Turning it Around

It’s a yacht, not a speedboat

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Check, check, check… I made my list for the week and knocked out a lot of objectives. I didn’t crush it, but checks in the box, crossed off items; it’s accomplishment. 

Financially, we’ve hit rock bottom. It’s bad. Really bad. I don’t know how to turn it around any faster. The only thing that saved us was another (ouch!) payday loan. Our final accounting from our rental house is coming in, and the year looks pretty bleak. 

This week went something like this. Sunday evening is budget night. Kim was out driving trying to reach her quota because this last week was so lean. She wrapped up about 10:30 and the budget talk consisted of drinking a beer and simply stating that we need to work our butts off. 

Monday morning was her turn to hit rush hour since I had to take my son to school. She woke up bright and early, got dressed, then crawled back in bed. We met at noon for our run, then I hit the road again until 11 pm. She took her girl to daycare, came home for a nap and couldn’t sleep. 

Tuesday rolled around. I took the munchkin to school and Kim took the morning rush hour. When traffic slowed down I came home for lunch and updated the budget sheet. I texted her upon discovering we would be able to pay rent with a hundred to spare. She came home to get it sorted, but after updating her numbers we ended up two hundred short. Last week alone ended up $300 out of budget. My car was getting serviced the next day and I could barely afford it. We fought about the situation, nothing pointed or out of line, more or less just agreeing that the situation sucks. When she went out driving, she got one rider then got audited. She only got a warning, but it upset her enough not to continue. I was out again until 10:30.

Wednesday was the day. Kim got the am rush hour and I took Kiley to school. I also took my poor car in for its fix up. I pushed back my 50k mile service and turn signal replacement twice, and despite the financial punch to the face I couldn’t put it off any longer. Kim’s warning changed her mind about getting it done, realizing we were only tempting fate driving like that. I also filled up the truck and took what remained of Kim’s plants to her folks. After that, I retrieved two crates I stashed at Hawk’s place. I barely made it back in time to get my son. Kim put in her first full day of work for the week, but it barely made a dent in her quota. 

Thursday started off better. I was shocked by my vehicle maintenance charges, and brought Kim with me because I didn’t have enough to get my car back. I put on my nicest voice and asked for an adjustment as I would have replaced the signal myself rather than suffer what they charged for labor. The service tech that took my car in walked up to speak with me. Before I knew it, Kim unleashed the complaining and got me about $130 off the bill. Having a smidgen of money left, my next mission was getting insurance in place. I failed miserably and ended up with nothing but a headache. I was told that submitting a DL and DD214 would get it instated the next morning. Kim stayed out late this time, rushing to get her numbers caught up. 

Friday was a great big kick in the nuts from mother nature as I woke up to all sorts of things falling over, rain or maybe hail pelting the windows, and the non-stop whine of emergency vehicles around the city. Kim called in an uncontrollable panick after a tree nearly fell on her car. I don’t have all the faith in the world in weather forecasts, but I know a cyclonic weather system when I see one. That morning, some kind of system came to give us the beating. I told her to come straight home and we would hunker down. It wasn’t the kind of thing I’ve suffered in North Carolina or Okinawa, but the way things have been going, my gut told me today was not the day to take chances. Not wanting to waste time, I submitted my documents for insurance. After quite some time chasing around, I discover I’ve been lied to about getting it right away and the documents are also unacceptable and need to be resubmitted. 

Saturday finally arrived, and I’m distraught. I needed to make $500 this week and that didn’t happen. Kim was barely at half her week quota, so she left after unwittingly sitting down to breakfast as a family. She was so irritable and snapped at each of us over one thing or another. Nonetheless, she put in a 13 hour day and got within a dozen rides of her quota. She didn’t get home until 1 am, and was less than happy when she did. 

Today we didn’t have breakfast. She made coffee and hit the road. She just barely made her quota, but today was scheduled to be my day to go drive. I probably will go out tonight, possibly to little avail, trying to minimize the damage of the third week in a row falling completely and utterly behind. I tried to make the best of the day by going to storage to reorganize and post stuff to sell, only to find I am locked out pending catching up my monthly payment. Now, tonight is budget night and I would love nothing more than to get us turned around and heading in the right direction. 

This week pretty well demonstrates a typical week for us. Falling behind, not reaching goals, being too tired; it’s not me! I don’t like taking the same failure over and over. It feels like Groundhog Day, every week that we talk about the budget. Some weeks we look at the downward trending line that is our money, some weeks we just bitch about it. Every week, we fail to hit our mark. Every week, we fall hundreds further behind. 

Fuck it, I’m not going to throw Kim under the bus and blame her for falling short. She did put in almost 60 hours last week and probably close to that this week. I’ve been babysitting most the week, cleaning house and chipping away at business efforts. But, I’m not doing something right in leading my family. I’ve tried schedules, calendars, checklists, daily goal setting. Even when we do take the time to tightly schedule, chaos becomes of, sometimes the entire week, sometimes as early as Monday, before we can come up with a whole new plan. Most weeks we just fly by the seat of our pants. 

How do we get from setting goals and falling short of all of them to at least achieving enough to make the effort of budgeting or scheduling worth it? 

My dear followers, talk to me! What do I do/stop doing/do different??

Author: Goose Andeluse

Compulsive maker and fowl carpenter.

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