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Old 11-05-2010, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A while ago I wrote a post here about what to do when you have gone frugal to the max and cut everything there is to cut but you still don't have enough money to make the bills. You gals really encouraged me to be strong and find a way to make more money since that was my only option left.
So I took on babysitting a child full time and found that still wasn't cutting it so I started working on weekends while dh is home so we can I can get paid without paying for childcare. I am now literally working seven days a week! All day during the week I have another child with me and can't give dd my full attention and then all weekend I can't be with her. I cannot express how miserable we all are. We never get to be together as a family anymore, my dd is confused, dh and I are both exhausted.
And the kicker is, it's still not enough. We have a ton of debt (partly our stupidity and partly from fertility treatments for dd that weren't covered).
It's just always something. My mom used to say if we didn't have bad luck we'd have no luck at all. It feels so true right now. It's only the fifth of the month and we've already been hit with a $300 vet bill and $300 car repair. That's almost my whole month's pay for babysitting 50 hours a week.
I don't know what I'm looking for here ... I'm just so depressed. I feel like no matter what I do I can't win.

mama to three little ladies
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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That's really hard.

I guess the bright side is if you hadn't made those changes your family could be in a really bad position now.

If you want suggestions...I don't know your space but it seems like you could double your income from babysitting by taking in one more child, without really losing out on a lot of time. Remember that although your daughter doesn't get your full attention, she gets the experience and socialization and camraderie from the other kids, so it's not a complete loss to her.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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I would tend to take on a second child to babysit and quit your weekend work. It would essentially be double the pay, but for the same hours you are already working. You can't keep working 7 days a week. That is just burn out waiting to happen and it sounds like you are already at that point.

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Old 11-05-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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I would also consider charging more for babysitting. $600 per month for virtually one on one care? You are a bargain, and are probably selling yourself short.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:18 PM
 
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I would also consider charging more for babysitting. $600 per month for virtually one on one care? You are a bargain, and are probably selling yourself short.
$600 for working 50hr/wk or 200hrs/month?? That's comes out to $3 per hour. That's not even minimum wage. I agree; I think you could charge a little more especially if you are the one providing food.
FC
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies. I've thought about it but I don't want to give up the little bit I do have with dd. With just one extra child I'm still able to take dd out and bring her to the library, park, play dates, run errands, etc. All things she absolutely loves doing and I love doing with her. We would be house bound if I took in just one more child because I have a small car. There's no way I would fit three cars seats in it. I'm really not able to charge more either. Trust me, I really really tried. There are daycares in the area charging $100 a week. I had several people asking to pay no more than that so I'm actually lucky to be getting what I am. I can't express how insane I think that is but it's the reality here. If I want the work I have to take the crap pay.
It was so bad that we were looking at filing bankruptcy two years ago. Sometimes, I wish we would have. Even when/if the debt is gone we will still have nothing. We don't own a home, have no savings for retirement, college or emergencies. It's still such a long road ahead and I just can't imagine going that far with how I feel right now.

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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Thanks ladies. I've thought about it but I don't want to give up the little bit I do have with dd. With just one extra child I'm still able to take dd out and bring her to the library, park, play dates, run errands, etc. All things she absolutely loves doing and I love doing with her. We would be house bound if I took in just one more child because I have a small car. There's no way I would fit three cars seats in it. I'm really not able to charge more either. Trust me, I really really tried. There are daycares in the area charging $100 a week. I had several people asking to pay no more than that so I'm actually lucky to be getting what I am. I can't express how insane I think that is but it's the reality here. If I want the work I have to take the crap pay.
It was so bad that we were looking at filing bankruptcy two years ago. Sometimes, I wish we would have. Even when/if the debt is gone we will still have nothing. We don't own a home, have no savings for retirement, college or emergencies. It's still such a long road ahead and I just can't imagine going that far with how I feel right now.
600 a month is what I get for one child to and it's also a bit more then other places charge but the kids still get out and it's more one on one. How much do you make on the weekend job? What if you looked for a part time child 2-3 times a week that could be an extra 240-360 a month and then you'd still have days you can take your daughter out. Or sacrifice the tripsvwoth your daughter durning the week and take in 2 more children Monday-Friday which would bring you in 1200 more a month and then leave your weekend job and do your outings then with dd and dh. Can dh get a second job and maybe you guys can split the weekend so your at least getting a day off?
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:23 PM
 
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If I were you, I would consider a second child part-time. As a part-time working mom, I found it almost impossible to find part-time care. All the centers wanted full-time and even some in-home wanted full-time. I bet you could find someone who just needed you 1-2 days per week. You might be housebound for those few days but you would make up for it in the money and getting your weekends free.

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Old 11-05-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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Popular opinion or not (and past any "paying your dues" arguements), BK is still an option.

Is there any other feasible way to be debt free in the next 5 years? Can partner take on more or better work? If you file BK will you still have to work? Have you all learned your money lessons from this? Will you get yourselves back in the same spot if you do file?



You may have already given yourself the answer you need/want.

Resistance is futile Matey
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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Why are you being so little for taking care of another child? $600 / month is terrible pay

I understand that the care is in your home (not theirs) and that you have your DD with you and both of those tend to lower pay. But that is very, very low.

ED: Just noticed your post above. Yikes. I get that a daycare is charging less but why wouldn't people expect more for what you are offering. Nannies in my area (I know different situation) make more than that a week.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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there are a lot of other options.
- drop the babysitting gig and weekend job, and work a few overnights a week instead (for example, in a group home - i did this and it pays well; some you can sleep and some you are expected to stay awake)
- dh gets an evening/weekend job
- take on another kid even if it means you stay home or walk everywhere
- put dd in daycare and get a full-time job

i don't remember your other thread so i don't know if there are any expenses to be cut; presumably not. personally, when daycare is only $100/wk, i would go with the last option. if gives you, dd and dh your evenings, nights and weekends all together. it lowers some expenses (utilities and food) when the house is empty all day rather than having you, dd and babysitting kids in the house.
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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Why are you being so little for taking care of another child? $600 / month is terrible pay

I understand that the care is in your home (not theirs) and that you have your DD with you and both of those tend to lower pay. But that is very, very low.

ED: Just noticed your post above. Yikes. I get that a daycare is charging less but why wouldn't people expect more for what you are offering. Nannies in my area (I know different situation) make more than that a week.
I'm not OP but I do the same. It really really depends on your area, where I live nearly everyone lives on minimum wage. I lived away for a year and made triple that plus they paid my living expenses. There's no way someone making minimum wage can pay minimum wage you know?
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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Thanks ladies. I've thought about it but I don't want to give up the little bit I do have with dd. With just one extra child I'm still able to take dd out and bring her to the library, park, play dates, run errands, etc. All things she absolutely loves doing and I love doing with her. We would be house bound if I took in just one more child because I have a small car. There's no way I would fit three cars seats in it. I'm really not able to charge more either. Trust me, I really really tried. There are daycares in the area charging $100 a week. I had several people asking to pay no more than that so I'm actually lucky to be getting what I am. I can't express how insane I think that is but it's the reality here. If I want the work I have to take the crap pay.
It was so bad that we were looking at filing bankruptcy two years ago. Sometimes, I wish we would have. Even when/if the debt is gone we will still have nothing. We don't own a home, have no savings for retirement, college or emergencies. It's still such a long road ahead and I just can't imagine going that far with how I feel right now.
I'm saying this gently truly -- have you ever heard "perfection is the enemy of the good?"

It kind of sounds to me like you are sacrificing 2/7 family days so that you can take your daughter out during the week. If you could take in one or two more kids M-F, then you could have two ENTIRELY free days to go out as a family.

It's hard to go from SAHP as an ideal to having to work, and I think you might be letting your emotions about that prevent you from seeing your way to a less burnout type situation. But there are also a lot of good suggestions here and I agree - good part time care is so hard to find. Also before/after school care.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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Old 11-05-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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$600 for working 50hr/wk or 200hrs/month?? That's comes out to $3 per hour. That's not even minimum wage. I agree; I think you could charge a little more especially if you are the one providing food.
FC
DS used to go to a daycare where we paid $175 a week when he was an infant and when he got older it went down to $135 a week. They provided food and such, but this was for a TON of kids. You're only watching ONE! I would bump this up a couple of hundred a month, cut out the weekend job. I know times are tough, but you need to be with your DD and DH right now.

One happy mama to 1/06 , 3/10 , and married to my best friend
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Old 11-05-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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I just want to say that the going rate around here is only $125 a week for full time care including food, et.. People can't/won't pay more. It is a lot of work and hardly any pay but it is what it is. I believe her when she says she can't make anymore than she is already making.

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Old 11-05-2010, 05:14 PM
 
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Daycare costs are SO reletive to the area. When I saw $600 a month for daycare, I personally thought, man, that's a great gig! I was only able to charge $100 a week here and still struggled to get and retain kids.

If you are pulling in an additional $600 plus whatever you get from the weekend job, and it's still drowning you, then perhaps you need to double check your budget? I am not saying that you should cut necessary expenses, like electricity, but perhaps think about trying to cut your debt payments? The reality is that for most debts like credit card and medical, most places won't do a thing as long as you are paying SOMETHING. Also, if they are hounding you, send them letters requesting that all future contact be in writing only. That way you aren't emotionally manipulated into paying more than you can afford. Is there anything you can put on a hardship deferral, like a student loan? Sometimes, especially with the economy, even banks that hold regular loans and lines of credit are willing to help with a hardship situation.

Also, in your budget, you HAVE to put aside some for emergencies like the vet bill and car repair. I know it probably feels like you don't have room in your budget, but as you can see by having been hit by $600 worth of emergency already, you can't really afford NOT to. I would suggest taking every non essential payment for one month and setting that all aside in an emergency fund. You can pick back up paying the next month, no one is going to take you to court over one missed payment and then you can put a small line in your budget adding a little bit to the emergency fund each month so that you are always making sure you have some for emergencies and the next time the car needs a new tire (or whatever other minor emergency) you can take it from the fund and not affect your budget.
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:21 PM
 
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I think you really need to think about like this:

You can either work 7 days a week and help no one and only hurt your family by losing any family life you have, confusing your child, and being exhausted,

OR

Take one more kid and yes maybe be "housebound" but have the weekends with your family.

You need to think like you have a job, not like you are taking an extra kid. If I was the parent of the child you watch, I would be offended that my child was just money to you and not a part of your family.

You need to think of the other child like they are yours as well...your own child is getting plenty of attention and the interaction he or she needs.

In this scenario, you still get to be with your child everyday ALL day plus have the weekends/holidays where it is just you and your family.

I'm not trying to be mean...honest, but I can't imagine having to work 7 days a week...nobody wins with that scenario

Good luck mama hugs your way!
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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Many people may not like my answer, but I would seriously think about BK, really it is designed for what you are talking about. Your debt has completely consumed your life. I know I've been there, and yes we did go BK and I am not ashamed by it at.all. The laws and rules are different now then they were 10 years ago when we did it. We were completely underwater with our debt, yes it was our fault, yes it was brought on by bad spending habits, but I was in school trying to get a better job and DH lost his job, it was a rough time.

I agree that if you are being hounded by creditors to send letters telling them to cease all contact via phone and only correspond via mail.

We did learn our lesson and yes we now have a mortgage, 1 cc and a car loan. For 5 years we had no car loan, but we currently do, our bills are mostly manageable, we have a small safety net. Are we in a perfect position, well no-I'm ok with that. Thing is we are in a much better position than we would have been, I can attest to that.

Might not be what you want to hear, but it may be your best option.

Me Wife to T (14 years)Mama to Princess(4) and Monster Boy(my 1 year old ):
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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I'm sure this will be an unpopular opinion, but I would rehome my pet(s) in your situation. I would LOVE to have one or more cats, but I cannot afford to give them proper food and care at this point.

And I agree with PP about advertising for a part-time slot or two. If you could get a sibling group that came two or three days a week, or only before/after school, it would be extra money without a huge sacrifice.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:03 PM
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I hesitate to say it but the $300 vet bill is optional. You could have gotten rid of the pet. (I'm not saying that you should have done so, just that it is a choice. You have to look at lots of things like that as choices.)

Do you live near an elem. school? I had a hard time finding before-school and after-school care for my children--just an hour or two in the morning and the afternoon. I wished a SAHM/WAHM would have been advertising that kind of care! You could take in a few school-aged kids , and that would be easier than full-time care of a younger child. You could advertise through the PTA or directly at the school, if they'll let you. (Again, that's if you live close to an elementary, or you'd be willing to drive them to/from school.)

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Old 11-05-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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I agree with everyone else about taking on another child, either full or p/t & dropping the weekend job. Not having endless days of one-on-one time, in and of itself, with a parent is not detrimental to a child. My kids almost never have one-on-one time with me. Given your circumstances, I would gently suggest that you need to make a significant and sincere change in mindset about this. Right now, you need to earn money, period. You have an opportunity to do so while being with your DD. You can embrace that, and all the benefits and aggravations that come with it, or you can aim for a presumably higher paying, WOH job and accept that your child will be in some sort of care. These things are OK and not the end of the world. It may not be your ideal, but transmitting your angst over the situation to your DD is not doing her any favors. Kids thrive in all kinds of family schedules & circumstances, and if the kids know the adults are OK with it and that there is a positive sense that this works, kids roll along just fine.

I would also rehome the pet. You simply cannot afford it. I'm a dog-lover, and it would be a wrenching decision, but a pet's expenses cannot trump your human family's basic necessities, and it sounds like that's the case currently.
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Old 11-05-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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It is really annoying to hear so many people saying to charge more for daycare. It just isn't realistic. At all. And any parents that will pay more per week or month want care in their home, with no other kids there. Doing at home day care is not going to make anyone rich. Even if you have several kids, you still aren't going to get rich.
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Old 11-05-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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I'm saying this gently truly -- have you ever heard "perfection is the enemy of the good?"

It kind of sounds to me like you are sacrificing 2/7 family days so that you can take your daughter out during the week. If you could take in one or two more kids M-F, then you could have two ENTIRELY free days to go out as a family.

It's hard to go from SAHP as an ideal to having to work, and I think you might be letting your emotions about that prevent you from seeing your way to a less burnout type situation. But there are also a lot of good suggestions here and I agree - good part time care is so hard to find. Also before/after school care.
ITA with this. Also you might want to think creatively-- could you do after school care? pick up one or two 'school age' kids, and care for them until their parents get home? there must be a market for somethign like that?

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Old 11-05-2010, 08:13 PM
 
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Ive been in your shoes-not having enough money.

You need to look at your daycare as a business. If that business isnt making money you need to re-assess what you are doing. Either your business needs more clients, a different rate, different hours, etc. You can advertise for more clients. Honestly by taking the kids out in your car and for errands you are opening yourself up for a HUGE liability. Unless you have business insurance you are at a HUGE risk if something should happen. I would not be taking kids on outings and my son does not go anywhere with his sitter and when I did daycare those did didnt leave the home and I had business insurance.

Also if you are running an inhome business there are huge tax deductions you and be taking. It sounds like you don't have the daycare set up as a 'business'. You should talk to a tax accountant to get the max benefit of your work.

Also take on that extra client or 2. You will see the profit increase and your DD will be fine. You will have sat and sunday with her and your DH. Your DD will adjust to 'work' and it will be much better than you WOH.

** if you are not running the daycare as a business do the parents know they can not claim the tax deductions? and what is to stop them from claiming the daycare fees anyway?

Ive also been in your shoes of working 7 days a week. Its not fun but it kept food on the table and the utilites running. You have a DH, I did it as a single mom. Not to say its great but it was either that or literally no utilities at times. In your current position I would rather take on an extra daycare kiddo or 2 and drop the weekend job.

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Old 11-05-2010, 08:28 PM
 
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It is really annoying to hear so many people saying to charge more for daycare. It just isn't realistic. At all. And any parents that will pay more per week or month want care in their home, with no other kids there. Doing at home day care is not going to make anyone rich. Even if you have several kids, you still aren't going to get rich.
As many pps said: it's relative to the area. Frankly, there's no way in heck you'd find daycare that CHEAP were I just relocated from.

And FWIW, I know a woman in town that watches 4-5 kids and pays her kids college tuition with no assistance. Maybe that's not rich, but putting a 2 kids through 4-year private colleges with no assistance on top of a mortgage & taxes in a high COL area isn't peanuts.


OP: I have to agree with others: you're working too hard for too little. If you're going to have to divide your attention from your daughter, make the most of it. Aftercare sounds awesome--especially for kids that might have homework to do (this is a HUGE benefit of them being in your house with better supervision than a group setting). Plus it would leave you a huge chunk of the day to get out. Aftercare doesn't pay well where I'm from, but maybe where you are--it's different. If it were me, I would take 1-2 more full time kids, try to see it as your daughter being on a playdate all day, and then really enjoy some time together as a family on the weekends.

And I also agree that BK and the like should be options.

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Old 11-05-2010, 11:55 PM
 
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You would still get to be home everyday. All the other running around is just icing. Some day you will probably have more kids and your dd will have to "share" you then too. If its pay your bills or be able to go to playdates/park etc its kind of a no brainer isn't it? Either make the best of things the way they are or take on another child or two.

I also have three dogs and love them to death. However, with out a doubt if it was food on the table or vet bills...
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Old 11-06-2010, 02:28 AM
 
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Chapter 7. No debt in three months.

And take in another child or two. If your daughter has two or three like age playmates she will not care about going out. Spend your days doing experiments, planting a garden, panting, cooking with the children, etc, etc.

Save your weekends for family time.

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Old 11-06-2010, 03:33 AM
 
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I have to agree with the bankruptcy. I haven't seen your earlier threads, so I don;'t know how much debt you have, but if overwhelming medical bills and consumer debt are ruining your life, it might be time to get a blank slate.
How long would you need to work to break even? Are you still adding to the debt?

I laugh at the replies to just charge more. I'm sure the OP knows what her local market can support. Daycare, along with housing, is probably the most variable cost there is. In my area, the going rate for daycare is $60/week. Discounts for multiple kids. I pay my provider a little over $2/hr for 2 kids and she is THRILLED, I'm her highest paying customer by far.

OP...look at it long term. what makes the most sense?

CPST
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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Another vote for bankruptcy plus adding another kid. And of course running the daycare as a business as pp said.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Another vote for BK. But only if you can live on less than what you are earning.
We filed about a year and a half ago and our lawyer wouldn't take us on unless we showed him we could live below our means. His advice was learn to live on a waiter's salary.
We do. And we can breathe. We actually have a safety net for the first time in 7 years.
Being self employed, we know that our incomes can fluctuate and we are able to weather that.
Again, make sure you can live on just DH's salary and your daycare of one child before you consider filing. If you continue to work weekends or take in another kid, it's a safety net.
A great resource with heaps of excellent information and unending support:
http://www.bankruptcyforum.com
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