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February Low Income Support Thread

post #1 of 144
Thread Starter 
Satori, so glad that the immediate fires are put out. Sending all sorts of that your kids get there needed medical treatments.

Things are tough around here right now. I'm holding it together by reminding myself on a moment-to-moment basis that our tax return is supposed to be here by the 21st. We are getting $6250 federal and $1000 state, so that it fantastic- far and away the best tax return we've ever had. We hit the trifecta by having a baby, making energy improvements to our house, and it being a stimulus year.

On the downside, we hit the other trifecta, too.

We knew this was going to be a short check.

I've been having massive issues with my credit union. They hold our checking account, as well as the note on our van. They lost the November van payment. So even though we made the payment, more than in full, and on time, I've been dealing with them losing it, hitting us with fees and reporting it to the credit agencies.

Apparently, they posted the payment back into our checking account in December. Normally, I watch our bank account like a hawk- but December! Come on! We weren't traveling or buying presents or cooking huge meals or anything.

So now, out of this paycheck, which was short anyway, they took "their" $100 back. I'm just fuming.

Then the old van died. So now, I have a $300 car lined up (it only has 32,500 miles on it- an old lady car) and we are going to have $80 left for two weeks after we buy the car and make our house payment. We've been mostly eating off the stockpile for the past two months anyway, so it's going to be super lean around here. We get $47 in food stamps on the tenth, thank God, otherwise we'd never be able swing this.

And, for the first time ever, we are making our minimum house payment. We are trying to pay off our mortgage by 2014, and have paid more than the minimum since our very first payment. I am so bummed by this, it feels like failure.

I know, I know... at least we found a cheap car. At least we can make our house payment. We have a great tax return coming that will pay off our van and a bunch of other stuff. But in the meantime, this is going to suck.
post #2 of 144
Leta- That is a huge tax return! Good for you!

Isn't food storage such a blessing? I've been building mine for the past few months and I am so happy to know that I can eat off of it if I need.

If you qualify for foods stamps you likely also qualify for WIC and headstart programs. You might want to look into it further as it may take some of your stress.
post #3 of 144
Thread Starter 
Bah. Pulled my phone out of my purse this morning and it's broken. As in, the inner LCD screen has apparently shattered. I have no idea how.

It's a SafeLink. Anyone know what the protocol is for a broken SafeLink phone? I have 230 minutes on it, I hope I don't lose them.
post #4 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
Bah. Pulled my phone out of my purse this morning and it's broken. As in, the inner LCD screen has apparently shattered. I have no idea how.

It's a SafeLink. Anyone know what the protocol is for a broken SafeLink phone? I have 230 minutes on it, I hope I don't lose them.

Additional Questions
Please contact our SafeLink Wireless information line at:
1-800-977-3768
Monday through Saturday, 8a.m. to 10p.m. and Sunday 8a.m. to 7p.m, Eastern Standard Time.
post #5 of 144
I HATE FEBRUARY!!!!

Sorry just had to say that. And it's not just because of V-Day (which I hate anyway ) just the whole month in general.

Oh well, things here are normal (AFU) Still looking for work, my car door won't close so it's tied shut (can anyone say "Ghetto"?) and everyone is sick (me included) Can this month please just end already?!?!
post #6 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwat View Post
I HATE FEBRUARY!!!!

Sorry just had to say that. And it's not just because of V-Day (which I hate anyway ) just the whole month in general.

Oh well, things here are normal (AFU) Still looking for work, my car door won't close so it's tied shut (can anyone say "Ghetto"?) and everyone is sick (me included) Can this month please just end already?!?!
I am in complete agreement, Feb has been no better then January Plus my bday was Friday, I can honestly saw it was my worst bday EVER At least a friend is taking me out to dinner tomorrow to celibate, its always fun to go to dinner with him, especially when is sans kids
post #7 of 144
Subbing. Been off the boards for a couple of days to get caught back up. My angel baby's birthday was this past Friday, and I made it through without drinking myself into total oblivion. No boyfriend for yet another Valentine's Day, DS's birthday is two days after that, my (dead) grandmother's birthday is a week later, and Chloe's angel day is in March. I finally 'got over' the depression of the holidays, and it's going to keep hitting me for another two months. Bleh.

My obnoxious February story of the moment...so I've been playing phone tag, sort of, with the girl who I'm supposed to meet with at the employment place that they make you go to once you qualify for childcare assistance. I say sort of, because, well, here's how the story goes...

We finally get approved for childcare assistance, I get into the DHS office, we're all squared away, and the counselor tells me to call her when I've picked a daycare, and the employment assistance people will call me. Fine. They call the next week, we still haven't gone on all of our daycare tours, so I set up the appointment for the following week, thinking that we'll be good to go with daycare. I choose the daycare, I leave tons of messages for my DHS counselor, she doesn't get back to me. I call the employment assistance girl that I have the appointment with on the day before the appointment, and leave her a message letting her know that I have to reschedule because the daycare voucher hasn't gone through yet. That was on a Tuesday. The daycare voucher goes through that Friday, so the kids can start the following week. I call the employment assistance girl on Sunday night when I'm getting things ready for the week, letting her know that the voucher DID come through, and I'll just take the next available appointment.

That whole week, she didn't return my call. So this past Monday, I call and leave another message. I get a return call back from her on Tuesday morning, and I didn't hear the phone ring, so she leaves a message saying that I need to call her because I was a "no show" at the appointment I made, and they are only supposed to hold our records for 10 days before telling DHS that I am not complying with the program. WTF?! I call her back that afternoon, get her voicemail (of course), leave a message stating that I have tried calling her repeatedly, that I shouldn't be counted as a no show because I called BEFORE that appointment to let her know that I'd need to reschedule. The next day, no return call. The day after that, I get one of their postcards in the mail with her name and direct line printed on it. I call her and leave ANOTHER message, and then I call the main line, and tell the secretary that I have left this girl numerous messages, and either she's not getting them, or she's ignoring them, or I don't know what. She tells me that that girl isn't in the office at that moment, but she will send her an email letting her know that I called. That was Thursday. No call by Friday afternoon, so I call my DHS counselor and leave her a message letting her know that I will be happy to provide a copy of my phone records, should this girl attempt to say that I have not been complying with the program. I'm so freakin' ticked. I'm calling there on Monday and asking for a manager...I don't really know what else to do.

In the meantime, I ended up getting the job with the postal service, but it's part-time/on call, no benefits, possibly Saturdays (which makes figuring out childcare "fun"). I could obviously move up, if a regular route position opens up, and that would mean full benefits, but that could take a couple of weeks or a couple of years. I have a driving test with them scheduled for Tuesday.

I'm also going for a second interview with a company that's literally 5 minutes from the kids' daycare, for a position that they have just created, and the supervisor for that position is going to be new to the company. (That's not intimidating at all!) It pays a little bit less than the postal service does, but it's full time with the possibility for overtime, is in my field, has full (well, reimbursed, but the HR manager said that for most employees, that means fully covered) medical, and periodic raises after three and six months. The only problem is that I have no intention of closing the other businesses that I run from home, so I'm a little bit concerned about juggling it all. I've finally gotten caught up, since the kids have been in daycare. Anyway, I am interviewing with the VP of the company on Monday, and was told by the HR manager that they are looking to fill it quickly, so if he likes me, I could be starting next week. It appears that I'm the only one they have interviewed. I'm going to get the kids into a WIC appointment this week, just in case. (How in the world does a single mom who works full time manage to get their kids to WIC appointments? We'll still qualify even when I'm working. Our appointments last for an average of three hours.)

So, I've had to do some serious number crunching, because the post office pays a little bit more, but it's less hours and some/maybe all Saturdays, and the other pays less, but is full time with benefits, and all of those numbers determine what I pay out to the daycare in a copay every week. It's making my brain a little bit nutty.
post #8 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysByMySide View Post
Subbing. Been off the boards for a couple of days to get caught back up. My angel baby's birthday was this past Friday, and I made it through without drinking myself into total oblivion. No boyfriend for yet another Valentine's Day, DS's birthday is two days after that, my (dead) grandmother's birthday is a week later, and Chloe's angel day is in March. I finally 'got over' the depression of the holidays, and it's going to keep hitting me for another two months. Bleh.
Things will get easier in time, it was 5 years before I stopped spending the day of my sons death a crying mess but I'm at peace with it for the most part now but its been 19 years so I've had a bit of time to process it. Wow, I just realized its been 19 years seeing it in print, the day is as fresh in my mind as if it happened yesterday, at least it doesn't carry the same amount of pain that it once did
post #9 of 144
I'll agree with everyone else that Feb is not any better so far. I'm sick of bills and not having the money to pay them. I'm sick of being stressed about if our things are even still waiting in storage as we haven't had money to put on that bill in several months. With not knowing the status of the storage I don't know if I have any clothes for this baby that is coming in about 2 months. I'm just sick of money and all the stress that goes with it.
post #10 of 144
s to all of you who are having a hard time in February.

I won't say that all is perfect, but I filed my taxes as early as possible (and incomplete, because I was desperate, so now I have to file an amendment) and the return came through on the 4th.

We found a car the very same day, paid off a couple of bills that needed immediate "help," and then bought the car friday night. paid up the insurance and got it registered on saturday and then went thrift store shopping. We got ds a couple new toys and worked on the still-incomplete list of stuff needed for the new baby. Then *I* went shopping for household stuff that we needed but had been too pinched to buy. It sounds silly but I was SO excited to go to Walmart and just toss in items like yummy smelling body wash and a real, brand new matching set of sheets lol.

And now that we have a car we can also access more resources when we need them. Food banks, babysitting gigs on craigslist, stuff we just couldn't get to without a car. I'm so joyful and thankful and I just hope the car holds out til next year's tax return lol.
post #11 of 144
Hi everyone!

We are moving out of our mold-infested rental house at the end of this month. Whew! I'm so happy. My MIL is renting us a house. The bad thing is that soooo many of our belongings are trashed now because of the mold. Big things, like our couch and king sized bed, and small things, like the kids' books. Our renter's insurance won't cover any of it. (What is the point of paying each month then?) Our landlord SAYS he will cover all of this, but he's been very...erm, slow and reluctant to do anything else, so I'm not sure it will happen.

Plus, just the idea of moving in February, on top of having to clean EVERY SINGLE ITEM in our house to make sure we don't take mold with us...ugh. Right now I'm re-washing clean clothes, bagging them in plastic bags and putting them in the car to take to my mom's. I can't even start packing yet, because the mold will gather on the boxes. Ughhhhhh I feel so overwhelmed about this.

Thankfully it's tax return time, so we will have the money to replace most of what will have to be thrown out. I'm sad though, because we were planning to save that money and actually try to get a bit ahead for once.

I think, like waitingtobemommy, I'm going to go ahead and file my taxes incomplete. I STILL haven't gotten a form I need, but we have both of DH's W-2s so it shouldn't be too big of a deal.
post #12 of 144
Congrats on the car, waitingtobeamommy! And Penelope, congrats on the new house, although I know what a pain it is to move. Happy for you guys!

As for my update, after my long rant yesterday, UAV from the employment assistance place called me this morning and decided to try to lecture me about not calling her back, not calling after getting the postcard, yada yada, and I told her that I had called her back numerous times and had the phone records to prove it, and the secretary should have sent her an email several days ago indicating that I called. So she says, "We must have been playing phone tag then, because I have called you." And I said, "Yes, my phone records indicate that you called me. Once. To threaten to send my case back to DHS." She dropped it at that point. I realize that they probably do have to deal with some deadbeats, but I really don't appreciate being treated like I'm a moron. Anyway, I have to go to some kind of orientation all day on Thursday. Which is weird, because when I set up my initial appointment, it was in an afternoon, and not an all day thing. Whatever.

Then I got a phone call from the HR manager that had set me up with a follow-up interview in about three hours, and she said that they decided to wait until the actual director (the position that would be the supervisor of the position I interviewed for) gets in and gets settled before doing follow ups, and could she call me in 3 weeks to see if I'm still available. Sigh. It makes sense, that they would let the direct supervisor choose their new underling, but maybe they should have thought about that beforehand, huh? Sadly, I think I'm more annoyed because I skipped yoga at the gym today and spent time blowing out my hair.
post #13 of 144
sigh.. my dads forgot my birthday and today is the 1st day of school. I have no babysitter and no money to get to class and oh yes, my friend was supposed to take me to dinner tonight for my birthday had to cancel and reschedule Going to the PO in a few minutes, wouldn't be surprised to find more lovely news.. I'm trying to have a better attitude about things but man, this year so far is sucking as bad as last year!
post #14 of 144

Maybe we should all stop for a minute and reflect

It sounds like most people on the thread are feeling a little overwhelmed, tired and struggling. Maybe this would be a good time to stop, take breath, and reflect on the whole picture. Having a low income does make things stressful at times but it does not determine if we are happy, healthy or how strong our families are. Even if we don't have a penny to our name we still have things to be grateful for. Maybe February is the month to start practicing some gratitude and attracting more positive things for the months to come. What are you grateful for?

I am grateful to find a yoga studio that I can do work exchange with for pre- and post natal yoga during this month while my baby is being born. I am also grateful for the emotional support that I've been receiving from friends and family. On the days that I haven't been feeling well at the end of this pregnancy I've been grateful for hulu.com so I can lay and watch TV without having to pay for cable. I am grateful for this opportunity to live in poverty and really examine what is important and what values to teach to my children.
post #15 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by basje View Post
It sounds like most people on the thread are feeling a little overwhelmed, tired and struggling. Maybe this would be a good time to stop, take breath, and reflect on the whole picture. Having a low income does make things stressful at times but it does not determine if we are happy, healthy or how strong our families are. Even if we don't have a penny to our name we still have things to be grateful for. Maybe February is the month to start practicing some gratitude and attracting more positive things for the months to come. What are you grateful for?

I am grateful to find a yoga studio that I can do work exchange with for pre- and post natal yoga during this month while my baby is being born. I am also grateful for the emotional support that I've been receiving from friends and family. On the days that I haven't been feeling well at the end of this pregnancy I've been grateful for hulu.com so I can lay and watch TV without having to pay for cable. I am grateful for this opportunity to live in poverty and really examine what is important and what values to teach to my children.
I'm trying, really, I'm grateful the rent is paid and current, the fridge is full of food and the electric is on. I'm just feeling beat down, dd has trashed the house beyond belief this week and I came home today to discover the power is out in my bedroom AGAIN for some reason I can figure out (breaker is not tripped) so I gotta get an electrician out here but first I gotta get this mess cleaned up (last thing I need is an eviction notice because the house is a mess when they come out). The laundry is piling up and the dryer broke and dd decided to dump all the clean laundry on the floor again before I could get it all put away and she just couldn't help but dump food on the clean clothes Going back to school was my time to get my sanity break and without it... its just hard to focus on the good when you can't get 2 minutes of it to see anything else. oh dd is starting one of her tantrums again... (she's bipolar and unstable right now) there goes my afternoon
post #16 of 144
wow, 4 hours later, can I say I kicked butt?! All I have left to attack is the kitchen which I can't do to much about until I get the laundry taken care of. Anyone know how much it costs on average to dry at the laundry mat? I've got like 6-7 loads at least that need taken care of. I figured out the GFI in the bathroom tripped which is why the bedroom was not working (there on the same circuit) so fixed that and we have power! Bad news is now we don't have hot water! (its gas not electric) Gotta get the laundry moved to I can get to the heater and figure out whats going on there Told ya things have been one thing after another. Tell ya what though, my house is gonna be spic and span by the time I get everything sorted out and working At least my mood is a lot better since the living room and my room are nice and clean. A dirty house puts me in a REALLY BAD mood and I'm not a white glove kinda person but this was ridiculous!
post #17 of 144
Can I just say I had a nice day? Nothing went horribly wrong, the kids were not holy terrors and it was just a nice day even though we got hit by a snow storm
post #18 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
Can I just say I had a nice day? Nothing went horribly wrong, the kids were not holy terrors and it was just a nice day even though we got hit by a snow storm
post #19 of 144
I'm glad you're feeling better, Satori. Happy late birthday!

Things are so so around these parts. Hubby has been super crabby. I don't know if its his new diet (atkins), something at work, or something else, but it's getting old.

I have been mad cleaning and reorganizing the place. I really was looking forward to moving, but it wasn't feasible on our budget to move to a place any better than here. So I've tackled issues in every room, and spruced the place up. I'm pretty proud. Today I tackled the master closet. I got it all reorganized and it will only cost me nine or ten bucks in the end.

I still haven't gotten my taxes back. Thanks to the government and my in laws. Grrrr. My husband got a passport when he was sixteen years old (he's 23 now) and when he did, his mother bounced the check. Apparently he can be held responsible now since he's over eighteen. Grrrrrr! It's not that much money in the scheme of how much refund we're getting, and luckily we're not needing it to survive, but I'm irked. Yet again we're paying for their irresponsibility in some way (and of course they they'll never give us that money).

I thank God for hubby's job every day. Steady paycheck that pays the bills and insurance to boot. Can't beat that.

Anyone want to help me think up ways to redecorate my daughter's room with very little money? She has a slight Peter Rabbit theme going on, but things are pretty bland. I was considering taking a Peter Rabbit book we got for a couple dollars and ripping it up for artwork. Maybe doing a large collage on the walls? Or I could get some inexpensive peel and stick shelf liner and do a border? Hmmm....

She only has a small dresser, her crib, and a storage system in there right now since I've decluttered. I took all her books out to put in the living room, but later on I might do the rain gutter shelves. Ideas, ideas....
post #20 of 144
So the good old car is already falling apart. We spent all AM yesterday looking at preschools for ds and then ate for free at denny's and spent the ENTIRE afternoon in social services doing paperwork for food stamps, medicaid, housing assistance etc. so we decide to drive a little further out to get groceries at a cheaper store and of course as soon as we get on the road the car starts smoking.

SO does not know as much about cars as he acts like, I think and after looking under the hood himself, he decided to get someone else to look at it. while I'm on the phone with a friend whose brother is a mechanic, trying to arrange a way to meet up to check things out (for free) SO pulls into a random mechanic shop and jumps out before I can stop him, and gets one of the guys to look at the car. I understand he wanted to handle things his way but it ended up costing us $43 just for the guy to look at the car, without even fixing it. A "diagnostic" fee. I knew we were going to have to pay SOMETHING if we stopped like that which is why I wanted to just pull over and wait for my friend and he brother to talk us through it.

So now we can't afford to pay the registration for ds' preschool that we found.

On the positive side we were approved for $269 in FS this month AND they will be expedited so we should get them within a week.

Happyhats, have you tried looking at goodwill & dollar tree for peter rabbit-themed stuff? I did ds' sports themed room strictly off dollar tree and goodwill, and there is an $8 soccer ball lamp at family dollar that I have my eye on. You could just get neutral/soft color items from dollar tree with a few accents that actually have peter rabbit on them. i got ds some plush footballs/soccer balls and a soccer ball nightlight from dollar tree. ours also is currently carrying baskets like these: http://momathonblog.typepad.com/.a/6...4871970b-320pi

in complimentary colors. I bought a bunch of them for holding books and small toys like action figures.

also if you google "peter rabbit posters" or just "peter rabbit" and click on images, you will find a bunch of stuff. you can buy a ream of photo-finish paper at walmart for $3 and print the picture out, or use the computers at a place like kinkos and print it out there for 99c a sheet on whatever paper you want. Then cut out, glue on a pretty color piece of cardstock for a background, and throw in a dollar tree picture frame.
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