All About You (Krissie)

Okay, good news. Tim qualifies for SSI, which will help – we spend more than 1500 a month to house and feed him, and between him and Daniel our now very small savings account goes down $2,000 a month. In less than 20 months we’ll have nothing. So this is a helpful sign. Now that the draft is finished I can look into refinancing the over $100k of college loans that I co-signed. Yes, we are in dire financial straits.
But what me worry? I’ve been flirting with depression – I probably mentioned that (or denied it). In fact, I wasn’t flirting, I was getting depressed, but I went to lunch with my indie writer friends and fortunately burst into tears when Lisa asked how I was. And it came out that I was on neurontin for my fibromyalgia. Turns out neurontin can cause depression – you have to be very careful when you give it to people with a history of depression, and they’d just had me raise my dosage. I stopped, and in a day or so the cloud began to lift. Phew! The very thought was making things worse (though I tried not to think about it). Dodged a bullet!
In the meantime I’m doing my 2016 taxes before time runs out (do we detect a theme of financial irresponsibility here?). My parents were appalling when it came to finances. Richie’s were extremely careful – too bad I’m the alpha.
So, this week. Get ok’d to be Tim’s payee for SSI, finish the taxes, begin revising. Sew, damn it (finished the backing for three quilts – now I have to go down and sandwich them so I can start quilting. Continue to build my calluses for playing the guitar (I try to play every night) and just try to get my shit together. It’s a lost cause, and I can but try.
What’s on your agenda, my darlings?

14 thoughts on “All About You (Krissie)

  1. Heard this morning that I’ve lost the house I was trying to buy. Talked it over with a friend, who’s convinced me I need to look hard at my finances so I can be clear what’s the maximum I can afford. I hate money stuff, and am worried about my earning capacity, so I’ve probably been trying to hang onto too much fallback money. Need to accept I’m always going to be precarious, I guess.

    So I’ve started by tidying up. Will bring my books up to date next. Then look at the big picture. Hope that clearing a space will help me move forward.

    At the same time, I’ve run out of freelance work again and am chasing all my contacts. Probably need to find more contacts. But one thing at a time. At least I’m feeling energized by my frustration at losing the house (never underestimate the incompetence of estate agents).

    • Jessie says:

      The thing your friend said about being clear on your finances is only half the picture. When I was 30, a good friend advised “Buy the most house you can for your down payment, and the a monthly payment you can barely afford. Your earnings will go up, but your house payment stay the same (we are talking a time of fixed interest payments here) and your house will increase in value at much faster rate if it is a more expensive house to begin with”. This was reasonable advice 30 years ago.

      BUT. If you are retired or nearing retirement, your income won’t go up that much nor will the house increase in value all that much. Plus you have to maintain it and you have to pay someone to do necessary remodeling. The last house we bought 30 years ago was in reasonably good condition but the winter we moved in had record rainfalls, a major leak developed and one morning I came downstairs to an inch of water in the entry way from roof failure and a week later the sunroom ceiling collapsed from another leak. These were not expected or budgeted for repairs. And the kitchen that needed remodeling only got done last week.

      Right now we have no mortgage but we do have an equity loan which we needed to do all the remodeling. The equity loan is as much as our first mortgage was so it seems significant to me. However, it is about 15 percent of the value of our house. So if I had to, I could refinance for more money while I figured out if I needed to sell and buy someplace cheaper or raid my retirement account.

      As a retiree this is important. So if you are able to buy your house out right, you will always have the ability to mortgage it somewhere down the line and this will help you through rough times. And if you have an extra bedroom and can stand the idea, you can house share for extra income. My nephew when he bought his house, rented out the bedroom on the ground floor and it helped with his house payments. By time he was 33, he had paid the mortgage off completely. I on the other hand, only succeeded in paying off my mortgage last year, after living here for 30 years but had no non-family members in my house.

      Well, this ran on a lot. But I really want you to be able to afford to have the house you want.

      • Thanks, Jessie: my thinking has run on exactly the same lines. Especially since most 2 or 3 bed houses in my preferred area are Victorian terraces, and old houses can sprout unexpected problems down the line, as you say. I’m a cash buyer, so will be buying outright. At the moment, I’m paying rent and storage charges – which would be fine if I could get regular freelance work; but that’s been hit-and-miss recently – making me anxious to buy a.s.a.p.

        I find most people automatically think along the lines of your friend 30 years ago, and tell me thing like, ‘You can always redo the kitchen later’. No. If anything needs doing, it needs to come out of my budget for buying – I’m not expecting my income to go up.

  2. Susanne says:

    Tim’s SSI will help your finances tremendously.

    I’m trying to build a routine. Mondays are wash and clean days. Today is the 2nd week and I can see the difference. Cleaning is a lot faster. And the bathrooms sparkle!

    Just some vacuuming and dusting and then I’m done.

    You have no idea how happy this makes me. Last year, at this time, chemo had knocked the stuffing out me, but that’s all behind me. Nothing but a bit of rubble left, and I can deal with that.

    Jane, sorry about losing the house. The housing market is so crazy.

    • Mama_Abbie says:

      Really glad to hear that there is only a bit of rubble left from last year’s chemo and that all that C stuff is behind you! Holding out for a similar result.

  3. Jane, I’m so sorry about the house. Good luck on the next one!

    Krissie, I’m doing my 2016 taxes now, too. Or Mollie is and I’m just getting my numbers together for deductions. God bless Mollie.

    And today I’m going to throw out half of my house. So there’s a goal.

  4. Lynda says:

    I’m very glad the SSI is going to kick in. That will be a huge help for you. I’m also thankful you got a handle on what’s adding to your depression. I’m still adjusting. I have a doctor appointment for tomorrow– physical ailments. An old problem seems to be emerging yet again, and I have the feeling there will be more surgery in my future. Bah humbug.

  5. Carol says:

    Ditto on the taxes this week! Slackers R Us. Krissie, I’m glad that Tim will be getting SSI, although not glad for the reasons, of course.

  6. Thea says:

    Qualifying for SSI is huge because of the paperwork that goes into the getting. Congrats.

    Jane, our very competent realtor told us when the house before the one we’re in fell through that it’s all good, we’d find a better one. I wanted to kick her in the kneecaps, but she was right.

  7. Thanks, everyone. I wonder sometimes what it would be like to have an estate agent/realtor working for you as a buyer, as I understand they do in the U.S. But really, it’s going to be a matter of luck. Hope I can find something on my favourite side of town (where I grew up, and where I know lots of people) this time.

  8. Mama_Abbie says:

    I’m “enjoying” week three of four weeks of post-surgical disability. The plan for this week is to do the prescribed stretching exercises for my arm (which is SORE) and start making a dent in sorting out all of the papers on my desk so I have a neat place to work when I restart. Also resting of course.

    Next week will be figuring out the radiation schedule and going for my “sim” session. Radiation will begin the week I head back to work and physiotherapy for my lymph node removal will start the week after that for a couple of weeks. Thinking about asking my manager if a can go back at 3/4 time for three or four weeks in order to manage all of these appointments and not burn the candle at both ends making up time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *