Happy Sad

I’m trying hard to not have a bad day today. I started fine, came into the office with a big smile and stuff and then…

Well I’m trying is all I can say.

Ex is short this month again. So far, I’ve only received a third of what he owes monthly. He says he’ll have the rest this Friday but I pointed out this Friday should be the first half of August, not the remainder of July.  He ignored me.

On Monday, I had to pay Eldest’s summer camp because when we showed up Ex hadn’t registered him as he’d promised to do. So my account got overdrawn. He left me the cash but it was too late. I had to call the cell phone company and ask for an extension on the payment this month because there’s nothing left.

I can’t help it, financial problems really just suck me dry and leave me feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and frustrated. I keep telling myself I’ll be fine soon. You all keep telling me I’ll be fine. And I know that we’re all right, but I also know it’s simply not the case right now and I don’t even know if it’ll be the case this year.

The bottom line is my monthly “fixed” bills come to about $2,620 a month. With daycare, my fixed monthly bills were $3,210. I take home about $2,900. My fixed bills include my rent, utilities, and my debt payments (minimums only at the moment, sadly).

I’ve done a lot to reduce my monthly bills, like ditching cable, internet, and subscription services. I work hard at keeping utility costs low. My cell phone bill is next at the hacking down block in about two months when my T-Mobile contract is up and I’ll likely switch to MetroPCS.

My biggest expense is one I can’t do much about and am not at all inclined to do much about– Rent. I pay $1,500 a month for a 3/2 house in an excellent part of town. It’s a BIG bargain as comparable houses start at $2500. I’m next door to my grandmother, live ten minutes (or less) from my Mother, live fifteen minutes (or less) from the kids’ school, live five minutes from the summer camp, and about ten minutes from my train station to work. The market here is total crap and pretty much I could expect to pay the same amount for a two bedroom apartment in less desirable parts of the city. That’s a huge downgrade for a paltry potential savings.

My next biggest bill, (thankfully?), is my debt. The payments on my car, student loan, and credit cards comes to $700 a month. $400 alone belongs to the car which is due to be paid off next July.

Of course, the alternate to reducing spending is increasing income. My blog isn’t anywhere near where it should be to even considering monetizing possibilities. I have very little spare time. And, I’ve gotten rid of quite a lot of stuff already so there’s not much left to sell.

Rock.

Me.

Hard Place.

At least, that’s what it feels like. Notice, by the way, I haven’t even broached the topic of my flex bills.

Let me put it this way– on average this year, I’m spending over $600 a month on food (groceries and dining out).

My gas bill is averaging $150 a month.

Uninsured medical costs for the kids and me are averaging over $215 a month.

The one thing I did do to increase income today was to follow-up on the Income Deduction Order for Child Support. I know not all single mothers are in this position but Ex has a (mostly) steady job with a very large Corporation. He makes very good money. Making sure the Income Deduction Order is put into effect is the most important thing I can do right now.

I do not intend to remain dependent on the child support income but for the next year and a half, I largely don’t have a choice. I can’t count on this income being around forever because who knows what may come but it is available right now and so I need to make sure I’m getting the money from him I need to cover the kids’ various bills and to help prepare for the future.

It took a few phone calls and things, but I finally got all of the information I need to fax the income deduction order directly to the company that manages the garnishments for Ex’s Employer. It takes up to 72 hours to appear in the system and up to two pay periods to go into effect.

I’m so tired of this. I’ve been patiently waiting since the finalized divorce in March. Now it looks like maybe August will bring some peace at last. Happy birthday to me I guess (not today, next month).

It’s a good thing I took matters into my own hands because the Ex is playing dumb. I forwarded it to his email this morning so he could pass it on to HR. He never responded.

I emailed him about an hour ago with this: ” I need confirmation someone at Employer has the order by end of business today so I can update the clerk of courts.”  His cryptic reply was: “No idea. This is not my department.”

Hold on, my eyes just rolled right out of my head…

Either way, I’ve got something going and I’ve got a phone number and I’ve got a ticket number I can all use to follow-up with next Friday. I hate that it has to come to this, I do, but I’m not even going to try and be all prideful about this. My kids deserve to be cared for properly, the means exist, and I’m going to tap into them. Enough already.

Meanwhile, I’ve apparently entered some sort of self-destruct mode. I’ve gained about 20 pounds in less than two years and I don’t really care to do anything about it. I haven’t cracked open the book for the GRE nor have I registered to actually take the test. And all I want to do is consume large amounts of chocolate and read copious amounts of books so I can stay in La La Land forever. If you ever wondered why a man would tire of me, now you know.

I set up Google + for the blog today right here. I do hope you’ll come. Google + is absolutely fantastic. If you’d like an invite, email me and I’ll do what I can. Please, just prove you’re a reader.

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25 thoughts on “Happy Sad

  1. I am glad you filed for the the child support enforcement, your children are entitled to that money. Believe me I went throught that so many times. I am also waiting for our phone plan to end so we can go to a prepay. And I know not everyone agrees with this but maybe you should ask for a deferment on your student loans, even for just 6 months just to have that money for other bills or necessities. You can pay just the interest for that time

    Hope it goes well
    Judy

    Reply
    • Thank you! I hadn’t considered the student loan option. Hopefully, I won’t have to go that route. But it’s a good idea to keep in mind! MetroPCS is as good as it gets down here without going pre-paid. Only hurdle is coming out of pocket for a phone upfront at mostly full-price.

      Reply
  2. I am also glad you filed for the money. It’s not about pride, it’s about what you deserve.
    – As far as Google +, I have one in “real life”. Is there any way I can join without revealing my true identity?
    – Some quick cash: I’m definetely in a more comfortable situation than you are. However, last year, we were hit with a 1000 dollar bill that health insurance wouldn’t cover (correctly, but it was one of those things buried on page 50 of the fine print, whatever…). What we did is we (husband and I) spend the afternoon raiding our home library for books we could do without. Then we went to Amazon, to check wether it was worth selling them online. Even if the used book retails for 6 bucks, it’s worth it (Amazon adds the shipping) if the book is not too heavy. We made 700 dollars in two month. I can’t do it every time, but for a one time thing, it was pretty effective.

    Reply
    • Thank you!
      – The problem of anonymity is something Google + is currently wrestling with. They went and blocked a bunch of profiles over the weekend (not mine) but now they’re taking a closer look. I have a separate Gmail account for my blog and I used that to set up my blog’s page. I’m surprised they overlooked this in such a big way considering they’re relying heavily on a techy group of people which obviously includes bloggers which obviously includes Anonymous writers! I’m sure they’ll get it together. I mentioned it briefly in my post today.
      – I went through my library a while ago and don’t really have much left anymore. It’s part of the problem I alluded to when I said there’s not much left in my house to sell.

      Reply
  3. Oh how I know exactly what your feeling on all accounts. I’m hittin them all with you my friend. From being budget crunched after already minimizing everything you can, to wage garnishment (my ex is being non-compliant in every way humanly possible…making it take FOREVER to process….still waiting….), to being in a slump which I’ve been in for a couple weeks now. It does feel like its never going to end and blahhhhh is all you want to say. But…focusing on the few positives going on has been helping me out alot. I know its totally stereotypical to say…but things will look up eventually. Just keep your chin up and keep forging ahead 🙂

    Reply
  4. *patpatpat* I really hope these are only temporary problems. In fact, I’m sure they are. You WILL pull through. But I hope the wages not getting garnished part is only a temporary problem.

    In terms of side gigs– you have some posts on here that would seriously look good in women’s magazines or online magazines, especially those dealing with divorce. I don’t know how to get started (I’m sure Google knows… or the library… I think there’s a magazine called Writer’s Inc or something like that with that kind of information), but I think you could make some side income doing freelance writing the old-fashioned way with things you have already written. (Though you might have to remove them from your blog, I don’t know.) I don’t know how much places like Salon or O Magazine pay, but it might be worth checking out. (I bet Donna Freeman could give you some tips!)

    Reply
    • Thank you for the *patpatpat* and the tips!! Freelancing is something I should look into more. A little gig here and there would definitely not hurt and I don’t have to go about with advertising and things. Thank you for the encouragement. You made me smile. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Wow. I can so relate — I went through years with much more month than money. It was completely frustrating! Many hugs and postive thoughts coming your way!

    Reply
  6. You’re not really feeling bad about getting the money he owes you are you? Will it make him destitute? Will you use it for pedicures and designer shoes? Don’t think so. It belongs to YOU and those adorable children of yours.

    Reply
    • I loves you. It won’t make him destitute but it will make him not outrageous and amazing and he hates that so he tries to make me hate it.

      No pedicures and designer shoes *sigh* just the ones I DIY and good sensible shoes on sale.

      It IS for the kids and I know that. That’s why I’m doing whatever the hell it takes everything else be damned. It’s just so tedious!

      Reply
  7. You’re fortunate that (apparently) where you are the filing for enforcement is so simple. That isn’t the case in some states, and it isn’t the case when you’re dealing with more manipulative situations, nor when you’re crossing states.

    As for the “you’ll be fine” – I have mixed feelings. It does help us get through the bad days. But it doesn’t allow us to get out of our denial and try something – anything – to make a difference – and early enough that it will matter.

    It’s been 10 years. I’m not fine.

    But I hope you will be.

    Reply
    • Yes! Enforcement here is pretty good from what I’ve seen. It gets even more effective at the State level which would be the next move. Some counties here require wage garnishment for child support as the only payment method! It’s the right thing.
      Yeah I try and use “you’ll be fine” as a mix– hope for the future of course but also to create an insane itch to be fine NOW.

      Reply
  8. Sorry girl but don’t be sad! You need to talk to him and let him know that the money is for the kids, it’s money to put a roof over their head, money to keep the lights on and money to provide food and proper nutrition. I don’t even understand why his wages have to be garnished, if it was ME my children would come before anything else, and I would even try to give my ex spouse a little extra or keep an emergency fund just for the kids. I would also be very grateful that she’s doing the job of raising them… ugh! some men piss me off!! sorry!

    If he works for a large company, most employers can split direct deposits in to two different accounts, not sure how mature he is but maybe talk to him and have him just have the money direct deposited in to an account just for child support, you can link that to your accounts.

    As for the income, you are taking home 34,000 a year… that could be the issue, have you thought about looking around for a better job? what’s your degree in? I know you may be in a safe comfortable spot right now but you may have to leave that comfort zone… again I don’t know where you work etc.

    As for you, please don’t let yourself go, you are way too good looking to do that. First of all, you need to cut out all sugars from your diet and get moving, get out more! you live in Miami, hit up the beach…. also do you like to run? try it 3 times a week for 20 minutes, this is not to lose weight but to keep your heart healthy and strong. If you don’t like running get a bike and get out there! you will feel so much better… I also love to read but I save it for nighttime before bed…

    God I wish I was there you need a friend and a work out partner!!! LOL

    HS

    Reply
    • He has a backwards mentality– he has to meet all of his “needs” first and then the rest goes to the kids. His concept of “needs” is, unfortunately, very twisted and thoroughly justified. Hopefully, the direct deposit will take place but it will happen through the County so there’s records of him actually paying and they can take more to get him caught up on the months he missed.

      Take home sucks, yes. I’m trying to get a master’s to get a bit more. I’d like to stay where I’m at because I can get free tuition for my kids at a very good school if I stay put so there’s no motivation to leave the actual company I work for but there is motivation to find a more lucrative career in it. I’m still working on that and it might take a few more years to figure all of that out.

      I actually used to run quite a bit, but that’s when I was married and I could just strap on my sneakers, say “I’ll be back in 30 minutes!” and leave the kids with him before he could say No. Now, there’s no one to leave the kids with. My grandmother does live next door but she’s not fond of watching them by herself which is fine considering she’s 82 years old. I’m focusing on eating better and drinking water right now. Next, I gotta figure out getting active while being unable to leave the house. It likely will require getting back into a groove of workout videos. Blegh.

      Reply
  9. Hello — just read your post and wanted to add my voice in support even though I don’t have any great advice. What struck me is how, even though you feel like doing nothing, you did do something, and that’s always been enormously important in my life. Even if nothing directly comes from it, it really does seem like then other good things do…;-)

    Found you through my good friend Molly
    Cynthia

    Reply
  10. I think you are doing the right thing and that is to get to the point where you can be self sufficient and provide for your family without his help. Doing the wage garnishment is good short term, but what if he gets hit by a bus someday or loses his job.

    Being independent is key and I’m sure you have the skills to get to the point where you earn enough to take care of your family. You’re still very young, so you have your peak earning years ahead of you.

    Reply
    • Thanks Sandy. You’ve hit it on the head. It’s ok for short-term, but only if I use it to work at becoming independent from it. I think I can get there too, I’m just trying to figure out how. 🙂

      Reply
  11. Pingback: July Closure, August Goals « MutantSupermodel

  12. I must have missed this post when I was on vacation! I’m so sorry you are going through this.. what a pain in the petutty. Things will get better…kids grow up and ex’s go off to never never land. I’m there now, and I love it.

    What is google+?

    Reply
    • Thanks for the sweet words. You always know what to say 🙂 I have to find a happy place where I understand things will be better but accept they’re not horrible right now either and that this is all coming together to make me something I wouldn’t have become otherwise. Google + is Google’s new social networking platform. It’s sort of like Facebook and Twitter rolled into one but with more features to make your content more selective and targeted.

      Reply

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