Friday, September 2, 2016

Financial Distress

Financial Distress; typically you hear that term when describing a school, company or business. However, that is where my family is at this point. Since I do about 90% of the spending in our family, I'll take blame for it, but it's here and it's bad.

I mean we're fine. We just have been super dumb about our finances. So here is the thing; on most things I'm super frugal. I mean we grow a ton of our own food, I can a lot, we have chickens for eggs, we don't buy a ton of extra wants. I thought we were doing good.

But I haven't gotten paid since May 15th ( I work for a university) and even though we had put "a little" back for summer, it wasn't near what we needed, so we got behind on stuff, we used credit cards and it's just a mess. A few things popped up that needed fixing, a few medical bills and doctor's visits came around, my middle daughter broke her glasses and we had to pay out of pocket for a new pair, and we just overspent.

You may or may not recall that I'm about 3/4ths of the way finished with my PhD program and we are paying out of pocket for that. We did have enough to pay for that, as we had a separate account set up for it, but that's just an extra expense we have right now. We both though agreed that I'm so close, that if we buckle down and just save that the small amount I'm paying out of pocket is worth it. Thankfully I receive scholarships for most of it.

So on September 1st ( yesterday) the hubs and I chatted about it. Actually it was quite a discussion for quite some time.... and I think we are both very very committed to getting things under control. We laid out every single bill and payment that we have and discussed. We talked about things we are both doing that are not conducive to the goals that we have. We talked about financial behaviors we have that aren't good for us. It was actually very therapeutic.

So here we are. On Day 2 of our journey. The first thing that I think is helpful is that back before July 1st started I opted to start getting paid all 12 months instead of just 9 months. This is the first year that our university has offered that, and although that means my check is smaller each month, I will get one all summer.

Tomorrow I'll write more about "What happened?" also known as " How did we get here?". It's a mess folks.

Others are no doubt dealing with a realization that the debt is overtaking their life, and I welcome you to follow along on our journey. Some of you have gotten out of debt years ago- good for you! Others may never have bitten the debt ridden apple- even better. I think we can all learn from each other!

Happy Homesteading!

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