Wow, so much has happened since my last post. A week after that last post we woke up to find that our basement and garage had flooded. The scariest part of this is that my youngest son’s bedroom is in the basement and he slept through the flooding of his room. I am not talking about a little bit of water got into his room, the water went up to his bed mattress and he woke up in a wet bed. Our basement, garage, washer and dryer, water heater, and two cars were all destroyed. Two days later another round of storms came through and we flooded again. Here’s the really fun part, our condo is not in a flood zone, therefore we didn’t have flood insurance and therefore our homeowner’s insurance didn’t cover any of the repairs or to replace any of our possessions. My car did have full coverage and they paid it (although I just found out this week that there’s an issue with that as well where they are trying to stiff me for an extra $1,000 but that’s a later post).
I’ve seen stories on the news about catastrophes such as fire and floods and tornadoes, etc., and I remember thinking, How terrible but until you experience something like this it’s just impossible to really grasp the devastation. Two months later we’re mostly put back together. We still have some painting and clean-up but we were able to move back in after a month.
The financial implications of this has obviously been tough, especially considering our already shaky situation due to losing Michael’s Social Security money but we were truly blessed in so many ways throughout this ordeal. My aunt let us stay in her condo while we were waiting for repairs to our house, my work took up a collection for us, several relatives sent us money, my parents helped us out with replacing our washer and dryer. Another friend found us a contractor and helped out with the costs on this. The same friend’s brother was able to get his company to donate the construction materials we needed. My brother was able to work out a deal to replace my car and Nick’s car for a smaller car payment then what I had previously. Friends came over and helped us clean and are still helping with odds and ends that still need done. My dad spent days painting Nick’s room. There are so many more instances of help that we received that I couldn’t even begin to list each one but the support we received was just incredible.
As for a work update, my immediate supervisor left our company for another job opportunity in July. This was pretty tough news since our department is very close but we certainly couldn’t blame him for taking this opportunity. My co-workers and I decided to approach his boss, who was now our immediate boss, to see if we could split up his duties (and his paycheck) rather than the company hiring someone else in. The big boss was open to the idea and we’re basically in a trial period so I’m hopeful that this might work out and that the corresponding pay raise will be enough that I don’t have to find a second job. They gave us a small bonus last month for completing our month-end on a tight time-frame but hopefully we’ll hear soon about a permanent pay raise to go with our increased work load.
On the family front, my oldest son moved into his college dorm in August and I’m adjusting to having just one kid at home now. Michael seems to be really enjoying his college and he seems to be juggling his classes and fire recruit school okay. Nick has started his junior year of high school, taking some demanding AP classes and working part-time.
We are still adjusting to the big hit of losing Michael’s Social Security money, I’ve just temporarily cut my credit card payments to the minimums and tried to watch the thermostat. Michael has a meal plan with his dorm so that’s helped cut the grocery costs at home and I’m trying to stay out of Target as much as possible and minimize my car trips (gas costs) , we’re not eating out as much and I’m trying not to spend much on the weekends as far as entertainment. I’ve been trying to catch up on some shows I’ve DVR’d and reading more. I have plans to cut my DirecTV as soon as my contract is up in November since the boys are happy with Netflix. I’ve been really busy between the flood repairs and getting Michael situated at college and the extra work load but I do want to try to find some possible writing work to help subsidize our income loss as quickly as possible. Of course the Powerball is still my ideal retirement plan but until that comes through we’re just going to muddle through as best we can and try to create some new income opportunities and keep cutting costs as much as possible.