Friday, February 27, 2009

the biggie

Big news over here in the Bent household.

Well, a month ago I started to mention our employment situation that's been shaking our whole financial present and future. After I posted that entry, Ricky and I worked harder and harder to find work, to the point of almost losing our cool a few times. We sent resume after resume, cover letter after cover letter, only to get absolutely zero response from anyone. The real kicker with that, is that 90% of businesses these days refer you right back over to their website if you call and inquire about your sent application/resume or if you're just calling to ask if "they" are hiring. So, it's like this vicious circle of waiting and more waiting.
Well, we have 4 mouths to feed and a mortgage to pay. We don't have the time to wait.
Yes yes, you great savers our there are probably shaking your heads going, "tsk tsk you should have saved 8 months of savings or you wouldn't be in trouble like this".
Be it as it may, our family can not do that. It's not that we're bad savers, it's that we don't make the type of money where we can save. That's been the root of all problems for years and it will forever be the root of all problems for most relationships and marriages. It's unfortunate but it's true. We're supposed to be in this way of life now, with the economy sinking the way it is, to be more brutally honest about ourselves and our finances, and not pretend to live a life we never could afford.
Our life, we can't afford here in MD. Between the enormously large gas and electric payments (all because we're paying for a bad loan the energy company took out years ago), high rent and high mortgage/condo fees, cost of commuting, cost of food, basically..the cost of anything and everything that allows our family to live and have the necessities, is killing us. And Ricky's constant off and on layoffs (more off than on) that has continued to drain any piddly savings we had and every penny of any paycheck we do get is taken away immediately after signing that dotted line at the bank. Do we have major credit problems that got us in this mess? Not really. And that, I think, is the most shocking part. It's trying to afford the things we need and now we can't even cover those expenses.
It's too much.
It's straining our marriage and in turn, we know the kids are sensing it. Seriously, how much can a person handle?
There are so many really bad wake up calls that I've had in my life..and our financial situation is one of them. (not that anyone's called me this) but I'm not naive.
I know what it feels like to be evicted and see all of your belongings stolen and ransacked right in front of you.
I know what it's like to grow up without a working hot water heater, heat, air conditioning, and with a roof that literally rained on you while you slept.
I know what it feels like to look at every bill every single month and ask yourself, "how many more weeks until this is turned off?"
I've had to grow up and realize consequences of bad choices very early on in life.
The list goes on and on..and on. To the point of annoyance.
We know that our problems aren't going to go away overnight. It's going to take time, lots of time, but alot of effort and motivation is the key to getting ourselves out of this mess.
We have goals, serious goals, that need to be reached and I can at least speak for myself, I'm 30 now..I ain't gettin' any younger. And neither are our children.
So with all of that stuff, Ricky and I had been talking for a few years now of moving out of state to check out other areas and other opportunities. Since our first month of dating 5 years ago, we talked about moving out of at least see what else was out there. Maryland, unfortunately, was never permanently in the cards. And living in our condo was only supposed to be for a few years. So, in the next week and a half, we're finishing up some painting and other work in each room of the home to get it ready for the market. We feel pretty optimistic about selling. Even if we break even, not walk away from closing with any money in our pockets, at this point, will be a blessing. It's either sell at this point, or foreclose. Those are the options and they in black and white. With Ricky's constant layoffs in construction, my inability to get around our area on my own without having to drive there, we need to move somewhere where I can get my drivers license, but hop on a bus or rail with no problem to get to work. We both are seeking full time work and that would be a whole other situation to talk about another day when it comes to daycare, but it would all happen for us I can at least say that.
And I have to backtrack with Ricky's work situation, he wants to find something outside of construction still. He's a very skilled man and he's very very bright and creative. He's interested in so many fields, that with more continued effort (and despite the millions of others just as qualified seeking jobs) I know that he'll find something. I know I will too. This economic slump is not going to last forever. And I feel really good that we'll make it through..but with lots of sacrifices.
So, we're moving to Colorado. My mom and stepdad live out there and soon, my oldest brother and his wife are moving out there this year, too. We are beyond excited but it's also bittersweet, because that means leaving behind some very loved family members and very loved friends. But it gives the kids a chance, also, to get to know more grandparents. We'll try this out even if it's for a few years.. we need to take advantage of the kids still being young, not yet in school to make this move. If things in Denver work out ..wonderful! If not (and I don't see that happening..but you never know), we'll keep pushing to make sure that the four of us are happy.
More details to come! I want to post pictures of our work here in the condo..and more details about the move. I already know we won't have internet access in our home for at least a month once we move so I have to take advantage of the internet we do have right now. I know one of the biggest questions I've been getting is about Natalie's heart care and upcoming surgery in a year or so (I really appreciate that actually) and what the move means for her. It's being taken care of (actually, the top priority) but again, I'll post more about that before the move. If you read this novel, you are a saint.


Chicke3 said...

Hey hun! *hugs* I am so proud of you and Ricky! I really am! I know things havent been easy but I look up to the two of you and your willingness to do what you have to do to get by...that trait is becoming more and more rare. I know that we have not seen each other often, but I will still miss you guys and your beautiful children when you do move! But then I look at it from a different side to, now I have a reason to visit Colorado besides site seeing :-D and that is always an awesome thing! I love you guys!

Anonymous said...

You know you'll be missed....I hope you're able to sell the condo, to avoid foreclosure + maybe get a little extra. Have you checked out your Mom's place on Google's map site? PP

Marie said...

We're going to miss you!! Please keep in touch and let us know your address when you are there!!

wildwesthome said...

Goodness - sounds like you've thought this through; my prayers will be with you!

We made a move to Colorado a while back as well (I'm orginally from there) but somehow, it escaped our doctor's notice that our daughter's heart couldn't tolerate the new altitude - ugh!

Good luck in your move - Denver (we lived in Golden) is GORGEOUS and I will be very jealous of you!

Kristin said...

The best motto: You gotta do what you gotta do.

Good luck with your move & I hope a bundle of new opportunities open up for you guys!

Unkempt Mommy said...

I know you guys will make it!! You guys remind me so much of me and my DH. We are hard working people who are not in a whole lot of debt and are fairly smart w/ our finances....yet barely scraping by.

I'm sure you are running the gamut of emotions right now. A new beginning will be so exciting...and the prospect of better opportunities.

I'm sad that you won't have internet for a month, though. Can't wait to see how this unfolds for you - I am sure that this is the beginning of something great for your family!