The difference, 10 months can make…

Hello Strangers !

When last  I wrote, things were extremely dire.    My last post coincides with both losing our internet and getting to  a crucial job interview with a leading storage facility management company here in Florida.   So we went  further into debt, in getting to our interview.  After what we thought was an awesome interview, we were told that a couple with more storage experience got the job but also that they would keep us in mind for future openings. 

Still we were grateful that our old Oldsmobile  station wagon with transmission issues  got us to and from  our interview.( approximately 150 miles )  She ran for another week or so.  Now  we were in real trouble without transportation.  A friend who owned a non emergency medical transport company had an idea though.   He would scrap one of his vehicles and we would scrap old Betsy.  With the proceeds, they would buy a mini van that we would have use of IF Ron went to work for his company. 

Done deal.     Ron went to work  as a driver at the end of October.  Our electric got shut off in the same time  frame.  We would be without lights for almost a month. 

Approximately a month into the job , we had saved enough to pay the electric bill.    Ron loved his job.  In fact the only thing he could see wrong  was that the pay was based on commission.  OUCH!    Thankfully, the first several weeks were busy and his pay reflected that.  I can not begin to express how grateful we were to be able to pull our own weight finally after nearly two years in extreme poverty.  Even when business slowed in early spring, we could at least cover our basic expenses.

Meanwhile, we were offered two more properties to manage from the same company we had applied for in October.  Feeling obligated to our friend and Ron’s employer.  We declined both.   They stopped calling.

As much as Ron loved his work  ( primarily working with elderly and terminal patients) the hours were getting to him.  He was putting in an average of 60 hours a week and the pay did not always reflect that.  Oddly, we never knew what his pay would be from one week to the next which was disheartening.  it depended on the runs he was getting, whether there were delays in patient readiness, and dispatch who seemed to give the gravy runs to her favorite drivers consistently.   There were also promises made and not kept   In June he had had  enough.    I was terrified, but understood when he came home early and told me IF something didn’t give he was done.  That was a Monday night in mid June.

That night, I called the lady who had interviewed us for the storage management position several months earlier.  We agreed to meet her on Wednesday the same week.

On Tuesday, Ron spoke to his friend/employer and Ron aired his grievances.   Ironically, it was left up to the dispatcher on whether or not Ron would return to work.   The dispatcher said NO.   That same morning we won  $555.00 on a Fantasy Five ticket.   Ron also had an another paycheck coming.  We took it as a sign that We were supposed to move forward with this new opportunity.

We met with the district manager at the property we preferred to get because it was in close proximity to our home.  Which would allow us to go home often.   The interview went ok.  But it was kind of  obvious to us that she had her mind made up on a couple who was already working for the company.   I was feeling a bit dejected as I walked through the door after the interview BUT then the phone rang.    Suddenly we were planning another day trip.  This time to Jacksonville.

We met the district manager at the Cracker Barrel for lunch, and then followed him to the property he had us in mind for.    It was a HUGE property with almost 600 units and very well kept.  Our quarters ( if we got the job) was a very nice 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment.  We let him know that we were interested but had to make another trip home without knowing whether or not we had the job which was agonizing.   He called us early the next day.  WE HAD The job and would start  on June 30th! 

We would spend the next week paying bills and  preparing for our move which we wanted to make as simple as possible.    We brought only what we absolutely needed and what would fit in the van which turned out to be a few personal items, our clothing, a card table, two dining room chairs, several huge throw pillows and the cats.  We decided because of her temperament to leave Millie ( our beloved pup ) with the same neighbors who gave her to us in the first place.  I think that was the hardest part. 

We’ve been here just over seven weeks now and all is going well.  Since we’ve been here  we passed one important inspection with flying colors  and made a bonus quota in our first month here.    We expect the bonus to kick in at  any time.  And we just got the paperwork to enroll for our benefits  ( insurance and 401k )   Otherwise, we are slowly furnishing our new home away from home.  We’ve gone out to dinner with my older sister once and had a visit from my BFF who lives west of here, twice.     Ron has even gone to church a few times.  All and all, I feel as though we’ve gotten our life back and feel very blessed.

As for our home, we are keeping it and have been able to pay our mortgage consistently since December as well as whittle away at the arrearages.  It’s hard to believe that it has been almost a year since I posted here.  This has weighed heavy on my heart because I kind of left the blog in limbo though I had little choice because I didn’t have access to internet.  When I did get internet back it was on a not so smart phone that made it almost impossible to post here though I could read the occasional blog that came up on my FB.     It is only now that I am able to post.

So here I am reaching  out to ya’ll, with a long deserved update.  I am sorry I couldn’t do this sooner. 

To those who assisted us, though All But Homeless, on this most incredible journey,  thank you!     We are eternally GRATEFUL for your friendship and contributions.  I honestly  feel we would not be here now if not for many of you.

God Bless you always! 

Hindsight x’s 20 (Advice from the poor house )

home3

Please NOTE : I actually wrote this several months ago and it is aimed at the working class, particularly younger folks who are just starting out. It is the BEST advice I can give you! Perhaps old-fashioned BUT advice I wish I would have heeded when it was offered to me many moons ago.

Hindsight x20

I don’t know about you but I have always had to work hard for my money without a lot of extra to show for it. Luxury homes, car notes, dining out on a regular basis, and extravagant family vacations were never in MY budget. I think I’ve been to the movie theatre maybe three times in ten years. HUGE waste of money in my eyes.

Mind you, I am not complaining. I have always been pretty frugal and life was good in spite of the financial challenges. I certainly never considered myself to be poor or needy until now.

Still, I am sure that in my working prime, there was at least a period of 20 years when I probably wasted $5 a day more than I needed on items that I would not have missed otherwise. Ahhh yes, frivolous every day spending on everything from take-out to those impulsive ( not-on-the-list ) purchases at Walmart. Heck I probably could’ve saved $35 a week on groceries alone and still ate well.

Hmmmm…

$5 a day x 52 weeks a year, multiplied by 20 years is $36,400.00, straight up! WOW, and that’s if you just kept stuffing it under the mattress and never touched it otherwise. Imagine, if you were able to get some sound investment counseling, what that figure might soar to.

Even on a smaller scale. $3.57 a day x 7 days is $25 a week x 52 weeks a year, multiplied by 20 years is $26,000.00 or there abouts.

Remember, that’s money you wouldn’t even miss! It’s amazing!

And little disheartening for me considering, that IF I had that money available to me over this last 20 months or so, I would have been able to pay my bills and still had money in the bank.

My husband and I actually had a tiff the other day about this.

I’d gone to Dollar General, with the intent of spending at least $30.00 so I could take advantage of a $5 off coupon. I spent just over $30 and I got enough food to feed us for three days and other essentials . I also got non-essentials like cookies, Reese’s cup, and two bags of honey mustard snacks from the $1 aisle. Yes, my $5 savings was spent on snacks.

I was pleased with my purchases but noticed my husband grow sullen as he put stuff away.

He said, I was being frivolous with the snacks. I was appalled by his accusations. But my husband of scot heritage takes being frugal to a whole new level. CHEAP might be a better word, and I told him so.

Yes, he went too far in my estimation. And even he apologized for reacting the way he did once he had time to cool off and think about it.

But it did get me thinking about it and I got out the calculator the next time he left the house.

While my trip down the snack aisle isn’t the best example, it does prove a point.

We all do it and we all do it on a regular basis. I don’t care whether you make $15,000.00 a year or $150,000.00 a year.

There’s always room to sock a little away, and not even miss it.

I mean seriously, who here couldn’t benefit from an extra $20,000 dollars right now?

I know I could!

Hindsight is 20/20 they said. Sighs…

Light… glorious light ….

horsemafia

‘Along your ride called “Life”, you may encounter rough storms. The dark clouds and unrelenting winds may bring feelings of sadness, grief, depression, anxiety or maybe even anger or resentment. Keep Riding. Just ahead, the clouds will disappear, the winds will blow over and you will find your peace. It is now that you become the bright light for others going through their storm. If you can, help them through it.’
~–Unknown–~

Photo: Copyright © 2013 The Horse Mafia.
Photo and artwork in its entirety: Copyright © 2013 The Horse Mafia.