Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Before it gets better.....


Have you ever heard people say that "it always gets worse before it gets better"? Well, if you haven't, you have now. And this applies to my situation.

Here is a rundown:

More car repairs
Getting informed that interest rate is being increased

Need I say more? UGH!!!

Well, to all of this I say "I will not give up! I am determined and I will prevail!"

Now I just need to find a way to bring in some extra income. I have been scouring Craigslist and do you realize how many scams are out there. They are just lurking around waiting for someone to take the bait. They place a very promising add to get you hooked, and then they want you to pay them!!!! Well, this "cookie" is too smart to fall for that! But what I would like to know is where are all of the legitimate telecommuting jobs? Are they out there? Anyone? Help!

My positive note for the day is that I have been finding more ways to be frugal. My newest thing is that I have set my thermostat 2 degrees lower than usual. My family has not noticed at all. They use blankets a lot, but they have said nothing! People coming over to my house on the other hand is another story! They think my house is cold. Not unbearable, but cold! To that I say to myself "they are only visiting, they can go to their own toasty home soon!" I also remind myself that our grandparents and great grandparents lived in colder draftier houses than we do, so I will not complain. Not sure yet how much this will save, but I will let you know when I compare the heating bill from last year to this one.

One other thing I have been doing is putting leftovers in the freezer. We rarely eat the leftovers before they go bad. This way we will have a smorgasborg a couple of nights a month and the choices will be wonderful!!!

What are you doing?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just when I thought it was ok.........

Have you ever found yourself thinking that everything is going to work out ok when, WHAMO!!!!....out of the blue something else comes your way?

Car repairs, need I say more?

The little windfall that I mentioned earlier could not have come at a better time than it did, but CAR REPAIRS!!! Really?

I know I should be more grateful. And I am really, really, grateful. I just wish it didn't have to get spent on something other than the debt I already have.....

On a more positive note though, I have really been getting the spending/budget thing under control. It is amazing what you can cut out and not really miss. So my message today is....Take heart!! You can do it!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Doors of Heaven......

I am not going to go into very much detail, but I am going to say that I often feel like I am being watched over. Today we got a very unexpected windfall from somewhere that we would never have dreamed of. The amount was very small and will only put a dent in my "problem", but I am so grateful. I am amazed that sometimes when I feel like giving up, help comes around the corner just when I need it most. This has been the case so many times in my life.

I hope that I will never seem or act ungrateful for this.

I also hope that someday I will be able to help someone else when they least expect it.

Not just one someone, many someones.....

This is my good message for today!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I have been searching for something I can do from home to bring in an small income to help pay for my *cough*cough* mistake........

Most of what I have found is some sort of a scam. I have been looking on Craigs List and searching local listings. There really isn't anything out there. It is amazing how many posts one fake company puts on Craigs List. This "company" lists the "job" in so many different ways that I have looked at it who knows how many times. My favorite part is that they want you to pay them for the job! I may not be very smart (my debt load is evidence of this), but I am not that dumb!!!

I have not found any promising leads yet, but I am undeterred. I did offer to go and get a job, but my husband (saint that he is) doesn't want me to. He wants me to continue at home with our kids and "managing" the house. (did he not notice that I have blundered in the management part?) He is willing to work through this little by little, year by year until the debt is gone. He figures with being very careful and a hopeful raise here and there we should be in the clear in several years.

He is a patient man.

Even though he is not expecting it, I still want to do my part. I will find something. When I do I will let you know! There has to be a legitimate work from home position out there somewhere!

Now, something positive...............my kids said they love me!!!! I love them too! Those silly squirts!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Here's the situation....

I had the brilliant idea that we would be able to qualify for the mortgage loan modification program. I had birds singing on my shoulder as I thought of the relief that it would bring us. Then someone took their shotgun and blasted a hole through that bird.

We don't qualify.

We are saddled in debt (my fault), stuck at a higher interest rate on our home, and we don't qualify.

We have never missed a payment and I have absolutely no intention to whatsoever. But here is the deal....We will be stuck with our interest rate that we currently have until the real estate market in our area recovers enough for us to refinance. (So maybe in ten years from now?) We put a very HUGE amount of money down on our home and we have since watched that dwindle away with all of the foreclosures surrounding us.

We are stuck.

We are stuck owing more on our home than it is worth because we were unfortunate enough to buy at the very top of the market. ***Sigh***

Now what....

I don't really have an answer for that. The very nice guy I talked to at the bank that owns our mortgage said "You just need to cut back your expenses."

Well DUH!!! I am working on that. And no I don't blame anyone but myself for this problem, but still! Isn't there something that I can do?

On a more positive note I have decided that with every post I make I will share something positive. I don't want to be negative Nelly all of the time! So my positive thing for the day is ........At least I don't have it as bad as the people who do qualify for the loan modification program!!!

Sorry, that was a little uncalled for. Let's see, something positive........Oh,Oh,Oh! I have something!

I have really great hair today! You should see it!

Monday, October 12, 2009


I hate plunging toilets.

I hate plunging toilets that are several days old because my kids never told me about it and I had to find it on my own while I was cleaning bathrooms. I hate plunging other people's poop. I'll bet Oprah never has to plunge other people's poop.

While facing this task of disgusting proportions, a thought popped into my head. Why can't someone invent a new toilet that has a much less chance of getting plugged!

Then another idea popped into my head....

Why doesn't this newly invented toilet have some sort of a function on it much like our garbage disposals, where the thing that just won't go down gets ground up and then sent on its merry way!

Gross, I know, but wouldn't that be wonderful! Maybe it could guarantee to cut clogging issues down by 78%!

I would dream of one of these beauties!

I know this has nothing to do with my financial situation......but that is where my mind is today!


I have noticed something very strange. It didn't even dawn on me until this morning....

Since I confessed everything to my husband I have been sleeping like a rock. I am usually a very light sleeper, tossing and turning and waking up with the slightest noise. For the last week though, I haven't even heard my husbands alarm go off in the morning! This is very weird!

Now I just need to figure out how to relax during the day. The stress of it all is really eating away at me when I am awake. I am wound up so tight that sometimes I want to hide in a little corner so I don't have to talk to anyone. I am consumed with thoughts of how to get myself out of this mess (nothing ingenious yet, but I am working on it!). I answer people with short, sometimes sharp sentences and I feel irritated and
agitated. This is no way to live!

I really need to get myself under control.

Maybe I should pick up yoga.

I know you can get instructional videos on you tube for FREE!!! And right now for me that is the best price!

I guess my advice for today would be to tell the one you love what you are struggling with. Don't hide it inside because it will really do you in. Maybe then you will be able to sleep.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Just some thoughts...

Early this morning I had some time to myself to do some thinking. I wondered about a few things. My parents were very frugal. They didn't have to be, but they were and they really tried to teach my siblings and I how to live the same kind of life. Somehow, somewhere along the way that teaching was lost. Though my siblings may or may not be in the same sort of financial mess I am in (I am not privy to their finances) I have noticed something that is similar. Most of us put on some sort of "show" for other people. When I write "show" I mean that we are trying in one way or another to portray to other people that we have met with success. Not really a "keeping up the the Jones" type thing because none of us are overly extravagant. It is really hard for me to explain, but there is this underlying sense of entitlement that I perceive. Maybe it is just me and maybe I am just reading too much into things because of the problem that I now face. Not that it matters one bit what my siblings do with their finances. That is entirely their own business. I guess what I am trying to say is that where did we miss the lessons from our parents?

My parents were very small at the tail end of the depression so they did not experience it first hand so to speak, but rather, what they experienced was just as valuable. Their parents and grandparents lost so much, learned about the real value of "things", worked hard and saved and saved and saved. My parents learned this attitude about their own finances from their wise parents.

They tried to teach us.

But something was lost in translation.

My generation is very much into instant gratification.

Before you get angry, realize that I am pointing the blame in my direction. I fell for it just as hard or harder than the next guy. We took the much "needed" trip to Disneyland. I bought things on impulse for my kids. I didn't worry much about the fact that our outgoing was getting larger than our incoming.

My biggest thought this morning is how do I teach my children the valuable lesson of my parents, grand parents and great grand parents. How do I help them understand that it is more important to save for a rainy day that it is to run away from that rainy day.

I hope I can help them avoid this mess. I hope I can help them understand the value of hard work and patience. I hope that they will buy much less of a house than they can afford. I hope that they will save more than they spend. Really, I hope they will be smarter than me......

Friday, October 9, 2009

Digging myself out...

I have gotten us into this mess and I intend to find a way to get us out of this mess. My husband laughed when I told him that I had entered a whole bunch of sweepstakes. Hey, you never know right! (and no I am not kidding!)

Well if that doesn't pan out, the things I am doing differently for now are these:

1. Using coupons

2. Only buying on sale (unless it is really necessary!)

3. Only buying what is needed! (you would be surprised how many things actually fall into the want category when you are really strapped!)

4. Making meals from scratch (I used to spend a lot of money on ready made meals!)

5. Using what is in the freezer and the fridge before I go out for more (I am guilty of the purchase and purge curse. That is when you buy produce and let it rot in your bin in the fridge only to throw it out!)

6. I am writing down every penny I spend and subtracting it out of my allotted budget. I have a small notebook for this and so far so good! It is amazing to see how quickly $3.25 here and $2.30 there adds up!

That is my game plan for now. I will let you know how it goes and what I add or change in the things that I do. I have to say that the dark cloud that has been hanging over me has lightened ever so slightly. I am beginning to feel like I can and will succeed. I am smart and capable and I will not let this problem conquer me. Now that I have started to plug up the leak a little bit, I need to find a way to add to the coffer. My next hunt will be for a way to bring in some much needed cash that can go towards this horrible debt!

Off I go to finish grilling the steaks that I found hidden in the freezer from who knows how long ago! I would never have gotten to them if I hadn't decided that it was time to "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without"!

Good night!

p.s. I was much nicer to my kids today!!! I even made play dough for my daughter and we had a great time together!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I mentioned in an earlier post about couponing and thought I would share a bit with you. In the past I was really diligent about using coupons and shopping the sales at the grocery stores.

Then I got lazy....

Then I accumulated a LOT of debt....

Now I see things differently. When I coupon shop it is like giving my husband a raise. Our dollar goes much further and there is more money left over to pay off our debts. I think I will start giving you a regular update of my shopping trips and how I am doing at getting the deals!

This week I started
couponing again and I must say that I am very excited!!!!

Here are brief details of this weeks grocery foray:

First stop
Albertsons....Total came to $128.06
Amount I spent was $31.31
I had $87.99 in coupons and Bonus buy savings of $8.76 for a total savings of...........$96.75!!! That my friends is not too shabby!!!

Second stop was at a local grocery store called
Maceys. Total came to $29.46 but the amount I spent was $16.56. Not as good as the first store, but it still almost half off!

I should let you know that we are a family of 6 and our oldest child is a teenage boy! This means we have a lot of his friends over who are always hungry! My goal is to get our grocery bill down to under $100 a week consistently. I will let you know how it goes!!!

So Here's the truth....

I have decided that I need a way to share the mistakes that I have made with you, hoping that you will learn from them and maybe avoid them. I also hope that there might be someone out there who is in the same situation that can help me along the way with the things they have learned.......Maybe we can figure this out together.

I had been keeping a secret from my husband for quite some time about our financial situation. I had let him live in a worry free, blissful existence while I was falling apart inside. I thought I was going to be able to get things under control, but this week I finally realized that everything was OUT of control. (I will share more details in a bit) I knew I needed to tell my husband what was going on, but I was so scared. I couldn't eat or sleep thinking about what his reaction would be. (And let me just say, I deserved just about anything at this point) I had thought about waiting a week until the pressure of his job eased up after some deadlines. But then I realized something. I realized that I couldn't hold it in any longer or I would break in two. My heart felt like it was beating a mile a minute and my hands were so shaky I could hardly hold on to anything. That's when he got home from work.....

I was scared.

I took some tylenol for a headache and he noticed this.

His comment was "you seem to have had a lot of headaches lately. Are you ok?"

This about killed me. Here he was showing empathy and compassion and I was about to crush his world. Pull the rug out so to speak.

I couldn't take it anymore, so I grabbed his arm, pulled him into our room and told him that I had something terrible to tell him.

Again came the concern from him. I have never felt so undeserving of his compassion and here he was worried about why I was falling apart.

So I told him. I was scared, but I did it.

"We have about 20,000 in credit card debt that I haven't told you about. If I pay our house payment, all our obligations, pay the minimum payment to the credit cards, scrimp on food and we don't eat out or go to movies anymore, we have about 200 dollars to our name each month."

I was prepared for him to yell and scream. Not speak to me for days. Accuse me of being deceptive.

That isn't what happened though....

Our conversation went something like this...

Him: How did this happen? (in a very loving tone)

me: We really have never been able to afford our house. I just kind of payed with a card here and there, until I looked and realized today just how bad it is.

Him: (Thoughtful silence)

me: I am so sorry, I know this is my fault. I should have been more responsible, but now I have gotten us into a mess.

Him: It is not just your fault. I am responsible too. No, we cannot afford this house and we should never have bought it.

me: I think it is time for me to get a job.

Him: No, I don't want you to do that. I want you to stay home with the kids. You can start doing your coupon thing. (more on this later) That will help. We will be o.k. We will figure this out.

At which point he reaches out to hug me and yet again console ME!!!

I am married to a man that amazes me at every turn. Yes we have our problems, our arguments and our differences. But this wonderful man that I married, who I really thought would explode and not speak to me for days, showed me once again what an incredible person he is.

I can't even begin to describe the relief that I felt. First for finally telling him and getting it all out in the open, but mostly for knowing that he still loved me. It felt like the flood gates opened and all of the worry washed out and the relief filled in.

Yes, I am still stressed and worried about our finances. But now I have my partner to share the burden with me. One that he could have just said, "This is all your fault...deal with it!" He has let me know that we are in this together and we will get through this together.

I would like to write this and tell you that I am just as much of a Saint as my husband. But I can't. I realized over the last week that much of my frustration and stress has been directed towards my children. I have not been abusive by any means, but I have been short with my words, impatient, and too flustered to sit with them and help them or listen to them when they need my time. I have been frustrated when they don't pick up after themselves or they leave the lights on.

So, last night I decided that I needed a way to air all of my stress. A way that I can rid myself of the negative. A place to put it, so that I can be like my husband and respond with love.

So folks! This is it. This is the place that I will put my stress and work through my frustration. This is the place that I will bounce off ideas and hopefully come away with a better perspective of what I need to be doing.

I am making it public so that if anyone out there has a similar situation, or an idea of how I can right my wrongs, we can all share and walk away feeling a little better about ourselves.

There you go, in a long explanation. This is the beginning of what I hope to be a really good thing!