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Long vent about husband; skip if you want :)

November 13th, 2017 at 05:30 pm

Deep Sigh.

I've come to a point of pure frustration with my husband. We have a good marriage. I love him. He loves me. He's just been annoying the heck out of me lately.

I consider myself a go-getter. If there is something that needs to be done, I do it... and not put it off, complain, or drag my feet.

Dear ol' hubby is another story. He complains about how he doesn't like to go to work each day. He's constantly late in the mornings because he drags himself around. He stays up SO LATE each night and finds himself struggling to stay awake during the day. He knows that he's addicted to sugar. But, yet, he snorts down Mt. Dew all freakin' day...and cookies and candies, etc. He knows he needs to exercise more but instead he complains about it and then just sits down to watch a movie (he loves watching movies). He gets so wrapped up in his "hobby of the month" that it encompasses his entire life until he finds another fixation to replace it with. Last month, it was with collecting everything Transformers. This month, it is with collecting everything LEGO mini-figs. I've come to accept his nuances and work around it all but lately, it's been really bothering me.

He suffers from general anxiety disorder so I have to be super delicate on what I say and how I say things to him. Again, I do love him and don't want to be a "nag" but gosh, darn it. Sometimes, it gets to be too much.

I'm over here getting up super early each day to workout, clean up the house, and get his lunch and everything ready for him. I work all day and don't complain. I come home, fix dinner, and work on my side hustle (online selling) that helps us with our household finances. Sure, I get tired sometimes but things have to get done so I do it.

I DO IT BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE DONE.

Lately, I've been feeling like he's super lazy. He even took the day off work today after a long holiday weekend just to wait for the UPS truck to deliver his latest purchase that requires a signature.

Our master bedroom and bath have been in demolition mode for over 3 years now. He won't let me hire it out because of the cost. He's more than capable of finishing the job. BUT, he JUST can't seem to get the motivation to do anything about it.

He hit a car this past weekend. He says the other driver swerved into his lane causing him to hit it. No one called the cops. The damage is quite severe on our car so we have to get it fixed. I called this morning to file the claim on our insurance.

I called him at noon today and he was still asleep!

I asked if he could take the car into the shop since he's "off" today but he said he couldn't because he didn't know when the UPS delivery would show up. He also said he couldn't plan on picking up our daughter from school if the delivery hadn't come yet. So, I have to make the time during my work day to go back home to get the car and take it in for an estimate and to also possibly pick up our daughter from school.

So, he's absolutely doing nothing today staying at home. He's not going to have dinner ready for me. He's not going to do any laundry or work on the bedroom project. He's just going to sit and watch movies until his package gets delivered.

If I say anything, then I'm the naggy wife. He says he should be able to take a day off work at times. I'm not saying he can't take a day off when he needs to but I'm just a little fed up with his constant state of laziness.

Sorry, I had to vent. I have no else in real life that I can share any of this with. He's a good guy. He loves his family. I just have to keep telling myself this....... sigh.

Appeal update....

October 20th, 2017 at 02:48 pm

So, last I posted, we won our appeal for the airlift cost of $52K...

We just got word that the amount we now is just $1,708! I'm doing a happy dance!

Woo hoo!

Won insurance appeal... office space rental?

October 16th, 2017 at 06:50 pm

So, we appealed the denial from our insurance company for the medial airlift that took our daughter to the hospital in July when she dislocated her hip. Just got the letter from them that said we won the appeal! They will "re-file" the bills and will pay their part towards the $52k bill. We will still have to pay a large amount, I would imagine, but no where close to $52k. Whew!

On a totally different subject, I am seriously contemplating finding an office space of about 300-500 sq ft to move my online reselling business into. We have a very large house and currently, all my inventory and setup is literally taking up 2 bedrooms. One of those bedrooms is what will eventually become our master bedroom (we have been using a guest room). It is in renovation status right now so I moved all my inventory into it which has been fine.... but, we want to move forward with finishing up the renovation so I have to get it all out of there. I found a space that is very near to the house. It is 329 sq ft and they want $350 rent per month. I've sent an email inquiry to find out more specifics so I'm waiting to hear back from them. I'm quite nervous about committing to a lease for this side business of mine. Eeek. We'll see though. I'm definitely not going to rush and jump into anything without thinking good and hard on it.

Online sales and a teaching job!

October 10th, 2017 at 05:12 pm

So, as a reminder for you, I started selling seriously online via eBay, Poshmark, etc. on Jan 1, 2017. All money earned from this side hustle is to go toward our daughter's college expenses. I just finished the bookkeeping on this effort thus far and.......... I ended the first 3 quarters of the year with a gross sales total of $28,913! After platform fees, shipping costs, and so forth, I've earned a net profit of $15,969 (before taxes)! I am looking forward to an exciting 4th quarter of sales. Maybe I can end the year with a net profit of $20k! That will be awesome.

In other great news, the local university that I applied to back in 2015 for a part-time teaching position contacted me and wants me to teach a class next semester! I'm excited and scared at the same time. This will be a new adventure and will be a great additional side hustle as well. One class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one semester will earn me about $3,500! Wish me luck!

I got denied!

August 29th, 2017 at 06:04 pm

Dangit! The insurance company has denied our claim for the helicopter airlift that took my daughter to the hospital with a dislocated hip. They said that it was "medically unnecessary". We went with the advice of the EMTs that were on the scene. How can they deny that this wasn't necessary? If insurance doesn't help, it means that we will have to cover the entire cost of the helicopter ride which is.............................................................................................................................. $52,000!!!! Ack!

Portland, Hip Dislocation, and College

August 14th, 2017 at 02:36 pm

Lots of updates:

1) Portland vacation totals came in at $5,023 which is $977 under budget Smile We had a great time! Our youngest daughter has already started planning for next year's vacation which she is determined will be overseas somewhere. I have to start saving my pennies!

2) A couple of weeks ago, our oldest daughter went tubing on the lake with her friends. Long story short, she ended up with a dislocated hip of all things! The medics had to air lift her to the nearest trauma hospital. We had quite a scare but everything turned out as best as possible. She is fine now with no broken bones/tendons or any permanent damage. I was warned by the hospital that the bills will be hefty though... will update you guys as I get those.

3) I had to make our first college payment the other day and it hurt! Between tuition and room/board, we had to shell out about $12K for the Fall semester. Ouch.

6 Month Reselling Totals

July 6th, 2017 at 08:06 pm

So, I started into reselling as a side hustle on Jan 1 to save money for our daughter's upcoming college expenses (she starts college in August) Here are my 6 month totals.

Jan 1 - June 30, 2017

Total Gross Sales = $18,697
Total Costs/Expenses = $8,256
Total Net Profit (before taxes) = $10,441

I'm setting aside 25% ($2,610) in my mind to cover income taxes. I have no idea if this is anywhere near accurate as I've never done this before but figured it was a safe estimate... so my grand net total after estimated taxes is $7,831 for the first 6 months of my reselling part-time business.

Now, let me just say that this took a lot of time and effort to earn this money. It wasn't easy but I enjoyed it and I am quite happy with the results. From my research, the 4th quarter is always the most profitable with holiday sales thrown in the mix, so I'm looking forward to what the next 6 months will bring.

Our DD's estimated college expenses for one year is $25K which includes room/board as she'll be living on campus. If I can keep this up and earn about $15-$20K a year reselling, the rest can be made up with our regular savings (I put aside $500 from our regular income each month).

My goal is that our children will leave college with no debt whatsoever and that is why I am hustling hard Smile

Portland, Oregon

June 22nd, 2017 at 01:02 pm

So, we decided to venture out west this summer and visit Portland, Oregon. If anyone has any suggestions, tips, or advice about the area, please let me know! Our family of 4 (no little kids) would love to explore the area and maybe even take a drive to Seattle while we are out there. We'll be there the last 2 weeks of July Smile

Portland budget
flights and hotel = $3,000
rental car = $500
food, park tickets, and incidentals = $2,500
Total = $6,000




Question for a CPA... minor and taxes

March 16th, 2017 at 04:15 pm

So, my daughter won a sweepstakes in 2016 valued at $5000. She turned 17 in 2016. She had no other income (no job or interest).

Does she need to file a tax return for that $5000?
Help?

Thanks!

WE SOLD THE HOUSE!

February 21st, 2017 at 06:02 pm

We closed on the sale of our rental house today... finally!

For those not familiar with the situation, we purchased this house in 2006 and then tried to sell it in 2010 for the next two years. We finally decided to rent it out and found renters. These same renters stayed for over 4 years and they ended up buying the house from us today. We couldn't have asked for better renters or for a better outcome so we feel very fortunate and blessed. I am so looking forward to not having this mortgage on our books any longer Smile

P.S. We left the closing table with a $25k check but we did take a loss on the house overall. DH and I are so okay with the loss. The feeling of not having to worry about it any longer is priceless.

850 credit score

February 7th, 2017 at 03:03 pm

Just checked my credit score and it's at 850 Smile If I'm not mistaken, I believe this means I am a good credit risk haha.

Saying bye to a great 2016 and hello to 2017

January 3rd, 2017 at 04:46 pm

Looking back to 2016:

Jan- Refinanced mortgage to a 15 year fixed and paid off remaining car loan balance of $17,210 to be debt free again except for the mortgage; DH had a medical scare

Feb- Had to pay the big and unexpected $1,145 hospital bill from last month

Mar- Joined gym which started $50 monthly bill; got into a multi-car accident over Spring Break; found out DD won a national $5k prom package contest!

Apr- Started vegan (vegetarian for the rest of the family) lifestyle; DH has to start getting a very *expensive* rabies treatment for trying to rescue our cat from a feral cat's death grip

May- major Prom festivities

June- kids wanted Spotify subscription and I caved... oh, well.

July- DH purchased a scooter for $1,500

Aug- DH sold the scooter he had just purchased last month... thank goodness! Smile

Sept- first "manual" payment made for home insurance since we refinanced without an escrow account for the first time ever

Oct- spent lots of money for college applications and other senior student expenses; DH purchases a "new" car for $8,100 cash; our renters inform us of their interest in purchasing our home!

Nov- ramped up online selling activity big time with ebay, poshmark, mercari, etc

Dec- holiday craziness with an 18th year old birthday thrown in the mix that led to an impromptu trip to NYC to celebrate 2016

..... now onward and upwards to 2017 .....

-I've opened up an official eBay store on Jan 1 with plans on making lots of part-time moola!
-Our rental property will be sold (crossing fingers)
-Our oldest will graduate high school and start college... yikes!
-Our youngest will get her driver's license... yikes, again!

I look forward to a great 2017 and hope for much financial success for all of us!!








Help?! Last minute vacation ideas needed...

December 7th, 2016 at 03:51 pm

Any suggestions on a warm destination for a family of 4 on a budget for the week after Christmas? We live on the east coast... not opposed to flying somewhere. Help!

Another big sale!

December 5th, 2016 at 05:33 pm

I purchased a $149 name brand, new with tags, ladies poncho sweater thing from Salvation Army a few months ago for $5. I listed it on eBay with a buy it now price of $100 and had several people offer me best offers on it but they were much too low and the interested buyers didn't want to accept my counter offers. I held out because I knew I had a lot of interest on it.

It sold last night for full asking price! After product and shipping costs and eBay fees, I made a $73.64 profit! Woo hoo! I can get used to making money while I sleep Smile

Dec 2 is a big day

December 2nd, 2016 at 05:09 pm

1. It's FRIDAY. Enough said.

2. My oldest daughter turns 18 today. How can that be?!!

3. We have officially entered into a purchase contract with our renters for the house they've been renting these past 4.5 years! We agreed to a $255k price. I sure hope their financing goes through fine and we can close in January! We purchased the house in 2006 for $288k so yes, we are selling at a loss but that's OK. We'll pocket about $25k after the mortgage is paid off and most importantly, we will finally be done with that house so cross your fingers for us!

4. Our youngest daughter just finished with drivers ed yesterday and can now go get her permit. I'm cool with that. Haha.

5. I've been tracking my online sales accounts in detail since Nov 6. As of today, Dec. 2, my net PROFIT made is $725.94. This is after all fees, shipping costs, and product costs. I can get used to an extra $700 a month and hope this amount can be sustained. I plan to make this much more consistent into 2017.

Best ebay flip ever... or at least for me!

November 16th, 2016 at 04:17 pm

I went to a charity auction last night and purchased a brand new with tags, Dooney & Bourke matching wallet and handbag set for just $55. Got home and I broke the set apart and listed the handbag and wallet separately on eBay.

Within an hour, the handbag sold for $215! If I say the $55 cost was on the handbag alone, after fees and shipping, my net profit is $117.49! Once I sell the wallet too, my net profit on this one $55 purchase will be even greater.

Anyway, I've been on and off ebay since 2000 but just ramped up my ebay activity over the last week and trying to make some money with that platform. I've made quite a few sales but nothing like this one in such a short time frame so I had to share Smile

Happy hustling!

I need help from a tax expert about a rental property

November 3rd, 2016 at 06:55 pm

Anyone out there that can help?

We had purchased a home back in Aug 2006 for $288,000.

We lived in it until Aug 2012 when we started renting it out (we purchased a different home to live in and could not sell this one at all so renting was the only option).

The same family has been renting the house since Aug 2012 and now are ready to purchase it.

We haven't figured up the final number but I'm going to start with offering it at $250,000 and we'll probably end up selling it for a bit less than that but ultimately, we are definitely selling the house for a loss when compared to our purchase price of $288,000.

We have filed the property as a rental property each year on our taxes, claiming the rental income and all expenses including depreciation, etc.

The renters are flexible about WHEN to purchase the house whether it be in the next couple of months or later. Their rental agreement actually ends July 31, 2017 and so this next August 2017 will mark a complete 5 years that the house has been an official rental property. Since we will be selling at a loss, does it matter if we wait until after Aug 2017 to sell the house to them at all? I thought there was a 5 year minimum rule of some sort regarding the sale of rental property but I can't remember what that rule is.

Does anyone know if it matters to hold rental property for a minimum of 5 years if we are selling the property at a loss?

Some random financial updates

October 6th, 2016 at 08:15 pm

-- Our renters want to meet sometime soon to discuss possibly purchasing the house! Let's cross our fingers...they've rented the house since Aug 2012 and have been great renters but we would love to sell it to them instead.

-- I am to get a one-time $400 bonus this month. Woo Hoo! I wish it were more but I'll take it and will put it into our savings.

-- Hubby is itching to purchase a "new" car. He currently drives a very beat-up 1998 truck. We've agreed to stay in the $5k-$8k range if possible and will pay cash for it.

-- Just a quick financial snapshot of where we are right now.

Debts
*House mortgage = $273,486 (15 yr fixed @ 3.375%)
*Rental mortgage = $228,018 (ARM @ 4.75%)

Cash
*Retirement accounts = $106,778 (not including pension accounts)
*Mutual Fund savings = $9,585
*Bank account savings = $16,703

Other Assets
*Main house is worth about $450k
*Rental house is worth about $275k
*Our 3 cars are worth about $30k total

Definitely not where I want to be in regards to cash, but we are in a much better place right now than ever before. Slow and steady wins the race, right? We've made so many mistakes and have learned a lot so I'm not downgrading where we are right now. Our cash balance may not be as high as some of yours, but it's moving in the right direction for us.

All I had to do was ask...

September 19th, 2016 at 05:40 pm

So, my last post was about how I loaned $400 to a co-worker. She had said she would pay me the following week but didn't. Then, she said she would pay me on payday, which she didn't. All of these "promises to pay" were with the other co-worker she borrowed from... I never really spoke to her directly myself.

So, after 6 weeks of nonpayment, my DH got a little antsy and asked me to confront her. I figured to be less confrontational, I would send her a text saying that I needed the money back for xyz (which were all true) and that it would be appreciated if she could pay me soon. A couple of hours after I sent that text, she pays me back! So, apparently, I just had to ask to get my money back was all. Oh well. I'm just glad that's over with.

Lending money

September 1st, 2016 at 04:44 pm

So, 3 weeks ago, a co-worker comes to me saying that another co-worker is in desperate need of $800 to pay a bill by 5:00 that day (it was like 4:00 at this point). This co-worker in need is well liked, super friendly to all, and has never asked for any hand out or anything before. I truly thought maybe something was really wrong. So, this co-worker and I agreed to give the one in need $400 each. The co-worker in need was super thankful and headed off to the bank to cash our checks to do whatever with the $800 before 5:00.

Fast forward to today. Payday was yesterday and I thought for sure that I would see my $400 paid back to me. But, nope. So, I asked the other co-worker that also lent $400 the status of her payback and she hadn't been paid either. I finally asked if she knew the reason that the $800 was needed in such a rushed time... I thought maybe it was to pay the power bill or to pay rent or something like that. Come to find out that the reason this co-worker needed $800 was to buy her teenage son a car! She found a killer deal and didn't have enough money to pay for the car that day and the seller had given her until 5:00 or else they were going to the next person interested. I was livid! That is no emergency whatsoever!

Anyway, co-worker in need has promised to pay us back next week. From what magical funds, I don't know? We only get paid once a month which was yesterday so if she doesn't have the money now, where is she going to get it next week? But, I have no issues with lending her this money and I don't doubt that she'll pay us back, as she really is the type of person that keeps to their word.... however, now that I know the reason behind the "emergency" makes me a bit upset at myself for not asking what it was for to begin with (I just didn't want to pry at the time).

People, if you don't have enough cash to buy a car for your son, then don't go crying to co-workers... am I right?

My financial journey...Part 2.

July 5th, 2016 at 01:21 pm

Read this to catch up on part 1 ---->
http://all4money.savingadvice.com/2016/05/04/my-financial-journey_208655/


Ok, friends. Last we left you, I was just graduating college at 21 years of age and ready to tackle the world. I got promoted immediately to manager at the restaurant I had been waitressing at throughout college. I was quite excited to now be making $18,000 a year. But that didn't last long because of another opportunity that popped up 2 weeks later. I received my first "real" job offer at Wachovia Bank. I started working as a Banker for them in January saying good-bye to my restaurant days.

On the personal front, I had been dating my boyfriend for 6 years by this point. Once I graduated that December, he proposed and we planned for a June wedding. So, again, life was good. We actually went ahead and purchased our first house together that January even. Looking back now, we were so naive in our purchase... basically bought the very first house we looked at but we were so happy and proud.

Financially speaking, here is our current picture 6 months after I graduated from college:

Just married
New home owners
No college loan debts
We both had good stable jobs at the time.
--My salary as a loan officer was $28k and my DH's salary as a teacher was $22k. So, we were making $50k as a couple which was not too shabby for a couple of 20-something year olds fresh out of school starting our lives together.

Then 9 months after we married, we found out we were pregnant. A surprise? For sure. But, we were happy and looking forward to our baby coming along.

We were living the dream in middle class America.

All was perfect... for a little while.

To be continued

Vegan meal pics

July 5th, 2016 at 12:35 pm


My first attempt at making vegan pankcakes and it was a success! Topped with maple syrup and blueberries. Yum!


Our favorite vegan burgers (Morningstar black bean and quinoa). Look at the size of this thing after I put my toppings on it Smile


Our 4th of July spread...so good!

Vegan meal pics

June 21st, 2016 at 02:54 pm

Some meals lately...


Vegan bagels with peanut butter, bananas, and chia seeds. My favorite right now!


Simple penne pasta with spinach and marinara sauce. The family really liked this one.


Can't go wrong with fresh fruit!


Asian noodles with a variety of veggies... Simple!


These ingredients went into the making of Spring Rolls!

My big yard sale total....

June 21st, 2016 at 02:43 pm

So, we had a yard sale on Saturday like many of you did, it looks like Smile

We spent all day Friday pulling things out of closets, organizing, and pricing. Our sale ran on Saturday from 8am - 1pm.

We made $760!

Most items were really marked as $0.25, $0.50, or $1. Our most expensive item that we sold was just $25! So, yeah, we had a ton of stuff.

We received a lot of feedback from our customers throughout the day so I thought I would share the info as to how we had a successful yard sale.

1) We advertised on local facebook selling pages and on craigslist.

2) We put up very simple directional signs the evening before.

3) Location is key. We live in a great area to hold yard sales (great neighborhood, easy road access, lots of parking, etc).

4) We priced everything! Nothing was less than a quarter. Prices were easily visible on each item.

5) We priced everything at yard sale prices! Very important here... I even mentioned this in the ads that I placed because NO ONE wants to pay mall prices at a yard sale.

6) Know the goal of having the yard sale in the first place. Ours was to get rid of stuff in the house... not to make a ton of money for a summer vacation or anything like that. Because our goal was to get rid of stuff, we priced things low and accepted even lower offers... and because of #5 above, we had very little negotiations that we had to do on pricing. 90% of our customers paid the price we asked without any hesitation.

7) Our stuff was clean! Not dusty, not broken, not haphazardly thrown in boxes for customers to dig through. We displayed things on tables not on the ground.

8) Many, many of our customers told us how we had the best yard sale they had been to in years.

Hope that helps, guys. We really didn't have a figure in mind so when we counted at the end and had exactly $760 in our hands, we were ecstatic! This is only the second yard sale we've had and honestly, we didn't have anything but knick knacks at this one (the first one was 4 years ago where we netted $1200 because we had lots of furniture). It's amazing how a lot of quarter items can add up Smile

Vegan Meal Pic

May 25th, 2016 at 12:32 pm

So, I started being a vegan on April 8, 2016. Figured I would share some of my meals every once in a while for those interested.

This meal was prepared after a long 12 hours at work yesterday. I was tempted to just eat a bowl of cereal but then thought about all the random veggies in the fridge. Started chopping things up and voila. Stir fry mushrooms, broccoli, and onions over a bed of white rice. It was so delicious.

More prom pictures as requested :)

May 22nd, 2016 at 01:00 am

P.S. We purchased this $600 dress for just $99!



Diminished value claim?

May 20th, 2016 at 02:10 pm

In a previous post, I had mentioned that we had been rear-ended while we were on Spring Break vacation. We finally got our car back from the shop after all this time. When we picked up the car, our body shop guy suggested that we file a diminished value claim with the other party's insurance company. We had never heard of this before but apparently, since the damage of the car was so severe, we should be able to recoup some of the value lost due to the accident. The car is just a year old and pre-accident value would be guestimating at around $26k. The cost of the repairs was almost $13k which is nearly half the value. Since the accident was such a high dollar amount, we'll have to disclose it if we want to sell it in the future... which means that we couldn't get $26k for it right now like we should've been able to prior to the accident. A diminished value claim would provide us money for the difference in values.

I've emailed the other insurance adjuster about this 2 days ago and have gotten zilch response... Has anyone else gone through this kind of claim before?

Sharing our win!

May 19th, 2016 at 06:52 pm

So, a month ago, I posted a "teaser" in announcing that our oldest DD entered into a national contest and was the winner! Here is what she won:

Prom package--

1) $1,000 gift card to Macy's
2) Professional hair and makeup for her and her girlfriends
3) Professional photography session with free pictures, etc
4) Catering for a pre-prom party for all her friends
5) Limo ride all night for all her friends

Her prom was a blast and everything went so well that day.

Feeling grateful

May 6th, 2016 at 05:15 pm

So, I just gave away a dining table with 4 chairs to a coworker... and I feel good about it.

Life isn't just about making money at every turn. Sometimes you have to give back to the universe. My coworker is a secretary making about $25k a year. She supports herself and her elderly mother. They just rented a trailer and are moving in this weekend. I asked if she might need anything and to my surprise, she needs everything. Apparently, the small apartment they were living in had no furniture to speak of at all. Besides the beds, that was about all they had.

How could I not have realized this about a coworker? I knew she has tons of medical issues (we've had to call 911 before when she had a seizure at work)... but you know what, she's never complained. She's always positive and friendly and is always here for others.

But back to the table... my mother had found this table set at Goodwill and paid $35 for it. She bought it to resale on Craigslist. We had listed it for $50 but no bites... so I just said to my coworker that it was now hers. I will pay my mom the $50 for it. My coworker offered to pay for it but honestly, how can I take money from someone that has so little to begin with? I am always searching for ways to earn more snowflakes-- I sell on ebay and other online platforms all the freakin' time Smile but sometimes giving is just better than receiving.

So, yes, I am feeling grateful for all that we have. DH and I have great paying jobs, we have nice things, we have good health.

I'm not posting this to brag or anything but to remind ourselves that sometimes it is good to just give out of kindness to others without expecting anything back in return.

My financial journey... Part 1.

May 4th, 2016 at 06:37 pm

I am in the mood to just "talk" a bit so go ahead and ignore this blog post if you just would rather... it won't hurt my feelings, lol Smile

My family came to the US when I was four years old with nothing but the clothing on our backs and a bag of immigration paperwork and that was it. My parents worked hard, really hard to get us established in this country. My mom worked nonstop in manufacturing plants. As each plant would close and move their operations overseas, she would find another factory job and start over. My dad worked in a restaurant as a cook. However, my childhood was not a bad one at all. No drugs or alcohol involved. No domestic violence. Just a simple childhood with my 3 siblings.

We definitely fit the bill of the typical low-income needy family. We were on food stamps and got free school lunches, etc. We are talking hand me downs, accepting gifts from others, and making do with the bare minimum. Whether it was clothing, household needs, or whatever, our family either made stuff or got things from church members or donations.

We were a 6 member family living strictly on a very small blue collar income and my parents did not make any excuses. They did not keep up with the Jones's. They did not succumb to the kids' desires to keep up with the coolest clothes or gadgets. We just had no money. They accepted "charity" up to the point when we didn't need to any longer.

Reality IS hard and to cloud it up with falseness is never a good thing. My parents understood this. We couldn't afford luxury cars or brand name clothing. My mom hand sewn and made all my t-shirts until I was in middle school for goodness sakes. But you know what? I had clothes on my back. I was fed. We had a home (rented). We had our own car (purchased a really old one). We had all the basics covered and MY PARENTS DID NOT USE DEBT AT ALL.

So, fast forward to college... My parents took out a very small $1500 federal loan that I had to pay off upon graduation to teach me how to deal with my first taste of financial responsibility. They paid for my entire tuition while I had to pay for my living expenses. So, yes, I waitressed my tail off while in school... and I did pay off that student loan right after graduation, had no debt, and had about $5,000 in savings. Not too bad for a kid right out of college. I got my degree in Business and Financial Management and thought I had all the best money sense in the world.... but I was wrong.

To be continued


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