Wednesday, December 16, 2009

True Confessions

So, I think it's time to face facts. The root of the current stress and anxiety over the roof, furnace, and porch, and the debt involved in doing those things, is, well, not just the things themselves. It goes a little deeper.
My boys attend a charter school, which means no bus. So every day, I have to take them to school and pick them up after. The school is about 20 min away from home, about 15 from work. My work day should be 8 hours, and their school day is only a little shy of that. Theoretically, it should work out okay, if I don't take a lunch, and if I can have just one day a week when I can either come back to work, or not leave to pick them up. However, my boys are punctually challenged, so most days, I'm not at work until 9 or so, and I have to leave to pick them up around 3. Do the math, and you can see how this does not translate into me having 8 hours of work in between dropping them off and picking them up. Even though I work through lunch, I'm still short a couple hours, every day. By the end of the week, I've lost a day or so, meaning I should come back after picking them up Friday (they're out at noon), and/or come in Saturday. Sure, that time is theoretically available to me to work, but what about all that other stuff I'm supposed to be doing at home? Things like housework, and errands.
For a while, I had some comp time and vacation time I could use to fill in the gaps. But that's gone now. As a result, my paycheck which included the Thanksgiving holiday (I host, so I took off 1/2 day before, and the day after) was a tad short of my usual. Even before that, I wasn't quite getting enough hours to make a complete paycheck for myself. Then, I had to take time off during the day to get estimates for the roof, and it got worse from there. I had an old filling come apart, and had to schedule dental appointments. My car needed new tires (normal), and then needed a new blower motor. (picked up yesterday from that only to find out some of the instrument panels don't light up, and the radio can't tune any station - not paying for that, as it worked before they did the other, but still have to take it back down and leave it for the day. again.)
All these things are cutting into my work day. And it's almost Christmas. And my paycheck is shrinking. I'm trying to work more hours, make up for all the time I'm out for other stuff, but it's hard. And I feel guilty when I'm not at home after what would be normal work hours. (Thankfully, my office is sympathetic to my situation, so I'm pretty sure I won't loose my job over this.)
I accept that I have to take the kids back and forth. And this is their senior year, so after May, this won't be a problem. But there's the clue to the next problem. My boys are seniors. This means, once they graduate, my child support is gone. And the health insurance coverage under their dad. Come June, I have to provide their health insurance, and do without the child support. Essentially, this means that my net take-home pay will drop by a little less than 1/3. Add to that the fact that my office didn't give raises this year (the economy and all), and I'm looking at a tighter budget than I'd prefer. At least, I'm pretty sure I'll manage, but I'm also pretty sure we won't have much left over for anything fun.
So taking on debt for putting on the new roof and getting the new furnace isn't the best idea right now. But those items won't wait. Yes, the porch is optional, mostly. Except that the extra roofing for the porch should be done in conjunction with the new roofing, or I may have trouble getting them back to finish that part. Which would be mega stupid, having a front porch without a proper roof.
Probably you know more than you wanted to about my economic standing of the moment. I know I don't want to think about it. I want it all to go away. Except the porch. I want the porch. And for the boys to graduate high school, so they can go on to college, jobs, and lives of their own. That's all a good idea.
I'm just a tad worried about how we'll manage fiscally.
I pay my tithing, and I'm determined to pay for as much of both their missions as I can, though I know I probably can't handle all of it on my own. We're going to be okay, we're likely not headed for total financial ruin. But it's still freaking me out. you know.

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