Tuesday, November 28, 2006

OK, it's official....

I could just throw up. My finances are reaching critical mass, and I don't know what to do. Get a second job? In what free time would I do that? Win the lotto? If I knew the winning numbers, I'd have done it already.

And to rub salt in the wound, every day I have to see our company's stock price go up and up. We're constantly hearing about how we're developing this new line of business or acquiring that company, about how we've just reached another milestone for earnings or whatever, best performance in the second quarter, blah blah blah. In short, it sounds like our company is making money hand over fist, and it sickens me to know that the odds of me ever seeing any of that benefit in the form of a raise or bonus is so small as to just about be a negative number. I've been here two and a half years now, and I've never gotten a raise or a bonus. Nothing. With the cost of benefits going up, I'm probably bringing home less than I made when I started. So if things are going to get better, I damn sure can't see how they're going to get better here.

Some days the thought really does cross my mind that if anything happened to me, at least K would have the insurance money to take care of J. Those days, the thought of my little boy is darned near the only thing that keeps me going.


Kalleigh Hathaway said...

Why don't you give K fulltime custody and take a second job for evenings? At least until something else works out? Yeah, no one likes to give up every day with their child but it's either you or him since you've split, and living in poverty or debt with J won't do him any good either. Just a thought since it doesn't seem to be one you've discussed here.

meno said...

I am sorry that it's so hard right now. Being a single mom is so stressful, and with the added financial strain, it must feel overwhelming.

Lisa said...

Kalleigh, I'm not sure how that would work, given the current logistics - this is why K doesn't keep J during the week as is, as it would be very difficult for him to get J to school each day given where he lives and where he works. I could ask him to keep J some nights so I could get a second job, and we have discussed that (he and I have - not sure if I've posted about it or not). But I think the switch from all the time with mama to all the time with daddy would be too abrupt for J - he's a creature of routine, and it would disrupt him mightily to suddenly be at daddy's house all the time (even if the logistics worked out OK). Something to think about, but I'm not sure it would work out in practice. Thank you for the thought, though, and if you've got any more, feel free to share 'em.

The challenge would also be, with a second job, finding one that paid enough to do any good. If I get a retail job for 10, 15, 20 hours a week paying $7 an hour, by the time taxes come out of it, I'm not sure it accomplishes anything other than leaving me slightly less in the hole and having no time to spend with my son. So unless I could find something part-time that paid enough to make a real positive impact, it's not worth the disruption of having K keep J all the time.

I sell Pampered Chef - if I could just find the time to put some effort into promoting that, could I make it work? People do, but do those people also work full-time? I don't know. I do calligraphy. I make candles. I do all sorts of little crafty, gifty things that could be potential money-makers. The trick is, finding time to do them and promoting them so that I'll actually make money.

Thanks, Meno. Right now, it does feel fairly overwhelming. And what really makes me kind of sad is that K and I suffered and limped along financially while he had a crappy job that was basically temp work (he could work there as long as he wanted, and it was 40 hours a week when there was work to do, but they might run out of work for days, weeks, months, and that can pretty well destroy any semblance of a budget) while we were married. If we were still together right now, given that he's now got a good job that pays decently, we'd be doing all right. And that sucks the worst. Things were hard when I was married. Things are hard (hell, harder) now that I'm not married. When do I quit feeling like the butt of a giant cosmic joke?

Yeah, I'm in full-out whine mode right now. I freely admit to wallowing in the pity pit.

Sassy Sistah said...

Oh darlin', I do sympathize. I've been where you are, only with three little boys and no help from their dad. It's hard, hard, hard and there's no two ways about that. I don't know where you live - is it possible that you could look for a job that pays a bit more? Are there ANY expenses you can cut down on or eliminate? Do you qualify for ANY government assistance?

I know you've probably already thought of all these things but wanted to mention them, just in case. (Not meaning to insult your intelligence, please don't take the questions that way.)

There are also a LOT of websites out there that help find ways to either earn a little more money or cut back on the money that you have to spend. Checking some of those out might help some. No easy answers to the problem though.

I'm worth a hell of a lot more dead than alive - but even though my guys are grown now - they'd like to keep me around. Your son needs you very much. You're worth more to him than all the money in the world. Sorry to have gone on and on - I just feel for you.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Sassy. I am looking for a better job, it just seems that so far I've been shot down on all of them, even ones where I got an interview and thought it went well and the job seemed just perfect. Now that I have my computer repaired, that's back in high gear. It just takes time, and I have very little patience.

I'll look into it and see if I can find ways to either make more money or cut back some more (that's what puzzles me - I don't see any big expenses in my budget, I don't have cable, don't buy a lot of frivolous stuff, don't have magazine subscriptions to cut out - it doesn't feel like there are a lot of extras as is, but maybe there's something I'm missing). And of course you didn't insult my intelligence - a well-meaning suggestion, given out of concern, will never be taken amiss. :-)

I'm a bit better now - I'll write more later, but I've got a team meeting right now, FEH.

Lisa said...

Oh, and I don't qualify for assistance - I make too much for that, but not enough to make ends meet. Oy.