Hey, hey look, look. Look at me! Yeah over here by the window, Look at my debt. It has gone down this month by (drum roll please) $2789.10 yes, yes it has and it is going to continue.
And, and, and, and, you might also notice that my house is below $100,000. That always makes one feel better! It will be at least 10 months before it drops below $90,000. I will get there. In 10 months I should have the studio/loc paid off and the truck. Cross your fingers.
Sewed like a demon yesterday and I still have things to get done today. Just got a call from a grandmother who needs her granddaughters dress altered for home coming and I will see her later tonight. I will have to fix it Saturday morning. I have no choice. Hubby and I are getting up early tomorrow to go get mom. She is excited and calls me every few hours.
The woman who is doing housekeeping for me in exchange for dance is here and the upstairs smell so good. Maybe I just need to pour a little pine sol down the cracks and call it good. Smells clean!
I really need to get to the studio books done, I am avoiding them because I am broke! I don't want to know:)
The real problem with getting a disease like this is that it is not curable. You can go into remission, but it will come back. You just treat it for as long as you live. I wanted to live a long time.
The first 6 months were grueling. Constant stomach pains and a lot of time spent in the bathroom. I was so tired. I had to keep going. I thought we would lose the house. But we did not get behind on anything. I continued to work as much as I could. We went and added $35,000 worth debt for medical bills and meds and missed work in 6 months. In order to do this we tapped the equity in our home. Stupid I know, but we did it. If my kid needed a kidney I would go there. But with my new mindset on debt I don't think I would do that again.
Things were tough, but I was blessed and went into remission. The drugs worked and I really felt like I had gotten my life back. My younger sister sent me $3000.00 as a gift to get caught up on doctor bills and water, sewer, gas, utilities. I was very careful to always pay the bills that reported to credit agencies first. I would let utilities and doctors slide. I would send $10.00 to doctors. Always a little something and the utilities I paid what I could; I was on a program for people that were sick so I could rack up a bill and not be disconnected. But I knew in my heart that this was the last fix I would get. My family was just tired of me not making my own way.
Over the years we as sisters and our mother had always taken a girls trip. I was always included, but I never had any money to actually take the trip. My sisters always bought my plane ticket and paid my way. I would try to scrounge enough money to have a little spending money for cokes and jokes as we call it. I would try so hard to make sure I looked good. I would get my hair colored (it was always a disaster) I would put on my nicest clothes and meet my sisters in the airport. They would both take one look at me up and down and say with disgust we are going shopping. I started not packing anything but underwear as nothing I had wold be good enough anyway.
I remember one trip when B was a baby, we were so broke. I drove to Missoula to fly out as mom had bought my ticket, I think we were going to Virginia Beach that year. Mom gave me a $50.00 bill. When we met my two sisters At BWI each of them secretly gave me $50.00. So now I had $150.00. This continued through out the 7 days I was with them. When I got home I had $450.00 enough to pay the house payment. They paid for everything and I did not spend a dime. I, in my childlike mind did not realize they knew I was doing this, that they talked behind me, I thought I was so clever and doing this on the sly. It was very embarrassing, to never have any money. To always be the country cousin. I had no choice and I love my sisters for their generosity.
Sissie and I embarked on a new program. We decided together that we would tackle the debt and we would be out by the time we were 50. I am 55 right now so you can see how successful that plan was. We laugh about it now. We, I, she and I were much more successful at learning to keep a clean and organized home than in not spending money. We tried really hard and we did make real progress in certain areas. For instance I used to have 7 or 8 store cards with balances. I was always juggling and felt I was spending less when I was splitting up the debt on different cards. (How stupid was that). We both got rid of all cards but two. One for personal and one for business. This made a huge difference. Just the number of bills to pay and the due dates. It really helped with interest. I also learned the hard way that we cannot have two car payments at once. It is just too hard and we don't make enough money to pay for two cars. I will never do that to myself again. I will walk or buy a $1000.00 in town beater.
I became very frugal, reading every book I could find on debt. It scared the kids. Remember the spoiled kids? They did not like that mom was getting her act together. They have survived. When I say I have no money, I have no money. It has taken me years to say no to my kids. It is still hard, now I use the excuse your dad is trying to retire in a couple years, do you want him to have to work forever? See I can be a Jewish Mother when I want to. I even use the accent. My biggest dilemma with debt and my bills was cash flow. We always had enough to squeak out the bills, even if they were minimum payments, but never enough for gas and groceries. I just had no cash. Nothing extra. Ever.
After we had taken in a myriad of really bad exchange students, my illness and state of mind was beginning to be affected. Sissie and I talked almost every day. I would whine to her, she would whine to me. Sissie has always been able to look into my life and tell me where to go next. She was as fed up with the students as I. She could logically see how they brought in more problems than money. Finally the last one (Meju) broke the camels back. I called Sissie with her latest escapade, and Sis said get rid of her, let her go. I was terrified as I needed that $400.00 a month. Sis said no you don't, not as bad as you need sanity. Sis told me to reopen the shop. Go back to sewing. Kim. How much sewing do you need to do a week to make just $100.00? I thought about it and really that was not very much.
So I went down had business cards made again, put and add in the paper's business directory (it has not stopped running for 9 years) and I went to the 3 dry cleaners in town to ask for referrals. One of the dry cleaners gave me work immediately. I went home with over $100.00 worth of work. Now sis would say to me, "You just have to make up the exchange student the rest is cream." It was so easy I could not see why I had given this up. Why was I so immature that I could not see where my money was coming from?
This advice was the best I have ever been given. It was so obviuos. I started to make money and I had cash flow. I had enough to put gas in the car. I had enough to buy groceries. I had enough to squirrel away money for things we wanted or needed. It was possible. I still have down times when work is caught up and I start to fret, you have all heard me do this, but the reality is I was am slowly making it.
I rearranged the girls rooms and took my shop out of the hallway. I took over the largest bedroom and Richard knocked a handicapped door into the wall by the garage. So now customers did not have to climb the steep stairs into the house but could pull right up or into the garage and go right into the shop. I started to pay attention to advertizing. I just learned to sew during the day and teach dance a few nights a week and also clean a building. It was still a tough schedule. I did not have to deal with a cranky, selfish, spoiled, student. Life was getting better.
I begged the University to allow me to start an Irish dance program in the Lewiston school. They thought it was a flash in the pan. My classes had always been large so they allowed me on hour. I had about 8 adults and teenagers that first year. The next year they allowed me a children's class. Again I had about 8 students. On St. Patrick's Day I took my little group to several schools to dance. It was a lot of work and I had made beautiful costumes for them. The following year I had 25 new students sign up and the program was born. My oldest had started a program for the University in Pullman at one of their schools. Hers was a huge success also. It became pretty clear that my daughter and I were making money for this dance program. We also were very good choreographers and were good at putting out fires. In the arts there is always a fire. The success of our programs was a great boon for the University, one of my one hour classes alone, brought in over $1700.00 a month. We started doing really big productions always up at the University never in my home town. I would be dragging 85 kids up the hill to perform several times a year. Parents were getting owly. Why were we not doing these productions in or own town?