Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A little of the story...

I had a pulpit job in the Chicago area, starting in 2004. We bought a house, with no money down so the payments were high but the interest rate was pretty good and it was fixed. In 2007 my contract was not renewed, and I tried to find work in Chicago but couldn't. We put the house up for sale in February of '07, and as the whole world knows by now the real estate market completely crapped out and we were not, and still have not been, able to sell it. The family moved to Wichita for my new job. We've attempted to sell by cutting the price, finally so severely that we were not going to get as much out of the deal as we owe the bank. (We didn't even get an offer until we did this.) So far the bank has not accepted the best offer we've been able to get, so foreclosure is the next thing. So part 1 is the story of my financial ruin-by-real estate.

Part 2 is that I'm making less money now than I did in Illinois, and Dear Wife has only just started working a part time job. We're renting, and it's less than it was in IL but not all that much less. I have a large amount of fixed debts - a car payment, a student loan payment that I will be paying till retirement, insurance of various types. We also have acquired a substantial amount of credit card debt. I realized recently through the use of budget software that we're _barely_ making ends meet. So that's part 2.

We really don't buy very much. We almost never eat out. We did get cable when we moved here, because we could only get 1 channel (count 'em!) on broadcast with the electric rabbit ears. I also have netflix. I may spend, I don't know, $10 or $15 a month on magazines.

Many of the things that would be suggested I already do. DW is working a PT job and will probably get another one before too long. We've stopped using the cards and are trying to pay cash for everything. It seems weird to be 45 years old and wonder if one can really afford cable television. I mean, it's not a boat! The only thing I have to show for all this debt is an expensive education and a van. It's not really happy days financially around here right now.

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