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poverty - Page 2

post #21 of 133
Thread Starter 

Right. I had a "friend" who would always give me advice on how to get my finances together, how I, too, could by a house, have money in the bank etc. if I just did X,Y,Z, whatever. When i finally called her out on the facts that she had received enough inheritance to buy her first house at 25 in an area that was on the cusp of gentrification (sold it at 100% profit), had a father who would loan her any reasonable amount she asked for, and just happened to have an innate sense about real estate and a supportive husband, she responded that she knew that even if she was in my position, she would do things differently than me so she would have everything she did anyway.

post #22 of 133

Ugh. I lent my friend my link card( snap) to get some milk and pick me up something from store. She got back- there is nothing left- I totally miscalculated... I don't get anymore till the tenth- I really messed up.

post #23 of 133

I just want to vent, forgive me if this is in the wrong place.  DH and I are students and can only work a max of 20 hrs a week.  In a college town, the only jobs are provided by the university and for minimum wage.  Our housing is provided by the university for an unreasonable amount for the area and what you get (go monopolies!) and they raise our rent 5% every year without a pay increase ($700 .  We've been here 5 years trying to finish and it gets harder and harder.  We are in our twenties.

 

My dad is "making" me finish school - another kicker - there are NO JOBS available that will make up for the amount of time and money we have had to put into our so-called "educations."  They are dime-a-dozen undergrad degrees.  We eat beans and rice and homemade bread.  We have no car.  We have closed credit cards (thanks to DH's parents who had him co-sign on the 2 cards that they put his tuition on without telling him, then saying it was "his").  We have to pay credit card bills and interest on them when they aren't even available to use!  We walk everywhere (which is actually great for us, just limiting).

 

No kids = no snap.  At least I don't think so.  Haven't checked.  There were hitches with our jobs and a few weeks each without pay - hence the cards closing.

 

Anywho, I have had a cavity on a molar since last summer.  I've finally saved up enough to get it fixed this week.  My dad said "well, this is good for you!"  I DON'T MAKE ENOUGH when I have to give HALF of my month's wages to a dentist!  How is this good when I'm risking my current and future health while driving myself into debt for a degree I'll never use?  Risking tooth decay/infection/root canal?  I completely fail to see how ruining my credit and health is good for us.  I'm already underweight and DH has been losing as well.  Hunger doesn't help with making good enough grades to not have to retake classes.

 

My dad has a 6-bedroom house and a vacation house and spends more on electricity in a month than my entire rent and electric bill is together.  He's making me finish school, knows how much I make, and refuses to help with things "because I'm married."  Yeah, that would make sense if I wasn't finishing for him (he paid for my first year, which was awesome but in hindsight he was controlling and manipulating - he has been abusive my entire life, to my mom and me).  But he expects us to live off of 11k a year, pay for medical and dental and school and cards and FOOD?  No, not where I live.  Go part time for school?  I'd NEVER finish, plus I'd have to start paying back my loans.  Housing options are limited and the only reason we can get by without a car in this town is because we actually live next to campus.  Bus passes are 65/mo per person.    We get small grants, but boy is it not enough.  We've manipulated the numbers so much it makes my head hurt.

 

The numbers just don't add up and I'm tired of it.  This is such a joke sometimes.  

 

Hugs to all of you, I know I have a lot less to worry about than so many of you.  Best of luck, we can get through it.  I hope I didn't offend anyone because I very much did not mean to.  Thank you for letting me vent.  I read all of your stories and you are in my thoughts.

post #24 of 133
Thread Starter 

No worries, I don't think anyone is offended by someone in the same boat. Even tho you don't have children, your struggle is just as real.

But I am wondering how your dad is "making" you finish school? I know that people, especially family, can be manipulative, but what is he doing that is inescapable? It sounds like you are frustrated that you are working so hard, sacrificing for something that doesn't amount to much. I can understand. But what would you change if you could, and what is holding you back?

Not trying to be provocative, but I'm curious, and maybe you can get some good feedback.

Oh, and you should be able to get SNAP, at least a bit. It's not that hard to qualify for, and even if you don't get the full amount, everything helps.

post #25 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

Ugh. I lent my friend my link card( snap) to get some milk and pick me up something from store. She got back- there is nothing left- I totally miscalculated... I don't get anymore till the tenth- I really messed up.



Oh that's hard. I'm out for the rest of the month, till the 3rd. Time to get creative with the bulk stuff and canned goods wink1.gif

post #26 of 133

Sadly I did that last month so our cupboards are bear and I don't work till Thursday- luckily I loaned some money to friends and they are to pay me back this week... anyone else hate spending their own money on food when you get used to having the link?  I was hoping that money could go into an account for safety- luckily I have a bag of chicken and a frozen chicken- maybe I can ask boyfriend to invite us over a time  or two this week. Shit.  PANCAKES sound good- I need milk. Shit.

post #27 of 133

mom31, you can make pancakes with water.  they won't be as delicious, but you can do it.  *hugs*  Been there.

 

 

 

post #28 of 133

Pancakes with water are good too :)

 

By "making" ... I guess at the least he says I owe him $15k up front.  For a year at college, this included my transportation out to school, bus pass, tuition, housing, and food.  He took out a loan anyways, and if I don't finish, I have to pay that one back since I co-signed, as well as the ones I've taken out through the gov't since.  It's just somewhat impossible to start right away.  By abusive and manipulative, he's said things to my mother and I along the lines of, actually verbatim, "If you betray me, they'll never find your body."  He's as sweet as pie and smooth as silk to everyone who talks to him, though.  I was 18, I didn't know any better (still so much a kid at that age, like everyone else).  I didn't know how to get out and get on my own, because I have been made to believe my whole life that I'm dependent on him and worthless without men's help (looking to my mother, she's like that as well - very dependent on him, but an alcoholic who cannot function or keep a job - he likes her that way and keeps her drunk).  So there are lots of issues there - but I feel a bit better since I last posted and I'm glad I got to vent, so thank you.  I really am at a good place - DH and I are very happy and lucky and we know it.  I know that not everything is for naught, even though my degree is.  And y'all are right about the sacrifice for no point - it is frustrating.  

 

How do you shake the constant feeling of impending doom - like, what if something happens like a medical emergency, etc?  Do you have plans in place?  I can't help but feel like EVERYTHING will implode and we'd be done for if just ONE part of our lives got out of whack.  And then it would be like a domino effect.

post #29 of 133

{{{{{{{fresh_veggie}}}}}

 

Have you considered applying to a bunch of schools for a transfer to get far away from your dad (you can get full funding and scholarships for them)? You don't need that abuse, and that IS abuse! If you need some support help try to get the book, "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward from the library... and maybe see if there are any (free) Al Anon support groups around you. They really do help as "Adult Children of Alcoholics" (ACoA) have their own set of "issues" and the group support can be VERY helpful (I went to them). If not try picking up some books on it and reading them if you have not done it. 

 

This does NOT have to be your destiny, he does NOT have any actual power over you... other than what you hand him, and there is another way and a better life out there!!!  

 

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}  

post #30 of 133
Thread Starter 

yeahthat.gif fresh_veggie, I know the personality you are dealing with, my ex husband is a controlling, abusive sociopath who everybody outside of partnership loves. Do anything it takes to disengage, put space between you and your father, and heal. You will never live up to his expectations, all you can do is get on with your own life. hug.gif

 

 

 

 

Mom31, Re: Pancakes with water: This is one of those times when it would be good if you can hit up a food bank and get some powdered milk. It's not much good for drinking, but it does work well in baked goods, sauces and soups.

post #31 of 133

Thank you all for the hugs, jess and thystle. And the kind words - they really do lift me up and I know you are sincere.  It's taken me 4 years of counseling, but I'm beginning to understand and heal.  I'm very angry sometimes.  Your advice is appreciated.  I've looked for ACoA groups but haven't been able to find any in my area, I'll keep it in mind for the future, I wasn't sure it would be a big help but I'm open to most things.  DH has been wonderful, and boy did I get lucky!  I realize that getting married at 20 could have had a crazy messy outcome, but I apparently was level-headed enough to make a good decision :D  Our 3 year anniversary is next week. 

 

Thystle, I do actually live quite far away from my family.  I didn't know at the time but I was getting out - even though being away didn't fix much, it gave me a chance to step back and look from the outside at myself.  I haven't heard of Toxic Parents but I will look into it!  Thank you!  I played my cards these past couple of years well, in hindsight - very lucky :)

 

What do you guys try to keep as pantry staples?  What do you find are your go-to items that are the highest cal for the amount of money?

post #32 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thystle View Post

{{{{{{{fresh_veggie}}}}}

 

Have you considered applying to a bunch of schools for a transfer to get far away from your dad (you can get full funding and scholarships for them)? You don't need that abuse, and that IS abuse! If you need some support help try to get the book, "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward from the library... and maybe see if there are any (free) Al Anon support groups around you. They really do help as "Adult Children of Alcoholics" (ACoA) have their own set of "issues" and the group support can be VERY helpful (I went to them). If not try picking up some books on it and reading them if you have not done it.


Coincidentally, I just finished reading that book.  I thought it was pretty good.  I got a lot out the advice about non-defensive communication, even though it turned out that my parents were not quite as toxic as most of the ones mentioned in the book.

 

post #33 of 133

SUBBED TODAY! joy.gif  Have a job lined up for tomorrow too.    The best part of today was, last class was 'prep' so I got to go home 90 mins early!    I was home by 1pm, My kid is happy, I'm happy and its still a full day pay.

Today was high school math, tomorrow is 7/8 math.

 

I have to pay swim team fee's tonight.  I sure hope the coach holds the check for weeks again.

post #34 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by fresh_veggie View Post

What do you guys try to keep as pantry staples?  What do you find are your go-to items that are the highest cal for the amount of money?



As someone who only borderline-belongs in this thread, I don't go for maximum calories for the buck.  I am like most Americans in that I consume too many calories no matter what.  I do go for maximum nutrition for the buck, and for that, dried beans and lentils can't be beaten.  Lentils are particularly convenient because, unlike other beans, they don't require as much planning.  You can soak the green/brown ones, but it's also fine not to;  you actually are not supposed to soak the red ones, and they are very quick-cooking.

 

Other cheap favorites include cabbage (the regular green or red kind), carrots (can even get organic, and they're still cheap!), rice (brown is healthier without much more cost), peanuts, and bananas.

For maximum calories, I would imagine that oil and sugar are the top choices.  During the Depression, poor people used to pour syrup over all sorts of things, just to get the extra calories.  Still, I would only suggest going that route after all charitable and governmental options for obtaining healthful food had been exhausted.  Of the foods I named, peanuts are the highest in calories, and are still fairly nutritious.  They can be added to various rice and veggie or noodle and veggie dishes, even something as simple as ramen noodles.

post #35 of 133

Yes - the pantry is open tomorrow and I am going to go after I drop the kids off. I have to drive to the air port to pick up my friend and she is paying for the gas and going to take me to lunch.

post #36 of 133
Thread Starter 

High calorie foods for the money: At the end of the month we do a lot of mac & cheese (homemade) and bean & cheese tacos/burritos, plus whatever veg is on sale. I have growing boys, so I have to have something fairly bulky with plenty of fat and protein to satisfy them. Rice pilaf is good too, especially if I have a little meat or chicken. Or I put coconut oil in the rice, which is soooo tasty and satisfying. Earlier in the month we eat more meat, potatoes and assorted veggies.

I am not one of the coupon obsessed, but I do use them, and i know how to find a good sale, and sometimes I do compromise my ideal for what is affordable ie: generic pasta for $1.00

(w/coupon) vs. organic for $3.49 on sale. It makes quite a difference.

 

post #37 of 133

Jess-I'm very curious, what was it about that photo on the MDC homepage that linked back to this board that bugged you so much? I saw the same pic and even though we are on pretty hard times at the moment (I'm hesitant to say we are in poverty but realistically I know we are well below the poverty line for our family size and we're struggling), I wasn't bothered by it at all. I'm not trying to be snarky, I'm just very curious. I saw you post about it on the low income support group, too, and replied, but never heard anything more. 

 

Fresh Veggie-Honestly, I've lived paycheck to paycheck for so long with no savings or cushion that my feeling of impending doom has faded. I pretty much just figure we will file bankruptcy and go from there. It sucks and I hate to think of things like that, but really, that's reality for us. When I used to get to wrapped up in the what ifs, though, I would take a few minutes and focus on the present. What we DO have, our family, our kitties, food, heat/ac, etc. It helped me to calm down a lot. 

 

Sorry to hear about your schooling. Not wanting a random degree that gets me nothing is a huge reason I've not finished college. Can't imagine being in your situation! Yikes!

 

Zebra-glad you got some hours in!! Hope it keeps on comin!

post #38 of 133

My whole family is well off besides me- but they are struggling lol... well they have 2= cars and own businesses and go on a few vacations a year- man tho- things are tight for them- but it s a different kind of tight- the kind they choose to be in... ya know- if you are broke you don't get to go on a hawaiin vacation ya know- or you just must be stupid or not broke like me.

post #39 of 133
Thread Starter 

3xMama- I did mention that picture before, and then dropped the subject because no one else felt the same. That's fine, whatever. It's a little hard to articulate what rubbed me the wrong way about it....

Ok, it's like this... That could be a picture of one of my best friends, which sounds weird, but I'll explain.. She is waaaay more mainstream than me, was a career girl before having her DS at 28-ish, has a wonderful supportive husband and a family that would do anything for her. And they struggle, because they were in construction when everything crumbled, they lost their house, their income, had to move in with the parents who are also struggling. BUT they still have two nice vehicles, top end washer/dryer set, nice furnishings, meals out, days at the beach, cable....

And it's not that I grudge her that, I know she has lost a lot and her life is not nearly as comfortable for her as it used to be. And she has been nothing but supportive, helpful and generous to me. She is grateful that she has the support she does, and recognizes that there are people who have far less. So it's difficult for me, and I am totally owning this, to know that someone has their own struggles and sacrifices, and yet has a life that I would LOVE to have. And I guess that is what that pic represented to me. And why I started this thread. Because that picture is "low income" and poverty looks different.

Poverty looks like clothes from Wal-mart and Goodwill. Poverty looks like a car that probably shouldn't be on the road. Poverty looks like being too tired/hungry/stressed to cover up with make up. Poverty looks like no treats, no fun, nothing special, ever. Poverty looks like a laundromat.

Maybe not 100% of the time, but day in, day out, over months and years, till you have to admit that somewhere along the way you fucked up, you missed the boat, and it shows. Poverty is shameful and disheartening. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn't really lived it.

 

Sorry, I'm feeling pretty down right now.

I'll feel better in a couple days when I have foodstamps and we can at least eat like we're not destitute. lol.

post #40 of 133

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jess in hawaii View Post

3xMama- I did mention that picture before, and then dropped the subject because no one else felt the same. That's fine, whatever. It's a little hard to articulate what rubbed me the wrong way about it....

Ok, it's like this... That could be a picture of one of my best friends, which sounds weird, but I'll explain.. She is waaaay more mainstream than me, was a career girl before having her DS at 28-ish, has a wonderful supportive husband and a family that would do anything for her. And they struggle, because they were in construction when everything crumbled, they lost their house, their income, had to move in with the parents who are also struggling. BUT they still have two nice vehicles, top end washer/dryer set, nice furnishings, meals out, days at the beach, cable....

And it's not that I grudge her that, I know she has lost a lot and her life is not nearly as comfortable for her as it used to be. And she has been nothing but supportive, helpful and generous to me. She is grateful that she has the support she does, and recognizes that there are people who have far less. So it's difficult for me, and I am totally owning this, to know that someone has their own struggles and sacrifices, and yet has a life that I would LOVE to have. And I guess that is what that pic represented to me. And why I started this thread. Because that picture is "low income" and poverty looks different.

Poverty looks like clothes from Wal-mart and Goodwill. Poverty looks like a car that probably shouldn't be on the road. Poverty looks like being too tired/hungry/stressed to cover up with make up. Poverty looks like no treats, no fun, nothing special, ever. Poverty looks like a laundromat.

Maybe not 100% of the time, but day in, day out, over months and years, till you have to admit that somewhere along the way you fucked up, you missed the boat, and it shows. Poverty is shameful and disheartening. Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn't really lived it.

 

Sorry, I'm feeling pretty down right now.

I'll feel better in a couple days when I have foodstamps and we can at least eat like we're not destitute. lol.

 

 

*hugs*  I know that feeling.  It's the feeling when you are so desperate that you are pissed.  Pissed at yourself.  Pissed at your life.  MIserable.  You cannot see the upside of anything because the rage is so overwhelming and depressing.  Am I close?  I've been there.  It hits me out of nowhere sometimes.  I have a friend who got kicked in the teeth by life.  She was a hardworking gal who found the love of her life and they got engaged and moved in together and had a daughter.  When she was 8 months old, he contracted pneumonia and it went too long without being treated.  He passed away at the young age of 28 due to complications from pneumonia.  So that hardworking gal lost all her drive to succeed and live life without her partner.  She moved in with her grandma, stopped working, stopped paying bills, spiraled into depression, etc.  She has slowly come out of it but she's still living with grandma more than 5years later.  She has a nice SUV.  Grandma buys clothing for her daughter and things her daughter needs.  She still isn't working.  She gets social security for her daughter but she rarely uses it to pay any bills or contribute because grandma takes care of that too if she forgets or spends all her money.  She has a nice car, more new clothing than she can wear, a fancy cell phone, and plenty of cash to go out and do what she wants to do.  But she claims poverty because she gets food stamps(though she rarely uses them much because she's always eating out) and occasionally she runs out of fun money.  Meanwhile I'm choosing between bills to pay for the month, juggling shut-offs, living in a tiny 2 bedroom with my 3 kids in one room, shoving them all into the tiny backseat of my tiny car that needs $2K worth of work and didn't pass inspection this year, making minutes last on my old flip phone because we don't have a house phone, trying to make 2 pairs of old holey jeans work because I can't afford new ones, and trying to explain to my kids why I am struggling to pay their field trip contributions in change and saying no to the expensive treats at the store because that won't make our food stamps stretch enough. (holy run-on!)  So yeah, it makes me angry.  It hurts me.  And I know my friend has been through a lot.  I know she isn't deserving of my anger and it's not truly directed towards her.  It's more directed inward at myself because like you said, I effed up somewhere along the way.  Lots of places along the way.  And I can't change it and I'm stuck and can't fix it right now.  Poverty is draining.  It's miserable.  It hurts.  It's not nice things and family to catch you when you fall.  It's shut-offs and panic when something crucial breaks and there's no money to fix it.  It's deciding between food and lights.
 

 

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