I would not get rid of the house in this economy right now. Its unlikely they’ll have anyone beating down the door to buy it first off and secondly they’ll probably take a loss. It would be better to figure out a way to increase income and cut other expenses and there is no reason why the son and gf cant help out. Life is not free and they should’nt expect to live off of mom and dad for free now.. its time they grow up and start paying their way and paying to mom and dad will be much cheaper then to someone else. Really that’s their only alternative. If they dont pay mom and dad then they will have to go live somewhere else and pay someone else. They need to realize this and get used to the idea.
I didn’t mention baking but its not a bad idea. In my neighborhood we had a lady who baked cakes and cookies out of her kitchen. When my son got married she made the grooms cake. Ok, she took a night course at the local college on baking and icing cakes. She needed just a few extra things but her kitchen suited her fine. She made birthday, wedding, and other ocassion cakes. They cost about what they did at a store, but were a whole lot better. She made extra cash and we enjoyed the cake. You will be surprised how people will be willing and ready to use you if you make yourself available.
Rent or mortgage should only be 25-30% of your take home pay to be comfortable. It does not leave us with much house either, so I know how that goes!!!
I would definitely get a food budget going – there are ways around the frozen foods – can you cook up enough for everyone (or have your daughter in law do it) and then freeze portions? Or just have a casserole in the fridge that can be heated up by portions? I have found by experience that cooking is not very much longer than the supposed “fast and easy”….
And yes, if your bill pay allows scheduling and you know that you have $150 from the paycheck on xxx date for the light bill, schedule it that moment. That way it is out of your mind and you are home free. The trick of doing it on payday (or the day after) is that it won’t bounce because you just got paid that day. This is only good if your paycheck is reliable. But how often has DH not been paid on time? Versus how often someone has forgotten to pay the light bill? Also, consider applying for cash advance. Last time I needed cash to pay for surgery When I broke my leg in Orlando I applied here for a payday loan, got the money the same day and repaid the loan with my next paycheck. So, I can say only good things about those guys.
Suppose you get a $300 Visa bill and you don’t have $300 out of any paycheck in the next month…. Immediately schedule a $1 payment (or whatever small amount you do have) for payday. That way there is a placeholder for this bill – a payment will go out and you are not just putting the bill on the table and walking away. I am assuming you have some way of budgeting your spending money – envelopes are fairly usual – so you would take out $500 in cash from DH’s check and put $100 in an envelope labeled food, and $100 in an envelope labeled “Gasoline” and so on…. by next payday, when you see that there is money left in an envelope that you did not spend on food or gasoline, redeposit that money and immediately add to your payment that you already had scheduled for the bill.
This is not really a good way to manage credit card bills, but it is a good babystep to start while you try to figure out your budget. It is preferable to getting them lost on the kitchen table (that is where I was not so long ago myself).