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$1000/mo short :(

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Title says it all.

We have cut back virtually everywhere we can. We are the thriftiest family I know.

I was on short-term disability but just found out that for some reason my doc didn't approve the extension. I still cannot work, not that I have a job to go back to anyway...

We are living off DH's income alone. He is already working 10+ hour days and trying to single-handedly take care of our house (cleaning, repairs, etc.) since I am useless. He is constantly wiped out & trying to catch up on things, so it seems impossible for him to take a second job.

Our medical expenses are killing us... we are spending about $1000/mo between premiums & copays. We applied for state aid but only DS was accepted and the expense/benefit ratio didn't work in our favor at the time (though now I wish we still had it because it could be slightly cheaper since DS has more therapy now that might be covered).

Our mortgage is too expensive but we can't sell (house is worth half what we bought it for). We did apply for a program through our mortgage company but who knows when/if they will approve us & what form the assistance will take. I can deal with losing the house, but I can't figure out what we would do after that, since by that point we will have absolutely no savings and rent isn't cheap... would be nice to just lose it now & get it over with so we could use our last bit of savings to help us start fresh.

It looks like we make just over the cut-off to qualify for other assistance (i.e. food stamps). We do have savings, but it's disappearing fast.

I just don't know what to do. I feel completely helpless & hopeless. I don't see any way out of this. The local job market is terrible... so it's unlikely DH would find something better, and equally unlikely that I would find something even if I could work right now.

I need ideas. I need someone to tell me they hit bottom but somehow survived. I need just a glimmer of hope. I don't need money, I really don't care about "stuff"... All we need is a place to live, food, and access to medical care. Why is that so hard????
post #2 of 38

If you've already cut back on everything possible then you need to look at ways to bring in more income.  Here are some ideas...

 

*Are you able to watch another child or children while you are at home with your own children?  I don't know what your disability situation is.  If you are unable to be up and active with a busy-er toddler, perhaps you could provide childcare for a newborn who is less physically demanding.

 

*Could you provide transportation for others?  There are elderly or disabled people who are willing to pay for transportation to do their errands, appointments, etc.  Another option would be to provide transportation to/from school/daycare/recreational activities for children with parents who are unable to do so.

 

*You could take in housemates to help pay the rent.  In my area there are frequently ads up for newly-single parents with one or two children who need a place to stay while they get back on their feet.  Depending on the size of your house, you could give them a bedroom, bathroom, and common area to themselves.  There's also single people of a variety of backgrounds who need a room.  If the renter is interested, you could provide some meals as well for an additional fee.  

 

*Are you able to do laundry, ironing, and basic clothing repairs (sew on buttons)?  If so, you could take in other people's laundry to do.

 

*What skills do you have?  Do you know how to sing, paint, draw, crochet, quilt, play an instrument, design blogs, etc.?  Are you knowledgeable in math or another school subject?  You could offer individual tutoring.  I know of a few people who do this and meet with their clients at the local library.

 

*Are you able to provide yard care or gardening assistance?  There are many people willing to pay to have their lawn mowed, flowers planted and weeded, snow shoveled, etc.

 

*Have you had a garage/yard sale?  You might be surprised how much money you can make getting rid of things you no longer need.

 

*What about selling plasma?  There are many companies that will allow you to sell plasma and some pay quite well.

 

*Are you willing to sell your hair?  If you have long hair there are places online where you can sell it.  One friend with red hair was able to sell a 10" ponytail for over $300.

 

*How about pet sitting?  You could watch the animals at their owners house or at yours.  

 

*Walking dogs for people with long work hours is another option.  You would go to the person's house, take the dog for a walk so he can go to the bathroom and be outside, and then return the dog to his home.  Plus, you would get exercise too!

 

*Pet waste removal is another thing people with yards are willing to pay for.  This wouldn't work so well if you're in a city but if you're in the suburbs you could clean the pet waste up out of their owners back yards.

 

I'm sure you can find other ideas online, but those are what I can think of off the top of my head.  Combining many of them would lead to better results.  Adding a housemate is probably the quickest way to get some extra income.

post #3 of 38
Have you applied for SSI?
post #4 of 38

I would call the Dr and see why they didn't approve you for extended disability.  Start there. Sometimes paperwork gets *lost*, forgotten about etc.

post #5 of 38

Get after the doctor to approve the disability extension!!

 

Reapply for state medical aid.

 

Figure out if it's worthwhile for your husband to work fewer hours so you can get more aid (I'm only advising this because he's stretched so thin).

 

Do you have an option for a high-deductible health insurance plan?  Because once the deductible is met, they usually cover a higher percentage (100% for ours), so copays aren't overwhelming if you need a lot of health care.   Also, a health savings account that goes with it would allow you to put aside pre-tax money for health expenses.

 

Look for housing that is affordable with just one income (less than one-third of gross income monthly, one-quarter would be better), and that is easier to clean/maintain.  Where do the working poor live in your area?

 

It sounds like you should itemize deductions on your tax return, since you have so many medical expenses.

 

Start skipping mortgage payments before your savings are totally exhausted.  Moving isn't cheap.

post #6 of 38

Do you have alot of bills other than mortgage - like credit cards? Then claim bankruptcy.

 

Are you current with your mortgage at least for the past 6 mths? If so then even if you're house is under water you can re-finance.

 

If you don't mind losing your house, just stop making mortgage payments. It will take months but you can either short sale, do a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or they will foreclose. Then you may have to live in an apt for a little while until you get back on track.

post #7 of 38

You should be able to get some help from your town/city welfare officer.  This is different than DHHS.  I just got help this month from our town welfare officer.  I had to show a budget which said what our expenses are and that my husband's income is less than our expenses.  Also there might be a local charity that could help catch you up on bills.  Like maybe your local catholic church. And there should be some food pantries where you live.

 

Can you appeal the decision to deny you the disability?

post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenlea View Post

 

 

If you don't mind losing your house, just stop making mortgage payments. It will take months but you can either short sale, do a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or they will foreclose. Then you may have to live in an apt for a little while until you get back on track.

 

Your credit will be shot.  (And the bank can still come after you for the money unless you file bankruptcy.  They probably won't, but they could.)  

 

 

I've heard that you can make $200/month donating plasma.  If you and dh both do that, it could help. 

post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

 

Your credit will be shot.  (And the bank can still come after you for the money unless you file bankruptcy.  They probably won't, but they could.)  

 

 

Who cares if your credit is shot when you're currently not making enough money to live??  

 

I did a short sale at the beginning of the year and while I don't think the bank will come after me, I may still get a 409 for tax purposes, but its better than deciding to pay bills or eat, like I was doing.  And your credit won't be shot for as long as you think.

post #10 of 38

Maybe you could post your budget to see if there's any suggestions people can make with it.

 

I agree that you need to talk to your doctor.  If you aren't well enough to even participate around the house then you should not be taken off disability.

 

I don't have any concrete solutions but I know you guys can do it if you look at long-range plans.  We've been in your situation before - not exact, but pretty similar - and it sucked for a few years but we got through it.  You will too.

post #11 of 38

Medical expenses 1000/mth: Do you have health insurance?  Is this cost the premium that is deducted from your husbands pay check?  How much goes to copays vs the premium? And (sorry, I dont mean to intrude, I know health costs are expensive and often put people in debt, it just sucks) how often are you going to the doctors per month? (None of this needs to be answered ...  you are short the same amount $$ that is your medical expense - Im sure there is not much to do about this, it just caught my eye).

 

Can you house clean? Dog walk? wave a political flag on the corner etc for extra money.

 

Even though your husband is working 10hrs / day, maybe he needs a weekend job. It is not forever, just until you are better ... maybe a few months, when that refinance comes through (fingers crossed).

 

Do you get tax money back in Feb? Get your husband to go to HR and change his tax deductions - up his allowances or just change the fed tax withholdings to 0, to the end of the year. (Definitely do the math first, but if you get 1000 back in fed taxes, you may as well stop paying the withholdings now, keep that money but remember you wont get as much back in feb) He should be able to adjust h is w-2 form and get hr to change it.


Edited by SunRise - 10/31/12 at 4:51am
post #12 of 38

Guys, it sounds like the PP is disabled to the point where she can't even clean her own house, her DH has to do it right now.  So, it's unrealistic I think to expect her to walk dogs or do yardwork or clean OTHER people's houses, as some PP's suggested.  Those ARE good suggestions, but we don't know what her illness is.  And who's to say that she couldn't get a "better" (better paying) job if she was doing better, physically?  If *anything* I would suggest she get an office job or some sort of computer thing, if they're available in her area.  Maybe get on a waiting list with a temp agency, who know her limitations.  She might not get job offers, but hey, maybe...?

post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone... I appreciate all the ideas and I welcome anyone who's willing to play devil's advocate with me & convince me some of them are workable even if I think they aren't!

I guess my doctor didn't exactly turn down my disability extension, they just didn't fill out the paperwork because I hadn't been in to see them in a month or so. I didn't know that was a requirement & I was getting a second opinion from another doctor (who I'm switching to as a primary doc now) so it's all confused. I hate having an HMO and hate the way disability is set up in my state. DH is trying to help sort it out but who knows how it will turn out. I don't think I'm eligible for SSI, hopefully my 'disability' will not be permanent!

Tiqa is right, I really can't clean other people's houses etc. when I can't manage doing my own. I will look into donating plasma but not sure if my medical issues would make me ineligible right now... maybe DH could do it at least. Where do you go to do that (and get paid for it)??

Medical expenses are definitely the biggest issue (aside from the mortgage). Does anyone know how much private insurance costs?? DH gets us coverage through work but a third of his salary is going toward the premiums, which seems ridiculous to me, plus we still have to pay copays!!

We never get money back at tax time (or at least nothing significant) -- I don't know why, I guess we are in this weird income bracket, we are just above the cut-off for some tax credits & assistance and we're in a fairly high COL area so really struggling.

I don't know if our town has a welfare office but I will look into it!
post #14 of 38

google "plasma donation" and the name of your state.  Hopefully there will be a center near you.  

post #15 of 38

I googled plasma donation MN and found these prices, seems like you can donate 2 times per week:

 

Depends on your weight.
If you're over 175 lbs...
1st, 2nd, and 5th: $50/donation
3th, 4th: $35/donation

After that....
In the same week: 1st: $20/donation 2nd: $40/donation
Only once a week: $20/donation

145 - 175 lbs is the same but $5 less after the first five visits

Under 145...
First five: $35/donation
$15 and $20 after that

post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Medical expenses are definitely the biggest issue (aside from the mortgage). Does anyone know how much private insurance costs?? DH gets us coverage through work but a third of his salary is going toward the premiums, which seems ridiculous to me, plus we still have to pay copays!!
 

 

I don't think you'll qualify for private insurance, you have a pre-existing condition. When I tried to get private insurance while pregnant they wouldn't even talk to me until after I had the baby because they felt it was a pre-existing condition. So I don't think you'll have much luck. 

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenlea View Post

 

I don't think you'll qualify for private insurance, you have a pre-existing condition. When I tried to get private insurance while pregnant they wouldn't even talk to me until after I had the baby because they felt it was a pre-existing condition. So I don't think you'll have much luck. 

 

Every state has different health insurance regulations (NY state does not have a pre-existing condition clause, for example, but it's very expensive).  The costs vary so much across the country by state from as little as (a family plan) costing 400/mth to the same plan in another state for 3600/mth.

 

I think private insurance is much more expensive then group insurance (of course, researching is always informative).

 

But definitely claim your premiums and copays as tax deductions (if you itemize)

post #18 of 38

You know, sometimes Medicaid does help out with crazy medical bills even if you're over the official limits.  You can always at least try talking to a human about your situation.  It might not work but it's worth at least trying.

post #19 of 38

If you haven't had a gap in coverage, some places will cover you even with a pre-existing condition (for pregnancy, they cannot turn you down as long as you weren't without coverage, but simply moving from one policy to another). The pre-existing not being allowed for not covering is part of the new healthcare plan, but many companies are starting to implement it now. It can't hurt to check. For example:

 

I have health insurance through my school. I pay $350 a month (high option) for a family of five. I have low co-pays and deductibles. The school board pays the rest, which is like $1,100.

 

A friend of ours is self employed; she pays $450 a month for her family of four. I think her deductibles and copays are higher, but she still has pretty good coverage. That is her total cost per month, no one is picking up the rest.

 

Good luck with everything.

post #20 of 38

I agree with the poster who suggested bankruptcy.  It is likely that if they are already in this situation, their credit is already shot or will be headed there in a hurry.  You can also strategically work toward increasing your credit score following a bankruptcy; however, until you get away from the house, you are immobilized.  

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