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Debt Purgatory, it's too hot down here.lol!

November 8th, 2011 at 06:03 pm

So, I believe I have entered the realm of Dante's purgatory. I am going to call this "Debt Purgatory." We just got our mortgage current, but still have the phone calls from either creditors or collection agencies. I can always tell its them now because they no longer use "1-800" number, they like the weird out of state zip codes etc. lol. I am also dating payments in advance, which is somewhat discouraging since our time/pay is already ownedFrown Plus, our car needs another $250-300 worth of work. I swear, I am really getting tested by the Big Guy in the Sky/Life. Plus, I find it a law of attraction/magnet thing too as weird as it sounds. The debt seems to attract debt (we will also call it interest, lol)and problems/all the messy issues associated with distractions/things breaking down etc.I am finding this whole phase fascinating and kind of miserable at the same time with this law of attraction. However, the most unbelievable thing is how I continue to get help along the way, receive great suggestions, and somehow manage to feed my family (now $50-75/weekly). Nonetheless, I have made some amazing new friends in the last year, appreciate dealing with this now/not later, and also appreciate my job. These are the things that will get me out of this ridiculousness.

Homeschool for below the age of 6-7?

November 7th, 2011 at 06:31 pm

So, I hate to say this, but despite dealing with overpriced cupcakes etc, I am not happy at all with the program for the kids after paying almost $200 per week, along with totally B.S parenting obligations. So, I think I will take them out and teach them at home with a guided curiculum for the next couple of years, of course with extracuricular activities so they interact and develop social skills with other kids. Aside from the around $800/per month/near $9,000/per year, I have really had it! If anyone knows of a place to start or look into for various curiculums, please kindly let me know. Just like the past year where I am facing the truth about money, crappy friends, my future, it is now the same reality with my kids/educational results and stressSmile

Really...do I have to do everything?

November 3rd, 2011 at 06:06 pm

So, despite doing the full time mom/maid/chef thing during the day (minus the two half days kids are in school), working evenings, and trying to climb out of debt, I am running into some, well, incompetance with the hubby. I went to work this evening only for a few hours and all I asked him to do was "Change the kids bed sheets, put new ones on, and give them a bath." I came home and only one kid was bathed, the other one was still up coloring, one bed was changed, but no new sheets and he said he did some dishes (a few cups). Wow, this is not fun and while I pointed out that he didn't really help me or do the things I asked, he stormed off somewhere. So it makes me wonder if I should hire a college or high school kid to help at maybe $10 an hour 1-2 times a week/4 hours total to watch the kids while I do the rest around the house? It has been like this for sometime now, hubby thinks all he has to do is got to work and come home. I would be spending $40, but wonder if it's worth it or try and cut some corners elsewhere?

Cupcakes Anyone?

November 2nd, 2011 at 06:02 pm

Today I had to bring cupcakes and juice boxes to my kids class. Plus, I had to get ones that were allergen free in addition to the regular ones. I had to bring items for over 20 kids. So...I went to the grocery store and bought 24 cupcakes for $15.99! That is half of what I pay to fill the car. I also got the Capri-sun "100% juice" boxes/pouches, not so organic, but really how much do I have to pay in addition to tuition? The kids go to a pre-school where most of the parents are very "We shop at Wholefoods for everything" type. The cupcakes were neon in color, not so Wholefoods...so all the kids will probably be pooping neon green and orange.lol. Wow, I could have made 24 cupcakes for $1.75. That's why I love them so much, but I didn't want to look too cheap or deal with the mom looks either. I am having a hard time figuring out how to balance the classroom/kids items and dealing with our cash flow without looking like an uncaring mom. I think some of the class and school activities are ridiculous and wonder if I am the only one?

It's Been 6 Months...

October 31st, 2011 at 06:02 pm

It's been half a year...I stopped writing half a year ago due to feeling stuck, down, and just plain depressed about having to deal with the pain of facing all this debt. I apologize for just going "MIA" and leaving, but it was too hard to face, even the only support I have ever had through this time. I always thought of you guys through the past 6 months, but had a hard time dealing with everything in my life that comes with massive debt. I realized if it is hard now, it will be harder when I am older like my parents and worse, which of course spiraled down into a deeper bad feeling. Wth the expense of my brother's wedding (when I wrote last) and everything on top of it...I decided to seek a family counselor to help me a little.
I have worked my butt off working the evenings. WE ARE FINALLY "CURRENT" with our Mortgage TODAY!!! Most items are lower, but some have gone up after we put them on the back burner for the house. Nonetheless I am trying to work through it. I hope you are all well and thank you so much at the beginning of all this. There was no way without anyone's support I would have even seeked a new job or help.

Best and Back Soon!

The dollar has 2 sides...

April 13th, 2011 at 11:25 am

It's been a week and a half since I last wrote. During that time I was working hard at my new server job, trying to keep the house/kids/family in order, and am now getting over a severe cold. I feel a little beat still trying to get the bills paid. Plus as I get to the other side of the dollar bill...I am finding out a few more friends are somewhat two faced. I had one friend cancel a get together/playdate with me and the kids to hang out with a group that I don't hang out with anymore. I had no idea until someone told me she saw her there on the same day we were supposed to get together. It really hurt my feelings and I am not sure what to do about that. Then again, I had kind of a feeling she was doing that the way she canceled out. So, I am still finding the truth with other areas of my life, aside from finances. However, although we are still scraping by, things are better with our communication with money and other areas of our life. So I figure once we are strong on all fronts, the other stuff will even out. In the mean time, it's just not too fun right now.

I made $88 at my new job!

April 2nd, 2011 at 08:56 pm

So, this evening was a little hectic because I am still training as a server. They still gave me a few tables and helped me, but it was really busy due to the Saturday. I hate to say it, but I don't think a few tables will be back. Plus, one of the food runners spilled soup on a woman at one of the large tables I had.
However...despite it all, I made $88. This will be for part of gas and groceries. We are still on that hamster wheel of debt trying to get off, but at least it's slowing down a little.
Also, THANK YOU GUYS for your amazing support , opinions/thoughts, and ideas.

Made Some Money Training at my job.

April 2nd, 2011 at 05:18 am

I made some money lat night training at my new job as a server. One of the tables was great, everything went well and a $30 tip. The other table went badly in that I either mis-ordered or they pointed to the wrong thing on the menu. The manager comped their drinks ($20 worth) and part of the entrees. They left less than %10. Ouch! I only got two tables to train with and made $35, but walked out with $22 since I had to tip the bussers etc. Anyway, reality hit that I am going to have to work my tail off, but that's o.k. I left with $22 more than I had! As for plane tickets, I have to get them this weekend. I'll just go and leave the family behind. It kind of makes me want to cry since I know I'll have to deal with the "Why didn't your husband and kids come etc?"

*Update: I just spent $465 to get just myself to the wedding. OUCH> out of any budget, but I'd regret not going. However, the family is staying behind. I'll be there only for a day so I won't have to spend anymore on a rental car, food, staying with family stress, and can make it back for a work shift Sunday.

Should I just fly out or take the family?

March 31st, 2011 at 03:46 pm

We still owe for this months mortage in addition to what's already been paid, but have been catching up fast. My brother is getting married next month and I am wondering if I should just go to save money or if I should take the whole family. It's just one of those really hard decisions. It's either paying for one or four? I feel kind of stuck about it. We will have to pay for tickets in the next couple of days since the price will double if it gets too close to the date of departure. The amount it will cost for the tickets will be around the same amount that is owed for the mortgage. Plus we still have other bills to catch up on. thoughts?

Won a trip to Maui, but giving it away...plus updates

March 28th, 2011 at 06:09 pm

I won a trip to Maui via a drawing (hotel/resort stay, not flights), but will be giving it away as a partial gift to a family member for their wedding. Since we can't afford the tickets to fly everyone, I figured they might enjoy it more since they wouldn't afford the trip on their own (flights, we'll pay for since they are closer to the islands). As for the restaurant job...I trained for a day and will start this week. I am pretty sure I will do well since the Sunday seemed busy. When I did the walk in and drive by last week, it was also fairly busy. So, I think it should help. At this point, any amount will be helpful. I am also trying to keep a positive attitude thinking that I clean/serve food all the time and at least I'm getting paid for it.lol. Right now we are also trying to find creative ways to get more time with the bill paying, calling, etc. Plus, I have been trying to make amends with certain people/reaching out, but they don't seem to want to reciprocate or resolve things, which is fine. At least I know and can move on. I feel at this point while everything is mostly surfaced (some still surfacing) and painful, I might as well face it and deal with all the yucky stuff to get those life chanels cleared for better things. I think the hardest thing out of the whole situation is just trying to keep my hope/strength/positive thoughts going because, well...sometimes it's hard not to want to feel bummed out and down. Nonetheless, I am still truckin' through as usual.

Workin' at the steak house...got a job.

March 25th, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I stopped by the steak restaurant yesterday and they hired me, kinda...I have to go in and shadow another server for a shift. I must say, it felt really weird applying for this job. After writing down my career experience/post schooling, I had to explain to them that I worked as a server/had experience/knowledge of drinks etc, but 10 years ago. Anyway, I really hope this works out well. As for the broken microwave, I called Costco and they said to return it anyway even if it is 4 years old. I was told that I would be refunded the "current" value of it, so it could only be $20, compared to the $100 (ish) paid. Nonetheless, how cool is that! I called goodwill, salvation army stores, savers, and another thrift shop to see if they had any because I know that the refund at Costco won't cover the cost of a new one...none of the thrift stores had any. So, I'll check craigslist too. Other than that, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the server job works out well so I can get these bills paid off!

The microwave went to heaven, I think.

March 23rd, 2011 at 07:06 pm

Today was perhaps the last heated meal with our four year old microwave from Costco. It was the panasonic/inverter model and was working pretty well and got a lot of use. Plus, I'm not the most gentle with mechanical things too. I have that "Non mechanical midas touch" I'd say. So, I went to heat some left overs after swimming today and it lit up and then just went blank. I checked the normal things like the plug etc. I also did the ever famous "hit the side of it a few times" move. I also did the "push the buttons harder" strategy. Both failed to work. I ended up heating my meal in a pan. I'm going to have my husband take a look at it and hopefully he can fix it. If not, off to microwave heaven for the inverter. The car also still needs to get fixed, plus I knocked the right side mirror off again. This time I clipped the side of a Fedex truck. The truck was fine, but the poor mirror just dangled there. I got it all ducked taped up again. Hooray for duct tape, but boo to my driving abilities. Anyway, my husband will come home earlier so I can apply for the server position tomorrow. Perhaps if I get the job they will let me take home left over food and I won't have to cook or heat up stuff? lol.

Netflix refunded me...and a productive day

March 22nd, 2011 at 08:24 pm

I got refunded from Netflix, which was a nice relief. I also got a few thing done that I have been meaning to do for a while. However, I did deal with a few child melt downs, but stood my ground to my toddler with the ever famous mom word of "No." lol. I called the steakhouse and spoke with the manager, they pay the server minumum wage, which in MA is apparently $2.85/hour, plus tips. I am trying to figure out a schedule with my husband. I am pretty sure they will hire me since they really need people/are a newer restaurant, which is good because I really want and need the money. I keep meaning to update the side tab since some of the cards went down, Amex got lower. This process has been somewhat painful, but I heard a quote today that said "Pain is the plow that opens the heart to see the truth." I thought I could relate to that.

SHOW ME THE MONEY...Trying to get a night job

March 21st, 2011 at 03:09 pm

"SHOW ME THE MONEEEEEY." O.K, so scrounging for change, althogh being successful with it, and stressing about finding juice box/fruit money for my kiddos lunch is not something I'm too fond of. In fact, after this "Broke as a joke" phase of my life, my goal is never to do this again. However, I know it will take time to dig myself out of this one. Anyway, I am trying to find an evening job to get to make some extra money. What I am finding are front/desk gym jobs or server or hostess jobs. The front desk jobs are paying $8(ish), along with the hostess, as for the server jobs, well, that depends on who walks in at night etc. So I am thinking maybe I should try a server job even though I have not done it for 10 years! Then again, my financial situation seems to be where I was at 10 years prior, actually worse now that I think about it. Anyway, I'd get paid for serving meals and cleaning up, which is what I already do as a mom. However, the restaurant I was thinking about that's hiring is in my hometown and I keep thinking how awkward it would be to wait/serve on friends or people I am aquanted with. Ayayayay. Dunno what to do at this point? Plus, every mom is looking for that Babysitting position/nanny thing to do so those are hard to come by. My business isn't bringing anything in right now and we are just limited with my husbands salary. Perhaps finding a restaurant located in a different town farther away??

Chicken Recipe a Success and I found money!

March 21st, 2011 at 07:40 am

The other day I posted a chicken thigh recipe. I tried it out last night and it was actually pretty good. It also made the house smell yummy, then again, anything made with butter and garlic will do that.lol. I made it with a side of brown rice and some fruit salad. I also found $2 in a coat and when I opened Saturdays mail, I got reimbursed $5 from a doctors visit where I paid too much for the co-pay. This was really helpful because I had to get juice boxes for my daughters lunch. I was also able to get a small bunch of bananas too. The good news is that we still have food in the house.My kiddo was also able to take a juice box, banana, orange slices, apple sauce, snack bar,cupcake, and a sandwich which made me feel better too in that her lunch wasn't getting shafted with our debt issus. Anyway, 2.5 days until we get paid, but wow, when there are only a few bucks to work with, it's amazing how long those days feel...especially when they usually go by so fast.

Hooray to house/car/purse coins and a new recipe!

March 19th, 2011 at 05:28 pm

So after feeling super bummed out this morning, but then getting some really kind support, I felt better and cleaned the house with some other "Getting it together" actions. Also, it may sound silly, but perhaps too it was to show the Big Guy in the Sky that I'm serious about this stuff and want to really get it together.lol. Anyway,during my third load of the laundry transition I found a quarter at the bottom of the washer, which made me decide to get all the change from wherever I could. I collected a few misc coins around the house, but the real jack pot was in the armrest compartment of the car and the side pocket of my purse. I ended up going to the super market, this time stop and shop, and used the coinstar only because my bank won't take large amounts of change unless it's rolled etc. After dumping the change in and also dumping my wallet out...I had, drum roll please...$8.79. Woohoo! So I ended up getting a little more food for the house and we were able to spend some more on gas with the money my hubby had in his wallet. I got a family pack of chicken thighs for about $3.50 because of the "managers special" -$2 sticker. It will be a decent source of protein. I normally don't buy these only because I have no idea what to do with it, but I found a recipe. Also, Macaroni elbows $1. I hate to say this, but also got cupcake mix $1.25/frosting $1.25/$1.59 cupcake paper only because I promised my 3 year old we could make some yesterday and that's all she talked about the whole day.."Cupcake Day." I'll be making homemade plain muffins later in the week too to use up the frosting to make cupcake look a likes. I'll also use up the eggs to make raisin bread french toast tomorrow. I've already made a stir fry with the random single vegies left...and I did get the large box of ramen at 10 cents a packSmile My kids like it and I hate to admit it, but it's prtty goodSmileIt's a little weird not seeing a full pantry and abundant fridge, but we have food, cupcakes, and some faith that things will work out. I have no idea how the chicken thigh recipe will taste, but I cut/pasted the recipe below from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
6 boneless chicken thighs, with skin
dried parsley, to taste
Directions
1.Preheat the oven broiler. Lightly grease a baking pan.
2.In a microwave safe bowl, mix the butter, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and parsley. Cook 2 minutes on High in the microwave, or until butter is melted.
3.Arrange chicken on the baking pan, and coat with the butter mixture, reserving some of the mixture for basting.
4.Broil chicken 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until juices run clear, turning occasionally and basting with remaining butter mixture. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Oh...so this is what rock bottom looks like.

March 19th, 2011 at 06:36 am

I feel like a hamster on one of those hamster wheels trying to get off the ride. However, I've stopped running on the wheel, but it continues to spin while I'm on it and now I feel like I'm a little beat down. This week I had charges, which are usually automated and were put on hold, go through and hit my account! Now really, it's so easy for them to take the money out, appologize, but so hard for them to put it back in the account. It will take 3-5 business days to get reimbursed on my netflix account money and my skin care program money, both were put on hold, but for whatever reason (full moon?) hit anyway. So, that $50 won't see my account until next week, which was supposed to go toward a credit card with a pay plan where they held the interest, only if we paid the $50. Aside from that, we have only $55 in our checking account, but it will probably go in the red on Monday when a gas charge from Wednesday didn't get posted until today. We still owe the dentist $900, but then will get reimbursed after we pay, even though we already paid a portion of it. Plus, my student loan, part of this months mortgage, and utility bills are due. My car is also rebelling, it took 15 miniutes yesterday to even want to start and when I got it going, it barely ran well. Right now I am trying not to be one of those magnets that attract all sorts of yucky stuff and am trying to fend off everything with all my strength, but am starting to feel beat down. I guess the image of a person being attacked by flying/pecking demons while they are trying to throw them off their back comes to mind (from a movie I saw). So...I guess this is what the feeling of being at rock bottom feels like...just plain old discouragement and wanting to throw my hands up to the Big Guy in the Sky and say "O.k buddy, I get it, we're broke and in a hot mess, but seriously man, give us a break because were trying!"

Back to Mac and Cheese...and ramen?

March 17th, 2011 at 07:53 pm

Today was an interesting day. We got paid, but not as much as expected due to a dentist appoinment/day off last week. I'm a little bummed out about that since this paycheck went toward getting us back in the black, gas, medicine, and a few other items. The good news is that we will get reimbursed for the dentist, but not for another week or two. So, this means that this week will really have to be cut down on many areas. So, I am racking my brain for the cheapest possible meals. Do I say hello to my, oh let's say...college buddies "Mac and cheese" and "Ramen." Hopefully, I can find some better alternatives, but really...it's at that "Ramen" point right now...10 cents a pack looks very tempting. Perhaps I can jazz up both with something and also make sure I don't foget about fruits/vegies? Rice too with something may work. Anyway, at least the pasta was on sale for $1, along with the $1 sauce. I just got that and some milk because I'm afraid if I try and do a full run, I will go totally over. It may sound weird, but going in to get food just for the day is helpful too right now since I only have a certain amount I can spend for the day.

$7 on pump #3 please.

March 16th, 2011 at 10:43 am

"$7 on pump #3 please." These were the words uttered out of my mouth after I dropped off kiddo #1 at school. Yup, the last time I said something like this to get my car going from point A to B was, oh, let me think...when I was 16 years old and driving an '83 volvo clunker. I am 30 years old today and as painful and weird as it was, it made me chuckle that I could only get $7 worth of gas, not necessarily on a volvo clunker,but a pretty decent car that still needs the "Check Engine" light to go off (on even a metaphorical level)lol. So after paying the cashier my whopping $7, I go to the pump and stand there thinking I'd have a minute or two for it to fill, like I'm used to. I didn't even have time to do the "lookibng off to space while I fill up the tank" thing going. A few seconds went by and then the handle went "Click." I looked and $7 got me less than 2 units of gas. However, I am still thankful that I even had the $7Smile I swear, today a dollar never looked so good and to know my car will get me from A to B until tomorrow's payday is even better!

Back on the saddle again because I have to.

March 15th, 2011 at 01:44 pm

So...I'm back on the saddle, again because I have no choice. I was actually a little depressed last week and haven't written in a week due to feeling like I'm super stuck.I just couldn't fathom spending more money on what was already owed. We paid $7000, thinking we were all caught up with the mortgage, it turns out that we still have to pay another $1400 with fees, interest, etc. I knew that the rest of this month was going to be tight, but wow, not like this. I even withdrew money over the weekend before the weekend charges could hit on Monday, just so we would have cash in our hand, even though I knew we would go in the red on both accounts. I even borrowed from my business account just to get a few things from the grocery store. Anyway, the good news out of this is that we are only eating what we have in the house and I am finding creative ways to extend things. We'll make it because we have no other choice, but sheeeesh...getting out of what I am going to call "financial hell/purgatory" is really hard, talk about rings of fire to jump through.lol.

Sent out past due mortgage check!

March 8th, 2011 at 09:04 pm

I sent out the past due mortgage check today! We paid on time for 3 years straight, but ran in to house repairing, credit debt, and kiddo school expenses and put the mortgage on the back burner until our refund. The rest of this week we will be really scraping by with the dental and car repairs. Anyway, at least this is out of the way to a certain degree.

My car knows I'm in debt...but still wants my money.

March 7th, 2011 at 08:32 pm

So after starting to get things really together, paying off bills etc, my car decides to act out...it decided to not want to start at all and after a 20 minute rest, it finally did. In fact, it must know that there is some money in the account and now wants all of it, even though I have debt.lol. O.k, in all seriousness the check engine light has been on for a while, along with the oil light, which is from the idler so depending on the tilt of the road and engine, the light may/may not come on. It's funny, after taking a look at what I wrote, I guess the finances were like the car. The warnings have been there and action is needed. Anyway, it clearly failed the smog test due the light being on, but will now cost me more that $400. My husband also has a dentist appointment, which will cost $950, but we will at least get reimbursed, it just takes two weeks from the insurance. Anyway, my federal refund will be here this week and will pay for the past due mortgage! As for the car, trying to figure out when to fix it without us being at zero balance, which is scary.

Groceries under $100!

March 6th, 2011 at 07:49 pm

For the first time in a very very long time, my groceries were under $100. The total came to $85.86
So, I made a list and a menu, but I think the real secret was taking two toddlers and a hubby to the grocery store. There is nothing like a screaming kid and crowded store that makes you just want to finish the items on the list and get out as fast as possible. I was actually pretty stressed during the shopping experience (for some reason, I thought taking the hubby and kiddos would be a fun experience, then reality set in when one of the kids started nibbling the corner of the pasta box like a mouse and the other one kept running off to get things to put in the cart). However, after the stress of dealing with the kids and checking out, I realized that my family actually being there prevented me from doddling and buying things/new products I didn't need. I also came home and washed the fruits/vegies. However, I am not sure if I will take them next week? My hubby also got a credit card minimum payment and interest lowered. Overall, a pretty good weekend.

Paid some past dues, a weight is lifted.

March 3rd, 2011 at 07:20 pm

I paid the past due adt bill, past due phone bill, past due credit card bill, past due student loan, and a past due hospital bill. I used part of the state refund we got back. It feels like a weight has been lifted and I look forward to the day when it is all lifted. I will pay some more tomorrow, but want to see what hits the account tomorrow from this week. It's amazing how easy it was to get in this, but how hard it is to get out! I realized it's borrowed time from the future and that's why it takes so long to pay off (all those hours/minutes), which is somewhat of a bummer, but at least my kids are at an age where making a $1 box of cupcakes makes their day. Hopefully it will continue like this with the cheap cupcakes, library days, and free things we can do for the next couple years while we work on the debts.

baby steps foward...now trying to sprint ahead of debt.

March 2nd, 2011 at 07:36 pm

The last time I wrote was on Feb 24th, then I delt with some family issues with the mom and fell off the financial wagon as we can say. I'm not going to list the snacks/lunches out with the kids/or little things I bought because I have an exploding wallet of receips, all little things here and there. I just had a hard time writing about this after I was doing well, but I am back because writing about it here was the ONLY reason I was doing well. However, I learned that a MAJOR trigger was family/garbage that seems to get me in a frenzy to buy uneccesary things. It wasn't soooo huge in terms of any kind of shopping rampage, but enough to know that every time I paid for something it felt wrong because I knew it could go toward a bill, but did it anyway just to deal with things until I figured it out. So, I was slowly moving and now decided to sprint! I am really tired of this back and forth. Also tired of toxic draining people (including the mom).I have been moving forward about having better friends and quality people in my life, even hung out with new friends recently. I also received the state refund today, which will help us catch up on bills etc until we get our $1000 emergency fund set up. Unfortunately, we think that only one of us can make it to a family wedding because it will be too costly and too close to the line with finances. We always seem to be the most broke right around this time and both the hubby and I don't want to do this every year, so we'd rather just send one person this time. I am still updating the numbers on my profile, but a few have gone down! So, as Dave says with the debt methods, you first have to get mad and then get gazelle like speed to get away from it. Gearing up to sprint soon. Done with the stress of debt, done with fake friends, and done with toxic people. It's time to sprint toward a better life on a metaphorical level. I know it will take time, but mostly energy to back it up.

The 1st is around the corner

February 24th, 2011 at 04:06 am

Last night I was so tired, I ended up skipping my blog, so today, I want to write two. Anyway, the first is just around the corner and this is when most of the bills seem to hit or are due. It's been a slow process trying to break the cycle to catch up so it doesn't feel like such a blow to the paycheck, along with a list of priorities of bills first. I have to update my debt list. Some went down and some went up, so it could be a take two steps forward and three steps back dance right now.

clearing clutter makes room for opportunity

February 22nd, 2011 at 07:26 pm

I donated the bag of clothes today and cleared emails, clutter, along with removing myself from various forms of stress/people. After doing this, other amazing people and opportunities just showed up/appeared. The last few weeks has really motivated me to change and see the change. It's really wonderful and this site has literally changed my life (I know sounds a little cheesy, but really/reading peoples blogs and also blogging has changed things more than on just finances).However, I did go to trader joes to buy kiddos milk and snacks since I ran out and was in the car. $10.75. They also gave my kiddos stickers, which prevented some major child meltdowns.

Things are surfacing, but I'm greatful

February 21st, 2011 at 07:22 pm

My husband and I continue to get things done and face projects we have had for a while, not just with finances, but even things around the house. After our closet was cleared, he installed the landline with a different phone that was needed. I even had a bag of clothes to donate and put it in the car so it doesn't sit stagnant. I also found a skirt that I had been looking for and was so excited to see it again! We finished calling the card companies and know where we stand. I have been reading the Dave Ramsey book and watching his dvd multiple times just to get his message ingrained in my system. We are faaaaaar from getting our debt paid off and will have to take baby step #1 and get the $1000 together. It's been fascinating to look back and think that before the kids and house,we were +12,000 (not including my student loan). After the house and two kiddos later, we are -$100,000. sighhhh. Anyway, on the the two faced mom update from a prior entry... it continues to surface, but I'm kind of glad. I actually dis-associated myself from the group and defriended the person. I feel like I am purging what I don't need and as I do it, things are surfacing and making room for what is needed. I feel blessed and know it's a little tough, but not as tough as it would have been if I continued on my old path.

What are your normal weekly grocery prices?

February 20th, 2011 at 05:44 pm

I went grocery shopping at the cheapest grocery store today and used $16 in coupons. However, my grocery bill was still (around the usual $100)... today $115. I realized today that I have a fear of not seeing food or having the feeling of being low on food. So, I seem to always be around $100, buying the two for ones etc. I am not sure if it is my habit of spending the $100 (ish) per week or if that is really what a normal family of 4 spends per week? So, what are you grocery totals per week? What are the usual/regular cost saving meals? By the way, I tried Hamburger helper tonight for the first time, but used ground turkey since it was on sale. It was pretty good and my husband said that he'd like it again. We also had fruit salad and biscuits. I think the total meal was less that $2 per person.

Ignorance is NOT Bliss

February 19th, 2011 at 03:43 pm

Wow, I learned today even more that ignorance is NOT bliss! My husband and I are determined to hunker down our debt and were calling the credit card companies today. I found out that I was getting charged 29% on the orchard card, a $936.49 balance! That is crazy to me! Apparently it was raised because I made a late payment and had no idea that I was getting charged this insane amount. They were unwilling to negotiate any kind of lower payment or minimun unless I paid $80 and wanted to charge me a $15 pay over the phone fee. I paid $40 to keep the card current and they waived the phone fee, but really, come on orchard...a phone fee??? I also contacted Target, which was much nicer (aside from the stalker calls two weeks ago, until I made a payment). They lowered the interest rate to 9.9% and cut my minimum payments in half for six months. We closed Home Depot, which only made me slightly sad since we still have lots to do on the house, but hey, how much can we do since we are trying to catch up on our mortgage anyway? We will work with CITI tomorrow to hopefully work something out. We should be getting our tax refund soon, which will help us catch up on our mortgage, but it's a bummer because we could have used this money to buy a much needed second car. This is one of the biggest and greatest lessons of our lives. It's almost hard to fathom that my spending habits reflect my mothers (not sure which is harder to digest, that I'm spending/being like my mother or have huge debt,haha) We are all going grocery shopping together tomorrow so my kiddos start understanding money, purchases, and where things come from (it will also help hubby understand how hard planning/getting them is tooSmilelol.We are holding off on the farmers market since the gas that would be used wouldn't be worth the cheap vegies and we won't be needed in the city.


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