Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Incapable Wrecked-Um's Unemployment blog Day 2-3

I've spent the last two days digging through my basement to find stuff to sell. I've put about 25 new items on Ebay in the last few days, but i still find myself a little overwhelmed trying to find stuff to sell. Every box, drawer or pile seems to yield a minimum of things I don't want, vs items I either want, don't want to let go, or had plans to use for something. I have gone through this before, I know the progression. i let go of all the stuff I don't want first, it leads to letting go other stuff. I tell myself "You'll never use this, you'll never have the time to build-customize-convert this piece" so let it go out the door. It works, it is just a process, and one that I will need to push through quickly. After looking at numbers, we are in way worse shape than even I was afraid to admit. My wife will be needing medication soon, and the baby has been sick and has a Dr. appt. today. I've been spending less, even in just the last three days, between gas, fast food, convenience store food, etc, but the difference may still be too wide to really make up easily.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Incapable Wrecked-Um's Unemployment blog

I have spoken many times on 30POV.COM about how just much I hate my job. Well, on February 4, 2011, I was laid off from said hated manufacturing job. While I admit, I will not miss the hours (11pm to 7am), the plant, or most of the people I worked with, I will miss the paycheck and most importantly, the health benefits. With my wife and daughter on my plan, my Health Insurance was $500 per month for a basic plan with no deductibles. Cobra was $1600, not even close to an option. I will barely hit that on unemployment alone. I can get CHIP for my 7 month old daughter, but my wife is going to have some problems for a while, because she needs certain meds and we have no other current access to them.

So, today, Feb. 7, 2011, is my first day of official unemployment. I have called Unemployment and reactivated my claim (I have had 2 open claims since 2009 because my company was regularly offering work furloughs). My take home, without taxes removed, will be barely 75% of my net paycheck. We were barely paying the bills with my full paycheck, losing $150 per week is going to be a major issue.

I spent a good chunk of the weekend catching up on sleep, feeling sorry for myself, and making "plans" with my wife about what we need to do in the next month-calling CHIP, downgrading Cable and Phone services, and trying to get on a budget plan with the power company. Time will tell if either of us come through on those plans. We both have issues with time management and laziness. I am hoping the somewhat recent arrival of our daughter might improve our crisis management skills.

As of today, our Mortgage, Electric, Water and Cable bills are all due, with one bill still overdue from last month, a $190 payment on a line of credit in my wife's name. The combined total for all five is almost $1800. I have about $1200 of it. My wife has nothing, because we use her check mostly for groceries and baby incidentals, as well as her operation expenses, like gas and occasionally food. That seems to be our regular status, about 60-66% of where we need to be. We would pull back to zero every few months with random influxes of cash, like a good bonus from my job, or a good weekend of selling items on ebay or at a local trade show from my preferred hobby (vintage 1980's toys), or just a gift from family that knows we're struggling. We live check to check, crisis to crisis, handout to handout. It could certainly be worse, but that doesn't stop me from wishing it was better.

While I'm laid off, I'll be spending a lot of time trying to make money on ebay, selling some extra items from my aforementioned hobby (toy collecting), as well as working on a resume for the first time in my life.And, I figure, why the fuck not chronicle it here? I registered this blog mainly to save my blogging name, and to use in the event my writing became popular. That hasn't happened yet. I do seem to make some people laugh, but not enough to drive a Benz just yet.

I'm also about $20K, roughly, in debt to various sources, both personal (family and friends) and official (medical copays from my daughter's birth and some co-owned credit debt, I've paid off most of my own). That doesn't include the little house in the ghetto that we own, which we bought at the tippy, tippy top of the housing market back in 2005, and could barely afford the mortgage on when I was still employed. I don't even want to know if it is still worth what we paid.

I hope to use my time on unemployment to do a lot of cleaning, rearranging and simplifying of my life, eating better, and working out in an attempt to lose weight. I definitely feel all of these are attainable goals, seeing as it was mostly free time that kept me from handling them previously. I'll also be using the time to decrease my alcohol consumption. I don't feel I have a drinking problem in the classic sense, but on my odd work schedule, there were certainly several days per week where I would come home from work, have a few stiff drinks, and get nothing done but tv watching and sleep for the rest of the day. That isn't gonna fly now, and getting myself back on a daytime schedule should help a lot with that. Today, I woke up at 1am...Not where I need to be yet, but 4 hours later than I would need to wake up for a day at the plant. In addition, I'll also be working on a resume, and looking for a new job, in case I never get the call back to work that my boss promised. For all I know, he could have promised that to every one that was laid off.

So, there is my current mission statement. As of today, I've called unemployment, spent several hours photographing and listing items for ebay, and then had a good amount of alcohol to drink with my "dinner" (eaten at about 9am). No working out yet, and some improved diet with the inclusion of oatmeal for breakfast, instead of hitting Wendy's value menu at 10PM for breakfast.

Baby steps. Fucking baby steps.