This is horrible!
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  1. #1
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    Default This is horrible!

    So, I finally broke down and decided that I had to start living frugally again. I did it before, but then I "lost" it, but now I really have to get back into the habit. I am now living on just my income. To just point out, I never became a huge spender, it was just easier to have breathing room because of my ex finace's paycheck. Well, we have broken up, and it has been 5 months now.

    I should have sat down and reevaluated my budget the day he left, but I wasnt in the mood. So, today, I did.

    What I see is horrible, and quite terrifying.

    Before buying gas for the car, and only budgeting 150 dollars every two weeks for food, I only have 272 dollars for the first part of the month.....

    and I have NEGATIVE 103 dollars for the second half of the month.

    Now, I know that the positive overcomes the negative, however, that leaves just enough money to pay the bills and have 300 dollars worth of groceries, (which includes cleaning supplies and other necessity items) and gas. Nothing else.

    Now, I do contribute 5 percent of my income before I get it to my Thrift Savings Plan, and I purchase 100 dollar savings bond every month. So I am putting money away for retirement. I have about 3 grand in various bank accounts right now that I can get to, so it isnt like I dont have any savings... in case the car breaks down or something.

    But I know that small emergencies are going to happen, and I dont have the income to replace that money.

    Summertime is coming up, I have to buy my children new clothes.

    Their father doesnt pay child support. I have gone to the state to get them to enforce it, but they dont.

    I feel, well, helpless.

  2. #2
    McD
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    Okay, first off, take a DEEP BREATH. That always helps me. I see you're in the military, I'm assuming active duty Army b/c of your location. I was in the National Guard, working full time for them for 3 years, so I know about some options that come with the military. Have you checked out Army OneSource, I know a lot of people who have had help with their child support battles through them. Also, if something truly bad/ emergency happens, there is the AER that is specifically for soldiers in need. I'd look into that. That's all I can truly think of right now. Also, maybe speaking to a chaplain would help. They might be able to provide some other options to you, like if the post has any food exchanges/pantries etc.

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    McD
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    Okay, go to ArmyOneSource.com

    They have a wonderful section on Finances, including articles on how to save money on gas. Also, you mentioned you have kids, there are sections in the parenting/childcare about daycare and everything. Also, you are eligible for 6 free appts. with a financial counselor who can maybe help you tweak your budget. I'm hoping this helps, if you need anything, let me know.

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  5. #4

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    Good for you having the savings.. Do you have a lot of debt? I will suggest www.daveramsey.com for help, he changed my entire financial life.

    I will say you need to reevaluate the 100 a month for savings bonds. I am not sure if this is the wisest place to 'invest' for retirement. And you could really use the extra 100 a month to work through this crisis.

    Read through these boards, the old stuff too- lots of people have great advice.

  6. #5
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    Thanks for the Army onesource site, I know that I can go to ACS and go to the financial classes, but the thing is, (and please no one slaughter me here!) I am not financially stupid. I understand financial matters, and I save for big purchases, rarely splurge on anything, hardly ever eat out except about 8 time a year, (and that is when I take my daughters on their day out with mom.... by themselves..... it is nice for us to go spend some time at the park and then go out to eat together. Hey, they have got to learn how to act in a restuarant, but if I never take them, how will they know?) so I dont consider that an unnecessary expense, and the problem is just there isnt enough money for basic things.

    The Army seems to think as a Single E5 with two kids, I should be able to afford 318 dollars for preschool for one child, and 254 dollars for before and after care for the other. The catch is they add in money I do not even get.... like BAH. I dont get BAH here, I have to live in housing, but they say that my housing is worth 660 bucks a month, and they use that as part of my income. Bunch of hogwash.

    I know one of my biggest problems is my car note. Silly me, we bought the car when still married and the payments were not a big deal. They should have been a big deal, but we had one junk car, that he drove to work and back, and we got an SUV for me to tote the kids around in. I wish I could just sell it and get something cheaper and more economical, however, selling a car in Germany is not the easiest thing to do. I am looking into it, though.

    THe other struggle is that I own my house in the States, and I rent it out. Basically, the rent covers the mortgage, the new siding I had to get on the house (the boards were LITERALLY falling off the house) and the retal company fees. I am not making any money off of it, but I sure am when it comes to taxes. But they real kicker is that the house has been vacant now for 2 months, and it is killing me. So now I am thinking about putting it up on the market, but I really do not want to sell my house. THe mortgage is so cheap, only 333 dollars a month, and the way housing has been going up, I wouldnt be able to buy a decent house at that price again.

    I did go to the grocery today, and my goal was to spend no more than 125 dollars for the next two weeks. I only spent 93 dollars, and that included the laundry stuff and a couple of "fun" items for the girls. So I was under my goal! I budgeted 150 bucks every two weeks for the grocery.

    I will figure it all out. I see some great motivation on these threads! I just have to buckle down and really, do as Jesus says and not worry about the food I will eat or the clothes I will wear. God will provide me with everything that I need, just as he does all his creatures.

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