It’s the notice we had been waiting for over two years. We were ecstatic that my husband wouldn’t have to commute for two hours everyday, but worried. Living with Type 1 diabetes and having to pay COBRA premiums were going to drain our savings until he was able to find a new job. We had been anticipating this layoff, but with the insurance covering less and less in past years, no raise in the last two years, and bonuses dwindling during the recession years it was a meager savings we had saved up at best.
The savings went much faster than we thought and with job offers coming in, but the bills piling up we had to make a decision. Many of the jobs we were being offered would offer us the opportunity to make more money with great bonus potential, but came at a cost–traveling three to four days a week my husband would continue to miss the important things in our kids life and risk time with them and us–something he had been doing for over five years. He wasn’t sure that he wanted to take another job that would require him to be on the road traveling.
He decided to go self employed as he knew he could make the same amount of money being self employed and would have the ability to schedule his road trips and travel days around the kids schedules. However, starting a business takes time and some investment in order to make money. We began researching ways that we could save money. We scaled back on our cable bill, did three month mail order subscriptions on his pharmacy supplies so we had a few months of no medical supply bills and paid bills off ahead of time. We paid down credit card debt and paid off a few credit cards all together. We had a few surprise medical bills that we found on his credit, so we paid those off too. He took on a second job and I picked up more work with my job. I’m also self employed, working as a writer and a blogger.
Of course, once you think you’re ahead it’s the time you always get behind again. A funeral and unexpected medical bills cost us, and our mortgage officer presented us with a solution for not raising our debt any higher. By refinancing and consolidating our debt, we could save ourselves almost $200 a month, lower our interest payment from 3.9% 3.3% (a savings of over half a percentage point) and only extend our loan payments by a few months. We weighed our options and then ultimately decided that for us, this would be the best route to go and would save us more in the long run.
We refinanced our home for $200,000, with our original loan being $180,000. We consolidated approximately $20,000 on an ARM loan. Our interest rate and payment per month has dropped, allowing us to focus on paying off car loans or pay down extra on the house per month. It’s also allowed my husband the freedom to pursue his own career and continued to allow us to live in the Salt Lake City area.
Traci writes for Yahoo! and the popular food blog, BurntApple.com, where she talks about living with Type 1 diabetes and shares tips for making popular foods healthier and budget friendly.