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      — In Budget101_@yahoogroups.com, “Suzi McMullen”

      wrote:

      >

      > One thing that has driven me crazy for the last 21 years is that my

      income goes up and down a LOT. I can be sailing a long, paying my

      tithe, paying my bills and even have things paid ahead wherever

      possible. Then some daycare parent loses their job or gets laid off

      and suddenly I am missing some of my income. Paying bills ahead

      helps here, but sometimes I’ll lose someone from both shifts or even

      2-3 people all at the same time and no amount of planning helps me

      through. Not only do I lose income at that point, but I have to put

      ads in the paper. My debt is pretty much broken down like

      this…1/3rd medical related, 1/3rd job layoffs (my husbands

      included) and unexpected stuff that happens and 1/3rd times I’ve

      splurged which is my fault I know.

      >

      > What so often happens is that I’ll think I’m doing good. So I’ll

      spend a few hundred on something I’ve been waiting for. I’ll pay

      cash for this item. Then a few days later some parent I’ve been

      working with a year or two will suddenly get fired, quit, announce

      they are moving away etc. Often it’s with no notice what-so-ever.

      At that point I’ll whip out the credit cards and make up for any

      shortages with the best intentions of getting back on track when the

      kids are replaced. This month is perfect example.. I have made some

      purchases I have wanted and thought I had money to pay for. Then my

      daughter got sick and we now have 4-5 bills and even an 800 dollar

      ambulance bill. We do have insurance. But we have deductibles and

      they bill for so many different

      people/doctors/hospital/lab/radiologist etc.. for the same illness.

      On top of that, 2 of my daycare parents were laid off this month. So

      my income is down and my bills are up.

      >

      > I guess I get a little jelous sometimes when I hear people talk

      about budgeting down to the last inth.

      >

      > Am I alone in this?

      >

      > Suzi

      >

      I know exactly what you mean. My husband works for a contractor that

      has jobs all over the country. Our income can go from $750 a week to

      $1500 a week. Which although that may look like a huge income, also

      realize we are supporting 2 households when we are traveling, motels

      and eating out (which can’t be avoided)and when we are home and then

      go back out on the road it costs us upwards of $1000 out of our

      pockets until per diem kicks in, so I have to save for this. I am a

      stay at home mom, due in large to the fact that if I didn’t travel

      with my husband he would be absolutely miserable. He is a homebody if

      ever I saw one. This past winter my son ended up in 3 emergency rooms

      in 3 different states. I am still paying for those bills. I also have

      what I term a “wish list,” stuff I buy when we get some extra income.

      But I also try to buy a few canned goods when the money is good, so

      that when it isn’t I have extras that I won’t have to worry about

      buying when the checks are small. You are not alone. We are still

      working on our budgeting process, he has a good paying job and I

      realize I am blessed in this, but we have always spent more than he

      made and now we are digging out of that hole. I did at home daycare

      and there were a few agencies that I registered with that would send

      me clients everynow and then or I could call if I had an opening. In

      our area daycare only covers 50% of what is needed so I always had a

      waiting list. The Family Conservancy was one such agency and our

      local health dept. Hope this helps, you are not alone.

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