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.