Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hitting Bottom

It's time to start digging.
Photo by Clare Bloomfield

The bottom looks different for everyone.  Here's our bottom:

We've (so far) managed to keep a roof over our heads, but that could change any day.  In June, I had to stop working because our son has high-functioning autism and was requiring far too many special services.  I now write freelance for extra money, but it's nowhere to the point where I can reliably pay bills with it.  Gav is working at a job he's overqualified for, but it's a job, right?

Last Friday, the managers of our apartment complex showed up at the door, asking for the rent or the keys.  To back up a bit -- we've been hanging on by our fingernails since early September when our son was hospitalized. At the time we took out a payday loan to cover our increased expenses (I promise you will get a post on why you should NEVER NEVER NEVER use payday loans).  We had been hanging in there, making our payments, when they suddenly decided that we were in default (we were not, by the way), reached into Gav's bank account and yoinked out the rest of the money.  This knocked Gav severely overdrawn and set the stage for the crises down the road.

Since we obviously need a roof over our heads, we called the people we knew who were in a position to help.  I called my mom and my sister and Gav called his mom.  We've managed to pay about $1400 of what we owe, but I'm having trouble cashing the check from my mom. They haven't come after us, yet.  Hopefully tomorrow will be the big day.

As if to drive the point home, Gav's mom came by with a ton of groceries for us as well.  We had just done our grocery shopping the day before, but she brought by three whole frozen chickens, spaghetti, sauce, canned soup and noodles, boxes of no-prep meals... our cupboards look like we visited the food bank (a post coming about how poor often equals fat).  I'm not complaining, but it's primarily stuff I try to avoid -- lots of fat and sodium, highly processed stuff.

I cashed in my retirement from my old job and we are sitting on pins and needles until it turns up.  It's scheduled to get here November 2, and we'll be paying everyone back out of it, and playing catch-up with all the rest of our bills.  We were hoping it would help give the kids a nice holiday, but I don't know if that's going to happen. It's more important to bring the bills current, since we are being creamed with late fees.

So that's where we're at right now.  Counting the days until the retirement comes in, hoping we don't get evicted in the meantime.  Please join us as we work to fix this situation and provide better lives for our kids.  We would love it if you would talk to us about your own journeys.  We all have something to teach someone else, and the more people involved in this conversation, the more we can join forces to fight our debt.



  1. Hey there-Don't freak out. I'm a real person. Hi. I'm a freelance writer and I teach cooking classes (Proof: in Iowa. Two things for you to check out(because you are a Mom and a writer, like me)
    I write for these folks. Scott Yates is the owner and he's in Boulder/Denver. They actually pay you. Might be a nice way to pad the bank account a bit. Also, I used to teach Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class. I think these ideas will help you.
    There's probably a class in your area. If you are even a little bit interested, please give it a try. At least read through the "baby steps" on the website. Keep on Keepin' on. :)

  2. Props for sharing, A'mee. It's hard to do, because, frankly, a lot of people just don't get it. I could write paragraphs and paragraphs and overwhelm your comment section. I'll just say that I understand and msg you on G+.