It's a painful economy for everyone.
for us... after 2 years at HALF his normal salary; we have hit 35 days late - ON EVERYTHING.
It literally hit home for us this past month.
We are now late on the one holdout... The House.
(You know, the one we have had for sale for 17 months, yeah, that one)
The one area we tried to keep from paying past the grace period. sigh.
2 years ago, my handsome hubby was laid off along with everybody else he has worked with for the past 10 years because they dissolved his company. (really, a corporation bought it and then killed it, but that is another story)
God provides and he began a new job about 10 weeks later, doing the same sales type thing with some guys he previously worked with. 1 year later, he left this company and in a wierd twist, ended up at his dissolved company - now rebirthed by new owners.
As we filed this past tax year, we realized he is making LESS than HALF of his old income, for the past 1.5 years. OUCH.
We pay out more in a month than we bring in. Well, the budget says we are supposed to - but you cannot pay what you do not have.
We paid Cobra for 9 months when he got laid off in Sept of 2007. ~Medium has had 3 surgeries since March of 2007.
Now we pay $100 monthly for insurance for the kids -that's a month behind too.
Medical bills come in monthly that we just cannot pay - they go to the bottom of the pile, now some are headed into collections.
Some of our old debt, not yet paid is headed into collections as well.
He works 4 jobs. 1 Full time, 3 part time. In this economy we thank God he is working.
For clarity: Hubby works very hard. 4 jobs; yes, 4. FT position in music sales (40+ hours a week); drummer for a hire band (part time sporadic weekend gigs); teacher for our ministry (weekly lessons); hired singer (holiday gigs). AND he ministers at HOP once week, leading a 2 hour set. He does have his Masters in percussion and voice.
This year Hubby started a ministry to teach music and worship leading to youth, serving the prayer ministry we are involved with. We have yet to raise consistent support. We do have our 501c3 in place and all paperwork almost complete. We have 1 or 2 other teachers serving the youth as well. For now, the ministry is a free will offering for lessons.
I am a stay at home mom and part time plein air painter. (my income, not so big, but not non-existant either)
We HAVE executed cuts and balances. Extreme cuts and balances.
2.5 years ago, we began paying off our debts, not using any plastic and cutting out extras.
2 years ago, we cut out fun stuff, wants and gifts.
This year we began cutting out needs.
We received a heating assistance pledge from the Salvation Army this past winter.
We received an assistance pledge for our electric over the summer.
We got bread from a food pantry. We got canned goods from another (Gluten Free child cannot have bread nor canned items).
We have just begun getting almost everything food from a fabulous church pantry.
(Except milk -The kids drink Almond milk anyway & Hubby is lactose free milk guy)
We turned OFF the A/C this past summer. Opened windows and sweated, really. Actually wore out a ceiling fan that still needs a replacement upstairs.
The Heat is NOT on... the thermostat is set at 64 daytime / 55 nights. Really.
We have Power strips.
We planted a garden this past spring, for $20 in seeds and a little dirt; we pulled up 114 pounds of fruits/veggies and we are not done eating fresh grown yet. There are enough seeds for next year as well. We ate fresh tomatoes and eggplant all summer.
Don't mistake this post for complaining... just a statement of where we are at, where the world is. It is hitting everyone.
Between hand-me overs and goodwill/consignment stores, the kids have warm clothes and shoes for this season.
We are eating every meal. (except when we choose to fast)
We still have heat.
We have fuel for our cars.
We are just now at a point. A pivotal point. An almost breaking point.
We wait on the Lord, we fast, we pray, we watch the economy tank and hold steady knowing God's economy is our economy.
and yet, our house payment was 36 days late this month. along with everything else.
and home values in our area continue to drop...
and we are 30-40+ highway minutes away from our faith community, all the time.
and we cannot get caught up and keep falling further behind.
we are happy, Love overflows our home.
we have beautiful healthy children, with a 6 year old who can walk and run.
sorry to rant or seemingly complain... but how are there answers for this ?? for what we do next ?? for how we climb up and out ??
This dilemma is consuming our time, our thoughts, our energy. it zings, it zaps. it keeps coming up.
Please pray, and continue to pray...with us...for us...