I've been putting off posting for a bit because some big changes were in the works.
First off, thanks to folks who helped me out a few weeks ago. I was able to keep current on bills as a result, so it was greatly appreciated.
I had talked to a credit counselor late last month, but the option of using the service, while it would've gotten me out of debt quicker than trying to just do it on my own, had the drawback of requiring a first payment I didn't have money to make and the monthly payments would only have been a bit lower than what I'd been paying. I'd been worried for some time about keeping payments current on the individual cards and this would have meant continued worry through the end of 2016.
So I bit the bullet and called my sister. She and I have joint ownership in the house my parents bought in 1952. (They died in '93 and '95.) It wasn't an easy call to make. She's much better at looking after her money than I've ever been at looking after mine (I seem to have the habit of waving bye-bye as it flies away). But I had to admit things were bleak.
We discussed a few options and she wanted to talk to her financial advisor. The upshot was we agreed that I would trade a fair chunk of my ownership in the house for getting the credit cards paid off. Between the 18th and the 22nd, the payments went through.
So, even though I didn't need to go through the credit counselor (one of several recommended by my bank) it did get me off the dime and working toward the solution. As for reduced ownership in the house, I'm definitely OK with it. Perhaps one of the reasons I got in this fix in the first place was that my sister had talked about selling the house, but that's a hard thing to do, even if the economy hadn't been trashed by the banksters.
Needless to say I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my sister! Fortunately, it's a debt that doesn't require big payments of cash each month. This was a one-time thing, but that's all it had to be. Also, she let me know that if I ever had to give up living here in the Pacific Northwest, I'm always welcome back at the place that still is home. If only it didn't come with New England winters! But, better to put up with them than live under a bridge or in some hidden place in the bush in a tent, as I've seen people doing in the Greater Portland area.
I worked out what I really need to cover expenses once the debt was cleared up, typed it up, printed it out and also shared it with my sister. Living cheaply, as I've gotten used to recently, I've got enough to get by even without a job. With a job, I'd be even better off, but jobs aren't easy to come by when you're 66.
I'll be able to get to Faerieworlds, what with saving money by assisting some vendors (camping for $40 instead of the current $115 rate which goes up pretty soon). If needed, I can rent a car to haul myself and my stuff to the site.