At least I can say I am eons above 2006, since in 2006 I had absolutely no idea what was going on with our money(yes dh, it is our $ even if you are the only one currently employed).
Ok, so at least I can be comforted by the fact that I have a temporary gig coming up here in a couple weeks (Easter Chocolates, yum!!!) The best part about that was they don't pay me until we close shop (day after Easter), so I get it lump sum.
If only I could put off buying groceries until then???
So, now that I have determined that we are frugal (cheap, broke, poor, etc...) by necessity I need to find a way to fix it. I think I am going to start by cutting our food $ back a lot. I know it is already below averages for a family our size, but we could do better. We still buy a lot of snack type stuff (granted I can & do bake cookies, I just don't see me whipping out a potato & the deep fryer for chips any time soon)
Our real time cash out flow is higher than our cash in flow, not good.
We spent about $1800 extra in Nov, Dec and Jan ($ from gifts, closing a savings account & some profit dh made drop shipping) That was supposed to have caught us up on overdue bills, so we would be starting from 0 in 2007, but we aren't.
If we sell our concession trailer...that is the only way we can make this work, but then we are out of business permanently. SO that really isn't an option yet, we are still weighing the advantage of keeping it higher than selling. The payment on the trailer =$37 a week, that is almost my food budget.
I've said before that I am trying to follow The Simple Dollar's 31 days to fix your finances However, I am at a point where I'm not sure I can continue, I will, but most of the advice is in dealing with a budget surplus that I just do not have. I know I need to pay myself first, but there just isn't the cash left on pay day to do that, it is either already spent or must be. We are in a sort of crisis mode right now. To top it all off, we have found out that one of our tenants is moving out (presumably by months end). Now this would be a good thing if it wasn't January.
We have been wanting this family to move out, pretty much since they moved in (it's a one bedroom apartment, there are 4 people living in it, it was a favor, will never happen again). However, now I have to worry about getting it filled shortly after they leave, but still find time & $ to do repairs they won't pay for (they should, but a lawyer will cost more & we'd never get a dime anyways). Plus, the natural gas will have to be left on, which means I'm paying. Just found out dh never paid the bill from the last time the apt was empty in 2005, that cost us $488. It was empty from Jan - March.
Dh had to go buy more coal today, I don't know how much he spent. I do know that he had to pay $700 on the mortgage & trailer on Saturday. Our cost of living here is only $378 a month (that includes taxes, insurance & mortgage) the rest is covered by rent income. He WAS a month behind on the trailer.
Also, in doing our books for the end of the year I figured we lost $4800 last summer, not to bad, since only $750 of that has been realized (in the trailer payments) to date. So if you take out the trailer loan we made a whopping, hold on to your seats $1200 last summer. We had 2 locations & a fairly steady customer traffic flow. Sure there are plenty of things that will change if we open this year (#1 being that we are back to 1 location, unfortunately it isn't the highest traffic location, but it is the most captive audience, State Park). Our business insurance was insane because of the park & the 2 locations, so hopefully that will go down & we will be able to advertise our existance in the park this year. Helps if people know you are there. I would work more as long as it's only one location, the sheer amount of paperwork & shopping was overwhleming last summer.
Now I feel like I am rambling...
So far I have a clearer picture of where we are, where we are going is still a lot fuzzy, but I'm sure I'll find a way!