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Archive for April, 2010

New Twist on Old Problem

April 30th, 2010 at 05:49 am

This is the DD#2 out of work, part 2. To catch you up : DD#2 laid off beginning of April, broke arm end of April, no savings, no insurance. She was worried about someone coming after her in court when she can't pay her medical bills. Unlikely. But she does still owe almost $1500 on her 7 year old car. I was thinking that maybe I should just pay it off. The cash out for the loan is around $1200. She has applied for unemployment, which I am sure she will get, but the paperwork is lagging with massive unemployment in our state. (Michigan) Then she can pay me back. She did still have enough in the bank to cover the car payment, insurance, cell phone for April, and I hope to heaven that the state will have gotten thru her paperwork by next months due dates. She has not asked me to do this, I haven't even said anything about it yet, but I'm considering it. My sister also told her to apply for some help from the state, for the medical bills. The worst that can happen is they say NO, she won't be any worse off than she is now. This reminds me so much of our early days, Hubby and me, eternally broke, and one mini disaster after another. Actually, those early days lasted about 20 years, go figure!

Will They Sue If You Have Nothing?

April 28th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

These words came out of my DD#2's mouth last night, guaranteed to strike fear into the heart of any parent. She has had a rough month. She got laid off from her job, right at the beginning of April. The company has disputed her unemployment claim (and that of all the others laid off at that same time) so that takes time to work thru the system. She borrowed enough money from me to pay her car insurance, she still had enough in the bank for her other bills. Now she came home two nights ago with a broken wrist! She was biking with some friends, and tried to avoid another bike in from of get the idea. She went to the emergency room, had x-rays, had a consult with the specialist on call, and has a splint until next week, when they will put on the cast. She is looking at several thousand dollars worth of debt, at least. She doesn't know what to do. She can't pay anything until the unemployment situation is resolved (I'm sure she'll get it, I think the company is just jerking them all around) but not paying could ruin her credit for years! And to add insult to injury (literally) she got a call for an interview from another company yesterday, and had to tell them that shes out of commission for at least 6 weeks! They probably won't call her again. Not with hundreds of other prospects out there. So I don' know what to tell her. No, I don't think that any health care organization will waste the money to sue her, will it ruin her credit? Maybe? Definitely? I told her to call all of the places, as soon as she gets a bill from them, and explain the situation, she owns nothing but a 7 year old car, that she is still paying on, and currently lives back at home with her parents. They may be willing to wait, but what if they aren't, you can't get blood from a stone. We'll have to wait and see.

Another Resolution - Outta the Park!

April 20th, 2010 at 08:19 pm

Woweeee! Another resolution to cross off my list! I made the last payment on our only store credit card, and it finally cleared the bank! That makes it official. We are finally out of debt. Time to decide where to go from here. Actually, I'm sure that it won't be a tough decision, at least for a while. There are some maintainence issues on the house and barn, that had to wait until we got other things under control. I was so sure 4 years ago, when we were mortgage free, that money could go right into "fixing up" but, as you all know, life is what happens when you're making other plans. Actually, the home improvement issue was another thing on my New Years Resolution list, I'm killing two birds with one stone! I think? It sure feels nice to be making some positive progress! UhOh, now I'm a little torn. Posted on the wall right in front of me is a printout of Dave Ramseys "baby steps". I know we don't have nearly 3 to 6 months of expenses saved. Dang. But if I wait that long to start some of these fix-its, the season will have passed. You can't do some kinds of outdoor work in Winter in Michigan. How much more time will some of these things be able to wait? Oh man, now I'm not in such a good mood. I think too much. Groan.

Old Bank Statements

April 16th, 2010 at 12:24 pm

In this era of online banking, is there really any need to save those old bank statements? The rule used to be, save them for 7 years. If they agree with the website record, why would you need them? I can't imagine that any bank doesn't back-up their info, with the most expensive programs available, why would you presume that it would be compromised? I was packing away the statements from 2009, and tossing from 2001, when this occurred to me. Granted, the piles are getting slimmer, only a couple more years, and the ones that still included the cancelled checks will be gone. But, I could use that space for something else! Maybe my used tea bag collection.

Gimme Some Mediocrity!

April 14th, 2010 at 11:09 am

I just heard on the radio that astronaut Neil Armstrong has written to the President protesting the cuts in the space program budget. He says that it will put the US "in a long slide into mediocrity." Well, there are days when I would welcome a little mediocrity. My Random House dictionary says that mediocrity is "normal or ordinary", Oh heck yeah, sign me up for a double order! My weeks tend to look more like this. Monday, shivering uncertainty, the paychecks from Friday are gone already? Thats FIVE days away! Tuesday, gut churning panic, what money for what field trip is due when? Today! Wednesday, nail biting horror when I open the bank statement to discover a debit that no one recorded, and the account is now overdrawn. Thursday, glassy eyed then comatose, get home from working overtime, and discover that the ingredients for the quick supper I planned have been eaten by hungry kids after school, and I now have two cans of soup, some wilted celery, and a box of cracker jack to transform into a meal for four. Friday, giddy euphoria, PAYDAY! Then mental exhaustion trying to figure in my head the price of the cheap pizza parlor pizza, versus getting the ingredients for homemade, knowing that the meal will be late. Saturday, bill paying day (need I say more). Consider the euphoric properties of Valium, wonder if slugging a lot of cold medicine comes close? Sunday, weekly mega dose of guilt. Church or laundry, or clean bathrooms, or family outing, or yard work, or overtime...... you get the picture. It makes mediocrity look GOOD! Oh yeah!

I Did What With The Money???

April 2nd, 2010 at 07:00 am

I just read a blog about someones confession of their biggest financial mistake, oh the memories. I am sure that Hubby and I made so many, I don't know where to choose from. But there are a couple that always come to mind. When we got married, we were broke. I mean BROKE. Hubby got laid off two weeks before the wedding, and i was a full time college student. This was the very early 80's, and there were no jobs anywhere. Pretty similar to now. He was doing odd jobs, and we made enough to keep the power on, but not enough for a phone, and we ate at his parents house most nights. Anyway, he had gone somewhere with a buddy, and it must have been Summer, the weather was nice. When I looked outside, they were throwing a football around. When the buddy left, he came in with the football, and I said something about buddy forgot his football? Ah, no Hubby says, I bought the football. HE SPENT OUR LAST $13 ON A FOOTBALL! (It still makes my blood boil to think about it) I was so mad, I could hardly speak! But wait, it gets better. The next day, we are still fighting (my voice did recover) so he jumps in the car and goes speeding off, and RUNS OVER THE FOOTBALL! Yeah, you read it right, ran over the football that he just couldn't live without, and spent our last $13 in the world on. I still can't comprehend the logic (there was none) of that whole thing. Now for my biggest gaffe. This one came to mind, but I'm sure there were many others. 20 years ago, I decided that I would like to have contact lenses. I had been wearing glasses since I was 12 or so, and there was an ad in the paper for $49 contact lenses. So, I get an appointment, have the eye exam, they try the lenses out, and I'm wearing them. Then I find out that there are a lot of OTHER fees that go along with the lenses! The exam fee, the contacts are $49 EACH, solutions, the little machine that cooks them, etc. etc. So, I meekly pay all of this extra money, it was over $250 altogether, and come slinking home to cry on Hubbys shoulder. He was much more gracious than I was probably. I should have told the eye Dr. to forget it, and exactly why, but I didn't. I was a much more timid person when I was younger, I just went along to avoid a fuss. Oh well, we were all young once, and we did get smarter about money, eventually. Sort of. I think. BTW - that was the only pair of contacts I ever owned, I never could find a solution that didn't make my eyes red, I looked like I was on a bender all of the time, with none of the fun!