Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shutdown... thankfully NO!

If you don't know by now you probably live under a rock, the Government Shutdown was stopped with 45 minutes to go. The republicans and democrats decided not paying our military and leaving 1,000,000 people wondering if they were to report to work tomorrow was a bad idea. It's a shame it got that far and it took so long. Now we have another fight to fight with our elected officials. They will need to decide weather or not to increase the debt ceiling in the next couple of weeks and they will also have to get started on the budget for fiscal year 2012 which is just 4 months away. I have no confidence in the people we've voted to run this country to have a budget in place on Sept 30 2011. I am worried about the future of this country and the financial burdens we are placing on our children and our childrens children.

For me personally, when those LES's appeared online on Friday and it showed my husband only getting paid for 8 days the reality of the situation finally hit home to me. Before that I just figured the politicians would wait until the last minute just to try to make the other side look bad. Well Congress you did it! Problem is, all of you look bad. I am now going to work harder to ensure we save a bit of money each month. We had a little saved but not enough to keep us out of trouble more than 30 days, and it was scary to me.

I hope this is a lesson to many people to do what is right for your family. I also hope that people will not forget 4/8/2011 when they go to the polls next year.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Things are shitty all over the world, it's just hitting home hard at the moment... It SUCKS!

With a government shutdown looming and possibly inevitable, all Government Employees, bite their nails and wait impatiently to see what's gonna happen. Seems to me our worse fears will be realized tomorrow night when congress fails once again to come to an agreement on our fiscal year budget. I wonder if they realize there's only 4 1/2 months left of this fiscal year? According to emails being distributed to service personnel, all military will continue to report for duty, however as long as the Government is shutdown the military will not receive pay. We will recieve pay retroactive once congress gets their heads out of their 4th points of contact. This means in the short term that if no budget is passed tomorrow our US Military will recieve a paycheck on the 15th of the month for Apr 1-8. But that is IT! No more pay and allowances will be given until Congress, well you know, stops playing politics with our money, all the while getting paid themselves.
What does this do to the Military? Nothing in terms of mission. The mission will continue, with few exceptions and to the average American nothing will look different. But what you won't see is how much this will affect military families. Yes I realize that most financial planners say you should have 6 months of reserves in the bank for emergencies. That would require my family to have $15,000 in savings at all times (HIGHLY UNLIKELY). I would like to meet the military families that can do that on just their military income so I can get them to budget my finances. What you the average American won't see is the spouse who is trying so hard to hold down the fort, while his or her service member fights the good fight in a combat zone. You won't see him or her sit at the table and rub their temples as they try to figure out where to rob Peter to pay Paul. You won't see that the commissary he or she relies on for that cheaper milk, bread, and basics is now closed. You won't see them have to dig through kids piggy banks to afford those same essentials off base (especially overseas). You won't see their fears realized as they cannot pay the electric bill or afford to put gas in the car to take the kids to school, or activities, or the Dr. (you also won't see the stress of having to sit in the ER endless hours b/c the Drs offices are now closed too). You won't see all these stresses, but you'll feel them in their body language as they can't afford to go to lunch with you on a whim, or go to the movies, or attend that play date at the Fun Factory. Don't get me wrong people lose their jobs all the time and have all these things crash down on them all at once, I'm in no way trying to belittle that fact, but when you are employed in one of the biggest most important jobs in the nation and you don't get paid it's a sad time. It's uncalled for and it's UNAMERICAN!!!

A soldier awaits half a world away for word on if his combat pay will continue. If his family will have money to eat and survive while he is not there. The mission awaits as well, it's time to head out of the wire, he loads up he's checked his gear he's ready... but his wifes voice still lingers in the back of his mind, her worries, her fears all there clouding his thinking.... and for what??? So that congress can play politics with our military. This congress may not have brought the military into a war, but they are dragging our military families into a financial burden that will have rippling/lasting effects on them and on the economy. And what of that soldier on that mission? Is he focused on it? Will he make the right judgements in combat? That's just one soldier now add another 20,000 with the same fears and thoughts..... hmmm....

My Father-in-law is a Government Employee, he works for the National Parks Service. The NPS is non-essential, that means all the parks will close, all the personnel will be told to stay home. The difference between my dad and us (a military family) is that my dad won't get retroactive pay. He will stay home, cannot work and will not get paid the whole time the Gov't. is shutdown.

My neighbor is a Civilian Employee, considered mission essential, he will continue to go to work but he will be in the same boat we are. Thankfully his and his wifes military retirement will be uneffected. But I'm not sure about their VA Benefits? They may not be able to make appointments for medical?

How this affects my family personally.... we're okay for now. We're okay even until the mid month, we'll probably even survive on 1 weeks pay (my kids like Ramen). It will affect us in the long term if the shutdown lasts too far past the 15th of April. On the 1st like most, my rent will be due, along with my electric, my cable and my phone bills. My credit cards I'm not too worried about as long as they don't go 30 days late it doesn't have an impact on my credit. As most of you know we've purchased a house in Colorado Springs, if our credit takes a bad turn b/c we are reported 30 days or more late, we could potentially lose our loan backing from VA. That's what I'm worried about. Our PCS move could also be impacted. If we don't have a budget we can't get airline tickets and therefore we cannot PCS... UGH!!! I'm stressed!!!!

Oh and Japan, I'm sorry you have experienced yet another earthquake but I won't be sending any money to the RedCross to help you or donating my blankets... I no longer can afford it. Sorry, crisis of our own....

Things are shitty all over the world, it's just hitting home hard at the moment... It SUCKS!

And I still haven't had a smoke! I'm almost 48 hours without one.... I feel like I need one, I know I don't but damn I really want one!!


I have been 36 hours without a cigarette. Yes I am attempting the quitting smoking thing again. It's hard! But I figured since congress is not going to pass a  budget in time, so we might not get paid and the fact that they are $9.00 a pack that maybe I should focus more on what food I'm buying. Nine bux will get me a lb of turkey lunch meat.