Saturday, February 05, 2005

Stress and Money

Funny how these two things go together. Stress -- my husband is still out of commission -- he's on the floor right now, flat on his back. The slipped disk is not getting much better. The muscle soreness is better, but he cannot stand or sit without incredible pain. This may be a recovery of several weeks, not days. Next step will be the orthopedic surgeon -- the Doctor of Osteopathy did some exams and manipulations, but this may have to be surgically fixed. All the household chores that my husband is responsible for -- the dishes, carrying the laundry up and down the stairs, part of the carpool business, the bills and taxes are now falling on me, along with my usual responsibilities. I am trying to get the girls educated on how to do the laundry and dishes, with some pink underwear and melted plastic as the result. The house is slowly getting worse, crunchy floors, pink underwear and smell of melted plastic permeating the air.

As for money, if he goes on short-term disability, we pull 80% of the paycheck. Not too bad, but also since it is the beginning of the year, we have to meet the medical insurance deductible. And my scholarship check for this semester came in the mail yesterday -- it's $4000 less than last year. We were going to have $1000 a month of scholarship money to spend on household expenses. In fact, we counted on it. But because the endowment at the university are "under water" -- that means that they have spent down the endowment to the last penny and can spend no more (a result of the bad years from 2000 to 2002), all scholarships have been cut down to a third of what they were last year. Hence, we will have $333 dollars per month from the scholarship. And my "generous" salary at the church isn't going to cut it -- we have a legal relationship, meaning they pay me $1 an hour. However, since I am on staff and being appointed as of March as a local pastor (Lord willing and crick don't rise), I will not have to have the 5 years of servitude to the conference after I graduate, only 2 years. And I will not have to pay back approximately $33,000 on my scholarship -- it becomes a true scholarship, not a loan. But what are we going to eat? Padre Pio existed on nothing but the elements for most of his life, but I think that the kids want something more....

But and But and But. I did receive a large boon this January. After 3 1/2 years, I was able to close my mother's estate and did receive some money. I had planned to put it in investments, so that I could save for my retirement, but. We may have to live on it. I was debating on going to school this summer, but I don't think that I can afford both the tuition (not covered under my scholarship) and childcare. Funny how un-important that seems now....

4 comments:

PPB said...

I worry about money at least 20 times a day. But you're in a real pinch not of your own doing (as opposed to my pinches that are usually the result of buying books or shoes). Sounds like you're getting out of school without much debt; that's great. Since you're in a bind, though and it might be worth a student loan or dipping into grandma's estate to get through this rough patch. Of course, what do I know? If I didn't have loan payments, I'd just buy more books and shoes.

Preacher Mom said...

Oh, I can sympathize! I knew that things would be a little (okay, a lot) tighter when the adoptions came through. Now it seems like there is so much month left at the end of the money! I have to say, though, that we've never had to go without something we needed. God has truly been good to us. I do worry, though. About debt, about unexpected expenses, about paying for college for my kids (especially the one closest to getting there), about retirement. To make life even more fun, my ex-husband is trying to get his child support payments reduced. But whenever the stress gets to be too much, I just pull a Scarlet O'Hara and say, "I'll think about that tomorrow!" Practical? No. But it does allow me to get a little sleep!

Songbird said...

Use the inheritance. I had to do it to get through seminary, and I'm sure it was the right decision, even though it went against all the adages I ever heard about investments. It sounds like it came available at just the right time.
And on the subject of college, being a clergy kid is good at scholarship time! #1 Son got a very nice package from Wesleyan, despite the fact that there is still a little bit of the old inheritance left over. Just urge those kids to work hard now and get into the habit of doing the best they can!
P.S. I have been known to use the Scarlett O'Hara method, too.

PPB said...

Ooh! Ooh! I forgot. I used to work for a Methodist College and our clergy kids went FREE. (U Meth clergy kids that is, not all clergy). And actually the Presby college I worked for had free tuition for PCUSA clergy. Definitely a plus for the future, but right now just think about food and medicine. Your grandmother would probably be grateful to be able to be there in a pinch for you. And an education will never reduce in value.