Archive for the ‘Personal Finance’ 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!

Ok so here we are, still passing through each day step by step just trying to get by – so where are we?

Well the Non-Profit is done with our application, the only way they’ll pay it out and close with us is if we come up with 1-months payment, $852.14, as a gap payment.

Then I got a letter from the DMV/State of NC telling me that due to a missed court-date outside of Raleigh in April I have to now pay the past due taxes on Silver, roughly $495.00, or they’ll suspend my license.  I got a ticket for the tags being expired when I went to the Chapel Hill burn center in February, didn’t go to the court-date because the courthouse is 2.5 hrs away and I knew I’d not have it resolved by the time the court-date rolled around.  Then I forgot to call for a continuance – so here I am.  Ugh.

We know I need my license, that’s a given – so now we’re trying to figure out our next steps. I’ve requested paperwork to close the 401K I had through my previous long-term employer, roughly $3,100.00, after taxes/fees we’re looking at about $2,800.00.  So going to use this money to pay both the gap funds and the taxes on Silver.  Then whatever is left will be used to pay our water bill, $245.00.

We’re trying to decide our next steps, my bi-weekly checks are somewhere around $391.00 are not enough to cover all of our bills. So I am still looking for another either full-time or part-time job to help cover the gap.  The State’s stopped by UI funds – and we now have to re-up our food stamps again.  So I am just at my wits ends.

So here we are – losing sleep – possibly losing Silver again – and just trying to figure out how our life is going to pan out in the coming months.

Ugh…mixed emotions right now..

In the 1st quarter of 2016 we have experienced more loss than any other year previously…let’s list them

  1.  Silver was Repo’d – we fundraised and got her back
  2. Burned my hand – out of work for 4 days for recovery
  3. I was let go from my position at the outage – hours cut – found a new position immediately.
  4. I got a speeding ticket – forgot about the court date and have to take time off of the new job to go to court to take care of it
  5. Got into a wreck and Silver’s now at a body shop getting repairs – paying for a rental at a reduced rate
  6. Lost the new job I got today – was told budget cuts – ugh

It’s been an up and down year for sure – I am not sure how I feel about the job situation – I was placed as temp with the Housing Authority – worked well with the Section 8 group and the Director asked me if I want to stay, tell her yes I like my work, like the people and would love nothing more than to stay.  So she and I agree that I’ll work primarily in her group but be shared with other departments – on Friday I head to the other dept. and they send me out of the central office to one of the public housing offices to work with them – they tell me I’m the new assistant at a community and I essentially got a promotion – so I call the temp agency and tell them what’s going on – they ask me if they need a replacement for me at the central office, told her to talk to the HR team and they could let her know – two days later just as I was just getting my feet wet and learning the ropes when BAM today they tell me that they no longer need me…ugh…is there a connection there?!?!?

The foreclosure is pending – the non profit has been asking for more and more paperwork as the days go on – its with their underwriting group so we’re waiting on a final decision from them.

Hubby is still unemployed and hasn’t had an interview in something like 5 months – I am curious what the hell we did to piss off the fates at Christmas – all of this jazz went down right after Christmas – WTH?!?!?

Can I pop into my delorean and redo the last 15 years financially so that I don’t make ALL of the financial mistakes I’ve made?  I wouldn’t give back my hubby and kids, but I might undo the roommate we took on when we 1st got our apartment – undo the lack of savings from day 1 – undo some of the mistakes I made when I was at my 1st job – there’s a lot I’d redo for sure…

Good Monday Morning One & All –

So thought I’d check-in with a current status update on the Silver situation – we paid them on Friday – $2,035.00, yes you read that right – they quoted me $1,134.00 to get her out of Repo then because it took us a week to raise the funds required to get her, another payment posted, $540.38, bringing the total due to $1,674.38 and THEN there was Repo Fees Added in the total of $361.00 they failed to mention when we spoke initially.  Ugh add to that A $30.00/day storage fees x 12 Days = $360.00…I could just puke.

THEN THEN when I call them on Friday afternoon to find out where we were once it was paid they said they couldn’t release her until TODAY…sure it was 3pm on Friday, but STILL! They couldn’t be bothered to express the paperwork so I wouldn’t have to pay an additional $60.00 in storage fees.

I am so burned…I’ve filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and will be filing a formal complaint to Regional today as I feel they’ve taken advantage of our already precarious financial situation.

Oh and to add to it, hubby calls me last week on the 21st and tells me that our water was shut-off…WHAT?!?! Thankfully we have access to our shut-off and can turn it back on, but STILL!

I swear one more thing gets added to my plate I might just need an asylum…this is CRAZY!

So yeah that’s where we’re at…hubby went to the foreclosure hearing last week and it went as expected – we got on with a nonprofit that’s going to help us try and save our home – so that bought us a 60-day stay.  Otherwise, we’re probably going to see a power shut-off soon because every penny I have has been going to Silver this week…

I swear the universe doesn’t want us to be stable…why?

Well as you can probably figure out its the middle of the day and I am writing this post because I was let go on Friday from the State Temp Assignment…they couldn’t get me access to the necessary items because I was a Temp and as a result couldn’t keep me busy – yeah staffing agency called me at like 6:30 Friday evening…I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this – why oh why didn’t the client think of this BEFORE bringing me on board?!?! I did put my application in for the permanent spot, but at this junction I doubt highly it’ll happen – though I also don’t think I want it to, if that makes sense…I was feeling lethargic while there and really dreading being a desk-jockey again…

I’ve also decided I’m not going to the COPAT test on Thursday – the very idea of working in a prison scares the ever living you know what out of me, while I am sure I can do the job, I am not 100% sure I want to. If that makes sense?

So here I am once again unemployed – no real prospects – didn’t see one single position that looked appealing today…gonna be a very LONG holiday season for sure.  Thankfully I am capable of making Christmas gifts for the family, so I don’t have to worry about buying them gifts.

THEN I checked my hubby’s unemployment account and he’s said he’s been filing his weekly certs YET he hasn’t been paid…makes me wonder…WHY?!?!?  There should be several hundred bucks just sitting there, I haven’t touched his account since the beginning of October – 6 weeks ago – so there should be 6-weeks worth of monies there…I wonder if he’s actually filing….

Anyhew, that’s where we’re at – the mortgage thing is up in the air – I’ve asked him to look into the Unemployment Office’s assistance program and natch…we need to have a chat for sure.

Good Evening/Morning what have you readers!

I know things have been absolutely up and down lately but I have had a bit of luck, I applied for this position last week, got called by the staffing agency trying to fill it, and they brought me in, sent me to the customer and yeah well I managed to secure a temp spot!  It’s at least through the end of the year working for a State Government Agency literally 5 mins from my house! Oh yeah loving that part of it! It’s doing payroll work – timecard entry, tracking of deductions, etc.  It’s way more than I’ve done in the past, but I am confident I can handle it.  They are hiring for the position permanently – and they’d posted it last week – so I went ahead and applied Friday evening when I got home – will be shooting a message to the HR manager on Monday morning when I get into work.  I know I can handle the position, I know I can do it, there’s a LOT to learn but you know I already know how to do 1/2 of it…so we’ll see!

On the flip side though, last Wednesday morning before I started working we went to this Herbalife place we love and had some breakfast smoothies.  On the way out I grabbed a hat & scarf set I’d made to give to the owner, well not only did we get our smoothies for free she offered me a small spot in her store to sell some items! WHAT?!?! I am soo very excited! So I’ve spent the last three days crocheting up a STORM, I’ve made three more of the same sets, some rope scarves, one with a matching ear warmer, a Dobby the House Elf doll, a Christmas basket, and some cup cozy’s…I don’t have much in my thoughts, but I don’t want to make too much and have it not sell, so it’s a balancing act for sure.  So I am very hopeful that this will turn things around ever so slightly for us.

Still no decisions on how we’re going to proceed with the mortgage…but right now we’re in a holding pattern…