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I Quit!


“I quit, I’m over it!”

Seriously, that’s the call I received yesterday at 5pm, 2 days before the job was to be done! It was the painter/handyman/landscaper I hired to get the house ready to sell.

So not only is my dad here making lists of all the things (expenses) that need to be done to put the house on the market, but the contractor I hired to do the bulk of it quit.

I don’t know if there was an exchange between them or if he is just exhausted, but now it’s a mess.  Nothing is complete, shelving and lights have been taken down, the paint that was put up is 1) the wrong color and 2) splotchy.

And on top of that I had paid him more than half of the agreed upon amount up front…


Needless to say I’m stressed, stressed over the money, stressed over the work and even more stressed over my dad being here to witness it.  I so wanted him to be proud of me, to come and have so little to do that we could put the house on the market.

So on the good side, we are settled in, the apartment is tiny and cozy and all the kids seem to be settling in okay.  I will post more on that later, but today, have to help figure a way to get out of the mess we are now in with the house.


  • Reply Walnut |

    First things first, let the contractor know that you expect a refund of whatever amount of cash you feel he was overpaid for the work he did. He may tell you to jump in a lake, but you can let him know you’ll file a claim against him. Obviously you won’t hassle with it, but don’t let him call your bluff. Worse case scenario the contractor will give you some of the cash back. Did he at least leave all of the supplies behind so the next person can pick up where he left off?

    Next, tap your network and get some recommendations for contractors. I’ve used Craigslist to find service providers before, but that can be pretty stressful as well.

    Finally, don’t guilt yourself over your dad being involved and seeing the issues. You’re in a tough position where you have to be strong for your kids and you need a release valve. So long as you’re still making forward progress overall, a few steps back won’t be an issue.

    Good luck!

    • Reply Walnut |

      Oh! A note on the color. Just how wrong is it? Unless it’s really wrong, just go with it. If the contractor only got a first coat up, that’s why it’s splotchy. Second coats make ALL the difference. Keep in mind that the middle part of projects don’t make sense. It often looks like a disaster because you’re only half finished, but once a few things get wrapped up, it’ll be fine.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you for your words of encouragement, Walnut. You are right on all points.

      I just really wanted this time my dad was here to be stress free for him as possible. But I know all things work for a plan greater than mine, so we will make the best of it and work together to get the house ready to go.

  • Reply Jen From Boston |

    OMG!!! UGH!!!

    I wouldn’t let yourself feel too badly about what your dad thinks. Odds are he’s experienced his share of bad contractors, or has heard some horror stories from his friends.

    Definitely ask trusted friends for contractors!!! Also, I’ve found Angie’s List to be useful, so if you know someone who has a subscription they might be able to help you out. (Also, the subscription itself is surprisingly low, but since you’re renting you may not need it after you sell your home.)

    • Reply Hope |

      You are right, Jen, he has definitely had to deal with this stuff before. I just really wanted him to get here and have it easy…you know see the house really ready to put on the market. But best layed plans…

      While it’s stressful for both of us, we’re working through it together.

  • Reply emmi |

    I got my upfront money back from a contractor by filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. I didn’t get it quickly, but I did get it. Document with pictures the current state of things just in case you want them later.

  • Reply katy |

    I’m sorry, but I don’t know how you can expect your dad to be proud of you after what you’ve pulled.  From what I’ve understood by reading your archives, is that your dad did you a favor by buying this house for you, and you both agreed that you would eventually buy it from him.  You backed out on that deal.  I imagine he is rightfully ticked off.  

    Being so, of course he’s there to be involved with the goings ons at HIS house now that you’ve moved out.  You couldn’t follow through on your deal, why should he trust your ability to get a house ready for sale?  I’m just not understanding this.

    The sense of entitlement you have is mind blowing at times.  The homeschooling, you keep saying you have to stay home to do this, and there are no other options, like public school, yet you fail to explain to the readers WHY those other options are ruled out completely.  Without that, it appears as though you just want to sit at home and homeschooling in a great reason not to pick up a “real” job.

    With that said, you should absolutely contact the contractor to get back any extra money you had paid up front.  I hope you had a written contract for his services as well.   I do wish your family well, and appreciate the foster care/adoption aspect of your story, but perhaps a little more transparency with your financial choices would be a bit more humbling to readers.

    Until then, I’ll only tune in for Ashley.  Who should just be made the one and only blogger at this point.

    • Reply Hope |

      You are right, I changed the situation by deciding not to buy the house. I certainly own my responsibility in this. As I mentioned when I told the story of this move, there is more to this story, but it’s not my story so not something I feel comfortable sharing. I have been very open about my role in this. My dad and I are working together to sell this house. It’s certainly not a his/mine situation. If you asked him now, he would still say that this is my house.
      As for your other points about my choice to homeschool my kids…I”m not sure how that comes into this discussion at all, but the bottom line is that I choose to homeschool because it’s in the best interest of my children.
      I am also not clear on what you mean by a “real” job. I actually work multiple “real” jobs. Is it my being a contract worker or working from home that disqualifies my work as “real?” And on top of my “real” job that I’ve held steadily for over 8 years now…I work another part time job, that is at an office.
      It’s hard to know someone over just the written word, but entitled is certainly not something I feel. I am extremely grateful that my dad stepped in after my marriage failed and multiple rental homes just fell through. I am grateful for the 4 years of stability that we’ve had. And I’m grateful that even though my decision made it more challenging for my dad in as far as the house goes, he understands and supports my decision to pursue finding a larger home down the road to be able to take in more foster/adoptive kids.
      If you have a specific question that I’ve not been transparent enough on, I’m happy to address that; however, from where I sit, you comment seems more of an attack on my lifestyle…working from home, homeschooling my children and making financial decisions I believe will put me in a better position down the road.

      • Reply Mary from SC |

        Hope – again your grace shines through. You handled a personal attack with a calm, clear answer. There are so many things that work against all of us each and every day, but on the flip side…so many blessings as well. I am sorry that you were subjected to this verbal barrage. Personal finance is that “personal” and what works for one family…ie homeschooling may not be in the best interest for another family. Every family dynamic is different and it is YOUR decision to do what works. We, as readers, don’t know the whole story, or should we. You have many readers that will continue to encourage you and cheer you on in this endeavor. I, personally, don’t feel that you have been anything but upfront with your audience. You have made some hard, and uncomfortable decisions and are to be commended. Continuing to wish you the best.

      • Reply Kili |

        I just wanted to chime in and tell you I truly enjoy reading your posts. I am amazed how you juggle all those jobs and responsibilities. Yes, for some things there might be an easier way out. (Personally I also think, giving up homeschooling might free some energy & help you get out of debt faster.) But it’s your life and your decisions! You’re the one who has to be comfortable with them. You’re the one going your path. And I definitly think you’re on the right track. It might take a little bit longer with this approach than with another, but that’s totally fine. You have to stay true to your believes! And I do think you lay things out pretty clear, so I do understand where you’re coming from.
        You have made definitly plenty of sacrifices, and yes, your life might be a bit more chaotic and more hectic, but I also imagine it being filled with lots of laughter and love. Those are the things that count! Sending good vibes to you and your family!

      • Reply Ashley |

        Wow, I have never thought from your posts that you have an air of entitlement! Quite the opposite, really. I feel like the sacrifices you’re making at this time (downsizing, selling the big vehicle, etc.) are HUGE!! You are a rockstar going after your debt full-force and I, for one, am inspired by your dedication and what you’re willing to give up. Keep the course. I’m really excited to see where your debt-reduction journey takes you!

    • Reply hannah |

      Katy you’re beyond rude. Hope has been quite transparent, and I find it highly offensive for you to accuse her of “just wanting to stay home”. Or did you not notice she works and is a single parent also?
      Sheesh. If she lived off government food stamps, welfare, wic and everything else that people around me do, I would agree with you. But the fact of the matter is, she does her best to be self sufficient, and her moving out is one way that she IS being self sufficient.
      We have way too many lazy people in this country, why do you choose to attack those who are working to go AGAINST that??
      I don’t know why you have such an attitude but you need to get over it.

    • Reply Jen From Boston |

      “…yet you fail to explain to the readers WHY those other options are ruled out completely.”

      Gee, maybe she doesn’t tell us because, oh, I don’t know, IT’S NONE OF OUR BUSINESS.

      Just because someone writes about their personal finances on the this blog does not ENTITLE us to know every detail about their lives, or the lives of their friends and family.

      You seem to be the entitled one with the bad attitude.

  • Reply Connie |

    I’ve lived without a toaster for 6 years now. Put the bread on your broiler pan on the second shelf from the top, set to broil and time for 6 minutes. I only brown one side, but you can do the second side if you want in a minute or less. Do not preheat to broil.
    I currently have a microwave, mostly for defrosting. However, there are great hints on Pinterest about how to defrost meat in 5 minutes without one. As to cooking in it, since mostly what gets cooked is pre-packaged (more expensive) and very processed, I would imagine that your eating habits are about to get a lot healthier! 🙂
    For popcorn, offer to get the kids a hot air popper they can keep in their room (vs the kitchen). Also healthier, even with butter added, and you can buy a lot of Oroville Redenbacher for the price of 1 box of microwave corn.

  • Reply manda |

    Second Mary and Hannah.

    You might check out Alton Brown’s Gear for your Kitchen from the library. His whole idea is only having multi-tasking items in the kitchen. I have a SUPER small kitchen and I built it around this book. As for storage, take a look at an ikea catalog. They are brilliant at utilizing small spaces. You can get ideas without purchasing anything and then maybe buy 1-2 things if you need them.

    As for popcorn. I implore you to learn the very easy combination of coconut oil and popcorn on the stove. It is SOOO good. So easy to make. You barely need butter b/c the coconut oil is so amazing. Changed my life. Google it. 🙂

    Keep up the amazing work you are doing with your family, and the grace that Mary mentioned, in your posting. Love ya, girl!

  • Reply adam |

    Hope, through all of this I’m starting to sense that there is something fractured in your relationship with your dad. From the beginning, you said paying off your debt to your dad was a priority even moreso than some of the high interest debt. Then this whole house thing happened, and you talked about how you had an emotional conversation with him at that time, but you agreed on a way forward, but then he booted you out of the house on short notice so he could sell it. Now the contractor is walking off the job after a possible exchange and you don’t know what was said (and maybe you didn’t feel like you can ask your dad about it?).

    It’s pretty rare for a contractor to walk off the job partway through, for many reasons. They often rely on word of mouth advertising and repeat business, and they schedule jobs back to back, and the nature of the business is unpredictable, so you don’t want to give up guaranteed revenue. So for this guy to get mad and leave makes me think something went very wrong.

    This is not a relationship blog, and the readers are not therapists. But it just seems like something is not quite right here. This is a stressful time and it seems like you are both doing what you can to get through it. It also seems obvious that your dad loves you deeply and is supportive of your family overall, and you really want to make him proud. I won’t ask you to elaborate on this point, but I’ll just say that I hope you are thinking about how to strengthen this relationship after the dust settles from the move. You seem to do well at being the gracious, optimistic one in most situations, so I’m sure you can handle this one. Good luck.

So, what do you think ?