There are two areas where I'm going to have to go beyond my budget (and one area where I may recoup some of that loss).

I mentioned before that I have a relative staying with my bf and I. What I didn't mention is that she's been here for a year. She's been without a job the whole time, very down on her luck, discouraged and depressed - I know she was putting effort into looking, but she just couldn't find anything. Before she moved in with us, I was helping her financially (I gave her over $15,000 in a 2 year period). One positive about her moving in was that my payments to her could stop. She hasn't been able to pay us rent, but she has been cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry. We never asked her to do that, but she took it upon herself. It's very nice, but my bf and I REALLY want the apartment back to ourselves. Finally, finally, she's secured a job, a GOOD job, but unfortunately only part time (with the possibility of full time, benefits, and an excellent salary). She's been looking for a place to live near the job, and has promised to "pay me back." I'm not sure what that means, but this is where I may "make" some money. (though I'm more than willing to have her postpone payment if it means she can more quickly and easily find a place to move into)

In addition to helping her out with money, I was also paying her cell phone bill (in my name). She's been able to pay me back for that the last couple of months. This week, the contract is ending and I'm not planning to renew it. I was going to buy her a prepaid cell phone to help her out, though. Then when she gets her credit and finances back in order, she can sign up for her own plan. That's the first reach outside my budget -- possibly up to $100 for a cell and some minutes.

The second reach has to do with my GPS. It's a loss/win, I guess. My relative doesn't have a GPS and she has a tendency to get lost (and call me for directions). My bf and I were contemplating getting a new GPS. So, I figure I can give my old one to her, and he and I can buy a new one. This may cost anywhere from $300-700 (so 150-350 for me). I'm not 100% sure we're going to do this now though; we may wait another year. And no, it's not a necessity, but I think it'll make her life easier, and I'm all for that. Easier = less stressed = happier = more self-confidence = less depression.

I would really like for her to be happy and successful again. She did so many things for me when I was younger; she was always my rock. It was really disturbing to see her fall apart and then her inability to put herself back together. I want to do whatever I can to help her. So far that's -- letting her continue to stay rent-free until she (1) gets paid (her first check won't arrive until October) and (2) finds a place she can afford near her job; getting her a cell phone; getting her a GPS (maybe); and giving her my old desktop comp (I already gave her my old laptop).

I'm crossing my fingers that come November she will be well on her way to restarting her career, in a lovely house, and at my apartment it'll be "just the two of us" once more. :)


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