or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Summer '11 ***Low Income Support Thread***
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Summer '11 ***Low Income Support Thread*** - Page 6

post #101 of 140

Hey Everyone,

 

   It's September now. Things haven't really changed for the better. Last month, the man we are renting a room from decided that he was going to let his sister move in rent free, and he then upped our share of the utility bill to $80 a month. Now we are paying $480 a month to rent a 12' by 10' room. We have limited access to the living room because that is where his sister is living, and the one bathroom is being shared by 8 people. Anytime we ar at the house, we are pretty much only in our room. The situation is seriously bringing me down. DH is still looking for work, but has not found anything. Our only income is the $500 from TANF and $200 in foodstamps. We had to cancel our cell phone service because there was no money to pay the bill. DH is currently borrowing a friends phone to call about jobs. 

 

Sending lots of good energy to everyone, and hoping September will bring better luck!

post #102 of 140

I have been following this (and earlier threads) but found it too depressing to write out how poor we really are these days. Things are maybe looking up enough for me to join. I know that didn't make any sense, but it made me laugh!

 

I did a bunch of rearranging and organizing, and freed up a room to rent out. This will bring in an added $400/month, plus her food stamps contribution, and she will pay for cable and internet! Woo-hoo! New roommate has an 8 YO boy with autism, and they will be sharing the nicely converted garage (huge, private room).  I am a bit wary, because her son screams long and loud when he is upset. My YoungSon, 15, also is on the autism spectrum, and I don't know how well he will deal with this. It will be a learning opportunity for all of us. I also am crossing some major professional boundaries (although she is not my client now, that is how we met). I hope I am not risking my job, but not many people would want to live with my family. Plus, she has become a really good friend, both to me and my daughter.

 

The plan is for this to be for about 6 months, while she saves to get a car then a job, and I figure some other way to supplement my income. I am sort of discouraged in that realm. In the last 5 years, I got a degree and a job that I truly love, but I am still not making enough to live on. We have already done a major downsizing, and frankly there is not much left to take away. Frugality only goes so far!  I am starting teaching some classes and leading support groups regarding raising special needs kids, but I don't know if I will find a way to get paid for that. For now I am volunteering, and hope to get a foot in some door. I have tried a couple home business ideas that tanked after investing as much as I could, and am having a hard time feeling optimistic about this subject.

 

I also have been volunteering at a local food bank, and that has given me a food box every week or so, rather than monthly. That has been a real blessing, as our food bank gets great donations from Trader Joe's and lots fresh meat, dairy, and produce. We are not eligible for food stamps, based on my income, even though rent takes up well over half.

 

My car is another issue. I need it for work (I visit clients in their homes within a 50 mile radius, and have already cut back on gas with one bus day a week). But when I bought it, we were a family of 6-8 (my mother, foster children and grandchildren living in my home) and I had to choose a large van. Today, we would so prefer a smaller, more efficient car, but can't afford it. This van is high mileage and dying - steering and transmission issues look to be the next serious problems - and really has little or no resale value. My credit is awful, and I don't know how I will manage when it dies.

 

Another issue is that my mom is helping us moneywise (I work a few hours a week doing home health care type things for her, but she overpays me). She is 93 years old, and I know she won't live forever.

 

This post has gone on long enough. There is plenty more I could whine and ramble about, Thank you for the place to vent. All the best to all of you. May this recession be over soon!

post #103 of 140
We're in this situation, too. My husband was laid off in May, and we were already scrapping as it was then. He gets unemployment, but for some reason, never got the direct deposit last week. We can't call to sort it out tomorrow, and have nothing in the bank for now. I am disabled and applying for SSD, but that can take years. We are applying for food stamps and will probably apply for WIC, but it is difficult for me to get down to their office to do it. We're living with my Mom, and trying to help with bills. To help with food, we had a decent garden this year. We've been putting up anything we can to save for the colder months. I just keep praying that he'll be able to find a decent job, especially since we're spending a lot of the unemployment on COBRA insurance for myself. (Medi-cal doesn't cover the treatment I get, so we pay for it or I go without.)
post #104 of 140

I found a futon frame on freecycle.  Dh is out picking it up right now.  It just needs a mattress and it will be so nice to have a couch again!  Also, DH found a place that was selling fruit trees for half off, and I had asked for plants for my birthday, so I getting two apple trees for my birthday!  He's been spending all weekend clearing the corner of the yard where they need to go. 

 

Our internet got turned off, but it ended up not being our fault (they had received payment already, but didn't credit it right) and they turned it on again the next day.  That was fairly stressful as DH needs it for work.  Nothing else has a shut off notice.  Yay!  This week DH gets paid, and I'm really really really hoping to be able to pay down some medical bills, there was a little extra last paycheck, for the first time in about 10 months.

post #105 of 140

WOW!!! I just got a job offer that would pay $3/hour more than my current job, and has better chance for advancement. I have some hesitation for realistic/practical causes, and some loyalty to my current agency, so it is decision to consider. But I feel so honored just to be asked!

post #106 of 140

Foxsmama does your state have the Safelink phone?  I used to have one until mine broke.  I think I was getting 52 minutes/month or something.

post #107 of 140

mamrhu, congrats!

 

paigekitten, congrats to you on the fruit trees! I have 3 of last year's half-off fruit trees planted in large plastic storage bins on our patio (rental townhome) just waiting for us to buy a house.

 

I decided to only come in on the last page, after having taken a hiatus from this group for about 6 months. To everyone else, good vibes ~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I have to thank whomever it was here that recommended I check out creditboards.com last year around this time (think it might have been zebra?). That site is a God-send! After working VERY hard on dh's credit I have his midscore in the mid-to-high 600s! After having some recent trouble with our leasing office, the straw that broke the camel's back, we've decided to not wait out our lease and to just break it, pay the fee, and get out of the city already! No nosy neighbors, nobody complaining that my 1 yr old is standing naked behind me in the doorway for a minute on a 90 degree day while we sing happy birthday to dd on the front porch where she was sitting with her friends at her "birthday party", and no leasing office making up stories about us, our kids, and our cleaning habits while nickel and diming us to death. We've got one more little thing to do and we'll be ready to shoot for that pre-approval. Wish us luck!

 

I remember last year when I was reading this thread there was someone that couldn't afford to fix a hole in her roof. While researching the loans we came across USDA Rural Development loans. I read on the first or second page of this thread someone in the country needing repairs (before I skipped ahead to this page) and thought how fortunate that I hit this thread when I did. The USDA has repair and rehab programs, too. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-RR_Loans_Grants.html  And your county may have grants, as well. Your state housing authority will also most likely have resources where you can take classes on fixing things yourself, and/or ideas on local agencies that will do the work for or with you for free. Definitely check it out. USDA home loans are 0 down and low-income friendly, too. They'll count our food assistance as unearned income! Being we get over $700 a month for all of us, that's a lot of unearned income.

 

We're in this much better spot because of credit repair (again 1,000 thank yous!) and because dh got a promotion and raise this summer. After working for the company on a part-time basis for 3 years they finally gave him full time. He worked all hours, all days before. Now he's weekdays only, 6am to 3:00 pm, and he makes $2/hr more than he did, plus FT hours! We actually have a balanced budget when you include our food assistance, even with 5 kids. It's been such a huge blessing this year. To get a house, a GOOD house in a GOOD area, would be such icing on the cake! Knock on some wood, I swear. We were even able to get a good van this summer BEFORE our old one died (days before, I'm positive). How often do you hear a story like that on this thread?

 

Now, the biggest reason we're doing so well and have breathing room is because we're both students and maxing out our fin aid, too, so don't get me wrong. Even with fin aid and food assist/medicaid, with 5 small children, we still won't be out of "low income" status any time soon. But we'll be doing a little more than just getting by. And that's all most of us really want, right? Just a little bit of comfort and security. After our taxes are done this year (w/o deducting a mortgage we expect around 12 grand like last yr) we'll have a very nice emergency fund and won't have to be so scared/worried all the time. That's it. That amount of comfort is all I really need. Taking one vacation a yr, driving not flying, taking our own food, not eating out, etc, would be nice, too, but one step at a time...

 

Anyway, also sending our good-luck-from-hard-work vibes out there to the group~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ And keep wishing us luck for the future?

post #108 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by averysmomma05 View Post

Well the having 2 jobs thing didn't work out great as I had a breakdown last week and quit the grocery store. I feel much better but really need to get into my dr because I am depressed and need to start my meds again. Anyways, hope everyone else is doing well.


When I finish the certification I'm obtaining now I'll be working on my master's degree in nutrition. I've been teaching myself about nutrition and the role of vitamins and minerals over he past year, to the tune of over 80 books read, by leaders in the field from the 70s, to today. Even a few from the 1800s on scurvy and the importance of Vit C, believe it or not. Anywa, I used to suffer from regular depression and occasional anxiety attacks also. I HIGHLY suggest everyone here visit the Traditional Foods board here on MDC.

 

For depression and anxiety you MUST supplement with Magnesium, and add zinc if you are stressed. The zinc and magnesium with protect your body from the effects of stress (inflamation leading to heart attacks, for instance, graying and/or thinning/receding hari, etc.). Vit D is essential, also to protect your body from the effects of the stress, and Vit C, as well. If you have any signs of gingivitis, for instance, you are not getting enough Vit C (NO, it is NOT because you don't floss and/or brush often enough, no matter what your hygenist told you!) It's a mild form of scurvy. There is a LONG old thread here on MDC about finding the right amount of Vit C for you, and it's much higher than you'd think.

 

Anyway, again, you need a highly bioavaiable form of magnesium, NOT citrate. Citrate is next to useless, thus the low price tag. Go for malate if you have any indication of fibro (pain, fatigue, etc), oxalate for a general, or go with one that contains several different types for a "broad-spectrum" effect. If you take 500 mg at a time it will be absorbed, most helpful before bedtime (it's a natural muscle relaxant). Start with 500/day, going up to 1000 or more, but do NOT take it all at once or you will get diarrhea. It will do WONDERS for your mood. If you can do them and a quality cod liver oil (not fish oil, COD LIVER) then you will most likely not need any antidepressant.

 

Lastly, do whatever you can to encourage the growth of friendly bacteria and discourage the growth of yeast. MOST sinus infections are NOT  due to bacteria, but due to overgrowth of yeast. Find a Grapefruit seed extract nasal spray, or a neti pot filled with neti pot salt water, for about a day, rather than an ABX and you will find your sinus infection disappears and you will have none of the generalized problems caused by the die-off of all of your good bacteria. There is verifiable evidence, in the mainstream media even, now, that shows that seratonin, for instance, is produced IN YOUR GUT, by your beneficial bacteria, not in the brain. The receptors are in the brain. No beneficial bacteria, unhealthy life. That's why the lecture on the dangers. Not because your use might cause superbugs for others, but because it seriously damages YOUR health.

 

Hope my long "lecture" helps somebody. Feel free to ask questions and I'd be happy to post links to the Health sections of MDC I referenced, if you'dd like.



Quote:
Originally Posted by maciascl View Post

We have our bankruptcy court date tomorrow morning. I am nervous even though several people have told me it is no big deal. I think I am more worried about the fact that DH is still no where close to selling a house ans we need to have a serious talk. The only way for us to survive is for him to close a sale just about every month. I just don't see it happening. I don't know what to do when the IRA is gone. I am terrified!

 

BTW does anyone know how it works with food stamps and taking money out of an IRA? I am really worried on top of everything else, that we will lose our food stamps and my kids Medi-Cal because we have taken money out. I think we re-cert for MC in Oct and I know the quarterly report with come in Oct for FS. 

 

BK really is no big deal. It scares the crap out of you, and then it's over so fast you hardly know it happened. Just start working on credit repair RIGHT AWAY, and realize that credit is not an extension of your income, and you'll be back on your feet in a year or 2.

 

I believe the IRS and/or state treasury will send your worker an unearned income letter next year after your taxes are filed. Depending on the amount and your fin situation, they may or may not reduce your benefits in order to recoup an overpayment. Or that may just be in my state... But if you call your worker they can tell you for sure.

 

And was it also you that's trying to deal with dh self-employment not bringing in enough money?  We had the same problem. Dh was a self-employed painter. We were just out of BK, gave up the house to foreclosure, living in a family member's home, too poor for dh to buy enough gas to drive to give a bid. It's very hard to admit that you're "failing" and give up on that dream. Extremely hard. But, once you do, and take some menial job that's beneath you, and the steady pay starts rolling in, and all the worry is on the boss' back instead of yours, etc, it gets SO much easier. I had to have several talks w/dh, finally crying and telling him that his kids and pregnant wife were going to be HOMELESS and they don't give homeless people food stamps. But he went out and got a regular job and now look at us. It's a talk you really have to have. There's nothing saying he can't do RE on the side, but he's GOT to get regular work. Just HAS to. GL!

 

 

Now, a question for everyone ~ Can anyone tell me more about food stamps and full time students? I remember reading something about that here, but can't remember now. My mom is living with us (unofficially, atm, since that would violate our lease) and used to receive FS. She's a FT student, now, w/no income and she thinks she wouldn't qualify because of that, but I can't remember what I read.
 

 


Edited by gabbyraja - 9/9/11 at 6:03pm
post #109 of 140

We are having contractors come out and bid on doing lead abatement on the outside of our house.  Our city has a low income grant for it.  We also might qualify for a zero interest forgivable after 10 years loan for fixing the roof, gutters, and replacing the windows.  It would be a huge blessing if this all works out for us.

 

Here if you are a student and getting food stamps you have to be working 20 hours a week to be eligible.  Makes total sense....let's only give people with jobs financial help....eyesroll.gif

post #110 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paigekitten View Post

We are having contractors come out and bid on doing lead abatement on the outside of our house.  Our city has a low income grant for it.  We also might qualify for a zero interest forgivable after 10 years loan for fixing the roof, gutters, and replacing the windows.  It would be a huge blessing if this all works out for us.

 

Here if you are a student and getting food stamps you have to be working 20 hours a week to be eligible.  Makes total sense....let's only give people with jobs financial help....eyesroll.gif



That is the same here too. I don't get it.

post #111 of 140
Quote:

 

BK really is no big deal. It scares the crap out of you, and then it's over so fast you hardly know it happened. Just start working on credit repair RIGHT AWAY, and realize that credit is not an extension of your income, and you'll be back on your feet in a year or 2.

 

I believe the IRS and/or state treasury will send your worker an unearned income letter next year after your taxes are filed. Depending on the amount and your fin situation, they may or may not reduce your benefits in order to recoup an overpayment. Or that may just be in my state... But if you call your worker they can tell you for sure.

 

And was it also you that's trying to deal with dh self-employment not bringing in enough money?  We had the same problem. Dh was a self-employed painter. We were just out of BK, gave up the house to foreclosure, living in a family member's home, too poor for dh to buy enough gas to drive to give a bid. It's very hard to admit that you're "failing" and give up on that dream. Extremely hard. But, once you do, and take some menial job that's beneath you, and the steady pay starts rolling in, and all the worry is on the boss' back instead of yours, etc, it gets SO much easier. I had to have several talks w/dh, finally crying and telling him that his kids and pregnant wife were going to be HOMELESS and they don't give homeless people food stamps. But he went out and got a regular job and now look at us. It's a talk you really have to have. There's nothing saying he can't do RE on the side, but he's GOT to get regular work. Just HAS to. GL!

 


Thanks! The BK court was very easy, though I almost cried for another couple who's attorney messed up and they found out there on the spot they had to give up both of their cars. 

 

DH is at his 5th open house on the same property. I am praying he can get a buyer for it. It is an expensive one so they are having a really hard time selling it. He also is waiting to hear back on a apartment management position he applied for. Either way I am hoping something comes through for us. I am tired of being a nervous wreck all the time. I am starting to have panic attacks, as well as CFS and low thyroid symptoms again.

 

post #112 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post
I have been selling books online through bookscouter that I find at thrift shops, but I don't think I can make enough of a profit to keep doing that.

 

Would you mind taking a moment to explain how you do this? I had the idea, recently, that all my thrift store and consignment shopping could pay off, too. There are a lot of designer labels in my town. Labels that go for $10-40 on Ebay, but cost me btwn $2 and 5. Since I have a background heavy into fashion, I fully believe I could choose some great buys in current styles with big labels and resell them on Ebay. I did a thrift stop today, on 50% off day and grabbed some BCBG and others, for around $1-3/ea. Wish me luck I can make a profit, and embark on a great little home business that REQUIRES I shop?  But I'd love to keep a lookout for books, too, so if you wouldn't mind sharing some more about this I'd really appreciate it.

 

If I can bring in just 100/month in profits I'll be making a big difference to my family.
 

 

post #113 of 140

I did this on ebay several years ago (maybe 5 or so) and after ebay fees, shipping charges - which i passed on to customers, paypal fees etc I just didn't make any money.  I had stuff that didn't sell each week so there were ebay fee's I had to pay on those items.  I've thought about going back since my son has a ton of outgrown clothes and a ton of name brand stuff but after searching completed auctions it just doesn't seem worth it.

 

$25/week would be huge around here too but I just can't see it happening via ebay.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post



 

Would you mind taking a moment to explain how you do this? I had the idea, recently, that all my thrift store and consignment shopping could pay off, too. There are a lot of designer labels in my town. Labels that go for $10-40 on Ebay, but cost me btwn $2 and 5. Since I have a background heavy into fashion, I fully believe I could choose some great buys in current styles with big labels and resell them on Ebay. I did a thrift stop today, on 50% off day and grabbed some BCBG and others, for around $1-3/ea. Wish me luck I can make a profit, and embark on a great little home business that REQUIRES I shop?  But I'd love to keep a lookout for books, too, so if you wouldn't mind sharing some more about this I'd really appreciate it.

 

If I can bring in just 100/month in profits I'll be making a big difference to my family.
 

 



 

post #114 of 140

No, Oregon is one of the states that safelink does not cover.

post #115 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthyMamaofDaisy View Post

Foxsmama does your state have the Safelink phone?  I used to have one until mine broke.  I think I was getting 52 minutes/month or something.



No, Oregon is one of the states that safelink does not cover.

post #116 of 140

n

post #117 of 140

Food stamps were re-approved for October-March.  $340/month.  Yet again the yo-yo effect is in place.  This is more than DOUBLE what we have received for the past 6 months.  I can not wait until October!

Medical was re-approved as well.  That is almost more important that food, cuz I have some Dr's appt's and MEDS.  Meds are very important!

post #118 of 140

I haven't posted for a long time, but just found out food stamps for myself and my three sons were not approved. Thats $500 less a month we will be living on. All three boys were receiving free school meals and I don't know if that will stop too. if it does we will be in a lot more financial trouble than we are right now.

    I am not looking forwards to the winter. Last year I froze so the kids could have heat when they were at home, and bills were $250 to 300 a month! I can't stand the idea of freezing again this winter. Summer with no or minimum a/c was hard but doable.  We all delt well with temps in the high 80's inside, but I just can't deal with being cold!!

post #119 of 140

We live in a 1400 sq ft townhome, with a basement, in MI. We paid $75 in the coldest month last year. In our previous home, with an uninsulated crawl space and poor interior insulation, but smaller sq footage than we have now, we paid $360 in the coldest month. If you're paying that much in KY (does it even snow in KY?), my guess is you are very poorly insulated. If you own your home, maybe you should look into some things like I mentioned in my previous post. Even if you rent there are weatherization programs (here, anyway) that will help you with winterizing. I HIGHLY suggest them.

 

Otherwise, have you looked into the infrared heaters? I would imagine they have TSC (or something similar) in KY. http://www.tractorsupply.com/comfort-furnace-trade-infrared-heater-1131650  When we lived on a farm on propane, paying $800 for a tank to last us 6 weeks, we got an infrared heater. TSC was having an event in Oct or Nov where it was $100 off, so we got it for $300. We used it in the room we were in most (living room). It really helped, and didn't cost a ton in electric.

 

GL!

post #120 of 140

Hillymum- can you ask the social worker to audit your application?  Unless you've had a major increase in income you should still receive benefits?

Are you receiving LIHEAP for the electric bill?  Its a small credit given to low income families.  You need to apply with your power company.  Summers are my high power useage months because of all the A/C.  I refuse to turn the heat on in the winter.  When/if it gets cold we just wear a sweater/socks to bed.

I really hope this is the last hot month.  We've had rain and some cooler days (90's)  LOL so maybe one day that a/c will finally shut off.

 

My son is eating me out of house and home.  He is a total bottomless pit.  He just turned 11, the next 7 (10) years are going to kill me.  I'm so glad he is healthy and no longer such a skinny little thing but my gosh, the kid inhales food like nothing I've seen before.   I definately didn't get this memo when he was born!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Summer '11 ***Low Income Support Thread***