Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Not As Bad As It Could Have Been

It's time for an end-of-the-month look at my finances. Surprisingly, it's not nearly as bad as I feared.

First I had a $3500 emergency (I will spare you the details, but let's just say one of my children will not be around for quite awhile, but not as long as it might have been had she not had a very competent attorney). Then, my baby-steps emergency fund, which is supposed to contain $1000 has more like $200 in it.

So I wound up using a line of credit at my credit union to pay the bill. I've had that line for nearly a decade but haven't used it for the past three years. Just what I need--more debt!

Still, the good news is that by the end of May, I was able to throw money at my other debts such that I wound up the month only increasing my total indebtedness by $806.99. Admittedly, that's going in the wrong direction, but I was worried that the damage would be much worse. I chose not to pay back more than a minimum payment on the line of credit because it has a 7.99% interest rate while my credit cards have higher rates.

All in all, I'm glad to see May in the rearview mirror, but I'm grateful I didn't dig my hole any deeper.

Onward to June, which looks to be a much better month, God and Murphy willing!

18 comments:

nicoleandmaggie said...

So what are you planning to do in the positive direction this month to get back to normal? What kinds of things can you do to make up for last month? Garage sale? Temporarily cut back on some luxury? Increase income?

Sharon said...

Oh my Grace...let's move on to June...and fast!

So sorry to hear about your $3,500 expense...that could not have been fun.

On the positive side, being down only $800 is not bad considering you doled out almost $4,000.

Here's to better times to come...

Grace. said...

NicoleandMaggie--I swear, you two have garage sales on the brain! Cutting back and throwing more money at the existing debt is my general plan. I got some rebates in May that I put on my debt, which helped me keep the increase within reason. Usually, I manage to pay between $1000 and $1300 per month on my debt, though, as you can see, some months are worse than others.

nicoleandmaggie said...

Not really... but when you're in one of those loops where you get unhappy about the same thing on a regular basis... well, how are you going to make it better? You can take setbacks or you can do something about them so they're neutralized. And the more high interest debt you have neutralized, the easier it is to pay things down.

Another Reader said...

If I understand correctly what happened here, your adult daughter apparently needs to learn that committing crimes has a price and you will not always be there to bail her out. A few additional months "away" because she had to rely on ah inept public defender might have driven the lesson home.

You love your children, but the rest of us are stuck with their anti-social and now criminal behavior. You can't fix it, no matter how much money you throw at the problem. These adults have to fix themselves.

You diverted $3,500 that could have eventually helped reduced your debt for this. Has paying for an attorney fixed the problem? I don't hear you say your daughter has changed her behavior because of this case or is even grateful you helped her out.

As long as you enable your kids, they will not stand on their own feet. You are not doing them any favors by supporting their bad behavior. When Grace is no longer around, they will have to survive on their own. Ask yourself, is what you are doing now going to prepare them for that eventuality?

Grace. said...

Another Reader--definitely food for thought. I don't know that you're wrong, but I do know the answers are not as simple as you make it seem. (To be fair, I've left out most of the facts, so it's hardly your fault.) We are talking years, not months, and the difference between ever or never getting out. In addition, there are four children involved who will not see their mother during the rest of their childhoods but will now be able to see her eventually. Believe it or not, that was an excellent result and worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, who will raise her 4 kids? Are you doing it?

Grace. said...

The fathers have stepped up to the plate. Grandma helps out a lot as well.

Jane said...

That is a tough situation with your daughter and don't know what I'd have done in your shoes, nor does anyone else. You are indeed fortunate to have only ended the month down by anther $800 so all in all you've held your expenses in check. I'm holding on to a line of credit I've never used...just in case. Hopefully I'll never need it, but it's good to have a Plan B.

boots said...

Being a mother never ends. The problems just get bigger. Having the line of credit is worth it for the peace of mind in an emergency.

Linda P. said...

Grace, sounds as if it was a tough month, and the financial costs may have been the least of it. I understand that your children came to you already dealing with problems that you may not have been able to straighten out in the time you were alloted to parent them before they were adults. Now you're weighing what's best for grandchildren versus you versus society versus the adult child involved. There may not be a way to even it all out and make it come out nice and tidy as some would like to see happen. Sometimes you'll make the right decision: sometimes you'll make the wrong one. If we all had our crystal balls in good working order, we would know which way to go, but that's not the way life is, and I can tell you're doing the best you know how to do. You're a good person.

suzi said...

Linda P, beautifully put.

Anonymous said...

What Linda P said!

Northwest Girl said...

Hi Grace - loving children is not for the weak - especially, foster children. Your heart is good, you did good, and I would have done the same thing in your position. While it is easy to say, let your kid get what is coming to them...timing is everything. Yes, we let kids who fail to do their homework suffer the consequences, but when they are involved in the legal system and facing extended time - it is not the time to take a stand and let them figure it out. She needed parental intervention and you provided it. She may never get it - I hope she does, but in the meanwhile you are her guardian angel. When it comes to kids...any problem that can be solved with money isn't really a problem - just a financial setback. You will regroup and move forward.

Just me said...

Yeah murphy got me today to!!!!!!!!!! I am skipping june and going to july :?

judy

Just me said...

No matter what we always love our children. You make the decisions that are best for you and your family.

I have always respected your views on many things and this is another one!!!

judy

Revanche said...

*sigh* It really isn't ever simple with all the possible pitfalls stemming from the choices that other people (the kids) make, knowing that the outcomes affects *their* kids.

Still and all, I'm well acquainted with that Murphy of ours, of old, as you know.

You've done really quite well on the retirement savings front over the last five years, I wonder if there's not a few more creative ways to stem the flow of Murphy-cash and bring in some money to push back that debt even more. I'm sure that would bring you a great deal of peace of mind.

Financial Analyst said...

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