Friday, May 9, 2008

One Giant Step Backwards

I promised myself that this would be a "warts and all" blog as I wend my financial way toward retirement. So stand back for the warts portion of the program!

Yesterday, I borrowed $1800 from my HELOCC to help meet this month's expenses. It may or may not cover all the extra expenses. I can justify $358 of it because it is for property taxes on my rental. The HELOCC, while on my residence rather than my rental, was originally set up to meet deferred maintenance costs on the rental. At 6.75% interest, the HELOCC is my cheapest way to get a loan.

I understand the danger of paying bills with a second mortgage where my home is at risk, but my combined mortgages are around $80,000 on a house that is worth over $400,000. (I'm always amazed at that figure for my beloved circa 1929 home that I purchased for $95,300 in 1993--I like my house a lot but I can't say that I'd personally ever pay nearly half a million dollars for it!)

I have decided to ask my sister for assistance with my grandson's summer camp ($595). He's 15 and having some problems at home. I think 4 weeks away will be good for both he and his family. He's a good kid, and his issues are normal teen problems, but because he knows he's smarter than his fetal-alcohol damaged mother, it makes for a rocky adolescence. The same issues came up with his older sister, whom I now support in college, so I know both my daughter and my grandson will get through this intact. Still--some time apart is a good idea. At any rate, my sister, who is rich and childless, will often come through for my grandkids.

So that's the plan--go deeper into debt and hope to dig myself out by summer's end.


Living Almost Large said...

As long as you are sure your sister can afford it. I would not want her to eat alpo at any point in the future because of bad decisions. She and you are not responsible for your grandchildren. Yes I know you have to step in, but when does it stop?

Anonymous said...

Ask your friend to meet you for a brown bag lunch somewhere, and some planning help. What other resources are in your community to help your kids? Instead of summer daycamp, what about programs at the library or the YWCA or a VBS program in a nearby church? Make slushies at home with the kids instead of ice cream. Would the troubled teen do as well if he volunteered for a Habitat for Humanity effort, or some other cause where he could be the one giving help to others, and getting a broader view of the world outside his own home?

I understand your situation and you're treading water as fast as you can. That makes it hard to step back and look for other life support options. It also means you're in danger of going under from something unexpected to go wrong.

Before that can happen, please find someone calm and caring and non-judgmental to help you lay out the problems through to the end of this calendar year (!), and look for some options. And I really hope you can take that trip to Japan because you too need to see a larger world than what you're currently surrounded by.

Happy mother's day to you.


Grace. said...

Living Large--my sister, who was the bane of my childhood since she was barely a year younger than me, thinner than me, more popular than me and, to be fair, far nicer than me, is now an executive with a major NY bank pulling in a seven figure annual income. And she has no children. And she still loves her annoying older sister! And she is often willing to help out. I am indeed fortunate to have her around.

Beany said...

Does it help that you're not alone?

Grace. said...

Hi Beany--thank you for the article. As a matter of fact, it DOES make me feel better. I note in the article that some folks have stopped their 401K contributions. That's the one thing I refuse to do. I started so late that I cannot afford NOT to keep putting money in.