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Severe financial stress...just got worse


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I am having some severe financial stress right now. My expenses are under control (I can't find anywhere else to cut) but I haven't had a well paying job in such a long time. I got a call from my sister saying our elderly mom is in bad debt and the family has to pay her more money each month (another $1,000 each month roughly). This is making me sick in my stomach because I am not having luck on the job front. Plus on a personal note, I've met a girl that seems to like me (or at least is always up for going out with me on dates) and that costs so much money! This is such bad timing. I am not sleeping with the financial strain and don't really know how to work my way out of this deep financial mess. I have huge school loans, credit card loans, etc. I started my own home business so its just low income - most of my jobs are low paying. I am hoping the economy turns around but I've heard from lots of "experts" that it will get worse before it gets better and could be bad for the year. Any advice?

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Can you change your living situation to save money? How about transportation? Communication? Do you eat out often? Do you have anything worth selling that you can part with? Is there any way to supplement your income with an additional job? Do you need to see a credit counselor?

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Thanks for your tips. I can't change my apartment because I got this one when I had a paycheck whereas now I don't so I would fail the credit check. My car is paid off but I work from home most of the time so I don’t have travel/car expenses (other than insurance) plus my living situation is pretty minimal so not too much that I can sell (I don't have a couch for example). I have been applying for various jobs on craigslist but very rarely get a call back. I just don't know what to do because the situation has become dire so quickly. Tonight I sent out several resumes, made phone calls, and had lunch with someone I used to work for to see if I can get a job back with them but they just laid off a bunch of people. I know this is slightly off topic but the financial stress is causing me to not call that girl I was seeing - we are in the "getting to know each other" stage and the stress is too much for me to pretend to be interesting and focused on her and I don't yet feel comfortable telling her I'm a financial loser.

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I know this sounds overly simple, but give it a chance and I think it will work for you.


1) stop focusing on not having enough money. stop asking yourself "why don't I have enough money" or "why am I not getting the job I need." Focus on how good your life will be when you do land that job and you do have enough money


2) Ask yourself constantly "what can I do to get more money" I mean constantly and in exactly those words. Your mind is a very powerful tool and it will achieve and find ways to achieve when you give it a goal. If you start asking yourself this question, possibilities will start popping up in your mind and your every day life. You will start to notice opportunities and perhaps people that will help you get what you need that you didn't before.


3) and most important, you have to ACT on these possibilities and opportunities. No matter what. It is your mind creating ways for you to get what you want, but you have to actually put them into action, or they will pass you by. Even if you act on a possibility and if fails, you gained some important wisdom and you will move on to the next opportunity with a fresh, positive and open mind.


I would be excited to see if you put these steps into action, if your situation did not start to improve immediately. Keep us posted!

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P.S. I just realized after reading your last post that it seems that you are creating an even worse situation for yourself. When you send out something on craigs list, or sit down for lunch with someone that can help you, picture before you do it the meeting going really well or the response coming from craigslist. Instead of telling yourself you are not getting replies because you have bad luck or whatever, tell yourself you didn't get a reply because the PERFECT job is waiting right around the corner, and if you did get that reply it would prohibit you from getting the job that would really be the perfect one.


Also, I say call this girl back IMMEDIATELY. If you guys are having a good time and she is awesome, don't take her out of your life just because being in a relationship is expensive. there are ALWAYS ways to go out and have a good time without spending money. I don't know where you live but you could go to the beach, go for hikes, rent a movie and eat popcorn, go sightseeing somewhere, get into a hobby together that doesn't cost anything. If she makes you happy, that is positive energy entering your life and that is something you can use to manifest more positive things. Call her, set up an inexpensive date and be GREATFUL for the time you spend with her and that you met her.


be GRATEFUL for everything in your life that IS good, instead of focusing on what isn't good. When you focus on what isn't good, you are asking for more of that in your life. When you are grateful for the good in your life, you are focusing on that and you will welcome more that is good into your reality.

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I don't believe in sending out resumes via Craigslist, Monster, CarreerBuilder, etc.


Jobs are found via direct contact and marketing yourself. Use the above sites to found out about positions with specific companies, but to just "Apply Now" your resume gets stuck in with 100+ others: How do you expect to stand out? (I once posted a job on Monster and got literally 384 resumes for a $35K/year job!


As for the girl - Call her! You do need some distraction from your stress. Explain the basic situation to her and you may find that she doesn't need to "cost your so much money." SHe may be fine staying in and watching TV.


ANd like someonelse sad, relax and think positive thoughts about the immediate future. If you are negative, things will not get any better.


Good luck.

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Thanks for the helpful tips and well wishes! On Monday I will call some temp agencies and see if I can get a job with them. I will call the girl today and see if she wants to go for a hike or watch a video with a pizza (cheap dates). Don't know if she's ready to come over for the evening but will ask her.

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First of all, if your elderly mom is in bad debt, it is time for the siblings to have a meeting. Why is she in debt? Was she left with a mortgage when your dad died she couldn't pay? Or does she not manage well? I am just assuming your dad has passed because you don't mention him. Some women of her age were in the dark about family finances and when teh spouse dies, they don't have a clue what to do or how to manage. I am not being sexist, I just saw my ex mother in law go through it.


Anyway, I would look at her debt. Obviously, the mortgage is important, but based on her age, if she ran up a credit card, is there a way to negotiate a bettter rate or just say let it go. I would normally not recommend to say just let them write it off, but if she is in her 80s or 90s her being able to live day to day is going to be better than worrying about a mark on her credit.


The kids have to be able to survive to. If that means someone has a joint account with mom so the right bills get paid, then s be it.


I would talk to your siblings and tell them of your situation, that you absolutely don't have the money, but increase when you can. As far as cutting...don't underestimate the power of coupons! Clip them. As far as daes...why not sometimes have a date where you have a picnic in a park with a beautiful view. bring stuff from home (obviously, it is the wrong weather for that). Also, a cheap daet is going to a cute little downtown area, getting an ice cream cone and window shopping and people watching. Cheap dates can be done!


As far as cutting, also watch the cell phone minutes you use during the day and I even cut out satellite tv. I made sure I got the local channels in case of weather emergencies but that's it.


By the way, unless you let yur bills go, a credit check for an apartment is not going to be a big deal if you merely don't have the same income. You will just qualify for a less expensive apartment, that's all.

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Wow, you guys are smart and have excellent instinct! Yes, my mum is a widow. During the christmas break I finally come to accept some things about her that I've known all along but never really accepted. She suffers from severe depression (uncontrollable crying fits several times every day) and has obsessive compulsive disorder (I won't go into details here) but basically there is no way the siblings can change her. Like you, my mum is of the same generation where she has no clue over personal finance. I understand this is not sexist, she has the hardest job in the world and works nonstop in her support family efforts. We've tried for YEARS and it is basically a sickness she has no control over. She won't take medications for personal reasons so we are stuck with an out of control spending person. We've put limits on her credit cards which she maxes out all the time. We (the siblings) have agreed in her state of mind and age, its best she lives the rest of her years in relative calm and as good a quality of life as we can provide for her. We manage her finances so the bills get paid, but none of us can afford her shopping habits. I accidently yelled at her about her spending during the break to which she was destroyed and not leaving her room for the day...just crying. It is agonizing thing to see day after day - fortunately I can leave since I live alone but afterwards, the financial problems we are faced with resurface and just yesterday was another melt down plus added to my own financial problems. I work very hard to not go into severe debt (I've paid off my car and have only one credit card...BUT...I have a massive school loan that lingers over me for many years to come).


I really really appreciate how everyone is trying to be so helpful and giving me caring advice. It really means a lot.

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