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  2. Hey MoonBaby! Funny how we all come back! I am just popping in for a quick read but saw your post and wanted to say hi. I am glad that you have a new love. If I remember, you were dealing with quite a bit with your former. Someone that understands and supports you is life-changing for your mental health and outlook on life. (I went through a divorce a and am in a new relationship and it is night and day.) Congrats on coming back and getting back to it. One bite at a time. I use (ok, off and on if I am honest) YNAB and love it. I have the old version that isn't a monthly fee so it is no longer supported and doesn't have some of the new things.
  3. It really does feel great to look back and track your progress--keep up the good work!
  4. You are going to be over $100k in investments before you know it!
  5. Oh man, that's great progress!!!
  6. Our current totals, since it is so incredibly rewarding to look back and see our progress. 403b: $41,500 Old IRA: $7,100 Dh Roth: $21,600 My Roth: $17,800 Total $88k Mortgage balance $57,000 Retirement went up $34k and the mortage decreased by $32k. Amazing the difference a year can make! Thank you, Dave.
  7. I miss my people too. Although I'm an introvert by nature I do enjoy an occasional social gathering.
  8. Bless your heart. I hope things look up soon! And yes, we're definitely taking things one day at a time. Chris and I had a long budget talk last night and so far he's on board with the Dave Ramsey plan. He was a bit iffy at first until I explained the BEF and the time I had to borrow money from my aunt to replace a bad tire (that ended up popping on my way to get a new one ) and how long it took us to pay her off. He was on board then. We had a long talk about a lot of things and it was just a good, really productive talk. I didn't think about the free sites. I'll be checking them out, thanks! And absolutely, we're doing our best to take steps forward in the right direction. In June, I'm going to write down every dollar and category that we spend in so I can get a better idea of what we're really spending. One foot in front of the other.
  9. I am struggling with both isolation and togetherness- when this started I offered for my boyfriend to stay here thinking it would be a couple of weeks. He was still going to the office everyday and I didn’t want him taking the train (from my place he can walk) and risking himself and even more his parents who live with him and are in their 70s. So now we are both working from home most days (he still goes in once a week) in my tiny apartment. It’s going better than I would have thought, but my daily runs (alone) and the days he goes to the office being alone is delightful. At the same time I am missing my wider social circle- I have regular video chats but it is just not the same! I am hoping we can arrange a picnic sometime soon with a few people and keep our blankets 6 feet apart.
  10. I know in our area alot of people are giving away extra milks from the lunches. Check your Facebook free groups for things that might help you guys pull it off this month. Try to remain positive and remember every step forward albeit small is better than taking a step back.
  11. Just know you are not alone with the tight budget feeling. It's going to be a tight budget for us as well during the summer. I usually have great business from January to June so that I can go part-time during the summer without it effecting our budget. But not a lot of people are looking for an attorney during a pandemic, so my client list dried up. I hope in the fall, I can boost up my client list. Just take one day at a time :)
  12. I'm working on the budget for next month and things are going to be tight but doable. I may have a yard sale at the beginning of the month. I need to do a big decluttering to see what we actually have, but I think I have enough stuff to put together a small one. I got the first bill from my ER visit before I had to see the breast health doctors and made payment arrangements with them. $765! Then the other day I got the bill for the doctors, all the tests, etc. etc and it was over $1,000! I need to call and talk to them to see if we can work out something. If nothing else, I can't let those get behind because I may need them again. Food stamp and Medicaid applications were sent off today so I'm praying hard for those. It's really helped that the schools are giving out lunches 3 days a week and once a week the local church gives out a 20 pound box of fruits and veggies. Not much of an update, but I figured I'd post one anyway.
  13. I was having a bit of a pity party for myself the day before Mother's Day, knowing I wouldn't see my 3 older kids and we haven't seen each other since Christmas. They all live 4-6 hours away and normally would come home for that. But we saw each other via Zoom and sat around talking for 4 hours Mother's Day! It really lifted my spirits. I've been listening to a lot of music via Spotify. Just "discovered" some amazing music by the symphony Two Steps From Hell (creepy name, I know). "Victory" is amazing, so is "Blackheart". They compose a lot of background theme music for movies.
  14. I've never heard of Every Dollar but I'll check it out! I thought about trying YNAB. I've never tried it before.
  15. It's starting to wear on me to the point I've greatly considered driving 20+ hours to see my best friends. I'm ready to move on to the next phases. I'm ready for all of this to be in the past. I miss our little life that was actually quite uncomplicated before this started.
  16. The budget! Have you tried Every Dollar since you've been gone? It is so easy. I use the free version.
  17. Thanks for the link! When I get through here I'll go check it out. I've suffered from anxiety and panic attacks almost all of my adult life (I'm 35). I'm on high-dose meds for anxiety, depression and mood stabilization (borderline bi-polar). I talked to my psychiatrist last Friday and he prescribed a different high-dose anxiety med to work with the one I'm already taking. So far I feel "ok." I was able to go into a small store with Chris the other day for about 10 minutes (with my mask and gloves on). I had to sit in the car and do some deep breathing before we could leave and took a shower as soon as we got home, but I did it! Another part of my fear is that I'll be asymptomatic if I caught the virus and bring it home to my mom and children (2 out of 3 of my girls have asthma). I'm working really hard with my psychiatrist and counselor so that I can overcome this cuz trust me, I don't want it to be my "new normal" either! It's a horrible, terrible feeling. I really do appreciate you taking the time to look up information on agoraphobia. Most of my family doesn't get it and my mom and sister will say, "Just get over it." That's not something you can just do with mental illness. I thank God every day that Chris understands. I'm sorry to hear about your cancer diagnosis! How are you doing? And yes, the way health issues can completely turn your world upside-down is insane. I have a huge fear of being catching the virus, being asymptomatic and bringing it home to my mom and the girls. I couldn't live with myself if that happened, so I stay where it's "safe." My sister went to the grocery store a couple weeks ago for me and I was literally in tears cuz of the sheer RELIEF I felt. That's when I made the phone appointment with my psychiatrist. It does feel good to know I'm not alone. As far as goals go, we (Chris and I) have talked about a lot of them, but really need to sit down and nail down what our first one will be. Obviously we need a BEF ASAP. We need to pay off my car. I owe $1200 and since I paid $3000 on it when I got my tax refund, I don't owe an actual payment until Halloween. (It's a newer used car.) But of course, I plan to pay it off a lot sooner than Halloween, of course. I've got bills from the recent ER and doctor visits that I need to make arrangements on (I don't have insurance, trying to get Medicaid). There's just a lot I want to and need to do. The hardest part is figuring out our starting point even though I know this program like the back of my hand and know it works.
  18. Thank you so much for sharing your roller coaster ride of the last several years. I know firsthand how medical issues can flip your life 180 degrees. It’s kind of shocking, isn’t it. (I have been dealing with cancer since July 2019.). The coronavirus and Covid-19 has given all of us who are older and/or have underlying health issues anxiety about our vulnerability if we become infected. So please know that you are not alone. And having a supportive partner makes everything more bearable. As you regain more stability in your personal and work lives, what goals will you be setting for yourself that this group can help you achieve—either with advice or accountability? Wishing you all the best, and also your mother.
  19. Thank you for sharing. Are you working towards recovering from your anxiety? I hope this won't become your "new normal" and you can overcome it. I thought this link sounded helpful when I scanned through it. I don't know much about irrational fears but it did seem to have some good advice: https://www.anxietycoach.com/agoraphobia.html
  20. 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.
  21. Thankfully waking up in panic and sweaty has died down now that we have fewer corona cases. Trying to do stuff with the kids is somehow getting easier and more normal although still moments of frustration because I was not cut out to be a stay at home mom. I still have my jobs and am applying for another one. DH was even less cut out to be a stay at home dad, but now his online classes are over he's not yelling at them as much. We are having more family time together. We're planning to keep the kids home over the summer as well which will save money on camps. With coronavirus I'm worried about all the deaths, the foreclosures, the business closures and people who are maxing out their credit cards just to feed their kids. We've been supporting our food pantries as the small way we are making a difference. I think the closures will be extended.
  22. Don't think about how long the to do list is. Like DR break it up into baby steps. Maybe do something easy to get moving this morning and take breaks to drink water, chat in the phone with a friend, and play with the kids occasionally. start small. Also taking a walk is helping with my anxiety but I have to go to the grocery store today and am dreading it again.
  23. I haven't been taking being at home well. The first couple of weeks were ok, but I ended up needing to add a new anxiety medication to my daily routine. The kids are loving being home. I've got a to-do list a mile long of things to do around here. Now, I just have to get up and do it, lol!
  24. Oh, and do you like to read? Of course the libraries are closed but there are online options for borrowing books and audio books. Anything you need to organize? Decrease clutter? Unused clothes? I feel much better at the end of my day if I've accomplished something. Learn a new recipe, clean something neglected, etc. I have cousins that normally go to the gym, so are doing video workouts with each other from their homes. My to-do list today is go for a walk w/the dogs, clean windows, and bake cookies. I have not made cookies in probably over a year. I wish I could get a hair cut!
  25. I haven't had any alone time since this all started, LOL! 9 people in the house ALL THE TIME has been an adjustment for me. DH works from home, I have 4 kids doing distance learning, and I still have my clients to attend to. But, it has been great to not have a strict schedule to abide by. Reach out to friends and family on the phone or Facetime. That's what we have been doing. I can't wait to take my kids to the park and zoo again :)!
  26. I have good days and bad days. I like reading and doing puzzles, so it's nice that I've had more time to do those hobbies. But I really miss social interaction in a big way. Just trying to take it one day at a time.
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