Archive for the ‘Financial Picture’ Category

Well its been about a year and man have things gotten chaotic – last summer sucked to say the very least – the much anticipated job at the international pharmaceuticals company fell through and I was let go and man we hit rock bottom; literally, all the money was gone and the food and my sanity was pretty much gone.  Thanks to my husbands church we somehow managed to get through before we received our food stamps, my medicaid, and UI.  That 6 weeks was probably the longest six weeks I’ve had in a very long time.

Towards the end of July last year I accepted a position at small local electrical contractor as their office assistant, the position is 40 hours a week and pays me $13.00/hour.  I am happy – the stress levels are low and I have all of the benefits a normal employee would have.  Paid holidays, PTO and eventually a retirement plan (have to be here 2 years for that one)…we’re somewhat stable and doing ok.  Money is still very tight and we somehow manage to save a little every week to pay ourselves.

Ok so the nuts and bolts of everything:

Hubby is still on disability – he brings in $1,164.00/month

I work FT – my income is $2,210.00/month

I make sure I pay at the beginning of each month the mortgage ($810.00), the electric bill ($150 – $200.00/mos), my three credit cards (Belk CC, Hot Topic CC, and a General Credit One CC; $45.00/ea x 3 = $135.00) – thankfully my husbands SSI money covers pretty much all of this!!  My money usually will cover groceries that 1st week of the month and my son, man who is 16 now eats more now so I spend roughly $225 – $250.00/week in groceries.  CRAZY!!!

My next paycheck will cover the car insurance, $71.00/mos and if we owe money to the water company, next month another $91.00.

Week 3 brings in a monthly auto-draft to the hospital for a trip to ER when I burned my hand last fall, $15.00/mos and then 1/2 of the cell phone bill, $115.00.

Week 4 pays out Hulu ($12.89/mos) and Netflix ($9.62/mos), another bill to the hospital for something else, $15.00/mos auto-draft.  We also owe money to Delaney Radiology for an ultrasound I had to have done last year my insurance didn’t cover, $20.00/mos and we’re paying off replacing the compressor on our A/C unit at home, $25.00/mos.  And, if there’s anything left over the other 1/2 of the cell phone bill, $115.00.

Ugh it’s a lot.

Every week we average $250.00/week in groceries and about $30.00/week in gas.  We also save, $15.00/week which is auto-transferred to our savings account – we’ve used this money to purchase a new couch and chair for our living room.  Right now we’re living off of that money.

We don’t do a lot of fun activities but my kids are perfectly content to stay home most of the time; the 16 yr old just finished drivers ed and will be getting his learner’s soon and a JOB! Something we’ve been working on for awhile – it takes awhile it seems to get kids jobs.  My 14 yr old will be starting marching band in August with the high school, so there’s those expenses we have to now pay.  Including getting her a flute – she’s used a school flute throughout middle school – well in HS she’ll need her own – rent to own here we come 😉

Anyhew, that’s us for now – we breezed through our tax refund this year – but that’s a post for another day!

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It’s time for an update.

And, man we have been busy!  Both personally and financially!

When I last posted things were on the upswing – we’d just received our taxes and were planning on what to do with them.

Well, the long and the short of it is this – we used the bulk of it to pay bills, pay off my truck and get our daughter’s room re-done! She’s thrilled with the final product as are we!

Before:

After:

She chose the colors and we ran with it!

Then once that was done, my hubby and I were chatting about the trip we were contemplating taking and ultimately decided we had the funds, so why not do a BIG vacation – so after weighing the costs with the pros & cons we booked a 5-Day 4-Night Trip to Universal Studios Orlando Florida!

We took this trip in October 2017 and had a BLAST!

But first we took two shorter trips – 1st the MD to visit the family and then my daughter and I went to Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA with our Girl Scout Troop.  This trip was mostly funded by two years worth of GS Cookie Sales, so I was responsible for food, transportation, and souvenirs!

We had fun on both of these short trips!

BUT the big one was obviously much anticipated!

 

Just a few of the 100+ shots I took!

BUT I have to say the biggest news is that I was finally able to leave my retail job behind and took a FT Office Job in June at an International Pharmaceuticals Development Company – now it’s not all sunshine & rainbows – I am a contractor through the same company that placed me at the paper plant in 2015, meaning no paid time off, and minimal benefits.  Though they are working on getting this company to hire me on FT permanent which will give me those precious PTO hours I so long for.  The pay is $15.50/hr which is an uptick obviously from my $9.34/hr at the retail establishment.  Hours are M-F 8:30 – 5:30.  I did overlap sometime working both jobs to help pay for food/gas for our FL trip, but on 10/30 I said Good-Bye to my friends at the store and resigned.

While it was best for my mental health – the money coming in would still be helpful – BUT I didn’t want to do another Holiday Season.

So that’s the biggest news of all!

I know I have been scattered here, but life has thrown me major curveballs and I have been busy!

So I know everyone is just itching to know how things are going – nothing has changed work-wise for me – still working the retail job and its going well, we’re getting into our busy time of year – albeit slowly – so things are cranking along well there.

Still do not have a car – ugh – and the public transportation system in our area is just forming a more and more sour taste in my mouth – they seriously need to work on getting their ish together, it is near impossible to hold onto steady riders, who also need to hold onto steady jobs, with the crud schedule they are running.

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Lastly, some good news 0 my husband was APPROVED for his disability, to the tune of $1,107.00/month, WooHoo!!! So stoked about that!  Our plan for now is to pay down the utilities and then use what we can afterwards to put toward the purchase of a vehicle. I am adamant that I DO NOT want another car payment, just gas and insurance every month.  So once tax season rolls around we’re going to put together what we’ve saved with some of our refund to pay cash for a vehicle.  We’ll also need to set aside some money for the taxes & registration.  I am hopeful we can also find someone reliable to give whatever vehicle we have considered a once over to ensure mechanical stability.

So that’s where we’re at right now!

I am exhausted!

I have found that riding the bus everyday to and from work makes my days three hours longer than the work-day itself.

Example:

I have to be at work by 9:45 am – I have to leave the house by 7am to catch my 1st bus at 7:20 am, then a connector at 8:00 am arriving at the shopping center where I work around 8:45 am – if i leave at 8:00 to catch the 8:20 am bus I risk the connector being late and thus in turn being late for work (the buses here are NOTORIOUS for being unreliable and consistently OFF schedule)…so instead I get there early – sometimes I go to the break room of my store and hang-out other times I’ll head to Starbucks and borrow their internet while having another cup of coffee.

Then when I get off work at 6:15 like I did today, I caught my 1st bus at 6:45 and the connector at 7:15 getting dropped off around 7:35 and home around 7:45 – talk about a SUPER long day.

I am both mentally and physically exhausted.

Last paycheck I wasn’t able to put aside any money, I actually had to pull funds from a savings account to cover our financials for the two week period – still getting used to this bi-weekly pay schedule.  I did send $200 to Progress Energy for our electric bill and had some other items auto-draft.  I also cancelled my Personal Training contract and put a timeline stay on my gym membership (which will continue to draft) in an effort to save some money.

Anyhew – we’ll get there, hopefully sooner rather than later.

I am rambling – can you tell I have a LOT Of mental downtime on the bus?

So ya’ll all remember Silver…how could you not, she’s gorgeous!

Silver

And I am STRESSED! We’re once again behind on our payments and it’s just a matter of time before Regional Acceptance comes to snatch her again…this time though we’re just gonna have to let her go…this seriously breaks my heart.  I adore this van, she’s reliable, runs well and has no mechanical issues…

I am trying to figure out what we’re going to do from here on in – I am SO not looking forward to another beater – but alas it seems to be my lot in life…a beater. I’ve been digging on Craigslist and all I am finding under $1,000 are vehicles in need of repair – missing this or that – well over 100,000 miles on them – ugh.  We can’t swing a car payment right now, so it’s what I’ll need to do.  How does one justify this?  We bought Silver when we had more steady income – now we’re down to a $9.00/hr job and no income from my hubs.  We’re hoping and praying for a miracle in terms of his disability, but even then it won’t be enough…geez.

So to say I am stressed about the whole situation is a VAST understatement.  Getting to and from work will be busing it until I figure out a more permanent solution.

And, to top it all off I dropped my hubby off at the hospital yesterday afternoon to get his legs looked at and get him back on his meds…we’re waiting for answers there, nothing has been figured out other than a series of tests.

Anyhew, that’s where we’re at right now…went and had dinner with my parents tonight for my Mom’s birthday and had me a HUGE alcoholic drink and I am feeling miserable, lesson learned.  I could rant and rave for hours, and it wouldn’t solve anything.

OTB Drink

Taking Suggestions!

So I thought I’d try and share an update on where we’re at with certain topics I’ve discussed here…

The Mortgage – the State and the Non-Profit came through for us – we were awarded a 5-Month Period of Payments on the Mortgage, we’ll pick back up in January 2017.  That being said I am seriously scared to death on what’s going to happen come January.  The non-profit contact did tell us that we can apply for some sort of “gap” funds…whatever that is should our situation not change.

My Job – I was hired on Part-Time with a Southern Retail Department Store – initially I was in the Fine Jewelry Department, but the Part-Time hours just weren’t enough.  So after discussing it with the counter manager we put my name into the pot to move into the Ready-to-Wear Women’s Clothing Department, FULL-TIME! I actually got my benefits packet in the mail today,  WooHoo!

With that being said – Insurance – We applied for Insurance through DSS sometime early last month for my husband and I – and we found out today that we were approved, WooHoo!! So I might hold off on enrolling in benefits through work (medical at least for now) to conserve some funds.

We also started the process for my husband’s Disability – the paperwork has been sent back in and he’s had his physical – they called today to clarify some things and then stated more paperwork is headed our way for him to complete – we really NEED this Miracle.  So hoping they approve him so we can get some stability – though 9 times out of 10 the applicants are denied the first go-round…we have until January…ugh

The other item we need to decide on is Silver…she’s really more than we can afford each month with her $540.00 payment – $273.00/mos insurance – and Gas…so we’re trying to determine what we’re going to do with her.  As much as it would break my heart to part with her, I can’t seem to see us being able to continue to pay for her…

The other upswing in our household is that about two weeks ago we adopted a new baby girl for my Son – I took him to PetsMart and we found him a new baby, we welcomed Josina (now named Sakura) into our house – she’s a four month old little lady whose just made herself to home!

And yes I am still cruising through my Cook/Bake from Scratch journey!  More of that to come!

So just a quick update on things:
1.Disability application has been submitted – we’re waiting on SSI to call and schedule my husband’s appointment with their doctor.
2. We have received the funds from Wells Fargo,  – we lost both electric and water last week and an angel paid those bills for us – I’ve paid our angel back and sent a payment to Silver’s finance company.
3. Tomorrow I am going to go and get her inspected and re-registered.  Then I’ll need to call the court in the county where I got my ticket and see what the next steps are to clear the ticket.
4. The Non-profit will get their gap funds tomorrow and then they’ll move forward with closing.
5. We’re still waiting on DSS to let us know about Medicaid for Jimmy and I – seems his legs aren’t getting better, and in fact he’s having similar pain issues like he did when a blood vessel burst all those years ago – and now my jaw on lower right side is aching like there’s no tomorrow – when I had my tooth out on Veteran’s day the dentist wanted to root canal two teeth on that side and I said no as I couldn’t afford it…ugh…
6. Have an afghan ready for delivery and for final payment to be made. Isn’t it pretty?!?!?
7. I have another Dobby order..coming on the back-end of an order for two together!
8.  I have also been offered full-time work with the retail store I have been working for lately! I start 7/3 in another department!! YAY!!!
Things are moving forward albeit slowly.