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Prepping for a reduction in income - Page 3

post #41 of 62

OP, I'm actually not far from you at all.  Just to your south I'd bet.  And our COL is SICK here.  But my 3 kids and I survived for 5 years on just under $18K per year.  Now we are at more like $22K.  But still, a FRACTION of what you make.  And we've done okay for ourselves.  I'm with Rainbow.  I know you see your frugality and are proud of it and you SHOULD be since you don't have to be frugal but you have no idea how privileged you really are.  I don't live a horror story.  My kids are happy and well-adjusted despite our poverty.  We feel rich beyond measure a lot of the time even though we don't have "things."  Toilet paper is nice.  But sometimes you gotta scrounge pennies from the couch cushions to hit up the dollar store for a pack of toilet paper.  It happens.  But coming from your income now down to basically my income?  You are gonna hurt.  And hurt bad.  You think you are frugal now??  I don't envy your situation.  At least I'm used to being poor and finding the good in every single thing that happens to me.  I think you SHOULD come visit the low income thread.  At the very least it might get you in the "sacrifice" mindset.

post #42 of 62

This thread has taken a couple of turns since I last looked at it and I have just one thought - everyone is right :)

 

Seriously, in reading all of the posts - I think the communication got a little combative because Mumm came looking for support and advice and turned down a lot of advice....as such the responses got less supportive.

 

Mumm, I really hope you will hangout on the frugality and finance pages because it does seem you are struggling with where you can make changes and cuts. When my family took on a much larger mortgage 4 years ago (essentially dramatically reducing our "income") I got such great information and advice on these pages.

 

Having read your posts, it seems you do not want to relocate or eliminate certain activities from your lifestyle so my main suggestion is that you find a way to produce some income and support your spouse and family during this transition.

post #43 of 62
I would overall say congratulations on the opportunity, and I think you are right overall, it should all be worth it in the end. Your friends and your partner's coworkers, both current and future, may be the best sources of help and advice. The airline industry is a special one all its own! Many pilot families have "traveled" this trajectory of going through "poorer" times, perhaps while going through pilot training in the airforce, or similar times to what you're looking forward to. Find out their stories, you might pick up some innovative tips. Getting flight privileges for the family will be a great perk with a major carrier. On the other hand, pilots often have a tenuous existance in their career--lay-offs, strikes, not making captain as fast as you thought you would, all these things are possibilities. So I would advise continue to be frugal to some extent even after the 3 lean years are over. I for myself agree it is probably worth it to stay in your home, even if if costs you tens of thousands in fees/interest/whatever. The cost of moving costs and a real estate agent can cost you that much.
Be in communication with your partner, most of all. If she is confident about this career move, it may help you to to feel more assured about the future.
post #44 of 62

I am in a similar situation. We know it's coming, but don't know exactly when. We also don't know what our income or medical insurance situation will be. My income potential probably wouldn't cover expenses of working and childcare even if I wasn't homeschooling. My biggest money saver, as obvious as it sounds, is not shopping. I have always been frugal, or as my husband and dad call me, a tightwad. It surprised me when I realized how long I could go without stepping into a store and also how much money I saved. That means I didn't realize how much I was spending. I had to change my mind-set. Instead of thinking in terms of what needs to go on my shopping list, even if it was for the thrift store or Walmart, I started to think in terms of, what do I have that might work. I have a lot of food storage, for emergencies. I've decided this situation qualifies, I will be able to replenish my stores when we are back on our feet.  I told my kids (ages 3-16) that when they've eaten all the cereal, goldfish crackers, etc... I'm not buying more. They will have to eat oatmeal or eggs or apples. For the time being I am avoiding stores, especially big grocery stores and such. I'm trying to only buy bread from the Hostess bakery outlet, produce from the co-op and milk from Walgreens. My goal is to do this for 3 months.

As far as sports and activities go, this is my solution. I volunteer at the YMCA once a week in exchange for a free membership. I can take my kids with me if I need to. That gives us a lot of options for activities and recreation. My kids are also in martial arts. I have made the decision that they will all be in martial arts and no dance or other sports for now. Originally it wasn't a financial decision. It was too much running around for me and I felt like the kids would do better if they concentrate on one thing instead of trying to do a lot of different things. We live in an area where cost of living is high, and their dojo is one of the most expensive (and best) in the area. The other day while I was waiting for one of my kids to start class, I made a joke to their sensei about doing something productive while I'm waiting, since I'm there several hours a week. He said he could use help with his clerical work and offered my kids free tuition in exchange!

I hope some of my ideas are helpful, or at least it feels good to know others are in a similar situation. Try to ignore the comments that aren't helpful. I'm sure people aren't intentionally being rude.

post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveOurBabies View Post
 

I don't think satori is trying to be mean. I think what she is saying is that you have the means to make it on this new proposed income, but are unwilling to distinguish between want and need. This is where you'll be headed into trouble. FWIW, I think sports are an "extra" and not a necessity. Doesn't matter if everyone else is doing it and your kids will be the only ones left out, it's still not a necessity. You are essentially teaching your children that by remaining in an activity the family cannot afford, that it's okay to keep up with the joneses at any cost.

 

A drastic change in income is NOT doable if there isn't a drastic change in lifestyle. It's as simple as that. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but after spending 3 weeks working and re-working our budget to accommodate my dh's very unexpected job loss (and a 70% reduction in income), I have learned that to stay afloat in a high COL area on very little money, much sacrifice needs to be made in every department.

 

Best of luck mama. 

 

Thats exactly what I  meant, she seems either unable or unwilling to distinguish between a want and a need. I want more then 1 long sleeve work shirt ( black turtle neck I wear with black slacks, I think my work clients just think its some kind of uniform) because its freaking cold but I can't afford it, the nearest thrift store is half hour away and I don't have time between work and going home to search out the ones in the city. Its a want, not a need, a need is paying the rent and electric. I scored some extra hours at work this week doing some long shifts (today I'll work from noon to 6am tomorrow) which means I can pay all the basic bills this month, its a total relief as I still haven't paid last months utilities. I was unable to take a 2 hour shift I wasn't even scheduled for that day on Tuesday, the end result was my boss gave 36 hours I was scheduled for to someone else even though he never even told me about the shift until the last minute and I would have been working for free since it takes about 2 hours work to cover gas and he knew it. I WANT to give my kids xmas gifts, I NEED to pay the utilities. I know I won't make enough on this next check which is the last before xmas to cover anything but the basics. I will need to donate plasma to get my kids something, it will be a home made xmas but I want the money to buy the materials. I don't like a needle in my arm but you gotta do what you gotta do. My point is, I can  easily distinguish between a want and a need and the OP can't seem to do that at this point. Keeping up with the Joneses is proof of that.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowAsylum View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mumm View Post
 

 

 

I truly think that planning (and sticking to said plan!) can keep you on course and prevent the horror stories people have shared here.  We'll have 5 days once the offer comes to sign the deal and be ready- so my planning starts now.   Do I have it all figured out?  No.  But I hope to have a really good sense before that offer shows up at the door!  We will get through this without creating any debt.



See, I think that's where the problem lies.  These aren't really horror stories at all, they are lives many other people lead- the 99%, as it were.  And it really IS ok to live that way.

 

I agree, it is how many many people live, the lucky live paycheck to paycheck, they can at least pay the bills but the rest of us low income folks? The food servers, the wal-mart workers, the people who help you all day long in various ways without you probably even thinking about it? Chances are they are juggling bills month to month and trying to figure which to pay, you pay the min on a shut off notice and pray it carries you a month or two and do the same with the next paycheck, your rarely current on all your bills and try to survive until you get your tax return and pay everything off then start all over again because no one pays a living wage these days unless your really really lucky, those employers are far and few between.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumm View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
 

 I didn't get enough hours on this paycheck so I won't have enough money to pay for gas to get to work next week which means we will get caught in a vicious cycle of needing to take time off because I can't get to work then I don't make the money and again can't afford gas, and thats if I don't get fired for calling in sick due to lack of gas money.

 

I didn't cut things like I should have and it was a huge wake up call, one day the bottom fell out, we were down to 1/4 of a roll of TP, had no clean laundry, no clean diapers and no money to wash much less soap to wash with, the car was on empty (and the payment way overdue), the electricity and phone was about to be shut off and we were almost out of food.

 

Rainbow Asylum-  This is a horror story- NOT how 99% live.  Losing a job because you miss work because you didn't have gas money?  That is how a small population may live, but not 99%.  And even if it were that doesn't mean it is okay.  DP may bring home the toiletries and half used rolls of TP from her 4 nights a week in a hotel but I hope my kids can always feel free to use the toilet paper as needed.

 

I'm surprised by how wealthy I'm being made out to be!  My kids qualify for reduced lunch for crying out loud!!  I wish I really was rolling in it the way I'm being portrayed.  Off to supervise the groundskeepers and maids! :wink

 

Incorrect, its how most low income people live.  Taking toiletries won't get you far AT ALL and taking TP rolls is actually stealing them, personally not something I want to encourage my children to do.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainbowAsylum View Post
 

Hang out on the low income thread, it isn't a horror story as many people have to make it work through situations like that.  I am jaded, I have worked in social services, I know how many people have situations like that pop up on a regular basis, and no, it isn't ideal, but referring to someone's life as a horror story is a bit over the top. 



I hope you find a solution that works for you, and that you never have cause to think that situations like the 'horror stories' above are the result of anything but poor planning, and can always be avoided.  However, you may want to reflect on what that says about your value for people in those situations, buying into the all-too-prevalent belief that people are struggling because either, they did something wrong, or they failed to do something right. 

 

:bow Thank You! Life happens and you get knocked down, sometimes a lot and its not your fault, all you can do is try to survive it until it gets better but often without help it doesn't happen. If all it took to live a privileged life is hard work then none of us low income people should be living like we do, we bust our butts working long shifts and come home physically and mentally exhausted only to get a few hours sleep and do it again and again for low wages. If anyone is to blame, how about blaming those who pay such poor wages while they accumulate vast wealth? We have no choice in the matter really, its take the job and put food in your belly and a roof over your head or don't and eat out of garbage cans and freeze on the street while you risk being beaten, robbed and raped. You can't get ahead when stuck in this cycle unless someone gives you a hand up in some way, from watching your child for free or paying for your gas that week so you can take the extra shifts, heck it could be as simple as making sure you get a decent dinner to keep your energy up to keep working that grueling schedule. Some people get stuck in this cycle through poor planning and some because something happened, loss of a job, someone gets sick, the car died and it wasn't something thats easy to recover from and you just get further and further behind until your so deep its almost impossible to get out.

post #46 of 62

In fairness to the OP, I do think that she grasps what it's like to live on the edge. She grew up in it, and doesn't want to return to it. Now faced with a big income drop, she sees that retirement fund that she and her partner have built up and thinks she would rather cash some of that, because she can, than return to that lifestyle. I don't think she really thinks that if she literally had $20 to her name and nothing in the bank whatsoever she would pay a soccer fee instead of gas because her kids "need" to be in soccer. She thinks that she can get along kind of like now, being a little more frugal, by living on those funds, and then rebuild them when her partner's income increases. Assuming she is right about this, all's well. My concern here is what if she's not right about that? What if something else happens? What's her contingency plan for that? I would want to have one. It's ideal to have as many of the holes in your safety net plugged as you possibly can, with of course no disrespect intended towards those who can't afford safety nets at all. 

post #47 of 62
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
 

 taking TP rolls is actually stealing them, personally not something I want to encourage my children to do.

It is fine to take toiletries from a hotel room. DP cleaned rooms at the ritz carlton in college and knows what to report as stolen and what is there for the guests to actually use.  And if you spend 5 nights a week in a hotel you get to know the staff and you can ask questions like that!  It is also okay to take the tea and coffee packs.  Not the Keurig though!

 

Satori , you really seem to have a bee in your bonnet about this.  I think you are taking issue because I was asking for advice in maintaining my comfortable life.  I imagine if I was asking for help in *getting* to a comfortable place it would be ok.  But looking to maintain my comfort is somehow uncouth?  I take no shame in my comfort.  You are correct-  I don't want to make concessions.  I'm trying to make this work without giving up much.  I've worked hard to get here and continue to work to maintain it, so I will take pleasure in it.  It doesn't make me a bad or uncaring person.

 

I could give you all types of grief about your wealth if I compared you to someone less fortunate.  (What? You have running water?  So and so has to travel 3 miles twice a day for her water!  How dare you complain life is hard when your water comes from a faucet!)  That doesn't mean your life is easy-peasy.  It stinks to struggle.  I know that.  I'm sorry you are. 

post #48 of 62

This is a fascinating thread.  OP- good luck budgeting- you obviously have it figured out smile.gif  You do have my sympathy.  No not sympathy.  Not the right word.  I am not being snotty.  But 4 years ago we went through basically a 3 month freeze in finances.  So we cut and buckled down.  Only the way things are these days- you can't cut much quickly (cell contracts cars and whatnot).  It was rough for those three months and it has only gotten rougher.  Anyway- 4 years later we are still trying to cut expenses and it sucks.  You see I thought I was frugal before.  hahaha.  So obviously not true.  I have now hit the point where I don't really see how I can cut our spending much more.  I don't go anywhere because a tank of gas for my van is $80.  We go to church in a town 40 miles away and it is really humbling to just not be able to afford to go to church.  We put our kids in Wed night at a local church to save some $- that has been a good move though.  My DH hates it- but when he runs errands for his work I give him a very specific list and cash because if I don't either I have to go and that just wastes gas or he spends too much and then I have to figure out how to cover it.  This is how you should feel on $25k/yr.  This is how people who live on $25k/yr feel everyday.  It isn't some trainwreck- it is life.  Yeah.  I say no to the new matching hairbands.  I say no to a lot of things these days.  It is ok.  I know this isn't forever- and if it is I will be used to saying no.  When you live on 25k (or dare I say even 40) you have to change your mentality on things.  Our here in the cheap seats we see your life as "holy smokes- they say they are frugal and they make 10K/month!"  We are sitting here planning meals and utilities and gas and and and on 1500-2000/mo!  Surely you see the difference. 



 



I may be speaking for a lot of people- but when people are like- use the library, ditch your cable I just about go insane.  I have never had cable and my smart phone limited data is cheaper than internet.  It takes big changes to change your expenses.  Cable isn't going to make a difference at all.  Stopping going places and shopping- those are differences you can start to see though.  However- being frugal for the somewhat fun of it (which is what I politely say you are with 10K/mo as income) is totally different than thinking to yourself- well what do we need the most from the grocery store and then just giving up the whole idea because you need too much and there just isn't money.  Or needing a coffee pot and going to the thrift store for a $2 one.  It just isn't the same.  And this is life on $25k.

post #49 of 62

Hello all,

I usually lurk around here, gathering information....this thread caught my eye as I also live in high COL Massachusetts.  I was wondering if it would be helpful for the OP to post a typical monthly budget breakdown whereby more pertinent advice toward reducing discretionary income would be possible???  

 

Our mortgage is $2500/month, but we need to stay here until our youngest(of six) graduates high school in two years. We struggle because we're both self-employed.

post #50 of 62

I would not take $100k out of retirement at all. You probably took years to build it and likely will not replace it in time for actual retirement. That's, say 1.5-2 years income in your golden years gone.

 

Honestly, with an 80% reduction in income, I'd consider part time or at-home/virtual work. I'd also check some of the frugality blogs others have mentioned.

post #51 of 62

Maybe I can help.

 

I can't even imagine having a six figure income. That's more than I'll ever make in my entire life. I've never even dreamed of having that kind of money. I have no savings and I never will. I have no retirement. I will work until the day I die. I will never own a home. Six figures to people like us (which is most people in the world) is crazy rich. Seriously. I know it doesn't feel like it to you because it's your "normal" but to everyone else, that's a level of wealth we will never attain in a lifetime. You can definitely live on $25k. 

 

One thing you probably will not be able to do is get any kind of assistance. If you have any money in retirement of any kind, you can't get government help as far as I know. I know you can't do it here. You have to exhaust that first before you can get help. 

 

We were homeless for a long time (by choice. We lived in a tent on the back of a farm in an effort to save enough money to buy a small plot of land. It didn't work. We didn't make enough to buy more than meals and gas.) After that, we rented an efficiency for $400 a month close to town and were able to get regular jobs.

 

We have everything we need now and we are doing incredibly well on about $18k per year. We have had to make extreme lifestyle changes. We moved to Hawaii, for one. It's expensive to live on Maui and Oahu in Honolulu which is all tourists know about, but we live in the Puna area of the Big Island which is probably the least expensive area in the entire country to live. We need no heating or cooling. We could grow our own food but can't afford that. Gardens cost money. Food stamps are free. Our food stamps pay for all of our groceries. We don't have to pick maggots off of our food. That's not a money problem, that's a basic sanitation problem.

 

Right now we are living in an abandoned house which sounds horrible but is actually quite nice. I know the people that used to own it. They became disabled and lost everything they had and moved to the mainland to live with family. They left the house thinking the bank would foreclose but the bank doesn't want it. So now we get to live here for free. We can't afford rent otherwise. Really, all we pay for is electricity, phone (which comes with internet in a package out here) and gas and insurance on one car. 

 

We fly by the seat of our pants. I know you don't want to give up anything you have and you have a financial plan for keeping your lifestyle the way that it is, but no matter how you plan and pray, it will soon become obvious that it's not possible. You just can't. You can't live the same level of spending with a drastic reduction in income. If you want to keep your current lifestyle, the money is going to have to come from somewhere. There are no ifs, ands or buts. The money will have to come from somewhere. It's going to be unbelievably hard but you'll either have to make the money or live a poverty lifestyle and that means no luxuries like shoes, sports, hair bows, new clothes of any kind, clothes dryers, or electricity use that isn't strictly for survival. (ie: no hair dryers, Christmas lights, television, etc.

 

I can share with you some ways in which I save money. For one, I run a blog which I infrequently update, but it does have some info. Doing Without: How to Live in Poverty and Still Have It All. http://doingwithout.livejournal.com

 

Maybe you could try these:

 

Sports: We have no money for sports or dance classes. But we did form a local mom group on Facebook. We get our friends to join, they get their friends, etc. We have a big group and all of the moms take turns organizing things. We have a kickball team that meets every Tuesday to play. It's a lot of fun and we don't have to pay for it. You can organize your own sports team and you don't need to pay for it.

 

Shoes: I get shoes on Ebay in the "used" section. It sounds gross but if you'll just look, you'll see that the vast majority of the used shoes there are either brand new or just worn a couple of times. My children have never had a new pair of shoes and they seem to have grown into perfectly functioning human beings.

 

Clothes: I have never bought clothes for my children. Our mom group passes around kids' clothes. When one of our children grows out of stuff, we put it in a bag and contact the mom with the child the next size down. We take good care of our things. We don't wear out or ruin our clothing. I even take the shirts off of my kids before they eat a meal. You can put one of Dad's old t-shirts on them while they are eating to keep their clothes nice.

 

Work: I usually make handmade toys in my spare time and I sell them on Etsy. I can't make a living doing it, but I make enough to buy the kids' Christmas presents. My Etsy account is my "Christmas for my children" account. This year, I accidentally got a job babysitting. The administrator of the Waldorf school saw us walking by her house every day for our daily walks and she saw my baby was in a wrap. An attachment mama, she asked if I'd babysit for her since I live right by the school where she works. Now I watch her toddler every day for $30 a day which is, to me, an unbelievable amount of money. Maybe you can get part time work babysitting. It would give you spending money at least.

 

Toys: I make toys for my children. Or I trade the toys I make for different toys or other things. Lots of local mamas like to trade for my stuff. I have had an easy time making toys and gifts for my children. 

 

Electricity: If you can avoid using electrical appliances, it will save you tons. Electric stoves and ovens are insane. Absolutely insane. And slow cookers. A slow cooker would raise our electric bill by $20 per use. Seriously. You have no idea the insane amount of electricity they use. Use gas only if you can. Microwaves don't use a lot of power if you use them rarely. Don't use the dryer. Hang the clothes to dry, even in the house. You can put them in a room that isn't being used at that moment if you have some problem with seeing laundry in the living areas.

 

For us, it is about survival. If we don't need something to survive, we simply don't have it. We just don't use it. We literally have had to look at every. Single. Aspect. of our lives and determined how to get it free or not do it at all. Instead of freaking out and feeling sorry for ourselves, we just do what needs to be done. No gas to leave the house? Do crafts instead. No money for toilet paper? Cut up an old t-shirt, use, wash, reuse. 

Living in poverty doesn't mean you have to starve or eat bug-ridden food or sleep in your own filth. We live a very good lifestyle. My house is clean, my children are healthy, happy and fed. They have a fantastic life. We just don't buy anything. This idea that we have to live in piles of our own trash and never bathe or eat food without maggots is not a reality you have to live with. If you're keeping things clean, mending what's broken, etc., you won't need to spend any money.

post #52 of 62

I was a SAHM for 5 years and then dh lost his job.  We had to get really frugal fast.  I have 2 dds (12/04 and 8/06) One thing we did is to go cloth everything.  You can do this very cheaply up front by just cutting up t-shirts and sewing some, or if you have money you can spare now, you can buy nice cloth things.  We had some savings and I had birthday and Christmas money from family.  I spent about $100 on mama cloth (Gladrags).  I bought festive flannel napkins on Etsy for $12.  We use handkerchiefs instead of Kleenex.  I bought a bunch of black hand towels and washrags for the kitchen - black does not show stains so they look good for a long time.  I cut up a white t-shirt to use instead of cotton balls.  We quit using Q-tips.  I bought a ton of flannel family cloth on Etsy that matched the decor in my bathrooms ~$50.  Now that we have 2 incomes, we could go back to buying paper products, but the only thing we have gone back to is toilet paper.  My husband's fault - he refused to keep using family cloth and said the girls were flushing it - they weren't.  The toilet still clogs up and we have been using toilet paper for a while.   

 

On a different topic, I see so many low income threads and I can't help but think that education (college or vocational training) is the key to not being in many of these situations.  If you see no possible way for you to get more training/education so you can earn an income, then I encourage you to make sure your children will have the best education they can possibly get, so they will not be in your situation when they grow up.  And I don't mean private school.  We are doing public school and it is just understood that our dds will go to a 4-year college.  When my dds bring home grades lower than an A, I make them do extra practice.  I believe the more/better education you have, the more choices you have for earning an income the rest of your life.  Even if you want to stay home and raise children, you need a backup plan in case your dp gets a pay cut/laid off/killed/leaves you/etc.

 

Good luck to you.  You will figure out what is important when the lower paychecks start arriving.  It is great that this will only be temporary for you, but you will likely pick up some frugal habits that you will continue to use.

post #53 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssantos View Post
 

 

 

On a different topic, I see so many low income threads and I can't help but think that education (college or vocational training) is the key to not being in many of these situations.  If you see no possible way for you to get more training/education so you can earn an income, then I encourage you to make sure your children will have the best education they can possibly get, so they will not be in your situation when they grow up.  And I don't mean private school.  We are doing public school and it is just understood that our dds will go to a 4-year college.  When my dds bring home grades lower than an A, I make them do extra practice.  I believe the more/better education you have, the more choices you have for earning an income the rest of your life.  Even if you want to stay home and raise children, you need a backup plan in case your dp gets a pay cut/laid off/killed/leaves you/etc.

 



Sometimes this is true, but the reality is that if you go into certain career fields, you'll not be getting a lot of income- no matter what your education is. Careers in public health, social services, community mental health etc- just don't bring in the big bucks- even with advanced degrees. 

post #54 of 62

I know that in my household that food is the biggest expense and above our mortgage. We feed 4 and the OP has to feed 6. What I do and have done in the past is ...

- grow my own garden, store and dehydrate for winter,

- join a food bulk buying co-op (free and saves a couple hundred a month),

- we live in a rural area and can buy meat by the animal/ or half,

- shop at the discount grocer,

- buy seconds,

- bulk buy sales

- and just be aware of prices

 

Kids need nutritious food and it is a basic necessity.

post #55 of 62
What type of degree do you have? Could you teach classes online? Either k12 or at the university level? That could be a great wahm job for someone with kids school age. I personally think you need to find a way to bring in some income.

On the woah u are rich note. I don't really get that. For your col area sounds like u are not rich at all. I get that. Exdh was making close to 100k when we divorced but financially we were not doing better than most everyone else. Health insurance alone was 10k. Plus taxes. And pretty sure you get taxed just the same regardless of col areas. Plus we had plenty of debt. We lived in an average home and did not have new cars, cable or took lots of lavish trips or spent lots. I rarely got my haircut etc. I do get the most of everyone else's argument about there being a huge difference in prepping for this drastic income cut rather than it being thrust end upon you or always living like that.

I actually did quite different in that D's didn't do many sports until after the divorce now when I live on 1/3 of what I did when married. I don't have him in a lot but I think it is good for him and my xdh pays half which helps financial ly. It is a luxury and I know that ....but for me 60$ for 3 months of exercise and self esteem and skill building is worth it for the health benefits alone especially in the Midwest where it is hard to play outside in the winter due to the cold.
post #56 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssantos View Post

 

On a different topic, I see so many low income threads and I can't help but think that education (college or vocational training) is the key to not being in many of these situations.  If you see no possible way for you to get more training/education so you can earn an income, then I encourage you to make sure your children will have the best education they can possibly get, so they will not be in your situation when they grow up.  And I don't mean private school.  We are doing public school and it is just understood that our dds will go to a 4-year college.  When my dds bring home grades lower than an A, I make them do extra practice.  I believe the more/better education you have, the more choices you have for earning an income the rest of your life.  Even if you want to stay home and raise children, you need a backup plan in case your dp gets a pay cut/laid off/killed/leaves you/etc.

 

That's a bit rich.

 

While a good education certainly helps, many professions have a cap on what they pay - nursing/teaching come to mind.

 

Also, if everyone gets a "good education", who will collect your garbage? Who will stock the shelves at the mall? Who will wait on your table? Who will drive the taxi you catch? These jobs don't pay much but they are very essential to the smooth sailing of everyday life. I really dislike it when people say "well maybe you should just earn more then", because it's not that simple. What good would this world be if we had an over abundance of lawyers, doctors and engineers and no one willing to do the low paying work? We can't have it both ways. I'm a big advocate of responsible social welfare because I believe that a functioning society needs people of all calibre. Some people are going to be life long low income earners due to their chosen profession. These people don't need to be put down, they need a hand up for their willingness to take on these jobs.

post #57 of 62
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses.

 

Amberskyfire- your blog is great.  Interesting housing solution.  Hope it lasts a good long time!  We spent July and August on Oahu.  What an amazing area to live, but the cost of food!  Crazy!  We tried to find cheap housing and ended up camping, which wasn't as cheap as we'd hoped but worked out pretty well.  We thought we'd eat lots of fresh food (pineapples, lilikoi, mango, avocado, etc) but instead we ate a lot of cheerios and  lucky charms.:Sheepish We then came home and got our fill of $2 pineapples that had traveled thousands of miles that we couldn't afford in the town they grew.  go figure.  (ot- we'd heard locals are pretty frustrated with tourists who don't stick to the tourist areas and that we should be concerned for violence, etc. esp staying in the areas prone to poverty and meth issues. We never saw anything even close.  People either stuck to themselves or chewed our ears with history of the area.  We traveled the circuit many homeless by choice people do and got to know some folks.  Can't wait until we can do the same thing on another island!)

 

Love our babies and ssantos- I think education does matter.  But not necessarily in the "a more advanced degree=a high paying job=a decent life"  I think an education where you learn to think, and plan and understand how the world works is helpful.  Sadly, I think many people are in situation where they are too poor to do anything more than make it through the month.    In December I looked for seasonal work.  It would have cost more for me work to work!  Then I had surgery and was in a cast/needed crutches from before thanksgiving until just after the new year anyway.  No new jobs in that situation, but certainly a lot more medical bills!

 

We are closer to the promotion, thinking it will come in about June.  I closed out an IRA of mine from 10 years ago that I'd all but forgotten about for just under $10K. No penalties.  It paid off braces for one kid and the first phase of orthodontia work ($3K) for a second child.  That brings down our orthodontia bill to just 6 more monthly payments for my oldest child.  

 

Someone asked about budget.  I don't have a good sense which is part of the problem.  I am currently working on taxes so I will soon have a breakdown of kids activities, medical, etc.  Maybe I'll spend the time to look at monthly spending on food.  We buy almost everything with a cc, so I can go back and look at where it all went.  

 

Time will tell how we handle this.  

post #58 of 62

I am in MA and the cost of living is crazy! I could not imagine living on $20,000 a year. Honestly, I don't think we could. We would have to move.

Where are you located?

post #59 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveOurBabies View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssantos View Post

 

On a different topic, I see so many low income threads and I can't help but think that education (college or vocational training) is the key to not being in many of these situations.  If you see no possible way for you to get more training/education so you can earn an income, then I encourage you to make sure your children will have the best education they can possibly get, so they will not be in your situation when they grow up.  And I don't mean private school.  We are doing public school and it is just understood that our dds will go to a 4-year college.  When my dds bring home grades lower than an A, I make them do extra practice.  I believe the more/better education you have, the more choices you have for earning an income the rest of your life.  Even if you want to stay home and raise children, you need a backup plan in case your dp gets a pay cut/laid off/killed/leaves you/etc.

 

That's a bit rich.

 

While a good education certainly helps, many professions have a cap on what they pay - nursing/teaching come to mind.

 

Also, if everyone gets a "good education", who will collect your garbage? Who will stock the shelves at the mall? Who will wait on your table? Who will drive the taxi you catch? These jobs don't pay much but they are very essential to the smooth sailing of everyday life. I really dislike it when people say "well maybe you should just earn more then", because it's not that simple. What good would this world be if we had an over abundance of lawyers, doctors and engineers and no one willing to do the low paying work? We can't have it both ways. I'm a big advocate of responsible social welfare because I believe that a functioning society needs people of all calibre. Some people are going to be life long low income earners due to their chosen profession. These people don't need to be put down, they need a hand up for their willingness to take on these jobs.

 

Exactly! Someone still has to do it, should those people live in poverty? No! They often work a lot harder then someone who wears a suit to work yet are paid pennies when you compare salaries.

post #60 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satori View Post
 

 

Exactly! Someone still has to do it, should those people live in poverty? No! They often work a lot harder then someone who wears a suit to work yet are paid pennies when you compare salaries.

 

Definitely true. Besides the "unappealing" housekeeper, fast food, etc jobs try looking at the income of our police officers, firefighters, and teachers on occasion. They make peanuts but any of those jobs are very necessary to society plus require education and/or specialized training to have as well. Heck even most doctors make less than a pro football player. We could just all learn how to play football instead of getting a college degree too. 

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