No. of Recommendations: 2
Good Afternoon Kind People,
I am hoping that you may have some advice for my unconscionable situation.  Here is some background information.  
For the 2nd time in 5 years my DH has been unexpectedly ill and unable to work.  This time since Aug. 2007.  
Unfortunately, we still owed on some of the older debt when the new round of unemployment began.  However, we 
had some savings and that allowed us to make regular payments for 3 months.  

Now we have taken out loans to keep our bills & payments current, hoping that DH would find new employment soon.  
At this point, DH insists that is doing everything possible to find work.  We have 3 children: 22 yr old DD in 
college in our city (not giving her any money at this point) she will graduate in Dec 2008, 18 yr old DS senior 
in HS, and 16 yr old DD in HS.  Also, my brother in law is an over the road trucker & rents a spare room 
for $200  a month, for his use every other month or so when he comes home for a couple of days. I have an 
additional spare room which I have been trying to rent via craigslist since August.  We are 1 mile from the 
nearest bus stop, should I pay for an ad in the paper?

This is what we are actually spending.
Bill	 Amount 	Total Due	Rate
Mortgage	 $     1,227 		5.88%
Equity line	 $       185 	24000	8.49%
phone & Internet $       121 		
Cellphone	 $        58 		
Water	         $        24 		
Electric	 $       146 		
natural Gas	 $       100 		
security system	 $        32 		
cable TV	 $       114 		
Granny's Cable	 $        57 		
Car Insurance	 $       298 		
Car Payment	 $       520 	12480	11.90%
D-Visa  	 $        90 	3921	16.46%
A-Visa 	         $        75 	2766	18.99%
Macys	         $        45 	204	21%
Sears	         $        20 	1094	23.15%
Penneys 	 $        50 	797	20%
Home Depot	 $        25 	469	21%
Student loan	 $            	38000	about 4%
Tax bill	 $       270 	?	?
Loan1	         $       117 	8000	24.50%
Loan2	         $       135 	5000	27%
Gym	         $        81 		
Monthly game fee $        20 		
Trumpet	         $        42 		
Groceries	 $       400 		
Gasoline	 $       400 		
household	 $       100 		
fast food	 $       150 		
medical	         $        50 	dr. appts	
kids/school	 $       100 		
Total	 $     5,052 	

My income is 3000 a month including overtime at 44 hrs per week.  BIL pays 200 for his room, I am borrowing 2k per 
month(!!) to cover lost wages & bills from the last 6 months of lost wages.  Nothing is being repaired. 

I will now address line items in my current budget regarding which you might need more info.  
Mortgage includes insurance & taxes.
Telephone and internet are bundled, but about 45 is internet & the rest is local & LD phone
Cellphone is used by DH for business
Granny Cable- we pay for DH’s 90-yr old grandmother’s TV service.  Without this, she would get no channels 
because she lives in a senior citizen high-rise in the city.  I am thankful that her social security allows 
her to be (mostly) independent. 
Car insurance: 2 parents plus 22 & 18 yr olds.  16 yr old doesn’t have her license yet.  Maybe I can take 22 yr 
old off, since the car she was using is broken, but then she won’t be covered if she drives any of our cars, 
which occurs monthly.
Car:  75000 miles on car with payment.  Also own an ’89 & a ’92 (needs clutch-not running this was the car DD-22 
was using when it was running)
Visas- Both are Bank of America.  I have not called to ask them to lower my rate:  How do you do that??
Student loan- belongs to DH - yes, it’s been our albatross for years, currently not making payments due to unemployment
Tax bill- I think there is less than 5000 on this, DH will tell me by Monday and the rate
Loans- as mentioned, these are new
Game fee- need to cancel this.
Trumpet- my kid is in the marching band, I’m not sure how many years are left on this.

Groceries- I have worked very hard to get this to this point for our family of four, including meal planning 
& cooking from scratch.  I shop monthly and only serve meat 4 days a week (much to the disappointment of 
DH & kids) but I know it could be less.  I started digging up the back yard in Jan & will harvest nearly free 
veggies in a couple of months.

Household: This includes pet food (3 each dogs & cats, one turtle) and household cleaners/personal hygiene items.  

Regarding our Cable TV and the amount spent on Fast food, I have been fighting with spouse on this for years.  I 
was hoping that the cable would help me rent the spare room.  Since I am the only one working, at this point 
I guess I can turn everything off regardless of what anyone else wants.  

I have one friend who kept her home by living without electricity for about 6 months while under-employed.  
I am seriously open to any options, I know that borrowing is just creating more debt.  I’d like to keep 
my home, but don’t see how I can keep supporting everyone.  I do have a 401k, but haven’t checked how 
much – probably less than 5000 & it seems like your advice is not to touch that.

I know that I have made some extremely poor choices.  DH has handled our money for years & although I was 
raised to pinch every penny, I allowed myself to be swept into this LBYM lifestyle.  We had some savings; 
not enough.  Obviously, we are living well beyond the means that I have to support us at this time and I need 
to create a long range plan for my family which may include turning off basic utilities or not paying on the 
loans.  I look forward to your input.
Kind Regards,  Amy
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