Today begins the day that my husband and I are starting over. We've had a very rough patch in life. This blog is mainly for us to track where we've been and where we are going. It's to monitor our success, a place to vent our worries, to praise our hard efforts, and get us motivated to get where we are going. I'd glad you have come here to join us! The work it takes to get on your feet again after a hard time is agonizing. Sometimes, it feels impossible. But to stand up and face the impossible makes anyone brave. Everything in life comes back to money. It's a shame. It shouldn't. There's an amazing quote that I always think of when I hear people talk about money.
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money."
- Cree Indian Proverb
It makes you think. But unfortunately, you cannot survive without some kind of currency.
I was never taught how to manage money or how to budget. Sometimes, I found balancing money very confusing. I figured out a system real quick when I had to move out on my own. I never lived out of my means and I worked hard for every penny that I earned. When my husband (fiance at the time) became ill and almost died of bacterial meningitis, his medical bills really put him in debt because he didn't have health insurance. Luckily, the hospital offered financial assistance for those who honestly could not afford the bills. Unfortunately, it didn't cover all the bills. I was also experiencing health issues (which were misdiagnosed as endometriosis). I had been dropped from my parents' insurance, and I myself quickly racked up medical bills for treatments. I wasted my money on a health benefits plan that didn't pay for anything. Our medical bills combined became overwhelming. We took money out of our savings accounts including our wedding fund to pay off the bills. With my health becoming a risk, my husband and I married at the Justice of the Peace because we couldn't qualify for any assistance as independents (unless I had a child, which was not in our plans at the time). We gave up hope for a wedding because it was not in the cards we were dealt.
My health got worse, and I had a insurance plan (even though it wasn't anything great, it was better than nothing). I had a heart attack at 24 years old due to a congenial birth defect called intestinal malrotation. My health continued to get worse, and medical bills piled up again. I was forced to withdraw from college and quit my job - leaving us on a single income and more debt than we could afford. If it wasn't for local food pantries and the generosity of our family members, we wouldn't have survived when my husband was laid off from his job.
I found out I had become pregnant, and my health continued to decline. It wasn't until I was pregnant that I found out I had struggled with E. coli for months. I was treated for it, and Hoosier Healthwise paid for my pregnancy. Unfortunately, we lost our daughter on April 5, 2011. I had complications from the miscarriage, and I hemorrhaged. My ER visit for the hemorrhaging was not covered under my pregnancy plan because I had miscarried 3 days prior and the doctor decided to not put the medical code saying my visit was pregnancy related. I fought for months, even got a patient's advocate, but the doctor still wouldn't budge. Without that code, my pregnancy insurance would not cover my visit. My mother graciously helped me pay off some of the medical bills that acquired during this difficult year.
My husband and I struggled to find decent jobs to get by. I set up payment plans for all the medical bills. My husband waited for three months for unemployment to approve his status. We are still waiting, one month later, to receive his unemployment. By the grace of God, the company my husband worked for was sold to new management, and he got his job back. I found a job, working part-time at a burger joint. They couldn't hire me as full-time.
I am going back to college for my senior year. I qualified for many grants and financial aid to cover my final year in college. I am still waiting to hear whether or not I qualify for work-study. If so, I have a possible work-study position available to me at the Career Center on campus. I also signed up for tuition reimbursement for the semester I had to withdraw from college. I won't find out if my appeal is approved until after September 6, 2011. If I do receive reimbursement, I will have to wait another 45 days to actually get my money back.
The economy is rough. It's rough for everyone right now. We are in a crunch, living paycheck to paycheck. We're even behind on some bills. We literally have about $50 in our bank accounts. Once my husband receives his unemployment, we should be caught up on our bills that are behind.
Now that we are working our way out of our current quicksand of financial stress, we are setting up budgets and working towards building our little nest. We have so many things that we need to pay off, and many things that we need to save up for. We are literally starting here with nothing. So now is the best time to get a plan put into action. This is what this blog is for.
We are following guidelines from Dave Ramsey currently. We plan to follow the Baby Step program and see what happens. It couldn't hurt. So, this blog is dedicated towards our nest egg. This blog is dedicated to building our nest so that we can officially live our lives. I hope readers will find this blog as a useful tool to getting out of those difficult times.