For long time readers who are wondering how things could have gotten so bad so fast for us... I'm going to walk you through it. It's been a steady combination of bad luck and bad decisions.
#1 Before we had kids we had some money in investments. That money was invested in a fairly aggressive manner in hopes of earning as much money as possible over the long run.
#2 When we moved to Michigan we dropped down to one income. But that income turned out to never be quite enough and we supplemented out of our investments. That was a decision we consciously made so that I could stay home but it means that for the last 7 years we haven't saved any money... we have essentially been living off our savings. Oops.
#3 Since Mr F had been self employed the majority of his working career he had no retirement fund. Our investments really needed to act as that. However, we needed them to cover his business taxes EVERY single freaking year. So that depleted them further. Oops.
#4 We lived life as we were accustomed to living it as two working people... on one insufficient salary. Oops.
#5 After struggling to make ends meet (unsuccessfully) we moved from a down turned housing market in Michigan to an expensive regional resort area that hadn't dropped it's prices yet. We bought a fairly equivalent home and it cost us quite a bit more to do that... not too mention all the closing costs on both homes. Oops.
#6 We took a gamble on Mr F's job, which didn't quite pay enough, but knew we could still supplement with freelance.... until we moved and the freelance job went under. Oops.
#7 Kid ended up at a private school the tuition for which was supposed to be covered by the aforementioned freelance job. Did I mention that we lost that one week after signing the school contract and making our deposits. That's okay Mr F's bonus should cover it.... but then he didn't get a bonus. Oops.
#8 Our new medical insurance has $60 copays and we have a daughter who sees a specialist just about every month. Oh and they didn't cover her EEG and now are contesting my injury treatments on the premise that they were caused by an accident. Don't worry I'm fighting it... cause that's 1000 bucks right there.
So that's pretty much the long and short of how we have gone from hopeful to desperate in 6 months. I mean we moved here because we believed it was our best shot at moving ahead financially. Our number one goal was to stop taking money out of our investments so that we could have a stable future. But that isn't how things have turned out. Factor in that our house didn't convey any appliances which we charged to a 0% Lowe's card (which will be due in July) and that we will owe SEVERAL thousand dollars to MI and the IRS for Mr F's freelance income back in Michigan (in... oh... 11 weeks) and you can see why we're selling his car.
The good news is that we still have some money invested (it's just tanked at the moment). And if we are unable to scrape things together we will use that to pay off the taxes and the Lowe's account. But that is a last resort tactic. Mr F's new job does not have a retirement savings program and we need what we have to remain untouched and give it time to recoup what we lost... which will take YEARS. We also have NO cash whatsoever and really need to have that money in case things get worse. Until then I'm just going to do whatever I have to do to try and get things to balance out and still be able to stay home with Baby.
If we can make it through the next 6 months I am confident we will be in a much more stable situation. I still have hope that in the next couple of years we can move forward financially. If anything this time has taught me how many ways there are to cut back... and that you don't have to suffer (too much) to do it... and that's a positive lesson.