Originally Posted by serenbat
sadly there are those who are staying home- I know of one! because when you do the math -
they find it better to not work and have to pay
actually $800.00 in my area is very cheap- if you could even find it
I know for our income if we had more kids we would qualify for things- depends on family size around here.
It's not just that they find it to be better or preferable to not work, the sad reality is that some parents find that they absolutely cannot SURVIVE while working a minimum-wage (or even slightly above that) job.
This thread is really interesting, and one that hits home for me. My first child was a surprise and at first I thought it was such bad timing that I actually considered abortion because I wasn't sure we could afford her. How terrible and tragic is that? Looking back now I can't believe I ever entertained the idea, but that was my reality.
My husband is a Chilean immigrant and had just arrived in the US when I unexpectedly became pregnant (immediately!) He was not legally authorized to work, and I was just finishing up my last semester at UCLA and was working lunch shifts as a waitress. We were sharing a 2 bedroom apartment with an alcoholic relative of mine (certainly did not plan to bring a child into THAT living situation--we'd only intended to live there for a year until DH could find a job.) The first few months of my prenatal care were covered by my university insurance, but after I graduated (with $25k in student loans and another 25k in credit card debt!!) I was dropped from that insurance plan. Luckily the nurse-midwives over at UCLA accept Medi-Cal and urged me to apply. Since we were only living on my income, which was definitely less than 30k/year, I qualified for pregnancy-related Medi-Cal and WIC.
DH got a job through my workplace, but he was making minimum wage and wasn't given full-time hours. With no work history in the US that was the best he could get. I continued to waitress through my entire pregnancy. After the baby was born DH was able to find a much better job making $10/hr with a full-time schedule and I went back to waitressing. We knew we had to find our own place, but also knew that we would probably not be able to afford anything near our jobs, and we didn't own a car. Then one day I was fired out of the blue and went on unemployment. Around that time my DH heard about a non-profit organization in our area that offered affordable housing to moderate- and low-income people, so we applied.
I found a part-time job at an elementary school, but I only make $14/hour and I get less than 20 hours a week. I still receive partial unemployment, but won't for much longer as my claim runs out in March. It certainly isn't an ideal situation, but It works for us because I am able to be at home with my DD for most of the day. DH has also received a promotion and a small raise at his job. We still get WIC and still live in the subsidized housing. We both got insurance from DH's job, but DD is on Healthy Families. Earlier this year we decided to have another baby, and I am currently 18.5 weeks along. This one was totally planned, and we knew that doing so would mean continuing WIC. Sometimes I feel guilty for planning a pregnancy when we live in subsidized housing, but the truth is that this is a temporary lifestyle choice that we have made in order to parent/raise our children OURSELVES. Before we ever got married we talked about wanting two children, so the thought of just having one because of our current financial situation is not something we are willing to do. I do not see us staying in this tax-bracket forever, and I know that if we chose not to have another because of money, I would undoubtedly regret that decision down the road.
The way I see it, I want to have my kids close in age so that I can continue to work part-time while they are little. We make sacrifices so that is possible. We have no car. I cut DD and Dh's hair (and my own, sometimes!) We live in a tiny 1-bedroom apartment and plan to stay here until we are absolutely bursting at the seams. We don't take vacations (unless family members invite/pay for us to come visit.) We maintain a very tight budget and live frugally. Even so, we have managed to entirely pay off the credit card debt and a lot of the student loans, and now have thousands in savings. Once both of our kids are in school, I plan to increase my hours and eventually start teaching full-time, and when that happens our financial situation will change significantly and I'm sure we will no longer qualify for WIC or the affordable housing that we currently have.