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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tough Times...

This is just me ranting....

I woke-up this morning, staggering out of bed as I always do, ready to start my morning with my daily cup of coffee and a cigarette, only to vaguely remember that my wife and I were gonna quit smoking today...

Feeling quite aggravated from the nicotine withdrawals, I decided to take a look at my bank account to see how it was looking. Bad idea...

I think this makes about the 5th time or so we've "went into the hole" in our checking account in the last 3 months, and most of those varied from $100-$200 negative balance each time. I got charged three NFS fees, at which my bank charges $35 each time, which is $105 I didn't have to give them, yet again. My bank's been making a lot of money from me for the last few months. To say the least, I bought some cigarettes.

Now, I already know the non-smokers reading this is probably thinking, "if you're so broke, then why are you wasting your money on cigarettes?" And you're absolutely right. I shouldn't be, but in my weakest defense is that it's keeping me calm right now as I'm writing this blog. Just minutes before, between the nicotine withdrawals and financial stress, I was pissed-off enough to say "____ it all", and stop all of the payments I owe to doctors, hospitals, creditors, and "Joe Shmoe", and let my wife start dealing with our bills again.

Before, she had been doing the bills, and she did the best she could, but there were some bills getting neglected because she would forget about them. She had enough, and handed them over to me, with the consent that I take over ALL of the income, which is mostly what I bring-in, anyways. I work full time and she works part time. After that, I created a spreadsheet with all of our bills, how much we pay them and when these bills are due each month, etc. I tried to organize my bills as much as possible, along with prioritizing them. Sorry to the doctors, hospitals, and creditors I owe, but having electricity, running water, gas, and groceries is more important than paying you right at this moment. Maybe I'll send some "love" next month, if I can afford it. I can't tell you how much I despise our current healthcare system. I pay more and more for it each year, yet my co-pays keep going up each year, but my yearly salary increases isn't enough to cover these raising costs. But anyways, for the last few years, I've been keeping our "heads above water" through most of it, and even my wife has admitted several times that I do a lot better keeping up with the bills than she ever did. When we get our yearly tax refund back, almost all of it goes back into our bills, paying off credit cards, doctor and hospital bills, and sometimes even paying some of our bills, such as our monthly vehicle payments, in advance. I need for tax season to come RIGHT NOW!!! LOL

So now, I'm back "in the hole again", and no extra money to cover it. Now I'm wondering how I'm going to cover my bills that are due on my next paycheck, since most of my paycheck is for paying the bills and my wife's part time income is what we live off of. Yeah, try to feed a family with three kids on a part time income. It's not easy. I've been trying different things to make some extra money, but nothing I've tried is spanning-out. I've been researching on how to make some extra money in my spare time on the internet, but it seems that about 99.99% of what's out there are scams, or require an investment (some money down). If I had the money to put down, then I wouldn't be in this mess, would I?! I've tried selling a couple of items on eBay, but ended-up losing a few bucks instead of making any money. Of course, everyone tells me that this will happen sometimes, but if I stick with it, I'll eventually start making some money. The problem is that I can't afford to lose any money while I'm waiting to make some. I've even started reducing my monthly bills, such as removing some my cable TV services, but so far, it's not enough. I'm glad the cost of gas is coming down, and thought that would make a huge difference, but so far, it really hasn't. I try to sneak-in an extra hour or two at my work each week, but this isn't enough, and I can't get any overtime without jeopardizing my job. What can one do to recover?

I'm thinking about a second job, but since I work in retail, I work crazy hours. My day could start as early as 7am in the morning and end at 3:30pm in the afternoon, or start as late as 2pm, and end at 10:30pm at night, and everything inbetween! As of right now, I have two definite days off each week, Mondays and Thursdays, but not sure what company would hire me to work just on Mondays and Thursdays. And I have to avoid most retailers, since my current employer may see this as a "conflict of interest", as that I could be working for a "competitor". The same applies to what I do outside of work. I could repair and build computers in my spare time, but this, too, is a "conflict of interest" to my company, and could get me fired. (sigh...)

So, if anyone reading this has any suggestions, then I'm completely open to any!!! I'm sure one of the first things I'll hear is that I need to quit smoking. I know I need to, again for like the 3rd time or so, but it's either smoking or paying a therapist! Do I really need to owe another doctor? LOL J/k, I suppose. :-)

Wow, I'm really bummed and not sure what to do...

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