Updates

So, you may have noticed I went silent again lately. Seriously, I had planned on updating more. I have four roommates, and the newest one is driving me up the wall. I have lists and lists of posts to make.

But, as always, life got in the way.

Beginning of the month, I met a new guy at work. He’s a customer, and we’ve been spending pretty much every weekend hanging out together. That’s the good little bit of life right now. Pretty much the only good part.

Middle of the month, my dad had to go up to London for his ablation. That’s a surgery that is supposed to help with his AFib problem. His heart rate would suddenly go up to over 200bpm in the middle of the night, and he’d have to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance to have his heart shocked back to a normal rhythm. This surgery involved burning off the bad parts of his heart to make the surrounding parts stronger, or something like that. A really nice nurse explained it to a small child like that, which was a hell of a lot easier to understand than all the medical talk they threw at me. So my sister and I went up there to be with mum through all of this. My sister had to leave that night, and I spent the night in a residence with mum. There were a few small complications, and we were almost 6 hours late being discharged while they monitored fluid build-up around his heart. Turns out they had to burn a lot more than they thought they’d have to. Everything turned out fine, and we came home.

That was a week ago Tuesday. By Friday, dad and my brother both had really bad chest colds, with my brother winding up with bronchitis. In the middle of all this, mum caught it too. Now mum was next in line for her heart surgery, and was supposed to go up to London this past Friday for her pre-admission appointment. She needs an aortic valve replacement, and her heart was only pumping at about 35% of what it should have been.

Sunday night, I phone them up to see how everyone is feeling, just to have my brother tell me that dad just rushed mum to the hospital.She was admitted late Monday night, and spent a few days in one hospital here in town. Doctors said she had pneumonia and a blood clot in her heart. So we all have had to wear full quarantine gear around her, in case she’s contagious. Then on Thursday night, she was transferred to the CCU at another hospital where one of her heart doctors works. She’s been there ever since.

The doctors are saying that she has to have her surgery ASAP now, because her heart has gotten weaker. It’s down between 20% and 25% of normal function. She’s been fighting off her pneumonia, and finally got her first shower since Sunday morning today. I’ve been going to see her every chance I get, and so has my sister. Dad is practically living at the hospital right now, taking care of her. I’ve been bussing it all over town, to different hospitals and my work, and haven’t had a break since dad’s surgery. I got called into work on Thursday morning, and was such a wreck that my co-workers were worried. Apparently my hands were shaking so much, I couldn’t use the pricing gun right.

Through all of this, I’ve had to update everyone on Facebook (there’s no phones or internet allowed in the CCU). So between hospital, buses, work, dozens of Facebook messages each day, and dealing with idiot roommates, I am going to just have a total breakdown soon. My parents told me to take tomorrow off everything and get some rest, before I collapse.

So that’s been my life, Sunshine. Sucks, don’t it? But I’m getting through it, day by day. I always say, the world doesn’t stop just because someone sneezes. Life isn’t going to pause itself because someone gets sick. So I’ll be around more soon, hopefully, as soon as everyone around here starts remembering how to be healthy again.

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A Quick Word

I’m sitting here, waiting for my hair dye to do its think, checking Pinterest on my phone. While looking up pins on budgeting, organizing, and getting out of debt, I found a common theme to a good 80% of pins, and it is really starting to piss me off.

Now, let me start by saying that these people who write these articles and make these pins really do mean well. They’re passing on things what really worked well for them, and hoping they’ll work for the rest of us.

That being said, holy tap dancing squirrel turds, these posts are hurting my brain!

“If you want to save money every month, just cut back on your cable bill! Why  pay all that extra for premium packages, when you can just spend a bit more for a good Internet package and stream everything!”

(Well, I already do that. If my current place didn’t have basic cable included in the price, I wouldn’t have it. Haven’t had cable for myself in years.)

“Who needs fancy take-out coffee every day when  you can buy a Keurig! You can make your own coffee and drink it at home instead of spending $5 on a cup of coffee at a coffee shop every afternoon!”

(First off, who the hell is spending at least $25 on coffee each week and wondering why they have no money? I’ve been brewing my own damn coffee for years. Having coffee from a coffee shop is something for first dates and the odd especially crazy day at work. And even then, $5? Hell no! My medium one milk two sweetener is $1.50 at most!”)

“Do you really need a newer vehicle? There are plenty of good, reliable used cars out there! Why not trade yours in, and sink that extra money into your loans?”

(Probably because I can’t afford a used car, let alone a new one to trade in for a used one. I walk, and when I can afford it, I take the bus.  I know that car payments, insurance, gas, and maintenance are expensive, so I don’t have any of those!)

“Set a plan and go big! Sure $100 a month towards your debt seems like a great idea. But what about $1,000? Or $2,000? Or even $5,000? Sounds crazy, but going all in like this is the only way to tackle bigger debts sometimes!”

(Some months, I don’t even make $1,000. How the hell am I going to make $900, but pay $2,000 on one debt? And if I was making enough money that I had an extra $5,000 to throw down on my student loans, I don’t think that loan would be as huge of a problem to me as it is now!)

Are you seeing the trend I’m seeing here?

All of these articles that I’m finding online about paying down your debts seem to think that we are all actually making enough money to do it their way!

Now, I’ll be straight up and honest with all ya’ll. I did 5 years of university, going full year instead of just two semesters, all with student loans. Then when I got out of school, I had a hell of a time finding a job. I lived off my credit cards for a while. Now that I have a job, it doesn’t pay enough to pay all of my bills AND leave me money for things like groceries and bus fair. So I still find myself putting things like groceries and cat food on a credit card. I have so much debt that it feels like I will never get out of it.

That being said, I’ve already made most of the changes these articles are talking about, much like many of you out there have too. We don’t go out buying new cars, and expensive cable packages, and designer clothes. The whole reason we’re reading these articles is to figure out how to do more than we already are doing. We’re already scrimping and saving and living on the bare minimum. We want to know what else to do.

These articles make it all seem so easy too. They have titles like “How I Paid of $60,000 in Debt in A Year” or “I Paid Off $27,000 in 6 Months”. I don’t even make that much in a year, and you’re telling me how easy it is to pay out that much extra in a matter of months?

In the end, I still keep reading these damn articles. If you read them close enough, reading between all of the crap you’re probably already doing, you can still find random little nuggets of hope that you too can work off your debts. Like me, though, you just need to keep in mind that not every suggestion will work for everyone. I couldn’t move back in with my parents, no matter how many times they offer that as a solution to my rent problems, because I’m a 34 year old stubborn woman who just wants to be able to afford her own place. While my current situation is less than ideal, it is still more independent and “grown up” than moving back in to my old bedroom at their house. For someone who lives in an area with horrible internet provider options, or no cable hookups, a satellite may  be your only option for at-home entertainment. And video game systems, while a pretty big expense for we broke-as-hell folk, the hours upon hours upon hours of entertainment some video games and Netflix can provide may be worth the expense.

What I’m trying to say, Sunshine, is you know what I’ve said before: you know what works best for you. While I need my crappy little room in a student rental and a big collection of booze and cheap wine to get me through this crazy little thing we call life and adulthood, your needs may be different. Just be sure your needs are within your means, and you can do this. No buying $40 bottles of wine when you can only afford a $5 bottle; no buying designer threads when you’re on a Goodwill budget. You figure out your best path to a debt-free life, and you work it the best you can.

And whatever you do, NEVER compare yourself to the people who paid off $60,000 in a year. Unless you have that much disposable income to throw down on your debt already, you are in a much different boat than them. And just because their boat is bigger DOESN’T mean they’re better off. Remember: it was the people in those little life boats that survived the sinking of the Titanic, not the people who were still on that massive ship. The size of your ship doesn’t prove your worth.

So keep your heads up, Sunshine! We can all get through this together!