When Nolen was laid off he got a great separation package and retirement payout. The money should have been able to last us two years with good planning. We were not good planners. The money left us in droves. Where did it go to?
Redecorating - A NO NO WHEN OUT OF WORK
We bought new furniture. Did we NEED it. No. Yes, we had all hand-me downs and the couch was falling apart. The dinner table chairs were falling apart (you had to sit just right not to fall down).
We decided to use some of his retirement payout to get some furniture. We thought that since we went to Ikea and really did get some good deals, that we made the right choice.
This was NOT the right choice. We should have gone to Goodwill, Craig's List, or garage sales. Sick of living with Used furniture we went to Ikea. With a ton of money in the bank it was impossible for us to resist.
$5,000 later we had a new TV, Couch, Entertainment center, end tables,dresser for the girls, dresser for me,dresser for Nolen, end tables in the girls room and end tables in our room. Also a dinning room set. So we got a lot for that money, but it was money we really didn't need to spend. We should have made do with what we had until we knew that Nolen had work. Or in the case of the dinning table, gone to good will.
Eating Out - Out of stress and convenience.
To make ends meet I started working 50 to 70 hours a week. This meant that I was not cooking dinner. Nolen could not cook. I couldn't even trust him to go to the grocery store. So we ate out pretty much every night. It wasn't always fast food, because lets be honest, that would get old. (Did I just say that?)
We were spending on average $200-300 on eating out a week. I also went grocery shopping on the weekends spending another $100 or more. The grocery shopping was in hopes of getting home to cook. So food went to waste. Even if I did get home in time to cook, I was so tired, I just didn't want to.
Eating out so much also made our waistlines increase. I do not know how much Nolen gained, but I gained a total of 70 pounds in about 13 months. HORRIBLE, when I was already overweight.
Too much fun - SCA
I love the SCA, but I fought and fought to not play in the SCA during this time. For those not in the know go to http://sca.org/ to find out what it is. Its where I met Nolen. Its great fun, but also expensive.
When Nolen was laid off, he accepted a position as a Seneschal of our local group. This required him to go to events, meetings and other "stuff". Money flew out of our bank account on dinner's out with group members, buying "toys" and "clothes". The clothes we still haven't gotten BTW.
Nolen needed an outlet to get out of the house, but it wasn't a good idea. It cost us money we didn't have and put a huge wedge between us. I felt like I was always working and when I wasn't, he was out having fun without me. Eventually he "got it" and resigned, but only after threats of divorce. He now knows that the SCA cannot be in our lives until we have our lives in order.
So that is how we got into this mess. We are dead broke, working paycheck to paycheck, getting help from family. We are adults damn it. We were acting like children. There is no excuse for it.
I got in horrible fights with my family, because I was in denial about the things that we did wrong. I honestly thought we were doing well with coping. I was dead wrong.
This Blog is for learning, being accountable and venting. I want, by the end of this year, to be in a far better place than we are now. A lot of blogs I see out there are specific to couponing, losing weight, budgeting. This blog will show the journey to recovery as it happens.
With God and Family and Friends (emotional not financial) support, I know we can do it.