I hope I didn’t make you feel defensive. I’m just throwing out ideas willy-nilly.
Sounds like you’re in a really tough spot and doing the best you can. It also sounds like you’re looking for solutions. And honestly, that’s how you’ll get out of this depressing mess. Just stay strong, stay on point, and you’ll start to pull out and start to see results.
Since you have cable, here’s something to think about. Dave Ramsey has a daily TV show. Suze Orman has a show on Saturday nights. They also both have written books. What I did when I started along the road to debt freedom was read everything I could borrow from the library. Mostly for inspiration and moral support if nothing else. Because there are two things you need to seriously cement in your brain.
1) You’re not alone–there are so many of us with you in this boat that it’s not even funny. So lean. Lean hard if you need to. We’ll all be there.
2) You can do this. You can figure out a plan to get yourself out of this situation. Whether that’s calling up your creditors or simply getting on a plan that puts you a little closer to the black every month, you CAN do this. Because plenty of people who aren’t as smart as you have. And with everything you have going in your life, the one thing you definitely have is sheer determination to power ahead.
So that’s it. Not step by step solutions. But hopefully a little bit of moral support. Because, guess what, I’m in debt too. And I can only do so many things to get out of it. And today, I spent $1500 to find out that my sick pet was unsaveable and so after spending $1500, I still have one less pet. So I will not reach my goal. But that’s okay. Every day, the world tries to beat you down. Your job is to rise above it. And frankly, from what you’ve said, you’ve done that.
You have some good ideas. I don’t have a way to record the shows which are often on late. I have to get up about 4 am so staying up past 9 at night is not an option unless i have the next day off. I work weekends. I’ve also taken the plunge and registered for Ramsey’s financial peace class at a nearby church. It’s also the first time a session has been in a church close enough for me to attend easily.
Because my ex is a jerk I’m stuck paying for the vehicle we bought together during our marriage. To stop being driven into bankruptcy by garnishment I make monthly payments, which the judge set at the amount he felt that I could pay. My ex is also supposed to pay child support but I haven’t gotten a penny in the last year. To be honest, I’ve not heard from or seen him in about a year which doesn’t bother me any.
Getting a second job isn’t as easy as you make it sound. Why? Besides having a job with health insurance I also go to college full time. Between work, classes, homework, studying, my kids, the housework, and sleeping I just don’t have any spare time.
My furniture all came from yard sales and stuff that my dad bought from abandoned storage units. Nothing is worth more than $5. The only valuable thing I own is my laptop, which I use for my classes to do assignments, research, and take notes. I print stuff at the college because it’s free there or I print at the public library for 10 cents a page. I’ve also got a quicken program installed to keep track of my checking account, savings account, and credit card. Without the laptop I’d have to drive to the college nearly every day to use the computers there and that would double if not triple how much I spent on gas.
Speaking of gas, my car is 18 years old and is failing fast. It has transmission fluid, oil, and coolant leaks along with some bad parts outside the engine that bang and knock. In the last year it’s been down for repairs 7 or 8 times. I’m hoping to use my tax refund to replace it. There’s all kinds of cars in this area less than 10 years old and for $1500 to $2500. My mechanic will check them over for either $45 or $75. The higher price is for him having to hook up his computer and the cheaper one is for just checking the vehicle over.
There’s no way I could change my job. I work at stocking in a grocery store and get all the hours they can give. My manager is given so many hours to use and can’t go over that. Corporate rules. She has to spread the hours out so that there’s enough people working during each shift. The job also comes with a 401k, union dues, and health insurance which I pay some toward. Can’t drop the insurance because I’d really be in trouble if I got sick or hurt. I also pay a couple of dollars per week for a short term disability in case I can’t work for a long period of time. Being a single parent I’m scared to not have that.
I am trying to use my cookbooks (also mostly from those storage units) to make more things from scratch here at home.