Can't make ends meet and going into debt further and further... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 11-13-2011, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH is in school and graduating in May this year. I SAH parenting my 2 y/o and am pregnant and due in May...

 

We have one car and can not get rid of it (would cost thousands to get out of our lease and fix cosmetic damage) also we need the car. I feel like we have gotten rid of so much (moved out of our single family to a very small apartment, got rid of my car, gave up a lot of luxuries, like cell phones ect)

 

So here is our bills minimum in USD:

 

725 rent

362 car payment

 50 heat (gas) This is without using the heat/or very little and without heat assistance which we will be recieving

 50 electric

 72 house phone, cable, and internet (my sanity)

200 gas for the car DH drives 20 mins to work then 30 mins to school then 30-40 mins back home 4 days a week, otherwise just        work. I get the car 2/3 days a week and have to drop him off those days but he carpools to school and home those days.

200 for food (plus 160 in food stamps)

200 + credit cards

 

DH is out of the house 7am-10pm on school days and works weekends so I can't get a job opposite him.

 

On top of our bills DH smokes and spends roughly $150 a month on cigs and take out...which I can't seem to do anything about...

 

I haven't been too great with the spending lately but need to change that!

 

Our income is 1600-1850 a month (varies due to DHs hours)

 

We have about $10,000 in debt on credit cards and $200 in our savings.

 


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#2 of 41 Old 11-14-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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Are you just sharing or asking for advice?

 


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#3 of 41 Old 11-14-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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First of all, hugs momma.  That sounds stressful!  It sounds like your husband is time and money short, and you feel trapped in the house too at times with no money and no car. That is hard. 

 

According to your calculations your bills are $1809, without any extras or the $150 your DH spends monthly.  So I assume that any extra bills during the times your husband makes closer to $1600 than $1850 are going on credit cards, right?  If that's the case, there really are only two solutions:  spend less or make more (or, preferably, both!)

 

Troubleshooting:

Rent - Can you move to an even smaller place?  Rent a larger apartment with some friends?  You really need the money. 

Car - When is your lease up?  Do NOT renew it when its done.  Don't lease.  Buy an ugly beater off of Craigslist for cheap.

Internet/Phone/Cable:  Do you need all three of these?  Even if you do, call around for a better deal.

Husband:  Tell him that you are not making enough money.  Quitting smoking is no joke, but he can at least cut the takeout.  Help him by making him meals every day, maybe? 

 

Can you sell anything extra you have on Craigslist?  Can you take in another child one or two days a week to make a few hundred dollars a month?  Do what you can to get by until your husband graduates in May, and (hopefully) gets a better job. 


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#4 of 41 Old 11-14-2011, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DUH realized there was no actual question! IDK what to ask even. Things are just so bad and money is so tight and IDK what to do!

 

Troubleshooting:

Rent - Can you move to an even smaller place?  Rent a larger apartment with some friends?  You really need the money. This is the smallest and cheapest place we could find, I am always looking and there has never been one apartment cheaper! We don't have any friends we could room with

 

Car - When is your lease up?  Do NOT renew it when its done.  Don't lease.  Buy an ugly beater off of Craigslist for cheap. We have 2 more years on the lease...

 

Internet/Phone/Cable:  Do you need all three of these?  Even if you do, call around for a better deal. It's a monopoly over here! We only have ONE company! I only wanted phone and internet but they said you have to get cable as well...we get a whopping 20 channels and pay $10 a month for it. I could just have the phone for $30 a month...I will just go completely insane with no outlet at all and yes no car, no money, and NO YARD b/c our cheapo apartment is on concrete only and it's a parking lot. We also live off of major routes and can't even go for a walk! We play outside in the parking lot when everyone is at work...

 

Husband:  Tell him that you are not making enough money.  Quitting smoking is no joke, but he can at least cut the takeout.  Help him by making him meals every day, maybe? I could do this and I have done it. I started making him breakfast burritos and lunches and making extra for dinner, he bought takeout anyway and either left the food at work, share with with someone else, or brought it home...IDK how to make him quit smoking! We have a whole box of patches and he just won't do it! It is hard b/c I totally get he is stressed out and working so hard but you can't get blood from a stone!

 

As for babysitting i would LOVE to do that but IDK anyone willing b/c they have family to do it for free or they are a SAHM...I try to sell things on craiglist as well.

 

Thanks for the reply!


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#5 of 41 Old 11-14-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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Yikes. The only things I can think of are:

Consolidate any credit cards & see if you can get lower payments or lower interest rate.

Sit down with DH & show him the financial issues so he can see that his $150 on cigarettes & takeout is just not in the budget. See if he can limit his budget severely here, no takeout & only the bare minimum of cigs until he can quit.

Try calling the cable company to see if they have any deals for people in financial hardship (I read about some program where students with financial hardship could get internet for $10 a month or something... and since DH is in school, you guys might qualify!) If you research the program first and you don't think you'll qualify, try telling them you want to cancel your service & maybe they'll give you a deal to keep you as a customer? This has worked for several people I know... Also look into alternatives like Magic Jack and dial-up internet like People PC which is under $10/month.

Can your DH find a better-paying job?

Could you do other things from home? Find a WAH job or sell things online? Can you post on CL for babysitting services? I'm sure there are people out there who need a sitter, just because your friends & family don't need anyone, that doesn't mean NO ONE needs anyone, there must be people out there who need you!! smile.gif

What about DH taking the bus to work/school? If there is public transportation... Then you'd save a lot on gas at least, even if you can't get rid of the car...

Has your DH looked into financial aid/stipends/etc.? I don't know if it's too late but if he has one semester left maybe there's still time...

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#6 of 41 Old 11-14-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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What is maternity leave like in your ....State? In Canada we get 12 months so it's worth going back to work so you qualify for that employment inusrance. Is that at all an option?

 

I would consider finding extra income whether that means you getting a job or DH doing something on the side.

 

1) Find out your networth (take everything you owe and subtract that from everything you own)....knowing exactly where you stand is a good place to start.

 

2) Put together a budget and spend everything you have on paper before you spend it in real life

 

3) Pick up Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover....it will motivate the cr@p out of you and tell you exactly where to start and what to do next to maximize your efforts.

 

GOOD LUCK, mama!!!


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#7 of 41 Old 11-14-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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So your DH makes about $10/hr.  Would it work out better for you to get a job and your DH to stay home?  Your DH could watch the kids and do his school work and you would work during the day/weekends.  IDK where you are at but I'm on the west coast and tons of offices need early shifts to mirror the east coast hours so 5-6am start times.

 

If you want to do inhome daycare, post on craigslist.  That is where I found my sitter.

 

 


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#8 of 41 Old 11-14-2011, 10:23 PM
 
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You can't get any help with rent?  He makes less than 20 thousand a year there must be something. 

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#9 of 41 Old 11-14-2011, 10:25 PM
 
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#10 of 41 Old 11-15-2011, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well that is his net pay, he made $26,000 last year and gets $12 an hour. I certainly wouldn't make more than him (we are young, I don't have any degrees or anything)

 

With DHs hours and school I don't see how I could get a job or her could get a second....he is at work/school like all the time as it is!

 

I could post on CL about babysitting, I guess I am nervous about it b/c I don't have a car or a yard, my apartment is tiny and I'm pregnant but I suppose maybe someone would hire me.

 

Maternity leave is 6 weeks and you have to work the company for 1 year to get that! I was working when I got pregnant with DD and they laid me off b/c I was pregnant...and I tried to make a case of that but the state denied me. I was on unemployment until DD was almost 1 y/o though.

 

I could maybe get something really early at a coffee shop or something but the issue with that is the income would be used against us for the food stamps and the heat help and the insurance...so we would probably end up paying more and being screwed for health care....my state sucks

 

We are trying to improve our lives with DH going to school and getting a better job but we are going further and further into debt. He did get really good financial aide and I don't think we even have anything to pay off once he graduates b/c he went to a community college and we are so low income...

 

thanks for the help, I will check out that link!


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#11 of 41 Old 11-15-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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Could qualify for daycare aide and work once the baby comes? Also in my state any the income limit for heating and healthcare are quite generous. You will be a family of four soon. I can't imagine a min wage job would put you over the top......

 

On the smoking my DH bought a rolling machine and rolls his own filter smokes. It costs much less, he figures about 2$ a pack vs 8+ a pack. The machine he bought was about 50, but it was more then worth the investment! 

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#12 of 41 Old 11-15-2011, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Could qualify for daycare aide and work once the baby comes? Also in my state any the income limit for heating and healthcare are quite generous. You will be a family of four soon. I can't imagine a min wage job would put you over the top......

 

On the smoking my DH bought a rolling machine and rolls his own filter smokes. It costs much less, he figures about 2$ a pack vs 8+ a pack. The machine he bought was about 50, but it was more then worth the investment! 



I have been on the subsidized daycare waiting list for 1 yr and a half for DD...nothing yet.

 

I just found out there is a place about 45 mins away (but we have family there and visit usually once a month) that will roll 200 cigs for $20 which seems like a good deal!

 

I talked to DH about quitting and he said "soon" *sigh*


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#13 of 41 Old 11-15-2011, 04:17 PM
 
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Quote:
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I just found out there is a place about 45 mins away (but we have family there and visit usually once a month) that will roll 200 cigs for $20 which seems like a good deal!

 

I talked to DH about quitting and he said "soon" *sigh*



ya I've given up on that lol. He'll quit when he is ready. What he did was take his weekly smoke budget, buy the machine and filters and tobacco for that week. It came to about what he was spending on smokes anyway so it' didn't feel like it costed anything. Now he is spending like 10-15 a week on smokes. 

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#14 of 41 Old 11-15-2011, 07:23 PM
 
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hugs to you, I know you must be so stressed out.  As for trouble shooting, could you take out an emergency student loan to get you through till May??? We had to do that while I was a student, and it really does take some of the pressure off.  we went to cash spending for luxuries like take out, so maybe give DH a certain amount of money each week, cash, and when it's gone, it's gone.  he'll learn to budget and you will be less stressed about not being able to control his spending.  taking in other kids once or twice a week may help too, or even going to another mom's house so you could get a change of scenery... maybe there's another student/mother who could use your help?? maybe even one with a backyard if your extra lucky :)

 

i hope things settle down soon for you and May comes quickly!!


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#15 of 41 Old 11-16-2011, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I just got an offer in the mail for a credit card with no interest until 2013....Do you think I should apply and transfer my interest credit balance onto it?

 

We could see about a loan.

 

This is all very stressful for sure!!!


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#16 of 41 Old 11-16-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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Could you move closer to either work or school to save on gas?  Does the school have family housing?

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#17 of 41 Old 11-16-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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Sosurreal, I would only do that if you can figure out a way to pay it down by then. That is how we manage our small amounts of debt, but if you can't pay it off, I would look into a chapter 13 bankruptcy. I don't know much about it, but I know it is basically restructuring of debt where the credit cards are consolidated and the bank takes an offer that is less than the whole amount. I would start there.

 

Good luck!


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#18 of 41 Old 11-16-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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I was just following along, and thought of electronic cigarettes... concerning the smoking. Have you heard of these? I saw one for 25 dollars and then one needs to replace the puffer thing once in a while.

 

Concerning the interest free credit card... it may be of some help but the new card may not give you a big enough line of credit to transfer all of your money, it may only take 1000. And then your debt is split around but at least one would be interest free.

 


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#19 of 41 Old 11-16-2011, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Could you move closer to either work or school to save on gas?  Does the school have family housing?



We tried but all the apartments are hundreds more...the school does not have housing at all.


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#20 of 41 Old 11-16-2011, 10:54 AM
 
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Hi,

 

Sounds like you're getting a lot of great advice, but it also sounds like you've already thought of a lot of this and are already trying just about everything to stay above water, so I'm going to point something out -- your situation is temporary.  It sounds from your first post like your husband is graduating in May.  When that happens, you won't be paying tuition, he'll have more time freed up, and he'll have a degree and may be able to get a higher paying job.  While right now you're pregnant, in some months you'll have the baby and be recovered, and be able to think again about taking in some other children and making some extra cash that way.  In short, your life is going to look a lot more managable in six months to a year!

 

Right now, I would focus on minimizing as much as possible the debt you're going into, make the debt the "best debt" you can get (yeah, it sucks, but get one of those 0% introductory APR rates that only last a year, and use it as little as possible).  As far as the cigarettes, that would be a nonstarter for me.  It's money you guys just don't have, and it's health that he can't get back.  He needs to man up and be the father your children need.  I speak as a former smoker who quit because she didn't have the money any more.  I know it's hard, but even if he tapers down to one cig a day and quits for a few weeks, then starts back up again because of stress or whatever... it's still better than never having tried.  It takes an average of seven times before quiting sticks -- you just gotta keep quitting.

 

Best,

Anka


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#21 of 41 Old 11-16-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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Hi,

 

Sounds like you're getting a lot of great advice, but it also sounds like you've already thought of a lot of this and are already trying just about everything to stay above water, so I'm going to point something out -- your situation is temporary.  It sounds from your first post like your husband is graduating in May.  When that happens, you won't be paying tuition, he'll have more time freed up, and he'll have a degree and may be able to get a higher paying job.  While right now you're pregnant, in some months you'll have the baby and be recovered, and be able to think again about taking in some other children and making some extra cash that way.  In short, your life is going to look a lot more managable in six months to a year!

 

Right now, I would focus on minimizing as much as possible the debt you're going into, make the debt the "best debt" you can get (yeah, it sucks, but get one of those 0% introductory APR rates that only last a year, and use it as little as possible).  As far as the cigarettes, that would be a nonstarter for me.  It's money you guys just don't have, and it's health that he can't get back.  He needs to man up and be the father your children need.  I speak as a former smoker who quit because she didn't have the money any more.  I know it's hard, but even if he tapers down to one cig a day and quits for a few weeks, then starts back up again because of stress or whatever... it's still better than never having tried.  It takes an average of seven times before quiting sticks -- you just gotta keep quitting.

 

Best,

Anka


I think this is great advice.  I have to agree with the smoking issue; I can't fathom just breaking even or being short every month and having a husband/wife spending $150 extra/month on something like smoking and eating out.  I'm really sorry because I understand that it's not your issue, specifically, but I would have a very serious conversation with my husband/wife about it.

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#22 of 41 Old 11-16-2011, 10:57 PM
 
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Smoking is a real tough one.  I'm not a smoker, and DP is.  He's tried to quit a bunch of times, and has sometimes lasted a couple of months without smoking, and then has a bad day, and it seems like all the hard work if for nothing when he buys another pack.  I try to encourage him, but mostly keep out of it, because it has to be his decision. 

 

We're in a pretty tight place financially at the moment, and he has been trying to quit for a little while now.  (He has bought any smokes, but I'm pretty sure he is still bumming the odd one or two when I'm not around and he gets the chance).  But he knows that it's a waste of money, and he is really trying.  I'm trying to keep him fed and watered, because his appetite is huge right now! 


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#23 of 41 Old 11-17-2011, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah with my DH it's going to be HARD. His mom (I'm serious here) started buying him cartons of cigs when his dad passed away to help him "cope with the stress" at 12 Y/O! DH is 25 now so we've got about 13 years most of them being a pack a day or more. A pack lasts him about 2 days now...

 

So I think emotionally it must be a big thing for him as well...


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#24 of 41 Old 11-17-2011, 05:57 AM
 
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Does your dh know how unbelievably stressed out you are over money issues? Have you really sat down and expressed that well? It's clear to me this is bothering you a lot and I'm a stranger on a message board. I understand how hard quitting smoking is both physically and emotionally but why does his emotional well being trump yours? You are pregnant and alone all day with a toddler. YOU do NOT need this added stress. I would hope that when he understands that he will act accordingly. $150 when you can't make ends meet even when receiving assistance is just too much to waste on something that's optional regardless of how hard it is to give it up. 

 

I also wanted to say that I agree very much with the pp that stated your situation is temporary. You are young and have already done a lot of very wise things to move your life forward in the best way possible by taking charge of your finances and by your dh getting a higher education. It will get better.  {{HUGS}}


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#25 of 41 Old 11-17-2011, 06:09 AM
 
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Yeah, quitting smoking is really tough, especially when you started as a kid.  My mom introduced me to cigs when I was about 8 years old, and it was really hard to quit.  I called it meditating with poison -- you go back on the stoop, sit there and smoke.  It's an excuse to disengage from whatever is going on and be by yourself and think.  I think I knew my neighbors better when I smoked, to be honest, because it gave me a good reason just to sit on the stoop.  Honestly, aside from the first six weeks, when you feel crummy physically, that was the hardest thing to give up.  They say it's harder to quit smoking than quit cocaine!  Anyway, I'm entirely sympathetic.  But you guys just don't have the money.  $150 is huge in yoru budget.

 

Again your situation is temporary.  If he quits now and relapses in January, that's two months or $300 saved... which will help you get to May, when he graduates and things start to get better, KWIM?  Every single day he isn't smoking, he's saving $5. It's more managable if you think of it as shades of grey rather than all or none.

 

 

Anka


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#26 of 41 Old 11-17-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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Aside from complete abstinance from all sexual intercourse, pregnancy happens.  It may be she has religious beliefs against contraception.  It may be she missed the pill.  It may be she was using the pill perfectly and got pregnant.  She's a married woman.  She had sex with her husband.  She's pregnant.  Who are you to criticise her, when you know nothing about her situation (or honestly, even if you did)?  And don't try to pull that reprehensible "it's placing a burden on society," BS arguement.  First off, she's not trying to get money here, just advice.  Second, and this is a far more important point, children are not Malthusian "mouths to feed", they are a blessing and a wonderful addition to any society.

 

Anka

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#27 of 41 Old 11-17-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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Sounds like you're getting a lot of great advice, but it also sounds like you've already thought of a lot of this and are already trying just about everything to stay above water, so I'm going to point something out -- your situation is temporary.  It sounds from your first post like your husband is graduating in May.  When that happens, you won't be paying tuition, he'll have more time freed up, and he'll have a degree and may be able to get a higher paying job.  While right now you're pregnant, in some months you'll have the baby and be recovered, and be able to think again about taking in some other children and making some extra cash that way.  In short, your life is going to look a lot more managable in six months to a year!

 

 

I think you need to focus on this.  First, what is your DH's degree going to be in?  When does he plan on starting interviewing.  We had a child while DP was still in school--- he planned on graduating in June and started looking the previous fall.   He had interviews in December, January & February and accepted an offer in February to start work in May (finished his work up early).  Anyway, I think it would take a lot of stress off of you if you *knew* things would be getting better in 6 months.

 

Do you have health insurance?  Can DP get help quitting smoking through that (either with drugs or therapy)?

 

Looking forward, I would really consider you to stay with your bare bones budget as long as it takes to pay off  your debt.  DP has friends who were so excited about earning $ out of college they immediately bought huge items (like BMWs).  We, instead, stuck with our single Escort and just plugged away at paying off the debt we had accrued while in school.  It didn't hurt (we were used to living poor as students) and it made it so that we were DONE with school debt within six months.  We loosened up a bit at that point, but just started socking money into savings and were able to buy a house about 15 months after DP started his job.

 

Once again, you are in a great position going forward.  Just try to make choices in the next few months so it *is* temporary.


 

 

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#28 of 41 Old 11-17-2011, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyways I don't think I will need much for the new baby b/c I already have cloth dipes and will be nursing this babe as well. I saved all of DDs clothes (although IDK the sex). We need a car seat and clothes if it's a boy but that's about it...

 

As for giving DH an allowance, IDK where we would even get that from LOL That list of bills doesn't even include household stuff like TP and mouthwash...(we do FC but guest and what not) or anything we may need for my 2 y/o.

 

I called that credit card today and in 2 weeks I will find out the spending limit I am hoping to be able to transfer a substantial amount the interest on it after 2013 is lower than my current card as well.

 

Thanks for the support ladies!


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#29 of 41 Old 11-17-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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As for giving DH an allowance, IDK where we would even get that from LOL That list of bills doesn't even include household stuff like TP and mouthwash...(we do FC but guest and what not) or anything we may need for my 2 y/o.

I don't know how to say this without sounding harsh but... does your DH know & understand this??? How does he justify spending $150 on cigarettes and takeout if you guys don't have enough money for toothpaste??? He needs to step up and re-prioritize. Maybe he'll come up with a way for cigarette money on his own if that $150 is otherwise allocated. Put it on him though, he can figure that out.

(And on a side note, we've been making our own toothpaste or just brushing with water for the last couple of years & our teeth are actually HEALTHIER, weirdly!! Has nothing to do with your real financial issues but figured I'd mention it.)

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#30 of 41 Old 11-17-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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When DH and I were flat broke, smoking was hard to give up.  We tried and tried.  I think the stress of our situation made it even harder to stop.  Though he should stop for the time being I don't think it's as easy as just giving it up.  believe me I've tried. 
 

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Ignore the inappropriate posts hug.gif
I don't know how to say this without sounding harsh but... does your DH know & understand this??? How does he justify spending $150 on cigarettes and takeout if you guys don't have enough money for toothpaste??? He needs to step up and re-prioritize. Maybe he'll come up with a way for cigarette money on his own if that $150 is otherwise allocated. Put it on him though, he can figure that out.
(And on a side note, we've been making our own toothpaste or just brushing with water for the last couple of years & our teeth are actually HEALTHIER, weirdly!! Has nothing to do with your real financial issues but figured I'd mention it.)


 

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