Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sorry sorry

Yes, I know it has been 10 days since I updated my blog. I was a bit crazed with getting ready for Christmas and then I had house guests for 5 days. EEK!

I managed to finish Christmas shopping. I didn't pay a bill or two (the mortgage) so I could. I will pay the mortgage this Friday, 2 weeks late. *sigh*

I am anxious to get back to my desk to look at bills and balance my checkbook. Sadly I feel like I was bleeding money for the past week or so. Little here, little there. It adds up big time! And now we might have a guest tomorrow night. Although that will be Mr. Debts 21 year old brother so I don't think we will have to spend much. He is in NYC for the week and will take the train down to see us if he can manage the money.

I went to Walgreens last night to get Mr. Debt some medicine (he is sick and DYING) and my debit card wouldn't work. Come home and check my account- plenty of money. Then today the same thing at another store. Still plenty of money. I figured they floated my paychecks but I deposited them on Wednesday last week. I really hope there aren't any problems.

I really need to go grocery shopping as well. Of course until I can use my debit card again I can't. So lame.

Again, sorry for not posting. I will probably update again tomorrow after having a stroke after balancing my checkbook and paying bills.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My ongoing saga

My "overnight" check supposedly sent on Friday? Yea, arriving today. I hate AT&T.

So because of that I am again in the negative on my checking account.

I have to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for the babysitters "employee dinner" tomorrow. I am making her stew by her request.

I need to get to Costco as well.

I have a feeling it will be a crazy night.

I got my shopping done last night. Whew. But I still need to spend $150 on my nephew from my father.

My friend/neighbor can't lend me money because her ex hasn't sent her a check in a while.

Sing it with me! Fa la la la la!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Only 9 more sleeps!

Not bad money wise this weekend, although I didn't buy Xmas gifts really.

Xmas tree: $24 (this is WAY cheaper than usual, I don't know why)
Pictures with Santa: $25
Red shirts for the kids: $40 (siblings were supposed to pay me, they didn't)

The good thing was we didn't eat out AT ALL, not even coffee. And let me tell you, I sooooooo wanted a Starbucks when we were at the mall. it was RIGHT THERE next to the Santa line. Torture I tell you.

I should be getting my check from AT&T tomorrow. Bastards

Mr Debt and I had a money related fight though. His priorities are SO screwed up it is incredible.

Going to attempt the picture for Xmas cards tonight. Wish me luck.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I finally won the battle

With AT&T. They are still scum sucking bastards in my book though. And I won't get a check until Tuesday, even though they are "overnighting it" to me. Overnight is so clearly defined as four days. Whatever.

It's going to be a weekend of spending money as well. Christmas tree (and while we are at Lowes, weather stripping), Santa pictures, shirts for the kids for the picture, new bath mat for upstairs. *sigh*

And somehow someway I need to throw in some xmas shopping. Good times.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

AT&T is really the devil

So I checked my checking account yesterday afternoon. Like I do everyday, because, well, we are broke. And AT&T took the money OUT again! Instead of crediting us, they debited us! They now owe me to date $394.24. OMFG!

I called and got a manager on the phone. This girl was dumb as a stump. Tried to tell me a debit is actually them giving us money. Um, no.

They are "investigating" again. I told that that it WILL be resolved today so that they can overnight me a check that I will get on Friday. I will friggin FREAK OUT if they say they won't/can't do it.

I also want to demand a month or more of free service. I wonder if they will. I doubt it. Their customer service is horrible. NOTHING like Verizon. She never even apologized once for their errors.

I hate that Mr. Debt just had to have a stupid iphone. HATE IT.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas is just 15 more wake ups!

So I did not get a Christmas bonus. Bah humbug. I sold my vacation time for cash to the boss. At least it was something and got me fairly caught up on bills.

I did some calculations and I need about $500 to get through the rest of Christmas. My amazing neighbor, Little Debt's bff's mom, has offered several times to help me out. I think I am going to swallow my pride and take her up on it.

If I dont, I won't be able to pay my mortgage this month. Mortgage is more important than my pride. Little Debt is NOT getting everything on his list, not even close. I hope he likes what he is getting. This is the first year he is really into it, making a list, etc.

Oh, I am getting my money back from AT&T for the double debit, but I still need to call and fight with them about the overdraft charges. A friend of mine said she would do it and I might just let her.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's official

No Christmas bonus this year

Fa la la la la

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


So stupid AT&T took out our payment twice! I am currently fighting with them.

AND I totally forgot the car payment coming out! So at this moment we are negative over $300. And I haven't paid the cable company.

I hope they return the car payment bc it will come out again.

I WILL win with AT&T.

Gotta call the cable company and beg them to not turn it off if I promise to pay on Friday.

But wait, there's more.

I had a bank envelope in my purse with like $20 or $30 in it. Can't find it. I wonder if Little Debt took it. Because he does that kind of thing. I need to check his hiding spot under his bed.

OK, stupid AT&T will probably take a couple of DAYS to resolve this. Shit.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Ok, do you ever get that lump in your throat? Because you want to cry? And your stomach kind of burns bc you don't know what to do? Yep, that's me right now.

I made the mistake of paying the cell phone bill ahead of the cable bill. The cable bill must be paid by Wednesday (yes, in 2 days) or it is getting shut off. Mr Debt is definitely going to the bank with my change.

I can't take it. How did I get here? I will have money on Friday when we both get paid....

Shit. My friend/neighbor said she would lend my $ for xmas. I just dont know if I want to do that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I want to shop, I want to shop, I want to shop...

I love Black Friday. LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT! It is a holiday in and of itself to me. I am going, money or not. I might just charge things (I have one cc that i can use) and then *hopefully* pay it off with my Christmas bonus. I mean, I have to get Christmas gifts!

We went to the mall on Sunday. Little Debt has seen Bolt the day before and really wanted a Bolt plush. So sucker mommy caved and said we would go to the Disney store and get him one. Luckily it was on sale for $8. YAY! My mother met us at the mall because she needed to buy a birthday gift. So after we got Bolt I sent Mr Debt and Little Debt to the playground and my mother and I set off to find a birthday gift.

Birthday gift found, although at my favorite store. It was torture.

Then I went to the toy store and got Little Debt a shake and go Lightening McQueen. His has long been broken and it is a toy that he is actually playing with lately.

Then OF COURSE Mr Debt and Little Debt were starving. I couldn't handle fast food so we went to Applebee's. More money I shouldn't have spent.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Been a few days

Well, the mortgage got paid on Friday. And that is it. I am hoping that I get paid on Wed this week because of the holiday.

My dad sent me a check to get clothes for my nephew for Christmas. I had to deposit it into my checking account to get us through till payday again. Don't worry people, my dad will get it all back.

Ugh...going to the mall today. Little Debt saw Bolt yesterday and has been begging and begging for a stuffed Bolt because his best friend has one. So we are off to the Disney Store even though we really can't afford it. But I am so sick of telling him "no, we can't afford it" so we are getting it for him.

We also need a few essentials at the grocery store. It never ends.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It's almost payday!

Ahh...every other Friday is a happy day. Well for 5 minutes until I pay the bills.

I think my cat is fine. His eye looks totally normal now. Bastard had me freaked out.

Went to WalMart this morning to get a birthday gift for Little Debt's bff. I had that giftcard for $25, so spent $15 on the gift and also got LD a cute long sleeved tshirt that says "Santa I was framed!" So now I have an idea for Xmas card pictures. I want to do them NOW because snapfish is having a 1cent sale.

I caved and bought coffee this morning at Dunkin Donuts. *sigh* Once in a while I just have to do it. And I forgot my travel mug at work yesterday so I couldn't bring coffee from home.

Boss lady said that boss man isn't going to take away our over time. He told her that it was just an idea IF they got to that point. YAY!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Trying something new

So a friend of mine suggested the website Apparently you put all your info in and it tracks your money, etc. I am still setting it all up so I will give you a full review later. I need something, that much is obvious.

One of my cats is sick. Well, I don't know if he is sick or just has an icky eye. We can't afford the vet right now, so going to just try to treat it at home. I know, go ahead and yell at me. I am a horrible cat mother. I shouldn't have cats if I can't afford them. Blah blah blah

If that was the case I shouldn't have cats, a kid or a husband. Because I can't afford them either. ;)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh the highs and lows

So I got a call today from an old customer. I did his whole house, now he wants me to do his new office. YAY! I was so happy.

Ah...but then. Boss lady came to me and said that she and boss man are kicking around the idea of us taking a half a day during the week that we work on Saturday. And what does that mean? NO OVERTIME! I need that overtime! It is part of my budget and helps pay the bills.

I cried.

She said it isn't set, just an idea. I told her how screwed I would be.

Through that little chat with her I have the distinct feeling that we aren't getting a Christmas bonus this year. Which means I have no idea how I am going to get Christmas gifts.

I begged her to let me know ahead of time if I was going to be laid off so I could start looking for another job. She said that they hadn't really discussed that. That IF they had to lay someone off, they don't know who it would be. I can it be me? There are only 2 of us on the payroll. I have been here the longest, I am their direct support for everything and I CAN design kitchens if I have to. I am just not good enough. If they do lay me off before the other girl, I can't imagine our relationship ever recovering from it.


Well in the mail yesterday I got a $25 gift card to Walmart that I got from That's cool because I can buy a gift with that. I have a birthday on Friday for my son's best friend.

I need to do my checkbook today. It is so depressing though.

My husband, Mr. Debt, is so bipolar with this whole thing. It's like he has no problem going to the movies, getting fast food, etc. But then he tells his mother he doesn't know where we are going to get the money to buy Little Debt (our son) birthday gifts. Like WTF?

I tried to help someone on one of my bulletin boards who has less than me, but she has daughters and I have a son so I didn't have any clothes to send her. I wish I did. Things like that make me realize that I don't have it nearly as bad as I think I do. I have clothes, Little Debt has clothes, we have heat and food and cable and internet and toys and cars.

The babysitter told me not to buy her a Christmas gift this year. Ok. LOL I feel badly bc she does take awesome care of Little Debt, but she understands. So because I have almost no adults on my list this year I am going to try to find an angel tree to buy a needy child something.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The weekend

Could have been better, could have been worse.

Friday a friend invited me over to play poker. I shouldn't have gone, but it is still a relatively cheap night. $5 to play, bring your own beer. I lost $2, so not bad at all. And it was fun. I needed a relaxing night like that.

Saturday- grocery shopping. ACK! No matter how many times I say we can't spend a lot of money we do. $130 there.

Sunday- my mother called. "Want to go check out the new Christmas Tree Shop?" OMGOMGOMG Yes I do! But I can't really spend money. She said she couldn't either so we would be strong for each other. HA! My mother is worse than me with money. But believe it or not I spent........$15!!!!! WOOT! Gloves and a hat for Colin, 2 small Christmas gifts, wrapping paper, matches and lotion. All stuff I needed really. The lotion is Curel and $3 instead of $8 so I had to pick one up.

Then that afternoon we went to a birthday party for one of Colin's friends at a gymnastics place. He wants to have his birthday there so badly. It is $250 for up to 22 kids for 90 minutes. That is one of the cheapest I have seen. And the kids have FUN. My mother in law is the one who wants him to have a big party like this; we have never done it before. Then she heard how much it costs so who knows. He has his heart set on it though. *sigh*

So....I could have spent a buttload of money this weekend but didn't for the most part. Did my own nails again, my friend colored my hair ( more grey!), we ate at home.

Baby steps

Friday, November 14, 2008

Ah...paying bills

So much fun. Hardly.

Mortgage will be late. That's been established. Water had to be paid to avoid being turned off. Phone and cable are not getting full payments.

I have to go grocery shopping. And keep my husband reigned in on his grocery spending.

Right now there is officially $510 in my checking. BUT add our paychecks next week, subtract mortgage and babysitter and we have about $150 for 2 weeks. Guess I am not getting that art easel for C for Christmas yet even though it is on sale this week.


But what? I hear lots of people out there saying that they aren't selling much of anything.


Fa la friggin la

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Of course my mind was racing all night with this "new" debt. How the hell was I going to pay it? Then it came to me- I just have to make it until next September. By then my son will be in school full days. And what does that mean? No more $600 a month to the babysitter!!!!

$600!!!! A MONTH! That is a lot of money!!!!!

Of course, we have to keep our fingers crossed that my husband can start working day shift at his job. Otherwise Colin will have to go to aftercare. But aftercare can't cost $600 a month can it? I should start looking into it.

Colin and the sitters daughters will be going to different school next year. So he won't be able to take the bus to her house as he does now. So she will definitely be a no school day/vacation sitter instead of a daily sitter.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


When I was laying out my debt in another post I think I said I thought I had another credit card out there that I hadn't been paying. I was right. I got a letter in the mail today. So add $13,000 to my debt. I don't know how I am going to pay that. I am sure I can't negotiate it down because I can't make a big payment to start. I can't even make monthly payments on it right now. Not until AT LEAST the other $200 credit card payment is gone. I think that is March.

I know this is my fault. I know I put myself in this position. But I am depressed. I was thinking that there was a light at the end of my tunnel. Now it is just darkness again.

I need to win the lottery. Doesn't everyone though? Will it ever end? Will I ever feel comfortable with my finances? I want to be that family that can go to Disney, can get their car fixed when something is broken, can go out to dinner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another day

So I've decided to pay my mortgage late. Again. I have to call them. At least now I can pay other bills. And buy groceries.

I also have to pay Colin's dance school tuition. And tomorrow is picture day! *rolling eyes* The cheapest package is like $34. Lame. But everyone is going to want pics.

Sorry, not very bloggie today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Trying not to freak out

The mortgage is due on Friday. I think I am going to be short. By how much, I don't know yet. Do I call them and make another late payment? I might have to.

But if I pay them late, I can pay other bills now. Bills that are already overdue- water, phone, cable.

I hate this. I hate being behind. I just want to catch up!

I think I will just wait until Thursday. See where I am at and go from there.

And maybe I will finally post some things to sell? I am just afraid of going through the work to do it and then nothing selling.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Torture, just TORTURE!

The new Christmas Tree Shop just opened! It if FIVE MINUTES AWAY! AAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

Anyone in the tri-state area and New England know my pain.

I made it through the weekend

After gloriously sleeping in **ahhhhh** we all went to Costco. That can be dangerous, but I stuvk to my list of 3 items. Total spent $29. Well, then husband and child were starving and had to have lunch there. Luckily Costco is cheap and it was only $5.

Gas for husband's car $20, gas for my car $10.

Foodtown: tortillas, peppers and egg noodles $9

Went to a friends house for a clothing swap party. If only I were a size 4 or 6 I could have cleaned up. I did get a few things though. Shopping for FREE! There were TONS of clothes there and anything that is left over goes to charity. So we did well there. A lot of J Crew and Banana Republic going into the Goodwill box. ;)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What I spent today

Part of coming to terms with the money I spend is to see what I am spending right? So today, here is a breakdown.

Dunkin Donuts- $3.82
Shoprite- $23.20
Library- $1.20

No I didn't need to spend $3.82 at Dunkin Donuts. And of my Shoprite trip I didn't need peppermint mocha creamer ($1.59), 2 bags of chocolate chips ($1.98) or hot chocolate ($1.24). Unfortunately I did need milk and the ingredients for pesto breadsticks to bring to the clothing swap tomorrow. Pesto and asiago cheese are not cheap!

Spent total: $28.22

Could have not spent- $9.83

My husband, now that is another story. I know he took our son to Chuck E Cheese, spent at least $10 there. Then they went to Taco Bell, another $10 easily. *sigh* Baby steps right?

Our friends our going out to dinner tonight. I wish we were going. But we aren't so that we don't spend the money. Yay us?

"Balancing" the checkbook

Ok, we both got paid yesterday. Balancing the checkbook was NOT FUN. It still isn't really balanced. I bounced four, YES FOUR checks last week. $10 haircut? Yea, cost me $35 really. CRAP.

I don't really know where we stand. I have to pay something to someone. But I am afraid to because the mortgage is due next week. This blows. I need to get some stuff together to sell on craigslist. Toys, clothes. I already put my treasured Coach bag on there. And not one email about it!

SOB! Ok, no sobbing. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps Jersey Girl.
I'm at work right now, so of course I have GRAND plans of cleaning, organizing, taking pictures and posting stuff to sell. That usually doesn't happen though. I get home, my son wants to play. My husband is cranky. A book calls my name begging to be read.
I just need to make it through the next two weeks. If I can be VERY lean with my spending, I might- just might be able to catch up a little.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The child care issue

We have THE BEST babysitter EVER. She started as a friend of a friend who decided to stay home with her two kids. One is a few years older, the other is the same age as my son. Both girls. She has taken care of my son since he was 6 months old.

We had an agreement when we started- 5 years ago- that she would be paid $30/day. Some days she had him for 4 hours, some for 6, rarely for 8.

She is awesome. She treats him as one of her own. He is being taken care of in a home environment. In the summer she takes him to the beach, the boardwalk, the park. She drove him to and from dance class. She really loves him.

The issue is.... now that he is in kindergarten I emailed her *yes I am a chicken* about "renegotiating" her pay. She went from an average of a 6 hour day watching him to a 2 hour day. Thats right. TWO HOURS. An hour before school and an hour after. He goes half days in the afternoons. We talked to the school to have him switched to afternoons and for the bus to pick him up and drop him off in her neighborhood not ours. We did that because her daughter was also afternoons. This way she either had afternoons to herself (what is that?) or she could volunteer at her older daughter's school.

What did she say to my proposal? She said no. That in the five years she has watched him she never had a raise. Well, I'd call this a raise. A $15/hr babysitter. CRAP!

But we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. We love her. We love how she is with Colin. We can't get that anywhere else. And so we pay....

It's pay day! It's pay day!

I get paid every Friday. YIPPEE! Husband gets paid every other. Not bad. In CA he got paid once a month. THAT SUCKED!

Mortgage is due next week, so I need to save most of our pay for that (plus my pay for next week). My mom gave me $100 toward the phone. She is on the family plan with me (as is my brother). Mom kicks me some money toward it when she can.

I just paid the $200 visa. I need to put some money toward the phone bc it is past due. I also have to pay my $180 water bill by the 20th. (I get billed 4x a year).

I want a bag of money to fall out of the sky. Just to get everything caught up. I think that is why we are so screwed lately. Every thing-just about- is behind. If I could catch up things would be a tiny bit better.

Tomorrow I will balance my checkbook HAHAHAHA! and then figure out who gets paid and who doesn't.

Where I stand

So I figured I might as well lay it all out there. What my bills are. Balances, payments, etc. The way to overcome is to confront right?

Here are the bills that, for the most part, cannot be paid off:

Mortgage- $1550
Cable- $200*
Insurance- $200*
Phones- $300*
Gas- $100**
Electric- $100**
Water- $60

*The cable, insurance and phone bills will be going down because of adjustments I have made. I am just unsure of the exact total yet

**Gas and electric are approximate. They fluctuate depending on the season

Bills that can and WILL be paid off:

VISA- $200 payment $800 balance
VISA- $50 payment $2400 balance
Credit Line- $50 payment $2500 balance
Kohls- $50 payment $1500 balance
Mastercard- $15 payment $600 balance
Car loan- $265 payment $6100 balance

Doesnt look too bad right? Factor in I pay $600 a month in childcare (I will address this separately) and my son and husband eat A LOT of food.....AAAHHHH!!!!

Obviously with a $200 payment and an $800 balance, the one visa will be paid off in March. I am hoping to apply that $200 toward the $600 mastercard to pay that off, then the Kohls, then the other visa, and so on and so on.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The dirty details

As I said in a previous post, I am 37 years old. I work full time at a kitchen design showroom as an executive assistant. I work for family. Which is good and bad.

I have been married for 13 years. My husband also works full time as a school custodian. Sadly, though, he works for benefits not really money.

We have a nearly 6 year old son who also isn't good with money. He wants everything, thinks nothing of money. When he gets a dollar or two, he leaves it around. He expects a toy or treat every time we go to the store. And sadly, although it isn't a credit card but a debit card, he sees me paying in plastic.

He is currently enrolled in a hip hop class and baseball. He doesn't understand that I can't also sign him up for Karate, basketball and football. It costs money! A lot of money!

So please, join me on my journey to get my spending under control, my bills paid off and some money it the bank.

The last straw

You'd think the last straw would have been about 6 or 8 months ago when I got served with papers that they were going to foreclose on my house if I didn't pay $12,000 within 30 days. Nope. What did I do? Borrowed money of course!

To pay that back we hit my husband's retirement fund. Cleaned it out. I repaid that loan and the bulk of a credit card that I owed $13000 on. A very good friend, also a lawyer, negotiated that debt down to $6000.

Still I thought we would be okay. But then for a few weeks after as soon as we were paid, checks went out to pay other bills. Sure the economy is hurting us. Business is down where I work. Our mortgage payment has gone up $300 a month in three years. Gas prices were out of control. Even food prices were starting to kill us.

This past Monday we were already in the red in our checking account, with several checks still to clear. That was it. I was done. I couldn't do this anymore.

I wallowed in self-pity for a day or so. Then I started to think. What could I cut out? Some immediates came to mind:

  • No longer getting my nails done every 2-3 weeks
  • No buying lunch on work days
  • No stopping for fast food or pizza because I didn't feel like cooking
  • No buying my coffee from Dunkin Donuts any longer
  • No shopping just to shop
The next were the bills themselves. We have cell phones, so I turned off our land line home phone. Got rid of the paid cable channels like HBO and Showtime.

I would like to call my insurance and get that lower. But I am terrified of a higher deductable or not collision and then getting in an accident. I might have to just take that chance though.

The ironic think in all of this is that I am a bargain hunter. I do not pay full price for anything. I shop sales and clearances. I use coupons. I buy things at garage sales. People come to me for shopping advice. Where to find things cheaper, for coupons, for this and that. If they only knew.

And so it begins!

I suck with money. That is putting it mildly. If I have money, it is burning a hole in my pocket and I want to spend it. I have no idea how to save money.

I grew up with divorced parents. I was definitely a bit spoiled. Not that I got everything I wanted, but I definitely got most of it. I don't think I acted it though. I was always appreciative of what I had and what I got.

As I grew older I watched Dad take me shopping. He paid with his credit card. Every time. I thought this was the coolest thing ever! What Dad didn't tell me is that he paid the entire balance every month.

By the time I turned 18 I was a shopper. My dad took my shopping, my mother took my shopping, my aunts too me shopping, my neighbor took me shopping. Like a true Jersey Girl, the mall was my second home.

On one shopping trip came the fateful "Would you like to apply for our store card?" OMG! From Macys? My favorite store? Of course I would!

The day that credit card came in the mail was amazing. I couldn't wait to start using it! I could buy SO MUCH STUFF! I had a $500 limit!

What started with Macys escalated into other store cards. Sterns, Steinbachs (this was the 80's people!), JC Penney, even Sears!

I had so many credit cards that I had a separate credit card wallet to carry them all.

Those cards have been maxed out and paid off more times than I can count. Ok, the maxed out part I can't count. The paid off I can. Because every time I paid them off I would tell myself, oh I'll just charge this one thing. HA! The vicious cycle continued.

First I got a loan for $10,000 from my grandmother. I paid everything off and methodically paid back my grandmother a month at a time. I was charging again before I made 10 payments to her.

I didn't want to take another loan, so I got a second job. I worked full time as a bank teller and part time as a waitress. Just to pay my credit card bills. Did I learn my lesson? No.

The second time I paid off my credit cards was in 1994 when I moved to California. I was going to start college at the ripe old age of 23 and I wanted to start fresh. Again, I will give you a guess how that went.

This ridiculous game has continued on my entire adult life. Well, here I am. I am nearly 38 years old. I am in debt to my eyeballs. And I am going to change it. For real this time. I swear. Really.