Update on how we're doing.

Hi again y'all.  I want to thank all of you who commented or emailed and sent encouraging words about my one and only post in October.  It means a lot to me,  thanks again!

So, yeah Christopher was let go from his job.  He'd been laid off from there before due to downsizing.  The first time he worked there for 14 years,  and this time he'd worked there for 7 years.  That's a long time to devote to a company that just kicks you to the curb.  It's a retail store, and we've not been back to shop there since.  Rumors are that it's closing next year anyway, but at least then he would have gotten an severance package.  Still, I try not to be bitter.  in fact,... it may have been one of the best things to ever happen to us... really.

As soon as I found out, after recovering from the shock, my instincts took over, and I immediately sat down and crunched numbers, and found out just how long we could go on just my income.  (Not long). He appealed the decision so even if nothing came of it, there was a record of it.  He was able to get Unemployment due to them never showing just cause for the firing (as there wasn't any).  We knew we had some money in a trust from his grandparents that we were leaving there for an emergency... well the time had come.  He also got out his savings account and 401k (which was unfortunately very measly since we never learned the value of saving for retirement (nor could we afford to for YEARS)).  So, we paid off a lot of the loans and all the cash advances that were leeching away our paychecks every month.  We still have 3 small loans left, but they'll be paid off by the end of the year I believe or first of the new year anyway. 

I completely redid my budget book, and got WAY more organized.  I am now using a planner, and I have it open and use it all the time.  I've been doing it since just before he lost his job, and I am very glad I had it to keep sane and keep organized during all this.  I'll write more about my planner and how it changed my life in another post. :)  I'm also going to do a post on my budget book.  It's nothing fancy, but it has been a HUGE help in staying on track.  There is no more wiggle room with the budget like there was when his big checks were coming in, so making a good budget and sticking to it is paramount.  

If he hadn't lost his job, we'd still be paying on all those loans, renewing cash advances and throwing our money away every month.  I still would be making unreasonable budgets and never sticking to them.  I would probably not have stuck with my planner and given up on being organized  - again.   His Unemployment checks are about half of what he had been bringing home, and of course he no longer has that amazing life insurance we had through his work, so that's kind of scary. There is just not room in the budget for getting more, and we couldn't port over the old one due to the health questionnaire.  He never passes those, not with the stroke last year and the heart attack 7 years ago and chronic stuff like high blood pressure etc. They won't touch him.  So,  I'm just praying all stays good, and then his new job, when he gets one, will have great benefits and he'll have life insurance again. 

As for the job hunt, there are actually quite a few retail management positions out there in our area.  He applied to several, but he has to apply to 3/week, so he tends to spread them out so he can report at least 3 each week to recertify. He heard back from one to do their online test, but haven't heard back since then.  I am going to get him a new crisp white dress shirt and some new dress slacks and he'll start calling and going to places to inquire about his application etc.  But he's got a few weeks yet on his unemployment, so there's no rush.  He can keep looking each week, and the right one will come along.

Until then, he's home all the time of course.  He's been a big help around the house, and he's had his friends over quite often.  He does all the kids' stuff like picking them up after school if they have a club meeting, etc.  He's even mowed the yard when I asked!  Today we were going to reorganize his book shelves in our bedroom, but my back has been really acting up lately. 

Even taking a muscle relaxant last night didn't help.  It started flaring up when I stood over piles of old bills on the bed.  I'd finally emptied out the big green tray where stuff just got tossed into when I didn't want to face it.  Now, it's all being faced, and though we still get calls from collectors now and then,  I find that I already have them budgeted to be paid, which is very cool. So yeah standing over the bed sorting all of those for over an hour was a bad idea for someone with chronic back pain.  I was dumb, I admit.  What's worse, is a couple days ago, I was feeling a little better, so I dragged out 2 milk crates I'd had in my closet or under my bed since before we moved!  We brought them with us!  We've been here almost 6 years.  Crazy.  So I tossed a bunch of stuff and saved the memorabilia, keepsake stuff and put it all in one spot where I can sort it out later into the girls' binders.  Those will be a whole other post too.  But yeah, doing that just made my back ache worse.  So, not reorganizing book shelves today.

 So, even though he's unemployed now, we haven't really "felt" it.  You know?  I still buy groceries and pack the pantry and freezer every two weeks, though there may be less junk food than before (which is good because Christopher is on a new diet - another post!)  and less *extras*.  I don't buy soda anymore, though I do sneak myself a Diet Dr pepper two liter now and then and keep it by my desk.  Don't judge LOL.  I was able to order stuff from the band boosters citrus and cheese sale.  (Zoe's in band this year).  I have even been able to get a few Christmas presents already.  So, yeah, we're doing well (thanks in HUGE part to the family money and 401k he received).  We both pledge never to get into that much debt again.

Oh speaking of debt.  We just passed a huge milestone!  We just passed the $10,000 point on our house lease.  The amount we still owe on the lease-to-own is now a 4 digit number!  This is so exciting!  Can't wait to get it paid off!

Well, I hope this wasn't too rambly.  Y'all have an awesome week, and I'll be back with posts about my budget binder and how I organize all of that,  my daily planner, my wallet planner, my holiday planner, a junk journal I made, and the diet Christoper is on.. plus more I am sure!