Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pipe dreams.. seems to be a running joke

My grandmother sent us a check so that we could cover a debt with one of the universities [online] a couple of years ago.  After Monday, that will be all taken care of and I won't have to worry about it again.  If I'd managed to slowly pay off what I owed them near the end of 2008, I wouldn't have been contacted by their collector in the first place.  Once that's done, I can request a copy of my transcript from them and pay an additional $10 to get an official copy sent to the college I'm trying to attend.

The first week of classes went well.  Turns out that I'm not on the roll right now because I'm in a "non-payment" status.  If I had my financial aid and GI Bill two weeks ago, I wouldn't be in that status.  My criminal justice instructor has no problem accepting me in the late registration; I have no idea about my pre-algebra instructor.

When my Pell Grant comes in (I've been awarded a sum), I'll be able to pay for school, text books, and any other materials I need for class.  I really hope I can still do the late registration this week.  I already have the form, so I just need the math instructor to sign it.

Once the GI Bill starts, we'll have money for our rent.  The Chapter 33 GI Bill includes basic allowance for housing and the amount is based on the closest major metropolis; in our case, it'll be Dallas.  We just have to be patient.

I'm supposed to get paid today, but since I don't have to work, it seems like a wasted trip out there (since it's a one-hour round-trip).  The bank isn't even open today, so it's not like it would make a difference.  I'll pick it up tomorrow.

As for work, it's going okay, I guess.  I caught a glimpse of the schedule for the coming week and, of the hourly employees, I have the most hours [at 20 hours] and it almost doesn't seem worth it.  Also, I was informed last week that, due to my school schedule, I'm being dropped to a regular hourly employee.  I'm keeping the pay and the shirt in case I can be in management again.

I'm also holding out on for a part-time retail job here in town; it's much closer, so I'm not worried about it being part-time.  With my experience in retail in the last 13 years, I can only hope that I'll be paid for it.  When I receive positive word on a job in town, I'm giving my notice to my job 30 minutes away.

Our electricity was shut off a couple of days ago for non-payment.  Mom called Derek and spoke to Patrick. I went ahead and charged it to our checking account (thank you, overdraft plan) and by the end of the work day, we found out that between three families (technically, all just one big family) had pulled together $300 for us to pay our electric bill and get it turned back on.

Bob and Betty threw in $100 ("It's supposed to get real cold tonight and that baby [Bella] ain't gonna freeze"), Derek and Jessica were going to throw in $100 (Pat's brother from another mother and Bob and Betty's son and daughter-in-law).  Then, Jessica's Gran was going put in $100 to help us out.  We've only met Jess's Gran once and that was back in October for a Halloween get-together.  I guess once you're family with one person here, you're family with the rest of the family.

The sheer generosity and kindness exhibited by these people floored me.  Patrick told me about it when he came home from work that day and I about cried.  Literally cried.  I could not believe how caring people could be.  It's true that Bob and Betty have known Mom and Patrick for decades (Pat and Derek have been friends since before they could walk or talk), but it's just something I'm not used to.

We didn't accept their offer to help, but it was greatly appreciated.  It's not often that I'm moved to tears by how kind almost complete strangers can be.  I've only ever met Derek, Jess, Bob, and Betty since May 2010 and Jess's Gran since October 2010.  I am grateful for people like them.

It's kind of tough to pay bills when we don't have the money to pay it.  I'm getting practically minimum wage and barely 24 hours each week at work.  My husband's hourly pay isn't bad at all, but 50% of it is taken every single paycheck for his child support.  I've said before that I'm not mad or upset about him paying child support; what upsets me is how much of his check is taken.

We need to survive, too, and we can't do that on $385 every two weeks.  My checks have a small chance of being that amount every two weeks, if I'm getting only 20-24 hours each week.  I really wish that Texas law took over here with the child support; they only take 35% of the payer's paycheck.

We considering selling the truck again.  Kelley Blue Book says that it's worth about $2,000 - $2,5000.  I would love to get the full amount for his truck.  We've also talked about getting title loans on the vehicles, but we have to register those vehicles first.  We need the title loans to GET the vehicles registered; stupid cycle.  To make matters worse, registration tags for Colorado expire this month.  I know that Colorado has a one month leniency, but I don't know about Texas.

We need money to pay bills; they're past due.  Can I remember them all?  Bowie-Cass, Progressive, ATT, Dish Network, Hughesnet, TRMC (ER visit AND the separate doctor bill), school, gas (vehicles), groceries, trash, RENT.

I keep wondering what we did.  I know what I didn't do.  I haven't been smart with my money since the day of my first job.  If I'd been a penny pincher then, I don't know if we'd be in this situation.  I hope that I would have still joined the Navy when I did.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The month is nearly over

We've attempted to accomplish a lot this month.  Patrick's job with the city is going well; he needs to get his Texas driver license as well as his CDL by May.  I need to get my Texas license soon, as well as get my car registered.  I can't do that unless I have money.  I don't have the money; at least, not right now.

I found a job in the food service industry.  I took it the day it was offered to me because I hadn't had any luck with anything else.  I hate working food service.  I called Sprint today to see if they were hiring and they're looking for part-time employees; I'm calling back in about a week and a half to follow up on my resume.  I understand that they might take money from my paycheck to cover what we owe them from our Sprint bill, but, it'll take one check and we're caught up and can get our cell phones back on.

I also started school again this week.  I'm going for Criminal Justice and I hope to find a decent job with the degree I get from it.  I have four books that I need to buy; three of them should be available for me to borrow while in class until my GI Bill comes in.  The other book.. the assignments are going to have to be copied until I can get it.  It's available on www.half.com for about $95.  Much better than the $113 USED at the school bookstore.  I also have to pay half of the tuition as soon as possible.  It's "only" $420 but that's money we don't have.

That's pretty much it.

The months is nearly over

We've attempted to accomplish a lot this month.  Patrick's job with the city is going well; he needs to get his Texas driver license as well as his CDL by May.  I need to get my Texas license soon, as well as get my car registered.  I can't do that unless I have money.  I don't have the money; at least, not right now.

I found a job in the food service industry.  I took it the day it was offered to me because I hadn't had any luck with anything else.  I hate working food service.  I called Sprint today to see if they were hiring and they're looking for part-time employees; I'm calling back in about a week and a half to follow up on my resume.  I understand that they might take money from my paycheck to cover what we owe them from our Sprint bill, but, it'll take one check and we're caught up and can get our cell phones back on.

I also started school again this week.  I'm going for Criminal Justice and I hope to find a decent job with the degree I get from it.  I have four books that I need to buy; three of them should be available for me to borrow while in class until my GI Bill comes in.  The other book.. the assignments are going to have to be copied until I can get it.  It's available on www.half.com for about $95.  Much better than the $113 USED at the school bookstore.  I also have to pay half of the tuition as soon as possible.  It's "only" $420 but that's money we don't have.

That's pretty much it.
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