Monday, January 30, 2012

Financial Counseling

Just got back from a meeting at Clarifi with a certified credit counselor.  As of now our expenses outweigh our income by over two hundred dollars.  And that's only with the expenses that are pretty much set in stone and does not include all those extras that come up all the time, like when Julia needed new sneakers all of a sudden last week, or like the unexpected medical expenses we have accrued. 

The counselor gave me information about about a special program that might help us refinance called H.A.R.P. that I can find at  So now I'm going to check it out and see if we might qualify.  Fingers crossed!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Facing the Insurmountable Debt

Yeah, I said it, I'm facing it.  I found a brochure at the library for a group called Consumer Credit Counseling of Delaware Valley, now with the new name Clarifi which is nice but not as self-explanatory as their previous name.  It is accredited and a member of the Better Business Bureau and after reading the info on their website seems reputable, so I set up an appointment on Monday to meet one-on-one with a counselor to work on my budget and credit. 

For the most part I feel like I have a handle on my budget, but my credit score is now way low, my credit card debt is way high, we have no emergency savings, and we are totally living paycheck to paycheck.  DH is worried that even though this first appointment is free, this will end up costing us money somehow, like the counselor will actually have some hidden agenda to get us to sign up for something that will ultimately cost us.  I know it sounds really cynical and a little paranoid, but we have been burned in the past, so it's not like his concerns are that out there.  However, I promise not to sign anything that will cost us any money (mainly because we don't HAVE any money).  And hey, if it really is a scam, I'll threaten to write all about it on this blog.  I won't point out that I might be the only actual reader of this blog - it might not have the same scare factor then.

To prepare for the meeting on Monday I need to find and print out statements of every credit card and debt we owe.  Everything is paperless now, so it seems a little weird to do that, but I understand the reason.  They also want me to bring proof of income.  Why do I feel like they will take one look at our "proof of income" and laugh?

I'm actually excited about the meeting.  I want to find out the counselor's qualifications (hopefully a degree in finances of some kind or another) and then I just really want to hear what she has to say beyond figure out a way to bring in more money.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Good advice

Saw this on a friend's FB page and had to copy it.  Now if only I would DO it!

I have not scheduled working out into my week at all so far, but today I am planning to hit the gym for the 2:00 water aerobics class.  That gives me enough time to exercise, shower and dress, and then get home with time enough to empty and reload the dishwasher and the washer/dryer before the kids get home.

I KNOW exercise helps me in so many ways, not the least of which is to get get in shape.  I have major clinical depression, and while it is mostly controlled by medication (better living through chemistry, baby!), exercise lifts my spirits and makes me feel good about myself.  And the water aerobics classes make me feel GREAT about myself.  Okay, that's probably because I'm the youngest by about twenty to thirty years so therefore am usually able to push myself even more than the instructor says and still look graceful doing it, but hey - whatever works, right?

I don't know if anyone actually is reading this blog or if it is mainly an outlet for myself, but in case anyone IS reading, what exercise do YOU do that makes you feel good about yourself?  Please leave a comment and let me know.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Guess What!

It is necessary to do more than create a blog about losing weight in order to actually lose some weight.  Huh.  Who knew?

Friday, January 6, 2012


I have forty pounds to lose.  That amount of weight combined with the fact that I am just under 5' 2" makes my BMI officially over the line into the Obese category.  Since The Princess is my youngest and she is almost eight, I don't think I can call it baby weight anymore. 

This year I will be turning forty.  I believe everything happens for a reason, and there must be a reason that the amount of weight I have to lose equals the milestone age I will be in four months.

It is time to get serious.

Diet-wise I'm attempting to keep it simple:
  • 2 proteins
  • 2 milks
  • 2-3 carbs  It should be 2 but since that is my weakness, I'm letting myself have up to 3.
  • Unlimited fruits and vegetables
  • 8 cups of water
This week, garnered by the enthusiasm from starting anything new, I have been pretty good sticking to it.  I was trying to use to track calories, but my computer is soooo slow that it is just taking too much time for me to record what I eat.  Hopefully this plan will be simple enough for me to incorporate it into my lifestyle.

I know that diet and exercise have to go hand in hand, so I am trying to make going to the gym a priority, planning my day around the class I want to attend.  Tuesday I did an Aerobics Sculpting class which kicked my butt and made my muscles scream the next day (and the next . . .).  The Princess was home sick on Wednesday so I couldn't get to the gym (and with the way I was feeling, I wasn't too disappointed), but I did get to a good water aerobics class yesterday afternoon and am planning to go again this afternoon.

I wonder if the past four days of being so good has made a difference in the scale.  I weighed in last Friday using the gym's scale, so probably I should do that again today to see if anything has changed.  I would be thrilled if it has, but it won't be the end of the world if it hasn't - this week was all about getting back into a healthy routine.