental property to pay off everything, but when the child support stuff happened, they put liens on our houses so we can't sell for at least 6 months AFTER it's all paid off..

A dayhome is like a daycare you run from your house....I take care of 3 other kids right now (1 f/t & 2 p/t) and am trying to get another one in.

In regards to the I can't go back. We have shared custody of 2 of the kids so it means I have to be at home Thurs-Fri every week and every 2nd week its Wed too...and they're in school across the city so the cost of before/after school care for them in one area, the 8 yo in another area, and f/t the 2 little out to about $2500 a month in child care, and that's before factoring in the vehicle & personal care expenses (no wardrobe left etc).

I've tried the contract accounting work and trust me, I AM trying to get back into it but the issues at hand are
1: The require face time in the offices (so I have to give up my dayhome PLUS pay my own babysitter for my kids at home, or pay babysitters a LOT more to cover for me during dayhome hours)
2: Also in August our desktop completely crashed...2 different experts say its the hard drive so I have to buy a brand new computer or hard the tune of $600-800...which I don't have obviously....(And I also have a dryer that takes 8 hrs to dry one load ....lots of fun with 5 if I had 500 right now I'd be buying a new dryer!)

On the good side my husband (last week) did get our cold computer running but we have to install the accounting software to see if it can handle's pretty old.

So it's definitely something we're looking into (and yes I'd love to focus on stuff besides kids!

And Yes, February looks a LOT better (yay) but this is also the month we start repaying back personal loans & a credit card, so it all comes out in the wash...But at least I know it's for a good thing. (The child support was not a good thing because it wasnt real and it wasnt going to the kids at all)

I'm just scared that the ex is going to come back from her vacay and realize she's back down to $1,000 a month to live on, (altho her OTHER child's father is supposed to give her 500 a month too, plus what the govt gives her)....and decide that we should go back to court so she can ask for more money!

That's the worst part of this is all for me the knowledge of how much financial power his screwed up ex has on our life...and she knows it.

~ Melissa ~ ‎"We need to find the courage to say NO to the things and people that are not serving us, if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity." - Barbara de Angelis
Avatar for sohappilyme
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 01-13-2010 - 3:04pm

*Waves hello*

I'll spare you the full brunt of my story but we seem to have a couple of things in common, LOL.

1- Five kids and one on the way. I had a tubal after #5 so we weren't expecting to expect #6, but we planned the first five and one more is hardly a crisis. Although we already KNOW this one will be trouble, LOL! Kiddos are 11, 9, 6, 3, 2, and due in June.

2- Dryer takes forever. Finally switched settings from the one with the numbers to the one that just says "heavy/regular/light" and now it does better.

3- I'm a SAHM but I work from home, too. Not sure I could handle child care, LOL. We homeschool, however, so no running around - or getting up early - for school. Yay!

And we are totally upside down every month, now to the tune of $1,800 a month short for our obligations. (It was $2000 and we got rid of $215/mo). DH and I are totally on the same page, though, with me handling all the numbers because I LOVE it and him taking directives like "We're $400 short on the mortgage - go find it." LOL. I'm fairly upbeat over it and about as un-stressed over it as possible. I can't say it's never on my mind, but I know we're kicking butt so I can deal with it. =c) My motivation is building a new house, and having that goal - however huge - is all I need to keep pushing against what looks impossible at times.

Welcome to the board and I hope to see you often!


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2005
Thu, 01-14-2010 - 7:15pm

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2006
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 8:34am

Welcome to the board! have you called the student loan company - they have several plans for hardship forebearance etc. It doesn't sound like you can make the paymnets now but at least it would stop your missed payments from dinging your credit report.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2008
Fri, 01-15-2010 - 2:41pm

I get the entire hit with divorce things.