I believe KL says to “wake the dragon, one bill at a time”

In other words, don’t disturb those dormant old debts until you’re in a position to pay for them right then and there. By the time you’re ready to deal with them, they are equally as ready to settle at a percentage of the original debt and you should get in writing that settlement agreement, and mail off payment to them in exchange.
I would start looking for them on your credit report, and once you wake up one, the others will soon follow in locating you, but by that time you should be ready to deal with them quickly.

Gathering ALL the bills

I have several bills that are old and I am not even sure what they are and we have moved several times. Do you go by what is on the credit reports? Do you take accounts from all three? Is there another way? I am a little surprised because when I added everything up except for Student Loans I am only have about 15K in debt. I was thinking it was so much more.

Last week was a busy one with dh and ds working a minor amount of overtime

while I worked on chasing the family tree. The yDNA break thru the family member had has let us shoot back so many generations it’s amazing and so I’ve been using the free ancestry.com to flesh the tree out as much as possible while I can. Documenting as much as I can. It’s on my calendar to be canceled this coming weekend before they hit my paypal account for it. After that I’ll try using some discs I have for 6 free months of genealogy library that I’ve had forever and not cashed in on.
Ds got his taxes filed and back before the sequester, so he’s a pretty happy camper (now that he has cleansed his mouth of the goose “mud.” LOL!)
Three hickory trees that were threatening to fall and do major damage are now cut up and ready to stack for using either in our smoker this summer or in the fireplace next winter.
We’re still working on the bank issue—they are getting a hot call today. Their “security” is getting too far out of hand. Dh and I agree we need a bank we can securely use all over the US and online and if the hometown bank can’t do that then it’s time to move on. We’ll miss the friendly service that 36 years of being a loyal customer has gotten us, but if you can’t even pay your bills with a bank what good is it?
Yesterday I did another blog book review update. This was a nonfiction with some fictional scenarios thrown in on prepping beyond the basics of buckets of grains and bales of toilet paper. It was a fairly interesting read.
Today the sun is shining and the temps are suppose to be back up in the mid 60’s. I plan on making four different batches of Friendship bread muffins today to send with the 15 bags of starter I’ll have by the end of the day to dh/ds office tomorrow. I’ll send recipes and a web link too.
More and more dh and I are talking about retirement. If you think I’m anxious to get back to traveling you should see him. He makes me look like a lightweight. He spent a good part of this weekend talking about how once the debts are gone and the FFEF is created that we are out of here for an undetermined amount of time, just drifting with the seasons. I told him I could be packed in 1 day or less if he has the money to pay for bad credit loans guaranteed approval. LOL! Realistically it will be at least another 2 years if nothing changes financially.
However, we are doing our working on figuring out exactly how much we will need for the FFEF once the debts are gone now. Medical insurance, taxes, auto insurance, home insurance, food, utilities, camping fees, burial savings, the list is long.
So here’s a thread of thought for this week. What do you think of when you are thinking of your needs for your fully funded emergency fund? What items do you list? How many months do you personally feel you need to put back for?

The time on statute of limitations starts when the bill has gone into collections

If you paid on time for 4 years, and it went into collections 2 years ago, they have 4 to 6 years more to attempt collection. They try to get around it by selling the u collected debt to other collectors who falsely try to restart to 6 to 8 year statute time limit. They cannot call, or sue after the original time has expired.

We are in good shape, and I am grateful

I have to QUIT FREAKING OUT. When DH came home with his severance, my head went, ok, there’s 3 1/2 months of living expenses. I have to remember that we are not far from month 2, so we’re about (ok, a little under) where I had tracked we’d be (although I thought UI would have kicked in way earlier…but that ship has sailed.)

Car note: $8900 give or take.

Phones: yeah, we had to go back on contract to get that rate. Just going to two pay as you go phone plans and everyone shared (1 for DH and 1 for the family) was going to cost us $80/month. I could have done one phone and a home phone from Walmart for $15, but it required internet service…which currently costs us more. In hind sight (always 20.20) I should have just gone down to 1 phone for DH, but it just wasn’t worth the battle at the time with him.

Heating & Electic: it’s also our hot water, but you are right, it will drop to about $40 a month, and electric will as well, not huge, but maybe I can get that one down to $60. Wish I had more solar stuff I will do laundry only with cold water this month and see how much of an impact that makes (seriously, just because I am actually curious.) We are south facing and live 4 miles from the beach and get gale force winds starting about 330pm daily, so we don’t have (or need) air conditioning.

Internet: yeah, I told DH an hour ago he’s going to have to look at cheaper options. That alone might motivate him more, lol. I don’t want to get into a contract with internet (right now we are month to month), although if I could find one like Malynda was talking about and pay like $70 worth up front (the same cost as I’m paying for 1 month but basically 6-7 months worth) I might do it.

Water & trash: It is: $20-30 for water depending on usage, $20 for trash, $40 for the privilege of living in Huntington Beach. I’m actually not kidding. I forget what it’s really called but it’s something I don’t use on a monthly basis (I think it’s actually for like emergency services or something like that.)

Car Insurance: yep. I’m going to have to call around. Remember that FIX IT TICKET I got a while back and forgot to go to court on which then cost me $993? Yeah, it jacked up my insurance rates, like close to double.

IRS: It’s ironic that they are the ONE GROUP which is actually willing to work with me. They already have noted that we are going to owe for 2012 as well, so I’ll never pay it off, but hey, 2013 we may qualify for EIC and that’ll pay it off in one fell swoop, lol.

Groceries: 0 because we have food storage and food stamps. I am grateful that we have both, and I already told DH we are using part of the FS allotment to build our FS back up (buying vegetables in bulk to can, meat to can etc.)

Garden: have some of it planted already, what is planted is doing pretty well (welcome to sunny CA). I hesitated really tearing up the yard until I knew for sure we would get UI to cover rent (because what was the point of planting a garden if we had to move end of June?) so I will get that done in earnest now.

Income: We had a reality check with the kids when DH got let go. (I told you HE wanted to tell the kids he was “on vacation” rather than tell them the truth? No kidding.) We decided then we would use his severance to pay for “1 fun thing” through the end of March, not costing more than $100 ea because I knew come April 1, we’d be in a world of hurt and they would have to give up a lot. DS17 did grad night ticket (he’s the only one in PS), DD16 chose ballet through March, DS13 chose Archery which ends this week.

DS17 has a part time job during baseball season which is paying for any and all of his Senior stuff. Only DH is going to DD22’s college graduation & AirForce commissioning, unless he gets a job before the first of May. That was kind of a hard one, but that’s just the way it is. I don’t even want to discuss it (but thank you for your warm thoughts.) DD16 has a pretty flexible college schedule so she is looking too.

The reality is I just have to kick up our income somehow. I appreciate the income generating ideas. I was thinking about starting up a homeschooling/tutoring thing (like, if you’ve always wanted to leave PS but have to work outside the home and you’re already paying for childcare….), but it’s unlikely anyone would start this close to the end of the school year.

Just hearing the pragmatic ideas helps 🙂

Or and this idea just hit me, you might want to do the reverse

Its a tad “old fashioned” but we all survived. Turn off the cell phones and turn on one home phone…
Seems almost archaic now, but having a home phone would still allow interviewers to call and when you get back on your feet you can go to a prepaid cell phone for a while. The phones that you would be disconnecting will still call 911 if you have a true emergency on the road (or at least I’ve always been led to believe that a charged phone with no service will still contact 911).
Thinking out of the box, for this out of the box situation.

I would continue with the money orders as you have outlined them, for the rent

That is priority number 1 and I would pay that first and foremost.

I would raise my deductible on the car insurance as high as possible which should reduce the premium to something more manageable.

What about talking to your neighbor about sharing the cost of Internet? Radical I know but if you have a close enough neighbor, it might be a possibility which will save you both money. It wouldn’t be a permanent solution, something until you get back on stable ground.

Cancelling phones might put you into contract violation but you have to do the math to see if the cancellation fee might be cheaper than the bill.

I don’t know what to say about the water and trash and the city’s (municipality) policies. Surely they must have some hardship program.

When we homeschooled and I needed money

I would list a basket weaving class to the local homeschool forum….another time dh taught an online homeschool class on the 5 paragraph paper.. he sent out weekly lessons building on the paper and they submitted the papers to him for grading…one mom had an italian festivcacl at her home for 10.00 a kid with a craft, a bit of history and geography with a traditional meal to follow ( including how to twirl spaghetti with a fork and spoon) I gladly paid and the boys had a blast…

We homeschool types are always up for adventures… have a traditional middle ages meal complete with trenchers/ make shields with coat of arms… I utilize the local parks for these events….

One time my son even got in on it… 5.00 would get you a game of dodge ball and brownie and a drink…. he asked permission to use the locl gym and they said yes… very fun activity…
…just tossing ideas….

……..oh, and one year… we dug up iris rhisomes that were years old from the homestead… divided them… and got 3.00 each from them since the original flowers were well over 100 years old….
..think outside the box!

OK, I have a question and a confession

I am lax about rotating food in my freezer and I think I’ve come to a point where I’ll have to discard some things. I admit I don’t cook a lot for me – I bake cakes for others and those supplies aren’t around for enough time to be rotated but I took a look at both my chest freezer and the freezer portion of my fridge and have become disheartened.

I have chicken(s) in my freezer since 2015. Are they any good to thaw/eat? I should say I have other meat from 2015 too, none of it freezer burned but I have meat from 2015. What do you think?