You all know our story

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some of you all too well because you have lived or are living it too. Sailing along, tinkering with the idea of trying to get debt free, and sort of half way doing it, but not really and then your income vanishes on you. It would have been so easy for us that Feb in 2009 to run wailing into the woods to never be seen again, but I put on my big girl panties, handed the guys there big boy briefs and passed out Pollyanna Pills. I declared that day and many a day there after it was the best thing that ever happened to us. Yes I truly believe it was because of what it gave us. A unified family.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve always been a “normal” family (whatever that is). The three of us coexisted in the same house, we fought (and still occasionally—but rarely do) we shared good times and bad, but we were not a cohesive unit.
It was tough at first, still is sometimes, but over this last nearly four years we have grown into shades of our contentment. Each of us has adopted our own special role. Dh is the strong one that has been my rock as I battled the evil cheetah pack that chased us so hard those first two years. He’s worked the overtime that has helped kill them off one by one. Often getting little to no sleep. He’s supported me and even reminded me of my financial decisions, often making those decisions for me when I couldn’t decide. This is a new role for him in his life.
I’m the math and grocery nerd. I work the numbers and squeeze the pennies so hard Lincoln can’t even open his eyes. I have came up with new recipes and menus out of what’s on hand more times than we can count, no cash, no groceries are being bought and we eat off what we have. The guys say we are eating better since 2009 than we ever have before. I am also in charge of the Pollyanna Pills.
The “Enforcer” is my son. He is debt free except for his mortgage size Sallie Mae and it is going down quickly. He keeps dh and I on the straight and narrow when he sees us waffling on our spending, but he is also the first to say ‘You’ve worked so hard you need a break” and hand us money on the condition we take a short trip to “give him a break.” He generally does this around special times like birthday’s anniversaries, Mother’s day, or similar events. The condition of the money is we must spend it on ourselves for a little R&R. God bless him, for traveling free spirits like us it is often what rejuvenates us and makes us come home that much more determined to get debt free as fast as possible.

I need to re-do my budget

debt loan

Driving for Uber has worked out really well, but I can see I’m going to have to write up a plan/budget so that I am spending the money on purpose vs paying for things “as they come up.” I am making about $225 a week working four 6 hour days a week and I know different ways to borrow money online (borrowlab.com), so I either stick it all in a savings account and use it to pay rent, or I work the alternate budget plan from Robert. The last two weeks I’ve paid things as they come up, but that feels like just sprinkling water on a fire and hoping to get a handle on it.

I am continuing on Baby Step Two

debt loan

1 last big debt to pay off, student loan, currently about $8,200. I paid off about $10,000 of it this year alone. That said, I’ve had to slow the debt snowball because

a. overseeing the well-being of my parents. Dad just placed in nursing home. I don’t expect him to return to the house. Using some of my emergency fund money to cope with unexpected expenses as I go between parents’ home (Chicago) and mine (Atlanta). He has dementia and can no longer walk. Mom is coping, but I’m concerned her memory issues may be Alzheimer’s or some other dementia. He is 88. She is 86.[Before anyone says it . . . I now have power of attorney for both parents, and they have written their wills.]

b. because of shouldering my parents’ well-being, I just let go of one work contract. I did it because something had to give.I just don’t have the bandwith to work the one job, that contract, and do voice-over/audiobook work, take care of parents and breathe/sleep. Unfortunately that contract was the main source for my extra, large student loan payments. My voiceover work is not regular, but most of that money can go towards student loan. So the debt snowball will slow, but not stop.

No that is why we chose Kaiser

life

It is all in one for everything. We have our $25 dr visits and $185 for emergency room (both have gone way up the last few years) and 20% cost of share on meds. We have looked at some of the other plans from my dh job but Kaiser having their own everything makes it easy.

Preventative Care

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I’m so frustrated with my pediatrician and the insurance company. Every year, I have to call the insurance company and get a claim reprocessed. It seems they don’t know how to process a preventative medical visit with a copay. Every year, they want to charge me the balance not covered of around $70 and I have to call and say “no, it’s a $35 copay and that’s it!” Now I realized that two of my three kids got an additional “medical visit” charge of $147 each on the same preventative care visit. Does that mean the doctors comes back into the room at the end and says, yep they are good to go?!!! And charges me another $147!!?? Bleh! I hate having to chase doctors and insurance companies down!

Anyone else have this problem with their preventative maintenance visits?

I went to Milwaukee this past weekend for the yearly Rush TabCon

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I heard a radio commercial for an auto dealership that promised you a lower car payment than what you’re paying now, no matter what it might be. Let’s think about this. They want you to buy a new(or newer) car, even though you’re still paying on your old one. Which means they’ll have to roll the balance into the new purchase. And since they say your payment will be lower, the only way they can do that is to stretch out the repayment duration. So you’ll owe MORE money, for LONGER than you do now, and will probably still need another car by the time the term is up – rinse, repeat. Pure stupidity, IMO…
The second was a billboard for some company called Zingo Cash, or something like that. They claim that their loan is the solution to break the cycle payday loans. Say WHAT?? You’re going to borrow money from them so that you can pay off another loan. I was curious, so when I got back home I looked them up. The idea is that people with credit so bad they can only get payday loans can get a loan from Zingo, and pay it off over time as opposed to having to pay it back in 1 or 2 weeks. Nevermind that someone who needs a payday loan in the first place likely already has poor financial habits, not enough income, or BOTH. Which meas they’ll probably still have problems paying back THIS loan with its undoubtedly higher interest rate. And the poor keep getting poorer…sigh.

We have been on crappy non-internet

internet

(seriously, Dial Up would have been faster) since we moved here, paying $82 a month for intermittent service. I had already made arrangements to disconnect at the end of our service contract (this month) due to lack of work/income.Our contract with Argon ends Oct 31 and they are coming Nov 1 to take out their stuff.

We are current TMobile customers here in Greenville. They sent us a cell phone booster to boost our signal (no cost) and we changed our plan to get unlimited 4G data and added a mobile hotspot (added $25 per month to our current bill) and I am now using internet on a faster speed than anything Argon ever gave me.

Just wanted to let you know you DO have options, even outside of city limits like we are. TMobile doesn’t go everywhere, but if it does… $82 down to $25 AND faster speed. Really really happy.

We changed our plan to get 3G unlimited data and personal hotspots for each of the phones. It’s a slightly lower speed for DH’s line and mine, but it was worth it to be able to add an unlimited 4G internet service for $25 a month.

So I got the contract accounting job

job

Doesn’t pay as much as my previous job, but somehow I think it’s going to be better, regardless. On balance while the salary is less, i get reimbursed mileage which could be as much as $800 a month; if I was there a year, that could make up the difference.

I start Oct 2nd. Getting caught up, then getting out of debt.