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Should we get food stamps? - Page 2

post #21 of 181

IMO If you qualify for FS, you should be on it.  I don't care what year your current car is or if you have internet or not, the income limits for FS is low enough that if that is what you are making, you should be on them.  I'm happy to know my tax money is going to help out families that are struggling.

 

And please don't get rid of your pets as other posters are suggesting!!! Pets are family too.  We went through a rough patch once when I was considering getting rid of our animals, hubby said absolutely not under any circumstances and now that we are doing well I would never have been able to get over/forgive myself for getting rid of my pets.

 

post #22 of 181

I think you absolutely should get food stamps. Don't give it a second thought; just do it.

 

Ugh, don't get rid of your pets. They are a ray of sunshine when you're going through hard times.  I would get a Roku, and save on cable bills. You can watch Netflix, and Hulu for like $15 on your TV. 

post #23 of 181

IMO, you should go ahead and apply. 

 

I think internet in this day in age can be a need-especially if your DH is still looking for a higher paying job.  Yes, I know there are "free" internet options too, but in a family unit it isn't always reasonable for one parent to spend a couple of additional hours away from home. 

 

post #24 of 181

I agree that applying for FS should only be done after exhausting all the options. I would definitely get rid of cable (if it was me) and then consider if there is any where else that I can cut costs (find cheaper service providers, ways to save on energy costs, etc). I'm sure you have already done or started doing all that. For me, I would take on a second job or more before getting fs but that's me. What works best for your family to increase income or cut costs is something only you and dh can decide.

 

Since you are asking mostly about qualifying though I will say this: In my state to qualify you can only have one vehicle. That vehicle also has to be 5 years old or older. I know they ask about expenses like how much you have to pay for rent/mortgage, utilities and such but they don't to my knowledge ask specifically about internet or cable. I know people that have or have had fs and had those services and it didn't affect them. If you can qualify though go for it. I would definitely check out state health insurance at least for the kids if you haven't already. (In my state it is only for children, elderly or pregnant women but some states have it for uninsured adults so I'm not sure about where you are) If you qualify for any assistance state health insurance, fs, or other I would check with your phone provider. I know some here offer a discounted plan to people on assistance so that may help you also.

post #25 of 181


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by goldingoddess View Post

IMO If you qualify for FS, you should be on it.  I don't care what year your current car is or if you have internet or not, the income limits for FS is low enough that if that is what you are making, you should be on them.  I'm happy to know my tax money is going to help out families that are struggling.

 

And please don't get rid of your pets as other posters are suggesting!!! Pets are family too.  We went through a rough patch once when I was considering getting rid of our animals, hubby said absolutely not under any circumstances and now that we are doing well I would never have been able to get over/forgive myself for getting rid of my pets.

 


Good points here. We often take care of strays that show up so for me I would rehome them if we were caring for any and something caused us to be struggling. I only help them because I care but they aren't family pets that we chose to get so that's different and I would try to rehome them. We do have one cat that is our family pet and I would find ways to lower her care costs but not get rid of her.

post #26 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.


I have to say I agree with Visionary Mom.  I don't mind people taking assistance when it's absolutely necessary, but it sounds like you can cut some of the costs that you already have.  Personally I wouldn't be able to take assistance unless it came down to the option of feeding my family or having a place to live/gas/electric... Not feeding my family or having cable/internet.  I also would look long and hard at if getting rid of one vehicle is a possibility.  It would save you the amount for insurance each month which may be the amount you'd get for food stamps.  If you could live with one vehicle then getting rid of the one with the payment would save you even more money :)  We have 3 cats and I think if it came down to me having to choose to get assistance to feed my family, I would choose to get rid of the cats to cut the costs of keeping them.  Especially with a Rotti puppy... We had a rotti years ago, and because they are so large they are prone to hip problems (cost a ton in vet bills), and eat a ton of food just being such a large dog.  I would definitely consider re-homing him at least.

 

Maybe I'm just jaded on the subject since I live in a state where there is so much abuse of the public system that I don't see my tax dollars paying to help out struggling families like it should.

 

Whatever you choose to do, I hope you guys can get back on your feet and things get better :)

post #27 of 181


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



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. 


 

There are options for free internet but for a serious job seeker these may not be reliable enough to be the way to go. In the area I currently live in folks are time limited on how long they can use the computers at the library. I believe its 30 mins they get, that is not enough time to check email. Linked In and then look for jobs. Also there is the issue of if the library is near by or are they going to be spending gas money daily to get there. As for using restaurants for wifi even Starbucks that starts to add up too, I mean you can't just walk in and plop down and start surfing.

 

For a serious job seeker without access to internet on a daily basis they are at a disadvantage. I see this regularly. In most case high speed internet is not terribly expensive. Its one thing if people have jobs and need to cut expenses but if one is looking for a job, they need it.

post #28 of 181
I don't see what is so ridiculous about the idea of rehoming your pets when you can't even afford to feed your family. How much does it cost to have 4 pets in a month? $100 at least? That could be breakfast for the month for your kids. But I definitely agree that rehoming them would be very hard, it's just that sometimes we have to make tough choices. But anyway, I'm not sure what you are asking here- only your FS office can tell you if you qualify...
post #29 of 181
I tend to agree with the idea that if you qualify, you should try. The income guidelines are low. We easily meet income guidelines with a family of four but due to how everything is calculated, we were just missing it with a family of three. Did we manage as a family of three? Yes. But we also completely drained our savings. We are now a family of 4 so we qualify. Since I now have food stamps, I was able to do fun things like spend $1,000.00 on fixing our pipes under the house that were pouring water all over the floor everytime I did laundry. That little bit of help allowed me to get on a payment plan to fix our plumbing issue was obviously affecting our home situation.

I don't have cable but we do have internet. And, gasp, sometimes we buy alcohol even though we are on food stamps. We don't go out to eat, we aren't in debt (except for the above plumbing bill), and I am ok with us cutting lose and having a drink. We also don't have animals. We actually had to get rid of animals when ds was a baby, it was very difficult but something that needed done. I am glad we did it as we couldn't have afforded them now. I understand the attachment, but like a pp said, maybe try finding a home for the younger rott as it could get very expensive.

Even though fs have been helpful to us, we do look forward to a day when we can be done with them. Right now it enables me to stay home with my young kids. We are hoping that dh may make a little more money someday to where it wont be necessary.
post #30 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by GirlBoyGirl View Post

I don't see what is so ridiculous about the idea of rehoming your pets when you can't even afford to feed your family. How much does it cost to have 4 pets in a month? $100 at least? That could be breakfast for the month for your kids. But I definitely agree that rehoming them would be very hard, it's just that sometimes we have to make tough choices. But anyway, I'm not sure what you are asking here- only your FS office can tell you if you qualify...

So hard, i agree but I also don't see it as ridiculous. If we had still had pets when I decided to not go back to work and to live on dh's income, the pets would have been the first thing to go. The expense was just too great.
post #31 of 181

Yes, I would get them. If you meet the requirements, you meet the requirements. It sounds like you are both doing your best, and sometimes families need a little help these days (especially in this economy).

post #32 of 181
Thread Starter 

(I'm the OP)  I'm fascinated by the variety of responses!  I can actually tell who's against public assistance for all but the most desperate and who's not.  And i have to say, you've made me realize what side of that fence i'm on.

 

I don't know anyone who pinches pennies the way i do.  I think some of you would be very surprised to see how we live.  I actually don't make bad financial decisions, to clarify, for those of you who think that i do.  I've made one that i can recall, and i fixed it to the point where it became a good thing for us.

 

I've bundled and lowered as many bills as i possibly can.  The only debt we have is the car and the mortgage.  We don't even have credit cards.  In my area and with our schedules, we need two cars, and we've chosen reliable cars.  Public transportation isn't an option (the only bus stop in town is too far to walk).

 

Oh, my, why am i defending my financial situation?  Thank you all for your thoughtful responses--for taking the time to think about someone else's situation and to help.  I appreciate it.  If you have anymore to contribute, please PM me.  Thanks!

post #33 of 181

I generally think that if you qualify you should get them.  That said, *I* would have a difficult time paying for cable.  If I was you I would drop cable and get food stamps and build up some savings. 

 

All of that said, my husband would have a really difficult time accepting food stamps in the situation described.  He was raised by the King of the Bootstrappers, but that's another story.

post #34 of 181
I think I do have issue with the idea of food stamps because I feel like it says to people not just that I am poor, but that I don't know how to manage my money. That frustrates me. My dh works with the homeless population and just doesn't make a lot of money. We don't have debt or car payments. We really do pinch those pennies. But I feel like as soon as that fs card comes out, it looks like, look at me, I don't know how to handle money. But I do. That's how we got this far.

The other day I had a lady come up to me after I checked out at the store. She told me I had beautiful children and then she told me that she noticed what healthy food choices I had made. At first it felt good to have someone say that but later I thought about it more. Was it because I used a food stamp card that she felt compelled to say this? Did she expect me to buy chips and pop? I don't know,

Sorry OP, I know you said to pm, but this was not just for you but for anyone reading.
post #35 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by amber913 View Post

(I'm the OP)  I'm fascinated by the variety of responses!  I can actually tell who's against public assistance for all but the most desperate and who's not.  And i have to say, you've made me realize what side of that fence i'm on.

 

I don't know anyone who pinches pennies the way i do.  I think some of you would be very surprised to see how we live.  I actually don't make bad financial decisions, to clarify, for those of you who think that i do.  I've made one that i can recall, and i fixed it to the point where it became a good thing for us.

 

I've bundled and lowered as many bills as i possibly can.  The only debt we have is the car and the mortgage.  We don't even have credit cards.  In my area and with our schedules, we need two cars, and we've chosen reliable cars.  Public transportation isn't an option (the only bus stop in town is too far to walk).

 

Oh, my, why am i defending my financial situation?  Thank you all for your thoughtful responses--for taking the time to think about someone else's situation and to help.  I appreciate it.  If you have anymore to contribute, please PM me.  Thanks!


I hope you don't think I am one of those people against public assistance, because I am not smile.gif I am actually ON food stamps! But I found very nice homes for both of my pets first because their care was too expensive and if I have to choose between diapers and dog food, then it is time to make some tough decisions. I don't think you have made bad financial decisions, I just think your emotions are clouding your judgment- which I understand.
post #36 of 181

If you meet the requirements, I would get them. We are less than $1000 a year over the income requirement, which is not a really fabulous place to be....so I say go for it, you may find it's a temporary situation and it will help a lot.

post #37 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xantho View Post

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.



The hard truth is, pets are a luxury, at least when they are kept in the standard of care that is common in america-- veterinarian care being the main part of this standard.  Pets in this country get better medical care than most people in the world.  Of course she could just stop taking them to the vet, and that would cut the main cost right there.  When we were very poor I didn't take my cats to the vet, and they all died old.

post #38 of 181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

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. 



This sentiment is exactly why I'm against public assistance.  Rather than being a safety net for those truely in desperate need it has done nothing more than foster a sense of entitlement.  We should all have what we want, when we want it, simply because our neighbor has it.  There is no right to have a nice vehicle, pets, internet or cable TV.  If you can't afford to feed your kids and need taxpayer money to do so, then you can't afford a new late model vehicle, 4 animals, internet or cable.

post #39 of 181

If you can get them, do.  And use them with no guilt.

post #40 of 181

I say go for it. You never said you can't afford to feed your kids. There is a big difference between living off of rice and chicken broth and including dairy, fruit and vegetables in your child's diet. This will keep them healthier and happier. In the long run, wouldn't that mean less public assistance on medical bills people? It sounds like you have put a great deal of thought into where your finances go and FS would provide a little bit of relief to your already stretched budget. There are minimal requirements that must be met in order to qualify for FS. Not just anyone can get them. So if you qualify, you qualify. Period. Yes, unfortunately, some people take advantage of the system but the fact that you are honestly considering if it is "right" to get them means that you will put them to good use and you are not running around looking for hand-outs.

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