Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Seriously? Is it just us?

Warning: This post is nothing but a rant ...

Eight years ago, DH went to have his driver's license renewed and was held hostage at the DMV because there was a warrant out in New York for the arrest of someone with the same name and same birthday. We live in the South, not New York. He spent three hours that day working the phone to get someone in New York to clear his name. He finally did, something was faxed and he was able to get his license.

You know where this is going, right? Fast forward to yesterday. Time to renew the license. He passed the signs test. Passed the vision test. And then "Um, we have a problem." Yep, there's still a warrant out for the arrest of someone with his name and his birthday. This time it couldn't be handled at the local office. After being on hold for nearly two hours with the NY state division of motor vehicles, he got a live person. And was told that in order to clear his name he has to write a letter, gather documentation and send it to a place called "It's Not Me" in New York. Once they read it, a decision will be made in 7 to 10 business days. That means he will be without a valid driver's license for another couple of weeks. Did I mention that he is a package car delivery driver? And that he is paid hourly, meaning he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid?

The real kicker here? The warrant is for a single DWI in March 1985. That's THIRTY years ago.

And that was just Monday.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Still here!

I haven't been around much this summer. Just didn't have a lot to say. Things are plugging along. Still in debt. Still making payments and headway. I updated my numbers this morning. Only shaved off a little over $1,000 in July. Not our best month, for sure. We ate out more than we should and celebrated a couple of birthdays. I also had a stack of medical bills from my unexpected round of biopsies and tests etc. Those really ate into the budget.

But as I sit here looking at the numbers, I'm OK with where we are. Back in 2011, when I started this blog, the two Chase credit cards were at $22,000 and $24,000. Seriously. They kept me up at night. I remember someone from Chase offering to take $15,000 to settle the larger one in full. I actually laughed at her. I mean, if I had $15,000 sitting around, I probably wouldn't be in this predicament. So Chase offered a 5-year fixed repayment plan and we agreed. What choice did we have? We took it and began paying $789 a month just for those two debts. Our mortgage payment is $825, just to put that in perspective. But we scrimped and pinched pennies until they were bleeding. At first, it didn't seem possible, especially on top of all the other payments. The stress wasn't any better because I still didn't know where the money would come from. But as time went on and we made dents in other debts, even paying off a few, it got a little better. Pay raises and some extra work for me helped. And now here we are, having paid off more than $40,000 of those two debts. We will make our last payments in March 2016. That's eight months away. Can. Not. Wait.

Dave Ramsey likes to say it is possible to get out of debt in less than two years. I wish. But I sure will be glad to kiss Chase goodbye!