On Friday, Bill and I came to a crossroad… and are still standing there with no idea which way to turn.
With two children sick with RSV, I decided to make one stop at Walmart for my groceries, trying to save time. I knew I was spending more than I should have but I wanted to get home quickly to Bill and the kids. I was diligent in matching my prices and in using coupons. When the cashier totaled the amount, I swiped my debit card. It was denied. She told me that the machine just didn’t pick up the number. I swiped again. Denied.
I was dumb-founded (and embarrassed). I knew how much money should have been in the bank. So, I came home and checked the account. To my surprise, our mortgage payment which is automatically drafted from our account was almost DOUBLE what it normally is. I immediately put Bill on the phone with the bank and they explained to him that the cost of our wind and hail insurance had caused a huge deficit in our escrow account. The required hurricane insurance shoved our payment over our normal payment by 42%.
Bill checks the mail and says that we did not receive a notice of the payment change. In the past, when there was an escrow shortage, we have received a letter with the projected new mortgage rate so I wonder if Bill tucked it away somewhere, intending to get to it but then forgetting. Regardless, this situation caught us completely off-guard.
I have never kept our financial situation a secret from you. We are a family of six living on one teacher’s salary of $38,000 a year, paying off debts for bad choices made early in our marriage, and trying to pay medical bills where insurance failed us. However, this is new territory. This is an unknown situation for which I have no solutions.
We talked about selling our home and moving in with family. We talked about putting Lira in public school and the children in daycare so I could get a job. We talked about… being homeless.
The truth is… with this new mortgage payment, we will have less than $100 after our utilities and debt to purchase gas and groceries.
Since all of this happened on a Friday, we made a lot of phone calls but have to wait for the week to begin to get our calls returned. We are shopping for lower hurricane insurance. We are trying to re-negotiate our debt payments.
If we can get those payments lower, we will try to stay in our home but there will be even further alterations to our lifestyle. Bill has decided that putting Lira in public school is a last resort right before being homeless. So, I need to find ways to make money and save money more than ever before.
- We will be reviewing our utilities and try to find ways to reduce our water and energy usage.
- We will be giving our cats back to the SPCA.
- I will be spending more time online trying to make money through this blog.
- Bill will be seeking out conferences and band competitions where he can work as a clinician or judge.
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- If you see an advertisement that interests you, click it. When you complete offers through this blog, I get between $0.25 and $3, depending on the offer.
- If you make a purchase from Amazon.com, click through my blog. An Amazon search tool is in the sidebar. Just do a search as you normally would and when you transfer to the Amazon website, my associate number goes with you. You will pay nothing extra and can still use your Swagbucks gift cards. I will not know what you purchased, but I will receive between 4% and 8% of the purchase as a commission.
- Tell your friends about this website. The more traffic I receive, the better chance that someone will click something that makes us a little money. If you are a blogger, I would really appreciate it is you place my button in your sidebar.
- Pin my posts to your Pinterest account. Tweet the articles you enjoy. Like the items so they show on your Facebook newsfeed. This also drives up traffic which can result in more income.
I have no idea what tomorrow holds. I have no idea if any of this will work. But, I have a calm in my heart knowing that God is not shocked. He is still in control… perhaps now more than ever as we have no choice but to turn down the path that follows Him. We cannot look from side to side. We will not be looking back. We have no choice but to seek His face because there are no other answers. We have no hope outside of Him.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we havepeace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
~ Romans 5:1-5
To God be the glory.
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