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A Message from Michele
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Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: mishka422] #2190779
10/04/11 05:36 PM
10/04/11 05:36 PM
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oldtimer Offline
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Have you told Gabe that the electricity will be shut off at the end of the week? Have you said, "Gabe, help."?

Have you asked family for help?


Best,
Oldtimer
Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: oldtimer] #2190780
10/04/11 05:50 PM
10/04/11 05:50 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,715
Hilton, New York
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LolaL Offline
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That blows...and I agree. Gabe should definitely be pitching in.


Im still standin better than I ever did looking like a true survivor feeling like a little kid Im still standin after all this time and Im picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind..

Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: mishka422] #2190782
10/04/11 05:59 PM
10/04/11 05:59 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,567
somewhere out there...
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verycrazy Offline
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somewhere out there...
Mishka, have you ever been to Dave Ramsey's site? He would advise you to pay for necessities first. Power, water, food shelter. Credit cards don't come first. We got into trouble over them, and struggled to make the high payments. After awhile they are willing to work with you, and lower the payments. Also, on one of them, I paid a small payment for nearly 8 months, and they sent me a letter saying my account was eligible for the REAGE thing. Basically, since I paid something each month, they made it to where the payments were smaller. I mean,, when you are hurting, who cares about collection calls? But, call them first, and let them know you are in a hardship situation. Cut off your landline to the basic 20 dollars a month. You can sign up for a free or cheap internet service. Some are only 14.95 a month. NetZero Platinum is about 9.95, and they have a free one, too, you get 10 hours a month, and free email. You can also go to the library for free. You can make a budget for your food costs, say no more than 6 dollars for each dinner. We feed 3 on that. Whatever meat is on sale, say ground chuck, get the family pack, usually cheaper, say for 12 bucks, you get enough for 4 meals. Get bid bags of potatoes, carrots, stuff like that, and you can make really cheap dinners. It can be done. Feed, shelter and clothe your family and you have the basics, everything else you pay is gravy. And continue to sell stuff. If you have a talent for making things, try to sell them on Etsy.com, they have gotten national attention. Call your power company, and see if they have payment arrangements. They sometimes will let you have an extra amount of time to pay it. If you are already delinquet on utilities, speak to a customer service person, they will usually work with you. Same with the water company. See about their budget billing. I have done all of these things. H's income dropped 20% two years ago. They cut off all overtime, and we counted on that. Thank God, he has a job, because they are laying off deputies, but the city isn't laying off police.
If you get a paycheck within the next 7 days, then pay those things that are crucial first.
Long post, I know, but I also have been there, and to some extent, still am.

vc crazy

Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: verycrazy] #2190796
10/04/11 06:39 PM
10/04/11 06:39 PM
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Posts: 9,762
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mishka422 Offline OP
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Thanks. frown

Gabe knows exactly what is going on. I've been very diligent in showing him the bills. He gets paid weekly thankfully but it's only a small amount and not enough to cover the electricity bill.

VC - I'm actually attending Dave's course through my church right now. The budget was a total joke to my cousin and I. We both ended up slightly suicidal by the time we finished and and realized that we are underwater by a MASSIVE amount every month. No wonder our savings have both completely dried up.

I haven't been able to pay the credit cards, only the basics and not even all of those. I prioritized it according to Dave's 4 walls platform. Housing first, food second, transportation 3rd, utilities last. Less than halfway through the utilities I'm out of money. Not really much else that can be done about that.

The truly stupid thing is, I make an ok amount of money. My expenses are just too high. I can't afford to move and I can't move out of the area for my son's school. That would be a disaster. I have to stay put at least 2 more years to get him out of school.

As far as the grocery shopping, I do all of that and I coupon to get free deoderant, toothpaste, cleaning products, etc. That all helps.

I'm definitely NOT talented at making anything! I SO wish I were. I've tried my hand at several things but they all come out looking like a kindergarden kid did them. LOL Sad but true.

Called the power company - they aren't allowing budget billing for anyone any longer. The water company doesn't even offer it. My natural gas bill is pretty low and I have an excellent locked in therm rate. I don't have a home phone, only cell and it's WAY too high but I'm stuck in a contract that I can't afford to pay to break.

There is a new Walgreen's store being built in town but they aren't hiring quite yet. I'm hoping that needing to staff a new store will be to my advantage.

Working on it! Keep ideas coming, I'm sure I can find a way to work in some of them.


T19 M15 S19 XH47 M43
bomb12/4/07
PA5/07
S12/26/07
D final 11/17/08
Back together with no defined R 05/2010
confused....to say the least!!!

Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: mishka422] #2190807
10/04/11 07:34 PM
10/04/11 07:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,567
somewhere out there...
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verycrazy Offline
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Dang, it really sounds rough for you. Do you have a life insurance policy? Could you borrow against that? Or get the cash value from? We have old policies we got twenty years ago we were able to borrow on to get another car this year when a nice drunk driver totalled our car.

I love Dave Ramsey, but we are not doing the course. I started to do the budget, and it made me scared, so I am just plodding along, paying down what debt I can, and letting the rest go hang for now. Can whatever Gabe makes pay something? Or part of what is owed now? Did you talk to the utilities about giving you extra time? I have had them give me nearly two weeks before. Hopefully you can get on when the new Walgreens opens. Love to shop there for bargains. Got a few 12 packs of batteries there the other day for only 1.29. Clearance is a lovely word.

Check for anything around your house that is causing your bills to increase. With us, it has been a drip in the bathtub. Water bills over 100 dollars a month, plus it was the hot water, so power bills up, too. My S, who is 18, is learning to do all sorts of stuff, so we got everything at the hardware store and he fixed it. Hope the bills will go down. And you can learn to do all sorts of stuff on the internet to fix your own car. Express wanted 1200 to replace the air compressor on our car, and we told them it didn't need it, just small part needed replacing. They refused to do any but the expensive repair, so we ordered the part for 40 dollars, and S replaced it, and we took the car to another car place to have the air conditioner cleaned out and coolant put in, and it works perfectly for around 200 dollars. So stick it Express!! We have an old beater of H's that we have been secretly fixing up, while H isn't around. S has put in his graduation money, and bought parts and done it himself. Who knew boys still liked to do stuff like that anymore?

vc

Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: verycrazy] #2190828
10/04/11 08:19 PM
10/04/11 08:19 PM
Joined: May 2008
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Hilton, New York
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LolaL Offline
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Chapter 7.

I know it is not the ideal way to go, but as long as you are current on the mortgage, they will not take your home. It will get rid of the past due on the utility bills. get rid of the credit card debtl. I dont know if this is an option, but if it is let me know and I can steer you in the right direction.


Im still standin better than I ever did looking like a true survivor feeling like a little kid Im still standin after all this time and Im picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind..

Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: LolaL] #2190843
10/04/11 09:17 PM
10/04/11 09:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 10,326
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kat727 Offline
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Even though I am not proud of it, it saved me. I remember sweating it out, trying to make my ex pay what he was responsible for. I was fine paying what the court made my part but when he stopped paying, I couldn't cover everything.

The L that I talked to said that he didn't want me to start being behind on the house and it was better to get a plan in place. It was all finished in 2 months once I filed. It may be your last resort but that is what it is there for.

hugs, kat


Me-53(and learning!)
S24, S21, D18, D17
Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming. Dory
Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: kat727] #2190865
10/05/11 12:05 AM
10/05/11 12:05 AM
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kml Offline
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SOO glad to hear you are taking the Dave Ramsey course!

How is it that Gabe is only making enough to pay the electric bill? If that is the case, he needs to get out there and take a second job at night. Right now he isn't even paying enough for his OWN food and expenses, much less contributing to the raising of your kids. ALL of his pay should go directly to you, since he has already admitted he cannot manage money.

Buy large bags of rice and dried beans. The cheapest way to stretch your food dollar by far. Red beans and rice are still my favorite (daddy was from Louisiana).

Check out the Tightwad Gazette books - she has lots of creative ideas in there that you don't have to be a craft genius to make work.

Teach everybody in the house to use half of all toiletries. Half as much toothpaste, half as much shampoo, half as much laundry detergent, half as much dishwasher soap - we all use too much, half works just as well and is an easy way to cut your expenditures on those things.

Encourage your teenager to get a job. I know jobs are hard for teens to find these days, but if they could find something, they could at least contribute to their own expenses. I worked all through high school - babysitting and later in a drycleaners.

Reconsider your housing options - do you own your home? If so, could you rent it out and move to a cheaper apartment or temporarily in with family? Or could you take in a room mate, or rent storage space in your garage?

I know some of these options are not appealing, but you need to be PROactive, not REactive. For instance, what if you had been PROactive a year ago with your budget and figured out THEN that you couldn't afford cable? You would have saved enough to cover your $400 shortfall by now. Sooo - if you are still short every month, you need to increase your income or lower your expenses - that might mean moving even if you don't want to.

Don't be afraid to lay out to Gabe exactly what you need him to do. I know he's had trouble finding work. What skills does he have? What skills do YOU have? CAn either of you fix things, sew, dog walk, and yes, babysit??? (I know you hate it, but it can't be worse than this stress, right? And nurses and waitresses have a lot of trouble finding evening babysitters.)

Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: kml] #2191183
10/06/11 02:32 PM
10/06/11 02:32 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 9,762
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mishka422 Offline OP
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When I say this, I'm not being maudlin or negative, it's just an unfortunate fact! I have no skills or talents of any marketable kind! Neither does Gabe. We are seriously two sad sacks!!! grin We were talking about it last night trying to come up with skills we had that could be turned into an opportunity for more income. None. Nada. I am a good cook - that's it. I can't bake (except cheesecake). We live in suburbia in a place where more than 50% of the families are made up of one income (high paying jobs and lots of airline pilots) where they don't need dog walkers, babysitters, etc. It's a strange place for sure.

I can't sew with the exception of buttons. There are amusing stories of me trying to hem pants that ended with not being able to get your foot through them.....don't ask! LOL

Just managed to sell one more piece of medical equipment I had for $75. They guy is coming to pick it up tonight. YEA!

Still racking my brain and shaking trees to see what else I can do. ARGH!


T19 M15 S19 XH47 M43
bomb12/4/07
PA5/07
S12/26/07
D final 11/17/08
Back together with no defined R 05/2010
confused....to say the least!!!

Re: When life hands you lemons add alcohol and stir! [Re: mishka422] #2191209
10/06/11 04:08 PM
10/06/11 04:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 10,326
Kansas
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kat727 Offline
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kat727  Offline
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You can cook. I know they have some places around the country where people come together and cook meals for a week. So much better than a bunch of frozen dinners.

Perhaps you can offer that service. They buy the stuff and you help them put it together. Or for a bit more you can just put it together for them. Sounds like a win win. smile

kat


Me-53(and learning!)
S24, S21, D18, D17
Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming. Dory
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