Wednesday, August 26, 2009

And then there is good.....

Good news is that we have not incurred any new debt through all of these unexpected life changes. Which is awesome. I can't even explain how awesome it feels to have not incurred new debt, to have (so far) met the financial challenges and to have started changing our lifestyle to be in line with our income!

School started for me last week which means I am feeling more productive. The girls have started cheerleading which is four nights a week for practice right now. They love it and the parents of the other girls on the team are awesome. Both mom's and dad's come out to practices and we all sit together and laugh and talk and we are even learning all the cheers as well.

I talked with my advisor and it looks like I am on course to graduate in May which is both a wonderful feeling and a scary one. With the way things are in this "economy", it is a scary thought to go out and find a job in my field of study. Most of the people I know who graduated this past May are having trouble finding employment, so I have some reservations about it. However, graduating with a four year degree in three and half years is a wonderful feeling! I haven't even finished yet, but the sense of accomplishment that I am feeling is awesome! Even better is that I can use this feeling to motivate me towards becoming debt free. It may take a few years, but earning a degree takes a few years as well and I am doing that, so I should be able to do anything that simply takes time!

Although I have made considerably less at the new bar than I did at my old bar, I have made enough money to make it through, at least for the month of September. As it stands, I have $32 after paying all the bills and thats before taking into account my hourly pay for the last three shifts I have worked plus the last two I have before the end of the month and before the tips I will make these last two shifts. This also takes into account paying a third of my tuition in the month of September with cash. As long as things stay constant, I should be able to pay all of my tuition with cash.

I also still have my buffer in my checking account intact for yet another month which I am very excited about.

So, although not much has been done in the way of debt reduction, there are still things to be excited about and to be proud of. One day at a time I will get this done. It is just going to take a little patience and, of course, budgeting!

There is the bad....

My last employer has banned me from her establishment. Why, I wonder? It seems that all I do is "Talk S&*T and steal her customers". Well, I never talked smack about the place and as for "stealing customers" I suppose I can see how she feels that way since some of my regular customers have started coming over to my new bar about one night a week to see me.

However, reality shows that they still go to the other bar 90% of the time. Going to another bar one night a week is their choice, not something that I could force to happen.

It does hurt my feelings a bit. I worked for this woman for two and half years. Being treated and spoken to in such a manner really does upset me, but I have come to the conclusion that I just need to let it go. Yes, I worked there a long time (although two and half years is not really a long time, in the bar world it is a lifetime) and yes, I was a good worker for her, but the drama is not doing me any good.

Other bad news: The man's ex-wife filed for modification of child support. Which in of itself is not a bad thing. Child Support is an important thing which I understand. What I do not understand is why when she filed for modification she did not submit his mailing address through her State.

The Child Support Order originated in one state; the state where they both lived during their divorce. Since then, both have moved to different states. He has paid the his child support through the original state every month directly from his paycheck. It is set up to where the money comes out before he is even paid.

Well, when the modification process was started from her state to the state we currently live, since they (the state) did not have his mailing address, he was not notified. The current state got a statement from the original state that he has paid through the month of March, which is the month when the current state requested the statement. Since he did not know to pay through the current state, they have been tracking him since April as not paying child support.

Fast forward to two weeks ago when he finally got served papers at his place of employment (they finally found him) and he goes to see the Child Support Enforcement people and consequently a judge. Not only has his month child support gone up $215 a month (Now paying $1,400 a month for ONE child) the current state is going to garnish his wages for his "Owed" child support from April until August. Even though he has paid and has PROOF that he has paid, everyone says there is nothing they can do because it is "in the system".

It is absolutely ridiculous! Being on both sides of the Child Support Spectrum (as in, being with the man who is legally responsible for paying child support and being a parent who is legally entitled to child support) I see nothing but problems with this system.

Here is a man who has always paid. A father who calls his son everyday. A father who, although half a country away from his son, utilizes every block of visitation he has with his son EVERY YEAR. Even if it is for two days, he will pay to fly his son out here for visitation. A man who very much wants a relationship with his son and who wants to care for his son.

Then there is my ex-husband. He went 3 and half years without paying child support. Now he pays half of what he is legally required to pay each month. He has gone years without seeing his children (which was his choice). He goes months without calling his children or answering their phone calls. Oh, and if something comes up in his life financially, he just either skips a child support payment or pays late. Because somehow, if his car breaks down or whatnot, it becomes MY and his CHILDREN's problem to come up with the money that he is supposed to have sent.

I have gone to Child Support Enforcement and PAID THEM MONEY to enforce the child support order to no avail.

So, the father that tries to do right gets slammed up the rear and the father that really doesn't give a poop just skates on by. How in the hell is this even possible!?!

I know life isn't fair, but really, this goes beyond that. It is just wrong.

So, in the next few months, not only will we be losing an additional $215 in income towards the larger child support payment, we will also be losing $1200 a month in back child support that isn't even rightfully owed!

Of course, the ex-wife knew that this could happen if she didn't submit the address when she filed for modification.

What makes it even more laughable is that she makes only $200 a month less than he does, but they are using the percentile rates for support from the date of the divorce, when she made far less. So, if his income goes up he pays more but if her income goes up it doesn't matter - again, how in the hell is this even POSSIBLE?


I need to change my debt total. It is not accurate. I actually owe more than what I was reporting. I don't know why, but for months I was not counting certain bills as debt. Like, when I had to get the siding replaced on my house five years ago. I certainly did not have the money to pay for that in cash, so I had to finance the replacement. I had put off getting the siding replaced for years as it were at the time; the boards were literally falling off the house.

The financed amount was not through a Home Equity Loan, but it was a financed through terms that make the payoff in about ten years from the date of orgination. I need to put the remaining amount on the sidebar to accurately reflect how much I owe.

I am also thinking about adding what I owe on my vehicle to the sidebar as well, since that is debt that should be paid in Baby Step 2. The only reason I hesitate is because once I have that big of a number to look at, I am not sure if that will really motivate me or if it will just because overwhelming.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Looking up

Well, my first night at the new bar went pretty well. My people did indeed come in and that did make me feel really good, personally.

I did okay considering I had no idea where anything was kept nor did I know the prices of any of the drinks, lol. I started to get in a groove by the end of the night, however.

My new schedule will be Friday nights, Saturdays 1-6 pm, and Tuesday nights. I am not sure how that will work out monetarily, but I do think for family time and school work those hours will allow me more time to focus on those other things.

Also, the house has been rented!!!!!!!! I should get the first rent check by the 20th.... which is very good news for the budget!

Hopefully by the end of this month I get back to paying down some of this debt! I haven't been able to make extra payment since May, which has really put a stint in my progress!