Friday, January 16, 2009

Staying Afloat in a Sinking Economy

I have had so many other things I was going to blog about in the past few weeks, but worry has gotten the best of me. I know, I know, worrying does no good, especially about things that have not happened yet, but it is what I do best. What I have always done best. It is a trait passed down to me from my mother.

The poor economy has sent me into a tailspin. So many people are losing their jobs. I have lost half of my income in the daycare business since October. That's about a $10K hit with just me alone. Chris talks of downsizing in his company. One person has already been laid off/let go. Just today, four others were reduced down from 5 days a week of work to 4 days a week. That is the plan for his company for the next 12 months and hopefully Chris's customers will keep him busy enough that he is invaluable to the company. He is one of the busier customer service/sales reps in his office. That's a good thing.

A few days ago every thought I had was consumed with what ifs. What if he were to be cut to part time hours? Well, I can tell you what if. We could possibly lose everything we own with just an 8 hour reduction in salary for him. It wouldn't be so bad if the childcare business would pick up but I have not had a single call since October. Not a single one. We are just barely making it now. Each month leaves me wondering who will get paid and who won't. Not a good feeling. Especially since I have family as cosigners on two of our loans.

Two older people stepped up at his work and offered to have their hours slashed as a result of the poor economy. I know NO ONE can really AFFORD to lose money, but these two wouldn't be hit half as hard as we would be. They are older with no children at home anymore. I want to kiss them. That was very noble of them to do that in an effort to spare others. I hope they won't be out of a 5 day week for too long.

If the economy doesn't improve, what becomes of all the people out of work and unable to pay their bills? Do they/we all become homeless, wandering the streets in search of our next meal and bed? It is a thought I don't want to have. I only hope and pray for everyones sake that things improve quickly. I hear it will only get worse. I know it has been worse in the past and now we, the 30 something generation, are facing what our parents faced so many years ago. It is scary. We have had it so good for so long. Now its time to pay the piper.

While we wait I will continue to pray that things on the Toler home front remain as is. No more lost income and if anything, maybe I will get a phone call or two for childcare. One can only hope.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

You Know You've Been to a Party When...

...the cops get called and clothes start coming off! Before I go any further with that, let me just say a few things. This was a Disciples Women's Meeting for our church at a friends house, spouses and children were invited, and there were no alcoholic beverages at the event. So... what you may ask can I possible mean by that first sentence? Let me explain.

Around 5:30pm my family headed to Lisa's house for a "get together/meeting" for our Disciples Women's group. Most of the members and their families were not there since a lot of them have had or currently have that awful stomach virus that is sweeping through Lynchburg. Lisa, her hubby and two girls, and Nannette, her hubby and her three children, one being only 6 months old were in attendance. We had a great time eating and talking. Watching the kids play Wii bowling and just hanging out enjoying each others company. The children, ranging in age from 4-8, headed downstairs to the playroom. Not too long afterward, we hear a knock at the door. David answers to find a Deputy inquiring about a domestic dispute. He asks to speak to the lady of the house as well. Uh, stunned looks enter at this point. The deputy proceeds to say that a juvenile had called 911 and said that their mommy and daddy were fighting. More stunned looks at this point. Lisa asks the Deputy if he can head downstairs, David and I following closely behind. I figured my child was behind this, and being the type of Mommy I am, was ready to whip some little behinds at this point. Questions are asked, and oh, I wish I had pulled my camera out for the looks on the faces. PRICELESS. Denial is going around the room like wildfire. Finally, Maia, my never do wrong child, comes forward to say she did it by accident because she thought the phone was a toy. I must say, it was a princess phone and did look rather toy like so I could see how the mistake was made. She is cowering at my leg just shaking like a little leaf. You could smell the fear. Poor thing. I had to stifle a laugh. A. I figured the deputy would not think it funny, and B. Well, what kind of example would I be setting If I let loose with the laugh I had inside me? (It's hard being a mom sometimes and doing the right thing!)

The Deputy was really nice about the "incident", and we explained why you don't pretend to call 911 and how it takes a cop away from a "real" call. The deputy said the dispatcher called back and got a busy signal, and with all the noise the kids were making downstairs when the call was placed, it is no wonder they rushed out there. He actually said he stepped up the pace to get there. TOO FUNNY! If you knew Lisa and David (HI LISA!!!) you would know why the thought of them in a domestic dispute is just too funny for words. Drama over, kids went back to playing, Deputy probably had something interesting to talk about the rest of the evening, and adults got a real good laugh upstairs.

About an hour later, Maia and Harrison come running back up the stairs to announce that another child in attendance (names withheld to protect privacy :-) ) was taking their pants off. Parent of said child goes flying down the stairs to correct the situation. More laughs from adults.

Never in all my life did I think my children would provide me with such entertainment in such a short span of time like they did tonight. Now, Lisa is probably the talk of her neighborhood and I actually have something funny to blog about for a change! It was real Lisa! We HAVE to do it again sometimes. I bet those ladies won't miss another meeting when the realize all the fun they missed out on!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

About New Years Resolutions...

I don't typically make them, simply because, I know that I will be unable to keep them. No matter how good my intentions in the past, the ones made to lose weight, eat better, cut out coke/pepsi as my main source of hydration, etc, etc, etc., I have NEVER been able to keep ONE SINGLE RESOLUTION. This year, I may have to change that. Today, I spent the better part of my day trying to balance the checkbook. I had not TOUCHED it since sometime the beginning of October. By this I mean, I had not entered a single transaction, balanced the thing, or anything having to do with keeping track of my money. I chose to live in fantasy land where there is always plenty of money in there and that it will miraculously take care of itself for me. Well, I found out today that that didn't happen. I managed to get it balanced through the end of November and then had to stop for the day for fear that my brain would explode from looking at numbers for hours on end. Boy, do you really see the error of your ways when you are entering in all the random transactions. Ours are very heavy on the eating out end. Target is also a very very bad place for me to go unattended.

This being said, my New Years Resolution is to balance the checkbook at the very minimum, once a week, preferable Friday or Saturday. I hope I can keep this one. Maybe if I do, things will improve in our financial life in 2009.