When dh lost his job 4 years ago when I joined this group our debt and our standard of living was high. Dh was a project manager for a large construction and I was a mom with a part time job at the YMCA just for the membership.
In our area, and even a 75 mile radius out there were no jobs except labor jobs in the construction industry. Dh’s body really couldn’t do that anymore after years of having thinking not labor jobs and even if he could mid 50s is not the age of hiring laborers.
So we invested his severance in a business he had dreamed of for years, selling refurbished laptops and repair. We started out at the flea market in another town and at 2 1/2 years our business had hit its stride. It by no means gave us what we were making, we had to turn one of the vehicles back in and settle on a couple credit cards. We canceled cable, grew a garden, got pay as you go phones… and just when we thought all was clear and we could start really moving ahead with the dr plan, the flea market went under giving businesses 16 days to find new places. We were fortunate to have a [place… but the rent was twice as much and in a different town. It was like starting over There were absolutely NO frills , no nothing, ds was starting his jr year in college after going to the local community college…my inlaws stepped in and helped with last semesters tuition.. Christmas was hand made, lots of things didn’t make the cut for the holidays…. so here we are… 2014…
Dh just finished up all the tax paperwork….gross…46,000…. net 17,000.. Yes, last year, we lived off 17,000. There are a couple of credit cards I applied and received right before ds went to school from Target and Kohls so I could get his clothes and a comforter etc for his dorm. He used his money he had saved from working for books and gas and phone so we didn’t have to send him $$ during the semester. Foolish to get credit cards… but I did… BUT they are almost both paid off ( under 150.00 on each), the only bills we have are insurance, our flip phones, internet/land line, electric ( which by hanging out clothes and using space heaters only in the rooms we need is below 200.00 each month) and 346.00 for 4 /12 acres of land that we bought 16 years ago and will be paid off in 4 years adjoining our property that is paid for. We maintain our car, we eat from scratch, we continue to build our gardens, this year I am getting a jump start from Swagbucks for gifts and extras . We also were just able to make an 800.00 payment to ds college for this coming semester and he worked over break and is using his Christmas money for books.
The reason I felt poor… is because we are poor! But because we had settled in to DR before all this, creditors are not threatening us, nothing is being taken away, ds should get more Pell Grant and state money because of our income for this year int he fall , we eat well, gardening and hanging clothes, mending and making do take time that I thought at this stage of my life would be a lot simpler, but I HAVE time, and I have health , and I have knowledge, a folks in the area are learning we are there and do work with integrity so I know 2014 will be better.
Private Physicians Health Care sent a letter saying that our health insurance will be 1900.00 a month in March… so we are going with catastrophic care with Samaritans ministries, 246.00 a month for the three of us. That will be an added bill come March.
But we did it… we survived, we enjoyed free concerts, day trips, the library, working on Christmas and homestead projects together, mystery shops ( thank you Jan) for free dinners.
So, thank you all for being cheerleaders this year, for being friends, and lets hope 2014 that ER fund can build back up and we an have a bit more breathing room…
…I still can’t believe we amde it with so little this year!~ I’m kinda proud