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February Low Income Mama Support Thread

post #1 of 254
Thread Starter 
Good Morning Mamas!

Thought we needed a new place to be for the month

This is a thread for those who struggle with finances. Whether you live in poverty or not, this is a safe place to freely post about how your life is impacted by your financial struggles.

And, we are here to support.....not judge.

Solidarity Not Charity!
post #2 of 254
Thanks for setting this up!

Iam really struggling with our finances - moreso than ever. I *accidentally* bounced our checking account on Wednesday. Alright noone ever does it on purpose but still......... Bounced check fees UGH!!! All cuz I forgot that the cell phone bill is directly debited - UGH UGH

I'm so embarrased and upset all at the same time.

I joined the Feb No Spend Challenge thread. Hopefully I can get myself on track.

Well thanks for listening to me whine!
post #3 of 254

Happy February

Hope everyone is doing ok. Things here are a struggle, and while I thought our taxes would be a happy relief, I found out that dh had deffered his student loans and changed his withholdings without letting me know. Not only are we not getting the $3K refund we usually get, we actually owe the state over $200. I am SO angry at him, and so frustrated that instead of there being a light at the end of the tunnel where we could get caught up and maybe even put some in savings, I am STILL having to make calls to get basic utilities extended. SO frustrating and humiliating.

My gratefuls this morning -

While we are not getting a big Federal refund, we are getting something.
My littles are healthy and happy ( for the most part!)
I have a baby shower to go to tomorrow and with regifting, sale, and making wrapping bag, I only spent $6.46!

Happy Friday everyone
post #4 of 254
Hi all!!

Good to see a new thread up ~~~ the old thread kept crashing my browser. :

~ My gratefuls for this morning ~

* That I had enough asthma meds on hand for my dd that when she had a MASSIVE asthma attack last night I could help her instead of having to take her to the E.R.

* My neighbor, who is nice enough to keep driving my ds to school in this crappy weather.

* A warm home filled with good food to eat (even when the "good food" is canned chili........ that news story about mamas in Haiti really pulled at my heart)

* A closet full of layerable clothing ~ hooray for thrift shops!!

and ...

* This thread! And you mamas. It's great to have a place to go where I can vent at times, and at times share things that make me totally happy, that other people have no idea about. As in, keeping my checking account out of the red one solid month. As in, having enough financial aid money left over after bills that I could buy my kids some fresh fruit.
post #5 of 254
Hey ediesmom, I've been mia a bit because of my computer issues but how's the shoulder feelign???

aurakitten, sorry to hear about your baby. that's so scary. I think not being able to breathe is possibly THE scariest thing in the world.

sewsew, I had a rubber check a few months ago and the fees just TOTALLY screwed me. It sucks to not only bounce a check but lose money on the fees too.

momof4sweeties, I hear ya on the taxes. if my ex and I file jointly like we did before(we are still married technically) we have to pay in. i'm not sure how to actually GET a refund back this year. i was really counting on that money so I totally know how frustrated you must be.

As for us, it's the first so we went grocery shopping. ex is taking the two bigger girls to the petstore for a new fish for each of them(tank is at his house) so that's a small break for me today! woohoo!!!!! bus driver has been picking Mady up in front of the house in the mornings (even though she could get in trouble for it) so I dont' have to walk to the bus stop with them and sit in the cold with the baby. she's a really really sweet woman! Grace is doing well gaining weight. She's going to be one month old in a few days and she's up to 6lbs!!!!! Big chunker! So that means I have just over 2 weeks left of maternity leave. I'm sad because I really do want to keep Grace with me and I'm worried about pumping at work(they basically told me no) but I am working short shifts for the first few weeks so I can nurse right before her daddy takes her and he'll give her one bottle, and I'll be back to nurse her before I get too engorged and start leaking like crazy. BUT it's still nerve-wracking to leave a 6 week old who isn't at her due date yet. I can only hope that her daddy will keep her at my house away from the smoke from his mom and step-dad.
post #6 of 254
Wow a new month!

My husband may have a buyer for a house. If he does we won't qualify for any help. We are in waiting for a foodstamp appointment but I can live with not having that. We may be getting unemployment money ($200 a week). I can't wait until real estate takes off! When we get out of this hole, I am going to build our savings up enough that we can live for a year!

We have good news though.
My MW found a copy of the info that was sent in with the birth certificate so we don't have to buy a copy to get that fixed.

My FIL fixed the truck for cost of materials $50 instead of $500

I gave the baby some tylenol for his teeth last night (he has been in a teething nightmare for a while) and it stopped the pain so he slept. I know so many people think this is bad, but I remember needing something when my wisdom teeth were coming in.
post #7 of 254
i am with u mom of 4 sweeties-- we owe state 450... i dont know where im gonna get that money out of my @$$ but hopefully we well figure something out....
my sister is gonna take me tuesday to get my insurance thing figured out!
a echeck finally cleared! hopefully i can sell some more stuff to help pay the tax man off.
um morning sickness is gone...which is really weird for me because with the other 2 pregnancies i was sick for 5-6 months..
post #8 of 254
aww, Daniel's Kitty, don't feel bad for giving your babe tylenol. I am not big on medicating kids, but if their pain or illness is such that they can't sleep I give mine tylenol too. Sleep is vital to healing so I make an exception.
post #9 of 254
post #10 of 254
Originally Posted by Daniel's Kitty View Post

I gave the baby some tylenol for his teeth last night (he has been in a teething nightmare for a while) and it stopped the pain so he slept. I know so many people think this is bad, but I remember needing something when my wisdom teeth were coming in.
have you tried an amber teething necklace? I LOVE ours. And they are super cute too!
Here's Sara in hers:

By the way, I dont' want you to think I'm criticizing. I totally am not. I medicate my kids when they need it too! I'm just suggesting an alternative to meds because it's simple and cute and pretty darn cheap($11 on hyenacart at Inspired by Finn).
post #11 of 254
Yah for Income Tax Returns!!!!!! I can finally pay bills and get my van repaired (HURRAY!)
post #12 of 254
Just wanted to say that for folks that end up owing taxes (sadly with a self employed dh we never get refunds, we owe $$) generally the IRS and most state tax depts are good at letting you get a payment plan. The downside is that generally the interest and penalties are high as heck but if you don't have all the money or a way to get it, they often will work with you.

post #13 of 254
No time to post for now, but subbing
post #14 of 254
I'm not complaining-you all understand! Can I just share? It really helps to just spell it out in words. . .
Baby's coming in four weeks. Our insurance used to cover homebirth but this time we are so fortunate to have found a wonderful midwife to attend virtually pro bono. We had the rubber check thing a few weeks ago, too, and that's quite a burn. DH has been garnished off and on the past three years due to past medical bills, and when he's garnished, we have about $400 a month after rent for EVERYTHING else. Clothing, food, gas, bills, things for the baby. . .(we need so little but we have nothing yet. .I haven't even got all the supplies for the birth). Our public services do not consider a garnishment when determining eligibility, so we didn't qualify for assistance. I made a decision to not report my husband in the household so that I could qualify for food money and have a healthy pregnancy and well fed toddler, and that resulted in a fraud investigation and threats of felony charges, and we'll be paying it all back. (DHS can get in line behind all the other collectors). We live out of town and have only one car, so DD and I are virtually stranded out in the country when DH goes to work. He only works about 15 miles away, but we haven't been able to afford car insurance for over a year, and I don't know how we've been this lucky this long. I know someday everything's going to be alright. I am so grateful for:
*my husband, who works so hard and believes our babies need me.
*my midwife, for being willing to join me in childbirth without compensation
*our wonderful home, owned by our friends, that is the first decent housing we've lived in since we were married
*one more month's food stamps before I'm suspended
*this is DH's last garnishment, then he's debt free! (now me. . .)
*the wisdom of cosleeping, babywearing, breastfeeding and diaper free that enables me to feel I am providing the best for my baby even though I can't afford a crib, stroller, formula, and diapers.
We've been inching our way through all along, and we will make it !
post #15 of 254
justmama - I am outraged that your work won't let you pump! You should put a post in lactivism and I bet those ladies could help you out with how to handle it legally.

asianyoushi - glad you are feeling better

cornflower - hope your economic hardship deferrment goes well

renabe - how scary to be investigated for fraud! My DH pays a fortune in child support ($165/week) and it irks me that garnishments don't do a thing to qualify for foodstamps. I say that if they are counting that as income then they should count those 2 children in our family size. I hope you don't get felony charges! I hope that whoever gets elected next will make the income limits higher so that familes like yours don't have to lie just to get basic needs met. Such a shame that all that money goes to the war in Iraq instead of our struggling citizens...

I'm finding that I'm saving a ton off my grocery budget by making homemade baby food. Tonight I pureed up some lentils and veggies and DS wolfed it down. I keep getting mangos from the clearance rack and am mixing those with bananas. I found the best book at the library - First Meals - and am loving their recipes!

I'm getting really irked with the bill collectors these days. I keep getting automated calls and it's to the point I unplug my phone during naptime so the kids don't get woken up. Back when it was real people I just started lying and saying that DH doesn't live with us anymore, since all the calls were for him. He owes so much stuff from his past that I never knew about before we were married. And he isn't even making payments on any of it! He just doesn't care. If it gets much worse I might change my phone number.

Have a nice night ladies!
post #16 of 254
Welcome renabe.

Everyone else ~ s

I, also, am not opposed to mainstream meds, not when they're really necessary... and if your child is not sleeping because of pain to me that means they're necessary. I'm a firm believer in PAIN as a VITAL SIGN ~~ because we can't function properly if we're dealing with it, kids included.

justmama ~ that teething necklace is beautiful. My kids were never interested. (We did the cold washcloth thing...)

More thankfuls ~~

* FRIDAY HOURS!! Meaning, I've been waiting over SIX MONTHS to be able to work on Fridays.... and now FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY I get to work Fridays! Hooray for extra $$, and making up the CalWORKS hrs!!
* that I was able to get to my dd's daycare this afternoon in time to help her with her asthma attack (her care providers didn't know how to use the nebulizer so I had to RUN there and give her the treatment)...
* that medi-cal FULLY COVERED the cost of replacing the filter in her nebulizer ~~
* that at least 1/2 of my endo. meds are covered by medi-cal... which means $40 less than I thought I'd have to spend...
* that my ds is such an exceptionally good big brother to his baby sister.

post #17 of 254
Originally Posted by EarthyMamaofDaisy View Post
justmama - I am outraged that your work won't let you pump! You should put a post in lactivism and I bet those ladies could help you out with how to handle it legally.
the issue is that I'm a waitress. I never know what my shifts are going to be. I'm not sure if you are familiar with it but we are "cut" in a certain order each night. I come in at 4 or 5pm and let's just say it's a Friday night and I'm 5th cut. That means that 4 people leave before me. If it's busy, they won't be cutting people because they need the servers to serve the guests. So I'll be there for longer than if it were completely dead. Obviously they'd cut people sooner because they aren't making any money to keep us and we aren't making any tips. So it depends on how busy it is and what cut I am. There's never a guarantee of how long you will be there. So you can't really say, "well she legally needs to be allowed a place to pump because she's there for 4 hours." Ya know? I sometimes come in at 4pm and leave at 8 because it's dead and sometimes I'm there from 4pm until 11pm and I'm the same exact cut. We don't get breaks either. So that's the other sticking point. And you aren't allowed to eat in the kitchen and since you don't get a break you can't eat out in the restaurant either. So that made pregnancy hard. It's just not a GREAT situation.:
post #18 of 254
Originally Posted by Aura_Kitten View Post
justmama ~ that teething necklace is beautiful. My kids were never interested. (We did the cold washcloth thing...)

It's not for chewing on. Let me find you a quote somewhere. hold on.

"Is there a difference in the effectiveness of amber depending on
whether you wear a bracelet or a necklace?

Warmth is what triggers the release of the the ambers healing contents into the skin and around the neck area is warmer than the wrist - also the necklace maintains more steady contact with the skin than a bracelet which slides around. Plus more amber = more healing oils absorbed into to the skin. I consider a bracelet more of an accent piece than a teething tool.

Does amber "expire"? Will there come a time when you no longer absorb
anything from the amber?

The most common way amber looses its effectiveness is by becoming 'coated' with a film from cleansing - whether worn in the bath or if it's owner cleans it with anything other than warm water.

When the amber is not being worn does it have to be stored a certain
way so as not to damage it?

Not to my knowledge

Does the color of the amber affect how well it will help with
teething or are all the colors as effective as each other?

I looked high and low for an answer to this question and I never found anything to indicate that one color is any more effective than another."

where to buy:
This mama is SO super sweet. I've ordered from her before and I know her from another board and she's really great to work with.
post #19 of 254
post #20 of 254
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