Given the nature of the economy we live in it is no wonder that so many people have fallen on such hard times. Jobs are being lost, houses are being foreclosed on, cars are being repossessed, families are being destroyed and the list goes on and on. It is a tough time to be alive but thank God we are alive. I cannot wait to see the end of this thing.
Today reminded me of how tight things are for us. Before I get into all that I have to qualify my situation a little bit. I was not affected by the housing crisis like everyone else. I rent, I don’t own. So that means that in a world of people losing homes to outrageous mortgage movement I have remained pretty much untouched with that. My landlords are awesome people. They own the home we live in and during the course of tenancy, which has now extended to six a half years, they have not once raised our rent. They have done everything they could do for us as landlords and have done it faithfully.
No, my financial situation stems from my own personal inability to be a strong man. I let the spending in our house get ridiculously out of control over the last few years and allowed our debt to climb to a point where there really is no light at the end of the tunnel. Well there is, but it is attached to a large train barreling down the track.
Because of my decisions our once very good credit rating has evaporated into the depths of credit risk. Though I make a very good salary it is nowhere near enough to manage the levels of debt I have allowed my family to take on. Gone are the days of a large 401K (not because the market shafted me but because I had to draw on it in order to get out of what I thought was a critical mess I was in about 18 months ago). Gone are the days of no car payment because I had to refinance my car that owned outright in order to pay off debt that was run right back up within a few months. Bad decisions have led to most of the trouble I am in. And we are in some trouble.
As I checked my bank account this morning I realized that after the rent is paid and an obligation I have to tend to is handled (this is an unavoidable obligation that must be handled) my family – me, my wife and five kids – will have about $100 to live off of for the next two weeks. That gets to pay for food, for gas and anything else that might come up over the next two weeks. I cannot remember being in this tight of a position ever. Especially when not having any savings or credit to rely on for that time.
Worse yet, everyone I know that could possible assist me are in the same predicament I am. My brother and sister are both fighting their own personal financial demons at the moment. My sister-in-law makes barely enough to support herself. My in-laws are on one income since my mother-in-law got laid off a few months ago. So there is really no one to turn to for help right now.
I can’t borrow because my credit is crap in a can. I have no credit because we ran up our credit on stuff we didn’t need and could probably not even find anymore. I have no savings because it was spent on paying back creditors for credit we ran up. I have no assets because they were all used up before. This all leaves me in a rather precarious position. And quite frankly I am scared.
I know we are going to make it. We always do. And I am finally at a point where I can see the light at the end of the tunnel for real. We are about a month away from being back on time with our creditors and utilities. A month from now we will have plenty of money to live on after the bills are paid. Two weeks from now it will be a struggle again, but not as bad as this.
But for now I have to find a way to contend with all of this. Not sure how I am going to do it, but it will get done. Of course, if you have any suggestions or ideas, I am all ears. Well, eyes, as it were, since I am reading.