Friday, January 25, 2008

2008 not starting out so good

Both my wife and I have been very sick these last two weeks. She had to go to Urgent Care two times in the last three weeks. My son broke his leg two weeks ago at work and then last night my daughter was hit by a hit-and-run driver. I am having to deal with insurance companies, my son's employer, my car insurance company, medical providers, car rentals, police reports and now I'm making up flyers to post near the accident scene to see if I can flush out the guilty parties. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment.

The hit-and-run will cost me about $1000.00 after I pay the collision deductible and a car rental.

On the upside, I am joining a Crown Financial group at my church. We'll meet for ten weeks and go over how to get our financial house in order. I'm sure it's information I can read on my own but although I really have no savings or 401Ks I thought I should go back to thinking and planning as if I did have discretionary income. I've forgotten to live below my means and maybe this course will force me to make the hard choices such as walking away from a house whose market value is at least 25% to 30% below what I owe. My mortgage payment would probably allow me to pay rent on three houses instead of trying to scrape by month after month for the last two years. It's an awful way to live - borrowing here, borrowing there. I am one paycheck away from living on the street. The worst part is I'm supposed to be supporting a family of four and trying to help my kids attend college.

At least my son has learned that debt is a bad thing. We talked earlier today about him taking out a student loan to finance his education and he was adamant that he would not go into debt. I'm proud of him that he wants to avoid debt. Maybe that is the silver lining I am looking for here: that at least one of my kids already knows the weight of debt and how it can drag you down. My hope is that he and my daughter will avoid my mistakes. I guess every parent hopes that.

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