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Can someone help me budget/financial plan? It's a wreck.. - Page 3

post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
I just checked his w-4 witholding and it currently states that he's single and has 0 allowances- so I should change this to married and 2 allowances, for our children, correct?
Well, what happened with your taxes this year?

You definately need to refile his w-4 and there is a good chance that he can file "exempt". In addition, you need to look into getting your EIC (Earned Income Credit) in your paycheck instead of in your tax refund. That could be hundreds of dollars a month.

It doesn't matter if DH is working 6 days a week if he is only working 3-4 hours a day. That is not a full time job. Your family would be MUCH better off with him working a full time job 5 days a week at $8/hour! Apply anywhere and everywhere. Here, at least, he could make a lot more being a server at a restaurant.

Costco and Unionized supermarkets are great places to work. Another option is to target jobs that provide educational assistance. Even if its not a great job *now* if they will help with school expenses it can be a great career choice. I know that where I grew up Intel was a great place to work for that reason--- get on as a data entry person and then end up a mechanical engineer (or something similar). You have to put in the time and the effort, but it can really pay off.

It also sounds like a major move may do you well. How long is the waiting list for Section 8 housing in your area. Do either you or DH have educational aspirations? Do you have family elsewhere who could help during a transition? I just don't see a long term solution to a monthly income of $900 for a family of four unless you have an unbelievably low cost of living.

Good luck
post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post
It also sounds like a major move may do you well. How long is the waiting list for Section 8 housing in your area. Do either you or DH have educational aspirations? Do you have family elsewhere who could help during a transition? I just don't see a long term solution to a monthly income of $900 for a family of four unless you have an unbelievably low cost of living.

Good luck
In Chicago the waiting list for Section 8 is very very long. I work in social services and in 2002 that waiting list was 10 years. In some of the site based subsidized housing places have waiting lists to the point the list is closed.

Though OP you should contact CHA and see if you can get on a list or if there are any housingh options available they might recommend.
post #43 of 67
Thread Starter 
There was an opportunity to get on the waiting list between april and may 2008- we missed that. So for now, the only places that we *could* qualify to live are in horrible horrible neighborhoods on the other side of the city that I would be very, very scared to live in. http://www.thecha.org/pages/housing/19.php

ETA:

DH got home today and told me that he now has about 30 hours per week after his lunch break, which is 300/wk gross income, which is quite a step up. His next paycheck won't fully reflect this but it is a start.

If he worked the $8 minimum wage here for 40 hrs/wk. he'd make $320 gross income. So if he can somehow up his hours and/or commission things should be better.

I also found a crock pot in MILs house and I asked if I could use it and shes letting me have it- we're not sure if it works though because it was a gift and it looks pretty old. Either way, it's a crock pot. And my husband is going to have to deal with lentils and rice, at least for the time being.
post #44 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
The Angel food ministries you only get a week's worth of food and you can only do it once a month.
Actually, this is not true. You can buy as many boxes as you want. It's $30 for $65 worth of food in each box and you can purchase as many as you want. I mean, what if you're a really large family... one box might last one day if you're the Duggars. They have to let you buy more than one!

But yes, you put in the order once a month and get all the food at one time. I personally wasn't impressed with the food because we're on an all-natural diet, but if I were in your situation, and I couldn't afford to be picky, Angel Food Ministries would be a HUGE lifesaver. They were for my sister when she was a young, divorced mother (and who went on to oversee the program distributions at her church).

Take a look at the current box here. Just glancing at it, I did a quick list of meals I could cook with this. I came up with 16 hearty dinners for a couple and young child with minimal additions. For $60, you have all of your dinners covered for a month.

Good luck! I remember your other posts about the many, many family members all living together in this multi-family housing situation. It must be very difficult.
post #45 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
I also found a crock pot in MILs house and I asked if I could use it and shes letting me have it- we're not sure if it works though because it was a gift and it looks pretty old. Either way, it's a crock pot. And my husband is going to have to deal with lentils and rice, at least for the time being.
That's great! Just so you know, there is also an ISO (In search of) board here at Mothering & there is also Craigs List and Freecycle. I'm sure you could get something usable (toaster oven, microwave...) there.

I don't know if this is possible, but if your place was not considered an appartment (as in you are house sharing rather than having your own appartment) would there be the same regulations about exits? Since you don't have a kitchen I could see making the arguement that you aren't an entirely seperate residence. Is there any way to make a window into a door? Because you should be eligible for a lot of help and it could pay off very quickly to get set up with that.

Good luck!
post #46 of 67
Thread Starter 
If it were inspected it would be considered separate, because there is an enclosed back porch stairway connecting our apartments. MILs mom lives in yet another apartment on top of hers- they are all separate and intended to be separate. Just mine isn't legal. If we were to make a window into a door we'd have to dig a hole by the front window. Our home is all open with the exception of DDs room and I worry with the dust, since we have nowhere else to go and it's not a one day project.
post #47 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
DH got home today and told me that he now has about 30 hours per week after his lunch break, which is 300/wk gross income, which is quite a step up. His next paycheck won't fully reflect this but it is a start.

If he worked the $8 minimum wage here for 40 hrs/wk. he'd make $320 gross income. So if he can somehow up his hours and/or commission things should be better.
Did they double his base wage, or is he suddenly earning larger commissions? If he's still earning $5.75/hour, that would translate to $172.50 for 30 hours + whatever commission he's making. To go from $10/week in commissions to $120+/week is a HUGE difference.
post #48 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by annethcz View Post
Did they double his base wage, or is he suddenly earning larger commissions? If he's still earning $5.75/hour, that would translate to $172.50 for 30 hours + whatever commission he's making. To go from $10/week in commissions to $120+/week is a HUGE difference.
OP, do you see your DH's paychecks? Because this sudden increase in wages as soon as you talked to him about getting a new job sounds awfully suspicious.
post #49 of 67
Thread Starter 
His benefit rate was $10/hour not $10/wk Most of the money he makes is commission.

His hourly is $5.75. If you add on the commission, it is $10/hr total. He always does at least $10/hr when you add on commission. That's called the benefit rate, according to his online pay information (which tells you the benefit rate). The $300 gross per week is with his hours being 30 hours in a week. With his last check, he worked 22hrs total per week, with the $10 benefit rate, it was around $220/wk or $440 gross for that paycheck (because the paycheck reflects two weeks). Sorry if I wasn't clear on that.

Before, his max hours were 25/wk. Now they're 30 hours/wk after you deduct his lunch breaks. So, if he's getting paid around $10 per hour which is his hourly combined with commission, and works 30 hours for the week, then he will get in about $300 gross income for that week, which translates to $600 for that check that reflects the two week period.
post #50 of 67
Okay, thanks for clarifying the issue. I misunderstood before. Regardless, it would be great if one of you could find another job to supplement your income a bit more.

I'm pulling for you
post #51 of 67
For crockpot cooking I just wanted to recommend this website:

A Year of Slow Cooking

It has tons of yummy recipes for the crockpot from a mom of 3 who decided to use her crockpot everyday for a year. The recipes are easy, have inexpensive ingredients, and usually taste amazing. It's one of my favorite sites right now

Good luck with everything!
post #52 of 67
If it were me, I would apply for financial aid, and go to a community college. A lot of colleges have online classes, you could take a few online classes and still get financial aid to live on. It would be hard work with little ones, but if you could do it during naps/after bedtime so you wouldn't have to pay for childcare. My husband and I lived on part time work and school financial aid for a looooong time.

We have always made it a priority to care for the kids ourselves and have managed to make it work. I worked as an apartment manager for over a year, we got free rent and a little extra, and I got to have my daughter with me all day. It was really hard, but hey, you do what you have to do.

We were 19 and 20 when we got married, and 20 and 21 when we had our first kid. My husband is JUST BARELY starting to grow up. It was very hard for him to give up toys, hanging out, playing video games, staying up all night, and all the fun stuff everyone our age got to do.

We started out with NO money and I think 6 credit cards between us. Now 4 years later we have NO credit cards and own a house (family helped with the down payment, and we will pay it back). It's been a crazy four years!

Definitely check out school, and work at home options.

ETA: Here are some jobs I've done:
apartment manager, assistant manager, leasing agent
caring for a friend's child
home based call center agent
childcare center (I worked as a daycare teacher before I had kids, but most of the other teachers had children in the school. They were not in the same class, but they got a discount and could check in on their kids during lunch and breaks)

I also did some container gardening in our apartment to add a little cheap produce and lately I've been selling random stuff around the house to bring in a little extra.
post #53 of 67
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the long reply! I was actually enrolled in college during my pregnancy.. The only thing was that the class I took was during the time my DH worked- that's all that was open. There were some issues with family watching my DD (they were able to just horribly irresponsible) and I had to drop the class. I then got a job for the time period DH was home, but it became way too hard on me (I was working clothing retail and I was very pregnant) so I had to quit after about two months. I'm thinking of crafting and selling things.. though I'm not the best at it. I have ribbon, so I could make those hairbows that seem to be all the rage, and I needlefelt, though I need some more practice at it.
post #54 of 67
What a tough situation. If I was in your position, I would definitely go back to college. In college I would study something like nursing where I knew I would get a job. Your condition isn't going to improve unless someone changes their earning potential. Your kids are going to keep growing and eating and soon you'll need more and be in an even worse situation. Making hair bows is a nice way to make a little extra cash, but it's not a career and it's not likely to change things significantly.
post #55 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestylemama View Post
What a tough situation. If I was in your position, I would definitely go back to college. In college I would study something like nursing where I knew I would get a job. Your condition isn't going to improve unless someone changes their earning potential. Your kids are going to keep growing and eating and soon you'll need more and be in an even worse situation. Making hair bows is a nice way to make a little extra cash, but it's not a career and it's not likely to change things significantly.
I agree with this. I don't think you ever answered whether or not you are actually in Chicago and not the burbs. But if you are in the city there there are numerous options to go back to school through the city community colleges. I know because 17 years ago when I was a young Mom like you in a less than great situation, I started at Truman College and eventually transferred to a 4 yo school. It did take time but I would contact whichever school you think you might be interested in and talk to them, also look into childcare subsidies.

I agree that while making hair bows is nice its not long term what you need and if its not a skill you already have down and enjoy, crafting on a larger scale often takes money just to start. I know because years ago I thought I could make some money and had no aptitude in crafting on a large scale especially when it was something I was only doing for money.
post #56 of 67
About the Angel Food, you can order as many boxes of whatever box you want!

To the OP: I just wanted to say that you are an incredibly mature, responsible and smart 20 year old who definitely has her head on straight! Things might me rough on you now but if you can get your DH on board, I can see you pulling through this successfully. I really think you should try to go to school because you seem so smart and I would hate for you to waste that! There aren't many 20 year olds who can manage a household like you can (even to just figure out the finances as you have). Congrats on that and good luck!
post #57 of 67
Thread Starter 
Shayinme- I'm in the City. I went to Wright for a bit.. I may consider going for fall because the class I need is long in length for summer (I believe it was 3 hours M-Th). I have to catch up on math big time, it is not my strong point. I also need to re-take my placement test. Last time I tested straight into English 101, but I tested into PreCredit2 for math, which is two steps below college level So I do need to get myself moving. I would love to become an RN, it was a long time goal of mine. Ever since I was little I have been truly intrigued by the hospital setting, seeing my mother in and out of hospitals since I was young. I'd love to eventually become an IBCLC or a CNM. I think I'll re-take the placement test over the summer so that I'd be ready come fall.

My husband has told me on numerous occasions that he would like to become a police officer. Coming from a family of police officers, I know that this is a good option. You need 60credit hours to enter the police academy, but the chicago police dept. pays your tuition. Would it be a viable option to get him to enroll in classes?
post #58 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post

My husband has told me on numerous occasions that he would like to become a police officer. Coming from a family of police officers, I know that this is a good option. You need 60credit hours to enter the police academy, but the chicago police dept. pays your tuition. Would it be a viable option to get him to enroll in classes?
YES his job right now is part time and he should look at going to school for that. if he finishes then it would not add to debt.

If you get an extra $40 get a toaster oven.
post #59 of 67
I think your DH trying to get into the Police Academy is a great idea - especially now while you are renting from family. Then, when he gets out, you could get a place of your own. You could always take online classes yourself. I'm betting a community college in Chicago offers them - then you could still be with your LO's and be working on your nursing pre-req's. I have taken most of mine online.
post #60 of 67
Great idea for your DH to start working towards being a police officer!

About math. . . my sister took college algebra 4 times. She's now an RN and really good at her job. Please don't let a math fear keep you from your dreams. Do it, do it again, and do it again until it's done.
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