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  • Living Like No One Else is a safe place to get help with your personal finance like budgets, savings, retirement, college planning, paying off your home early. Not getting help with the nuts and bolts but encouragement, help understanding what "gazelle intensity" is al about and how it helps you get out of debt even faster.

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      There's a lot of reasons. A long string of bad luck, shame... My life has been an absolute whirlwind roller coaster since I posted back in 2016.

      The man I was with then, known as DH even though we weren't married and were together 5 years, became verbally and mentally abusive so I kicked his sorry butt to the curb. That left us with only mom's income for a long time. My disability was denied multiple times, so I worked with my doctors and ended up on stronger pain medications, but it enabled me to work.

      I went through a couple of jobs. Since we were on food stamps and I had no income, I went through job training through DHR. It was an absolutely HORRIBLE experience I hope to never repeat again. You basically go to one class at DHR then you're placed as a volunteer worker somewhere where they need a position filled that you're interested in for training. I was interested in secretarial work, so I was placed with this tiny home-health company that had just opened. Once you're placed somewhere you're supposed to work there 30 days then they decide if they want to hire you full-time or not. That woman made my life a living hell, but I stuck it out because I needed my food stamps. On day 30, she decided I was racist because I gave her only white sitter more jobs and "fired" me. The white employee ended up with more jobs because she was the only one to pick up the phone 90% of the time when we needed someone last-minute, which was very often. I never have been and never will be racist. I was an absolute mess. I called my case worker and told her what had been going on and she was furious. That company was taken off of their list of people they work with after that. The lady I worked for would also lie to me and tell me she had talked to the director of DHR several times about my "performance." Why she was so intent on scaring me and treating my like crap, I'll never know. I just hope to never see her again. This was the end of 2017.

      I was jobless again for a while then got a job at Dollar General that lasted 8 months. Things were great at first. All the overtime you could want because the store was so short-handed. (Was I responsible with this money as far as the Dave Ramsey way? No.) I liked the people I worked with, I liked the customers. Then into 2018 I smashed my hand between a rolling cart of stock and a metal shelf. It ballooned up instantly and I was sent to the ER to get it checked out. Nothing was broken, thank God, but I had a lot of soft tissue damage that needed to heal. I was sent through workman's comp and they told me and put on the paper work that I could work the register, but I could not lift anything over 5 pounds and that I could not bag the groceries and items people were buying. If you're familiar with Dollar General, the cashier is also the stocker and the bagger. So, according to the doctor, I basically had to stand at the register. The district manager didn't like this and accused me of not wanting to do my job. I ended up having to run the register and bag groceries one-handed to keep my job. Fine. She still wasn't satisfied because she "used to be a paramedic" and "knew her stuff" and my injury "wasn't that serious." No, it was an easy healing process but it was PAINFUL and I was supposed to follow the workman's comp doctor's orders, right? Since I did my best to follow doctor's orders, she deemed me lazy and demanded my hours be cut to 4 hours one day per week. I'm not stupid. I've worked long enough to know that meant they wanted me gone. At Christmas in 2018 I had to have emergency surgery to have my gallbladder removed and recovery wasn't easy so that didn't make matters any better in the long run.

      A friend of mine had become the GM at the Jack's across the street from the Dollar General. We had worked together there my entire 7-8 year career at Jack's. Every time he came into the store, he'd say "You know I need a biscuit maker, right?" So one day I finally had enough at Dollar General when I walked in and saw I had yet another 4-hour week. I quit on the spot, went across the street, and started work at Jack's the next week as a biscuit cook. Again, this went great for a while until my friend quit because he was offered better pay at another restaurant. The new manager wanted me to finish my job and be gone by 7am every day to save labor (I came in at 4am every day). I heard another old work friend had taken over the store in the next town over and got ahold of her to ask to be transferred over to that store. Big mistake. Within a month she had made me GM of that store and I couldn't handle it. All her other stores were an hour away and this was the worst one in the market. I think they finally just closed it earlier this year. I left in December 2019. I missed my kids. I missed my love (who came into the picture in 2018 and is such an amazing, wonderful man)... All I could do was work and sleep and that was no life for me or my family, no matter how good the pay was.

      After a month of applying to different places, I was hired at WalMart as an overnight stocker. Perfect, I thought. I can sleep while the kids are at school, still be here for mom, still have time with my love. What could go wrong? At WalMart, you have a 90-day probationary period before you're brought on full-time. During this time, my mom was diagnosed with respiratory failure (pneumonia, bronchitis and COPD). They didn't hospitalize her because they were afraid she would get COVID-19 and said she would need someone with her around the clock at home while she quaranteened for 2 weeks and recovered. WalMart was allowing us to take 2 weeks off to self-quarantine if we felt the need so I did that to take care of mom. She was so weak that just walking down our short hallway left her breathless.

      Mom recovered well and I went back to work. A couple of weeks later, I developed an abscess in my left breast. I ended up in the ER getting multiple scans and ultrasounds of it, then was sent to a breast health center at the closest major hospital for my first mammogram and more ultrasounds. It took a few weeks of strong antibiotics and I'm healed now. Too bad I lost the job at WalMart for having to miss too many days due to it. The pain was insane. I couldn't wear a bra, could barely wear a shirt. I made good money at WalMart and yet again wasted it away.

      So one day I was going through my bookmarks and I "refound" LLNOE, and here I am. Due to my mental health with this whole COVID-19 thing, I can't work. I can barely leave the house (thanks, agoraphobia). We're living on Chris' (my love) income for now. He works in a fast food restaurant and we can make it work. I'm here to take care of mom and the girls, which makes me feel so much better. I will probably start homeschooling them next year. We haven't made a final decision yet, but will this summer. 

      And that's where we're at right now. Back to square one, the very beginning. Time to buckle down and really do this. Here we go.

       

    1. anyone else struggling with the isolation? I like my alone time but this is a bit too much. lol.   I think its worse if you're single and live alone like I do.

    2. cadberry
      Latest Entry

      I don't know about you, but I'm getting corona-weary.  I never thought I'd experience something like this in my lifetime. Previous generations had wars and unrest and uncertainty.  I know 9/11 changed so much about how we lived our lives, but this coronavirus feels like it is changing our society on a more personal level.  I don't know how long it will be before it peaks in our country, but I do know that how people communicate and interact with each other, for business, leisure, well-being is changing. In a way it feels like we're beginning to look up from our phones and other devices to see each other, and at a time when having the technology and communication network those same phones and devices represent provides a safe way to do so.  

      DSHome's work is having him work from home a couple of days a week to reduce the number of people in the office at the same time. My office is allowing flexible hours between 6A and 7P plus half-day over the weekend. I don't have work-technology to allow me to work from the house at this point, but they may be working something out to get the right equipment to allow VPN. If that happens, I'll likely do a combo of working from home, working in the office, and taking some annual leave.

      Nothing is changing for DSAway as his classes were already online, and he wasn't planning to attend the graduation ceremonies, so if they are cancelled (as they probably will be), he'll not be disappointed or missing out on something he wanted to do.

      DH's biggest inconvenience was the closing of the public library. He had a book on hold that he was going to get last Saturday but they sent out the closing notice on Friday after they were already closed. But believe me, he will not run out of things to read based on the stack of books he's been meaning to get to at home.

      Because we buy loss-leaders and stock up routinely, we were not part of the "woe is me, I can't find toilet paper" crowd.  We had purchased our three-month supply a few weeks ago.  We did lay in some extra groceries so we don't have to go into the store / mingle with other people.  Restaurants are still open in our area and we agreed to help support them as we can through take-out service a little more than usual.  (It's nice to be in BS7 where we can do that.)  

      What's been interesting to me is how much people are sharing with how to make the most of closed schools through  instructional classes, information, etc.  Virtual tours, exposure to art and opera and painting and all sorts of things. Businesses stepping in to help sustain their communities even when its costing them what little margin they may have.  Big businesses expanding their community outreach.

      Anyway, I hope our LLNOE friends stay well and weather this storm successfully.  Be safe. Be well. 

    3. Hello friends, inspirations and financial confidants,

      I was working through a pile of collections statements and plugging numbers into the Debt Snowball Spreadsheet when I decided to stop by LLNOE and see what was going on as of late. It's really incredible, I began this journey in 2011 and so much "life" has happened, ups and downs, stupid and wise decisions, career momentum - everything! And it is so funny, as I technically sit here in BS2 again, it does not upset me because I've been through this before and know it can be done again! I feel pretty elated about our future together so whatever dirty work needs to be done now, is totally worth it.

      So last time I left you off, I shared that I'd sold my house, reconnected with a fellow and we were renovating an RV. I was getting my schooling finished, paring down possessions and was looking at beefing up my IRA.

      Fast-forward about 8 months to today: that fellow asked me to marry him, we his mom and sister planned an elaborate backyard ceremony and we are happily newlywed as of June. We have an insane amount of plans/dreams/goals to keep us occupied and are eager to get cracking. I finally got my associate's degree in hand/on a piece of paper/ready to frame on the wall like I wanted. :) I had applied for a different position within my company around the time of my last blog post - I got the job and started in late February. I love my new team, new boss and the line of work I've gotten into, and was offered a substantial pay raise with the inclusion of a monthly commission that I was not previously eligible for. So, really - all great things! Our RV renovations are complete "enough" - the bathroom is still an untouched time capsule of 1987, but everywhere else is complete barring some minor cosmetic finishes. RV Living is certainly interesting, but honestly, it's eye opening how little we really need to lead perfectly healthy and normal lives. 

      We purchased 2.5 raw acres locally in March using proceeds from my home's sale to help with down payment and begin our Construction Fund. We're slowly but surely taking the steps to make it build-ready. Logging, well drilling and electric hookups (must cashflow these) are all are items needing completion before we can even think about turning to a lender for a home construction loan. On the other hand, DH is toying with the idea to try cashflowing/DIY'ing a build (he works for a home builder and is pretty experienced) and keep living in the RV during the process, but I am not quite there yet mentally :)

      We have a decent amount of debt to drill through to bring us, as a married couple, back to solid footing. DH had a lot of medical and court-related debts in collections for years so now's better than ever to clean that up. Back story on the court stuff: When he and I dated 10 years ago, we had a great time and fell hard for each other. We dated almost 4 years during the ages of 21-25 years old so pretty young. But he liked to drink a lot. It got him into a couple of fights/incidents and even a couple DUI's. Both our moms and I intervened but he didn't want to accept that he had a problem. Things looked bleak so I ended the relationship. During this time I'd also found Dave Ramsey and was trying to take responsibility for my adult life. In fact, I probably ranted about him on this very blog in my early DR days, haha! DH is now 5+ years sober and he's the wonderful man I knew before alcohol was involved. He's totally willing to work the DR plan and I've got a LOT of experience with that!

      So it is our intent to really knock this out of the park and carry on. Can't go back and change mistakes now, but we can be responsible and own up to them and get them squared away. I tallied up all of our shared debts, including my credit union VISA which is clearly out of control since I set it up as my overdraft protection.... yeah, my car loan, and his collections debts from varying debtors. It's nearly $50,000. Yes, I do feel a little queasy typing that up and sharing with all of you. From experience, though, I know that's a very necessary but painful step in the right direction.

      On the bright side: I'm attempting to settle the collections accounts for the original amounts owed rather than all the interest. Several of the accounts are currently sitting at 2x the original amount just from 12% interest fees and length of time debt has been sitting. It's fair to offer a payoff of the original balance to a collection agency, right, since they got the debts for far less? I used a low snowball estimate in the Debt snowball sheet, and the prediction was an August 2020 payoff. Well, I want to be paid off in, like, January 2019, so we've clearly got some work ahead of us!

      Attaching a photo of our RV, taken from me standing in the kitchen :)

      It is good to be here and read up on how everyone has been. Thanks for the support and inspiration, as always!

      36729952_10209508804236886_6446554926985248768_o.jpg

    4. Chérie
      Latest Entry

      WINDFALL BLISS!!!!!!! 

      We had a site-wide meeting today and they were giving out HUGE checks to the top performers!!! 

      I was not expecting to get called up to receive a check... but I did!!!!

      They called me up for being a top performer for my metrics! That check was for an amazing $1,250!!!!

      While I was standing in front of everyone with this huge check, trying not to cry, they called my name AGAIN for "Best Overall Quality in the Enterprise" WOW!!!!! 

      That check was another $750!!!! 

      So, I'm the only person who got TWO checks!!!! Total: TWO GRAND!!!! What????

      The day couldn't possibly get any better, right? WRONG!!!!

      We had a site-wide competition for Visa gift cards that has been going on for the past 2 weeks. Top prize: $250. 

      Yes, I won that too!!!! I am on cloud nine!!!!!

      The gift card will take a week to come in, but the regular-sized checks are tucked in my purse and will be deposited tomorrow!!! Soooooo excited!!!

      http://i1347.photobucket.com/albums/p720/cheriecorazon/B48FB11E-2CD9-4A3F-A48F-F41F0964D701_zpsgj5lx70r.jpg


       

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