Finances and the Future

Each of us worry about the two ‘F’s – finances and the future.  Each of our stories are different that effect how we manage our finances and our goals for the future.

I grew up for the first 10 years of my life with a single mother who worked two jobs for many years.  We lived with our grandma to make ends meet.

Years later my mother was remarried and added a little boy to the family.  Things with the economy were bad in 2008-2009 which was commonly known as the ‘Great Recession’.  My parents were losing the house as I was heading off to college for my second year.  Shortly after that my mom and step dad divorced.  Per my family, financial and college circumstances I ended up moving to the metro area.

These simply explained life events molded me in how I viewe finances and my future.

I have almost always had two jobs and just like many other people – it hasn’t been easy to make ends meet.  At age 22 I took out a mortgage for a two bedroom townhouse.  I really did get a good price for it and since the value has gone up.  Although, my luck with work and finances has been a total nightmare since.  I have gone through unemployment for over 3 months to being forced to take jobs that didn’t pay me enough or allow me enough time to work a second job.  I was lucky to have a friend who has been renting out my second bedroom and now that Mike is home (I will explain in another post sometime) and working things are really looking up.

Even though things are looking more positive it is still hard to not be discouraged with the amount of student loans and debt that I have.  I know there are others worse off than I am, but this topic bothers me immensely.

This is extremely personal to me but I would still like to share my story and my continuing journey with you.

Here is a list of my debt as of today:

Left on Mortgage: about $70,000

Student Loans: just below $30,000

Previous Car Loan: $9,271

Personal Loans: $4,200

TOTAL: $113,471

YIKES!

How is someone like me going to pay this off while only making $21,500 a year and with other monthly bills to pay?

It’s crazy to think that someone can gather so much debt in such a short amount of time.  How can anyone get ahead?  And why does it seem that once you get a head things go south again – instantly?  It is super frusterating to me.  I hate seeing individuals who should be enjoying their retirment spend it working part-time to keep up with the bills because SS doesn’t cover their monthly needs.  This makes me sick.

I have read a few blogs and articles about how to save on daily expenses like making my own laundry detergent, shampoo & conditioner and cleaning supplies.  These sound like a wonderful way to go green and to save a few pennies.  Getting down to saving, and paying off debt is so much more though.  I had to look super hard at my fiances and face the hard facts that I needed to make changes.

When I was recently unemployed I had to go through a juggling act of paying my bills with what little income I had from unemployment.  This caused a BIG snowball in my debt to income ratio.  I felt so lost and helpless and sometimes still do.  A few people suggested that I file for bankruptcy.  I was like “NO way! My credit is bad enough”, but I later came to terms with my situation and am now in the process of filing.

Finances are a BIG anxiety and sometimes even depression trigger for me.  I don’t like to admit it but they are.  I hate the feeling of drowning and not being able to support myself.

Everyone likes to think they can fix the system or has the cookie cutter fix to finances.  In reality no one has an easy fix.  It takes brutal honesty, hard work and support from loved ones that will get anyone through a rough financial path.

I wish eveyone luck on their financial journey and I will keep you updated on mine!

Thanks for reading!

Manda

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Lost in Choices – Quarter life crisis

Hello there!

Okay, so as some of you may know I am currently 24 and will be 25 this next January.  I read an article not too long ago about Quarter Life Crisis (yes, I guess it’s a real thing).  And I think it’s a very important topic to talk about – for me it’s something I need to figure out.

So, what is a Quarter Life Crisis (QLC)?

noun

1. a crisis that may be experienced in one’s twenties, involving anxiety over the direction and quality of one’s life”

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/quarterlife+crisis

My QLC:

Well, to be honest I don’t know if it’s totally hit me yet. But it might be starting.  Recently I have felt a little lost in all of these life choices.  Anxiety, mild depression, constant changes… many things going on.

Within the last year I have been put on prescription medications to treat anxiety I have had.  Only a few people have known but I have been struggling anxiety for almost two years.

When I was 22 years old I took out a mortgage (on my own) for Mike and I to have a small two bedroom town home.  I was a ball a nerves and excited all at the same time.  Many individual and somewhat small factors played a role in my anxiety regardless of the proud fact that I was able to take a mortgage out on my own.  Even though I worked hard and have always been very good with money – lately I have not.

My finances have been a major trigger to my anxiety and stress.  It constantly feels like I cannot catch a break.  When something positive happens, I feel as if 3 bad things happen to set me back.  I’m about ready to give up on all of it and live off the grid and rough it.

Maybe it’s just shitty luck?  I don’t know.  But it sucks.

I’m not usually a negative person but it has been so extremely frustrating.  And I know I’m not alone in this struggle.

Besides financial issues, my relationships have been tested with Mike, my friends and my family.  At one point I wanted to just drop everything and go overseas – be daring and do something crazy.

Life choices such as where and how to live have been put into question.  Career/job options have never been easy for me and my ideas are constantly changing.  It’s amazing that I have even made it this far with this blog.  I have been looking into becoming a Certified Wedding Planner (takes 90-180 with a self pace online course).  As well as doing research on achieving my 200 hour Yoga Instructor certification (which can get expensive).

Now, I’m not saying all of these thoughts of options are bad or negative but it is very difficult not knowing what to do.  Or even, what I want.

I think this QLC crept up on me.  Now as I write this, I realize I am in the middle of it.

So…now the real question is how does someone deal with a Quarter Life Crisis?

According to The Guardian there are four phases someone goes through.

“Four phases of a quarterlife crisis

Phase 1, defined by feeling “locked in” to a job or relationship, or both. “It’s an illusory sense of being trapped,” said Robinson. “You can leave but you feel you can’t.”

Phase 2 is typified by a growing sense that change is possible. “This mental and physical separation from previous commitments leads to all sorts of emotional upheavals. It allows exploration of new possibilities with a closer link to interests, preferences and sense of self.

Up until then you may be driving fast down a road you don’t want to be going down. A minority of participants described getting caught in a loop, but the majority reflected on a difficult time which was a catalyst for important positive change.

Phase 3 is a period of rebuilding a new life.

Phase 4 is the cementing of fresh commitments that reflect the young person’s new interests, aspirations and values.”

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2011/may/05/quarterlife-crisis-young-insecure-depressed

I am clearly in Phase One but almost in Phase Two.  Mike has been a great support on this.  He does his best to help me keep my anxiety down and our communication has improved.  I’m very thankful for this aspect of it.

I will keep you posted on my progress but tell me what you think or what you have experienced.

Thanks for reading!

Continuing this week: #WorldDoulaWeek 

Money Saving Question…

So I know this a random blog post but I have a general question for the readers…

What has been the best TV service for you? And why?

The reason I ask this question is because I currently have DirecTV  with the $77.99 package (well, I’m supposed to pay that much each month but I currently owe $135.80).  They charge you for every little thing like the receiver, the boxes, administrative fees, taxes, taxes and “other” fees.  This is ridiculous.

I really enjoy a verity of TV shows like, The Walking Dead, Salem, Teen Mom & Teen Mom 2, Vikings, Mob Wives and Born in the Wild.

These are shows I watch religiously (especially TWD).  For me TV is a way for me to relax – and I have always loved a good story.  I will fully admit that I watch too much TV at times but I love great plot lines and wonderful acting.  BUT the bill is not necessary and gets expensive!

I feel extremely torn as to what to do with my TV/TV Bill.  Keep it, change it or let it completely go?

Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated!  I am trying to focus on my finances and improve them.  I will be writing more about this in upcoming posts – so stay tuned!

I look forward to conversing with you.

Thank you,

Amanda ❤