Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In a mood but not defeated

We have totally decided to put our house on the market and move into something smaller. Our requirements are 2 bedroom, 2 car garage, main floor master bedroom, main floor laundry, and wheelchair friendly. We want a small fenced yard. I want a basement (we get lots of tornadoes here) for storage and for shelter. We need a master bath and a 2nd bathroom. Eat in kitchen is fine. No fireplace is fine. Ranch style house is preferred. We have some competition in our neighborhood as far as houses for sale. One has been on the market for several months and I just found out they've reduced their listing price to less than what we owe on our house. I need to get at least 10,000 over what we owe to pay any real estate fees and we don't have anything to bring to the table, so it has GOT to sell for more than what they've got theirs listed for. Praying for a miracle there!

We want to cut our house payment in half so we're definitely looking at much smaller and older homes. That is OK as long as it's in good shape. I can't do any repairs. I am still planning on a moving sale. I took stock of our finances today and it's not good. That's what is my mood-downer. We lost $600 per month in income (Ron's retirement) and $400 rent from Amy - so our income is down $1,000. Our expenses are NOT down $1,000 - not even close and I've been working on reducing for quite some time. Without a total financial miracle - and I mean a BIG one - we're looking at going down the tubes very quickly. Not good.

I talked to a realtor today and he is going to send me some property listings. I want to find something closer to work, which would also save me gas money. This particular realtor has a program where he guarantees to sell your house within a certain amount of time, and if not he will buy it at a pre-agreed upon price. I would sell this house to him (or another investor) for enough to pay it off and any fees. I have no emotional attachment to the house whatsoever. None. But I do have an emotional attachment to the thought of trying to come up with funds to cover closing costs. Can't do it. No way. Absolutely. No. Way.

I looked at our finances today and I really don't know where I can cut between now and selling. I can cut a few small things but not enough to keep us afloat. Ron's medical expenses are going up (an extra $100 per month just in medication) and there's very little flexibility in the way of medications. I can probably cut out a couple of the meds that I take, or take 1/2 dosage instead, but they're meds that already only cost $5 each per month. So, the savings would be $2.50 per month for each. Not much. I can cut cable back but it's the only entertainment Ron has. How do I take that away from him? I can cut the Internet back to a slower speed, which will save $10 per less. So, I can come up with about $15 per month in savings right off the bat.

Groceries... Hmmm... Not to easy to cut back there. Ron has to eat and he's supposed to be eating better. I can cut back what I eat and then would be able to cut back the diabetes pills some more. Not sure. If I take my meds like I'm supposed to, I get hungry. If I don't take the pills then I don't get as hungry. If I let myself get a low blood sugar, then I get sick. That's not good either. Looks like the grocery bill will have to stay pretty much as it is. I can shop smarter, though. I already buy generic when possible and not much in the way of convenience foods. The only convenience foods I really get are those I buy for Ron to fix himself for lunch.

Cell phones... Keith needs to get his own plan and then I can cut the minutes back on our family plan. I think I may swap out my smart phone for a regular old phone and that will save $15 per month. If my contract is not tied to the type of phone I use, that may be something that I have to look in to.

Gas and Electricity... We are on a level payment plan so those don't change each month. Can't do any savings there.

The other stuff I make payments on can't really be changed. The house payment takes way too much of our income. Next is our car payment. I'd sell it and keep the Blazer, but we're upside down due to lots of other things - so no go there. Debt - that's the big kicker. Medical bills started a downhill slide and we've just snowballed into a place that is going to be difficult to get out of without some repercussions. We're still paying on the remains of a large bill from 2008. It'll be over two years before that's paid off (at $130 per month - $3800 owed). It's enough to really depress a person.

But, I will prevail. I don't know how exactly. But, I am tough and I will do it. Too bad I don't know any rich distant "relatives" who left me some real money - not the fake stuff that we all get emails about - riches in foreign countries. I read a blog one time where one guy actually put a PayPal link on it for folks to send him donations. Now, that's desperate. I don't know if he got any takers or not. I got a good laugh out of it but I guess desperation makes people do strange things.

I've been praying a lot about what to do and looking for direction - I don't want to make a decision that will detrimental in the future. I need to do what is going to be best for Ron and I in the long run - and in the short run. He will probably need to have surgery on the right foot in June. That will be another medical expense for us over the insurance payments. He'll have to go to a step-down facility for a few weeks because I can't take care of him at home without help. In-home assistance is not an option with our insurance; step-down facility is a possibility with a co-pay. Not sure what the co-pay is but no matter what it is, it will be worth paying to have the help for him. He'll need to be non-weight bearing for 2-3 weeks and without lots of help, that just won't happen.

So, I'd appreciate your prayers for us. I believe that God is still in the miracle business and He can and does answer prayers.



Kathy's Klothesline said...

Well, I will certainly hold you in my prayers. But, words are cheap and it sounds like you need more than words. I am not in a position to offer financial help, but I do have some advice. Hospital will sometimes work with you on amounts due. They will even write the balance off if you provide them with your income tax info. I applied for such assistance myself and had the hospital write off a $3000 bill. Try it, you have nothing to lose and hopefully a solution to ease your burden right now. Another expense that is overwhelming is your RX bills. My husband is on 13 medications and if we had to pay the full expense out of pocket, there is no way we would survive. As it stands we pay out about $500 every quarter in co-pays. Believe me in the winter months this is hard to come up with. I have relied on samples from doctors offices before. It is a little humbling to ask, but all that can happen is to be told no. Pharmeceutical companies invest a lot of money in providing samples to doctors offices in hopes that they will prescibe their product. Although they have a fairly long shelf life, they do have an expiration date. Every quarter thousands of dollars in these samples are disposed of. Check with your doctor to see what samples he may have on hand. Keep in mind that generic drugs will not be in their sample closet. No need to limit yourself to only the doctor's you see. Go on-line and google the pharmeceutical company that carries your drugs. They will sometimes provide you with discounts or even free drugs. I hope some of this will help relieve some of your burden. Like you said, you are just looking to get through until you sell your home and even a month's supply of your RX would help.

SkippyMom said...

You are right about God - I truly believe it does answer his prayers. Of course I will be thinking good thoughts and praying for this to happen.

What is so funny is Pooldad and I are doing the same thing - we have to move out of our current home [which I LOVE] but it is a total of twenty nine stairs from the car to the master bedroom...just to give you an idea! We need one level also [or a staircase of JUST 10] mainfloor bedroom/bath and at least one more room for Wallene - since Squirrel will be off to college she said she didn't really need a room - she understands :D

We are looking older, in less desirable neighborhoods - but the real estate market hasn't been hit here like the rest of the US - our prices never dropped and foreclosures, although up, aren't near the nat'l average.

But we want a home we can pay off in 15 years [or less] but the burden of our payment now [$2,000] is just too much - but YAY we have found homes near us where our mortgage would be under $1000 - I couldn't imagine but the sacrifice is worth it b/c we would be financially better off and I wouldn't be stuck in the house or on one floor.

Sounds like a good deal with the buy the house guy - just make sure he offers a good price on your home [duh! :D] Antoher thing is you could try and find a seller that would pay your closing - it is a buyer's market - and you could roll your points etc. into the mortgage for pennies a month. There is a way to make this happen and I know you will figure it [and I can help :D]

To be honest - I really want a smaller home just for the upkeep - I want to be able to do it, not the kids and Pooldad and I just can't handle this behoometh we have now. I love small spaces. Now just to go find one! lol

Let me know if I can do anything. We will find our new homes together, eh?

Love ya!

Pat said...

Sounds like Kathy gave you some good ideas.

You say you have cable tv and you don't want to cut that out because of Ron. Do you have premium channels? Maybe just cut those off. Most local libraries now have movies you can rent for free or a minimal charge. Check out your library and see what they have available.

Also, do you cut coupons and use them? You can really save a lot of money by doing that. Check on line, too for coupons.

I will keep you guys in my prayers and hope that things work out for you.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

great ideas and suggestions from you all - and i greatly appreciate it. we did have premium channels for a "free" 30-day trial, which just ended. i just have to call them to get it taken off.

i use coupons as much as possible. we don't buy many name brand things so a lot of the available coupons are for things i don't use, or can't use because of the sodium content. fresh fruit and fresh vegetables are where we rack up our grocery dollars.

we're getting some of our drugs from the doctor now, which really helps. she can give us things every so often and sometimes gives us things that are comparable to what we were using (usually allergy medications). i'll ask her again next time we go what else she has in her sample closet.

thanks again for all the suggestions! appreciate the prayers, too.