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Let's Get Personal (please comment)

October 3rd, 2011 at 06:33 pm

Blog posts have been pretty sparse from me lately. This one is going to get a little personal. I am going to share with you all some things that I do not usually tell random Internet strangers. 

This past weekend was quite emotional for my family and I. To make a long story short, we live with my parents, in their upstairs (bedroom, bathroom, and living area), while I pay down our debts. My oldest brother (32) also lives there, in the basement. This weekend, my father held a household meeting because of the recent goings-on in the house. My wife and I thought it would be an intervention to try to get my brother to straighten up. Week before last, he left the oven on with a pizza in it for four hours, scorching the pizza. We - my wife, infant, and I - woke up that morning with killer headaches, sick stomach feelings, and our 7.5 (8 months today!) month-old was super cranky that day. Obviously she had some physical issues going on other than just her normal teething. This is a health hazard. 

Last week, my brother attacked me for trying to get him to stop yelling at our mother. My wife was worried for my safety and the safety of our child. I was fine, as I have military background. However, that does not lighten the situation by any means. He is physically and verbally abusive. 

A couple weeks ago, we came home from running errands, to find smoke wafting up from the basement. The kind of smoke? Marijuana. 

So we have this meeting on Saturday evening. And what is it about? It is about how my brother has "agreed" to shape up or get out (though he is drunk and high during this meeting). He was given 30 days. Which, mind you, has been a previous ultimatum given him by them before. They fail to execute. My father went on to say that the fact that my wife and I "practice false religion" (being that we do not go to their religious gatherings; instead, we attend a different "religion's" congregation, because that is where our spirits feel at home), is a negative aspect of what "goes on in his house." I protested, remarking on how my brother was behaving during this meeting, pointing out how he was smiling awkwardly, and obviously pretending. They wouldn't hear it. I also pointed out the recent goings-on and how it effects us, but they would not hear that either, and even said that there were no harmful elements emitted from that burnt pizza, and that my daughter's life was not in danger. They kept saying that we needed to move forward.

Yesterday, at church, the message hit home for us. It was about worship. Where and how it is conducted, and where it should come from within yourself. Basically, the most important PLACE of worship is from your spirit, your heart. The physical place of worship is hardly a matter (within reasonable limits, of course). There was a lot more said, but I DO NOT want this to become a religious or spiritual debate, or even a topic. Just giving a look into who we are and how this has effected us. We then spoke with our pastor and he gave us some real insight and encouragement. 

We are now looking at other options.

My wife's mother is in an LPN to RN bridge program currently, and will be out in April or so. She is out of school by 4. I should be moving to that new position with the new employer in the next week or so. That position will net me about $250 more than I am netting right now. It will also allow me to go to school in the Spring. My wife suggested that she go to work at her previously employer, Macy's, where she worked the same nights as my new shift will be. Her mother would come over to watch our little one during that time. Though she will be out of school and back into the workforce in just a few months, she will do what she needs to help us out. Even if that means taking a job that coincides with our schedule. While I hate to put that on her, she has insisted. 

My wife and I would also be donating plasma regularly. One person who donates plasma the maximum amount of times per month can make around $200 in that month. However, since they are so strict about your urine and blood contents, you are not guaranteed or even likely to be able to donate that often. So, we are not including this in our future budget plan. 

All of this would help us to move out of my parents' house. The goal is to find a one bedroom for no more than $500/mo. It is doable. The university I will be attending offers family housing. One bedroom for $480/mo, and two bedrooms for $500/mo. However, in order to be accepted into the Spring move-in dates, you must apply in November. And the Winter move-in dates application periods have already passed. So, while these rates are far above any other we will find, it looks as though this will not be doable... We need out ASAP!

This brings me to the more financial side of things... We have been trying to decide... Should I take money out of savings in order to pay off a monthly bill of $100 (payoff is $549). We have $793 in our main savings account, $590 of which is EF. We also have $1,154 in another savings account, that might need to be used for airfare later next year for a somewhat expected emergency (sorry that I cannot provide more information on that), that - of not taken care of when it comes up - could spell unemployment for me. 

If I do not payoff this $100/mo bill, we will not be able to afford to move out.

Thoughts on this?

Also, I have a $200/mo bill in which I owe a total of $11,600. This is a no-interest loan from my parents. They paid-off a car while I was in college before (yes, I graduated). They did this without me asking, abd considered it a graduation gift. That car is now gone, and so is the loan. The loan was part of their second mortgage. Their second mortgage is being written off as a loss at Wells Fargo. Currently, this $200 goes to lay for my Mother's addictions to beer and cigarettes (which she spends $300/mo on). 

Since this loan was written off at the bank, I feel that when we move out, I will stop paying it. Their total disregard for my family's safety is inexcusable, and I do not feel obligated to pay this bill anymore. 

The worst thing about stopping payment to them is that I am going back on my word. However, they have gotten $8,000 from me ($600 of which is since the loan was written off). Also, I would be severing ties with my family. I feel they are - with the exception of my father - an endangerment to my child. For instance, my Mother's addictions get in the way of her ability to watch our daughter. She once placed her on the kitchen counter so she could reach into the fridge and get a beer. This is one of many dangerous situations she has put our daughter in...

Would you continue to pay, or would you stop?

Thank you for reading and for providing your opinions. This is an important post to me, personally.

18 Responses to “Let's Get Personal (please comment)”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Yes. You need to move out. That situation is toxic and won't get any better.

    I wouldn't pay off anything until you get that pay raise. Since it is soon I'd wait until that is a sure thing. But once the pay raise is finalized I'd pay off the $549.

    Start donating plasma ASAP.

    I would stop paying your parents to make this situation work. However, I would put repayment on the back burner. I think at some point you should repay it so that it isn't a future rift between you and your parents.

  2. Nika Says:

    Did they file bankruptsy? was that loan included? That can affect the moral and legal aspect of your payback arrangement.

    As far as the entire living situation is concerned... it is their house. To live the way you want to, as an adult, you know you have to move out.
    Than the brother and all esle will no longer be your problem.

    I am sure it is stressful on your wife and it transmits to the baby. From the situation you described, it seems that your only good solution is to get your income up. I know, easier said than done, but this situation is unsustainable and is putting a lot of strain on everybody in your family.

  3. PauletteGoddard Says:

    I don't know if I'm projecting by offering the following -- your post reads to me that your immediate family (wife and child)'s safety is of paramount concern. It also reads to me that you have your heads screwed on right, but that comes from my agreement with you that heaven and worship are within, and what really matters is the personal relationship one has with one's Creator, and if that relationship helps you to be a better, more loving person. I'll stop there with the religion.

    This WILL sound silly, but try it and see what happens: drink a lot of water, and think of the decisions you have to make whenever you fill your glass or tumbler or water bottle. Wait until your bladder is about to erupt, about 40 minutes later, then ask yourself what the best thing to do in your situation is. The answer you first think of as you rush to relieve yourself is the best. This technique comes from a psychology study in the Netherlands, conducted by Mirjam Tuk.

    Otherwise, if I were you, I'd tell your parents and brother that their way of living doesn't mesh well with yours, and that you have to do what is best for your child, pay off your bill and go.

    And thank you for sharing your dilemma with us!

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    Don't forget to include utility costs when looking for new housing.

  5. laura Says:


    I'd look into temporary living situations to get yourself out of where you are. Can you put word out in your congregation? Our parish we worship has been a great source of support during times we needed help financially and spiritually. Is staying with your inlaws an option? Can you check into house-sitting options? Can you talk to your university's housing department and see if something can be done about deadlines?

    As far as the debt to your parents, I would not feel compelled to deal with it at this time. When your situation is more stable, I'd resume payment because it is the right thing to do in the long run.

    I'd strive to increase the income, get out of where you are, and then worry about the long-term stuff later.

  6. CB in the City Says:

    I agree with everything creditcardfree said.

  7. uRabbit Says:

    Thank you all so much for your input and support! It truly means a lot to us!

    Macy's should take her back, as the only reason she left was because of us getting pregnant. Smile Total income should go up by about $600/mo. We factored in $120/mo for utilities (never paid that much, even in a two bed, two bath, two story). Also, we are not factoring into our projected income the plasma donations or the fact that I am reimbursed for mileage driven at work. $.20 per mile, and my car uses $.12 of fuel per mile, so I actually come out ahead. We are only factoring in net of base salaries. If you factor in plasma, we will be better off than we are now.

  8. creditcardfree Says:

    We are all pulling for you! Good luck.

  9. ceejay74 Says:

    You gotta do what you gotta do. If your parents don't understand that cigarette smoke, pot smoke and burnt-pizza smoke are not cool for a little baby's lungs, they probably won't understand when you explain that you need to use that loan-payback money to rent a place of your own. But there's nothing stronger than the need to protect a helpless little one, especially if it's your own.

    If you want to continue repaying later, when you're more financially stable, it's up to you. It is hard to go back on one's word, and I could see them being annoyed about that, even if it was originally a gift and not a loan. But there's no question in my mind that your baby's health comes before this obligation to pay back a loan that they're no longer even responsible for.

    Good luck! I feel for you and I hope you're able to achieve this.

  10. baselle Says:

    I have to agree with everybody else here. Why your parents would side with an abusive pizza-burning pothead with no grandchild is anybody's guess, but they did. And as they did, they have to accept the repurcussions. Personally, I would stop paying the (say its a gift/but its loan) until you are settled in a new place, then continue when you are. I would factor in lots of slack (like you have), get a little bit of breathing room, then maybe restart the loan payment.

    Good luck! Its not easy when family and money are mixed up like this.

  11. Looking Forward Says:

    I agree with everyone above.
    - Move Out.
    - Use your money to take care of your baby. First and foremost!

    Good luck!

  12. My English Castle Says:

    yep, I'm with all these sensible folks even without a full bladder! You need to move. Loan payments can wait until you're a bit more secure. If they're going to change their relationship with you because of that, it seems like a false excuse. Tend your own garden.

  13. ThriftoRama Says:

    Did you say your parents paid off a car loan-- without you asking them to-- and it was supposed to be a graduation gift? Why are you paying them back for a "gift", particularly, if they no longer carry the debt? That is ridiculous, and if that's the case, your parents should be ashamed.

  14. uRabbit Says:

    ThriftoRama - That is precisely correct. However, those were their terms, and I abided by them. It has been a few years now, though, and yes, the debt is no longer in their hands.

    But since recent happenings, we are no longer in a position to move to. (See recent blog posts.) However, I won't be paying that loan anymore.

  15. patientsaver Says:

    I guess I will be the sole dissenter here.

    These are your parents, and you need to fulfill your promise to repay them. You are making lots of excuses about why you shouldn't have to. I don't think your child's life was in danger from some smoke from a burning pizza. It was an accident. I think you're exaggerating the whole incident.

    Your parents, whatever their shortcomings, have been good to you. They made you a car loan and let you stay with them in their home. At at time when, apparently, they were deailng with money issues of their own. So you owe them.

    If you really didn't want the loan, you could have said no. No one forced you to take the money.

    I guess you can tell us whatever you want to make it likely that everyone will side with you, but only you know what the facts are. So do the right thing. These are your parents.

  16. crazyliblady Says:

    I agree that the situation is toxic and you need to get out as soon as possible, but I would not go into debt to fix it. Try to lower any regular bills you can possibly alter and pocket the different towards moving costs and deposit and rent on a new place. Do you have anything you can sell like maybe at a yard sale, etc.? If you have any books you don't need, try to sell them at http://www.cash4books.net. Also, don't forget to include any possible increased transportation costs with you and your wife both working. And work related uniforms, etc. for when your wife is working as a nurse.

  17. SicilyYoder Says:

    Nursing is a good field. I am a former Registered Nurse.

  18. uRabbit Says:

    @crazyliblady Not sure how you came to the conclusion that my wife is going to college for Nursing. Maybe because that's what people think of when they hear the word 'nurse'... Women. Hm. Interesting...

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