My apologies in advance as I plan to throw a few different things all in this same post. I am ashamed to say that I've lurked here awhile and didn't post most of the great advice I've read into action. Here is my situation. I worked for a facility that made wind turbines. This year there is a production tax credit that helps customers pay for our product that is due to end at the end of the year if not renewed. So far it has been voted down but is up for vote again in November if I recall correctly. The company I worked for pulled a lot of next years orders and pushed them out the door this year so basically we worked ourself out of a job. They've cut 90% of the workforce.
I'm one of the lucky people that lost their job. I currently have no Efund and already live paycheck to paycheck. As of right now, I have another 4 weeks of regular 40hr paychecks and then get a lump sum payout for another 4 weeks. I was hoping for a little advice on life in general here, heh.
My current plan is to live off unemployment until I get a call back from the company. I'm 27th on the list for the entire plant out of 250ish so I should be within the first or second group of call backs is my guess. I can see the overall flaws of this plan but until I finish my bachelors degree, I have doubts about getting similar pay. For budgeting purposes I'm going to assume I'll get $350/wk from unemployment. My wife brings home around $700 every two weeks. We have a 6 mo old son that I'll watch during the day saving the extra trips to drop him off with my mom to watch. Below is what I consider fixed bills.
House $592 (Mortgage, insurance, taxes. No PMI needed) Government put 20% down for us through first time home buyers programs etc.
Car $490 I understand this is a pretty big problem. My car died and instead of doing what I planned, buying a used beater, I ended up with a new car. My wife kept talking about safety and how new would be better, etc. I also commute 80 miles round trip a day for work so at the time, it seemed to make sense to buy something I wouldn't have any trouble with.
Car Ins $140 Full coverage for two cars
Cell Phones $165 I'm aware this is also on the higher side and is one of the things on the list of possible cuts. Really would like to avoid it due to being grandfathered in on unlimited data plans.
My CC $25 (CC payments listed as minimums for now)
Her CC $25
Bestbuy CC $25
Chase CC $30
Electric $210 On average payment plan
Netflix $18 This will be doing down as we're dropping the DVD portion and just keeping streaming.
Trash $18 Due every 3 months so this is averaged out.
Internet/home phone $98
Projected Income $2800 based on four weeks of paychecks per month combined.
Ok, I also go to school right now because my job is still paying for it at the moment. I should be able to finish out the semester on their money. I'll continue to stay at home and watch my son so my personal gas needs should be extremely minimal. I estimate my lump sum payment to be around $1800 after all the taxes etc. I'm really not sure how I want to handle this money. Christmas is just around the corner and I've got a soon to be 10 year old step daughter (Dec 4th!). The wife and I have already come to terms with this being a weak Christmas and will not be getting gifts for each other. Until I either find another good job or get called back to my previous job, I was thinking of putting that severance pay into my checking account and using it as a buffer for the bills. What I mean by that is like all those budgets that use this last months money to pay for this months bills. I'd like to relieve the stress of not knowing if I'll have enough in the account to pay for the bills due this week.
Now for my debts! (CC APR as reported at creditkarma)
My CC $400 @ 19.99% $500Prepaid with the card closed. Need to pay them off to get my security deposit back.
Bestbuy $860 @ 19.99%
Chase $1015 @ 23.24%
Wife CC $470 @ 19.99%
Mortgage $76k @ 4.75% APR
Car Loan $26k @ 6.75%
Forgot to mention using my lump severance to pay off my CC to get security deposit back.
Almost last, I have a 401k with the company with just shy of 9k in it. I'm well aware that nearly everyone will say to leave it alone but knocking out these stupid debts sounds awfully appealing. Especially when you twist your mind to say that the amount they'll take in penalties and taxes is the amount the company put in so you're not really out anything! I immediately call BS on myself though, the ~5k I get now is beans compared to the tens of thousands I'll get from it down the road.
And now, the absolute worst part... I turn 30 in less than a month.
There you have it. I'm sure I forgot something in all this rambling so feel free to call me out on something or to ask questions. Thanks!