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Thread: In a tough spot..

  1. #1
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    In a tough spot..

    I've been in a pretty tough spot the last couple of months. I was coming from a long lay off from my job, and struggling to make rent and utilities in my apartment. I have a wife and daughter, and what I was getting from unemployment was just enough to get by. My car even broke down, and needed thousands of dollars of work to even get it running again.

    I inherited some money back in December from my late grandmother's estate, and used it to get us another car, and pay off all of our credit card debt, with a little bit left over. I still owed U.S. Bank a couple of thousand, but by the time I paid off my other creditors, I only had about $2,800 left. Well, low and behold, I get a letter from U.S. Bank stating that they were merging my overdrawn checking account and credit card together, and I would either have to pay it, or face a lawsuit in King County District Court and be at risk for wage garnishment. They ended up settling for $1,600 on a $2,100 bill, which left me enough to afford rent and utilities. Thank God, I was able to find another job two weeks ago, to barely get myself out of the hole. I am still behind on a few things, such as my power bill, water, garbage and sewer, and my phone bill, and unfortunately, I won't be getting paid in time before the final deadline.

    Basically, I am in a bit of a rut. When I get paid, I'll have to pay the back owed on all of these utilities, and I'll continue to be about this far behind in the future if I can't get caught up. Having a two year old daughter to care for makes it that much more stressful to know that I can't allow myself to get behind anymore. This whole lay off really put a huge dent in my finances, to say the least.

    Does anyone have any advice on getting out of this rut? Now that I have a job secured, I am OK in the long run, but I'll continue to be behind on my utilities. I can't get caught up in the payday loan cycle, and I can't qualify for even a small bank loan either, so I am not sure where to take this.

    Any finance experts out there have any advice for what I can do for myself and my family right now?
    Last edited by Aaron1124; 02-06-2011 at 04:19 PM.

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    I am sure that there is a church that will help you, even if you don't belong. They may be able to give you a grant or facilitate a loan.

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    Regular Member HeroHog's Avatar
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    Been (AM) there, done (DOING) that.

    I wound out getting help from close and not so close friends. We lost EVERYTHING when I became disabled and lost my job, house, insurance and everything I could sell. After going through all that, we were STILL in the hole and filed for chapter 7. I filed for disability as soon as it happened. It has been a little over a YEAR and we still haven't gotten a DIME from anyone in govt! Social Security denied my disability and we appealed. We had our 1st appeal hearing last month and will not hear anything on it for 1 to 6 more months!

    We are currently living with my wife's aunt (and that is its own little circle of hell) and trying to find a place we can live on what little my wife makes. So far, we haven't found a place we can afford that is worth living in (we can't afford over $450/month in rent). We have no savings and can't save anything right now as we are living check to check.

    Anyway, my friends have gotten us this far by their generous donations. We simply laid out our situation and begged for help by emailing, calling sending them posts on FaceBook. They helped when our church failed us as did all the local service organizations we contacted. If it weren't for the VA, I would be dead and even they are taking ALL of my VA disability ($243/Mo) to cover my medicine!

    I wish I could offer more hope for you but times are very tough right now. Friends and Family are your best bet. Every now and then, a stranger will hear of your plight and help some.

    I pray that you get the help you need when I pray that we can make it another month every night.

    God bless.
    Speedy: LOCAL League Sec/Treasurer, Information Officer
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    Based on most of the stories I've heard, I think that Social Security has a default policy of denying applications on first application.
    It takes a village to raise an idiot.

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    Regular Member HeroHog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirbinator View Post
    Based on most of the stories I've heard, I think that Social Security has a default policy of denying applications on first application.
    You CAN get it right off IF and ONLY if you match all their little boxes exactly. Have bulging discs impinging on the nerves plus degenerative disc disease and degenerative joint disease? Not so much...
    Speedy: LOCAL League Sec/Treasurer, Information Officer
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    I don't have NEAR enough ammo on hand. `nuff said.

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    I would contact your utility companies, if you haven't already, and explain the situation to them and see if they will allow you to make small payments until you gradually get caught up. Thank God you don't live where it's ice and snow and cold all winter, our heating bills are somewhat more reasonable. So sorry to hear about your troubles, Aaron. I would help if I could, but I am short myself. I am several months behind on my rent and my landlady could evict me any time. My house cleaning business is down to half of what it was and I just have enough to cover my credit card bills, utilities, food, gas, etc. Everyone is having it rough right now. Contact the churches anyway, you may find one who will help. Contact the food banks, that will help and be that much less you have to pay for food. I am looking for part time work to supplement my income; everyday that I'm not working, I'm out putting in applications, in person or online. Remember that some places that have openings don't always advertise them. Just yesterday I walked into an Eddie Bauer store and asked if they were hiring and she said yes, as a matter of fact we are. I come from a family that doesn't quit and doesn't give up. Yes, it's hard and yes, it's rough, but my grandparents (and probably yours) made it through the depression, so by God, I will make it through this! LET EVERYONE YOU KNOW, KNOW ABOUT YOUR SITUATION, you never know who will be in a position to help. Don't be ashamed to take help or charity, or a gift; someday you may be in a position to give to someone else who needs it and pass it on.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever does.- Margaret Mead


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    Part time job, or odd jobs that pay cash?

    When I was younger I actually made just enough money one weekend by going around a neighborhood asking to clean out rain gutters for $10. It was a desperation act. I was really surprised at the number of people who accepted. And, it was just enough to fill the needed hole.

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    To the OP

    One other thing I would like to add: Keep a positive attitude. What you put your attention on, what you focus on increases. Metaphysical law: Energy follows thought. Always. Focus on what you have to be thankful for, every day. Focus on what you have, not what you don't have. Not easy, I know. But being negative sure won't help. Remember everything changes; it won't be like this forever. You used your inheritance wisely, you have that to be thankful for. It may take a while, but things will get better. You have a lot of company right now, a lot of people are in the same situation. I have been through hard times before, they always end eventually with better times. Keep your faith, whatever that is for you. Sometimes we just have to have faith and trust a higher power. Do everything in your power you can do and leave the rest to God. Try to be at peace when you lay down to sleep at night. My situation was disturbing my sleep and I wasn't resting very well until I made up my mind that I would deal with the here and now today and not worry about tomorrow. I just do my best each day and keep putting one foot in front of the other. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who are having a difficult time right now. As they say, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going."
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever does.- Margaret Mead


    Those who will not fight for justice today will fight for their lives in the future,

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Benjamin Franklin

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    Regular Member HeroHog's Avatar
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    They are right. Do NOT give up. I should have been more positive in my post but I was having one of those bad days and had just had my own little "pity party" and hadn't yet dried my eyes when I posted that. Do let EVERYONE know your situation! I had people I considered casual friends that I haven't seen in YEARS at best give me hundreds of dollars! You never know how much you may have meant to someone or how much they care about you or people in your condition.

    Hang in there. I know that sooner or later, I WILL get my Social Security Disability and when we do, we will be OK. Thank God, I made enough to put a good bit into the system so that when I do get it, it will be enough to almost live off of. With what my wife makes, we may actually be able to put a little back for the next tough spot.
    Speedy: LOCAL League Sec/Treasurer, Information Officer
    AKA: Hero Hog, Dr. Speed, "The Brass Mangler" and "That fat, old, balding, Grey-bearded gimpy guy"

    I don't have NEAR enough ammo on hand. `nuff said.

    NRA Life Member, LSA, USN-DAV

    "Stay safe..." - Paul "Skidmark" Henick, RIP

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    Regular Member marionmedic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    Does anyone have any advice on getting out of this rut? Now that I have a job secured, I am OK in the long run, but I'll continue to be behind on my utilities. I can't get caught up in the payday loan cycle, and I can't qualify for even a small bank loan either, so I am not sure where to take this.

    Any finance experts out there have any advice for what I can do for myself and my family right now?
    In 1999, we were in your shoes.

    A combination of Credit cards and a slowdown in my trucking job/s.

    We went to Dave Ramsey's seminar, got on his plan, and are now DEBT FREE.

    http://www.daveramsey.com/fpu

    I know, it seems kinda strange to a lot of people to do what he suggests.
    But I am PROOF that his way works.

    The first thing I would tell you is to take ALL your credit cards and chop those suckers up.
    If you think you just have to keep one, freeze it in a container and keep it in the freezer so you have to REALLY work to use it.

    Then re-evaluate ALL of your spending.
    Cut things til it HURTS.
    Then follow the program above and you CAN make it.

    If you do nothing else with my advice here...... at least READ the website above with an open mind.
    And remember that the thousands of people Dave has helped would tell you the same.

    If possible, listen to his radio show.... and get the wife to listen too.

    http://www.daveramsey.com/radio/home/
    Last edited by marionmedic; 02-07-2011 at 09:04 AM.
    What part of "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED" is so hard to understand ???


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    Big Jake: James, don't be fooled. They all know what's in this box, and they all want it. what we're doin' with this audacious DISplay is tellin' 'em they can't have it. Who knows, we may be savin' some poor miscreant soul's life this way.

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  11. #11
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I've been in a pretty tough spot the last couple of months. I was coming from a long lay off from my job, and struggling to make rent and utilities in my apartment. I have a wife and daughter, and what I was getting from unemployment was just enough to get by. My car even broke down, and needed thousands of dollars of work to even get it running again.

    I inherited some money back in December from my late grandmother's estate, and used it to get us another car, and pay off all of our credit card debt, with a little bit left over. I still owed U.S. Bank a couple of thousand, but by the time I paid off my other creditors, I only had about $2,800 left. Well, low and behold, I get a letter from U.S. Bank stating that they were merging my overdrawn checking account and credit card together, and I would either have to pay it, or face a lawsuit in King County District Court and be at risk for wage garnishment. They ended up settling for $1,600 on a $2,100 bill, which left me enough to afford rent and utilities. Thank God, I was able to find another job two weeks ago, to barely get myself out of the hole. I am still behind on a few things, such as my power bill, water, garbage and sewer, and my phone bill, and unfortunately, I won't be getting paid in time before the final deadline.

    Basically, I am in a bit of a rut. When I get paid, I'll have to pay the back owed on all of these utilities, and I'll continue to be about this far behind in the future if I can't get caught up. Having a two year old daughter to care for makes it that much more stressful to know that I can't allow myself to get behind anymore. This whole lay off really put a huge dent in my finances, to say the least.

    Does anyone have any advice on getting out of this rut? Now that I have a job secured, I am OK in the long run, but I'll continue to be behind on my utilities. I can't get caught up in the payday loan cycle, and I can't qualify for even a small bank loan either, so I am not sure where to take this.

    Any finance experts out there have any advice for what I can do for myself and my family right now?
    Talk to the utilities. They will virtually always work out a payment plan for you. Depending on state law, they are often required to do so. They're not heartless and you certainly won't be the first person to ask for a little time to get caught up. Good luck and stay away from those payday loan Shylocks.

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Part time job, or odd jobs that pay cash?

    When I was younger I actually made just enough money one weekend by going around a neighborhood asking to clean out rain gutters for $10. It was a desperation act. I was really surprised at the number of people who accepted. And, it was just enough to fill the needed hole.
    Well, you'll need to file a business license application, a business naming fee, then apply for the appropriate licenses and insurance for your employee (you).

    ... And if you get caught without it, you'll be looking at a $5,000 fine.

    Around here, people call the cops when kids come by offering to mow their lawns...

    I remember when I was a kid, making 10$ to mow someones lawn with a push mower... Hard work, but oh so worth it when I could buy my own stuff..



    The all metal - rusted type...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoWeenie View Post
    Well, you'll need to file a business license application, a business naming fee, then apply for the appropriate licenses and insurance for your employee (you).

    ... And if you get caught without it, you'll be looking at a $5,000 fine.

    Around here, people call the cops when kids come by offering to mow their lawns...

    I remember when I was a kid, making 10$ to mow someones lawn with a push mower... Hard work, but oh so worth it when I could buy my own stuff..



    The all metal - rusted type...

    I see that you forgot to take your happy pill this morning! Just the kind of encouragement we all need.....
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever does.- Margaret Mead


    Those who will not fight for justice today will fight for their lives in the future,

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Benjamin Franklin

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    Hmm I have a thought... How much do you need to get caught up on your bills? I am not in the greatest financial situation. But I am not living paycheck to paycheck either(lol though that might change when my wife pops in april). I am not suggestings I will pay your bills but perphaps I can lend a lil hand. Who knows get 10 members to send you $10 and your $100 better off on bills then you were a week ago right?
    "So there I was between a rock and a hard place, when it hit me... What am I doing on this side of the rock?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinWKuska View Post
    Hmm I have a thought... How much do you need to get caught up on your bills? I am not in the greatest financial situation. But I am not living paycheck to paycheck either(lol though that might change when my wife pops in april). I am not suggestings I will pay your bills but perphaps I can lend a lil hand. Who knows get 10 members to send you $10 and your $100 better off on bills then you were a week ago right?

    I can afford that and more. Ten or twenty dollars is not going to make a big difference in the thousands I owe in back rent, which, by the way, I will pay whether I am evicted or not. I am putting in applications in all my spare time, another job is what will make a difference for me.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever does.- Margaret Mead


    Those who will not fight for justice today will fight for their lives in the future,

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Benjamin Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Part time job, or odd jobs that pay cash?

    When I was younger I actually made just enough money one weekend by going around a neighborhood asking to clean out rain gutters for $10. It was a desperation act. I was really surprised at the number of people who accepted. And, it was just enough to fill the needed hole.
    Just make sure you're open carrying. You'd be amazed how much people will pay you. j/k

    In all seriousness try Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul (sp?) if you have one there, definitely churches and even your city. When I was in a rough patch years ago the city paid my utilities for me through some program. The Salvation Army's and St. Vincent's may be overwhelmed at this point but try them.

    Aw, man. I just saw that the Salvation Army in anti-porn. Must have something to do with the salvation part.

    http://www.svdpusa.org/

    http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/...local/Programs

    See if you city offers something like this;

    http://phoenix.gov/CITZASST/famserv.html

    Are you a minority? I find it discriminatory but there may be other options for you as well and I could point you there.

  17. #17
    Regular Member sharkey's Avatar
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    The first one give lots of options. Even one for Korean women.

    http://www.ci.kent.wa.us/content.aspx?id=12906

    http://www.google.com/search?q=kent+...ed=0CDYQtQMwAA

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    Are you getting anything back from taxes? My wife and I just recently got our act together thanks to our tax return...we now actually have a savings with decent money in it and can pretty much do what we want with left over from bills and rent.

    I unfortunately had to turn to my parents a lot when we were struggling. They're not rich by any means, but they make good money, so I had to do a lot of begging to keep afloat.

    Other than that, like others have said, look for orginizations around your community that will help with bills. We have some community action place in town that helps pay gas bills during the winter and electric during the summer. (Huge pain in the ass to deal with, but once all the red tape is taken care of, it's nice to get your bill paid.)

    1. Get food stamps if possible, this also really helps cut down on real money used.

    2. Talk to your landlord. Some of them actually do have a heart, and may cut you some slack, allowing you to get caught up with the other bills. If it's an older guy, have your wife talk to him, you know they're all perverts =P

    3. If you have a local state building (probably where you would have to go for food stamps) see about other programs they might have to help familys in need. There is a LOT of government money out there for people, and you just need to find out how to get it. Usually the people there are pretty helpful about setting things up for you and letting you know what you qualify for.

    4. Set up a paypal account and let people donate to you =()

  19. #19
    Regular Member HeroHog's Avatar
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    +1 on the PayPal account! That's where ALL of my Donations come from! See My home page: http://herohog.com/
    I put a brief "status" at the top and there is a donation link there as well.
    Speedy: LOCAL League Sec/Treasurer, Information Officer
    AKA: Hero Hog, Dr. Speed, "The Brass Mangler" and "That fat, old, balding, Grey-bearded gimpy guy"

    I don't have NEAR enough ammo on hand. `nuff said.

    NRA Life Member, LSA, USN-DAV

    "Stay safe..." - Paul "Skidmark" Henick, RIP

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    Thanks for all of the advice, everyone.

    I don't have a paypal account, but my wife does. I've contacted several agencies, and some have been known to help out, but most of them said they are all booked for this month, and that I'll have to check back in the beginning of March. Hell, even something like $100.00 would greatly help. I just can't stand the fact that I'm so far behind on my Puget Sound Energy bill that I'm always getting the "letter of disconnection" prior to me making a payment for the furthest-back due amount.

    Still waiting to hear back from a few local non profit organizations and churches.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice, everyone.

    I don't have a paypal account, but my wife does. I've contacted several agencies, and some have been known to help out, but most of them said they are all booked for this month, and that I'll have to check back in the beginning of March. Hell, even something like $100.00 would greatly help. I just can't stand the fact that I'm so far behind on my Puget Sound Energy bill that I'm always getting the "letter of disconnection" prior to me making a payment for the furthest-back due amount.

    Still waiting to hear back from a few local non profit organizations and churches.
    I'm not sure about WA, but most states will not allow utilities to shut off in the winter. This would be gas and electric, not phones, trash, etc. Suggest you talk to them ASAP.

  22. #22
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    Puget Sound Energy only has an emergency medical waiver that you can file. It might not sound like a lot, but I'm really only about $200-$300 behind on my primary utilities. I'm paying the furthest back to avoid disconnection, but I'm constantly getting notices.

  23. #23
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    My wife's paypal email address is Evergreengliders@hotmail.com

    Any donations are greatly appreciated, and I can eventually pay everyone back for any donations sent.

  24. #24
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    Aaron, I don't know how to use paypal or if I have to set up an account to send money to yours, but I will find out tomorrow. I can't send much, but I can help a little. And I don't want it back; just pay it forward and help someone else when you are in a better situation.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever does.- Margaret Mead


    Those who will not fight for justice today will fight for their lives in the future,

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Benjamin Franklin

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    Thanks for all of the advice, everyone.

    I don't have a paypal account, but my wife does. I've contacted several agencies, and some have been known to help out, but most of them said they are all booked for this month, and that I'll have to check back in the beginning of March. Hell, even something like $100.00 would greatly help. I just can't stand the fact that I'm so far behind on my Puget Sound Energy bill that I'm always getting the "letter of disconnection" prior to me making a payment for the furthest-back due amount.

    Still waiting to hear back from a few local non profit organizations and churches.
    Yes, it's tougher than ever for the charities as well. Fewer donations and many more people to help.

    If I didn't have my house cleaning business I would have NO income at all, and it's not enough now. I believe I will find another part time job and that will make things much easier. Long term, I think the economy will get better, but I don't think it will ever go back to where it was before the financial crisis. Short term, I think this is the new "normal." But it also has a beneficial side, if you will, as long as people are not having to go without the necessities. With less money to spend for entertainment, meals out, etc. families can spend more time together as families instead of everyone going their separate ways. They can eat at home, together. They can watch movies, play games, etc. at home, together as a family. I'm not saying people don't do that now, but with less to spend, more time together would be possible. Tough times tend to bring out our values and character. Hang in there, and God bless.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever does.- Margaret Mead


    Those who will not fight for justice today will fight for their lives in the future,

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Benjamin Franklin

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