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Should we get food stamps?

post #1 of 181
Thread Starter 

I need honest opinions.  I believe we make the income requirements.  I applied, gathered and copied all the necessary paperwork to send in...then chickened out.  And this is why:

 

We have two cars: a 2005 (paid off) and a 2008 (just bought)--they're reliable, newer cars

We have 4 pets: 3 cats and a Rottweiler puppy.

We still have (basic+) cable and high speed internet. 

 

BUT:

DH got the only FT job he could find (believe me, he's been looking!) when he was laid off two years ago, I get as many PT hours at my job as i can, and we still don't make enough.

We pay for our bills and gas with what's in checking and take out $100/week for groceries and ALL expenses (clothes, household items, fun--EVERYTHING).

The only way we stay afloat is that i squirrel away money, but we're draining our savings just trying to pay the bills.

 

Would you get FS if you were in my place?

post #2 of 181

I say if you meet the requirements then yes.  Go and apply, if you dont meet the requirments then you will know for sure.

post #3 of 181

If you qualify, you should definately use them.  There should be no shame in using them.  I mean, people who have million dollar homes go ahead and deduct their mortgage interest without asking if someone else could use it more, or anything like that.  I'd way rather my tax dollars was going towards needed food!

post #4 of 181

I agree that if you need them and you qualify for them you should get them and use them. A quick google search should let you know if you qualify since you already have your numbers together. I've never applied for them but I've never heard about them asking about pets or internet service. It doesn't sound like you have anything extravagant to me. 

post #5 of 181

I personally could not get food stamps in your situation. This has been going on for 2 years, so it's not really that temporary. You can't make your bills, but you still have cable & high-speed internet. You have a 2-year-old car & a 5-year-old car. You don't need the food stamps for food. You want the money for food stamps because you don't want to sacrifice your standard of living, and that's different. I would not use public assistance until I'd exhausted all other options to pay for things myself.

post #6 of 181

You need two cars in many areas if you are a two parent household with two children and two jobs. Replacing a newer vehicle with something "cheaper" will only back fire in the long run with repairs. Internet is starting to be considered a utility, and if it's only 10-15 dollars a month for a lot of entertainment when you're broke I'm not going to begrudge basic cable. It doesn't sound like you have anything extravagant to me either.

If you qualify for food stamps, get them, they've set the income limits where they are for a reason. Eventually you will find better paying jobs and end up not only paying it back, but contributing.


 

post #7 of 181

My opinion.... the pets are a luxury, cable is a luxury.... high speed internet and two dependable care are not a luxury for a working household.  As awful as it might be, and depending on how much they cost you, you should give the pets away.  Also cut cable unless it is tied up with your internet package.  Then get the food stamps and stretch them as far as you can.

post #8 of 181
I agree with the pp. But honestly, I know this is hard, but if you cannot afford to feed your family then you have no business having animals. I know pets are like family members but 4 pets is extremely expensive in food, vet care, and supplies. I think you should rehome them.
post #9 of 181

I think you should get the FS, and not feel guilty.  It is a tough economy, and sometimes people need a little assistance to get through tough times.  I don't think you should get more pets or more cars or more extravagances, BUT I think it is cruel to tell you to get rid of family members with 4 paws.

 

Good luck mama!!

post #10 of 181

How do you feel about it? How would you feel explaining your decision to your kids? 

I agree there's no shame in accepting help when it is truly needed. I guess you need to decide if you and your family feel you are at that point.

I personally don't think I would feel right about it in the circumstances you describe but I don't have all the information you do.

 

Good luck with your decision.

Karen

post #11 of 181

I posted once on here that I was bothered by my neighbor getting food stamps b'c he spent his cash money on designer clothes, cosmetics, alcohol and cigarettes... and was basically told to mind my own business and that he should be able to get food stamps if he qualifies.  

 

I would just go with what feels right to yourself.  I agree with pps and would also not suggest that you give your family pets away.  Seems like it may be tougher for a kid to understand why you're giving their pets away than to understand why you're using gov't assistance programs.  If the kids even need to know that.

post #12 of 181
Thread Starter 

To clarify:  I have no shame in getting FS.  There are so many contributing factors in our financial situation that it's no use blaming anyone or anything.  In the end, this is where we've found ourselves.  That can easily be explained to the kids.

 

I'm curious as to what people think about my situation, particularly those who know a thing or two about FS.  People don't often share that they're on FS, so i'm not sure what constitutes NEEDING FS.  Truth be told, when my savings runs out, my parents may be able to help us out a little.

 

Selling the house isn't an option in this market.  Getting rid of my four-legged family members isn't either (and there won't be more--long story how we ended up with so many).  Selling the cars wouldn't ease a thing.  Getting rid of internet when we use it to look for work, keep in contact with friends, teachers...yeah, not sure about that.  The cable can go! 

 

I appreciate your thoughts and insight.  Thank you.

post #13 of 181

I think having the internet to look for jobs and feeding pets is a FAR cry from designer labels, cigarettes and alcohol. 

 

You are both working hard, so yes, if you qualify, then you need FS, and shouldn't fret over it!

post #14 of 181


Exactly!  If people were so supportive of him using FS, then this hardworking couple who don't spend on luxurious items  should feel supported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMommy2 View Post

I think having the internet to look for jobs and feeding pets is a FAR cry from designer labels, cigarettes and alcohol. 

 

You are both working hard, so yes, if you qualify, then you need FS, and shouldn't fret over it!

post #15 of 181

I was flabbergasted to read folks saying your pets are a luxury, I don't feel that way.  My pets are my family.  Re homing them, come on. 

 

I think if you need the FS, do it.  Why not.  That is what they are for.  I agree with the PP that you are not using your money to buy expensive material goodies, so sure.  We don't have cable (by choice) and didn't have the internet or a second car for 5 years but were in school and totally had FS. 

 

I'd do it. 

post #16 of 181

I don't see why not.  People who are on food stamps don't have to go without nice vehicles, pets, internet and cable TV.  If you qualify and you feel like you need the assistance, that's what it's there for. 

post #17 of 181

Yes. If you qualify you should do it. If you make less than the requirements there is no screening for how you spend your money. You really don't sound excessive at all. The only thing I would have done differently is the 2008 used car with a payment--course I drive a '98 Honda and consider it reliable.

 

And your savings can't be that high if you qualify.

 

Get them, have a little breathing room, and see what you can come up with for long term. Sounds like you are thinking about that too.

post #18 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by amber913 View Post
 Selling the cars wouldn't ease a thing.  Getting rid of internet when we use it to look for work, keep in contact with friends, teachers...yeah, not sure about that.  The cable can go! 

 

Yes, it would. You could sell the 2008 car, buy something reliable for cash, pay less in insurance, and have the money there to put into savings. There are options for free internet - the library, restaurant wi-fis (if you have a laptop), etc. 

post #19 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post

I personally could not get food stamps in your situation. This has been going on for 2 years, so it's not really that temporary. You can't make your bills, but you still have cable & high-speed internet. You have a 2-year-old car & a 5-year-old car. You don't need the food stamps for food. You want the money for food stamps because you don't want to sacrifice your standard of living, and that's different. I would not use public assistance until I'd exhausted all other options to pay for things myself.



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post #20 of 181

If I were in your shoes, and I qualified for food stamps, I would get them.

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