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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:34 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I feel for you Wende. Keep plugging along, and keep applying for jobs. Something will come up. Keep your chin up. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:52 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
September went ok. On the bad side, no jobs yet and no insurance for me. But on the good side, which is much more fun to contemplate, we were able to pay off about half of our medical debt, and J has been participating in the fine art of deciding what is worth spending money on and what is not. This is a big, big deal because he prefers the head in the sand approach, and now he is taking a more active role.

Examples include the realization of how much junk food really costs, and the power of sales ads, meal plans, and coupons. He cheers with me when we get a really good bargain now! J also made the connection that taking lots of random trips to town just because you are bored actually costs money at the gas pump. We only spent $75 on gas in September. Because we did not drive to town every time J had a whim or drive halfway across the state because he heard fishing was good at some random lake. Were we insanely bored some days?? Absolutely. But it is what it is, and I am thankful he is participating more in daily financial decisions.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
October Update: Up and down.

September dental work led to need for yet another crown. But good news is that dentist will split the cost with me, and best news is that I was never dropped from hubby's dental insurance and they paid a good part of my last claim. Pheww. I go in tomorrow for further torture and hope someday to be able to chew on the left side of my mouth again.

I finally got an interview for a job! And I got paid to do a working interview! But discovered office assistant for a chiropractor mainly included doing dishes, laundry and cleaning her house. With a dab of errand running, helping with patients and a little paperwork on the side. I don't even like to clean my own house. Hmmm. Haven't heard, but leaning toward hoping she *doesn't* pick me. I need a job, but get the feeling this one wouldn't last long. Drat.

J has been called into work a few times, which makes me very happy. He makes a lot more in the seat of a truck than he does sitting on our couch surfing ESPN. His opinion may differ.

I received some unexpected birthday money! But sent it with a stern note to my wayward brother who is at the end of his rope. His own doing. I hoped he would spend it wisely, buy a little time and get to work on fixing his life. He didn't. Back to my three year firm stance to give only advice and encouragement. I don't lose hope, but it sure is stressful to watch a loved one struggle. <-- understatement.

It was also stressful this month to finally get an answer to why my beloved kitty has been losing weight. Once I got the vet to take me seriously, it only took one x-ray to confirm cancer. He still acts normal and isn't in pain, so for now we'll just love on him and give him treats and toys to play with. It's not treatable, which took away the fear of 'how much am I willing to spend on a sick pet?'. A rough topic. Over the years, I have spent a bundle on my pets' health and happiness. Especially on this particular cat. All worth it.

Financially we are still holding steady for now. I will run out of unemployment sooner than hoped and have started researching how to do a strategic default on my mortgage if I need to. Here's hoping I don't have to start that process. Tomorrow I am going to an info session on healthcare jobs at the local tech college. Improving my skills and/or learning a new career path is a good idea, but that costs money....so I'm hoping to find out if the expense will be worth it. I want a job. That I like, or at least don't hate.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
Have you received all the available extensions for unemployment compensation?

If not take a look into that for your liable state.

It'll get better, hang in there. I think you should take the job if offered even if it's not an ideal position.

Have you looked into TRA eligibility in your home state?

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:12 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
I will exhaust federal benefits at the end of the month. Tier 4 was yanked because my state's unemployment dropped below 8.5%. I can move back to state benefits for a few more months. I'm just thankful to have had benefits available!

I also have an emergency fund to draw off of if I need to, but I don't want to touch it unless I really need to. So I'm also thankful for the great financial advice and communities such as GRS that have helped me keep focus over the past 8 years on better financial habits.

That said, I've been slooowly coming to grips with the fact I may need to move to a more populated area to find employment. J isn't working either right now. To do that, the house needs to go. I like where I live, but I don't love it and don't have strong ties. It just kills me to think of possibly having to walk away and ruin my credit, so I'm doing everything I can to avoid that.

No one likes to feel stuck, and it is a bone of contention between J and I. He's wanted to pick up and leave for months and I have this house to contend with. We're both frustrated and we umm, discuss the situation and possibilities all the time. All. The. Time.

As for jobs, if I'm offered one I'll take it and do my best to make it work. I am giving serious thought to doing an online course for medical transcription. That's a job I can do from home anywhere and anytime. It is a commitment and will take at least 8 months to complete, but it sure would be nice to have more control over my income. I considered medical coding too, but it is a less flexible profession and there aren't many positions in a rural community.

Thanks for any and all encouragement!! I'm frustrated, but far from giving up hope. I am a glass-half-full person and am sure my life will sort itself out and we'll be able to put this last year behind us as a tough time and learning experience, and that someday I'll be settled again with steady employment for both J and I. So I can get busy on building wealth again instead of treading water.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:45 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
Goodbye 2011. You were not the year I had hoped for...

In November my beloved kitty went much sooner than expected, which made me very, very, very sad. But without a sick kitty to care for, J and I took the opportunity to travel down to AZ to see my family for Thanksgiving, which made me very happy. We took the scenic route down and back to give J a look at some of the towns in case we move next year.

In December I signed up for the billing and coding class and I have been working away at that. If I really push it, I could be certified by April or May.

I finally decided to let the house go and will not, for the first time ever, pay a bill that is due at the end of this month. I alternate between terrified and relieved. There is a certain peace of mind with making a decision though, and it is the right one for us.

So, 2012 will bring some changes. I will finish my class and find employment. J will find employment. We will be packing and moving somewhere new. I have no idea where "somewhere" might be yet, but a place with a warmer winter is at the top of the list! And we will pay off the harley and be debt free. And we'll live happily ever after. There. My plans, my resolutions for the coming year. :rofl:


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 3:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
One month down. We were able to stay in budget even with a few surprises (hello new car battery) and I put a good chunk of cash into savings. No mortgage combined with a 3 check month plumped savings up!

J is really starting to see the benefit of careful conscious spending and has mostly stopped telling me little amounts don't make a difference. It's a big help to have him more on board with the finances given our future uncertainties.

One small glitch this week though.. In my zest to put as much as I thought I could get away with into savings, I only left myself enough cash in the ol' checking account to get through the week. Patting myself on the back for staying within my spending limit after a trip to the grocery store. Now picture head meeting desk when I realize I forgot to write something down last week and have just overdrawn my account. Doh! All fixed and I had a slice of humble pie after. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:45 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
Just want to note that when I whined today about whether it was worth the effort to fill out an extra tax form, J piped up and said "how long could it take, an hour? If it gets you $$, that's a pretty good hourly rate of return for your effort." <== Um, who is this person of reason?? And what did he do with my spendthrift husband?

I like it. :inlove:


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1133
Wende wrote:
Just want to note that when I whined today about whether it was worth the effort to fill out an extra tax form, J piped up and said "how long could it take, an hour? If it gets you $$, that's a pretty good hourly rate of return for your effort." <== Um, who is this person of reason?? And what did he do with my spendthrift husband?

I like it. :inlove:

Sounds like progress.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 5:11 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 373
Wende wrote:
J is really starting to see the benefit of careful conscious spending and has mostly stopped telling me little amounts don't make a difference. It's a big help to have him more on board with the finances given our future uncertainties.


Awesome!!!! :rock:


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:22 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
Time for an update! Spent the last 3 months working away at my medical coding class and I'm ready for the final next week. Hoping it goes well so I can get to work on finding employment.

The foreclosure is moving along on time and I've been socking away that payment into savings. Speaking of moving - we are headed south in the next few weeks to find a place to rent, and plan to move at the end of May. Very bittersweet. Losing the house is a big fail on my part, but I try to focus on the good that will come in the future. At any rate, the sale should come by August. For those wondering, I'm following my credit score and it has dropped 70 points as of my 4th missed payment. Still leaves me above 700.

Silver lining? With no mortgage, I'll be totally debt free! And much wiser. J is not debt free, so we'll still have to work on that. Next February we will be getting rid of our largest monthly bill aside from housing and it will be a HUGE relief for our finances. Looking forward to that!

In preparation for the big move, we've sold stuff, donated stuff, and have been eating down our food stockpile. The neighbors are waiting impatiently to see what else we'll give them. They can have my snow shovel and bag of ice melter for sure. We're done with that! I've tried very hard to not replace what we've used. Harder than it sounds, but a good habit to break as it continues to reinforce the thought that we really have plenty. Seriously. I hope to be able to let go of more "stuff" when we unpack in our new place. Downsizing is freeing when you treat it as a conscious choice.

Hope the next month brings a high grade on the final, a successful apartment hunt, and a smooth move to the big city.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:40 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1133
Good for you Wende. Change is good sometimes.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:58 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Sounds like sometimes a crisis is needed to change one's perspective, get one's head out of the sand.

good luck with your move and finding employment!


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 10:57 am 

Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 10:25 am
Posts: 2
Just started reading all of your posts from the beginning. What an inspiring saga! I'm so delighted to see that (in Ramsey speak) your "free spirit" husband is getting a little "nerd" in him, and I also love to see that you, clearly the financial "nerd" in this relationship, understand the need for an occasional "free spirit" move. I wish you the best in your move. Of course you're feeling badly about having to give up the house, but you've been hit with a lot of things outside your control, and you've managed to get out of debt otherwise - I'm very proud of you. Great accomplishment! Please come back here and keep us up to date - want to hear the good news when you've found a new home and new jobs.


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of J vs. W
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 11:11 am 

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:46 am
Posts: 27
Took the final and graduated with high honors! So relieved to have that out of the way.

J and I headed down to AZ earlier this week and found an apartment. We had the debate of whether to go with the lower rent/small apartment or higher rent/large apartment. Tough decision - 1. we don't have jobs yet 2. we still have more stuff than will fit. The frugal side said 'suck it up buttercup, you need to watch your pennies and can move to a bigger place later'. The other side said 'we really could use a second bedroom for our crap, our office, and the occasional guest.'.

One thing that helped me decide was the cat factor. The place with a nice 2 bedroom with a good deal on rent wanted close to $500 to move the cat in. THE CAT. I get they are trying to discourage pets and that they will potentially have pet damage to take care of when we leave... but seriously? That is not even refundable people!!

So we went with the one bedroom apartment. And then drove home to CO and stared at what we own with new eyes. With all we got rid of already - we still have some work to do. I don't want to have to get a storage unit, I want to only own crap that will fit in our tiny new home. I'm kind of excited.

So we move at the end of the month. And the cat has to provide $15 worth of joy each month to account for his portion of the rent. :lol:


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