Monday, October 7, 2013


The kids' school is trying something new this year....instead of early dismissal for Professional Development Days at the middle/high school level....they are doing Late Arrival.  Today is the first of 6 days over the school year (the elementary school is doing 18 early dismissals!!)

The kids normally catch the bus at 7:30am.  Today it will arrive at 10:04.  Good grief.  Don't they realize that this is a royal PITA!!!  At least there is only 6 of them.

I am home sick today.  I am not sick enough to be in bed all day, but definitely not well enough to be in the office.  I brought some stuff home with me over the weekend, so as soon as the kids are gone, I will sip my tea and read some reports.

The reality of the government shutdown....still confusing everything! 

The government has passed retro pay.  All those who haven't been working will still get paid, which I have mixed feelings about.  While it wasn't their fault....they will get paid for doing nothing.  Those who have continued to work (like G-man), will also get paid...but they did WORK.  Not sure if we are in such a budget crunch if paying people to do nothing is the best idea.

G-man's next scheduled pay date is Oct 17, but usually direct deposit hits 3 days earlier.  This happens to be a holiday, so it would hit on Oct 15.  If it happens.  It will all depend on the Federal Finance Center and how backlogged they are.  Plus, no idea what the paycheck will actually be.  While retro pay has been doesn't say WHEN we will see it.

Plus, we don't know how many scheduled furlough days we will have over the year.  

Additionally, the retirement loan comes directly out of G-man's pay.  When his paycheck is calculated...all the taxes and scheduled deductions come out first.  Then the remainder is split between 3, car, and whatever is left goes into our checking.  Usually this covers all of our Capital One savings accounts for our various pre-savings (cat, Christmas, medical, etc).  I am going to have to shut all of those off and do it manually, if we have the money to do it at all right now.  I may have to play catch up.

I am planning on paying something on all the bills, but may not pay some things in full.  I want to make sure we have enough money to pay for food, gas, etc.  I am not worried about the electric being turned off or anything like that.  But we may be a little behind for a bit.  The water bill is due in November (we will get the bill during the first week of Nov), and we may have to hold off on it, even though I have pre-saved for it.

All of this is scary.  Despite our 67k in debt....we have been working hard over the past years to plan for expenses, and this is all getting blown up.


The car.  *sigh*

G-man found 2 possible cars on-line.  He will probably go look at them tomorrow.  Neither are ones we would normally pick, but we just need a car that is will get us to and from work. 

We decided against a private sale, as we would have zero recourse if the car is a total dud.  If it was someone we knew...that would be different.  But we are looking at cars that are under $5k...which even that much is really hard for us to swallow. 

I have to call the credit union today and find out what the parameters of a $5k loan are.  I am guessing that won't stretch it out for very long.  We need to get the monthly cost within the budget though.

However...some of the "savings" per month will come from knocking the insurance down (in reality, we probably have too much insurance on G-man's now dead car), and better gas mileage.  But we can't swing hundreds of dollars a month. 

Enter his mother.  She offered to "help" us.  Oh we go again.  I don't want the strings (which G-man claims there are none of).  She didn't realize that the government shutdown was effecting us (c'mon...your son works for the FEDERAL could you not know anything?).  And now with the car...she offered to whip out her checkbook once we found something.

And in typical G-man fashion....he has no idea what all of that means.  Loan vs gift?  How much? 

*stepping onto soap box*

Mom, if you want to help....then help.  Don't make us come to you with all the details.  If you want to do something...then do what you feel is appropriate.  Don't make us say "the car is $5k" and put us in the awkward position of naming a number for the amount of the check.

*stepping off*

I don't want to take the money from her.  It will really suck for us right now....but I don't want this looming over me.  Now, before you all yell at me about stuff I have said in the past about the parental units.....the kids are a different story.  If a grandparent wants to pay for camp (which we have heard many times before and has only materialized once in 7 years), or school clothes or whatever....then fine.  But again, we aren't going to come to you for the money.  If you want to do it, then just do it. 

On the flip side....boy it would help out if we didn't have to deal with another car payment!!

If you made it this earned a sticker!  Yay you!!!


  1. I have to say you must make a substantial family income for the bank to continue to loan you money. Not being a jerk, it just seems with a debt of 67K that a bank would be advising you not to add to that. I would be leery of taking on 5K more. Can you at all get by with one car until you can save up a bit for a car??

    Also, the government employees that have been forced out of work, deserve to be paid. It was not their choice to be "unemployed". It would be absolutely wrong for the government not to make it up to them. Think about if your husband was one of the ones not working, you would expect some form of compensation. No family should be thrown into financial upheaval because rich politicians cannot get their act together.

    1. The retirement loan doesn't count against us because it was a loan from our own as far as a bank is concerned, our debt would be closer to 41k, over half of which would be student loan. Our income on paper is actually not bad. We just happen to live in a state that sucks us dry on taxes, high cost of living. Plus our medical makes our "living" income much smaller.

      No way to get by with one car. We work 25 miles away from each of our jobs, in opposite directions. And because of the overlap of schedules, we each need our car. Plus, there is no public transportation that works.

      I said I had mixed feelings about the paying people for not working. Yes, if it was my husband, I would want him to get paid. But again, my husband is working....and will (eventually) get paid. Those people aren't. It is essentially a vacation. So I think that while they deserve something....full comp may not be the right answer. Maybe "unemployment" pay would be more appropriate.

  2. So this is probably something you won't want to do but I am throwing it out there for a car option.....have you thought of picking up someone else's lease? there is a site called and people use it to either find a short term lease (even less than a year in some cases) from people trying to get out of their leases. I have known people who have picked up lease cars from this site in the short term - it may be an option to find something reliable that won't break the bank every month. My thought is, if you find a lease that is for another year that is $100-$150 a month, you won't have to worry about repairs vs buying a $5K car that could need major repairs in 6 months. I know it is not ideal since you won't own the car at the end but in this situation it may be worth knowing what your fixed payment is instead of also worrying about repairs. Just a thought. (I am generally a buyer but this seems like it could be a good option). Then you can buy what you want when you are ready to purchase a car.

    1. Thanks for the info. We will need a car for at least 2 years. But you are right....repairs in 6 months are a concern with an older car.

  3. Recently my work (which is a privately owned large company) closed the doors for a day. I think it was the day after a holiday. We had no choice whether we wanted to work or not, we were told not to come in. If we wanted paid we had to use a personal/vacation day. If we didn't have the time, then we didn't get paid for the day. And they only gave us a few days notice that they were doing this. It may not be the federal employees' fault that they aren't working and they didn't choose this but they shouldn't get paid for not working.

  4. My honk girl take the money and run. I don't care what strings are attached. She wants to help let her help. I would jump at the chance for my parents to help.

  5. Take the money, Mysti! Consider it a "leg up" not a "handout", as they say. You can always pay it back later once the debt is gone, if you feel it is necessary or if it is weighing down on you. Work out (with compounding interest) the amount of interest on loans you will save and how much it will shorten your debt repayment cycle...the math will talk! As long as it is not putting your MIL into financial stress, I would take it.

  6. I could not possibly disagree more about taking money from your mother in law. Borrowing from family is not a good idea when there are no "issues", whether past or present. You already clearly have serious doubts as to her intentions.

    My husbands father passed away in 1995, two years before I met him. As a "gift" his mother(who was never ever good with money) decided to give him and his sister 10K each as sort of an early inheritance(there is no inheritance left to be had now). He was saving for a house at the time so he put it towards a down payment. We were married in September of 1997. I cannot begin to count the number of times, over the past 16 years, she has thrown this back in his face. As her life spiralled out of control, there were long periods of estrangement between them. We refused to have our children be a witness to the drama. In December of 2011, my husbands sister won 1.75 million in a work lottery pool. In Canada you get the whole amount tax free, one lump sum. In March of 2012, my husband received a hate-filled email from his mom asking for $3000+ from us. My husband said that we could not do that, why not ask his sister who just won the lottery? The next email was so unkind. She said she "lent" him 10K and "gave" him a truck(that needed a transmission to run) and how ungrateful he and his sister were, etc. He calmly emailed her back reminding her again(for the umpteenth time) that the money had been a gift and to please stop using it as some kind of bargaining chip. Not sure if the sister ever had given her money or not.

    Needless to say, when family is involved in a money transaction, there are always strings attached. The bank can take your house, but 30 years from now they won't be reminding you how they gave you a "gift" decades ago.

  7. Our district implemented weekly late arrivals several years ago. School starts 2 hours late every Weds. Personally, I enjoy the more relaxed morning, but I do not see why the school needs it. They also have early releases...ALWAYS the Weds /Thurs /Friday the week BEFORE Thanksgiving, then the following week, (week of Thanksgiving) is a Weds. early release, off Thursday and Friday. Not much impetus for attendance those weeks!

    I agree with the above commenter. Do not accept money from family. I would question why you (he) even discusses finances with family. In our family, personal finance is, well, personal. I want to teach my children as my parents manage their finances with skills other than tossing more $ at the problem. The freedom my parents gave me by doing little more when I graduated from college than getting me a bed and cheap set of pots and pans for my firdt cruddy aparyment when I landed my first (cruddier paying job) was and still is worth more than ANYTHING I could have thought I needed back then. Quite sure the items would be gone by now but my (our) independence and trouble free relationships with my parents remain. It also taught me skills to help dh deal with his triangulating family members.

  8. This whole government shut-down is HORRIBLE and very stressful. Let's cross our fingers that it will end very soon!