Thursday, May 31, 2012

Report from Sarah's long-lost sister

It's been so long since I updated that I had to figure out how to use the new Blogger format. Sheesh.

Life has been full in all kinds of ways since the last update, but I'll only hit a few of the highlights (you're welcome!).

Out of all the credit card accounts included in the upcoming bankruptcy, the state credit union was the last to become delinquent, and I had maintained closest contact (without further payment, which is forbidden before the discharge) with one of the executives. Our mortgage is with the local branch, and I had full intentions of reaffirming (paying back) the balance of almost $2400 as soon as we were allowed to do so. I kept the rep updated as to the status of the bankruptcy process and thought that would keep them as satisfied as possible.


Earlier this month we were served papers for failure to pay the bill, meaning we had to appear in court to explain our side. I contacted the paralegal, and she and the attorney immediately went into overdrive so that we present a case number for the bankruptcy filing. She said that it would be illegal for the CU to collect once the BK had been filed and that legally we now didn't even have to appear; however, she advised that we probably should in case the magistrate and CU rep hadn't received the paperwork. We did appear, and it was a good thing because no one had received any documentation. Once I handed the magistrate and the CU rep their copies of the case number, the credit union opted to dismiss the case.

So now we wait, after almost six months of digging up figures and completing forms, for the court date in a few weeks. The paralegal said that most appearances last less than a minute, which I find hard to believe but for which I would be so thankful.

On a different note, we've had some hefty unexpected expenses the past few months, particularly during May, and we have scraped together cash for them all. Not always easy, and we're now back down to pennies, but we did it!

Since our summers are always skimpy thanks to no regular income (which has always led to an increased reliance on credit cards), I'm not sure what this summer will bring. I do expect some sort of peace of mind, though, and hope the same for all of you!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

$30 was burning a hole in my pocket

That $30 I saved on the mattress earlier this week? I've been carrying it around all week thinking about what to do with it. Today, the decision was made. My 21-year-old, who lives at home while working two part-time jobs, has been doing some much needed landscaping in the back yard. It started at his Mother's Day present to me, and morphed into a good-sized project. He's been putting a lot of work - and quite a few dollars - into this. He has bought and installed pavers, bushes, mulch and some plants. I decided today that I really wanted some flowers out there, so he agreed to take me to the nursery in his truck and help me pick up a few things. I didn't go over the $30 budget and the pretty colors make me happy. I like being happy.

Happy Memorial Day to all!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

It never hurts to ask ...

Last weekend, we bit the bullet and replaced a mattress set that was older than I would like to admit in print. Let's just say there were probably groans at the dump when it was delivered to its final resting place.

We got what we thought was a good deal at Big Lots (thanks to a suggestion from Jenny), and spent three days being pleased with our thriftiness. On the fourth day, I saw a Big Lots ad. You know where this is going, right? There was a picture of our mattress set for $30 less than we paid. Suddenly, our great deal didn't seem so great.

Having not had much experience with Big Lots, I had no idea whether they have a price guarantee policy. Given the type of store, my guess was no. But I headed over anyway, receipt in hand. It took all of 3 minutes. They happily refunded the difference in cash and I walked away happy. I've suddenly become a Big Lots fan!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Capital One - BLEH!

First it was ING. Now my Union Plus card is being eaten by the Vikings.

Capital One is taking over the world. I cannot wait to be out from under its rule.


Monday, May 14, 2012

The gift of friends and family

This weekend, I had a similar experience to my PF friend over at Destination: Planet Debt Free. My stress was at red alert level and the cause was finances. Are you shocked yet? Murphy has hit several times recently and we had reached the point where we would not be able to pay the bills on time. I hate that feeling - not that it's anything new. But it's the kind of feeling that keeps me up at night and leaves me at the point where the only thing I can do is pray and give it over to God. I should remember to always do that first instead of last.

On Saturday, after a sleepless Friday night, I went to get the mail and was surprised to see something from a good friend who lives locally. It was a Mother's Day card with an incredibly sweet note. And included was a very generous check. She said that she was doing well financially and God had laid it on her heart to share with me. Wow. I really should remember to go to Him first.

I have never shared the particulars of our finances with my friend (only you cyber pals know the real story), but she is aware of the hefty costs we shoulder in caring for a disabled child. Her gift lifted - even if only temporarily - the heavy burden weighing on me this weekend and gave me hope just when I needed it. Hope that there will be an end to this nightmare if we keep doing the right thing and working to get ourselves out of this. And it gave me the ability to enjoy the wonderful lunch DD and her fiance cooked for me on Mother's Day.

Life is hard, but it's also good. Very, very good.

Happy (belated) Mother's Day to all you terrific Moms out there!


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sometimes, technology rocks!

I am generally behind the times when it comes to gadgets. I had an aging flip phone until my kids got me a smartphone for Christmas. Which would be when I sent my first text ...

But today, I see the light! My credit union just put out a mobile app and I am in love. I just sat at my kitchen table and deposited a check with my phone. How cool is that??

Am I the only one who remembers the days when you had to go to the bank during business hours on Friday to withdraw enough cash to get you through the weekend? Before ATMs and debit cards?

Maybe there's hope for me yet.