Should I cancel or reschedule?

Irene, I do collect SS. It's just not enough to live on. $1130 a month. My payment is very low, because I was on disability from age 42. At retirement age, it automatically became retirement instead of disability, but since I had very little earnings for over 20 years, it's a very low payout.

It costs me $1752 a month to live. MSing makes up the difference. After I was injured in 2015, I could not work at all for most of two years; I basically borrowed $500 a month every month, so I am mired in debt. I stayed with my daughter in Salt Lake City for 8 months, and got a job and paid off massive amount of debt (about $14,000 in 8 months), but after I came back home, my car broke down (again and again and again; I actually knew this day was coming, LOL!).

I would take any legal job I could get. I had no trouble at all getting a job in Salt Lake City. There just aren't any jobs here. I have applied for every one that has come open in the last year, dishwasher, cook, waitress, cashier. I did get one interview, but didn't get that job. The rest didn't even interview me.

My daughter has since moved away from SLC, and is back in Nebraska.

I have applied for the local housing -- but the waiting list is so long, they closed the waiting list. My income is far above Nebraska welfare payments, and they explained to me that anyone who applied AFTER me who had a lower income (welfare) would automatically be ahead of me if a unit came open. I've been on the waiting list for 15 years, LOL.

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Hey Cease, I am really sorry this happened to you. I would immediately try to lower my living expenses. Advertise for a room to rent in someone else's house, over their garage, anything to get your rent down. Otherwise you are going to end up not being able to pay your rent and be on the street. It's better to face that head on and make your own choices. After that is accomplished, you can start trying to find a car. Anyone that would let you make payments? If you paid off that much debt I would think that your credit is good enough for a car payment. Get proactive and get to a dealership and find out. And as long as you are going to need to move, move to a place where you can get a job. Then after you have settled all of that, take some courses in excel and office and then you can be a scheduler and also there are lots of other work from home jobs that require that knowledge.
I realized just today that I am getting older and am not going to want to be traipsing all over gas stations forever. I decided to get my butt to the local community college and get up to speed in Excel and Office and those things. The internet is a great opportunity to work from home and I"m going to be ready (now that I"m old and gray LOL).

best of luck. I'd be happy to send you care packages to help you not starve while you figure it out. If you would like that, please pm me your address.

Hugs,
CQ

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
CQ, excellent advice on renting the room. I did that when I went through my divorce and needed to be off the grid. My rent included my room, utilities and cable. It was a win-win.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/2019 10:49PM by HonnyBrown.
Yeah, when my stepdaughter and her bf broke up in Austin, TX, she wanted to get an apartment. A one-bdrm, tiny apt. in Austin is about $1,000 a month. She was able to find someone to rent a room from (a friend of a coworker) for $400 a month that includes WiFi and all utilities. She really wanted her own place but she knew she would always be strapped for cash and didn't want the stress.

It's a great idea! Best of luck.
Rents in my area for a one bdr. are minimum 1600 including utilities and wific, in the Valley or city can go up over 2000.00 monthly...renting room is the best in a low rental area.

Live consciously....
@ceasesmith wrote:

My rent for a house is $250 a month.

Huh?
$1752-$250=$1502
I don’t get it?
Ah, utilities are very high. Car insurance, internet, food.

In the winter, utilities and rent often total $900. My utilities are in my landlord's name. This month, I owe him about $900. My gas, water & sewer, internet are all in my landlord's name. Average electric is about $200, and in the winter, heat can cost $400.

Water is $70; garbage and sewer about the same. Electric and gas, etc. Cell phone about $50 a month.

$1752 is optimal: it allows me to send birthday cards and gifts, an occasional dinner out (very occasional, and in the $10 range). It allows me to buy books and stamps to write actual letters. The random vet bill (I have 2 cats). I love to buy books! I read a great deal, and I honestly think I've read every book in the local (tiny) library.

I will buy a gift for a friend before I buy food for myself.
I also budget $400 for shops -- gas, and out-of-pocket purchases.

So without shopping, and without a car, goes down by $500. So I'm only a coupla hundred short every month, LOL.

The rest goes to debt repayment.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2019 06:07AM by ceasesmith.
Why do you buy food, there are food jobs and being able to drive as far as you do should bring many food jobs,
and a lunch or dinner shop. I eat better than ever thanks to shopping, and the Source has restaurant as well as grocery and pays twice a month. Taking the money you say you spend for gifts and cards, use for food and get repaid. Saying you pay $650 for utilities doesn't ring true. We have our own water in my county and my bill is never more than 25.00, my air is my biggest utility in the summer running 80.00, so all told utilities in my 1600 sq. foot house cost under 150.00 including cable and internet. I have AT@T cell phone which cost me 25.00 a month and does everything I need with a good camera. My homeowner's is $285.00, and (of course) taxes in CA the highest with my property taxes very high, but being retired I make it, guess I'm good at finding the bargains, at the .99 cent store I buy batteries, paper goods, water , great cards and many other things....10.00 there gets plenty and many buy food, I don't. I never pay full price for anything, so maybe I should teach classes. Trust me, I live well on a couple thousand a month plus my shopping reimbursements, so I ask, maybe you should change what your doing, needing a couple hundred more a month should be duable......
#trying to be helpful.

Live consciously....


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2019 08:35PM by Irene_L.A..
Wow it sounds like your landlord is ripping you off via utilities. I would get out of there ASAP. Also I would go somewhere I could get a job. What you are doing is not working. Time to change it up.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
Not to be too intrusive, but I feel compelled to ask, are your utilities separately metered? It does seem that your landlord is taking advantage of you. Even in Nebraska, your utilities should not be that high. There are several sites like this where you can see the average utility costs in your area as well as other expenses.

[www.expatistan.com]
I live in a 4000 sq ft house in Southern California with a pool and extensive landscaping.
I pay
$200 electric
$20 gas
$15 trash
$90 water
$150 tv/internet
$50 cell ($200 for 4 people)

That’s $525/month
You said you’re paying
$900-$250=$650 a month in utilities? I find that hard to believe.

You must be spending a lot on the cats and the car. If you have negative cash flow, it sounds very odd to budget for gifts. Somehow, Irene is making it work. My kid gets $1000 a month from me. His rent is $700. Then he splits utilities. The rest he uses for food. He makes that work. He’s managed for two years now.
It's kinda a reality check. I hate to be optimistic but if you can live on doing these shops, take out a loan or something and get a working car to do more of these shops. Perhaps giving the backstory and bid a little bit higher for future shops to make it back slowly.
Holy cow, I live in a 2 bedroom apartment by the water (seabreaze only in the winter and hot as heck in summer) and pay abut 1200-1300/month with rent, electric and cable/Internet. I have never rented anywhere where you were responsible for water,sewage or trash collection and I've probably been in over a dozen rentals in 3 different states. I hope that the landlord gives you a bill for each of those utilities from the source and like someone else said, that they're metered.

Shopping the South Jersey Shore
Question for you Cease. Why are the utilities in your landlord's name? Do you actually get to see the billing or does he just tell you how much you owe? It seems way too high to me.
Remember, cease lives in a rural area. I'm assuming there are no public utilities.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
Nebraska Public Power District serves 91/93 counties in Nebraska. There is one other power company in the state. Allegedly NPPD says their rates are lower than the national average.
As an aside, how utilities are handled vary from state to state, and in some states they vary from landlord to landlord, lease to lease. Also, the rates charged for specific utilities vary, too, and sometimes substantially. A $50 per month water bill in California might cost $200 per month or more in a Midwestern state.

Back when the lead contamination in Flint Michigan water was revealed, another revelation was how much more people in Michigan were paying for water. As i recall it was not just a few dollars more per month. It was like $20 to $60 per month in some states versus $500 per month, for the same volume of water, in Michigan. (I use Michigan as an example of the extremes, not because it is where Cease lives.)

And the states vary in how much they will allow landlords to charge for rent versus utilities, with different rules for single family homes vs. apartments. Houses with the lowest rent often have the least efficient insulation--which means higher utilities...

Cease, I was sad to learn you lost your car in a car-dependent place. I hope things work out for you, whatever decision you make going forward.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2019 03:52AM by Susan L..
Yes, my landlord gives me the original bills every month. Water is $75; sewer and garbage each $75. Internet is $50. Electric $250, and in the winter, heating can go up to $400. My phone costs about $40, and TV $26. My house has no insulation. If I owned it, I would replace windows with efficient windows, and install a whole-house heating/cooler system, which is much cheaper to run that what I have. I cool one room in the summer, and in the winter I set the thermostat at 55.

More later. It's 11 PM, just got home from an 18 hour day, and I still have reports to do.
ceasesmith,

that sucks. but you knew that.

After I ask how you accomplished an 18-hour day, I will state that I would think you need a nap more than you need this post. You can read this later.

So I looked at the Senior Employment Program which is associated somehow with Nebraska job service. It is for Seniors.

[dhhs.ne.gov]

There are additional links to more information.

I had hoped to find something similar to a program that is available in your Western neighbor state, which matches Seniors with jobs. No tech demanded! Tech may be helpful.If you are at least 55, there are jobs. The jobs I saw would utilize your people skills, organizational skills, and your generally wonderful being! But that is here. You are still east of not-quite-Eden.

I noticed that several Nebraska counties have foster grandparent programs for early school situations. In my state, there is a non-taxed stipend. It is meant to prevent lower-income foster grandparents from paying out of pocket for costs associated with serving in the program. I did not look for carpool or ride-share programs that volunteers might use.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/18/2019 11:31PM by Shop-et-al.
@ceasesmith wrote:

Ah, utilities are very high.
In the winter, utilities and rent often total $900. My utilities are in my landlord's name. This month, I owe him about $900. My gas, water & sewer, internet are all in my landlord's name. Average electric is about $200, and in the winter, heat can cost $400.

Water is $70; garbage and sewer about the same. Electric and gas, etc. Cell phone about $50 a month.

Utilities seem high for one person. I hope the landlord isn’t making a profit on them.
cease never told us how many persons/households share the utility costs...

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
Oh, I live alone.

I did apply for the foster grandparent program here. The requirements were onerous -- have to pledge a certain number of hours every week, and the school sets the hours. The stipend was less than $1 an hour. I love to volunteer, but my volunteering works around my mystery shopping. I thought, oh, heck, yeah, I'd love to do that one day a week, 6 or 7 hours. Nope They want you there every day, some days only 45 minutes, some days 2 hours Zero flexibility. Just doesn't work with mystery shopping. If I could do it as a straight volunteer gig, go in one day a week for 3 hours, I'd love to do it!

And I'll check out the other links posted.

Thank you all.

(And I did nap, until 4:30 AM, then got all those reports in.)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/20/2019 05:23AM by ceasesmith.
Oh my C.! You have been open and shared so much personally. You cool one room and your electric is $200/mo. and you set your temp at 55 during the colder months and pay $400? Something is not right. You must be freezing during the winter. I would scrutinize those utility bills. Is your landlord a friend of yours? I agree with CQ. You must change it up as the situation you are in is not working. A room would be cheaper! I know it's easy for me to say but get out of that house! Good luck to you.
I might add, our 77 year old widowed neighbor bought an inexpensive unlocked cell phone. Her son signed her up with Tello for data. 1 GB for a flat $6/mo. He signed her up with some app for free phone and texts (although she doesn't text). This more than works for her. Don't know what app but I will find out for you if you would like. You stated you are not tech savvy so I think you use your phone infrequently and just for MSing? I think this phone plan would work for you and save you money.
@ceasesmith wrote:

The rest goes to debt repayment.

No offense, but you don't make enough to pay debt. If you are paying debt you should have good credit, and can possibly at least afford to purchase a VERY inexpensive car. If you are paying debt and have poor credit (maybe some lates, etc) then not paying will not hurt your credit score any worse than it already is.

I understand that yes you agreed to repay debt when you got it. But circumstances change. And your circumstances no longer allow you to pay any debt.

I am going to strongly suggest a move, if at all possible. I know that can be very difficult, but there are places that you can live on $1100 a month. My brothers an I own an apartment building. Our rent runs $400 a month for a brand new studio apartment. Water, sewer, and trash are included. Most of our renters use their cell phone for internet service and electricity runs less about $75 a month. So for $525 a month their housing is paid for. That would leave you another $600 a month for living expenses. I am sure there are other similar places in the country.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
She said earlier that the house is not insulated.

@Madetoshop wrote:

Oh my C.! You have been open and shared so much personally. You cool one room and your electric is $200/mo. and you set your temp at 55 during the colder months and pay $400? Something is not right. You must be freezing during the winter. I would scrutinize those utility bills. Is your landlord a friend of yours? I agree with CQ. You must change it up as the situation you are in is not working. A room would be cheaper! I know it's easy for me to say but get out of that house! Good luck to you.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
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