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Archive for September, 2013

Bank said my check bounced, but then they cleared it

September 29th, 2013 at 05:12 am

Ok I'm not entirely sure whats going on with my checking account so I used a big portion of my 8k to straighten it out.

I paid my COBRA in September, and yesterday I received a notice in the mail from my bank saying it bounced. I wasn't too surprised as we have been operating so lean that a few dollars off would mean a bounced check.

I checked my online account and the check had not been cashed, no overdraft fees were applied yet.

I called COBRA and they said they had not been notified by the bank yet, as far as their system was concerned it was ok right now.

So I told her the check was going to bounce, and asked if I could send another check right away to not interrupt my healthcare. She said to send it in and I would get a separate bill asking for returned check fees.

When the $8k arrived yesterday, I decided to pay 2 months of COBRA just to ensure no lapse in coverage while I had a baby. And I wanted to redeem myself to the COBRA accounting staff to show I was really sorry and please do not lapse my coverage. Off in the mail the check went. Off in the bank the money went.

When I got home I checked my online account again to ensure the money had been deposited.

My COBRA check was now listed on my account and it had cleared!?

Which was confusing, why did the bank alert me it was unpaid?

Anyways, the good news is that I have my COBRA covered for the next 3 months (Oct/Nov/Dec) and that is $1530/month I don't need to worry about.

The less good news is that now my account is $1530 less than I thought because a payment I thought would bounce has cleared. So I need to re-arrange my October bill paying priorities. Short term pain because come November I wont have our largest expense of COBRA to worry about!

Money has arrived!

September 28th, 2013 at 09:34 am

My payment from CA came in today! $8K came in, its already deposited in the bank, and I already have $8k of payments waiting for the mailman to pick up.

In other news- it seems that the tenant is not going to move into our soon to be vacant property. She met up with husband yesterday and its drama.

She does not have 5 people moving in, she has 2 people (herself and one other). And the other roommate can only pay 1/4th of the rent because his sole job is selling timeshares. Tenant cant cover the remaining 3/4th of the rent by herself, she was expecting to also pay 1/4 as she had previously been paying. She or WE (her expectations) would find people to fill up the remaining 2 rooms. She was expecting to rent a room from us basically.

We have always rented out the entire apartment to a group and allowed them to give us separate checks that will cover their portion of the rent. I guess this girl thought she had been renting a room the whole time she had previously lived there.

So husband told her to find a way to pay the entire $1800/month by the 1st or we would find new tenants.

I am ok with losing this potential tenant and losing out on 1 month of rent because of it. This girl seems like drama with her sudden decision to move out of our place, causing all the other tenants to be displaced, so they all have to give notice and find other accommodations. Then she moved into another place and weeks later decides she wants to return to my place. Without a plan to get enough roommates to cover the rent. And she wants a 9 month lease because she is graduating from school in May.

So it looks like we will be finding new tenants. I'm up for the challenge!

It is better to owe than to be owed

September 27th, 2013 at 06:11 am

"It is always better to owe someone than to be owed." This was the newest mantra that my ex-business partner spouted off one day when he showed up to do some work.

He was never good with money. But he is smart and likes to learn/emulate from people he admires.

The night before he had been hanging out with an acquaintance whom he really admired. The acquaintance had a big successful business and my ex partner thought he had nailed down a good business formula. (Which ended up being one of the problems with our business, the formula was not right for us and what we could handle, when it was modeled after the acquaintance's business).

Anyways, that particular morning, ex partner came in to make himself some food and said "It is better to owe than to be owed." I immediately looked at husband with a "Do not buy this crap" look and waited for the elaboration.

"Because when you owe people, you have all the money. Your plan might go bust and you cant pay it back as promised, but you have the power because you have the money. If you are owed, then you have no money and you are at the mercy of people with money". That was his logic.

I wasn't in the mood to really refute him or think it was going to be a turning point of information so I halfheartedly talked about how I would rather live debt free so I don't have people breathing down my back. I mused that it was the creditors that were always wealthy while the debtors were seen as broke and vulnerable. I think husband and ex partner continued to talk money theory and then moved onto video games. I moved on to do the laundry.

Anyways, that motto stuck in my head and gnawed at me for a while. Probably because ex partner started LIVING it. Our 50/50 expenses split became wildly unbalanced as he was crying broke and expecting us to carry the load. We kept expecting him to catch up and he never did.

One day I realized why that motto was stupid. Because a debt owed can be collected at any time. Whether you are ready for it or not.

I remembered a snippet of history where the Donner Party (the pioneers trying to cross the Rocky mountains to get to California but got stuck in the mountains over winter and most starved, froze and ate each other.) would sell supplies to one another on their journey. The wealthier families would sell off cows and supplies to others in the caravan because they had more supplies to begin with. They sold on credit, with the buyers promising to pay back in California.

Well when everyone was trapped in the mountains and dying, the wealthy family came to collect from the poorer family. Stating they wanted their cow back. "but the cow is gone. We don't have it anymore." So the wealthy family said "then we are taking stuff that is the equivalent of that cow's worth." Even though they knew they were signing a death warrant to the other family, the wealthy guys took blankets, food and clothing to pay themselves back for the cow that had been sold. They came to collect on their debt and the debtors were not prepared to pay it back.

I relayed that story to husband and told him that's what was wrong with the "It is better to owe than to be owed" line of thinking.

Well weeks later when we had the falling out with ex partner it was because we felt we were carrying way too much of the expenses and ex partner shouldn't be entitled to half the profit. We knew ex partner NEEDED half the profit because he had borrowed to actually put into the business. So he owed us and them and husband was determined that we were getting paid back first. The argument escalated to threats, and changing of locks, and partnership/friendship ending.

I was crying and asked husband afterward why he did that. He said "I am collecting on the debt he owes us, you yourself said we can collect at any time."

I appreciate that husband did a real life Donner Party re-enactment (that he really respected and listened to me), his timing wasn't great, because running the business by ourselves was way too much work and we quickly realized we couldn't do this on our own. So we sold everything as soon as we could to halt the misery and money hemorrhaging. We didn't get our money lent into the business on ex partners behalf back, we worked out a payment plan with the new owner to recoup it. So basically we lent it to someone else hoping they were more responsible to pay us back.

Since that all went down, that motto has still stayed with me. Perhaps because we have a person out there that owes us money. We have not really been able to collect on it, he is definitely the one with all the money. Mostly because we are now across the country and husbands original tactic of changing locks and keeping inventory are not applicable. Instead we are going with the mr. nice guy approach and also appealing to empathy to get our money.

Although our ex partner apparently worked out a side deal where he would get paid in full right away (rather than a payment plan we agreed to), and he has been paid in full the amount he invested into the business. But he is still in Cali so maybe its a proximity thing.

Anyways- Do YOU think its better to owe than be owed? What is your take on this perspective?

OMG! Good luck to me!

September 26th, 2013 at 09:46 am

Husband just received a call from one of the tenants in my soon to be vacant rental property.

She wants to renew her lease for another year!

She had moved out in September and into a place on the other side of town. When I saw her a week ago about collecting her rent for the last month of her existing lease with us, she said she had been sick for the last few weeks so that's why she had been unresponsive to our calls/texts/emails.

When she called husband today she said she had found mold in the new place, there was construction going on in the apartment next door- the new place is a nightmare for her.

So she and her 4 new room mates want to move back into our place starting Oct 1st!

So the apartment will have NO VACANCY! We are running at 100% full on all the rentals!

I just sent her a new copy of the lease to sign.


AND! My California guy that owes me money called today requesting my address so he could get the money out to me! That's a good sign! I love Georgia. Smile Everything works out for me here. Smile

Monthly Numbers Revisited. Because of YOU!

September 25th, 2013 at 02:35 pm

ok you guys were so horrified by my last post that: A) it made me feel pretty stressed. B) I kept re-running the numbers and had a stern talk with husband.

First, in my defense, being short $1700/month for a few months until I start working is not bad to me because in CA we were short about $6000 a month. This is a breath of fresh air!

So I have been reworking the numbers all day. I tried to get some cash in hand and also reduce our monthly debts.

I called my CA homeowners Insurance Company to see where our refund was because we canceled early. They sent the check to the CA address, but once it gets re-routed it will be $700 to me.

I had an Auction House come by today to pick up extra furniture/antiques to put in their next auction. I wasn't thrilled seeing my mom's antiques load into a truck, but they have been in an attic ever since I got them- so I think I have determined I'll never use them. I will get a check a few weeks after they sell, and that will be for about $500-600 after the house takes their cut.

I still have a Full sized bed sitting in my dining room leftover from CA. When it sells on Craigslist that will be $150. Just hoping it sells.

I have $230 pending in Paypal from recent ebay sales. When it becomes available I can withdraw the money.

I have already purchased everything for the baby. But I have the receipts so I can return anything that I receive duplicates at the baby shower being held in 3 weeks. I have also identified 2 items I can just do without and return anyway. So that will get me back about $100 plus any duplicates from the shower.

I called my CA person who owes me money. He promised to send me $8k this weekend. I'm cautious though because by this time he has already not sent me 2 promised payments totaling $18k. But fingers crossed just the same.

So those actions will put cash in hand. Next I worked to reduce our monthly expenses.

I called our insurance company and cut back on policies. That takes off almost $300/month in expenses. I'll add them back after I start working.

I made husband PROMISE to only buy groceries & gasoline until we get this turned around. If we both stick to that promise we'll save about $800/month.

That brings our monthly shortfall from $1700/month to $600/month.

I emailed a potential tenant for our pending vacant rental unit. She was interested last month while it was still being occupied.I told her it will be move in ready for Oct 2. If she has not found housing yet then I'll clean for 24 hrs straight to get it ready for her! Unfortunately, I am sure she has found housing by now.

I also looked online at my old employer's career site. There are 3 jobs I'm qualified for. I'm NOT going to apply right now though because of a baby coming in 5 weeks. I think it would tarnish my reputation with them to come around trying to land a job and expecting weeks off shortly after starting. I appreciate your responses that you think 6-8 weeks will be timely for me to start working again.

I appreciate that you reminded me to shop around for Health Insurance. I am holding off counting on Obamacare because it seems equally likely to be delayed as to be enacted at this point. I am also not comfortable changing my insurance so close to giving birth. I am leery of undisclosed maternity clauses, or my hospital being out of network or something where the lack of coverage costs me money in the end.

Oh and Laura- I will be breast feeding and I have 17 cloth diapers! I'm doing those for non-financial reasons, but glad that my frugal friends think it's a good idea!

So that's what I did all day. I did good, right?

New Budget- the Numbers are NOT Working

September 25th, 2013 at 08:18 am

OK, so I have spent this morning mulling over our monthly budget, trying to tweak numbers.

Its not awful, but its negative for a little while.

Before California, after paying my 401k & Health Insurance, I was taking home $1875/ month from my job. We were also living off $2000/month rental income. So our living expenses were $3875/month.

However- our NEW living expenses budget will be $5405/month because we have an added $1530 COBRA bill now.

Currently husband & I are without jobs. When the rentals are all full-they bring in $3700/month after insurance/mortgage.

So if we use up all rental income every month we are short $1705 a month. We can curb a few hundred a month maybe from our lifestyle- I'm not really sure because we have our first baby coming in 5 weeks. So we might be trading lifestyle expenses for baby expenses.

And obviously we cannot use 100% of the rental income every month to live off- nothing would be saved for repairs or savings.

So we need additional income.

Husband has a court date in mid December to qualify for disability. He has been applying for 2 years now- and this is the final step (we have been told). He feels confident he will get it but nothing is 100% sure.

If he gets it- our income will boost by $1200/month.

In December we will once again be property manager for the rental property we gave to FIL (still gets me mad to think about) and that will bring in $180/month.

I am working on a side business that will conservatively bring in about $500/month after expenses. However- it will require about $2k in immediate start up costs and take about 5 months to produce product. So that wont be anything for a while.

After ALL of those come to fruition- we will have a surplus of $175 a month for savings.

Oh jeez. I have to get a job. ASAP.

I'm wondering when a realistic time is to start a job after having a baby? Is 2 months realistic? Husband will be home to care for the baby.

I know my old employer will try to find something for me when I am ready to return. It's a matter of something being open. Often there are entry level jobs open...that's the same job I took when I started with them. But I guess that's what I will take to stop the hemorrhaging of money. A job will REDUCE our monthly bill by the cost of COBRA too- it will take OFF $1532 a month.

A job will solve everything. OMG! A job will instantly give us $1700 a month in savings BEFORE my salary. I was burned out when I resigned, but for that kind off financial relief I would return tomorrow if I wasn't pregnant.

I was really hoping we could live off the rental income until I found a job that I wanted. But putting it down on paper tells me "no".

So it appears that for the next 3 months we will live off 100% of the rental income, and still be racking up about $1700/month on credit cards until January when hopefully disability kicks in.

At that time we will be living off credit cards about $500/month.

January is when I will start looking for a job, hopefully I'll be employed by March or April.

The only caveat is that our biggest income producing property will be vacant in October. The tenants are moving out. It will take us about 3 days to clean it and then we can start showing it. Hopefully it will rent for November 1. So we are short $1800/month for the month of October. However- I have been in the unit recently- the tenants have DESTROYED one of the ANTIQUE, Floor to ceiling Wood mantles original to the house. I was stunned, hysterical and furious when I saw that and if it cannot be repaired (which I don't think it can- we are keeping the full $1800 deposit.) That mantle is for another post though.

ok! Fun times ahead! Cant wait! I am going to go have a pity party now.

Credit Scores and Criminal History-Lessons Learned

September 24th, 2013 at 02:46 am

I had a wake up call in California, regarding credit and personal history following you to impact decisions and options years later.

I was under the general impression that once you get 1 or 2 credit cards, a house, a car and don't work in a field that checks your credit, then you were done needing to maintain your credit. You had everything that credit could get you. Maintaining a good credit score was mostly just a habit or point of pride after so many years of building it. I have maintained my credit as a point of pride. I didn't think I would need it again.

Ummm...not true. I saw the consequences of poor credit even for people that seemed like they shouldn't really need to worry about it. These people had other strong factors like income and recent success that would be taken into consideration.

When I was looking to escape California, my ex business partner said he really wanted to buy me out. But he couldn't due to his poor credit. He owned a home, paid cash for his cars, paid his bills...but although he REALLY wanted to buy me out he had no options. I thought "where there is a will there is a way". After all, he got to own his home by having his fiance buy it in her name using her credit. I thought "There are always alternatives".

Not always.

No bank would help him.
No hard money lender would help him.
I would not help him (and I really wanted out!)

So ex-business partner found a new business partner. New partner had a business already, he had established income. New partner was enthusiastic and really wanted to make this work.

New partner approached my owner/financing lender to try and assume my debt. He offered 20% down and was willing to go up to 10% interest rate. But unknown to me, new partner also had poor credit. My owner/financier called me and said "no way- this guys credit is awful and he has a criminal background. I am looking at a huge default and headache by taking him on." (seems the criminal background was from DUI's on the guys record.)

The new partner tried to get a hard money lender. nope. Couldn't get one. Doors were closing faster than we could think of options to pursue.

I called a realtor contact because at that point it seemed I needed to put the building on the market. The realtor said he had already been contacted by my ex business partner looking for lending help. But there were no options for someone with poor credit.

The realtor said to me "TashaC, I could get YOU a loan easily. You have great credit and rental property income. But without good credit, these guys will never finds anyone to lend them money. I know a hard money lender who lends out about four million a year, but I wont even approach him about someone with bad credit, and a criminal record? No way."

That conversation was a bit of a turning point for me. Here I had people who had established themselves, cars, houses, families, jobs and they couldn't get what they wanted due to poor credit histories. And with my ex business partner- I know it was from old mistakes years ago that he just never bothered to clean up, and never tried to establish new credit. He just stopped using credit and started paying cash. His credit score wasn't from recent credit mistakes.

It was interesting because I always figured you tried a new less appealing avenue until you decided the sacrifice was too great, or you got what you wanted. You cant get a loan with an ideal rate due to credit? You took a higher interest rate. Or you put more money down. You cant get a bank loan at all, you go with owner financing. You cant get that? You go with a hard money lender. But it seems that there is a bottom where you just cant get anything at all, and for both these guys, credit was a deciding factor.

And now- about Criminal Histories: I know a lot of people with criminal histories. Nothing chronic, just a mishap resulting in a few days in jail or court dates. Ranging from DUI's to drug dealing. It was always something that occurred in their early twenties and they have since moved on from it.

I always figured society gives you a "freebie" regarding a criminal conviction. These people I know all have families, they own cars, houses, have jobs. Consequences of their past don't seem to follow them. I thought a criminal conviction on your record resulted in someone saying "hmmm...I see that you were convicted of a minor crime back in 2002, but no other crimes since...seems that was a one time thing and not a character trait. Okay, you are approved (for whatever you are trying to do/attain)."

That seems to not be the case. Criminal backgrounds do follow you and prevent you from opportunities. The lender I discussed options with regarding the new partner, and the realtor both reacted as though a criminal background was a slammed door. There was no more discussion, no taking anything into consideration.

I'm glad I learned this because I always thought I had a "freebie" out there waiting for me. A slap on the wrist to use up with no real consequences. I figured I would use it one day. I'm glad I know now before I found out the hard way.

So those are my important lessons learned. Credit is always important, and jail time follows you forever.

And as for the property I was trying to unload? New business partner got cash from family and bought the place for what I owed. We have worked out an agreement that he will make payments to me regarding the down payment I paid. Somehow I became the bank. Where there is a will there is a way. We'll see how that works out.

Craigslisting all this new furniture

September 23rd, 2013 at 06:14 am

So we moved to California. We planned to live there about 2 years. We actually lived there for 5 months. We decided to leave our current stuff in our GA home, and buy furniture in CA.

We bought a Tempurpedic bed. We bought a huge TV (which was lost by the moving company). We bought a new couch, and a new recliner. The rest of the house was furnished with thrift store/antique store finds.

When it came time to move back to GA, The only thing we really wanted was the Tempurpedic bed, recliner and TV. Since we needed a moving company for those 3 items, we added in a lot of other stuff and figured we'll sort it out in GA.

The moving company delivered the stuff late last week.

Some stuff was picked up on our curb by passerby as free stuff.

After 2 days of craigslist with no success, I got impatient and called a local auction house. They came out and said my stuff has no real value because it is all modern and reproductions. Some stuff might sell for $100 each. Ouch considering I paid 2 - 4x that amount just a few months before. And then the auction house said their fee is 35%! So for $700 worth of stuff, I'll recoup a fraction.

I kept on with the Craigslisting. Finally, yesterday I got a bite. A young couple came to look at my couch, which they bought. And they bought my entertainment center! So that's $250 I collected for $550 worth of items. Better than the auction house.

Then tonight I have a girl coming to look at a table! I have it listed for $150- exactly what I paid for it. I'll go down to $100 on it. If that sells its a pretty great money recoup. Better than the auction house.

Anything else that does not sell on craigslist is being picked up Wed to go to the Auction House.

I'm going through my attic today to see if there are more items to add to the Auction House pick up. If nothing else the auction house will be a cool experience.

Dog Entry

September 23rd, 2013 at 05:24 am

ok, so at some point I will go into more detail sharing all that I learned from our failed business venture. But right now I want to look forward and think about our next few steps. This post might be all over the place as I sort things out in my head.

First: our animal situation. It is always important to introduce new family members! We still have Tylene (Thai), a rottweiler we rescued from a shelter in NY (that took a lot of dedicated people to get her to GA for us and a lot of trust on our part that she was sane and a good fit for the family). But she is great! We have had her about 4 yrs. She did have a toe removed last year for cancer. We were told it will come back in a few years on another toe. And so forth. So we hope to have a few more years with her.

We lost Casey Jones a yr and half ago when she slipped her collar/leash on a busy road and was hit by a car. I was walking her and it was really devastating. She felt no pain.

We just lost Copi 3 weeks ago. She was a senior and ultimately had cancer in her heart, liver and lungs. She was acting normal one day, and the next she was showing all kinds of weird symptoms. We put her down when it was determined she was in a lot of pain and a natural death would be very ugly for her. That was hard and I still cry over her being gone. We had her for 11 years.

We added Bocephus (Bo) to our clan about a year ago when we lost Casey Jones. He came from a small pit bull rescue that was local. He is hyper but trying to have manners. He is not friendly with strange dogs unless introduced formally to them (he will not tolerate a dog running up to him to sniff), so that is a challenge we are always working on.

So we are short a dog right now. We normally have 3. We went to the Humane Society a few days ago but I just want another Copi and didn't see any with the potential for that. Our local shelter is a low kill and told me that the 1 dog I was sort of into would probably be adopted within a week. She had just arrived the day before. I decided with the baby coming to just hold off on a third dog and not deal with all the hyperness and training that goes into a new dog. I am pretty sure a new dog will "appear" in our lives in the next few months anyways. It seems like thats what happens a lot.

Tylene and Bo sitting on our front porch

After a long hiatus...I'm back. Humbled.

September 22nd, 2013 at 07:45 am

Hello Everyone,
I am humbly returning after 4-5 years away from this website. I was never in better control or in a better frame of mind than when I was regularly blogging here.

For the veterans of this site, this is Gamecock returning. New identity, fresh start. I am sorry I disapeared unexpectedly so long ago- I got caught up in large decisions and big purchases. I don't think I wanted to go through the daily "is this the right thing to do?" that a blog will produce during time intensive renovations and large purchases. Especially since I was uncertain to begin with.

To catch everyone up- buying a 1900 rowhouse, gutting it and building it from the studs up was a GOOD DECISION. This house is AMAZING and has appreciated instantly. This house has given us a good amount of equity.

After this project was completed, we made another GOOD decision to buy a rental duplex. It was a foreclosure in pretty good shape and has brought in a substantial amount of income every month.

After that duplex, we made another GOOD decision to buy a single family house (SFH) as a rental. It has turned out to be a GOLDMINE.

You see why I thought I didnt need this website or blog?

After that, I snowballed a few BAD decisions to get me where I am today.

A week or so after buying the GOLDMINE SFH, my FIL asked if he could have the property so he could get into the rental business. He said he would pay me exactly what I put into it (it was undergoing $45k/2 months time in renovations to finish it out). I said okay and thought I would reinvest the money in another. Well, FIL paid me in small and large chunks at various times over the last year and it was difficult to track and difficult to save. He still owes me about 1/3rd of the money- but the 2/3rd he gave me has been spent. Not re-invested, but SPENT. poof. gone. I finally told him this summer to pay me the remaining amount IN FULL when he has it. What did he do- put small chunks in a bank account with my name in it so I can access it. I think at this rate he will have paid in full in another 12 months.

After that terrible decision, I allowed husband to talk me into taking a large chunk from his payments and invest in a business across the country with our good friends. To give me credit, it took him a YEAR to talk me into this. But sigh. I took most of our liquid cash and put a down payment on a business in California. Our friend was going to be the brains, we were going to be the money. Everyone was going to make TONS of money.

Except our friend was less brains than we expected. Costly mistakes ensued that slowed down profit timelines by WEEKS and exploded the budget.

Except the initial budget was totally inadequate. The realistic budget was 4 times as much as we expected, and we spent EVERYTHING to keep afloat, and racked up $50k in credit card debt to get us through to the first payday.

Except that we were so SURE we were going to make TONS of money that we bought new furniture for our place in California and splurged on high end items, putting them on store charge cards. Then we had to pay thousands of dollars to bring those items back to our fully furnished home in GA and craigslist stuff for a fraction of what we paid.

Except that I trusted husband to run the business and I checked out from the beginning. I had no interest in the industry and I was promised that I didn't have to work and I took advantage of that promise. So I just wrote checks and trusted everything was okay.And I was promised a horse. I never got my horse and I'm bitter that I was manipulated by the promise of a horse.

Except that we got in a GIGANTIC fight with our business partner/friend and promptly everything fell apart. We no longer speak to our good friends that we moved across the country with which to partner up.

Except that I HATED California. I found nothing to like and I was unhappy/homesick/bored every single day. And I was pregnant too. And there are WOLF SPIDERS in CA. They are the size of an actual baby wolf and like to crawl up my drain pipes and hang out in sinks and bathtubs. The internet tells me they are non venomous so I learned to see them and ask them to not be there the next time I entered the room. Usually they would stick around just to add stress to my day. I'm not going to discuss the rattlesnake population that caused husband to buy rattlesnake protectant boots that he never used because we never saw a rattlesnake. But we saw some small wildfires and heard about decimating wildfires nearby. California is NO JOKE.

Except that we sold our interest in the business to someone for exactly the price that we had borrowed and took a verbal promise from this investor that we would get paid the rest of our investment to break even in certain sums over the next 10 months. We have received 1 payment so far 4 weeks later than agreed on and for less than half the amount agreed. Our former business partner negotiated to get himself paid back IN FULL PLUS $16k out of the deal.He negotiated this on the side unbeknown to us and we found out when our first payment was delayed because the guy paid the ex partner so much already.

But as of 3 weeks ago we are back in Georgia and back in our HOME! There is value in quality of life, and my life has dramatically brightened since coming home.

So that is where I stand today. $30k in credit card debt. $5k in the bank. A roof that leaked while we were gone causing $10k in damage. A baby coming in 5 weeks. And a husband that LOVED California and is convinced that if we just move to a different area, we can run the business successfully and make TONS of money. He muses about this on a semi-regular basis and if he really pursues it I might divorce him. True- infuriating-story.

Neither of us are working right now. This is the first time we will be DEPENDENT on the rental income rather than using it as a supplement. So this will be interesting.

But you know what? In California we spent 5 months FLOATING bills. We were making partial payments on everything from electricity to credit cards just to get through until payday. Guess what? In Georgia we can pay our bills IN FULL. It feels SO GOOD to not avoid the mailbox, to not feel dread as I open the bills. It feels SO GOOD to mail off payments in full now.

ok, so that's my story. Looking forward to coming back to this blog and returning to the GOOD decisions that this website instilled in me and taught.