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Difficult Decisions

October 15th, 2007, 12:59 PM
Chris and i are going to take some time this weekend to talk about our living situation.

one of the biggest subject is going to be the fuzzy butts.

initially we wanted 2 cats and possibly some day a dog.

we adopted Hunter and Shadow from the local shelter here a few years ago. they were so cute. :)

a month or so after that this lady had a stray in her yard we were suppose to transport to a farm. thats Baby Girl. take one look at her and tell me she is a farm cat?? hardly.

last summer we started talking abotu a dog, fostering for a bit, volunteering at the local shelter until we found the right one.... then we ran across this guy in Walmart selling puppies out of the back of his truck. we WANTED a lab but couldnt justify a breeder when there were so many in rescue and shelters.... the mother looked so pitiful... i know it was only encouraging that man to breed his dog again (one would think others have given him the same talks we did about rescues right?) but where would Mister be now if we hadnt brought him home?

Frances.... i dont know what to do abotu Frances. she is still technically a foster but every single time we have left the house with her, Hunter has totally pinned over her. he cries, sulks and refuses food. i would painfully have already adopted her out already but for that. he sleeps with her, she sleeps with us...

i just dont know. we have minimized everything else in our home but the cable tv and we are still in the red. to get out of the red we have to bottom line, get rid of the house. its just a hair too expensive. not so expensive that bankruptcy is reasonable but enough that we do NOT have ANYTHING left over at the end of the month, and this place needs some serious repairs. Chris and i can do some of the manual parts of it but supplies will still cost and we are not qualified to work on the crawl space, which also needs about $2k of work. *shrugs* we had some unlucky things happen that we never could have predicted that ate up the savings, and then MORE unlucky unpredictable things on top of that.... THEN we had several vet visits that cost MORE than $800 in the last 12 months...

if we dont cut away more expenses, it will take another 6 or 7 years of minimum payments on our non-mortgage related debt to have more than $50 left over at the end of the month. we. can. not. handle. another. vet. visit. if Chris' clunking old 14 year old car breaks, we have no back up. we have no credit, we have no money. its all gone. the $500 that we have been saving over the last several months went to the vet visits.

how do you make this decision?? i cant just arbitrarily decide i like one more than the other. to say that we cant afford the ones who have cost us the most says they need special care. who will give that but us? the last to come goes? i mean really... it breaks my heart of any of them leaving but ive reached a point where i understand it has to happen.

Chris and i are going to have a talk this weekend. he is so upset abotu this and im upset about this. he said it well on the phone today- 'everywhere you look, everything seems blurry'. he is so upset about this.... *sigh* the decision to feed Mister kibble instead of raw is going to cost more than the raw by about $20 a month.

i just dont know what to do anymore. we havent even been taking training lessons with him because we havent had the money. well actually his trainer has been in and out of the hospital over the last 2 years and more so lately, but even if he hadnt been, we wouldnt have had the money for it.

i did the single mom thing for 4 years on a waitress' wages. i can squeeze a dollar out of a penny but this just isnt working anymore.

flame away folks. there isnt anything you can say to make me feel worse than i already do. i just needed to vent some of it before i blew up.


October 15th, 2007, 01:07 PM
My dear, you aren't going to get a flame from me. You have and are doing everything you can to figure out how to make it work. I commend you for going on for so long and doing everything you could to cut back. What's the saying? You can't squeeze water from a rock?

If you don't have the funds and you have tried to come up with them then what more can you do?

I can't even imagine what you must be going through, and hope to heaven I never have to be put in your shoes.

I hope something wonderful happens that enables you to not even have to make any kind of a decision on who you keep and who you don't. But if you have to make it, I hope you are able to find wonderful homes for those you cannot have with you. :pray:

October 15th, 2007, 01:21 PM
I'm not going to flame you either. It's a horrible situation to be in and I truly feel for you. I hope whatever you decide, you must know it's for the best for your entire household, no point beating yourselves up over it. You're only going to make yourselves sick with the stress of it all.

Maybe you should have someone who you both trust to come in and make suggestions as to what you should do. Someone who's a little further removed who can look at things logically and not with their hearts.

Take the time, make whatever choices you must and get on with your lives.


October 15th, 2007, 01:23 PM
Maybe refinancing your home is the answer, it could pay off debts as well as get some extra cash for home repairs, and most banks don't charge any penalities as long as you refinance through the bank that already holds your mortgage.
I know it's so hard, especailly with a baby (been there, done that) maybe a cheaper brand of pet food, (Costco's Kirkland is good, and cheap).
And always "believe" and have faith, that things will get better:)

October 15th, 2007, 01:37 PM
no flames from me. Just hugs. These kinds of decisions are the worst ones and you're obviously doing everything you can. At least it sounds like you and Chris are addressing this stuff together, as a family/team, instead of it becoming a battleground. :grouphug:

Jim Hall
October 15th, 2007, 03:57 PM
no flames here either As my friend said sometimes your heart is biggewr than your head and i hope all my friends are like that .

October 15th, 2007, 04:04 PM
W4R,we went bancrupt once,a long time ago,3 kids and hubby lost his job,I could not work having 2 sick kids..
Stores came and repoed almost everything we had and we were really down in the dump.
But hubby got a better job,more money and we started to dig ourselves out,no matter what you go through,there is always a light at the end of the tunnel,something will come along for you too,I am sure of it.

kashtin's kin
October 15th, 2007, 07:16 PM
Want4rain, I would have been VERY surprised if anyone on this board had been un-empathetic enough to criticize you. It takes a lot of guts to bare your soul (and financial situation) in 'public'; hopefully it was a bit threrapeutic just to detail the situation you're in?

Of course, there are the always!!? sensible analytical types who would never take on an animal if they hadn't consulted actuarial tables etc. :rolleyes:, but most of us critterslaves DO let our hearts lead our heads too much of the time. (THEN, we cross our fingers and hope to heck that things work out!)

Aside from the fact that you have young children to raise, which takes a bit?!! of $$$, you may also have been caught like many Americans in the bank's eagerness to give mortgages with little or no collateral over the past while; from what I understand-not much :o!-that's created a national crisis.

Whatever the case, you've found yourselves pinching pennies till your fingers bleed in an ongoing struggle to feed etc. your human family, as well as giving some needy animals a good home. I'm sure most people on the BB here can relate to that, at least to some extent; it kind of goes with the critterkeeper personality :shrug:.

And although I don't have children to complicate the picture, the mini Noah's Ark DH and I have had going for quite a few years has led to some tough conversations and heavy sighs, at times. Luckily, so far we've been able to cut back enough (DH isn't a Scotsman with their reputation for thrift, but he must be an honorary one!) to manage.

That, combined with a moratorium on more critters (just say no :sad:?) AND a small but timely mini-inheritance have kept us in the black so far. However, when my sister had to give up her house (then her apt.) due to health issues, my main concern was her 3 cats. I wanted so badly to take them for her...

Ultimately, we did adopt the very senior cat (hard to re-home), and a great cat rescue (Pride Rescue in Hamilton, ON) found a dream home for one; the youngest cat is now a blood donor at a s.i.l's vet clinic (and quite the swaggering mascot, I hear).

What at first seemed impossible, and emotional torture of a sort (I'd cared for my sister's cats in the past, and tried my best to keep them in her life) ended up working out amazingly well. Someone above suggested having an objective type of friend (preferably an animal lover, also) help you to perhaps make some sort of decision...i.e possibly re-homing one or 2?

I know that sounds heartless, but if I was able to do that (and after staying with us for months at a time, I really did feel very close to those 3 cats), then maybe you'll be able to see the positive side of such a decision? Whatever you end up doing-or not!?-it sounds like you have been a responsible person who's just ended up a bit stressed/overwhelmed in your attempt to help out [some critters].

Somehow, you sound like you really need some breathing order for your marriage to 'flourish', your kids to not feel that $$ stress that kiddie radar somehow picks up very well, and your animals not to represent backbreaking sacrifice.

Take a deep breath, and start with small steps. And truly believe that it will get better...some short-term discomfort can really lead to long-term contentment. There are always challenges to face in life; you've already made a start in trying to make some positive moves, so you are building on that!

I'm not saying 'ditch any or all critters'...or 'keep 'em all'...figure things out as a family, and ask for help if you need it. Also keep us posted on your situation; 'positive thoughts/vibes' may not put food on the table, but can hopefully give you strength and hope. Hang in there :grouphug:!

October 15th, 2007, 08:33 PM
geez... ya'all are gonna make me cry.

thanks for the love.


October 15th, 2007, 09:21 PM
maybe a cheaper brand of pet food, (Costco's Kirkland is good, and cheap).

That's exactly what I was going to suggest. Sorry I haven't read your whole post , having computer troubles .... but I know about being money tight. We sometimes (ok often !) put our animals before anything else. I have choosen on the Kirkland food (they were on it , I switch to Canidae months ago but unfortunatly , with everything that happened , I am switching back to Kirkland) I rather save more pets .... no flaming from me , I totally understand ! If anything , you're an :angel: to have help all those animals ! :thumbs up

October 15th, 2007, 10:42 PM
so we've always been organic and home farming, my crop this year went to crap and we cant afford organic. we still eat organic beef and cucumbers (i cant go back to waxy cucumbers.... ). but we are back to just plain regular pesticidey foods. the pets diet is actually very inexpensive. we ahve found several sources of meat for the cats that is a fraction of the price of wet food. Misters new food is more expensive than the raw but i just cant take that much higher chance of Jeffrey catching soemthing from Misters raw meat anymore. he just ISNT learning to NOT lick. AND Kirkland might not be a bad idea.... bt we already have a SAMS membership!! LOL not Costco. although Chris and i have toyed with the idea of a Costco membership when our SAMS runs up in november.... not sure yet.

but we buy what we can bulk, all of our light bulbs have been upgraded to CFL's as they blow. little things like that. i justify my fish water because it fertilizes my plants... we dont drive places... i refuse to stop Cailyns piano lessons. the appliances we have had to replace have all been energy star or in some cases better.

THANKFULLY we HAVE been a team through all of this. i swear, he married me for my money pinching abilities. :D he came to me from being a single guy making damned fine money and blowing all of it at clubs and video games, football games.... whatever it is that single guys do cause they cant get girls... to insta-family... responsibilities... its amazing we survived all of this... let alone as close and 'together' as we are.

as for finding a mediator.... the friend who has any advice says to can them all. :) i couldnt do that. i dont know what we will do about it but its not that.

whats hurting us is the once every 3 months vet visits. the 'Shadow isnt eating'($600) or 'Misters butt is exploding'($150), Hunters Mystery 1/2 Face Missing($170) vet visits.... or that Mister is trying to jump our 4.5 foot fence now(up to $3k).... *sigh* i think we have survived so far pretty well with limited classes(another $110) but we are reaching a point where we should be taking some more or get back in with the old trainer when he gets healthy, or at the very least have him and his fellah over for burritos again(roughly $25). ;)

i think the part thats just killing me is HOW do you decide who stays and goes?? this weekend Chris are going to lay down the facts. things like their health issues(Misters residue needs, Shadows crystals, Hunters mystery allergy) , their future needs(new fence for Mister, their current needs(weird dietary needs)...

im off to bed.

thanks for the warm fuzzies.... Chris and i will talk about it this weekend. moooooooore money lists. poo.


October 15th, 2007, 11:45 PM
if we dont cut away more expenses, it will take another 6 or 7 years of minimum payments on our non-mortgage related debt to have more than $50 left over at the end of the month.

any chance your bank will do a personal loan to pay off credit cards & have a structured payment schedule where there is an *end* to this debt, instead of never-ending-on-going interest accrued?

In January I went in to my credit union & applied for a personal loan which paid off my 2 credit cards (in the several thousands) & I know this debt, with monthly payments that were based on what I could pay per month, will be paid off in 4 years. Unfortunately I have now have new debt (food/vet/dentist) on my credit card that is gathering interest :rolleyes: however being single, a renter & making barely over min wage doesn't leave me with very much for food or anything else by the middle of the month.

So no flaming here just :grouphug: :goodvibes: :fingerscr

October 16th, 2007, 07:44 AM
I know where you are,
We lost everything we had right down to the shoes on my feet,
House fire, No insurance, Nothing, We still had bank payments,
Most people got collections took up for them, but not us,
I was extremely shy, kept to myself, never asked anyone for anything,
My mum says I was too independent for my own good.
We crawled back; Bought an old cabin deep in the wood paid 4 thousand for it,
My Father passed away at this time and my mum insisted my Fathers last wishes included giving me 2 thousand to pay of our new cabin. I reluctantly took it,
After 12 yrs of marriage and no kids, To make things harder we had three kids 1 right after the other,
Here we are in a shabby old cabin, barely got lights, no running water, No water at all for that matter, Had to haul to wash clothes, Water was frozen solid in buckets come morning, We had limited wood, Nearly froze to death,
Remember 1 winter our income was $100.00 a week,
The royal Canadian legion gave us an old deep freezer, I squeezed pennies outta blood and dropped it all on whatever canned food was cheap that week,
I Remember living of sheer tomato soup for weeks on ends,
the only real big thing that saved us was the hugh gardens I always put in and filled ever jar I could get my hands on with preserves,
In the fall run ads looking for free rabbits, chickens, ducks, goats anything,
We got lots of calls and rounded up everything, Filled our deep freezers this way for a few yrs,
Had three dogs, with 2 strays being dropped at our door, Really didn’t need it, Dogs & cats lived off table scraps, Cooked all peelings apples anything I could get my hands on, added extra water to all meat I cooked,
Went to grocery stores here, Talked to the meat manager and asked for permission to have the throw out foods,
1 store gave us permission,
That saved our animals! There was no vet bills, Was not even something I could think about, Looked at it this way, My kids or my pets, God knows My kids always won first,
I believe If an animal could talk they’d agree whole heartily, After all many give there lives for their owners everyday!
Been 15 yrs now since that awful Fire, I refused anything I couldn’t pay cash on the barrel for, Have a beautiful home once again, Have had a sea of animals since then. (And I own everything, house, van everything)
Credit cards are a trap that will drown you! They lead you to believe you can’t live without them, Mortgages never solve any problem, Just add to it,
I have a neighbor right now done the mortgage bit over and over, its just a temp fix, their about to loose everything!
Start small, own it piece by piece as you can pay for it, I started living in a tiny camp trailer, and went up from there, then the fire, Never ends!
I’m not in your situation and each is unique to itself but if your cats are draining you that bad, You need to set your priorities straight or your headed towards loosing everything including the animals,

I’ve been in your state maybe even worse.
Sometimes you need to follow your head and not your Heart!
However cruel that may seem.

Food for thought I hope :fingerscr

October 16th, 2007, 09:31 AM
sooooooo actually all of our loans have fantastic interest rates, and we have only one credit card and that one is the smallest as its only been recently used to float what we cant do on a monthly basis. the rest of the loans are either home, car and then misc still thats needed work. we had to replace the HVAC here within 2 months of moving in. thinking we were staying 'for ever and ever' we went out and got the top of the line greenest of the green HVAC (which isnt saying much really cause geothermal would have been ideal for us but WAY too expensive). few car repairs, few vet visits... student loans... had to replace the fridge... we have to get the crawl space cleaned (yep, super researched that too) because of mold problems...

thankfully we are one of the last few places in the US with reasonable home prices. and hopefully we can sell before that changes. :) we cleared almost double with the bank than what we paid for this house... but declined to take that much out for a home. it was scarey enough that the mortgage was DOUBLE our rent payment. to think of doubling THAT... insanity.

would a temp home be easier for them if it takes us more than 2 years to straighten things out? or would it be more stressful to take them back? we can probably find a temp home for Mister but it would require a drastic life style change for him as he would be a farm dog outside with other dogs.

what abotu the cats?? Hunter has become very attached to Frances and i. Shadow is CAILYNS cat. he sleeps with her... lets her abuse him... Baby Girl would adjust the best. as a matter of fact i think she would really like a quieter home. but its the first three that have cost us a small fortune in vet bills for silly things that arent LONG TERM issues.... like my over calciumed fiasco with Shadow, the allergy-rip-Hunters-face-off fiasco...

how the hell do you decide soemthing liek this?!?!



October 16th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Maybe a credit counseling service? But it doesn't sound like you are behind on any credit issues.

October 16th, 2007, 10:00 AM
Refinancing the hosue is the best option with the lowest interest rate, and they now offer 40 year mortages which will make your mortgage payments lower then rent.

A close friend of mine just did it, paid off all her bills, and had enough for home improvements, to replace windows, doors, and drywall the basement, and she now pays much less then she did before! and amortised (sp) over 20 years! (she did have it down to 19 years at the time) so only added an extra year. Not bad, and she didn't have to sell or lose anything.

October 16th, 2007, 10:05 AM
Chicklet 3 kids after 12 years of marriage?? WOW!!

so what did you do to stop the deer from eating your tomatoes?? *sigh* i have a friend who bulk grows toms 1/5 mile down the road and yet they come and eat my half dozen plants. there was none of that '1/3 for them, 1/3 for next year, 1/3 for me' happening.


October 16th, 2007, 11:10 AM
haha we have only beein in this house for 2.5 years so not much accrued in equity yet... and yes, only 2.5 years into the house and we have had over $20k in mandatory home repairs. the first 2 months, everyone down to the cats got upper respiratory infections. turns out the crawlspace and HVAC were just covered in mold spores that were being shot right back into the house. it was one of those situations where we just simply didnt know better until it was too late. in hind sight... we shoudl have done a dozen things and wouldnt have been in half this position but we didnt and now we are right? right before we got married, Chris was laid off of work. Jeffrey was suppose to wait a few years but decided to conceive on our wedding night... which was 2 weeks after the wedding day lol!

just a whole string of strange luck i guess.

on top of that, we have a tree that has to come down or it will fall on the neighbors house... another one thats threatening to fall on our house! we have had the worse drought in NC history and i know, all its going to take is one good rain to set this thign on our house. its a split trunk thats probably 20 feet from the house leaning OVER the house. every year we get ice the thing droops down to the roof with the weight of it.

for home repairs, we have been working with Habitat For Humanity to learn how to do these thigns. you know, practice with a mentor so we can do it ourselves instead of hiring someone for it.

and we HAVE been going to credit counseling and all they can tell us is to cut back more on non necessity expenses.

thats why Chris and going to sit down on saturday, write down all of those things and give them a rating form 1-10 (this isnt for the pets!!!), their cost and see what more we can cut back. things like Cailyns piano classes($22 weekly) (i cant imaign taking those away from her!!), Chris & i are taking ballroom dancing classes($40 monthly for both of us). thats the last thing we do for recreation besides our 2X a week tv shows and our 'Mom cooks for Dad' night($$ whatever i cook). i consider my job fun, that makes us $60ish every 2 weeks and i also do a little work on the side for a friend that makes us $300 a month.

THEN we are going to look at the pets cost over the last 12 months and see if its really as big as we feel it is. look at the known future cost (Misters training classes, a fence for him... things liek that)

we have already pulled apart our monthly bills, high lighter crazy with all of the receipts... we *never* eat out anymore.

anyways, we have several things we can sell off to make a few bucks (comics, g.i.joes, my old collection of magic cards, my fish tanks) but those things arent taking up monthly spending money or saving us monthly spending money and it wont pay off any bills.

why do these posts take me so long to make???


October 16th, 2007, 11:12 AM
Refinancing the hosue is the best option with the lowest interest rate, and they now offer 40 year mortages which will make your mortgage payments lower then rent.

oh.... worth looking into!!


October 16th, 2007, 03:59 PM
W4R,everyone might disagree with me on this one,but Ball-Room Dancing and Piano-Lessons would go before I let go of any 4-legged family-member,even Internet and Cable TV,if I was absolutely desperate..
Once you are back on your feet,your daughter can once again take lessons and she can still practise at home,I am assuming you have a piano..
You and Chris can dance at home for the time beeing:laughing:
You could get a lot of cat/dog food for that money..hopefully they will stay healthy.:pray:
Who knows,if you asked your daughter,pianolessons or pets?
I am sure she would not object!
You and Chris still have sooo much,I would not even consider you poor,poor is when you have no food to eat,or a place to live.
You are overwhelmed with debt and projects that need doing,but I am certain you can figure out a way,without dropping any of your animals:fingerscr

October 16th, 2007, 06:12 PM
I have to say that is a good temporary suggestion. Your daughter can take piano lessons in a few months, once you get back on your feet. And as for your ballroom dancing, you might be able to buy an inexpensive DVD that will show you how, and at least you would save yourself the money every month.

You should just tell yourself its temporary, until things get more level and doable.

I don't have your issues, but I'm single and live alone. There are days, weeks when I just can't buy groceries for myself so I go with what I have. I have lots of Ramen noodles, because I always keep that on hand for crunch times. But I can always get by, I know my kitties can't. They need their food and they need to be healthy.

So the times I have a bit more I can get myself regular groceries. I've also cut back on my phone plane, I just have the basic line. I go to the movies once maybe twice a month. My friends and I go to the early show which is discounted to $5.00, then yes, we sneak in to another movie. Then we go to Burger King and eat from the dollar menu.

I know you've cut back on lots of things already, but I think by sitting down like you and your hubby are going to do, it might give you an idea of other places you may be able to cut back.

I really hope you find a way to make things work. I'd hate for you to have to give any of the little ones away, even if they do go to good homes.

October 16th, 2007, 06:50 PM
but Chico, do we wait until we have no food to eat or a place to live before doing soemthing about it??

do you know what really floored me?? that Shadows $400 vet visit pushed back getting Chris' car fixed... now the mechanic says it is NOT safe to drive NOR will it pass inspection. that $400 could ahve taken the tree out back down... we cant put those thigns off on someone else, no one else will take care of it until it fails and insurance steps in.

and i refuse, beyond all refusing to take the ONE thing away that is JUST Cailyns. the only thing in this family thats JUST hers... my parents never did things liek that for me. you know, dance lessons. i always vowed to give her better than i had...

the fuzzy butts arent for sure going (in all or partial) but they are being looked at. i know Chris and i will do waht we can to keep them but we are trying to be reasonable... more reasonable than sacrificing his drive to work in a questionable car to foot vet bills cause we WILL continue to put the vet bills in front of thigns like fixing cars... i told our mechanic today... he isnt allowed to say the T word. i can handle anything but the T word... but its a Honda and the T word is the only thing that goes this young on them. *sigh*

we will find out tomorrow if its the T word (along with the rest of the stuff thats unsafe.... like the breaks... :rolleyes:


Jim Hall
October 16th, 2007, 07:10 PM
I hioe you can continue c's lessons as you said that's her's and her's alnoe which is a very good thing for a young lady to have and i wouldnt ask cailyn to decide whether it's her choice. hope you find a way

October 16th, 2007, 07:43 PM
Would they treat your pets at the local shelter if you told them you were having financial problems? Maybe they have some kind of a program for that. If they do then maybe you can take the critters there when they need care.

October 16th, 2007, 07:51 PM
Breeze does some sort of piece work from home ~ have you ever considered something like that W4R ?

October 16th, 2007, 08:37 PM
also, it wouldnt be a few months before we recover, no matter what we cut back... it will already take us YEARS to recover from the house alone. i wouldnt even dream of rehoming our babies if a few months of not going to the movies would help. we havent been out to do soemthign fun in ages. i put my foot down 2 weeks ago and said we need to do somethign because we are miserable, squished under the weight of all of this. if el cheapo dance lessons is enough to get us through the week... then so be it. its only slightly more expensive than going to the movies and abotu the same price as eating out... but this is good for your body and works out some frustration. we just cant kepe going like this becuase it will cost us our marriage. i mean im so totally willing to work out them living somewhere else and coming back... but for a few years?? at that point, why ask them to readjust to us? is the confusion of tying Mister up worth keeping him here? because he is gonna jump that fence.

thats what im asking? or venting?? or wondering about? would it be better to rehome them for a few years or just find new homes for good?

now someone up there mentioned the 40y mortgage... now THAT might get us some usable breathing space and is soooo worth talking to the bank about.

sorry, im rereading soem of this and i dont mean to sound angry or irritated... not at one here anyway. maybe at myself for being in this situation?? i dont know...i i sound irritated or defensive. i just feel cornered with all thats going on. our slow and painful sink into more debt. there is no money left over on a GOOD month.... let alone one with car repairs and vet bills.



October 16th, 2007, 08:39 PM
i actually DO work work from home but it doesnt make much. along with my job at the recreational center, i pays the groceries. :)


October 16th, 2007, 08:42 PM
would it be better to rehome them for a few years or just find new homes for good?

You don't rehome pets for a few years , you can't expect someone to take them and give them back after all this time. You should find them new homes.

October 16th, 2007, 08:47 PM
You don't rehome pets for a few years , you can't expect someone to take them and give them back after all this time. You should find them new homes.

i know, and even a temp rehoming will still have us paying for food and vet bills. *sigh*


October 17th, 2007, 12:24 AM
Any chance either your or Chris' parents could pay for Cailyns' piano lessons or your dance lessons for a while (sort of an early xmas present for you & Chris)?


October 17th, 2007, 06:11 AM
Kinda what I was thinking "same line as growler"
Wheres your parents or his parents thru all this?
Can't they help you out in anyways?

What about friends, Neighbors?

I offered to take my neighbors 2 dogs and return them when they get their lives back. @ no cost to them.
They re-mortgaged three times over the yrs, They thought it was great at the time. fixed their house up, built a small workshop. Only postponed the enviable for them, cause their still loosing everything.

You just gotta have strength and determination and you will get back on your feet,
Be bigger and better then before, But sometimes we gotta make sacrifices along the way.

I sure wish you all the best,
Pray things work out for you

October 17th, 2007, 09:24 AM
the big question is where is Cailyns father through all of this.... no help at all im afraid. he isnt working. just graduated college and has yet to find a job. parental duties aside... he declined to take her last weekend because she was a little sick. not SICK mind you but she had some headaches and a stomach ache for a few days (virus going around).

so a quick break down of things for the pets of the things that i can recall (got a list coming from the vets office for 2007 for all 4 {not including Frances since she is a foster} pets visits and costs)-
Shadow- $600
Hunter- $170
Mister- $220

Dog Food Estimated 12 Months (not the cost we have paid exploring raw)- $960 (thats 2 bags of Canidae a month)

Cats Food Estimate 12 Months- $720 (not including the organs, thats just the breast on the bone we get)

1000' Electric Fence Estimated Cost- $300 total

12 Pack of Revolution For Cats @ is $149 (X4 cats yearly-$596)

12 Pack Revolution For Dogs- $231

12 Pack Of Interceptor- $81

total of $2588 without ANY vet bills OR a fence or kitty litter or vaccinations or puppy classes

for a total of $3578 not including the fence or kitty litter or vaccinations or puppy classes

Cailyns piano lessons- $1144 yearly
our 9 week dance class- $100 (our instructors are moving at the end of this course, thats an introductory price AND discount cause Cai is taking classes so if we continue to tango/swing/waltz it will be much more costly)

thats the gist of it. :shrug: when we are going over our monthly bring home by anywhere between $50 to $200... more if we have car repairs or vet visits or birthday/christmas... doctors visits... clothes for the kids... you get the picture. i can not remember the last time i bought clothes. 2 pairs of jeans from Target 2 Christmas' ago??

i DID splurge and get that betta, but i justify that by spending my first pay check for myself. i saved it up from a few months ago (rain check on spending it) because i didnt know what i wanted.

our credit counselor told us to spend 5% of what we make on ourselves or you will end up having a hard time coping with stress and have to pay for a marriage counselor anyway. :) WE keep a log of what we WANT and spend 5% of that lol!! or we set goals for ourselves like a chores list. if we accomplish all on our list, we get somethign in 'such and such $' range. which comes out to considerably less than 5% of our take home but its satisfying.

an example of our chore list and its rewards... we have a vacation on the 3rd of november planned. its free lodging, cost only the trip there and food/entertainment. we cleaned out our 2 closets, sold $300 in things we dont use or need anymore, donated several large boxes to Goodwill AND volunteered for Habitat For Humanity for 3 weekends. now we have to paint the 2 closets and then we can go. our wedding anniversary is in June. we would liek to make a beach trip for it. we will have to finish remodeling the up stairs bathroom before we can go on that. we repaired the deck out back and that got us a movie rental ($4), replaced all of the power plugs in the living room because none would actually HOLD a plug in it and that got us ANOTHER movie rental ($4).

thats the idea anyway.


October 17th, 2007, 09:32 AM
Just a quick question. I tried getting Revolution for DD on Petmeds, and it was actually cheaper for me to get them from my vet. I'm guessing your vet's offices charges you more than Petmeds? For me its a $15 difference per pack.

October 17th, 2007, 09:33 AM
Chris' parents are working on retirement and their own projects. we would rather not ask them for money until we pay them back for the fridge from last year.

my dad and stepmom live in MI and she just turned up with breast cancer.

my mom is still within the first 2 years of starting her business. its paying the bills but not making more money.

grandpa said we have too many pets and he isnt loaning out money anyway.

aside from that... we got ourselves into this situation. we have food on the table and a roof over our heads and there are still things we can cut back. i cant ask for help when there are still things we can do to help ourselves.


October 17th, 2007, 09:38 AM
Just a quick question. I tried getting Revolution for DD on Petmeds, and it was actually cheaper for me to get them from my vet. I'm guessing your vet's offices charges you more than Petmeds? For me its a $15 difference per pack.

the vet is where we get them from the vet but figured PetMeds might be cheaper. this is a new thing for us as the cats ahve NEVER been outdoor, now we hav eMister who brings the fleas in and Hunter who is allergic to them. Mister may be also but we were dealign with other issues when he HAD fleas so we arent sure. now we just treat... and since we live in such a warm climate, fleas are even a winter issue so we cant cut back because its cold. cold here is 4.5C nights!

oh duh, you are in FL right?? you know how mild its been here in NC. did you see the drought we are in?!?! insanity.


October 17th, 2007, 09:47 AM
Yeah man, its some crazy :censored: with this weather. It's always one extreme, it's either too hot or too much rain. We had recently been going through a big drought too. Now its the humidity that can practically kill you.

October 17th, 2007, 10:24 AM
we had NO rain in MONTHS but our humidity is enough to cut with a knife. you can tell what trees can get moisture from the air and which ones cant. we have had sooo many poplars die this year its unreal. the tree threatening the neighbors house is a poplar.


October 17th, 2007, 10:31 AM
I remember a couple of years ago it was like one of those dry old time western towns. Lawns were sorry looking and the water restrictions were in full force. We've had some relief with several days of rain about a week or two ago, but its still bad. And it really stinks when you take a shower, and leave for work in the morning, and break into a sweat walking from your apartment to your car. I've been bringing my lunch to work just so that I don't have to walk anywhere in the heat.

I feel horrible for the strays around my apartment complex because fo this heat. I've seen 3, one of which I managed to give food to a few times, since she's got a spot just behind the management office, and when I've gone nobody is around to see me feeding her.

October 17th, 2007, 01:17 PM
i really feel for ANY creature that has had to deal with the weather we have had here. we had a high of 107f (41.6C) as a high this summer. that was more that just a day, we had almost a week of that.

so as i was discussing with ancientgirl in PM- if we cant get the 40y mortgage thing, if Mister is the best choice?? think he has the best chance of adjusting AND finding a home. we have had a friend begging for Baby Girl for a few months now... but we have resisted making that decision too.

anyways, how do you go about adopting a dog out without going to the shelter? is for independent folks looking to adopt out their pets? what is expected? i do NOT want to foster him with another home. no one knows him better than we do. his future people will want his things? what sort of fee should we ask for? we are willing to donate it in part or whole to a local no kill shelter... he would come with a bunch of stuff like his kennel, a small fortune in bowls :o, leashes and collars and harnesses... a rope that we were working on recall with...

should we total the estimated cost of all of his stuff, charge a portion of that? should we change his microchipping information to the new peoples or assume if he gets loose that they werent responsible??

if we DO find someome, should we make it a long transition?? you know, spend time together here at the house and over the course of a month or two transition him to living there by slowly altering his daily routine??

i think that might be best if we can pull it off. he would find the new place a fun place to go instead of somewhere he was traumatized with.

i dont know. i ahve dinner to cook, a $460 car repair bill to go pay AND a ball to throw. which do you think is the more fun??


October 17th, 2007, 01:19 PM
I'm not sure if you'd appreciate some more money saving ideas but I thought I'd give it a go.

Just a few websites that you may or may not find valuable.

I liked the idea already mentioned of contacting a local shelter/rescues for vet services and/or medication for Mister and your cats.

Freecycle is a great resource for anything and everything. You may even find someone getting rid of old fencing :shrug: . Also a great way to network and meet others who may be in a similar situation and have ideas you haven't already thought of.

I'd be careful about refinancing your home (only as an absolute emergency measure). This is only a short-term solution. Mortgage rates are cyclical and even though they may be low now, there's every chance that they'll increase considerably in the future. You may find yourself in even more financial debt to the banks in the long-term. Your home is your most valuable asset! Personally, I believe that the quicker you pay it off, the better. Perhaps one of the banks (eg. Credit Union) may offer lower interest rates that can save you some extra $ monthly. If you were to transfer your mortgage to another lending institution, the new one may also pick up the 'transfer fees.' Shop around for the best mortgage rates and let each place know if you've had a better offer elsewhere to encourage competition. For example, a difference as small as .5% means an additional savings of 250$/year on a 50 000$ mortgage. It doesn't seem like much but it means saving 5 750$ plus compound interest for the remainder of your mortgage.

You also mentioned you are pretty handy with a sewing machine in another thread. Do you use this skill to make a couple of extra $ ? We have a student who works part-time with us. She once stated she used to work at a fabric store and does some alterations at home. Now, rather than paying 8-12$ for simple hemming of my boys' pants, I just bring them to her for only 3$ a pair. Might be a service you can offer in your community as well.

I used to be a single Mom/student/part-time employee caught between a rock and a hard place so I've learned to be extremely frugal as well. Even though I'm in an entirely different situation now, 15 years later, I still use everything I've learned in the past about savings and it just continues to push us ahead. If you need any more money-saving ideas, about anything, just ask. I'm sure the members here have tons of ideas.

October 17th, 2007, 01:31 PM
I forgot to mention...there may also be some religious communities/organizations who offer either grants or interest free loans in your area (we have several here in Montreal but that doesn't help :o). May be something else you might want to look in to.

October 17th, 2007, 02:09 PM
*blushes* we dont qualify as low income...

a few of the places we went wrong left us with a few issues. on the home we bought... we thought with our hearts instead of our heads. we should have paid $20k less... we got NO assistance from the First-time Homeowners Association (probably could have sunk Chris' rather substantial 401k fund into the house and been in a WORLDS better situation) because we didnt know abotu that at the time. as stupid as it sounds.... we didnt even really know there was soemthign out there like that. we also screwed up royally by not getting the HVAC checked by more of a professional before purchasing the house... we COULD have probably stuck the previous owners with the bill for that but really feel they didnt know soemthing was so wrong as mold. we didnt expect i would get pregnant so early so my income was taken out of this... i had a really hard pregnancy with this Jeffrey.

AND im a rather active member with freecycle.... but i dont think my sewing skills are good enough to actually sell although my fish have made me a few bucks. :) i have had to abort my sewing exploration due to money issues. im hoping these bettas will make me some money. its a rather unusual type of betta and there are no breeders for plakats in the US. i could hock my current equipment or put it to good use. and perhaps make soem money off of it.

AAAAND we already bank with a fantastic credit union. they have been so helpful through out all of this. i dont know how people survive without this kind opf personal banking. our credit counseling has been totally free and very very helpful.

i also dont know how i would feel about taking charity from a religious organization being a Pastafarian(not athiest) myself. :o i dont think they would take too kindly to that. :)

we have explored several options in our area (which is NOT TO SAY 'please dont suggest anymore!!!' i *love* suggestions if not even for ourselves, for other people!! and we havent thought of everything, thats for sure!!) and found some useful and others not so much.


October 17th, 2007, 04:32 PM
being a pet lover why dont you and the family start a dogwalking /pet sitting business. I did it over the summer when i was on strike. it can be profitable and theres little to no startup cost.
my boyfriend made my website on a free site host and I advertised on kijiji and craigslist.
your daughter can get involved as well as you and the husband.

October 17th, 2007, 07:22 PM
i did a bunch of dog walking before Cailyn was born. it crossed my mind to either do walking or sitting but who is going to walk the BABY!! lol!! Chris and i have talked abotu me picking up a job in the evenings, stocking at the local grocer from 8ish to midnight 3 nights a week or something like that. then i will officially have THREE JOBS!! now that Jeffrey is older and not nursing anymore, doing things like that is much easier. i still cant do work during the day unless i bring him with me (my job at the rec. center lets me do that). we have a Whole Foods Market opening up soon, about 2 miles from my house. how cool is that?? been looking for the 'now hiring' signs.

cross your fingers!!!


October 17th, 2007, 07:29 PM
How about daycare? you can take in a few kids, get some extra cash, and a playmate for Jeffrey!

I know when I was going through hard times (I was laid off and the government was on strike, so no unemployment insurance!) I started taking in kids. I was getting $100.00 per week per child, and that was years ago! That's $400.00 extra dollars per month for just one child.

October 17th, 2007, 07:40 PM
i did a bunch of dog walking before Cailyn was born. it crossed my mind to either do walking or sitting but who is going to walk the BABY!! lol!! Chris and i have talked abotu me picking up a job in the evenings, stocking at the local grocer from 8ish to midnight 3 nights a week or something like that. then i will officially have THREE JOBS!! now that Jeffrey is older and not nursing anymore, doing things like that is much easier. i still cant do work during the day unless i bring him with me (my job at the rec. center lets me do that). we have a Whole Foods Market opening up soon, about 2 miles from my house. how cool is that?? been looking for the 'now hiring' signs.

cross your fingers!!!


That would be excellent if you could get a job there. Are grocery stores like retail stores in that you get a discount when you shop there? Heck, that's a great perk to have!

October 19th, 2007, 07:48 PM
I am just wondering if there are family members who can care for the pets while you are going thru this - or even one of them? I know that is not easy either - they may get attached and may just drag it out. It's just a thought that went through my head. I faced not a similar situation per se but a friend - who presumed I would die - (The odds really dictated I would but I am here- which does put things in perspective for me on many an occasion when I get down about some things) - gave me as a gift a tiny poodle puppy/ She was the very best breeder in NB and knew my grandparents or family would care for the dog but it was made clear it was my dig for however long I survived. Well, I lived and had to go off to university - and could not very well take my dog to university residence where I lived for the first yr, sigh! My grandparents became the temporary care givers and I of course came home often to visit but he lived with them and bonded especially with my grandfather and thankfully when I finally went off to medical school, he stayed with them and when I finally was working, I love close enough that he enjoyed all of us. Thus, I wonder if that may be an option - if there is someone who can help even finally with the pets by giving them as place to stay, liove, attention, food, vet care, all the things our furbabies need and hopefully near where you live? What about friends who could adopt them for a bt? is that a possibility?

What about a fundrasier? (sp?) Do you have friends who would do that? I think of my many young patients with cancer whose entire neighbourhoods or communities rally around to help with the financial costs. Yes, in Canada, heath care is paid for but many cancer meds are costly and the cost of parents travelling back and forth to our hospital can be a big cost to people who are just eking out a living. I am faced constantly in my practice of trying to help not just the medical needs of my paymints but the financial and emotional needs of their families. Maybe there are some angels" in your neck of the woods who can help you????

Is there a relative who can pay for piano lessons? I know as an example I started to teach my 8 yr old niece piano lessons when she was 5 and because I did not have time to continue them myself - and I do not live in the same city even - I opted to tackle on that responsibility, given that I had introduced her to a piano, I felt some obligation. Like your little one, she treasures those lessons and it makes me feel sop good!! Maybe there is a relative or frie d who wou,d take that on until you can get back on your feet? What about the piano teacher? I recall my piano teacher - a nun in northern NB who I know provided free lessons to one of my best friends when her single parent mother simply did not have the funds for them any longer (I has actually asked my own family but Sister "J" came through in the end).

I am thinking out loud and do not know your entire situation - illness has kept me off the site for a bit.

You certainly are doing every thing you can and my heart goes out to you!! I wish you the very best!!! :grouphug: