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Oh yes, another financial worry - Help me think outside the box? - Page 4

post #61 of 86
I think the difficulty some are having with your responses is that, for the most part, you're still behaving like the two parent family working toward the american dream. Single parents often have to make huge sacrifices and do drastic things in order to survive. You're not willing to do any of that. That's definitely your choice but it doesn't leave you with many options...and well, you asked for options. If you won't lower your income you won't qualify for services and if you can't work another job you won't have more income so... It's not that we're not paying heed to your backstory it's that with your conditions all that we can say is "good luck" and we're a forum of problem solvers.
post #62 of 86
Hi JSMa, there are a few things I don`t understand....like are you going through a legal divorce? When does your ex get to take his loans? Even if you bought things during your marriage, you both can still agree to divide debts as you please (if he`s willing to take the loans, for example).

Also, the inability to get state assistance, is that because they are counting you as a family of 2? Will you qualify when your LO comes out to meet you?

Have you thought about applying to college? You should just do it and apply for financial aid to see what you would get (you might be surprised!). You might qualify for grants/scholarships by going part time and that would supplement your income and start you on a degree (you can take all the core requirements if you don`t know what you want to major in). The only thing you might loose is $35 application fee to the college and you might get free or subsidized child care through them too.

I wish you the best. It`s so hard not stressing when things are tight. I tell myself the same thing, that I shouldn`t stress so much because things always work out in the end.....but it`s near impossible for me not to. Hugs and I hope your bun in the oven comes healthy and happy.
post #63 of 86
The car and the daycare are obviously the bigggest two. It sounds like the car is a non-negotiable for you, so look at the daycare.

Advertise EVERYWHERE that SAHMs hang out, see if you can find someone who will do it for cheaper. Nanny-share with someone? Church sponsored?
post #64 of 86
The childcare amount you posted was for full-time, two children. But right now, and for the next 3-4 months until the baby comes, you are only paying childcare for one child, part time, right? So right now you should have a pretty big surplus each month? 400 or more per month? If you save all that up, you'll have more than $1000 before the baby comes, could that be stretched to cover your expense shortfall until the loans are paid off?
post #65 of 86
Where I live food pantries do not confirm income so that is a possible option for you too. If you feel bad about it, as you point out some of your loans will be paid off in a year or two and you could donate to them in the future when some of that money frees up.

Making choices that preserve your credit as you are will help you in the long run, with better insurance rates, more employability in some fields, etc.
post #66 of 86
Yes, you are only paying for part time care for one kid right now and i assume your ex is paying even half of that. So save that additional money now. I'm just unclear of what you are truly stressing about. You have plenty of money now, plenty of time to figure things out..the way i see it you continue to cause yourself undue stress over things which just isn't healthy for you. I understand the stubborness. When i left my ex i had to give up my really nice new Toyota Sienna which was the only 8 seater van that could fit my family. I gave up my nice home with a pool, i gave up every one of my belongings except for a backpack of clothes for the children and I. I am raising several young children alone, no family, no child support. I had to downgrade to a crappy old van and live in subsidized housing which was truly hard to do after living in such nice homes and having a nice vehicle. I even lived in a shelter for nearly a year sharing a room with all of my kids. It sucked, i lost a lot, my credit went horrible, i had nothing but myself and the kids. But i survived and my life is so much better. I went months with little money and scraping by. But things always came our way and with faith the most amazing things happened. I often never knew where dinner would come from or how i could get school clothes for the kids, but something always came through. We can't control the future and i feel like you really need to surrender. The future is unknown but you are going to be just fine. Enjoy your life, enjoy your pregnancy. I would've given anything to have family to fall back on and have low rent, to get child support, to have an ex paying half of bills/childcare etc. You make more money then so many people i know who are getting by on far less with bigger families and worse situations. People lose their homes and their cars but still can things find happiness in life. Surrender and see how things really will be alright.

With her income and assets and having 2 children i don't see how she would qualify for state assistance. Here in CA she is over the limits and we have a high cost of living.
post #67 of 86
Saw this on new posts-- the first things I'd look at in your situation are

1. Refinancing one or more of the loans to lower the monthly payment (if it wouldn't add on too much in interest-- it's up to you to decide how much "too much" is), and

2. Finding out what a nanny-share would cost. Your daycare costs are high enough that a nanny-share could possibly be cheaper.

Now:

3. Here are some out-of-the-box childcare suggestions: what would a part-time "mother's helper" (or "grandfather's helper") cost just to help your father out, with him still there? What would it cost for you to join some kind of a play gym? If your father could meet your kids there every morning he might be more comfortable watching them in a public, kid-friendly place where there is "stuff" for them to do, for two hours every morning. Those would still be more than you would pay if he were just doing it for free, but they might be less than outright full-time care for two children.
post #68 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post
I think the difficulty some are having with your responses is that, for the most part, you're still behaving like the two parent family working toward the american dream. Single parents often have to make huge sacrifices and do drastic things in order to survive. You're not willing to do any of that.
huh? she moved in with her parents, which for some people would be sweet but in her case it's really not. she basically had to choose between two evils (sorry jsma, jmo!). she has good reasons why not to file for bankruptcy or ditch the car (or quit her job). it's not that she's not willing to give anything up - she's just looking at what is the smartest way to do this, big picture, long term. honestly, there isn't much left to give up. cheaper daycare would be great but if it isn't available, then it just isn't.

and even if there is a lower-cost option, i can understand continuing to pay a higher rate. i pay more than i really need to, but i want my boys to be some place they are really happy and not have to transition to something new in light of all the other upheaval in their lives right now. i'm not being selfish or stubborn in this. i am making a sacrifice - i'm choosing to make do with less money because i believe keeping my kids in their current daycare is in their best interest. does that make any sense?

jsma, did you quit contributing to 401(k)? i know retirement is important and you want to be responsible, but keep in mind (as you pointed out) how different your financial situation will be in 18 months - 2 years. at that point, you can resume those contributions. even if it's only $50 per paycheck or something, you need the cash now.

fwiw i think you're smart to keep your job and payoff the car, even though the car payment hurts. maybe once the car is paid off, or when the loan is paid down enough that selling it would make sense - at that point i would consider getting a cheaper yet reliable car.

when dd is with stbx eow, can you work for cash, one day? i know you need the rest and just some mama time, but if you worked one 8-hour shift (out of that, i guess, 48-hour visitation), twice per month, that would add up. it's not ideal, but if you literally can't make ends meet, it just may be necessary.
post #69 of 86
Considering how close you are to being able to receive aid, would it be worthwhile to talk to your boss about slightly decreasing your rate of pay? That slight dip in money could more than pay for itself in terms of aid received.
post #70 of 86
Have you considered taking whatever extra money you have a week RIGHT NOW (before your little nugget is here) and putting it towards your car to pay it off sooner? Do you get quarterly bonuses? ANYTHING extra to go towards the car to pay it off sooner would help, right? Or live EXTREMLY tightly right now (funny, i know), and banking what you can to reserve when you have TWO little nuggets in daycare?
post #71 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
Have you considered taking whatever extra money you have a week RIGHT NOW (before your little nugget is here) and putting it towards your car to pay it off sooner? Do you get quarterly bonuses? ANYTHING extra to go towards the car to pay it off sooner would help, right? Or live EXTREMLY tightly right now (funny, i know), and banking what you can to reserve when you have TWO little nuggets in daycare?
I am squirreling away what I can right now. *nods* And am payin extra on the car when I can.

Kind of hard right now as I still need to purchase my birth supplies and some more clothes for DS (but yes I'm only looking on clearance racks and at consignment/thrift stores for him).

Next month should be a better month for some extra cash, as the final utility bills are now paid at the old house, that I still helped STBX pay for even though I wasn't living there.

Though my daycare expense just went up $120/month because I moved DD to the center and out of the only cheaper home daycare I could find due to concerns over safety, etc there.

But yes, the plan is to put any extra monies towards the car, as it's the biggest debt that needs to go first. Already on it.
post #72 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Already on it.
Awsome.
post #73 of 86
I agree that long-term, filing for bankruptcy would be a bad idea, especially since your debts really are not that high. And since you only have 1.5 years left on your car, and then you will presumably have as many as ten years of a fully paid, reliable, good gas mileage car for only the cost of maintenance, it also is a sensible idea to hang on to it. When that car payment drops off, it will really stretch your income.
I agree that a nanny share could really work out well. If you can get two or three more kids, each paying $500, that could work.
DD had a great point about 401 K -- if you are contributing, give it a break for a little while.
Also, it's a super-smart idea to see how much over the line you are before you start qualifying for services, counting a three person household. If it's a small amount, ask your work if you can drop back by that number of hours -- you could take a half-day off on Fridays, for example, something like that. That might give you a much needed break as well.
Do you have paid maternity leave? That could eliminate a month of daycare payments.
Hang on to as much money as possible right now, or put it towards your car. Birth supplies? Why don't you post online here and ask if anyone has any leftovers, or post on CL, or ask people in your birth group. Same for baby girl clothes. If Cyrus was a girl instead of a boy, I would send you a bundle myself. What size is she in now? Which reminds me, you're cooking a boy right now, huh? Do you need any newborn clothes? I'm moving to an apartment this weekend and I really need to cull through Cyrus's old stuff.
Is there any possible chance you could bring your baby to work for the first four to six months? I did that with Cyrus and it worked out great, and saved me a ton of money.
Ask you STBX if he'll take over the loans. I'm not holding my breath on that one, but if you can stomach asking him a favor, he may, in some alternate universe, decide to not be a UAV and say yes. But it doesn't hurt (much) to try.
Look, this will work out, okay? You are in a tight situation, and it may take a little juggling and creativity, but it's not dire. You can do this with your pride and dignity intact. And you are giving yourself and your two babies the best possible gift by leaving your abusive ex and showing them that you have self-respect. You will be a super-strong kick-ass single mama.
post #74 of 86
she is having a boy! i've got two, but i'm not a saver. i dump clothes as soon as they grow out of them. what other baby stuff do you need? i gave away most of my carriers but still have one ring sling. i suppose you still have dd's gear. dunno mdc rules, but i would completely join an online baby shower for you. if we can't do it on mdc, how about facebook? are you registered anywhere? lol . . . i'm going to look you up on target.com right now.
post #75 of 86
Ok, so you actually only have 1.5 yrs on your car? What's your payoff amount? Probably $5k to $7k? Is there ANY way you can scrap that together asap? Overtime you could work ( I know it's hard with your health and the pg, I am healthy and can only manage 15 hours pg, so I know it's hard.) or crafty stuff you could sell on etsy or ebay or something? Have a bunch of garage sales or something? At the very least, do your taxes like January 2 if you can, to get your tax return ASAP (assuming you get something, I would think you should) so that you can throw that at it. Dumping that payment will help immensely, regardless of how it's dumped. And as soon as the car is paid for, drop your insurance to liability only, that will help too. Those are going to be your biggest out going adjustments that will help.

Your credit...honestly, I suggest just letting it go for now. I don't recommend filing for bankruptcy at all, but with the divorce, I would not count on your STBX paying what he is supposed to, when he is supposed to, on a regular basis and as long as your name is still on the loans, that's going to jack up your credit anyway. To that end, can you see about working with him or through the divorce or whatever so that those loans can get refinanced so that your name is off what you aren't responsible for? And, also so that what you are responsible for is in your name only?


I like the previous poster's suggestions of a mother's helper or a gym day, you said that your father would only have the kids alone 2 hours a day? So you don't actually need full time care then, just those 2 hours a day? You should totally be able to find that for less than the numbers you are talking. And still check out churches and private charities for daycare assistance. And I know you said you already checked around for cheaper....but then you said a dozen or so places....I am going to suggest to keep looking.

Also, a previous poster suggested applying for college and seeing what aid you can get.....that's actually not a bad idea. I am not suggesting live off of loans, I think that's a bad idea. I am talking about grants and scholarships. Most schools will refund whatever you don't use for tuition, to you as cash.
post #76 of 86
Thread Starter 
The only baby things I need are boy clothes. I have everything else from DD. I was a saver.

I'm going to be asking STBX if he will consider watching the kids in the morning. He stopped doing it so he could sleep in the morning instead and get up earlier to go get his DD1 so he didn't have to contribute to extended care after school for her. Um, except extended care is WAY cheaper than full time daycare on two little kids.

At this point, he really has to, because my Mom just informed me that she is putting in for a 1st shift bid and she could be going to first shift as early as next week sometime!!! Meaning I will have lost my morning care... so much for a few months of saving up money.

She was really worried about how this would impact me, but I told her her health is more important. (she has been working nights far too long and has a thyroid problem and her sleep is so screwed up, she really needs to get on this day shift).

I told her that STBX is just going to have to see reason (yes I know him be logical... right...) anyway, but he can't cover all of full time daycare, he is able to come take care of DD in the morning if he chooses too. It's his kid too and he should step up and help take responsibility.
post #77 of 86
JSMa,

hang in there. do the best you can with your options. when it finally hits you in your face, you will have no choices.

but as pp said enjoy your pregnancy.

i hope and pray that you can manage without any public assistance.

while i am grateful that it IS there having benefited much from it, i have tried my level best to stay out of it. it is the most dehumanizing process to go thru. just the way the workers treat you is horrible. not all of them are like that, but the system being as it is, i feel the workers never really support you to further improve yourself.

you have a long term plan. and it is a wise plan. keep at it till you do not have any options. many times you will find that only you know what to do. or the path you want to follow. even though it may not be the popular one.

its not easy being a single mom. however as you said yeah somehow life works out. keep focusing on that.

like einstein pointed out "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” this is what i live by. and it has really helped me with my freak out. because i find in the end it all works out and i get mad at myself because i could have been enjoying life instead of freaking out. i could have enjoyed my dd more. miracles abound everywhere. there is no reason why you shouldnt get some of the action

for all you know your dad might be ok at the last minute too.

sorry if i am being a nag and keep harping on the same thing.

i wanted to say i totally understand your reasoning for not changing your life - yet. you have done all that you can. and continue to do it.

however i just wanted to point out with that same passion try staying out of assistance as much as you can. i really hope you dont ever have to go there.

however please please please enjoy your pregnancy. take each and every moment and treasure it as you get closer to the end.
post #78 of 86
i'd present it as an option: take dd in the morning, or pay half of full-time care.

(btw, i couldn't find you registered at target OR babies r us! )
post #79 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledutch View Post
i'd present it as an option: take dd in the morning, or pay half of full-time care.

(btw, i couldn't find you registered at target OR babies r us! )
Yeah, that's how I'm going to present it to him.


And I'm not registered because I only need some clothes. lol Newborn clothes I'm good on because I had some neutral gowns from DD and picked up a bunch at a consignment place for cheap.

STBX is supposed to help buy some clothes too... I'm surprised he hasn't yet, actually considering how he has waited and waited for a son. He certainly has been quick to buy himself 2 new pair of sneakers and clothes though recently.
post #80 of 86
I would be happy to send you some boy clothes!! I am a saver too, and I recieved some nice stuff when I was pregnant with DD but thought she was a boy. So he is due when, October? So winter 3-6-9 months maybe?

I see what I can get together and I will PM you for your address.
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