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poverty

post #1 of 133
Thread Starter 

Do you struggle every month just to have basic necessities? Is it not possible for you to be frugal because there is no money to be frugal with? Do the other low income threads talk about luxuries way beyond your means? Need a little support and commiseration? I know I do, and I know I'm not the only one. So how about a little poverty thread... anyone else game?

post #2 of 133

Game on mommy!

post #3 of 133

I'll join! I am feeling pretty discouraged these days - choosing which bills to pay each month, running out of money with a week or more till payday... Realistically, I can't live much more frugally. I know the biggest problem is that my rent is too high, but I can't do much about that, for a variety of reasons. I really don't buy any extras. My kids are done growing so we hardly ever buy clothes, and then all from thrift stores. No car payments or credit cards. Pretty basic stuff at the grocery store - no organics, but no over-processed foods either. I work full time, so serious home baking and the like is not possible time-wise. But I question how much that could really save anyway. Gas is a huge expense, but driving all over town is a major part of my job.

 

OK, enough whining. Usually I spend more time being grateful than complaining. Just got a mood tonight. Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

post #4 of 133

Good idea, Jess. I go in and out of this area, and I'm so glad there is support here for those who need it. 

 

My XH is trying to get his child support reduced significantly, and if he gets his way I'll be in this thread for sure. 

post #5 of 133

I am in this boat right now and have been for a while. My husband was unemployed for 5 months and for that time we didn't even have enough income to pay rent, much less pay our bills too. We had to max out what credit cards he has and borrow money to pay rent so our bills wouldn't be late. I hardly EVER spend money. I feel guilty if I spend a dollar.

He finally has a new job as of last week but it isn't exactly paying top dollar. I'm hoping we can at least make rent and bills though.
His hours are so odd that is isn't feasible for me to work too or I surely would. I'd basically work to put my kids in day care.

post #6 of 133
Thread Starter 

The (lol) short version of my story is :

My stbx and I were doing alright when we decided to make a major move 4 years ago. We came to Hawaii, the economy tanked, my guy had a total breakdown and basically stopped functioning. After less than a year, the savings was spent, the cards maxed, we had next to no income. We went through 3 years on and off of technically homeless situations (ie: shack w/cold running water). The one year we had something like a "real" house, it was still totally dysfuctional and only possible because I was getting a decent amount of support from first ex. Ex stopped paying, back to sketchiness. A year ago current husband and I split (so I was eligible for assistance I hadn't been) and I filed with CS Enforcement about first guy. Got a chunk of money, not tons, enough to get a decent REAL house and a few niceties. So far so good right? I was just able to make ends meet, more or less. I had enough for rent, utilities and car insurance. Still had a crappy not quite legal car and treats were few and far between, but we were getting it together. December comes around, holidays, new car troubles, and NOT ONE CENT of CS from ex. He just stopped paying, like he did before. I went to enforcement and found out that the state he is in doesn't want to pursue him, end of story. I applied for TANF, was sent to First to Work, no one seems to care that I have no formal education or useful work experience and jobs are extremely scarce, I don't have reliable transportation (bus is not reliable, employers don't hire people who don't have their own cars) and I am having a baby in April/May. I am still required to do 30 hrs a week for assistance equal to about half what I was getting in CS. So I have done the only sensible thing and applied for temporary disability, (would give me 2/3 what I got for CS). I have an interview next Tuesday. Meanwhile, I have had no meaningful amount of cash since November, couldn't pay rent this month, will probably get notice before I can pay it again (assuming I get any money, it will still be a few weeks), don't know how I'm going to pay the bills, trying to hang on to internet but that's not easy. Somehow tho, I have been able to patch things together enough to keep moving forward (I think). I do sometimes have to ask my 18 yo for money, which I hate to do, but sometimes it comes down to it. But then I also get little things here and there... an unexpected $20 for selling something I didn't need and was going to give away, a "rewards" certificate from my local natural grocery (hello TP and dish soap!). So it sucks, but hey, I started this thread cuz I knew I wasn't alone, right? So whether y'all are right there with me or damn close, thanks for getting on board. I hope everyone can vent and feel supported. grouphug.gif

post #7 of 133

yep. sounds vaguely familiar. ;)

post #8 of 133

I'm here and this month is turning out super crappy.  I'm a sub and the way pay works is there is a 3-4 week delay (totally legit, payroll is set up this way) and its usually ok but with winter break there was a 3 week NO WORK stint in December which is causing a pay problem for me in January.  Plus there is the pay lag into January... I'm not really getting  a check until February.  I have no money, my son is cranky because his 'allowance' is going to be late.  (yes I know there are much worse things).  Credit cards were already full, low lines of credit so...

 

No child support, just huge and ever growing arrears.  Mr wonderful isn't around.

 

Food stamps have $$ left on them.  IDK when the renewal is and I'm terrified about that.

 

I feel this depressing creeping up and I've been fighting so hard to keep that away.

 

 

post #9 of 133
Thread Starter 

Aw, ((hug)) I know the feeling. Some moments are harder than others. I'm thinking positively about getting through the next few weeks and getting some cash and knowing that something always comes through somehow, but then I look at my foodstamp balance, or my electric bill... Trying to not put things so far out of my mind that they don't get taken care of, but not dwell on them so much that I begin to feel utterly hopeless.

 

On a positive note, a friend is moving back to the mainland and giving me a bunch of stuff like a matching sofa and chair, only a few years old. The trade off is that she is my dear friend and she may never come back, but for the first time in my adult like I will have real, nice living room furniture.

post #10 of 133

I just realized my son's swim team fee's are due MONDAY...  Hopefully the coach will hold the checks and not rush them to the bank.  Swim team is 'only' $75/month which is very reasonable.  In the past year swim has dropped from an all time high of $250 to $150 down to $75 so this is not expensive in the least.  And swim is DS only activity right now aside from library which is free.  He wants to do theater again but no $$.  Theater is about $100/month.- Maybe next session.

This is exactly why I didn't have swim team put on 'auto pay'.  I do not need things 'auto bouncing'.  My bank will pay a check, they will not pay an 'auto debit'.  January checks didn't clear until mid month.  I hope that happens with Feb's as well.

 

I want to scream.  I need to do my taxes... I sure hope I get a refund.

post #11 of 133

I'm not sure I 100% qualify, but I can tell you that when I read Suze Orman's Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke, I thought, "This is a pretty good book, but BOY, do I wish I were as upwardly mobile as these 'broke' people!"

post #12 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

I'm not sure I 100% qualify, but I can tell you that when I read Suze Orman's Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke, I thought, "This is a pretty good book, but BOY, do I wish I were as upwardly mobile as these 'broke' people!"



LOL. EXACTLY! That's how I feel reading most of the Frugality&Finances forum. And also what bugged me about the picture on the MDC homepage when the Low Income Support thread was featured last week. That's what motivated me to start this thread. Not that it's a competition of who's worse off, but I think there tends to be a certain lack of comprehension of how some people can have less when one is feeling pinched and having to cut back. Like one day, I was talking to a friend's mother... she had just helped her daughter get a new Prius and she was telling me about how much her daughter was struggling. I said, "Yeah, I've got about $6 to my name." She gave me a blank stare and slowly said "How do you get by?" I told her that we lived in severely substandard housing, we get foodstamps, and everything else is a daily challenge. Her response (after a long pause) was something like "Well I hope things get better for you."

Yeah.

post #13 of 133

Something I just found out like last month. Cracker Barrel Restaurant, has the 'old country store' attached to it.  Such a sweet old time store.  They have 'stick candy' 8/$1.  The same candy is at walgreen 3/$1.  My DS LOVES going to the CB store to get some stick candy for $1.  The sticks are still huge and last forever - much longer then a sucker.

 

Everyone needs a treat once in a while and CB has tons of 'old fashioned' stuff.  I know the holidays are over.  Winter blues in some parts of the country.  Something to keep in mind (even for Easter)

 

post #14 of 133

OP and the other posters on this thread:  I don't want to hijack this thread because I'm not in a position of poverty right now, but I have been there, and I totally know where you are coming from.  I often feel extremely frustrated not only on MDC but when I hear people IRL (especially people in political, religious or other positions) tooting about the idea if you are frugal enough, smart enough, responsible enough, worthy enough, then you shouldn't have any financial problems, even if you're low income.  It pisses me off, for lack of a better phrase.  I've been there, done that, and I know it is not about responsibility, smarts, worthiness, frugality and all the other virtues that people preach about.  When you have nothing, you have nothing.  You can work as hard as you can with the best of your abilities and there is still not enough to cover the very basic necessities.  

 

Just wanted to say that some of us here understand (at least me).  I'm tired of the lectures that if you just sacrifice enough, you'll be fine and benefiting everyone including yourself.  Right....

post #15 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

OP and the other posters on this thread:  I don't want to hijack this thread because I'm not in a position of poverty right now, but I have been there, and I totally know where you are coming from.  I often feel extremely frustrated not only on MDC but when I hear people IRL (especially people in political, religious or other positions) tooting about the idea if you are frugal enough, smart enough, responsible enough, worthy enough, then you shouldn't have any financial problems, even if you're low income.  It pisses me off, for lack of a better phrase.  I've been there, done that, and I know it is not about responsibility, smarts, worthiness, frugality and all the other virtues that people preach about.  When you have nothing, you have nothing.  You can work as hard as you can with the best of your abilities and there is still not enough to cover the very basic necessities.  

 

Just wanted to say that some of us here understand (at least me).  I'm tired of the lectures that if you just sacrifice enough, you'll be fine and benefiting everyone including yourself.  Right....




yeahthat.gif Totally.

That wasn't a hijack at all, the input and support is appreciated. Out of curiosity, since you've BTDT but no longer, what changed in your situation? Was it hard work, luck, a combination? I'd like to hear more.

post #16 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by jess in hawaii View Post




yeahthat.gif Totally.

That wasn't a hijack at all, the input and support is appreciated. Out of curiosity, since you've BTDT but no longer, what changed in your situation? Was it hard work, luck, a combination? I'd like to hear more.


I would say that it was a combination of consistently trying, getting up every day to start over despite the odds, and a whole, whole lot of good fortune.  I would say that a great part of my life has consisted of a number of fortunate events.  I think it helps that I have time on my side too (I'm 48), so I've been around a lot longer than most here and I would say that things have progressed very slowly over the years.  It is hard to see light, however, when you are in the middle of it.

post #17 of 133

I think a big problem is that people earning less than a certain amount of money simply are not addressed in our society.  They are spoken of in third person, as a lump of people who either deserve food stamps or don't.  Books that deal with work issues inevitably are talking about white collar jobs only, and books that deal with personal finance inevitably are addressing people with advancing careers and so much money that they can divide it among retirement, life insurance, disability insurance, a child's college fund, etc.  It's as if publishers don't think poor people read, when the reality is that many of us spend much of our free time at the local library.

post #18 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsSlocombe View Post

I think a big problem is that people earning less than a certain amount of money simply are not addressed in our society.  They are spoken of in third person, as a lump of people who either deserve food stamps or don't.  Books that deal with work issues inevitably are talking about white collar jobs only, and books that deal with personal finance inevitably are addressing people with advancing careers and so much money that they can divide it among retirement, life insurance, disability insurance, a child's college fund, etc.  It's as if publishers don't think poor people read, when the reality is that many of us spend much of our free time at the local library.



Yes, I hate reading finance books where the main advice is to cut out things I've never owned/done to begin with.  I've been following along, but I really don't like to think of myself as in poverty, even if that's where we are.

post #19 of 133

It doesn't matter how hard a person works, if the job is low paying than there are going to be financial difficulties. Unfortunately hard work does not equal decent wages. The most hardworking people in this world live in poverty or very close to it. 

 

I really think that when people in the world say that hard work pays off, what they really mean is if you're working towards get a high paying job.

post #20 of 133

i totally agree.  One of my coworkers(who does the same thing I do) once told me that her and her husband can afford things(that I cant) because her and her husband work really hard.  I just had to laugh because I feel guilty all the time because my husband works WAY harder than me and for less pay.  Me and her barely work according to my definition of work.  People really think they deserve every good thing that comes their way rather than knowing that they were just lucky to be born in the country/station/with the advantages/and mental/physical faculties that they did.

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