Thursday, June 11, 2009

When it rains...


We've been in a bit of financial trouble lately, which is completely our own fault. We're impulse buyers! We see something we want, we'll buy it regardless of the consequences. We're worse about it when it comes to food!

We like to go out whenever hubby has the day off. We're usually really cheap about our entertainment. A lot of times we'll just find a playground and play for a couple hours with the kids. We love to walk, so we'll find a park to walk around, or just a random neighborhood and we'll just look at the houses. We have a membership to the zoo and get in for free (as long as we go twice, we've paid for our membership). So our family entertainment is never very expensive.

But when we've been out all day, the last thing we want to do is go home to cook something! We start thinking about what we have at home to cook for dinner.. "Well, we can spend 3 hours cooking a roast, or we can microwave some chicken nuggets in 5 minutes.." The nuggets don't sound appetizing, and we're too hungry to wait for the roast. So, we opt to eat out.

For most families that's not a huge problem, but I have a large family! Javier is too old to eat off the kid menu, and Aydan and Mathieu are getting older and both need their own meal too. Add in the cost of sodas for all of us, and normally we'll get an appetizer or two because we're already so hungry. Our dinner can cost anywhere between $40 and $100 depending on where we go!

No big deal if we're going out every once in awhile when we have the extra cash, right? Yeah, but this tends to be a weekly occurrence for us, regardless of what bills may be due, or even how much is in our bank account.

Needless to say, we've gotten ourselves in hot water plenty of times by overdrawing the bank account, not having enough to pay certain bills or buy things we need. Up until a few months ago it was okay though, we had Jay's parents to bail us out. They owned the house we lived in and we paid them rent, so if things got too tight, we'd just make up an excuse and not pay them. We put off other bills too. In December we deferred our power bill payment in order to buy presents for the kids. So instead of paying it all then and there we would make $10 payments each month, but we'd have to pay on time or we'd face being shut off.

Now all of that is coming to bite us in the butt!

We no longer live in his parent's house, and don't even speak to them anymore, so we don't have them to bail us out when we get into tight situations. We're still spending our money instead of saving it for our bills. Last week we had to pay our rent, which is more than 3/4 of Jay's weekly paycheck. With no money saved towards it, we were hurting.

Unfortunately we have an unusually high power bill to pay this week due to some mistakes we've previously made. We have that deferred December payment, and we never paid for March either because that was the month we moved. It only just now caught up and came onto our new bill for the new place.

We've known about this power bill for at least a month, yet anytime we had money we planned to save, we'd spend it. So basically, after that's paid and all is said and done, we'll have maybe a quarter of our grocery budget this week, which I could possibly make work if I'd been able to spend my usual amount for the past 2 weeks, which I haven't been able to do!

We are hurting!

To make matters worse, we went out yesterday to pick up some videos. Thank goodness for our Blockbuster.com account. $20 a month for unlimited movie rentals and we get 5 trade ins per month as well. No matter how broke we are, we'll always have movies to watch! As a family we watch probably 2 a week. Jay and I alone will watch 3-4 a week.

So, we head out to Blockbuster and the library yesterday, and my tire has a huge bolt in it and the air is leaking! Arg!! We brought the car to Dunn Tire, and they wouldn't plug it because the tread on the tires is below the legal amount. Basically I shouldn't be driving on these tires. It seems hopeless. It looks like I'll have to use Jay's car in order to go anywhere, and his car has plenty of it's own issues, including the brakes! He thinks his master cylinder is going, or perhaps he just has air in the brake lines. Either way, every so often the pedal will go all the way to the floor without actually applying the brakes. Scary!

So, here we're faced with more bills than we can afford, less food than it takes to feed us, and car repairs that may never get done. When it rains, it pours!!

I personally am not that worried. That's how I am. I've been in worse situations, and I know we'll survive this one. I look at it as a life lesson. We knew when we moved out of the in-laws place that we'd have to pay closer attention to our spending, because we couldn't afford to not pay our bills. But we got lazy and foolish and spent the money anyways. Now we're paying for those mistakes, and hopefully learning our lesson once and for all!

Jay is definitely stressed about the situation. He hasn't been able to think about anything else, he's not sleeping very well, and he's snapping over minuscule things. He had yesterday off and it wasn't very pleasant around this house. Thankfully he's back to work today, and normally he smokes a bit while he's at work, so I hope he's in a slightly better mood when he gets home.

As for me, I have to make a few phone calls to some food banks today... something I haven't had to do in years!

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