I'm not sure what Mark is claiming. He does have he and Kailey on his insurance.
I cannot take him and drop him off because I take Kailey to school at 8 and he leaves here at 6:30. Kailey goes to a school out of our district and cannot ride the bus.
We are responsible for paying on the loans each month, we have consolidated but cannot defer. We cannot defer his loan.
We have reapplied for the NC health check health insurance and do not qualify. We makes too much This is what we were told.
We have no income coming in for the summer. Both of us will find jobs. No biggy there. We won't do jobs where one is day and one is night. Mark would end up working the night shift since he is a nightowl, but he would sleep all day, ignoring Kailey. I cannot physically stay up all night- impossible. I have tried to work night shift before and after 5 months still was unable to cope and nearly caused a wreck.
It will all work out in the end. I just need to get through 2 summers and 3 semesters.
Dh is a professor (comm college), and I hear you about the summer income! Can your dh maybe teach summer school or some college courses?
And cats are forever, I agree. And don't give up school. You should not have to defend yourself here.
Noone here should. I used to barely make it with 2 little ones as a single mom on $800 a week. It can be done! We certainly did not eat very healthy and we did without a lot, but you can make it! I worked nights 70+ hours a week. I honestly do not remember those months. It is so not worth it.
I don't think that we are considered *poor* anymore, but we are certainly barely paycheck to paycheck and I have had my share of living in the car and being dirt poor.
Have you checked out an Aldi's or something of the sort near you?
Maybe some gardening-indoor or out. You can plant some tomatoes, salad greens, etc. inside since those are usually a bit pricey. That definitely helps. You can ask local gardeners for their thinned plants and get some scrap produce from the grocery for compost (sometimes you can find some good eats, too).
If you rent movies or have entertainment money, we have saved a lot by getting the cheap netflix subscription and getting bulk popcorn kernels that you can even make just on your stove.
And I *love* resale shops. Only take in as much money as you want to spend. If I don't have the cash for it, it won't come home with me (I am bad about that if there are really good deals I can stock up on).
School books you can find really cheap online, or put up fliers around campus for used ones.
Dh started claiming 5 on taxes and that brings in a little more money for us.
In the summer, maybe the kids can have a yard sale or you can grow some things for them to sell like tomatoes or make some crafty things to sell? You could also do babysitting or housecleaning/yardwork if you need fast money.
I like to have yard sales, but really can't in this neighborhood (WAY out of town). That brought in $500 last year, though.
I am going to get my CNA again when we move (free tuition is a plus of dh's new job!!!) via night classes and work on the weekends. THat will really tie us up with dh's schedule and mine, but we need the money for the student loans! They are eating us alive!
Dh's income is such that on the surface we can not get any social services help (here at least in NC), and people roll their eyes when they see our income. But that doesn't take into consideration COL, student loan debt (so that we were no longer literally homeless), healthcare costs (health probs in the family-diabetes, allergies, etc.), and moving expenses. Dh's jobs are erratic and we have had to move 1-3 times a year just for him to be employed.
Speaking of dumpster diving, really, it can be worth it. A few of my friends have found some gems in there. Working TVs and DVDs and stuff they can resell and that way it also doesn't end up in the dump (recycling!). If you live near a University, it really can be worth the time and dirt.
Actually, if you go by the government's definition of poverty, there are at least a few people here who easily meet that definition. Furthermore, I do not think posters here need to lay out their family income in order to post as a poor family.
It is true that poverty in the U.S. is not financially the same as, say, poverty in Africa, though there are certainly a lot of similarities in other ways. But what good does that do to point that out? It's not helpful. We don't live in Africa.
Also, things that used to be considered luxuries are now necessities for anybody who is trying to get out of poverty, not just resign her and her children to a permanent life of poverty. Sure, in other parts of the world, they would be luxuries, but that doesn't help struggling families here.
Take, for instance, a cell phone. Somebody up above said something about how none of us used to have cell phones and they're luxuries poor people should forgo. It is true that cell phones were once luxuries, but that's not the case now, and employers and other business contacts expect people to be reachable on cell phone now. Pay phones have largely disappeared where I live. Nearly every person I know who works is expected to provide his or her boss a cell phone number. I do not believe that someone trying to work, especially a poor person who will typically have more rigid schedules and more emergencies than a middle class person, can make much employment progress without a cell phone. Therefore, somebody trying to get out of poverty, really trying hard, would be hard-pressed to give up her cell phone where I live.
For the record, we are not in poverty, something for which I am tremendously grateful. I am, however, very familiar with American poverty, both personally and professionally, and I get really irked by some of the assumptions I read about the American poor.
We have a cell phone as our only phone. We went without for awhile, but with medical issues in the family, living long distance from family, and dh's job and job search, we *have* to have a phone. We have a very basic cheap plan and no land line (that was $80 month for land line no additions, our cell phone is *much* cheaper). Some of us need internet for school.
I wasn't asking anyone to lay out their family income. I am not talking about Africa, I am talking about people in the US, for example in Appalachia, where people in poverty live without running water, basic necessities of life like electricity, children frequently go without eating (sometimes for days) or healthcare of any kind, and people sometimes freeze to death in the winter for lack of heating oil. There are examples of poverty like this all across this country. I was trying to point out that having to live in difficult financial times does not necessarily mean we are in "poverty," and that being able to sit on a computer and post to MDC means you are already better off than many people who are actually living in poverty.
I'm so not trying to knock anyone's experience - we are very low income, and my husband lost his job last year, putting us in an incredibly precarious position; further, we have no health insurance, no savings, and no particular "assets" - but I think it's disrespectful to call unfortunate and difficult circumstances "poverty," when there are so many who have so much less than all of us do.