On Making Goals and a Budget

Greetings from cyberspace! Today I sat down and worked on my financials (something I haven't been really diligent this year) and drew up a rough draft of a budget for next year and then I realized something... what good is a budget if you have do not have an objective or goal you wish to accomplish.  Which got me thinking. What do I really want to accomplish for 2015?  And it has to be something that I have to work on. I mean the 401K and Consolidation Loans are on auto-payment plans. And the personal loan from the credit union is on a semi-automatic payment plan, meaning that I make the payment every four weeks.  But the credit cards - le sigh... I am as bad as HS... I really cannot control my spending... It's pretty pathetic.  Really. I resolve to not use them, and I keep that resolve up for about 3-4 months, and then I get stupid and use them, and only paying the minimum. Dave Ramsey is right about one thing. Credit cards are evil. They are not your friend. They make a mockery of your good intentions. And they don't care if they ruin you financially. I have been trying to become debt free what it feels like forever, and I feel like I have not gotten any traction, but then again, I have not really not put any effort this year. I have been lying to myself and not being honest with myself. So, in making goals for next year, I will start small and work my way up. And have monthly goals with action items. I did that once, and it kept me on track. Time to go back to old school methods. Also, back to blogging. I enjoy writing. It helped me sort my thoughts out and review my progress. But more importantly, I need to include God in my plans. I have not been really good at that. Time to get back to that as well.

Thanks for reading my rambling thoughts.

:) Rhitter


Being Independent

Greetings from cyberspace! Over the past few days, I have been reflecting on my curent situation. I know that I have really lost sight of some of my financial goals, and a lot of that has to do with Buttercup and other factors. Part of it is that I really have not had any "Rhitter" time on the weekends. I have been for lack of a better term, tagging along with my cousin.  Don't get me wrong, I love my cousin. She is truly special. However, there are times I just need to be alone and think. This weekend is one of those. So, today I decided to take a day off from being a 'family' person and spend some time for myself. Be independant, and I need to start being more independent.  Here are the things that I am changing.

Laundry: I have told the household that Saturday is the optimal day for me to do my laundry, but my cousin's daughter (the one with the baby) started laundry before I got a chance to do mine. I think from this point forward, even though it will cost money, I will be going to the laundromat to do mine. If a schedule cannot be adhered to, then I will simply take myself out of the equation. So I gathered up all my laundry and went to the laundry mat. I can use the time to read, blog and do what I want for a few hours.

Food: Generally, my cousin will have a plate for me when I get home. However, I have put so much weight on that it is really unhealthy. So, going forward, I will plan my own meals. There is fridge in the gararage and I can store my food there.  There are some item that will be commonly shared, such as milk, coffee, bread, eggs, but other items, time for me to plan my own menus.

Exercise: I have been so lazy in this area, which attributes to my weight gain. I have a gym membership, I just have not used it like I should and I am wasting money.  Honestly, I just need to get up early in the morning and go. Just do it. When I went, I felt much better. about myself.

Social Life: I really don't have one, but I did find a Book Club to join. And maybe I will find other groups to meet. I just need to get out there and don't be scared. There are some free things to do, and I should take advantage of it.

The one thing that I have been doing great on my own is my walk with God. I have been keeping up with my devotionals and being in the word. It has made my life much better. Much calmer. I can feel it in my everday life the changes occuring in my life. And I love it. It has even helped my relationship with my daughter, for which I am eternally grateful. Honestly, I think that this year, 2014 was the year that God brought chaos into my life and taught me to count on Him to guide me through it. And with this realization, 2015 looks to be a much better year.  I look forward to it.  And I thank God for His eternal love, mercy and grace.


I am NOT an ATM

Greetings from cyberspace! Well, it has been little over a year since I broke it off with the Ex. As I look back, it was one of the best decisions that I made.  Financially I am still tied to him regarding the vehicles (still working on getting those out of my name). Emotionally, I am starting heal. He has a new girlfriend, and they go do things like I had wanted during our time together, which makes me a little angry, but then again, he was very abusive when he did not get his way, and he is still pretty much selfish. Guess he won't ever change. Gratefully he has been good about my stuff still being there. I had every intention of getting a little storage unit to store my stuff, but I had to pay almost $1,000 on car repairs (brakes and power steering pump) so that plan was a bust. And he wanted me to cover the truck payment so he could have money to go camping this weekend with his new girlfriend.  I am NOT an ATM!!! Don't worry... he paid it.  But he was not happy that I didn't help him. Ummm... NO!

Buttercup decided that she is going to stay in Missouri. She got a new job, starting on Tuesday. I have been holding firm regarding money. She has a prepaid Straigh Talk phone, which I pay for. However, I will no longer give her the money to get the phone card. I made her get an online account, and then I set up an autofill. Other than the small amount I put in her account, that is all she gets from me.  I am NOT an ATM!!!! 

Now I have to deal with Buttercup's father. The account in which I place the spousal support (yeah, don't get me started on that) is in the negative... and it has been in the negative for a while. And if he does not take care of it, they will take money from MY account. Grrrrrrrr... And he still owes me money for Buttercup's car (which she totaled).  Either way, I am going to end up paying for this. And he won't take my calls or respond to my texts.  Grrrr.... I am NOT an ATM!!!!

People.... get a handle on your finances. I am NOT your personal ATM!


The Side Effect of Enabling My Daughter

Greetings from cyberspace! As most of you know that I have a difficult relationship with my daughter. She is my only child and I have made some terrible mistakes and done her no justice in the manner I have raised her. I have indulged her to a point of being an enabler.  This became extremely evident when I took a hard look at my spending, and guess where most of my money or credit card charges have gone towards...??  It went toward 'rescuing' my daughter. However, what I thought was my trying to help her, just enabled her.  I was and am not strong enough right now to say 'No' to her, and part of it was my trying to make up for all my sins in raising her. It finally caught up to her. She was on her way back to Missouri to deal with her legal issues (she had gotten several tickets...) and she rolled her car.  (Yes, she is okay) But my ignorant daughter had a traveling companion, and he was a minor.  She could have gone to jail, but fortunately the family is not going to press charges because the young man admitted that he willingly left with her. And then my daughter found out she was pregnant (by someone she had just met). This week I had to spend about $1,000 for car repairs (which I had to use my credit card) and I would not have had to IF I had not spent my emergency funds on Buttercup. And while I was going to the ordeal of my getting my car repaired, Buttercup called me asking me to co-sign for a car loan. I was flabbergasted.  And she thinks she may be miscarrying and there is so much else that I am still having trouble wrapping my head around this. So for now, I have to NOT talk to her for awhile. She needs to set things right with her father, her sister, me and more importantly God.  If I don't take these actions, I will be in debt forever possibly bankrupt.  That is not an option or choice for me. It breaks my heart, but this is how it must be.  And the same for all other aspects in my life. Hard choices, but necessary.


Going Bust on My Financial Goals

Greetings from cyberspace! This year had so much promise for me financially and then something happened. I fell off the wagon and just went CRAZY! And now I am back into credit card debt.  Grrrr.. so not what I wanted.  Grrrrr.... So I am calling this year a financial bust. I can't blame anyone but myself. I realized the other day that I need to grow a pair and learn to say no. I had this problem with the Ex (both of them), with Buttercup and to some point my cousin. The difference between these people my cousin does not ask. I am too generous, and that is problem for me. I am generous to a fault. I am not a good stewardship of my money. For if I were, I would be out of debt by now. I have been doing some thinking and realized that I need do a type of fiscal fast. There is a book that I found that has budgeting based on Biblical foundations. Nothing else is working. I can't do this on my own anymore. So that is where I am.


And This is the Price We Pay

Greetings from cyberspace! I have been dealing with Buttercup being here in California and it has been an interesting time. The biggest challenge has been her sleeping arrangements. She has not had a place to stay. Last night she slept in her car. Yes, you heard that correctly. Being that I live in my cousin's house, and it is already crowded and she is overwhelmed right now with having HER adult children living there, I could not burden her more with having Buttercup there.  But then again, Buttercup has not made the best choices of recent, so as someone mentioned, she is reaping what she sowed. But as mother, it is difficult just to stand by. I have been praying for her, praying for the situation. Tonight she will have a safe place. A former neighbor in the complex my daughter and I lived found out her situation and said she could stay there as long as needed. Praise God for His mercy. Now it is my turn. I've been looking at apartments, and I keep getting led to going back to that complex, and a feeling that I should have never left. I would like to move closer to work, but even with the cost of less gas does not balance out, so for now, I am looking at staying in the same area, which is okay. I can still carpool with my co-worker, thus saving gas. I can remain at my church.  I can stay close to my cousin. So, with that being said I think back about when I got back together with the Ex and had to break my lease, and I had to pay that off.  Charming! And I will have to start over, setting up.. utilities, renters insurance, stuff for the house. Yeah.. the price I am paying for my stupidity.  However, this time, I belong to a church that actually cares and will put the word out to help. And I have great co-workers that I am sure will put out the word. If anything I am learning in the process is to rely on God for all provisions. He has blessed in so many ways recently, and I feel so humble and grateful for them. So other changes that has occurred is how I view my finances.  Yes, I am debt.  Deep debt. Again. But it is not unmanageable. It just means that when I am on my own, the budget will be bare bones. And I will take a page out of Judy's book. Monthly budget meetings. And use the 'jar' method to manage the household expenses. This will also provide an opportunity to teach Buttercup better money management skills. This is the price we pay for not being faithful and dlligent to our budgets, which results in having debt run amuck again. Like Jane mention, take care of the personal goals, and the rest will fall in place. Great advice and thank you dear Jane. And so I have paid a price for my stupidity, but I have learned some valueable lessons. And gained some awesome friends.

Well, that is all for today.  Have a wonderful day. U-rah! - Rhitter


Monnday Morning Musings

Greetings from cyberspace! First of all, a praise report that our beloved Sharon came thru surgery and continued lifting her up to God for a clean path report.  Hugs and prayers for you! Second praise report, Buttercup is starting to realize that the world does not evolve around her. Third praise report the 52 in San Diego was clear this morning (I'm currently on that road... LOL)

This weekend was rather interesting. Buttercup came to spend the day with me on Saturday and came with me to church. I was sorry that the senior Pastor was still on vacation, but I did introduce her to the college Pastor and a few other members of the church. And she was truly receptive to the message. However, it was a very expensive weekend as I made good on a birthday gifts for my cousin's kids.  There was an awesome sale at Tilly's and so I got the kids some clothes. It is something I was glad to do. I also filled up my daughter's gas tank, put some gas in my cousin's car and filled up my own vehicle. Le sigh... but honestly, I am not really worried about it.  I am learning to place my trust into God to provide discernment and peace when it comes to my finances. It is not easy, because it has been revealed to me that I have enabled Buttercup way too much and to some extent, my cousin. So, it has come to this. Each financial decision will need to be carefully thought about, and that includes my budget and so forth.  I can honestly say that 2014 was pretty much a bust on a lot of my financial goals, but a win on some personal goals, which I will save for another post.

So - let's raise up our coffee mugs and venture forth!

U-rah! - Rhitter