Financial Tracking for the Week of April 5, 2020

Hello!
It has been a LONG while.
I’m not even sure what kept me from posting..
Probably a mix of discouragement, losing motivation, and literally just being so broke that I felt like there was no point in tracking anything – just flying by the seat of my pants and hoping that everything will fall into place.. per usual but more so than usual.

Things sorta have fallen into place (Clearly, since I am still alive and well with a roof over my head and food in the fridge – I am blessed) but sorta hasn’t (I’m still flying by the seat of my pants).

Before I get into the nitty gritty details of my financial situation and update, I want to try this new thing and give my financial hardship to God first.
Maybe this prayer is unnecessary to you. You can definitely skip it.
But maybe you can pray this over for me or pray it for yourself as well if you are struggling right along beside me.

Either way, it’s happening. Let’s pray:

Prayer

Hi God,
I just wanted to first thank you so much for all that you have provided for me recently. My kids and I are healthy and safe. We have a home. We have food. And as silly as it sounds, we have toilet paper. My circumstances could have been far worse when I reflect on the course my life has taken but I am here and, compared to the many directions that my life could have gone, I can see now that this is the best path to be on with everything that’s going on. I am grateful for your divine intervention and protection.
God, I just wanted to pray over my finances. I feel that every time I move one step forward, I am placed in a position to take ten steps back. I pray that no matter where I am, I continue to place my faith in you and your provision. I pray that you will take over my debt and eliminate it. I pray that you will turn my financial struggles into financial blessings. I pray for an overflow of abundance so that, not only am I living comfortably in excess but also be in the position to bless others and honor you.
I pray that you will help me make wise financial choices and help me build healthy money habits. I also pray that you will lead me out of this season of financial uncertainty and hardship. Help me keep my eyes on you and stay faithful to you.

In Jesus’ name I pray,
Amen

God is good. In so many ways ❤

UPDATE

Stocks

Okay, so let me just go on to say that I did a thing.
I invested in stocks.
Wise? Ehhh….

Wise in the sense that I feel like I jumped at a good time while everything was low.
Not wise considering that fact that I don’t have the expendable money to invest.

Objectively wise. Subjectively dumb… or just not the best choice.

But, wise or not, I did learn a handful of things.
Like what dividends are, what diversifying means, some good stocks to get into, how it generally works, etc.

Was it the best time for ME to join personally? No.
But this was such a good learning experience for me that I kind of appreciate this failure.
It’s something I can see myself using to help LEVERAGE my finances in the future.

With that being said, I decided to sell MOST of my shares of the stocks that I invested in.
I’m staying invested in three because they were kind of a hefty investment (for me since I’m poor.. you might think $1,000+ is a hefty investment but for me, 10% of that is more than pushing it).
So I’ll be holding on to them until I know I’m getting a decent return and also for a little more experimental learning curve as well.

I added the total amount of how much I invested and it turned out to be a little over $300.
Keep this number in mind (or don’t..because I’ll be bringing it up anyway.. lol)

Financial Changes + Obstacles

Welp, in the past few weeks, some major financial changes have gone underway. I’m a little sad because it’s just going to make things harder.

For one, my car lease has finally ended! Yay!
But not yay because I decided to purchase it and since my credit score blows, my monthly payment went up… by about $100. (Insert ugly crying here)

That’s the biggest change, really. And because it’s more permanent, it’s the most suckiest.

Obstacles:

1. New debt

With my tax refund money, I’m happy to announce that I used most of it to pay off a debt with a payment plan that was KILLING me. And maybe about half in a couple of others.

The thing about that is..and I’m not sure which is better.. to save yout refund or using it to pay off debt.
Well, in this case, paying the high interest debt is definitely better. But year after year, I always put all my tax returns into my debt.
And I don’t get much left over.

I was catching up with my friend and she said, “Yeah, I put a little bit into my debt but I’m saving most of it and using some of it for a vacation. I’m always going to be in debt so I never put all of my returns into it.”

LIKE WHAT?!
“I’m always going to be in debt.”

GIRL, SAME (seasonally speaking – May God take and release my debt and replace it with financial stability)! So why am I throwing all my money into debt when my income doesn’t even cover my bills so I end up pulling new loans out anyway? In which returns the vicious cycle of not being able to afford the payments…

I don’t know why I didn’t think like her….
There’s always next year…I’m keeping my money this time.. lol

Anyway, point is, I paid off a couple of debts off but I’m in debt to them again. (Insert ugly crying..again). Thankfully, the interest rates are MUCH lower so it is not as back breaking, but I’m not exactly “getting out of debt” like I wanted to for this year either.

2. I had to open a new credit card

My dog got a huge cut on his paw and it required stitches. Didn’t have the cash for it so I had to apply for a credit card. Silver lining: I qualified for $500 and the vet bill was $300 so I was able to take care of my dog. Hopefully, the remaining balance will be enough for the follow-up appointment.

The not so bright side.. I’ve accrued yet another monthly payment to be mindful of.

3. Car registration

At the end of April, I’ll have to fork over about $300 to renew my registration.
I did have that saved and reserved knowing that it was coming. But I ended up spending it. Not for my own pleasure but on necessities.

I’m so broke that I literally can’t even save money for future bills…. haaaa…

4. This pandemic sucks

I am currently undergoing a massive financial cut.
My part-time job was scheduled to close the end of March (owner’s choice).
However, because of Corona, it shut down early.

My ex-husband got laid off so child support has also stopped coming in.

To make up for the difference, I’ve tried applying EVERYWHERE. But no one is hiring. I was welcomed to “apply anyway” though.

My current plan:
Donate plasma (first appointment in forever is scheduled for tomorrow).
Apply to work at Amazon warehouse mid-June.
Why mid-June? Because I worked there last year but hated it so much that I didn’t come back after my lunch break…. so I have to wait a year before I can reapply.

If I hated it so much, why would I reapply? Because the money was decent. And this time, instead of full time hours (four 10-hour shifts), I’ll be going in for part-time hours. Hopefully, it’s less painful when it’s shorter hours (it’s mind-numbingly boring.. I need something that’s challenging and keeps me on my toes). If the hours aren’t what I’m looking for (i.e., if it’s two 10-hour shifts instead of, let’s say, five 4-hour shifts, it won’t work with my schedule), I can try picking up some of their other job positions like being a shopper. My friend does it and enjoys it and says the hours are flexible..so maybe..

But until then, I am banking on my May paycheck (biggest paycheck of the school year because April doesn’t have any extended weekends or breaks), plasma donation, and the stimulus checks.. which even then.. after crunching the numbers, won’t be enough… but hopefully enough until I can get a job from Amazon (prayers please: this is the only job that I can think of that I can work around my non-negotiable, non-flexible schedule as a single mom, student, and “full-time” worker).

Now that we’re all caught up, let’s jump in with the nitty gritty financial stuff.

This Week’s Finances

Friday the 10th:

Rent (They gave us an extension AND a 5% discount! AMEN!): $1300

Capital One CC: $25

Blue Trust Loans: $105 (final payment – may or may not call to defer payment)

Comcast: $116 (technically late.. but also might not pay it anyway for now until stim check arrives)

Advance America: $98

Earnin App: $100 (to read more about what this app is, go here )

Money Tree: $200 – payment has been deferred until May 10th. It is also the second to last payment

Speedy Cash: $86 – Payment has been pushed to April 24th

Saturday 11th:

Vet Bill: Unknown – I know it’s not really a “payment” that’s going out but I wanted to just place it here as my own reminder

WordPress: $96 annual premium plan renewal – this may or may not happen.

Next week’s payments to prep for:

Total Visa CC: $40

Color Street: $10

Disney +: $13

VS Angel Card: $45

Prime: $7

HOW MUCH I NEED THIS WEEK

What I have in my account: -$200 (Insert ugly crying… so much ugly crying)

Cash: coins in a small piggy bank (I’m at a new level of low, y’all.. LOL)

What I need to pay my bills this week: $1,944 (this includes the -$200)

How much I need for next week: $115

What’s coming in:

Estimated paycheck: $1,450
Plasma: $75 (hopefully more because they generally give a little more as a “thank you for coming back!” if it’s been over 6 months since your last donation)
Selling stocks: approximately $300 depending on how much they get sold for.

After seeing the breakdown and doing the math.. what’s coming in is clearly not enough for the bills I have to pay so I will be making phone calls tomorrow to defer payments where I can.

Praying on this stim check to come soon, though. Like real talk.

For an updated list of my debt, go here
If you’d like to help me out financially, you can shop here

As grueling as this process was… I’m so glad I typed everything out. In a strange sense, sharing my finances, as horrible as my income/outgoing ratio is, is both therapeutic and helpful to type it out and talk about it.

Blogging about my finances has given me the space to vent while also organizing and planning – it’s different from just writing it out in my notebook while letting my thoughts get lost in anxiety in it’s cycle of, “How am I going to pay for everything?”

Thank you for reading, encouraging me, and motivating me ❤

This concludes the financial breakdown for the coming week.
I hope you guys are staying well!

See you guys next week!

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