Feeling frustrated with finances


#1

Hi all!

So, tonight I finally started looking into the student loans my husband and I are making payments on and I came to a startling (although I should have done this before) realization that we were not where we thought we were financially. One of the loan companies sent us a payment booklet for only the first year, instead of the entire time, and we didn’t realize this. We also received a letter with it, not informing us of the total amount we were paying on, so I just assumed these were small loans and that everything else was covered. However, I looked online finally tonight, after a long time of procrastination and forgetting about it, and instead of these loans being about a total of 10K, they’re a total of 95K!!!

We’re also expecting (as you can see by my signature) and were looking forward to me staying at home once the baby is born. It looks as if this may not be a possibility and I’m more than disappointed. So, if I could ask for your prayers. We’re going to try to look into jobs where I can work at home or some alternative. I just can’t stand the thought of not being with our baby. I know I need to trust God, and I’m working on it.

Any prayers and/or knowledge that we’re not the only ones out there would help! :slight_smile: Thanks!


#2

You’re living my life, sweetheart. Welcome to the perpetual nightmare of student loans. My husband and I both work for the same university, and we have a (not so funny) joke between us that all three of our kids (8, 2 and 8 mo) will graduate for free on our tuition benefit before we finish paying off our student loans.

Hey, look on the bright side, at least you figured it out NOW! I was all set to stay home with our first, and when she was 11 weeks old, my husband lost his job. That was 8 years ago, and I haven’t stopped working since. However, we really have made significant headway with our loans, and are now in the final throes of payment. We’ll be done probably within 18 months, God Willing.

So although this completely changes your life, it doesn’t make it impossible. Your best way to live with this is to change your mindset NOW, before baby comes. Otherwise coping will be a nightmare. I have asked GOd more times than I can count, Why why why? Why, when so many couples are aborting and contracepting and choosing career over family and handing their kids care over to strangers, why, when you have someone here who is dying to stay home with the kids and raise a big ol’ family, the old fashioned way, why? Well, resistance is futile with the Lord, and you just have to pray for peace. Ask God to give you peace with whatever His will is, and then you will be able to cope with anything. Ask Him for the grace to handle whatever He has in mind for you. You can never say that prayer enough!!!

The part time/work from home thing is great, but remember how hard it can be to get work done with a needy infant on your hands. When each of my kids were born, I could barely get the chance to eat a PBJ, much less accomplish paid work in the house. Baby smells you and knows your proximity, and that can be a hinderance to working at home. Wearing baby in a sling would help a lot, but it’s tough when they are really young, they don’t fit in it so well. My youngest (now 8 mo) will not allow me to do anything from the moment I get home until we go to bed. If I’m in the house, he won’t go to anyone, not even DH.

Also, try to create a hopeful attitude for yourself about this. It will serve two purposes: 1. Will help you see the good in what working will accomplish for your family, 2. Is absolutely necessary to help stave off depression before baby is even born. If you get PPD, like I did, having a defeatist attitude is spiritually lethal.

Just remember, only YOU are called to walk in your shoes. You are making decisions and sacrifices for your family, which is all part of motherhood. It’s just motherhood in a different era…sigh… I’m one of the most traditional, orthodox people on these boards, and I face this working motherhood every day, it’s not what I wanted or pictured. Some of the people on these boards will, under the guise of traditionalism, sometimes speak uncharitably of working motherhood. If you encounter that, here or anywhere else, let it roll off your back. God is omnipotent and omniscient, and in His creation, there is more than one way to be a good mom!!! :thumbsup:

God bless you sweetheart, you’ll get through this, and it will be just fine. DH has to help out too, and really work hard at finding the best paying job he can, so that you don’t flounder for years in the same situation (like me, ha ha…my DH never actually finished his degree, so we are paying for loans for education that really isn’t ever going to benefit him, career-speaking, that is.)

Pray to St. Joseph to help your family. He is such a powerful intercessor! And hang in there. Try to keep from focusing on your disappointment and focus on the joy that is coming with the birth of your baby! You will be in my prayers. (((lotusblossom)))


#3

**Lotusblossom,

Aren’t you a FUS graduate? I may be mixing you up with someone else:) Anyways welcome to life after Franciscan…Between my husband and i we have about $80,000 in student loans…Thankfully most of mine and his are not GATE loans because they are horrible, evil company…Have you looked into consolidation? Just make sure if you do consolidate don’t do it together…

BTW didn’t you have to do exit counsiling for your student loans? They should have given you the total amounts of what you owe there. I agree with the second poster that its very hard to work from home and get anything done. Also if for some reason you do have to work, please don’t think less of yourself or think you’ve failed as a mother. After all you’re working not so you can have material things but to help provide for your family which i think is an honorable thing.

Just wait until Franciscan telemarketers call you for money and then when you explain that you gave money to Franciscan and its called tution:)
**


#4

Lotusblossom, first off, pm me if you need any advice should you have to look into childcare for your baby (remember, I’m in the Chicago area, work with my mom at her home daycare, and my mom’s been one of the top daycare providers in the state).

Look into time sharing with another mom. Some companies will hire two women for one position (maybe your company does that). Depending on how much income you need to bring in, if it isn’t much, see if you can find a job at a childcare center or home daycare. It doesn’t pay much but you’ll be with your baby all day (and getting practice of how to manage more than one child at a time should you ever increase your family size). Also, some places will let you bring your child for free.

You can try to start a home business, but my guess is that you’re too busy now that that’s the last thing you need to try to figure out (how to be creative about what people want to buy). You and your husband can work opposite hours until you get the loans paid down (you said he’s a teacher, maybe you can work nights at a hospital or somewhere else). How about when he’s off of work (for summers and holidays) you work part time at a store or restaurant or somewhere else that is in more need of seasonal employees then he can stay home with your child and bond while you work and bring in some extra money while he’s still bringing in his check.

If you are great with directions and familiar with streets in the area as well as some areas in Wisconsin and Indiana, I have an uncle who is hiring night people to help with his freight delivery business.

Even though I’m a single mom, I’m blessed that my mom has allowed my dd and I to live here and has allowed me to work with her (it’s also comforting as her daughter to know that her assistant is someone I can trust). Even though I stay home with my dd, there are many issues that I still have to face b/c of work (like spreading my attention to all the kids, disciplining the kids differently than I discipline her - total mixed messages). And, as mummybee stated, working from home is no picnic with a child, let alone a baby. When my dd was a baby and we (she and I) were living in an apartment, I’d have to have family come over to watch her while I cleaned. She had respiratory issues so I couldn’t keep her in the room with me with all that dust being stirred up. There have been daycare parents at my mom’s who work from home, but still drop off their children two of their 5 work-from-home days b/c they really need to get their work done efficiently and can’t with their children around.

Again, pm me if you ever need to talk or if you find that your budget will not afford for you to stay home. I can help you with what to look for in a quality care facility so that you feel your baby is being well taken care of.


#5

If you enjoy children maybe you can take in kids to make some extra money.
I feel so bad that young couples are not able to have a home AND a family these days.
Also, make sure that the loan companies are correct, there are countless errors in those places and of course, the errors are always on the side of the lender. DOUBLE-CHECK their math as well.
An education should not be so expensive, however, I do think that your children are better off with educated parents.


#6

Just to lend a hand of support, know that you are not alone!! YOu may think that’s a ton of student loans but my wife and I have over 100K in student loans (graduate degrees) and I have tons of friends that are right where we all are. Just make your payments regularly and if you have any extra money put them towards the balance and you’ll be fine!


#7

no support to offer, except to note that because it took me a long time to finish college, 3 pregnancies during that time with resultant gaps in attendance, we made our last student loan payment the month before DD went off to college herself.

We got a surprise after graduation similar to yours. DH had worked all through school in the summers, a very demanding physical job, given up all his free time, gave the money to his dad to pay his tuition. At Graduation time he got slapped with a big SL bill, because his parents had used the money for other purposes–finance their new home and job move, sister’s wedding, brother’s tuition etc. to his credit DH never complained or threw this back in their face, he just paid it.

DD attended on the DSLP Daddy Student Loan Program, and paid of her debt 10 yrs to the day after she graduated. We had a party and presented her with a book for her state’s college tuition fund in her children’s names, which is where we put the money. She learned a valuable discipline, SIL had a similar arrangment with his family, and had his pay-backs come back to them in the form of a downpayment on their current house.

My point was we had the SL payment built into the budget from the beginning. We never got in trouble except for a couple of years where our store charges got transfrerred to Master Charge, making it a lot easier to run up debt. We learned our lesson, got out of that pit in about 5 yrs. We did reconsolidate and restructure student loans when we bought our first house on the advice of a mortgage broker, so it did not look like we had several outstanding debts, just one.

Because we got in the habit of living simply on the cheap early, hour kids grew up with good money habits and attitudes, and have been able to avoid similar pitfalls themselves.


#8

Thanks so much for all your stories and support! :slight_smile: It really does help to know that DH and I are not alone in this struggle.

Yes, I did go to Franciscan and we’ve consolidated all our other loans (minus the 95K). The main chunk of our loans we were unable to consolidate and one of mine has a 12.2% interest rate! They never did tell me how much I owed, but because I was in good standing when I met with them, they basically said, “Here’s papers about consolidation. Congrats!” and then sent me on my merry way. Same with DH. In fact, we thought he had only borrowed about half of what he actually did and it ended up he was borrowing more than I did! He never once looked at how much his loans were, I think, due to the fact that his parents were cosigning and he just wasn’t thinking. I knew I had the amount I did, but my parents are paying for half my loans (thankfully! They couldn’t afford it back then but are able to make payments now), and it’s really not mine that I was worried about, but HIS since we miscalculated. We had a certain amount budgetted in, but we’re still in the process of learning all this. I feel much better now, although I had a restless night of sleep and dreams about loans. I just have to trust and really research my options. Thanks again so much!!!

p.s. PLEASE pray for my family! I just got a call this morning from my parents. My brother is in the ICU for alcohol poisoning. He’s going to be okay, but I guess he was having seizures and such last night and almost died. Thankfully, my mom is a nurse, so she knew what was going on right away. The devil is working overtime right now on him - and through his drunkenness, he told my mom that he knew he had a calling to the priesthood but was too afraid and kept feeling darkness all around him. It never rains, but it pours, right?


#9

I’ll keep your brother in my prayers…he sounds like my little brother.

I think you have mentioned that you are an accountant?? One of the women I have worked with on a pro-life board is an accountant, and she has used it to supplement their income (they have…6 kids now I think?) while staying at home and homeschooling the younger ones. I think she takes on a lot of work esp around tax time. That’s something you might think about…I think she contracts herself out or something? I’m not sure, but she has spoken about what a blessing it has been for their family.


#10

Just wondering why you threw this comment in there…


**I know people who have tons of post secondary education and some who don’t have any. I know people who never made it through high school. **


I think what a parent does with what they have (or don’t have) has a greater effect on children than their level of education.


It is all too common to see parents with huge debt from university etc that then struggle financially which can have a profound effect on the children…epsecially if it means mom cannot be a SAHM like she wanted.

Malia


#11

Just thought I’d weigh in–we have student loans and all sorts of other things . . .
When our first one was born, we didn’t really “see” how I could stay home, but we believed it was what God wanted us to do and we just leaped. We have three kids now and our finances are a little rough–my husband was laid off for the past 6 months and we don’t own a house. To me, it is all worth it. I would not trade anything for being home with my kids.
This may not be sound financial advice, but if you think things will improve in the future, you could put your loan into deferment for a year.


#12

Check out Dave Ramsey materials at www.daveramsey.com. There are lots of free online resources, but you may also want to get his book The Total Money Makeover. Your student loan debt is huge (that’s a news flash for you, right?), but don’t let that debt roll into other consumer debt. Now is the time to get on it…while you are young!!

I’ll keep your family in my prayers!

Kathy


#13

**I hope your brother is doing much better:) **


#14

****[size=3]It is all too common to see parents with huge debt from university etc that then struggle financially which can have a profound effect on the children…epsecially if it means mom cannot be a SAHM like she wanted.[/size]

**

I would venture to guess that the poster said what he did simply because it is true. An education helps you to better succeed in life and also gives your children an example to follow. I am not convinced that NOT being a stay at home mom is something so horrible that your children will suffer because of it. Struggling financially will always happen for many of us. My husband and I are struggling financially as he tries to get through school but my daughter does not know this. I work so their can be food on the table. Now, I am NOT saying that parent without an education is a worse parent…but at least where I am from they struggle much much more then those without a degree. It is difficult for them to find a good and steady job and the family truly does suffer and has at times gone without food or basic living neccessities.**


#15

As the mom of 2 adult children - one of whom is an FUS grad and the other about to graduate from another university in May - I am baffled by this post “feeling frustrated by finances”

My husband handles all the money and bills in our house (married 25 years) and he kept a VERY accurate accounting of all the student loans each of our girls took, both ours and theirs. They each know TO THE PENNY upon graduating what their debt is !!!

How can you (the original poster) be an accountant by trade and not keep acurate records of this most important thing ? :confused:

My girls are looking at about $500 a month in student loan payments. If they were to marry and try to have a family this would be quite challenging, unless they married financially well-off men. That’s just the reality. But we remind them it was their choice to go into debt for college, they could have gone to state schools or whatever and gotten off a lot cheaper.

I think it is critical that young people know what they are getting themselves into BEFORE they take any loans.

I will keep you and your family in my prayers.


#16

time for you to contact a non profit credit counseling company. we did, and iam not sorry we did. they got everything down low enough and negotiated with the creditors so we make a low payment every month. no big whopping bills anymore. consider looking for a good non profit credit counseling company.


#17

Oh dear, this is what I am trying so hard to avoid!

I am trying to do everything: stay with my parents, went to the community college to get my gen. education at under $100 a credit hour, transferred to a B-school so I would get more merit scholarships based on my academics, paying with a credit card and then paying it off every semester, buying my books on eBay and splitting materials/books with friends and my sister, etc etc.

I looked back to when I was accepted at SLU in my junior year of highschool. If I had really gone into their medical scholars program, I would have over $107K of debt right now, and still 3 years of medical school left before residency. :eek:

I am willing to go into debt for graduate school, but that is only because I am offered a stipend and with an MBA/MD it seems like I should get a good return on the investment…hopefully…

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

My heart goes out to you!


#18

**Lotusblossom

I forgot to mention that if y’alls students loans from FUS are GATE loans made through American Education Services, you can also sign up for you UPromise which will transfer all monies your earn to that particular student loan.

I know you can get up to 3,000 dollars for just buying a house with a certain company. Anyways you can check it out at www.upromise.com**

Also you can invite family and friends to sign up and whatever money they spend will go towards your loan too. Good Luck!!!


#19

Thanks so much! I will definitely look into this :).


#20

lotus -

Not sure if anyone here has mentioned it, but definately look into Dave Ramsey’s book Complete Financial Makeover. It’s a fantastic money management book for famlies on a budget from a Christian perspective. It offers fantastic advice on “baby steps” to get out of debt and gain financial freedom.

And although you won’t find it advocated in Ramsey’s book (he’s not Catholic) I highly reccomend practicing the tithe if you’re not already. We found ourselves in a similar situation to yours not too long ago and one of the things we started was the discipline of giving 10% of our income to the Church (5% parish, 1% archdiocese, 4% other charities). It may seem counterintuiative to give away to recieve, but we beleive it brings many graces from God to sacrifice the very thing your struggling with. We found our finances overall less overwhelming and it seems to put things in perspective.

Hope that helps. God Bless, and I’ll remember you in the offerings during my next breviary.

Pax Christi -

Michael


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