March 21, 2011,
C.P. asks from Albuquerque, NM on March 21, 2011
Need to Vent: Seeking Input, Advice, Share Your Story
The past ~2 months have been one negative thing after another and I'm starting to really feel the effects of it all!
First off, in December, we put our condo up for rent (after 1 year on the market and only 1 lousy offer) and moved in with my parents to save up money for a down payment on a new house. Expected timeline: approximately 6 months. Not a big deal, even though my parents tend to drive us crazy and we're living like college kids (me, dh, & dd stuffed in OUR room--2 beds, TV, dresser, etc) because my dad doesn't like to have HIS space "invaded."
There we were in February, about 1/4 of the way saved up (right on track) when I finally got around to doing our taxes. Only to find out that my *wonderful* husband claimed 3 on his W4 (which I also claim 3) and we now owe 2k in taxes (pretty much all the money we've saved for the down payment)! I count my blessings that we do have that money set aside, otherwise, we'd be struggling to come up with it. On top of that, we're having issues with his "new" insurance and our "old" insurance which is now his secondary--taking back payments for past doctor's visits only 1 month before the next calendar year, leaving us very little time to try to collect all the paperwork to file the primary/secondary insurances. I'm still trying to figure out if we're going to end up paying (and how much) for that mess...
My little girl is in a wonderful daycare and we love her teachers, but the cost really puts a huge dent in our monthly income. Eventually (sooner, rather than later), we do want to have another baby (or 2?) but there is NO WAY we could afford to pay for daycare! I know that I could find a good place that is much cheaper for her (especially now that she's 2), but she's been at this place since she was 9 weeks old and we really love it! It's so convenient to my work and she actually enjoys going there (talks about her teachers & friends all the time).
The program that my dh is in at work requires him to complete 2.5 more years of work (and Part-time school) before he gets to the highest level (really good pay), so it would most likely come down to me quitting my job to be a SAHM. That's hard because I do enjoy my job and went to school (multiple degrees) to be in a job like this. I also think I'd go crazy being 'stuck at home" all day!! (I get very small doses of this on the days we have to stay home because she's sick--which have been quite a few these past 2 months!)
On the job front, I missed a HUGE opportunity (a promotion) because I've been so distracted by everything else... My employer (government) has been on a 3 year pay-freeze which means I have not gotten any increase in my income in yes, that's right THREE YEARS! So, this promotion would've been HUGE for me, especially since I pretty much already do that job description, too! It's my fault for not being more pro-active, but I guess I also expected a little "notification" about the job posting since I am a good employee and not "actively seeking employment" (i.e. not surfing the website looking for a new job). I've since been told that "everybody has been asking" why I didn't apply and that I would've surpassed all of the other applicants who were considered (including the one who has been chosen--and should be starting in a couple of weeks). Thanks, but that really doesn't make me feel any better about the situation.
Through all of this, I've stopped to count my blessings many times: Having a kind and supportive husband, a beautiful healthy little girl, parents who (mostly) don't mind that we're staying with them, a tenant who pays his rent on time, a good job that is secure and pays decent, a car that is reliable, my health, good friends, and so much more...
But, at some point Enough Is Enough! When do I get a break? I don't know what I expect from all of you wonderful mama's I just needed to get that off my chest. If you have any words of advice, input, or want to share your story, please do!
So What Happened?™
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Pretty much what you all said (and what I already know) is that I need to just "put on my big girl panties" and get over it! I am so fortunate to be where I am, and to have my happy healthy family. It's really not like me to be so affected by these kinds of things--I'm much more "glass half-full" and cheerful than how this sounded. We have our own reasons for doing what we're doing (renting out our condo, living with family, wanting another baby) and that's personal. As for Dave Ramsey, we've read the book and followed his plan--that's how we paid off our car & credit cards and bought our first house (the condo)!
Again, thank you!
B.. answers from Dallas on March 21, 2011
. At the bottom of your post you wrote out all your blessings and I thought, "What in the world does she mean by, when is enough, enough?"
You have every blessing a person could ask for. Stop complaining and feel very blessed you aren't in the position of the vast majority of Americans
If you need a reminder of how thankful and blessed you should feel, turn on the news. Look at the country and world around you. Your life IS A BREAK.
4 moms found this helpful
R.M. answers from Topeka on March 21, 2011
DO you feel better now that you have gotten all of this written and vented a little? My guess is that is what you really need to do..you just need someone to "listen" and understand how frustrating things can be in life.
You are blessed that you have your condo rented...my daughter, who is currently teaching college at a major university in the south...had to pay the house payments on her condo for almost 6 months before she finally got it rented. It is still costing her about $100 a month more than the rent but at least she is getting the lions share of it paid!!
You are also blessed that your parents are willing to let you come home and live with them for what may be an extended period of time...so that you can save some money to find a better place to live. We have had grown children come home to live for periods of time and I can tell you that it comes with stress and different ideas of how to do things...so be aware of that and tread carefully!!
As to the job promotion..you already know that you goofed and didn't keep an eye on the job postings. Govt. positions have to posted for all to see for a certain period of time...so hopefully you will know when the NEXT job opportunity comes along!!!
You are right to say that you need to count your blessings...keep a positive attitude and keep reminding yourself how much better off you are than a lot of young couples in this country of ours.
Concentrate on the positive things and just take one day at a time.
4 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from St. Louis on March 21, 2011
I think the other posters have really nailed it: you are where you are.....due to your own actions (or lack of)....especially with that missed job offer & tax problems.
It amazes me that you feel challenged instead of thankful - when you hold multiple degrees & have an excellent job! So many college graduates are flippin' burgers & losing their homes due to the economy. Many companies have had salary freezes....my DH has had 2 raises in 11 years! & the health insurance has increased yearly....ranging from 8-24% each year. Our monthly health insurance now costs more than our mortgage payment!
Now for the advice: really buckle down on the savings end of your finances. Switch your daughter to a cheaper daycare, & make all other necessary cuts. Since you work for the govt, how about carpooling? Any other areas where you could possibly cut-back?
& I'd like to address one more issue: what was wrong with your condo? How does living like college students/trying to save $$ get you into a new home.....if the existing one doesn't sell? If your income is running that close, then I seriously doubt that you would be approved for another loan! I would definitely consider moving back into the condo....wait for a better market .....& then try to sell when life is more settled. Peace.
3 moms found this helpful
J.B. answers from Los Angeles on March 21, 2011
we are in that predicament too. i got pregnant with my daughter we asked to move into my husbands parents home. my inlaws make us feel like junk because the house is now cluttered because we have 2 homes worth of things in the house. i get that but theres no where we can put our things since we closed our storage unit to save 50 a month. my inlaws have given us a hard 4 years because their 2nd son is moved out and on his own (note he has no kids or anything so its easier for him). we just remind them that we are waiting to pay off my husbands car off (that is finished this nov.).
on the up side with us we lucky to be able to have our daughter in her own room even if its the size of a large closet.
so all i guess i can really say is hang in there girl. take it in stride it will be over soon. and if you can jump on the first place that comes your way even if it means top ramen for dinner.
2 moms found this helpful
G.R. answers from San Diego on March 21, 2011
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on March 21, 2011
Things are tough all over.
I'll tell you this, the best position to be "in" is one where you don't need a "break" to find you. We make our own breaks.
I'm not trying to be critical but the tax situation is your own doing, insurance is always a p.i.t.a, living with parents is a pressure cooker. You said you were too distracted to see the job posting.
Sounds like you need to take CONTROL!
Not to sound like a commercial, but the Dave Ramsay PLan can get you on-track to your goals.
IMO, you, hubs & dd need to get yourselves a CHEAP apartment (Your OWN space so you won't be invading anyone) and learn to live on less than you make, get a budget together, pare down to bare necessities, and GET IT DONE. Not sexy or exciting, but it woks.
It helped us. We're debt free, including our house and I can comfortably work PT, by choice.
If you have vehicle payments--get rid of them! If you have credit card debt--pay it off!
Maybe take advantage of being with mom & dad for babysitting & get an extra job to speed the process.
I think the worst thing you could do right now is to have another (or more!) child.
Take action based on what you need to do here & now, not "down the road when hubby 'might' get the really good pay--in this economy--nothing is a given. We ALL need to look out for our own families!
I know you're frustrated, but you can work out of this. And Dave Ramsay can help. You can get his book at the library for FREE to get going. Good luck!
2 moms found this helpful
R.M. answers from Los Angeles on March 21, 2011
I feel you mama!!! Money is the biggest stressor, I feel like the last 6 months have been gobs of money down the toilet in our house too... We got into a minor car accident almost a year ago and didn't think it was a huge deal as we couldn't see any damage on our car...well months down the road something that had been bent and rubbing against our radiator busted a hole in it, so not only the deductable but now our insurance shot up, then my husband had to drop $1,000 on an exam that should *hopefully* get him a promotion down the road (which we were under the impression that it was coming MUCH sooner so it didn't seem like a big deal but now still waiting patiently with fingers and toes crossed), my wallet got stolen with a couple hundred bucks in it, several gift cards, and everything else normally in a wallet that isn't expensive but a PAIN to replace... the conversion we were doing in our garage magically turned from a 3K project into a 5K one, my husband didn't get a parking permit at school (for SOME reason) so we got popped for that, and then I just got my first speeding ticket (first of any ticket actually) 3 days ago so now I get to look forward to that. And by the way we had paid our 30K (yes thats a 30) in credit card debt down to 14K last year and now it is racking back up with all of these stupid expenses and we have no savings left to draw on besides about 6K in stocks that we refuse to touch. Amidst that our family seems to have had a "sick" winter this year, consisting of LONG colds/flu and 2 weeks ago 3 kids and myself with pink eye. BUT... each day, I try to remember the little things that ARE good and I REALLY try to live by the advice of the book "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff," and try to ask myself if what I am stressing on is truly "important" in the grand scheme of life. Yes, I am hoping and PRAYING my hubby's promo comes through and hope to be successful in the pre-k I am looking to start (hence the garage conversion) so that we can finally not stress on money but I always tell myself it could be SO much worse. My kids have clothes, toys, food and everything they need and so do my husband and I. Sure there are things we all WANT but certainly don't need. You will get through this patch and things will turn around I promise!! :) :)
1 mom found this helpful
J.C. answers from Rockford on March 21, 2011
Your blessings say it all. Look at things from that angle. Many women wish they had a kind and supportive husband. Right now so many parents are grieving and desparate at having a sick or dying child. You have parents who care. Your tenant pays rent on time - that is a huge thing in this economy! You have a government job -millions would trade places with you right now! You have A car - so many have no car. You have good health - one of the biggest blessings of all that many would be jealous of. You have a support system and good friends. And those are only the blessings you listed! Some of your problems are in your control and are a result of things you or hubby have done. So many people out there are at the mercy of horrible things beyond their control and are so much worse off than you. I do not mean to minimize your problems, because they are real for you, I just want you to see things in perspective and from an outside point of view based on what you wrote. You have all the right elements in place, you just need time, a plan, and some forethought to find your "break."
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