Today is a grass stain day. You may not have ever noticed my tagline on my blog… but the general idea is that you can’t bubble wrap life, that you just have to deal with the mess and the beauty the best way you can. Otherwise, you’re not really living. We’re just normal people. We make mistakes. We’re trying to build a home. We’re donating to our church, we’re donating to good causes for this time of year. We’re giving to charity and trying to budget. Sometimes, though, life gives you grass stains. For us, it’s been about 10 years since we had this kind of issue. When we were young and poor. Now we’re older and poor. That’s how life is sometimes. You struggle. This happens to pretty much everyone at some point. If it hasn’t happened to you: Good. But please don’t lecture me or you won’t be welcomed back here.* This is my blog, and I’ll be the first to admit we make mistakes sometimes. Even with money. Even with children. It’s life. It’s messy, it’s dirty, it’s beautiful. I can only control a few things in life. Worrying about the things that are officially out of my hands as of now is not something I should do any longer.
We have about $XX in our bank account. Our NEW insurance is going to be submitting to our bank a request for $XXX. If they submit it today, it may try and clear, or it may take a few days, it’s hard to tell. We’ve already moved all our savings over. My husband gets paid Thursday. Thankfully, our mortgage already cleared. Hopefully our bank will be understanding about the potential error. If they are, we’ll be sending them some cookies, that’s for sure.
The reason we have new insurance is that our mortgage has gone up an additional $200 a month in the last 2 years, fixed rate. Does this sound fishy to you? It’s our insurance. No more coverage, no claims, but we’re paying more. A lot more. Like $1300 a year more than we technically should have to. We don’t know why the insurance was so much. It seems ridiculous now that we’ve discovered that we can pay that much LESS a year with a switch in companies. That all goes through the bank/mortgage of course since it’s in escrow, so we don’t do anything about that, but we changed auto as well since it was all in the policy together. We had to pay a month up front and a current month as well. My husband had made a credit card payment he didn’t tell me about. Thus the deficit. You can’t expect to pay 3 things with a budget for 1.
It’s disheartening.. WE are SO careful with our money. We spent a year trying to argue with our electric company who had us on an estimate rate, because they upped it $100 last year and were going to do it another $40 this year. I had been telling them it was wrong (I mean after all, we insulated the ENTIRE top floor of our house–thus the credit card charges) since they had last estimated. Don’t you think the payment should at least stay the SAME and not go up almost $150 a month? Yeah, we did too. So we are still stuck paying the extra $100 for this month, even though it is the END of their cycle, we are already paid ahead by $200 (and that was after skipping a month because we were so far paid ahead), and we’ll be overpaying AGAIN. We’ve overpaid by hundreds of dollars. They won’t budge. It seems stupid, but at least for NEXT month, it will be back down to a CORRECT estimate. (They did not read the meter for 5 months, then used the TOTAL of 5 months and 11 other months to do a whole year– now you see why they were wrong?!?) yeah. You can’t add 16 months together, divide by 12 and then say it’s correct average for a year, can you?
Ugh. So we’ve been jacked around by insurance and electric, for the last 2 years. It’s no wonder we’re basically penniless right now. Grass stains. It sucks. It really does. We may be in the hole for the next 2 days. Then we’ll be fine again. We have food, we are warm and (mostly) healthy. Hopefully this doesn’t cause an issue with switching insurance. We really need to get this done. We’re also refinancing for a much lower rate on our mortgage by the end of the year I hope. Hopefully this well help take us out of the hole that these ‘wrongs’ have caused in our budget. Plus overall pay less, which is good.
We have a very good pastor who said a few weeks ago (re: the fiscal cliff, sickness, etc) “No Worries. My God is in control”. My husband repeated that essential piece back to me online (he’s at a conference) this morning. He’s right. At this point, my option would be to wait until they say we’ve overdrawn (if it even happens) and cash in all our spare change, driving both kids over an hour to the bank. We’re all sick with colds. Or, take back some Christmas presents and hope the $ gets back to the bank in time. Or we could wait 2 days and it will sort itself out. We may get hit with a fee. We may have to apologize. All in all, it’s grass stains. It’s a mistake, a minor inconvenience. I had myself all worked up over it though. I was mad enough to kick a puppy… and I love puppies. (no puppies were actually harmed) Those simple words though ‘no worries’ really worked their magic on me today. If you’re not into religious stuff, how about this one: will it matter in 5 minutes? 5 months? 5 years? for most things, the answer is no. No worries. Give yourself permission to quit worrying and enjoy the holiday season. If the chicken burns, it’s blackened. They charge an extra $10 for that in a restaurant, right? No worries. Just start over. Try again. Apologize. Smile and go on with it. It’s only life. There will be grass stains. Don’t forget while you’re rolling around trying to get up from the ground that the ‘flutterbyes’ are drifting over your head.. look for them..no worries.*We don’t need any advice about money. So if you’re getting ready to give some, please don’t. We’ve already put as much into place as we could to change accounts, lower payments, and address this to keep it from happening in the future. Hopefully, my husband is getting a promotion that includes a pay raise in 2 weeks (which will hit the bank right before Christmas!)–they’ve all but said ‘congrats’ which they’re not allowed to do until it’s ‘official’. This really was honest to goodness, crappy timing. If we’d have waited until this week to get the insurance fixed, it would be a non-issue. So save the lecture for someone who has a brand new iphone, is boozing at the bar every night, and begging charities for money to pay for their kids clothes. ‘Cause it sure ain’t us!!!!
All other comments welcome. 😀
I am not a good money manager. My husband is worse. I manage and it’s scarier now that we are on a student budget. So much right now is balanced on no emergencies because there’s nothing extra. Nada. And thrres already been unexpected expenses. Most of us have been where you’re at. You’re human and this doesn’t define you. Most banks will forgive a fee once a year, especially if you are a good, long term customer. It never hurts to ask and it’s worked for us multiple times (I’m embarrassed to admit). I like your pastor’s advice and I’ll add that you are individually loved by God and he knows your struggles. When Jesus suffered and took our sins upon Him, He also took our heartaches, pains, discouragements. He understands. You are not alone.
We’ve all been there. It’s only by the Grace of God that our noses are above the waterline now. I hope one day to get the rest of my head there.
Hang in – it WILL get better. The timing just sucks.