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


The Prodigal Child

Greetings from cyberspace! For those regular followers, you know of my struggles with Buttercup. My daughter has significant challenges with boundaries. Part of it is due to that as a parent, I did not set proper boundaries. And it has come back to bite me in the proverbial behind. And because of my choices, ie the Ex, it has not helped. As you know, she just hopped in her car and drove out here. Well, she is here, but she really did not have any type of plan. At first, she said, I am going to do this on my own, and was rude and disrespectul to me. Well, this momma finally stood up and set that boundary. We were having lunch on Monday, and I could not stand it anymore and told her if she was going to continue to behave this way, she could leave. She walked away, and I had to sit there and let her go. And I had to NOT reach out to her. I had to wait for her. And pray. For I knew that she was not making good choices. It was the hardest thing to do. Guess what.. I did it. She reached out to me yesterday, and said sorry. And admitted she was wrong. And she was going to make things right. So what does this mean for us. It means that I will more than likely move out of my cousin's home into my own place. However, there will be boundaries set, a contract. I have been praying for wisdom and guidance, and He has spoken to me thru not just one but four people who have counseled me that if this is the direction I am planning, is to have a contract. This first was my manager. She spoke of this when I first told her about Buttercup's arrival. The second was my coworker that I carpool with after I told her of yesterday's visit. The third was the woman from church that I have been meeting with for a bible study (we are going thru Ephisians) and finally, although not in person, but Stormie Omartian's book on Praying Parents for Adult Children. I think that God is definitely sending a message to me. Also, my devotionals have been geared to trusting in the Lord for all things. My most fervent prayer has been for my daughter to realize that even though she is an adult, she is not prepared to be on her own. Financially, mentally or emotionally. But I was not ready to be there for her. I had to walk thru the fire (the Ex and other stuff) to be the parent she needs me to be. I feel, as long as I trust in the Lord, I can be that parent.  So where does this leave me financially. First thing, I need to look at my expenses and determine how much can I afford. Even though she said she would help out, that would mean she would need to get a job, so I can't really count on her financial contributing. And then there is location. 
Yes, a lot to think of and consider.

And now, to answer some questions and respond to comments made on previous posts:

To the comments about the Ex - I will be getting my stuff out by the end of the month. Yes, my cousin will be going with me to help. Yes, I will be cancelling the Sirius Radio as well as some other items (which is part of looking at my outgoing expenses). Regaring the truck/trailer loans - I am going to appeal to his mother to help come up with a solution.

To the comments about the trip to Chicago - I don't ANY coat none whatsoever, so I will need one.  It does not get really cold here, but I would like to have one anyway for the winter months. I can layer clothes (growing up in Big Bear taught me that).

And to HS - Dude, you should know by now how much I hate the credit card game and their stupid freaknig krules, but I play nice because I don't like the alternative. I just hate that society revers that stupid number.

Wel that is all for now.  Happy Friday, and everyone have a safe weekend!

U-rah! - Rhitter


Potential Roadtrip

Greetings from cyberspace! Yesterday at working while planning for our next development cycle, there was talk about going someone from the team going to Chicago next month to attend the annual American Medical Association Symposium for CPT (yes... I am nerd) and yours truly is the lucky candidate.  Fun! Why.. because I do not have a decent coat or warm clothes.  Am I going to rush to the store and buy something just because I might go.  In the event I do go, I will be smart and get the best bargain.  There is a Burlington Coat Factory where I live, so I will check there first. I would go to Wal-Mart, but their quality is not the greatest.  Again, this is an 'IF', not a definite. Now, would I like to go.. YES! I happen to like visiting Chicago. It has a distinct vibe from souther California, and the food... Yummy!! So if I go... cool! And if not... maybe next year... but still... cool.


And the Pattern Continues

Greetings from cyberspace! Yesterday I had to meet with the Ex regarding bills, ie, truck payment. We were talking about the satellite radio, which is due this month, and he mentioned that his new girlfriend has the satellite radio, and he was thinking of switching from my account to hers.  Hmph! Wow, this is sounding familiar. And then he mentioned that he does more for her than she does for him,  Example, he detailed out her SUV (which she is selling) and her car (which she just recently bought from her sister) and he mentioned that while he was working on that, she didn't help out and do the floors in the house. Mmmmmm.... I can see where this is going. This was bone of contention between us that he felt the floor needed to be done more than once a week. I admit, yes, it could have been, but I was not about to spend ALL my precious time being 'Cinderella'. So, why do I mention this in a personal finance blog? To remind myself why I left this man. I can see the pattern starting to repeat. This first month is great but then he starts to get discontent and the bloom wears off. Welcome to being in a relationship with 'Angry Man'! Yes, I am glad to be free of THAT stress. I still have the stress of worrying about the truck payment and trailer payment, so I continue to pray (yes, you read that right) that he will be able to get loans in HIS name and so I can be free of worry. As it stands, I still need to the rest of my stuff and place it in storage, but I just want to NOT have SANY excuse to go over there. Because honestly, our talk yesterday felt a little to comfortable and easy. No - I cannot nor will not go backwards. It would just completely destroy all that I have worked towards in the past year. Because stress is the number one weapon that debt uses to get us to spend more.  So sneaky.. vile... corruptable. But stress is unavoidable. It is just how we respond to it whether we let debt use it or not. For me, I am working very hard to keep that weapon away from debt. Oh yes.. battle gear has been aired out and now I just need to polish it.


That Magic Little Number

Greetings from cyberspace! The one nice perk of having a Discover card is that I get to see my FICO score.  Ah yes, the little number that denotes our credit worthiness. If it is too low, we cry rivers. If it high, we are bombarded by TONS of credit offers. You see, I think that little number has way too much power.  We all covet that high number.  It dictates the terms of a loan. It dicatates what the APR would be on that nice new credit card so and so bank is offering you. There is no human involvment. Just a number. A simple number. How is it that we as a society has idolized that number, thus breaking one of the Ten Commandments? Funny how that happens. One generally would not think of the number as an idol, but when it becomes more important, than.. oh I don't know... LIFE... it has too much power. I am pleasantly surprised that my number is pretty decent (low 700's), but it is nothing. It just says I've been good at playing 'their' game. Following the rules. Aghhh... how disturbing. How very responsible of me. I must be a good person to have such a wonderful number. To be honest, it is just a number. It does not define me. It does define my behavior, but not me as a person. I am defined by my faith. Now, if I were going to pay attention to a number, it would be something like the chapter and verse of my favorite scripture. Or the numbers of times I pray daily to help bring wisdom and discernment to my circumstances. Not a number that some agency has decided to assign to my financial behavior or worthiness. There is only One that is worthy of such praise. And there is no number - EVER - that can define Him.


Here We Go Again

Greetings from cyberspace!  If there is one thing I hate about being in debt is feeling like I lost my sobreity.  Meaning I do great for a while.  I stay on track, and be diligent, and then I start back sliding saying I can catch up.  And then BAM!! We are back in debt again.  Sigh. Debt is truly a viscious cycle. Lather, rinse, repeat,  Pay it down, keep it down, charge it up... over and over and over again.  Bleh!  So here we again.  I feel like I am never going to get to Planet Debt Free. Feel like I've lost focus.  And where did I lose focus... when I stopped blogging regularly.  And there is really no excuse.  I mean if the computer is not available, I can use my iPad. I have a keyboard to make it easier to type.  In fact, I am writing this post, while I am riding to work. I just need to reprioirtize my daily schedule. One of the other things that I have let go on the wayside is my health.  I've put on 18 lbs, and I feel ugh.  There are a few things that I need to get in line so I can have a balanced life.  Because if I continue at this pace, I am going to drop dead of a heart attack (yes, I am a class Type A),  I remember when I would set up monthly goals, and I did pretty good.  But honestly, I need to do this on a daily basis. I truly need a more structured plan so I can accomplish my goals.  That was made very evident when I was dealing with the stress of Buttercup driving out here to California.  (Oh, that will be the focus of my next post, for we have almost arrived at work).  So I close this out saying that I am back.  And to be honest, I missed the blogging. It helps free my mind, provides an outlet in addition to prayer. So I will see all of you around the blogosphere.  

U-rah! - Rhitter