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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/07/2019 in all areas

  1. 8 points
    Happy New Year, fellow LLNOE'ers. We hope you have a prosperous 2020 and meet the financial goals you've set for yourself. It's hard to believe how much things have changed for us in the last year. As a recap, we inherited money from DH's father in 2018 but didn't make a decision about using it to pay off our debts until March 2019. We used some of the inheritance to clear us from BS2 and provide the balance necessary for BS3. I was able to increase my retirement contributions to meet BS4 (DH is already retired). And BS5 and BS6 were already handled. Which landed us tenderly in BS7. We don't take it lightly that we are in BS7. In fact, we are still working on aggressively replacing the inheritance money so we can feel like we didn't "rob Peter to pay Paul." Which means Christmas wasn't much more than a craft again this year, but we were able to do more giving to others than in years past. DH and I cancelled a vacation we had planned in September (more on that later in this post); instead we used our timeshare for a week with our guys post-semester end / pre-holidays. It was nice to have a vacation that I didn't feel like we were broke! We actually over-budgeted for the trip which I think surprised us all. The reason we cancelled our vacation in September is that I had a job change. For a variety of reasons, I left a place I had worked for nearly 3 decades to do the same work just somewhere else. A better environment, an opportunity to increase my skill set, and overall improvement in my quality of life. The new place was very generous in offsetting the benefits I was losing (my insurance, for example, was only $30/month for family plan at my former place as the rest was covered by the employer; my new job is $180. My new job offered more salary dollars to offset that difference among other things.) I have been so much happier since making the job change. (Oh, we had trip insurance on our vacation plans and even though we cancelled within penalty window, our trip insurance covered the difference so we didn't lose anything). Other accomplishments: DSHome graduated in December! He started a full time job in July in his field. He is looking forward to having "just work" now after doing a semester of full time school and full time work. We are so proud of him. He'll still be DSHome until he moves out hopefully by summer. He's been saving his money and has enough saved up for a car and moving expenses already. So we'll help him start looking for a dependable car this month and then an apartment in the spring. (He's our son with Asperger's so everything is a step at a time.) DSAway is one semester from graduating himself, but he's not sure what he wants to do / where he wants to live after college. He'll be participating in career fairs, etc., this month, and I'll continue "job coaching" him in terms of alerting him to possible positions of interest. His lease expires the end of July so he has until then to have his next steps figured out. As for me, while I love my new job, I am thinking about retirement. I'm 14 months away from being eligible, so I'll have some big decisions to make with DH later this year. I do want to have the inheritance money replaced before I retire, so that's a goal and will play into the timing. I am using Lloyd's spreadsheet to project how much each month we need to replace in order for me to retire at various points in time. Dhis 8 years older than I am, so I don't want to delay too long on retirement for us to enjoy some time before we're unable to physically. Thankfully I am enjoying my work and expect that to continue, so it's not like I will "need" to leave. Just things to consider. So all this said to say we are looking ahead to an exciting year ahead of us, finally with a feeling of financial peace!
  2. 5 points
    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. 4 points
    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.
  4. 4 points
    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.
  5. 4 points
    some good news, the person I know in ICU with the virus is now out of ICU and doing better. I'm so glad she's a great person... . keep her in prayers if you would like too. thanks.
  6. 3 points
    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.
  7. 3 points
    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.
  8. 3 points
    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.
  9. 3 points
    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 :)!
  10. 2 points
    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 :)
  11. 2 points
    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.
  12. 2 points
    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.
  13. 2 points
    Our family has been using "Zoom" to for group video chats. It's very easy to use and really fun! We had a 10 person session yesterday with my grandmother, mom, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins. I have friends who are playing a long distance trivia game using it. It's as close to sitting around a table with friends as you can get right now.
  14. 2 points
    For most people it is an inconvenience, but for others life and death. I will happily be inconvenienced to help not make someone sick. I really feel for businesses and employees financially hard hit. We will just have to ride it out.
  15. 2 points
    To help keep all this in perspective, a friend of mine was speaking with a 90+ year old World War II Vet. He says he was sorry what everyone is going through at the moment. But it's nothing compared to what they had to go through in the 1940's during World War 2. We are being quarantined to our couches in our homes, they were being sent off to war. Not to mentioning all the rationing going on back in the day. I think what is going on now is a small taste of what our Parents, Grand Parents and now Great Grand Parents had to endure during the great war. I am not complaining so much anymore.
  16. 2 points
    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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