If I weren't so worried about what's going on with my sister's family I'd probably be in outright panic about finances even though I'm good through the end of the month.
See, the whole get out of debt by paying off credit cards hit some major speed bumps a while back, and there were times when I ran out of food and food money before I ran out of month and thus needed to pay that on credit thus making things worse and all of my credit cards (except American Express, which no one takes) are close to maxed out right now. Store credit is somewhat better, but that's because you can't use a best buy store card to keep yourself from starving.
I realized that I'd never broken things down by interest rate, which is kind of stupid to not do, so I corrected that this month. So now instead of having a bunch of things lumped together as "High interest debt" I can see were some extra money would do the most good.
The worst offender has $465.57
In a close second place is $1,376.58
Third is $452.93
And so forth.
A surprise to me was that my biggest high interest debt is also the one I should pay off last because it's got the lowest interest rate by far. (Unless you count student loans, but why would you.) It sits there with negative $116.35 in credit and yet it's the best credit related debt I have because it gathers interest at less than half the speed of the worst one.
Needing clothes forced me to put money on an empty card (ok, so there are some people who take American Express after all) which means that there's going to be another monthly payment that I can't afford, and that brings up another wrinkle to the whole trying to get out of debt while simultaneously not having enough money to survive thing.
Say I got enough money to pay off the two with the highest interest rate. This is unlikely, but it's a thought experiment. The second worst is enough that I could pay off two $500 limit cards and have enough change to make a significant dent in a third one for the same price.
Yes, getting rid of the higher interest debt is better in the long term, but getting rid of monthly payments helps me survive in the short term. (Who cares about the long term if I can't make it through November?)
The whole thing sucks, I still haven't managed to get another letter (with accompanying documentation) sent to the SSA saying, "I don't have this income you think I have and you paying me less because you think I do has left me drowning in debt," so I'm not exactly expecting help on that front. I guess I really fucked up with the first one because it seems like it didn't even make it to the right people at the SSA based on me never hearing anything about it, ever.
I've lost track of when the non-monthlies are next due and as the death-heat of summer fades the fact that I've got no plan for how to refill the oil tank when that inevitably runs dry looms ever larger in my mind.
So this is sort of: "Situation normal, all fucked up."
But it has me stressed a lot and the only reason it's not making me feel completely hopeless and despondent is because bad cops nearly killed my sister, and then DCF took away her son because of the thing the asshole cops did and the lies they (and the neighbors who sent both groups) told.
I need my hope right now, so financial stress doesn't get to leave me hopeless.