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The Bank Statement

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

In 2009, my husband laid all the store receipts and ATM receipts on the table and put the butter dish on top of them as a paper weight. Butter got on the receipts and it removed the ink so that they were unreadable.

When my husband went to write them into the register, he couldn't read them, so he stuck them into a sandwich bag and didn't tell me until I went to do the bank statement and many things on it were not in the register. I couldn't tell if they were amounts that hadn't cleared the bank, or figure it out. Some of the receipts were partially readable and when my husband could see the name of the business, he guessed at what he had spent and wrote in that amount.

We haven't balanced since then. Well, last night I did the bank statement and though there were some things that had to be corrected, we balanced to the penny. This feels so good. I have done our bank statements and my Mom's since 1976 and always balanced. It was difficult not knowing if we were going to be over drawn because I didn't have an accurate balance in the check register.

Hubby had taken the register to the bank and they did the bookkeeping on it but it was still messed up because he had guessed at entries and so there were duplicate amounts.

I feel as though a great weight has been removed. We had $20 in service fees on January's bank statement and $10 on February's. I take e a calculator and do the math on the register about every two weeks and look at the online statement and put a pencil dot by the amounts that have cleared.

When I was a teen, I remember Mom crying because there was a mistake on the register and she couldn't find it. She and Dad worked and worked on the register. Dad found the mistake. At the top of the new page in the register where you write the amount from the previous page, Mom had added $100 to the amount. Now with all the fees, it would be easy to get hit with fees for over drafts (writing a check when there isn't enough money to cover it).

It has been two years since we balanced and I kept adjusting the amount in the register after taking off all outstanding amounts. When hubby did this number with the ATM receipts we were running several hundred dollars in the red from paycheck to paycheck. We have an agreement with the bank for them to transfer money from checking to savings when there isn't enough in checking to cover the checks and nearly every cent we own is gone.

I try to look at things in a different light than most. Instead of, This is terrible and it is when the only thing in the fridge is condiments, to God stopped us in the nick of time before we lost everything.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOLAZYBUTT110 3/10/2011 10:39PM

    They say people who trust in men will be disappointed. But that if you dont have enough money in the bank, no man will have mercy. Yet its hard when you have none.

One time I had over drawn and know your fears. But they have these Cards where you put so much on the and that way when you use them you wont be able to use more than you have. I think they call them the Big Green dot or something like that!

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TAMMIELAND 3/8/2011 9:29PM

  That's great news! It's got to be such a big relief for you. Life sure can be stressful and chaotic at times. Enjoy your evening.

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26M8J7 3/8/2011 8:54PM

    You have such a great attitude. You are so right, God is faithful! I am praying that God will continue to manifest Himself in your circumstances.

There is a song that goes like this:
If I never had a problem, I wouldn't know that God could solve them.
I wouldn't know what faith in God could do.
Through it all I learned to trust in Jesus, I learned to depend upon His Word.

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    You are getting organized and it feels good. I get cluttered now and then and do a bit of re-thinking and re-organizing all the time. Now I deduct upcoming bills before they are deducted each month so I do not over spend and default. I then check my accounts each day and check off when they are paid from my pre-deduction. So far this works. By paying or logging payments in advance I am never late and never bounce. I also pay cash by only carrying the amount I can spend with me. I have another checking account for groceries only at another bank. So far having buckets (separate checking accounts) has helped me manage better.

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BECOMINGDEB 3/8/2011 7:25PM

    I'm so glad you're starting to feel organized about what you have so that you can take actions knowing what you actually have. I know it can be tough when you think you have more money than you do!

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I needed this reminder of what is truly important.

Monday, March 07, 2011

I typed this out into an empty e-mail and need to post it on my fridge. Mom sometimes will say to me, "When you get old, I will take care of you." She's a widow in a nursing home with Alzheimers disease and other major health problems.

I cried the whole time I was watching it. Mom is 89.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTY728 3/9/2011 3:38PM

    I miss my Mother every day.

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TAMMIELAND 3/8/2011 12:06PM

  Made me call my momma. She lives a 1000+ miles away from me and I usually call her ever other friday. So when I called she was worried something was wrong. I'm gong to call her more often. Thanks for the wake up call.

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    My parents are deceased. My mom died at 61, my dad at 68. I have several relatives who have lived & living well into their 90's. Fortunately Altzheimers is not something my relatives have had. However, my husbands side of the family has had it. You certainly have had a lot to bear. I will pray that things get better soon. emoticon

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26M8J7 3/7/2011 2:39PM

    Thank you for sharing this video, it is very enlightening. I lost my mom a couple of years ago, she was 87 and I still think of her often. Your mother is blessed to have such a loving daughter. You and your mom are in my prayers. emoticon

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God provides.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

We went to church this morning in my van. Hubby put gas in it, Saturday a week ago and I have not driven anywhere. We listened to part of a sermon about Abraham offering to take the life of his son, Isaac, on the radio while driving home. There were dark gray clouds and I wanted to hear if there were severe storm or tornado warnings. The speaker said true worship requires sacrifice. I thought about what he said and I need to get back into logging food I eat and doing exercise. I have been greatly depressed by our situation and often catnap in a chair all night instead of lying down in bed and getting a restful sleep. I try to figure out what to do to fix the problem instead of trusting that the Lord will have me to see answers.

When we got home, we had leftovers from supper for our lunch with a salad. The store had Mrs. Smith's pumpkin pies for $1 because they are nearing the expiration date (sell by date). One is in the oven baking as I write this.

Hubby and son left after lunch to go get gasoline for hubby's truck. Our son had 90 cents off each gallon for the number of dollars he has spent at the local grocery store, so he went with hubby so hubby could use his ATM card to pay for the gasoline.

For me the pumpkin pie which is my husband's favorite kind of pie, the free wood, the cents off of gasoline, are all God's provisions as is all that we own. God gives us each breath and health to work for what we earn. When we were given the tree limbs, we thought it might be enough to start a few fires in the wood stove, but when we got to where the limbs were, it was two pickup truck beds full. We went to church and the speaker stepped out from behind the pulpit with a big round limb probably 3" in diameter and told us his brother said we could have the limbs. We even had help loading the first truck load as two from the church went over with us and the owner of the wood-all helped load the pickup truck.

I don't know how many pallets were given to us by the man that hauled them to our house in a trailer. He also gave us two totes of 2 x 4 pieces, the totes and the wood too.

Oh, I forgot to put this in yesterday's blog. Our neighbor across the street runs a hauling business and he and his partner came over one Saturday and asked if we wanted pallets they had. They lugged them across the street and into the backyard and stacked them on the stack of pallets we have. Again they wanted us to have them for free. How often is it that someone rings your doorbell to give you free stuff?

My faith has been weak. I am used to paying for what we get and need. It was hard for me to trust when I used the last slice of bread or the last of the milk that there would be money to pay for more. Hubby's pay raise was supposed to take place in November, but was held back until we direly needed it. It probably would have been spent too had he had it. As 26M8J7 said, "God is faithful."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTHOUSEGIRL1 3/7/2011 12:22AM

    Praise and thanks be to God for His unspeakable gifts..providing just what you need . He cares for you and others care about you too. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BECOMINGDEB 3/7/2011 12:00AM

    So haapy to hear God is providing for you and you're aware of it too.

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    Thanks for the pep talk about my husband. I have been giving my self the same talks. I have mindfully been practicing being grateful for what I do have. That has helped.

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1THING 3/6/2011 1:29PM

    Give God all of the Praises.

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We are hanging in there.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

My son and husband just left for the grocery store. Our son will be the one paying for our groceries.

So what happened? Hubby didn't write in his ATM expenditures into the check register. He kept the ATM receipts in his truck until he got paid. He used the check register with the balance without his entries and spent us into the red. How did we get through?
1. I used Craigslist and got more wood pallets to burn for heating our house. The man was selling his house to downsize, he is without work, and he said he had people ask for the wood, but they didn't show up to remove the pallets. His wife handled the communications between us and said another man had called about the pallets and was supposed to call back if he was coming to get them. He never called, so her husband loaded them all up on a trailer and delivered them to us! My husband and son cut some today and filled up the wood boxes.

2. My husband got a 75 cent an hour raise, but he didn't receive it when it was due. So he got back pay and that has kept us afloat with our bills and gasoline.

3. We give tithes and offerings to our church. The treasurer doesn't deposit the money until the following month. As long as we stayed under the amount we gave, that became a cushion for us when all in checking was gone.

4. I am trying to sell off some things we have, but don't use. That will free up space and I won't have to clean the stuff.

We still are feeling the pinch. My vacuum cleaner broke, a shower curtain shredded in the washing machine, so there are things that I need to replace. I look daily for a job on, but I have no college degree or trade. I would also need to work night work in order to be here to take care of the dog.

Princess has calmed down a lot since being trained. She still runs as hard as she can sometimes in the house and will run the steps from the basement to the main level. I have seen her run up and down them 3 times while running laps back and forth in the basement. She still gets in the trash at times. The trainer bought a mousetrap with this plastic thing on it that is to scare the dog. We went to set it, but the hooks that hold the spring came loose and it wouldn't go off.

Princess chewed up all of her toys, so she has none. She chewed up the mat she slept on. She will stay outside for hours and lie by the pool or by the wood pallets. She doesn't mind the cold and I fix the basement door so she can push it open with her nose to come inside.

Most of my weight is back on me. We eat macaroni and Velveeta, spaghetti, lots of sandwiches too-egg sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly, any leftover meat from supper the night before. My husband now shops a lot at Savealot and sees the savings I told him about when he refused to shop there.

I did okay, I think, in not nagging at hubby for getting us into this mess. I checked the freezer today and wrote on the calendar the meat we had and what night we will have it for supper. It takes the guess work out of what's for supper. Last night we had Zattaran's dirty rice for supper, but the freezer and fridge are pretty bare. The fridge has condiments and that's about all.

Hubby has had overtime the last three Saturdays and that hasn't happened for over a year. We had two pick up truckloads of limbs given to us, they were all an inch to an inch and a half thick and had been stripped of offshoots and cut to length that fit our wood stove.

We have made homemade chili and homemade chicken rice soup and had enough for more than one meal. I liked having a recipe like that on the weekends, then I didn't have to cook and could do what I wanted.

Hubby hasn't heard from any jobs he applied for. Businesses are still closing around here and they found a man dead in the woods a few weeks ago. He was homeless. After going through this, I think about that a lot. If we were to lose the house, we couldn't afford the house payment and a security deposit to get a place to rent while the house was being sold. The fellow that is selling his house and gave us the last load of pallets, worked construction. The company he worked for went out of business.

A man we knew used to tell us, "It is not how much you make, but how much you save." I know the prices of things are going up. I pray God gives me knowledge of how to manage. I still have recycling in the basement to sell and will probably do that Monday. Crime here has picked up with thieves breaking into empty buildings and stealing copper pipes. Often they leave the buildings flooding if the water is still on.

I did look at a lot of stuff on the internet. If you put a tire around your chopping block and then put pieces of wood inside the tire, you won't have to bend over to pick up all the pieces of wood after you have split them.

I also like the wheelbarrow tire in the video, lol!

I found a video on how to break apart pallets too, but the ones we get are not like the one the man in the video is knocking apart. Hubby got an electric chain saw from Aldi's and we just burn the nails in the wood.

Well, my friends, I have played online bingo for the jackpot, online games offering a jackpot, and haven't won a thing! I entered contests too. I did talk to one gamer and he said he made a living selling recycling, but is now retired. With plastics being used for soft drinks, the availability of aluminum cans is not what it used to be. I am old enough to remember a few cents offered for returned soda bottles.

Hubby and son are home. I need to help put the groceries away and watch that Princess doesn't escape.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTHOUSEGIRL1 3/7/2011 12:08AM

    I'm so glad you have written another blog... You have been in my thoughts and prayers . Hang in there...God is faithful !
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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26M8J7 3/6/2011 4:43AM

    I will keep you and your family in my prayers. God is faithful!

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TAMMIELAND 3/6/2011 1:28AM

  You may not have a collage degree or a trade but you have kept your family afloat in the situation you all are in and that tells me you have common sense and that's priceless.
I'm sorry to hear about your weight gain. I know you cant always afford to buy healthy foods when you are trying to stretch your money as far as possible. Copper wiring and pipe theft is bad in our area too. It's open season on repoed houses around here. The cops unofficially call the copper thieves copper "miners" or "prospectors"
Keep the faith. And remember we are here for you.


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APPLEPIEAPPLE 3/5/2011 10:39PM

    I am so glad you wrote. I have been thinking about you and your family especially during the really cold nights these past few weeks. You have been in my prayers.

Some things seem to be getting better for you and I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

Sorry to hear you weight is back on but I understand the stress you have been under. (In the past I have been there too.)

I am also glad Princess is improving but am sad she has eaten her toys.

My youngest son has been looking for work for over 2 yrs. It is tough out there. emoticon emoticon

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BECOMINGDEB 3/5/2011 9:48PM

    I'm glad to hear you're hanging in there. Don't give up! You can get through this and will be blessed. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

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16 pallets were given to us today.

Monday, January 17, 2011

We got 16 pallets, 3' X 4' - a rough estimate of their size. We sawed them into pieces that will fit in the wood stove and stacked them since we are to have snow the next three days.

I washed our coats when we were finished. We keep our older coats for such work and they had a lot of mud spots and debris on them when we were finished.

I peeled the wrappers off of some old broken crayons and pulled the wick out of some candles the dog had chewed. I will save my dryer lint and cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper to make some fire starters. You can also use cardboard egg cartons and put lint in them, pour melted wax over the lint and cut the carton apart. I made a bunch last year for my husband to use to start fires in the wood stove.

We get a bunch of phone books every year. Generally we recycle them, but this year I took the pages out and folded them into thirds long ways, then in half. I can tie these with dental floss or cotton string and dip these in wax too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APPLEPIEAPPLE 1/17/2011 5:55PM

    Very creative! My only concern would that the wax hurts the stove. I can not use wax, or colored paper in mine because of the catalyic converter it has. But I do use paper I shred which does not have colored ink & my newspaper pages with only black ink on them as fire starters. Glossy paper is not good for me as well.

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