Everyone knows I’m on a very fixed income with 4 kids and going to school. I am having to use student loans to help get us by until I finish school. Not the best situation but it is what it is. I can finish quicker and hopfully get a better job than I can now when I am done. If I work now I would have to cut my classes to two a term so I can work and take care of the kids too and still have to take out loans. Doing it that way it would take me more than two years to finish a two year degree and I would be racking up all those loans. Where if I just go to school and take 4 or 5 classes at a time and use loans i can be done in a year to year and a half. Probably end up with less in loans to pay back probably not anymore.

Knowing that this is how things are and the amounts of money I have coming in and the fact that some of it comes in large sums months apart I have to plan accordingly. This makes sure that everything gets paid, it may not all get paid and it may not be on time but it makes sure that it don’t go off or we don’t get thrown out of our house. Then when I get my big sums I pay everything down to a $0 balance and keep them paid on time until money gets tight that two or three months where I am not getting as much.

My friend keeps saying she don’t know how I do it and how I have 4 kids and I keep everything going, it’s just her and her husband and they are behind on everything. I know he didn’t have a job for a little bit but she had one that paid little and he refused to check on some he could have gotten and been working. He got some unemployment and I know family helped them. He is working now and trying to get caught up and seem to just keep going in a cirlce and not getting anything caught up or paid off.

He took a job almost an hour from home so he has the expense of the extra gas and tolls. Then this job they only work a week on and a week off. Sure you are making $24 an hour but then divide that by two weeks because you are off a week and not making money so that money is for two weeks really not one. Your not really making anymore than if you worked every week over here at a little less and din’t pay all the extras. Then their car died beyond fixing died. They have two other cars but they are not here because even when he was working before they didn’t pay the money to get the one that was given to them here from out of state and then the other they bought from family and are letting them drive it still for a little bit before they get it. Once family goes home they will get the car. Instead of sucking it up and having the other car shipped they went out and rented a car for over a months that put them that much farther behind. They sent as much or more than what it would have cost them to get the car here. They had borrowed a van that they could have used until it got here if they would have just shipped it. I even told them look find a $300 to $500 beater buy it put your tag on it they be out $600 or less. I found some for under $500 that would have worked. When they were done with it they could have turned around and sold it for what they paid and got that money back. But because he didn’t come up with the idea and didn’t find the cars it was a bad idea.

They are months behind in rent I can’t believe they haven’t gotten thrown out yet but they have been there for about 10 years so the lady is working with them. But they keep getting farther behind not catching up. Then she tells me today that they owe half his check or more to the bank because they over drew it trying to pay rent, bills and put gas in the car.

She said they were trying so hard to get ahead and it was going to be tight for a while until they do and she don’t want to take the over draft off the account because what if something happens they need money.

I told her she isn’t getting ahead, she isn’t getting close to even thinking about being ahead, all she is doing is digging her hole bigger and bigger and she is pretty soon not going to be able to get out of it. She didn’t understand why I said that. I said because your costing yourself more money every month in over draft fee’s and that is money you could use to pay on of your bills your behind. She said we are maintaining. I said no because you don’t have the money to maintain or you wouldn’t be over drafting. All she is doing in going more in debt every month and soon she is going to be homeless and have to start from the ground up if she don’t get on a budget and work it out.

She said again I don’t know how you do it and how you don’t stress about it all the time. You never seem to stress about money and you probably live on less than anyone I know. She said something about budget and not having money to do anything or go anywhere. I said that’s part of being an adult and making sure stuff gets done.

Like I told her I know that my rent is $X a month, I know that I have $100 less than that a month coming in, so I know when I get money I have to figure out the next time I will get a lump sum of money again and make sure I put $100 for each month up and not touch it so that rent gets paid every month. Then I pay all my bills down to $0 and I pay them off as soon as I get them as many months as I can. Once money starts to get tight the last month or so before I get money again I pay on the one that is due soonest and pay only what I have to. Then I do the same with the next and on down the line and just rota them like that until I get my lump sum again and then I pay them all down to $0 but for the most part they are paid on time and in full but a month or two here and there.

When I am dividing money up Rent comes off to the top because most people are not like them and can get months behind and not get thrown out. Two rent is the biggest bills in most houses, if it gets behind and all you are able to do is maintain and keep things going it becomes in possible to catch up and if other stuff is behind you can just about forget catching it up. Where if the others get behind there is most times a set amount you can pay and keep it on or make payment arrangements to pay it. As far as going out or doing anything if I do not have it then we don’t go simple as that. Does it suck living on a tight budget of course but does it keep a ruff over our heads, lights, water and rent paid so we aren’t homeless yes. I will take having bills paid over being homeless any day. You can always find little ways here and there to fit small things a dinner out or something like that once in a while.

She called me later and said she talked to her husband and he is talking to the bank about making payment arrangements with them and paying a months rent out of this check and on some bills. I hope they stick to it because they should be able to get it paid off pretty quick if they do. But if they don’t then they are going to end up homeless and have a hard time finding a place, once they do they aren’t going to be able to get water and things because they will have big bills with the companies. He makes ok money but not great money like they want everyone to think and there is only two of them so I don’t know what they can’t get on a budget and stick to it. They pretty much just have daily/monthly cost that is it if they don’t spend on a ton of extras. I know with 5 of us I could live on what he is bringing in and keep my bills paid and probably have money left at the end of the month. I told her bring me her bills and things and I could help her set up a budget and help her start getting things paid down. I don’t know what they are going to do.

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