The "Get Out Of Your Car!" Fund

Sunday, November 30, 2014

November monthly reflection

I think I skipped October's monthly update, so here's an update for the past TWO months:

1. saved money by cancelling private health insurance and using the jobs benefits.
2. organized the car trunk so the whole car is cleaner and more organized and less embarrassing or attention-getting. Keeping a cleaner car was also a New Year's resolution.
3. Created a menu plan, consisting of foods I can reasonably keep and prepare at school and in the car, as well as a list of inexpensive, relatively healthy carry-out options
4. My old condo is set to be foreclosed upon on December 3rd. It might be postponed. my real estate agent is really working with me and really working hard. I'm thankful because he is the fourth person I've gotten to help me in the past 4 years, but he is the only one that has been able to truly help me. 6. I'm counting the months until I can move back into an apartment. In about 5 more months my parents should be able to move into their own place, I will have two thirds of the money I need for a new car when this one dies, I will have no credit card debt, and I should be able to pay the current debt payments until they are paid off completely. I will have to save up money closer to apartment move-in date to buy furnishings. If the foreclosure happens or the short sale happens and I still owe debt as a result, that will drastically change things. I may consider staying in an apartment short term and returning to my car next winter. That's a whole year away so let's see what happens in the next 6 months.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Day thoughts

I'm really mad at myself for waiting to the last minute to buy a plane ticket. I looked up prices on Sunday but didn't buy a ticket till Wednesday. the prices have doubled. I spent an extra $200 that I can't afford to spend. instead of beating myself over the head about it I decided to get angry at the situation- angry enough to do drastic things like I did last fall when I get angry enough to do drastic things about my finances. I've got to improve my ability to get things done exponentially. today is Thanksgiving and I have plans to be thankful for. -safety at night while sleeping in my car - a place to relax and have fun with my friend and her extended family - all of my relatives are live so far this year. both of my parents are in decent health. - I have a loving relationship with my brothers and sister. we are there for each other no matter what. - I'm thankful for each of the 50 something people I just texted to say I'm thankful that you're in my life. on Black Friday I bought very little. I threw out my 7 year old printer. I was hanging on to it just for the scanning capability, but last week it stopped doing even that. I slept in a store parking lot Thursday night to Friday morning because it was Black Friday and people were everywhere. I feel safe with lots of people walking around all night. besides it didn't look so strange for me to sleep in my car what such an event going on around me.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Greedy Man in the Bible

September 14

I was sitting at a red light, and moth flew over and sat on my car window. When I drove off, she didn’t fly off- she squeezed into the space between the car and the window. I jokingly said, “Get off my window! Stop trying to smooch a ride!” But she was trying to find a place to live temporarily and so am I.

The tenant is 3 months behind in rent and always evading me. I think if she had a better place to go (with relatives or whatnot) that only charged several hundred dollars a month instead of a thousand, she would have gone there already. I think she really doesn’t have options.

I keep thinking of the story in the Bible of the person who asked a king to forgive his debt, but then he turned around and refused to forgive someone who owed him a whole lot less. So, the king then took back his forgiveness and placed this greedy man in jail. I think about that story with Asana. I want to work with her. The bank has not forgiven me any debt, but I’ve been financially blessed in other ways, and I don’t want to be unmerciful and then other people are unmerciful to me. I want God to show me mercy and the mortgage debt and offer me a fresh start while I pay off other debts.

Working From "Home" Today

November 9, 2014

This morning I went to the Dollar Tree and got boxes and organized the trunk. That trunk has been an embarrassing headache since I moved back into my car in August. I also got bungee cords and tied the foam mattress so I can roll it and keep it in the trunk during the day instead of in the backseat. That way, I won’t be embarrassed when people ask to ride with me and wonder what that thing is.

I’m proud of my time management today. I woke up and went right to work organizing. I have food in my trunk and I threw a few food items out. I bought some items that were on a shopping list and put them to use immediately (like put batteries in the flashlight immediately instead of later).  I found my car freshener in the trunk and finally looked at some flares that someone gave me so I could see how to use them. The car looks cleaner.

If I were in a an apartment this morning, I’d be watching the DVR or getting distracted by Internet headlines.

I didn't go to my school like I usually do on Sundays. It really seems to bother some people that I stay at work late or come in on weekends. The assistant principal asked that no one do schoolwork this weekend (part of the reason is because we had several reports due last week, but she seemed to glance at me when she said it so I take it personally). One of the security guards makes comments like “Are you coming back? I bet you will.” I guess they feel I don’t have a life and they feel bad about that, but if they only knew how much I could use the comfortable environment of my classroom on the weekends. 

Anyway, I decided not to go to the school this weekend. I brought enough schoolwork-based projects to work on this weekend without going to the school building. I’ll try to leave school earlier each day and just take projects with me, and if I go on Sundays just limit it to two hours. In fact, I may only go to do things like prepare lunches for the week. Spending less time at school is not caving in to pressure. It’s part of being stealth and not drawing attention to myself by coworkers.

Back to being organized...I simplified the way I organize my daily hygiene process. I have a large gym bag that I think draws attention to myself when I walk in the gym, but I’m only there for 45 minutes. Sometimes, I need to wash up at school, so I have to sort through the gym bag every time and take out just what I need. However, I realized that I have several drawstring bags, so I took one and put the basic essentials in it (deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, face wash, shower towel). Now I can take just that bag only into the gym or even into school and it draws no attention. I keep the larger gym bag in the car for when I need perfume, maxi pads, hair supplies – then I'll take that bag out.

Growing My Character

November 7

Living in my car has helped me grow in a lot of ways, but life is still not all about money, being organized, and survival.

A week ago, I had a disagreement with a coworker  - she thought I was rude to her, I thought she was rude to me.  I know of several incidents with others who don’t get along with her, and some people think she should be reported. I talked to her 1-on-1 this week and she was very responsive and reflective. Having that kind of conversation is not usually my style – I’m not confrontational. However, I care about her and felt that she needs to know that others are thinking of reporting her so she can adjust her ways and keep her job. She ended the conversation with, “Maybe it was God that arranged for us to meet like this because I was supposed to go home 30 minutes ago, but I happened to stay late.” I agree with that.

That conversation was on Nov 3. On Nov 7, I asked my assistant principal to mediate a situation between me and my teachers’ assistant. that was even touchier for me because we work in the same room together. However, the assistant principal wants me to talk to her 1-on-1. I think she has confidence in me and also wants me to grow in this area (or maybe she heard how I talked to the other coworker). I don’t know, but I accept the challenge and my coworker and I will talk this week.

Foreclosure date set, rain, and muscle cramps

November 6

I have a foreclosure date set. My realtor may have a buyer. I’m excited about this information and I hope it all works out in my favor. I hope the bank allows a short sale and we can finish this mortgage issue  in 2014. If I have to pay off part of the property, then I have to add it to my debt thermometer. If I don’t have to pay after the short sale, then I can focus on returning tithes and giving offerings, paying off current debts, and supporting aging parents.

One of my adult students asked me if I like the rain, and I said, “No, it makes everything sticky and wet.” However, as I drove away, I realized I love the rain because it makes it harder for people to see inside my car at night. Every night as I drive to my sleeping place, I pray, “Lord, please make me invisible to everyone – good and bad alike.” 

Over the past two weeks I’ve had two muscle cramps. I had the same thing happen back in August when I started new medications. The pain was so bad that I walked outside for 10 minutes at 2:00 in the morning but I was ready to call an ambulance if it didn’t subside. So, I haven’t taken those new medications recently, but I've had the same muscle cramps recently, and now I think it’s do to iron supplements.  I don’t want to have muscle cramps while in my car, because that may mean getting out of my car quickly and suddenly in the middle of the night and blowing my cover. If I’m in a hospital parking lot, I could try to play it off by walking to the emergency room, but if  a guard actually sees me get out of the back seat of my car he will know that I was sleeping there.