Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Now that's depressing

Even though my husband got paid today, our bank account doesn't reflect that. There were seven bills out there in limbo counting on this money to come in.

It kills me. The day he gets paid, we are already broke again. This vicious cycle sucks!

We haven't paid our car tag renewal yet (due in August) and have been driving around with an expired plate because we can't afford it.

We don't live a lavish lifestyle. We don't live in a huge house. We only have one car. Jody takes the bus (free pass) to work more days than not. He also takes his lunch from home almost every day.

We don't put purchases on credit cards anymore (except for my camera which has no interest for 18 months), but we still have some credit card debt we are trying to pay off. However, making the minimum monthly payments (which is all we can afford right now) is obviously not making a dent in it. We're also still paying off medical bills from when Ava was hospitalized for croup nearly four months ago.

I never buy brand new clothes for Ava. Everything comes from garage sales or thrift/consignment stores. She's desperately in need of a couple pairs of good warm pjs because she won't keep blankets on her while she sleeps. And we never buy new clothes for ourselves.

I will admit that we go out to dinner once in a while. (I should clarify that these aren't expensive meals - always under $20, generally more like $12 or $15.) I know we shouldn't go at all because we certainly can't afford it, but I feel like that's something we have to do or I'll go crazy.

I'm just feeling so frustrated and overwhelmed and had to let it out.

I'm not looking for handouts. I don't want pity. I just want to be able to afford to live.

I welcome any tips or suggestions you all have. What has worked for you or people you know?

Thankfully I have some money coming in sometime this month from my CafePress store. Thank you to everyone who has purchased something from me. :) October was a great month for sales for me. I hoped that sales would continue to pick up as Christmas approaches (from people buying them as gifts), but it doesn't seem to be happening that way.

And I'm trying to sell the things we have sitting around the house that we aren't using. Still no takers on the crib though. Know anyone who wants one? ;)

I'm also hoping that I can contribute to our income through photography. However, with winter approaching and not having any sort of studio in my house, I'm not sure how much "work" I'll be able to do. Guess I didn't pick the best time of year to get into this.

I'll quit whining now. I just really needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for "listening." I know we won't be broke forever. This too shall pass. And I'm very thankful for the things we do have and all the things that money can't buy like smiles, laughter and love. :)

P.S. Maybe I should whine more often, I just had a sale on my CafePress store. ;)


At 11/15/2005 2:54 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I'm right there with ya, sister. Life WILL get better. Our situation is much like yours too. One car (on loan from Mom and Dad while they go RVing), and money coming in goes right back out. My DH is beginning his own business and of course, I'm not bringing in any money.

We just found out we qualify for government covered health care because our income is so low right now, which is how it is most the time when one works for him/herself. Thank goodness for that big savings until we can get on our feet.

I hope I can also begin my own at home business once Aidan gets a little older. We don't buy new and if we do buy something it's MUCH needed and on sale. I clip coupons, buy store brands and sale items at the grocery store -- and always make stuff from scratch.

Our hard work WILL persevere. At least we get to be home with our babies.

At 11/15/2005 4:51 PM, Blogger Avery's mom said...

getting things off ones chest is good but being able to see and appriciate the things God gives us such as love, smiles, and health is most important. I always try to remain faithful in my thanks to God for everything I do have
It stinks to be poor but I'm rich in my heart

At 11/15/2005 6:25 PM, Blogger Running2Ks said...

I know what that feels like. Sometimes, I toss credit card balances onto a 0% card and then make a huge payment each month. Other times, my husband sells stuff on e-Bay. I thought about part-time work at times.

Hey, congrats on your successful store--and the photography thing should take off as well.

I'm thinking about you during this troublesome time.

At 11/16/2005 11:31 PM, Blogger Tiffiny said...

I TOTALLY know where you are. It sucks hard! The only positive thing I can say is at least you guys love each other. That's what will help you through this rough patch. I've never wanted to be rich, just well off enough to pay my bills on time. It's the little things. ;)

At 11/16/2005 11:47 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

thanks for the support, ladies.
i hate to hear that you all are struggling too.

amy - i hope your dh's business venture goes well. :) i agree, i'm very thankful to be able to stay at home w/ my girl.

robyn - that's the other thing i meant to say i was thankful for - good health!

r2ks - that's a good tip about the credit cards. we've switched balances around a few times in the past. perhaps i should look into that again soon. thanks about the store. i'm glad it's bringing in some money. i appreciate you having a link to it too. :)

tiffiny - yes, i am thankful for the love. it's not always easy and dh and i have our troubles, but we continue to work on them. thanks for the reminder. :)

At 11/17/2005 6:41 AM, Blogger Heather said...

aww Amy hang in there! We are going through the same thing. Since our house closing has been pushed back so much we are paying mortgage for 2 houses right now. AND it is really breaking us BIG TIME. Once we have closed things will be so much better for us! It has really made me think about where I spend and put my money. I using this as a learning experience and am really learning a lesson on spending control...etc. HOpe things start looking up for you. The way your photography is coming along I know it will!!


At 11/17/2005 9:37 AM, Blogger Katy said...

I am so there with you Amy!!! Clint and I have a "plan" and hopefully we willnot be in this spot for too much longer. I just want that money tree to grow in my backyard.;)

At 11/17/2005 7:13 PM, Blogger Marla said...

We went through a spot like this about a year ago - me with no income and Steve with no work for over three months. Savings - gone. It was scary. There are lots of websites with frugal living tips; but the one thing I did that helped was to call each utility company and ask questions. Quite honestly, I'd ask bogus questions until I got a nice woman on the phone. Then, I'd explain our situation in all honesty and tell her that we really needed to save money, and were we getting the best plan for what we needed. Sure enough, we were paying an average of $45 a month more than we should have been on each bill (phone company, cable, hydro, Steve's cel for work etc.) We hadn't noticed it because we had been comfortable and lazy. Usually another mom or woman is more willing to work harder for you, if you ask nicely. So now once or twice a year, I'll check, because new plans are always being offered, and if you are well versed in what the competitor is offering for you to switch, they'll sometimes give you the same deal to stay.

Warm wishes for all the best.

At 11/18/2005 4:22 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

heather, thanks for the encouragement. :)

katy, sorry to hear you are in the same situation. hope your plan comes to fruition soon. :)

marla, thanks for the suggestion. that's a great idea!

At 11/20/2005 7:03 PM, Blogger Camille said...

Amy - What size sleepers does Ava wear?? I have 2 that are too big for Reagan right now and next winter they will be too small ??? I'd more than happy send them your way!!! LMK

We are in your shoes too. We get paid and I look and say "that's all that's left?"

It royally sucks!!! I too am hoping one day it won't be like this...I'm hoping once April hits and we can re-fi the house we can take some money out and pay off some bills to make it easier!!

At 11/21/2005 12:00 PM, Blogger amygeekgrl said...

You are so sweet.
Ava's wearing size 2T sleepers right now. Do you want to send me an email? amygeekgrl@gmail.com I don't know how to contact you otherwise.
I hope your re-fi goes well in the spring.
Thanks so much, :)


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