Assignment: Draw a picture of your family and practice writing your name. She drew herself, her two brothers, my mom, and me. I love the way she writes her name. She writes it meticulously, tiny, and very prettily.
Monkey see, monkey do, of course. He usually makes me write Mommy and all of their names but this time he was content coloring next to his sister.
Really quick spending challenge update. Some light groceries, shipping items sold on Amazon, diapers, toothpaste, and deodorant all had to be purchased since my last update leaving me with $112.86 to go. Eleven more days. No kids this weekend which can either go extremely well or extremely bad. Already turned my best friend down on an invitation to an Arts Festival and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be able to celebrate another friend’s birthday at a restaurant on Saturday.
I am pretty sure I’m going to have to adopt this challenge at least another month, if not a few more. I don’t want to because this has taken a lot of work to keep at these levels and it’s been pretty stressful as well, but the fact is I have no idea what to expect from Ex financially anymore. He made another small payment the other day and even that was a hundred dollars less than he’d initially told me. He also threw two pieces of news at me: One that he get a new job with a well-known communications company (cable/internet/phone type of place) and two that he would most likely move back with his parents. Moving back with his parents should free up significant income for him hopefully meaning I will be able to have more dependable income from him; however, he has been rather vague about what the pay at the new job would be like besides defining it as “more solid” whatever that means.
I am now in debt with my parents not only because they have been helping me cover the gaps in Ex’s income but because there was a last-minute decision to re-enroll the kids in their private school this year meaning a registration fee I hadn’t been saving for because I was under the impression they weren’t going. So, that will add to the debt I owe them and because of their own financial situation, I can’t let this debt hang in there while I demolish my interest-laden debt. This also means I have to save for next year’s registration fee. This won’t be a problem going forward except that Baby is still in daycare. When he begins the school this August, daycare costs will free up but will have to go to all of this other stuff. I haven’t even mentioned summer camp which seems like an absolute no way Jose. Oh yeah, and the $1,000 I owe the lawyer.
So, right now I have the delightful scenario that involves the following: severely reduced and unreliable income from Ex, additional expenses, and additional debt. Not to mention my car is at the mechanic right now while they try to figure out why it’s leaking power steering fluid. It’s also getting a tune-up since she’s just under 110K miles. I don’t foresee being able to contribute any snowball to my debt this year. In other words, I find myself in the midst of a financial shitstorm. As a matter of fact, I worked out the absolute best situation income-wise: Ex pays the outstanding child support and pays the full amounts every month for the rest of the year. This will allow me to rebuild my crisis fund, repay my parents’ debt, the lawyer, and set aside next year’s registration fees and have $2440 leftover which will likely have to be set aside for my car (or depending on how bad the situation is right now, pay the car repair). In this best case scenario, the first snowball payment would be able to go out in August this year. The worst case scenario is that Ex pays me nothing at all the rest of the year and I end up declaring bankruptcy. So, they tell me to look in the middle and try to figure out what is most likely to happen. In that case, I calculate Ex will pay about half what he owes every month which would mean: I would have to adopt the strict spending budget for the rest of the year and will be at best breaking even on expenses until August at which point I could start repaying my parents’ debt and barely make a dent. I will be in no position to pay next year’s registration fees when they are due. This, I think, is simply a more realistic worst case scenario. I’m frustrated and nauseated.
The fact my financial health is still very much adversely affected by Ex is absolutely infuriating. I keep cutting and cutting to the bone to make ends meet, and he has the audacity to tell me he shouldn’t have to live like a pauper (while he talks to me on the newest iPhone from his laptop online in his luxury condo with a bay view with the giant LCD TV blaring ESPN in the background). All I want is to be able to get this debt off my back and it feels like every time I get close to picturing the freedom, tasting it, dreaming about it, the debt digs its claws deeper and even manages to grow. I keep trying to think of ways to increase income because that seems the only alternative left, but can’t really come up with much else besides selling my stuff bit by bit. Having kids and a full-time job makes part-time work practically impossible to have. I don’t know how many places would be willing to hire someone who can only work every Wednesday and every other weekend. When things get like this, I feel like everything is futile.
This sort of thing also makes me want to throttle myself because this right here is Instant Gratification at work. The fact is, fixing debt takes time. I know this, but I battle accepting what that really means. It means definitely not this year. It means, maybe, next year. It means, most likely, two years from now. It means slow and steady is the only option. So why do I get myself like this? I’m not even sure but I do know I’ve worn myself out.
I stayed a bit late in the office yesterday and was rewarded with this: