Finances are tight and I'm a little stressed.

Discussion in 'Prayer Request Forum' started by miss-m, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. miss-m

    miss-m Cohort

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    Jan 11, 2018

    So... I just started back at my school right before winter break. I'm THRILLED to be back, even though it means I'm hourly and making much less than before, and it's only for this semester. My P seems really open to me returning to a certified position next year, whether that's a classroom position or just modifying the position I'm currently in from a classified position to certified/salaried.

    However... I just got my check stub for pay day tomorrow and it's less than I expected. Less than my last one, even. The thing is, my hours aren't shown on the pay stub. I can divide by hourly pay, but it includes days I haven't worked yet (if I go by the pay period at the top) and today was a snow day, so I'm just baffled by it. I did have hours put in over break as "board approved holiday," so I'm assuming that's why my first paycheck was more than expected, but now it feels like a hot mess.

    I have savings, and I know it'll even out eventually once school gets back in full swing (break just ended so it's weird all around), but watching my bank accounts get smaller and smaller and my budget go negative every month is stressful. Tomorrow's paycheck doesn't even cover the remaining bills I have this month if I use it for rent, let alone groceries, tithe, and savings.

    I know it'll be fine in a few weeks or a month, I'm just really stressing about it right now. Please pray that it picks up and evens out to what I keep estimating for full time. Thanks.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jan 11, 2018

    Budgeting is tough, especially when your paycheck varies. Is there any way you can redistribute the due dates for some of your bills? My husband had to do that when he switched jobs because all his due dates fell on one paycheck.
     
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Jan 12, 2018

    I'll be praying. I've been there, too, at times, and it's rough. I've always found creative ways to stretch my dollars. Some things I did that might help, I would have an anti-electricity month each May (in my area it was the least likely to need heat or air conditioning). I didn't totally do without, but avoided as much electricity as possible. (That was at the beginning of my career when it was just me in the house). I didn't cook anything, eating foods that didn't need cooking such as salads, canned tuna, etc. I was cautious about gas if I could safely walk to my destinations and only took the most essential trips in my car. Stuff like that. Although my family is in a much more stable condition now-a-days we've found that the newer markets, Save-a-Lot and Aldi's, save us a lot of money and sometimes we even get better food than at the regular markets, (but we've also found you have to watch them--they're tricky at times in their pricing).
     
  5. miss-m

    miss-m Cohort

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    Jan 12, 2018

    I can pull rent from my next check, it just screws with my tracking a little.
    The rest are all auto pay and it mostly works, just... not this month apparently.
     
  6. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Cohort

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    Jan 12, 2018

    I cut cable, Netflix, Hulu, and all that stuff to save a little. I just watch what I need on Youtube. Looking at all the little things can add up over time. In addition, I used to get a latte every morning on my way to work. I decided to settle for a coffee instead, which basically cut my "Dunkin Donuts" bill in half, saving big bucks over the course of the year (I know, I know, just making coffee at home or work would be even cheaper still, but I'm happy I at least made some cuts.)

    Also, I don't want to get into a religious debate, but I do have issues when people are struggling with making ends meet, and the church would even be willing to take any of that money.
     
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  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Jan 12, 2018

    Are there food pantries in your area? I would check them out if you honestly have no money for food. I also agree with all of Trademark's other suggestions.
     
  8. miss-m

    miss-m Cohort

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    Jan 12, 2018

    I don't actually buy that much - I'm on my family's netflix and have hardly been using it anyway. I get coffee a couple times a week at most, but even that is really my only "fun" spending.

    Tithe is a personal conviction and new year's resolution. I know not everyone agrees with it; but it's definitely a priority for me regardless of finances because of how much it builds my trust in God.

    I have savings so I'm not broke by any means -- my bank accounts are nowhere near 0 -- it's just stress of feeling like this particular paycheck is so low. Thanks for the input and suggestions though!

    @TeacherNY - There probably are. Thankfully I'm not quite there yet; as I said, I can technically still buy groceries. It just gets stressful when I track my income/spending and it's negative for the month because of my job transition and paychecks being weird/inconsistent for the past 4 months. I've pulled from savings the past two months and I just want to be able to stop doing that.
     
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  9. a2z

    a2z Phenom

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    Jan 12, 2018

    Isn't the reason you have savings is so that when things like this occur you have some extra to see you through?

    If you want to stop pulling from savings, cut expenses. No more coffee out. Change what you eat to cheaper food for a few months. Get an extra job for a while.

    I pray you have the strength to do those things.
     
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  10. Backroads

    Backroads Enthusiast

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    Jan 12, 2018

    On the church/tithe issue, would you be willing to approach your spiritual leader for help? I am aware many churches help out their own if not everyone else in need. My religion, beyond tithe, has a thing called fast offerings, which is completely earmarked for financial down-on-luck.
     
  11. Obadiah

    Obadiah Habitué

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    Jan 13, 2018

    You're possibly and even probably already doing this, but for anyone reading this forum, I might suggest that strict nutrition and exercise (at the very least 1/2 hour of cardiovascular 5 times weekly) saves much money in the long run.
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 13, 2018

    I understand your discomfort, though we are in different staages of life (I am at the end of my working years, without a pension), and I will pray for you. I began shopping for groceries at Wal Mart and using their app that refunds differences in prices if their price is above local stores' prices. They credit you and you can apply the credits to future purchases. I used a credit when I purchased dog food online today. I use the Plenti card which is also a reward card, at Mobil. It is also good at Macy's and Winn Dixie. None of this is a great deal of money, but every little bit helps at this point.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Aficionado

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    Jan 15, 2018 at 6:58 AM

    For a little extra cash I'd look into tutoring or weekend child care. Even if only temporary it could get you through this tough time.
     
  14. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Cohort

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    Jan 15, 2018 at 9:52 AM

    Why don’t you have a pension? Are you a public school teacher? I’m confused because they usually have at least moderately good pensions.
     
  15. gerijamieson

    gerijamieson New Member

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    Jan 15, 2018 at 12:34 PM

    Dear Friend,
    I feel for you. Another teacher, another story of struggling to make ends meet. You seem to be a highly qualified, educated, and motivated person at the mercy of a school board who may or may not decide to promote you, pay you more, or give you a position that pays enough for you to support yourself and/or your family. This may or may not ever work out in your favor, not because you are not good enough or qualified enough, but because you are not valued enough to treat professionally and fairly. Your skills are great. Empower yourself by looking around at the job market in the private sector for jobs that require similar amounts of education and levels of experience. Just for kicks, try a visualization exercise: Imagine yourself attracting the kind of salary that will alleviate your stress and allow you the lifestyle you dream of. Imagine the house you want to live in, and the vacations you would like to take in the future. Then ask yourself if you honestly think a teaching job, any teaching job, is going to get you to where you want to go. How long do you hang in there before you go broke waiting to get that great position you're hoping for? You have options, my friend. Start exploring them. I'm going to pray for you, and I'm going to ask that you receive clarification on how you can best receive the rewards of your talents and hard work. Please be open when the answers start coming. They might not be what you expect.



     
  16. miss-m

    miss-m Cohort

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    Jan 15, 2018 at 1:17 PM

    Thanks for the encouragement, but I’m not going anywhere. I’m hourly this semester because I left at the end of last year and was lucky enough to be rehired when my reason for leaving fell through. Once I’m back to salaried next year I’m 100% content with the pay scale in my district.
     
  17. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 15, 2018 at 2:48 PM

    I worked in private school my whole career. I didn't anticipate being widowed at a young-ish age and worked for the joy of it.
     
  18. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Cohort

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    Jan 15, 2018 at 7:11 PM

    Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. Didn’t you pay into a Roth IRA or buy stocks or something?

    I’m a private high school teacher and I do both.
     
  19. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Jan 15, 2018 at 8:27 PM

    Upsadaisy, accept my condolences. Since none of us can see what tomorrow will bring, it is so easy to find ourselves totally unprepared for what lies ahead. My mother died at 59, in her sleep, and she took care of all finances, and put money away. She was still working in real estate, and my dad had retired from the auto industry. Dad so depended on mom's expertise, and floundered terribly when she died first. As he said to me, everything was set up to take care of her when he went first. Because she was in real estate, she had no mandatory withdrawals, pensions, or plans to put money away for dad. It was no one's fault, nor was it a flaw in her character. Some people are well organized, others are struggling to do the best they can wilh less than stellar skills. My FIL was the ultimate planner, but even with all of that planning, things are not going all that smoothly with my MIL. I would never presume that any one person could plan ahead with 100% accuracy. Know that my best wishes and hopes are with you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. :hugs:
     
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  20. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 16, 2018 at 8:28 AM

    Thank you, vickilyn and futuremathsprof. This was not recent; my husband passed away in 2001. He was 59, also, vicki, and worked for himself, as well. Yes, futuremathsprof, we had investments, savings, and life insurance. I also had two teenage children at the time. Both had plenty of problems then and since then. So, that was over 16 years ago and the stock market decline in the early 2000s took a big chunk out of the investments. I supplemented my income with the rest, paid lots of medical costs for my children ..... life happened. It's so true that we can't plan ahead with accuracy and that many people enter retirement in a different situation than they ever thought would be theirs. :hugs:back at you.
    (It's amazing that I posted about my husband's passing in 2001 right on this site and had already been on AtoZ for a while before that year. )
     
  21. vickilyn

    vickilyn Virtuoso

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    Jan 16, 2018 at 10:24 AM

    There is a timelessness to everything we discuss - life goes on, and the circles repeat endlessly. The best part is that there are those who have lived the same trials, and have wisdom and compassion to share with those who sometimes think "Why me?" My feeling is more like "If it has to be me, let someone be there to share with." No one should ever have to carry the load all by themselves.
     
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