Do you ever have the feeling that you're drowning? You tread water for as long as you can, but the times your head dips under seems to be growing more frequent and your stays under the water are lasting longer and longer? That is how I feel right now... only I am not drowning in water, but in bills. Stupid, annoying, overly inflated freaking bills.
I will admit that I am not the most financially savvy lady. I don't invest, we barely save, and when I worked from home as a scheduler for a financial firm, I chose not to learn what an annuity or mutual fund was and I still stand by that decision. I don't care. Why? Because we don't have enough to put in one of those anyway (unless they are fancy terms for jelly jar... because I do have change in one of those on my kitchen counter and I contribute to it daily). But, if money comes my way, I am not a ninny either.
We won the Mega Millions lottery when it was 640 million... but unfortunately, not the main prize. But, we won a little and it went to a gate in our fence and getting the trim painted on our house. I pay off credit cards with tax refunds. The only fun thing I've ever done with a cash windfall (aka large tax refund) was put a sizable down payment on my minivan. Wooo... crazy gal! My house is lovely but modest, my furniture old and showing it, and I sewed the butt of my 3 year old capri pants shut when it split because I can't afford to buy a new pair. (And for the record, I can't sew). We are a family of five living on my husband's income... and it shows. But we get by.
Or at least we got by until recently. Our health insurance is an absolute joke and unfortunately, our health isn't kidding around. While all medical issues have been managed (thank the lord), they've left our bank account hemorrhaging long after. We have a $7,000 annual deductible before even so much as a tissue at the doctor's office is covered, and if that isn't bad enough... they take $800 a month from my husband's check to pay for the nothing they cover. So, when Will needed ear tubes last year in order to preserve his hearing from the massive infections and multiple ear drum ruptures.... we did it. Out of pocket. Thousands. We are still paying that off. And when something ran amok in my lady parts (insert gag here), we got an ultrasound to see what. Out of pocket. Over one thousand. And when Will had asthma attacks so bad he was nearly hospitalized, we treated it with medications. Lots. In the hundreds. And to maintain his ability to inhale oxygen, we still treat it. Monthly. In the hundreds. And to maintain some of Tabbi's issues we treat her. Monthly. In the hundreds. And when the surgeon said I should have my tonsils out, I did it. Once. Out of pocket. In the thousands. And while all these medical bills are adding up, for some reason our mortgage company still wants paid, and our car payment, insurance, water, gas, electricity, even our kids' school lunches.... all these providers still seem to think we have money to pay them when the stack of medical bills on my desk nears double digits in the thousands.
I am making minimum payments everywhere, which we all know gets you nowhere... and I am drowning in a sea of papers and 800 numbers calling that I ignore because I don't know what's worse... telling them the check's not in the mail or just hiding. I have never been this out of control of something in my life and today.... today my credit card was declined for the first time. Luckily, it was a fluky thing and will be up and running tomorrow, but still... I am a control freak out of control, and a life preserver won't keep me afloat in this one.