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"Lower Income Moms" September 2007 Support - Page 8

post #141 of 315
nice to join you all.

i am greatful that:
decluttering (my current obsession) is easier because i dont have the money to buy alot of crap.
my cousin fixed my computer, after it got hit by lightening.
i have a home and can give my livingroom to my homeless friend.
food
school
my kid
my pets
my friends
my health
indoor plumbing that works
post #142 of 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrskennedy View Post
Happy bday to your DD, LankyLizards!
Thanks!!

Oh, dnw826, I am sending you so many hugs! I hope that you and your dh can think of something that will help to improve your situation. Why are you in the city now, because of employment? Stop worrying about the medical bills. It sounds like it is just a mistake that needs to be fixed. No reason to drive yourself crazy over it. And maybe the insurance won't be too bad and the extra money from a paper route will really help. I hope it will. I hope this week is a good one for you. For some reason, I had really good luck towards the end of last week, out of no where. I hope this week is your turn!
post #143 of 315
dnw826, the medicaid and hospital will have to sort it out, since you are covered, those two will have to argue over it, its not your responsibility, just keep telling the hospital if they call that you are covered and they need to contact medicaid about it. Double check that they have the right card details, sometimes someone makes a typo on the record and screws it up.
post #144 of 315
I think my main issue with the insurace stuff is that we just spent the last year fighting BCBS from dh's old job. They kept refusing to pay for services from June 2006, and it's still not settled even though every time we call they say it is. I am just *so* sick of insurance issues. I am done.

We are in the city now because I'm stupid. Dh' teaching job where we lived comfortably had no good insurance for family (over $700 a month for family!), so he had to find another job. He worked in pharma for awhile (chemist), hated it, so we moved back as close to family as we could. I had never been to this town, dh had his interview here and said it was great. We got here and it's really horrible.

The cheapest place we could find is on the "bad" side of town. Aka our ice cream guy just got shot and robbed while selling ice cream to a little girl down the street. The town was segregated (still really is), so the side of town his work showed him we could never in a million years afford, and housing is so incredibly expensive because everyone commutes to Chicago and it's sprawling.

So my whole dream of starting up a farm is completely gone, as well as probably even buying a house. I make it worse, too. I will look up listings of where our family lives and I can get 10 acres of beautiful land in the country and a great house within half an hour of family and a college for dh to teach at for $60k. Here that would be $600k and a 4 hour drive. I should really stop looking at those listings.
post #145 of 315
your in chi-town?? south side i presume? We are out in the western burbs, out in aurora. housing/apartments are reasonably priced out here, and you can get some right near the metra station if commuting is a problem.
post #146 of 315
In Rockford. So the East side of the river has all the commuters and rich people. The prices go up the farther from the river you go. It's insanity. For cripes sack, we're 1.5 hours away, why is the sprawl affecting us?

I guess I just got spoiled living in rural IL!

I am going to try to look for houses to buy or even rent in the Rochelle area and up by Wisconsin, because the prices go down those directions. Going farther west would equal an enormous amount of traffic for dh to get through to work on the far east side of town, so Pecatonica and such is out of the question.

I did find some good farmland with a fixer house and 1 acre under 100k near Oregon, but I hear that's an hour and a half drive. I am afraid to think of gas prices. I would totally get a horse and buggy, but I don't think that would help dh with getting to work.
post #147 of 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnw826 View Post
In Rockford. So the East side of the river has all the commuters and rich people. The prices go up the farther from the river you go. It's insanity. For cripes sack, we're 1.5 hours away, why is the sprawl affecting us?

I guess I just got spoiled living in rural IL!

I am going to try to look for houses to buy or even rent in the Rochelle area and up by Wisconsin, because the prices go down those directions. Going farther west would equal an enormous amount of traffic for dh to get through to work on the far east side of town, so Pecatonica and such is out of the question.

I did find some good farmland with a fixer house and 1 acre under 100k near Oregon, but I hear that's an hour and a half drive. I am afraid to think of gas prices. I would totally get a horse and buggy, but I don't think that would help dh with getting to work.
yeah, i dont think a horse and buggy would cut it for the commute.

I've heard some parts of rockford are bad, they relocated dh's old company out to their and laid him off 2yrs ago.

Theres bad parts of pretty much anywhere, there are areas around aurora you couldnt pay me to live in.
post #148 of 315
So the application for food stamps went out in this morning's mail. I expect I'll get a letter in a week or two with an appointment time for my interview. If it's not already after Oct 5 I'll reschedule it for then because by that time I'll have 4 paystubs with DH's new hours. According to all the calculators I can find online we *should* qualify for about $200/mo. Hmmm...wonder if I can make $200 in food stamps + WIC last for a whole month for 2 adults, 1 toddler, & 1 baby who hardly eats any solids?

mrskennedy - Congrats on starting Career Step. I'm going to be starting with them soon as well! Did you get a scholarship? I'll be all set once I get my butt in gear & get that essay written for the scholarship application...

For anyone who's wondering Career Step is a program where they train you to be a Medical Transcriptionist. Many people work from home, but in order to get the home jobs you have to have several years of "in house" experience or certification from a school licensed by the American Assocation of Medical Transcriptionsts (which Career Step is). They have a VERY good success rate finding jobs for folks. I actually have about a year of in house transcription experience, but it was a few years ago & not enough to qualify for at home jobs. Career Step isn't a college...it doesn't take financial aid. They do offer scholarships, payment plans, and discounts for people who pay the whole amount at once.

dnw826 - Is there anyway you can relocate back near your family? If you know there are home & jobs in ranges you're looking in would it be worth it? My prayers are with you. It's so hard to have to live in a stinky neighborhood. Our last neighborhood wasn't anywhere near what you're describing, but we had some pretty bad neighbors, fights in the street on weekends, lots of bar traffic, cops always being called, etc. I do NOT miss that at all!

Oh and in my life before kids I worked in medical billing. Unless the laws in Illinois are WAY different than the laws in NY & VT, I wouldn't stress about the bills. If you are covered by Medicaid you are NOT responsible for your medical bills (well, you are to the extent it's outlined in whatever literature you got from them when you signed up...). The advice to check & make sure they have all your info is good though.

Other news for us, DH remembered that the college keeps a lawyer on retainer for students. You get something like 1 hr per "issue" to talk with him for free! I'm going to have DH set up a time to go see him about making a will. I feel awful that we have 2 kids & no will in place. So those of you who are students or married to students might want to check to see if your schools offer this. I believe it's through the Student Assocation. Where DH goes it's a mandatory fee, so I guess you are paying for it, but the $30/semester still seems a pretty good deal for a lawyer visit.
post #149 of 315
Janerose-that's great about the will, that's something we need to do. I hope I'm not liable for those costs! A lot of it was what I consider frivolous appointments because they were freaking out over nothing.

I desperately want to move back by family. Unfortunately, dh is a chemistry professor and it's basically impossible to find jobs without your PhD and with more than a BS. I am going to try, but he likes his job here and doesn't want to move again. I have moved 20+ times in my 24 years, so moving isn't high on my priority list, but we have to move from this apt. anyway, so why not by home? Every time it seems he signs a contract, an opening within an hour of "home" opens up. THAT is depressing. If only we would wait the week to see...
post #150 of 315
Dnw826: Wow, that's a great deal in Oregon, too... and Oregon is not a bad commute from Madison and all the colleges we have here (UW, MATC, Edgewood, etc.). The job market seems to be fairly strong, as well.

If you're looking north of the border, are you thinking somewhere like Beloit? Or Kenosha/Racine? If you end up looking into it seriously, let me know. I have mama friends (and family, but you wouldn't want to know them! : ) in all those areas, and can see if they have anything interesting to recommend as far as places to live and things to do. I know property in Kenosha is fairly inexpensive, especially to rent. DH's Fairy God Aunt is a long term landlord there and was shocked at what our Madison rents were. It's not the most trendy city, but what I've seen of it is fairly safe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janerose View Post
Other news for us, DH remembered that the college keeps a lawyer on retainer for students. You get something like 1 hr per "issue" to talk with him for free! I'm going to have DH set up a time to go see him about making a will. I feel awful that we have 2 kids & no will in place. So those of you who are students or married to students might want to check to see if your schools offer this. I believe it's through the Student Assocation. Where DH goes it's a mandatory fee, so I guess you are paying for it, but the $30/semester still seems a pretty good deal for a lawyer visit.
That's awesome, Jenrose.

For other people who might be interested, check your local law school and see if they have clinicals where students do stuff like this for free. I did a ton of wills in law school and they're actually kind of fun... and schools have clinical programs for a lot of stuff. We actually had one for consumer debt stuff too... I shoulda signed up for that one. *sigh*
post #151 of 315
I was going to look at Beloit. I would check into Janesville, but I don't know if that commute might be a bit much for dh. He's a bit of a whiner.
post #152 of 315
I'm in Milwaukee, and sure there are bad parts, but we live in a nice southside (about an hour or so from Chicago) and we love it.

My kids started going to a waldorf school downtown, so we are thinking of moving to the east side.

I LOVE Madison,Bellewether, isthat where you are??

C
post #153 of 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnw826 View Post
Janerose-that's great about the will, that's something we need to do. I hope I'm not liable for those costs! A lot of it was what I consider frivolous appointments because they were freaking out over nothing.

I desperately want to move back by family. Unfortunately, dh is a chemistry professor and it's basically impossible to find jobs without your PhD and with more than a BS. I am going to try, but he likes his job here and doesn't want to move again. I have moved 20+ times in my 24 years, so moving isn't high on my priority list, but we have to move from this apt. anyway, so why not by home? Every time it seems he signs a contract, an opening within an hour of "home" opens up. THAT is depressing. If only we would wait the week to see...
Look at www.higheredjobs.com they list all the the universities and colleges that are hiring by major. Perhaps he can find something that way.
post #154 of 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonrisaa29 View Post
Look at www.higheredjobs.com they list all the the universities and colleges that are hiring by major. Perhaps he can find something that way.
They are usually only in CA, or a PhD is required. We found this one from the Chronicle of Higher Ed. Unfortunately, a lot of colleges are trying to only hire part-time professors because they can pay them peanuts. But I am going to stalk the colleges within an hour or so of "home" in a couple of months and apply for dh. I will tell him later. He likes this job b/c he is already on tenure track, and the benefits are good, but I am desperate to move! And I know my in-laws are on my side.
post #155 of 315
My situation is odd.

We've always been short of money, struggled, worked. We raise pigs and chickens for meat and eggs, grow lots of our own food (made potato leek soup for dinner from our own potatoes, and leeks, homemade bread.) live in a 1000 sq ft home (raised 5 kids). I got a job a few months ago, which is helping to ease the strees, but is hard on me.

In three years, dh retires. I've been running our figures through retirement calculators, and once the last two kids are gone and dh's pension kicks in, we'll be living the high life!

Dh spends $100 on gas to commute to work, needs clothes to work in, a vehicle, tools, etc.

We've already cut back to one vehicle.

His pension and other benefits will come to about what we live on now. And there'll only be two of us. Much of what we spend now is to feed/clothe/vacation with/ our kids. Our car insurance is 2400 a year, compared to the 600 we'd pay for the two of us.

So, I'm thankful I have piggies to raise and chickens for eggs. (lots of zucchini/tomato quiche!) I'm thankful to have raised 5 healthy kids, and to not have grandkids yet! (I'm jonesing for babies, but no ones
ready) I'm thankful for all of my veggies. I'm thankful I have a dehydraytor to put up my tomatoes. I'm thankful that all of my children are capable of learning to support themselves.

I'm thankful for my dreams of cruising through our retirement!!!!!

I'm thankful for my job! It's easy, there's no drama, I can do it when it's comfortable for me.

And I'm thankful for the great amounts of time I have to myself right now. Time to write, quilt, garden, walk.

I wish I had some advice for someone.
post #156 of 315
I've been lurking around this forum for a while and not posting but I'm so excited because I just earned $45 doing childcare. WooHoo. This is the first income for our family since dh left work in Feb!

Now let me introduce myself! I am a sahm, wahm, to my teen and two wee ones.

I am grateful for the fact that we are caretakers for our Meetinghouse, and therefore have no mortgage or rent, or utilities to worry about.

I am grateful that we have an old car, with no payments, and that the latest repair only cost $200 instead of the predicted $2000.

I am grateful to have discovered MDC, the F&F forum, and this thread. I now feel so much better about our lifestyle choices knowing that I am in such good company!

I am grateful that my friend trusts me with her newborn AND pays me to look after her!!!!!

I am grateful that I have another childcare job lining up, so maybe we can finally start to pay off our $20k cc debt. Moving internationally is not a cheap choice, even on a shoestring!

I want to offer s: to the mamas here that are struggling right now.
post #157 of 315
Howdy all! I have been mulling over whether or not I should post here because technically we aren't low income but we are so far in debt that our lives are being squeezed by the amount of debt we are in. IRL I have very few people I can talk to about this and I am at the place where I need to let it out.

Here goes, I'm Shay and I have 2 kids a 15 yo who lives with his Dad and a 2 yo, and a lovely spousal unit. The story of our financial decline started 5 years ago when we moved from Chicago to Maine.. we moved here because of my son, long story short I have joint custody but ds was in Maine with his Dad and I couldn't bare it so we gave up our comfy life and good salary (almost 6 figures to move here) well dh is a writer and in Maine there are no jobs in his field that pay at the level he is used to so dh became a freelancer. Income wise he fluctautes now between a bad year (40K) and good year (60K) . Still substantially less than what he used to earn.

So what is the problem you say, well in the first 2 years we were here while dh was building up his clients money was sporadic and well we were not good with our taxes. Long story short, after 5 years of self employment we owe 40 thousand to the IRS yet we have been on a payment plan for 3 years paying 600 a month but interest and penalties are so high that once you are behind getting caught up is a pipe dream. Then there is the problem of staying current too , we actually had paid our 2006 taxes in May this year only to find an error that resulted in owing an additional 2400 so even when we think we are making progress once again crap happens.

Then 3.5 years ago me beloved Mama got cancer and I made the choice to help my folks out because in the midst of dealing with lung cancer that spread to the brain my Dad lost his job and insurance and my Mama needed insurance so we took the tax money and paid the Cobra payments and rent. Well my Mama died and my Dad, well he is in no poistion to ever pay me back any of that money. I don't regret what I did, I loved my Mama but from a financial perspective it was a bad idea.

In 2004 when my Mom died I was director of a small non-profit, lost that job in Dec 2004, 2 weeks after learning I was pregnant with dd and didn't work again until last year when I started teaching pt as a adjunct instructor at a CC.

Being self employed has been horrible and maine is not a place that is friendly at all in terms of things like insurance which we pay ourselves though at the moment only dd & I are covered.

The past 5 years have been like a bad drama, no sooner than we think we are getting out of the hole, crap happens . Expensive car repairs, etc. You guys know how it goes.

We have been blessed in that my FIL bought our house (due to tax situation it was for the best) and we pay him though at the moment we are behind because this year has not been good for dh business. He lost 2 of his highest paying clients amd in July I lost my job. Though next week I will start teaching 1 class at a local school, though my unemployment checks are more than what I will be making at this gig.. so we will see how that goes.

Oh, I also got my masters while we were out here and at the moment it feels like a waste of money as I now have 100K in student loans that thanks to my job loss are deferred.

I am in that horrid middle place where income wise we qualify for nothing i applied for state ins for my dd and we were denied because well our income is too high.. apparently no one can factor in high debt levels.

We have always lived somewhat frugal, 1 car, nothing fancy (10 yo Nissan Sentra), used furniture, etc. We have cut out subcriptions, cable, etc.. so no more left to cut that wouldn't impact dh's business like cell phone.

Oh, and we also owe the state tax people and in some ways they are way worse than the IRS, the IRS at least since I lost my job decided to temporarily freeze our account since with our current expenses and income paying 600 is out of the question but the state tax people must have something.. :

I am frustrated because generally when people are seen as having high debt its because maybe they lived a lavious lifestyle but the bulk of our debt is taxes and student loans, 2 debts you are stuck with forever. Though thanks to having lousy insurance (high deductible policy that still costs 300 a month) I now have some unpaid medical bills. One hospital is accepting $5 a month and the other one that I only owed 300 too (had already paid half off, sent me to collections).

To make things worse my ex recently moved back to the midwest with ds (the whole reason I am out here mind you : ) so now in order to see ds I have to pay for plane tickets. DS is thinking of moving in with me but that probably won't happen for a few months. So while I am stuck in a crappy state that keeps us underemployed my whole reason for being here is gone.. can I say that I am a bit bitter about that.

I try to be positive in that I am thankful I have a roof over my head, food, etc but being in debt is soul draining and when you have income that fluctuates its hard to have a plan for getting out of debt. Actually that plan would be me working since my income allows us to pay off debt even with the daycare costs. So my not working at the moment is hard as well as a blow to my ego.

Well I wrote a book here and if you read it all, I appreciate it and I am thankful to have a safe place to vent.

Shay
post #158 of 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
To make things worse my ex recently moved back to the midwest with ds (the whole reason I am out here mind you : ) so now in order to see ds I have to pay for plane tickets. DS is thinking of moving in with me but that probably won't happen for a few months. So while I am stuck in a crappy state that keeps us underemployed my whole reason for being here is gone.. can I say that I am a bit bitter about that.
Can he even do that legally? If you have joint custody, he should generally need the courts permission to move out of state.
post #159 of 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post
Our car insurance is 2400 a year, compared to the 600 we'd pay for the two of us.
I'm quite jealous of you! I can't wait to own a house and grow my own!

That's a lot for car insurance! Have you checked around? We finally did and now pay 1/3 of what we used to with another company-no joke.

Shayinme I'm so sorry. What a nightmare! Those student loans and the IRS really drag you down.
post #160 of 315
Quote:
Originally Posted by kijip View Post
Can he even do that legally? If you have joint custody, he should generally need the courts permission to move out of state.
No he can't but my son who at almost 16 is tired of the fighting asked me not to go back to the courts. Instead his Dad asked him to give Kenosha (where the moved) a try for 6 mos and if he is not happy he will let him live with me until he graduates from HS. As hard as it is, I feel my ds is old enough to have a say and for me to respect it so I am waiting until the 6 mos is up. Currently ds is a sophmore and moving in HS sucks to say the least and the school he is at is nothing like where he was needless to say he wants to get back out here.

Shay
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