When it rains, it pours. (long)
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  1. #1
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    Default When it rains, it pours. (long)

    This past academic year (September 06 through now) has probably been one of the worst of my entire life. And I'm tired of it.

    In the end of August I came back from living in Germany for a year with my fiance. I went through both the reverse culture shock (which was bad) and the shock of no longer living with my fiance. I was miserable the entire semester almost. Finally towards the end I got out of the culture shock for good and got a bit more accepting of the long distance relationship my fiance and I are stuck in for a while longer. Things started to look up.

    Financially things weren't so great, but not bad. I had to put:

    $200 - car repair
    $500+ - tuition

    on my credit card, and with interest and other little purchases (calling cards, mainly) it got to be a little more than that. Plus my fiance had some money on there that he owed me, so it was over 1000 dollars total on it. I just kept paying it down a little each month until finally in January it was around $400... Then all the following happened:

    $500+ - tuition (not exact price, estimate only)
    $750 - new computer (old one died, need it for school)
    $800 - fiance's plane ticket to come visit (him/family are paying for it, mostly)
    $150 - fiance's left over money he owes me from before
    $100 - car repairs
    $186 - bridesmaid dress for friends wedding (was told I could pay in June, then suddenly it got changed to "you HAVE to pay now!!!")

    If you add that all up, plus interest (about $30 a month) and left overs from last semester - it comes to about $2400. When I had to buy the computer my parents loaned me several hundred to help pay it off, plus I was going to be able to pay a huge chunk of it with some tax money so that it would be mostly paid for and wouldn't leave a big indent on my credit card. Except that the same week I also found out that I had to have my car repaired (separate from the 300 left from above) to the tune of $500!!!! Thankfully I had the cash, but paying for it took all the money that was supposed to be used to pay a good portion of my computer off.

    So I've been doing my best to make as big as payments as I can, and just work at it. My fiance owes me money still, which he'll get me in May. I got money from my parents and grandparents for graduation and that money has been/will be put towards my cc bill too. So the above costs don't reflect payments I've made. The total right now though is still around 2500 dollars.

    Finally things were looking up, my stressful semester is coming to an end and I'm surviving, somehow. I've had to take time off of work, due to all my homework for school - causing me to fall short on my bills. Also, my fiance is visiting in the end of April/beginning of May and since we'll only see eachother for these 3 weeks out of a 1.5 years of long distance (it's been 9 months since I've seen him and probably will be another 9 months until I see him after he leaves in May), I don't want to work. Not only will he be here, but I also still have school, finals, graduating college and moving to deal with at the same time - so I'll be stressed out and busy anyways. I think it's acceptable to take time off of work.

    The problem is that due to the recent need of time off and my upcoming time off, I am short on my bills. This means either my parents lending me money or using my credit card. Which is acceptable. I knew about this and was okay with this. I figure a little more debt isn't the end of the world - and I'm going to work my butt off this summer to pay the cc bill off (like 60+ hours a week).

    Then today, I found out that my camera is broken. This is the second time it's done it, but last time it was under warranty. This time it isn't, but since it is a $350 camera it is worth the fix for $111.00 (at least, hopefully not more) as opposed to buying new. Not having my camera when my fiance is here is not an option, as we need to document our time together well. Within two years we'll be applying for a visa for him to marry me and live the States, and good documentation is needed to prove that you have spent time together. So... there's another $111.00 for the credit card.

    Okay..I was still okay with this all. It sucks, but is acceptable.

    I work two jobs... I told the one job (a zoo) that I will work 2 days per week during the summer and that I need to know which 2 days during the week I can work so that I can tell my other job (Pepsi) what days I'll work there in the summer. Apparantly the zoo didn't understand my plain english. I got my schedule today for the end of May and I work a total of 6 days out of 14 there... which throws me off because I won't have the money to pay for gas to get there (due to the time off in the beginning of May) and will not get the big pay check I was expecting on June 1st, to pay my June rent. :'( I'll be short about $100.00. While a part of me says that I should call the zoo and tell them that I can't work so much.. another part of me doesn't want to because it was a big stretch for them to give me the time off when my fiance is here (a really really really big stretch) and I want to make it up to them. Also a girl was almost fired and ended up quitting after there was a scheduling problem..and I don't want to lose my job. Which probably wouldn't happen, but still...I do plan on adamantly refusing to work more than 2 days per week at the zoo the rest of the summer. On the bright side, I'll get paid all those days on June 8 or so, which will be a lot of money, since the days will be about 10 - 15 hours each.

    So, I guess the plan is to just work at the zoo those days, work at Pepsi on the other days and do what I can to pay the bills I can. The rest will have to either be borrowed or put on the cc. And then in June I will scrimp and be as frugal as possible and will pay as much on my cc as possible - although I will probably put some in savings in case something else goes wrong.

    Sorry this is so long, I just needed to vent. I've learned how important an EF is... not having one has killed me. I keep reminding myself that a good chunk of the debt on my cc isn't mine - it will be paid by someone else, but that's hard to remember when your cc statements are so high (for me 2500 is high, I hate having ANY debt and have always been so good w/my cc). I'm not worried about my fiance not paying it back to me... also, I keep reminding myself that while my fiance is here he'll be paying for a lot of our expenses beyond things like rent and electricity, so that will make my extra spending less.

    Why is it that when it rains, it pours? And why do bad things keep happening? Every time I finally feel like I'm getting my head out of the water, the water level rises up another 2 feet and I find myself kicking to resurface. It's so frustrating. Thankfully in the summer my rent in my new apartment will be cheaper. And since I'm working so much I won't have time to use a lot of electricity. I will have to have health insurance (I'm on my parents until the end of May), but won't get it until the middle of June when I can pay for it with cash. And the extra debt will be worth it, to be able to spend quality time with my fiance instead of feeling stressed out about school AND working while he's here. I'd regret it if I worked a lot during the only time I get to see him in so long. I just really need things to start getting better, because I'm so discouraged.

    Once again, sorry this got soooo long.... I needed someone to talk to.

  2. #2

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    Oh, I'm so sorry... I can totally identify. In the last 2 months we had to have one car I/Med and pay for tags (like $225)...then the other car started making funny idle noises. We took it in and $930 later it was supposedly fixed. Well, they got many things done that needed to be, but didn't fix the funny idle!! They've had our car for a week now... We're supposed to get it tomorrow...and the bill...they said it should be between $800 - $1000.

    On top of that I was supposed to job hunt last week and I was sick! ARGH! I've been out of work for 3 weeks... Like the saying goes...when it rains, it pours...

    Maybe it's just in the air? I'm ready for it to stop!!

    Keep your chin up...it'll work out... We just have to be tough!

  3. #3
    Registered User Marie78's Avatar
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    It sounds like you have a very good plan, I know it must feel so difficult for you right now trying to juggle the bills and your time between work, school, and your fiance's visit. I remember being where you are a few years ago and I hope it gets easier for you. I wish I could say it got easier for me, I don't have to juggle the bills anymore and use my cc to off set when I come up short, but I have run into expensive dental issues that are digging me into a new financial hole and more cc debt. I was just about getting to a time in my life where I could start putting more money towards the current cc debt. I think as I've gotten older I have begun to realize that it will rain and pour and I just need to figure out how to keep my head above the water as best I can, but I am trying to enjoy the ride (no matter how difficult sometimes). I hope you and your fiance have a great time together, you take those pictures and you enjoy yourself and everything will work itself out. It sounds like you know what you are doing and it will get easier.

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  5. #4
    Registered User HandyMom's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    I feel bad for you. I know what it's like. Over a simple kidney stone, I've emassed over $6,000 in copays alone for medical and hospital billings for a surgery. My income is 14,000 a year. Plus the doc has me on over $75 worth of medications a month. I don't know how I will pay home & car insurance, property taxes, prescriptions, utilities and the phone bill, and finally, for food. There's nothing left now in savings. There's nothing more I can cancel other than my internet and then I will have absolutley nothing for entertainment other than regular tv in this house. No one comes over here now since there is nothing to do here but sit and look at each other. I can't make more than 3 local calls a day and the phone is still $45 a month for basic!!

    Because I own this little shack, I don't qualify for any sort of help. Unbelievable. I have to be homeless to get help. I can't afford to rent a 1 bdrm apt on my income!

    I have about $10 cash to my name to last till May 1. My dd wants me to drive her to a girl scout meeting on Saturday. I told her I couldn't afford to use the gas since she has a therapy appointment this week and I have a doctor appointment and not enough gas to go to all those places. We don't have any friends or relatives nearby, either. I hate it here. I want to move! No one is buying houses here in this dead-end town. The big company that was here closed and the jobs disappeared with it. So there's lots of houses for sale here and no one buying them. They are old and small. No one wants them.

    Not only am I not enjoying my life much, dd is suffering as well. I almost want to send her to live with her Dad or someone else so she might have a better life than the stress over bills, turmoil and depression she has to live with here with me.

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    Two bits of advice: buy a $5.00 disposable camera instead of the $100.00 repair on yours (you can repair it later), and when your fiance gives you money in May, use it so you're not late on your rent. IMO, anyway. Good luck.

  7. #6
    Registered User FrugalMomof3's Avatar
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    I do feel bad for you BUT is there anyway that you fiance can pay his own way here? I dont think you should have to pay for this since you already pay the bills where you are and in which he will be staying during his visit.

    Why not work more hours before he comes so in turn your not losing any money as you take off during his visit? I would not want to keep putting more charges on my CC, since his visit is not a necessity just a luxury.

    Also, your fiancee already owes you money, is he going to be giving you that when he comes to visit? I would explain to him the situation, especially since you will be taking off work to stay with him while he is there, thus you lose money in the long run and still have a CC bill to pay.

    I know I may sounds negative and I know you love your fiancee but it's costing you money for his plane ticket and no matter what you still have your bills to pay whether he comes down or not, so he should pay his own way down and give you the money he owes you. Relationships are 50/50, if your already footing the bill for your rent, utilities, car, gas, etc... you shouldnt be even putting a penny towards his trip down, let alone putting it on your credit card, that just isnt fair to you. Plus your the one who is paying for the gas in the car for your trips while your fiancee will be there, your the one who is losing money by taking time off from work will your fiance is there, your the one supplying the food, place to sleep, etc while he is visiting. He has to have some kind of contribution in this relationship.

    This is all JMHO.

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    Aww.. I feel so bad for you guys too. Handymom that must be so hard on you, and your daughter. Is there another mom who could maybe pick up your daughter for the girl scout meeting? You wouldn't necessarily have to say you can't afford the gas but maybe that you have something you have to be at that day and your daughter still wants to go. Our medical system in this country is horribly ridiculous! It's so sad that medical bills will send people so much in to debt.... would it be possible for you to work more hours? How old is your daughter? Even though your family isn't close, would it be possible to borrow money from them? They could always wire it to you. Or what about your daughter's dad? Would he give you a little extra in child support?

    Luv2befrugal - let's hope this isn't in the air! My consensus in life is that cars suck! After the summer I won't have a car in the fall and then after that I hope to get a job where I don't need a car so that I can sell the one I have. I hate having to pay gas, car insurance and repairs... I'd rather not have to and be able to spend that money elsewhere/save it/etc... but we'll see. Look on the bright side - at least your car will be working well again!

    Marie - Sorry to hear that things didn't get easy for you! It sounds like you have a positive attitude through it all, which is something that is tough to do, I'm sure.

    As far as I go, I feel a bit better - more positive today. I know it will all work out... I just need all the problems to stop happening.

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    Tracy,

    Thanks for your message. I understand what you are saying, and I'm not paying for everything like I made it sound. It may seem like being with my fiance is a luxury but it really isn't. Some things are more important than money - being with the one I love for a few weeks out of over a year is one of those things. I really wanted my fiance to be here for my college graduation and I asked my parents to give me their graduation gifts in the form of money to help pay for his way here, because I wanted to share that with him and we wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise. I got 350.00 to help with that, which has been paid toward the credit card. My other parents may or may not still give me a little more towards it (I'm not sure), but my fiance is paying the rest of it. When I said originally that fiance/family were paying for it mostly, I meant that I am just paying for the interest while its on my card. I have a small interest rate on that card, so it doesn't add up to much at all (especially because I have so much of my own money on it).

    When he's here, my fiance is paying for gas money, any extras (going out to eat/etc), and even is helping pay for the food costs. I don't feel that I am footing the most of the bills, since I'm simply paying for things I normally would pay for - except for the gas. Yes, I'm losing money by not working, but that was MY choice and decision. My fiance has told me repeatedly that I can work while he's here, and I'm choosing not to. So I guess you could say I shouldn't complain (even though I do) about the money situation, because I chose it for myself (well, except all those stupid car repairs/computer problems/etc).

    I can't work more hours before he comes because I don't have the time. I am graduationg college in a little over three weeks, and the really busy time of the semester is here. With 21 credits, I've had to take time off of work because I wouldn't have gotten everything done in time otherwise. Things are a bit slower now, and I won't be missing work anymore at least.

    As far as being short on some of the bills, I'm going to be working around that. I'm going to try to sell my old computer, books from college this semester, and try to do some secret shopper things to come up with the money. Also in the end of May I'm working a lot (not even taking a day off, despite 10+ hour days each day) in order to deal with it. My fiance has already told me that it is my choice how we spend all the money he has while he is here, because he knows he owes me money and that I'm taking time off for us. I'm sure some of it will be used to pay regular bills that I would be short on otherwise. As far as the rest of the money he owes me, I'll be receiving that when he gets back to Germany - he'll get paid while he's gone. If he gets that money before he leaves then he'll bring it with him and pay me then.

    I hope that this clears things up a little bit more for you. Thanks for reminding me that I shouldn't complain so much about a situation I partially chose.

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