2014 Low Income Support Thread - Page 13 - Mothering Forums
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Frugality & Finances > 2014 Low Income Support Thread
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 10:09 PM 03-16-2014
Justmama, I havent started on the freezer cooking yet. I have a cold/sinus infection thats kept me pretty useless. My lovely neighbor did watch my kiddos a few hrs so I got a break. Im here reading just not much to report in my feverish yucky state.

mamarhu's Avatar mamarhu 11:30 AM 03-17-2014

Well, 2 reasons YoungSon won't get SSI benefits extended beyond 18 - first, he would no longer be rated as disabled. His level of functioning is SO much better than when he was little. This is great in ways 1,000 times more important than the money. My home-grown, untherapy (think of unschooling) has been truly perfect for him. The kid is thriving! Secondly, he would NEVER submit to an evaluation, under any circumstances. This is the boy who cancelled his own IEP last fall. Apparently, no one had ever done this before - the school district had no idea how to legally remove the accommodations. He won't even let me advocate for him any more. Professionally, I am an advocate for kids with special needs, so I know about the transitional programs (and SSI), but YoungSon declines all assistance.


For a variety of reasons, I can't plan on moving any time soon. I suspect it will be a couple years before these Dumplings leave the nest. That was a mixed metaphor if ever there was one. Anyway, YoungSon has another year of high school, and BigGirl will probably do 2 years at Community College before transferring. If I get the parrot business going, there is no way it could be moved to an apartment - way too noisy! In fact, it would be hard to find a house with this practical a layout for this project. It has a huge rec room (remodeled 2-car garage) off the kitchen, away from the bedrooms, and also away from the neighbors houses. Also, my credit is pretty rotten, and I would have a hard time finding a decent place that would rent to me. And I have a pretty great landlord. The location is very convenient, if not as hip and funky as I might prefer. All in all, it would be hard to beat.


Oh, I sound so unappreciative. I do appreciate suggestions and support when I whine! In general, I love my life, and although I run out of cash a few days before payday, we are doing pretty OK. When the kids are able, I will ask them to help with expenses. I could also rent out bedroom when a child leaves. I have only one bathroom, so I don't know how well it would work with too many non-family room mates. I rented out the "rec room" for a few months last year, and it was quite a disaster. But it could be easier with the right person.


BigGirl had major oral surgery today. I know she is OK home alone (she is 18, for Pete's sake!), but I wish I could stay home with her. I have nearly used up my FMLA with Mom's Dr appointments and such, but the maternal side of me is having a hard time going back to work this morning!

crazyms's Avatar crazyms 11:37 AM 03-17-2014

I wouldn't like leaving her home along either but at least she's old enough she'll be fine. Maybe you spoil her when you get home and feel better. Honestly if she's feeling crudy she might like the time to relax at home alone today. I know it sucks to lose that money and it's gonna take some juggling to figure out but I think it's absolutely wonderful that your son is doing so well! Congrats for him for overcoming his challenges and all the work you put into helping him. That's just amazing. I hope he continues to do so well. Wishing you some creative thinking to sort through the coming changes.

happyhats's Avatar happyhats 12:32 PM 03-17-2014
Mamarhu you sound like a great mom and overall an awesome lady. Will u be my mentor? Or at least write your autobiography full of wisdom and advice? Cause seriously Id so read it.

Still perpetually broke, lol. Still sick but not nearly as bad. I think I will sit down tonight and do research on freezer cooking. Oh and nap bc hey napping is free lol. Looking forward to this weekend already. Dh is taking thurs off so he will have a four day weekend. I think Im going to ask my parents to watch the kids a couple hrs so we can have a date lunch. Then Fri we are visiting the childrens museum for its free day again.
crazyms's Avatar crazyms 12:59 PM 03-17-2014

That free day at the museum sounds awesome. I hope you get your date lunch and enjoy the long weekend with the family. I'm so ready to move! I wish we had things like that here to do! There's absolutely nothing in my area because of the dynamic making it unsafe to go most places and nothing is free because it'd get overrun and abused. Everything that has ever opened up here has closed within a couple of months from murders or overall dangerous behavior by the patrons. Just sucks. I hate where I'm at. Ugh!!



No more rain since Sat night/Sun morning. I'm hoping it stays clear the next few days so dh can do work on the property when he gets here. He'll be home in two days and I'll get a break also so that's great!

frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 01:56 PM 03-17-2014

Mamarhu- totally understand, And WTG on your son's progress! I'm in a similar boat with my dd. 2-3 years ago, folks looked at her and immediately thought Autistic. She didn't talk to people at all, only repeated movie lines, etc. Now, she's bloomed so much that she just just a little quirky.


*hugs* to everyone else.


Still here, still trying. Totally broke, but I got stuff on ebay so hopefully will have something come in soon. Found a rare hidden mickey bear at the thrift shop for .70, should sell on ebay for around $700-ish. All going to the taxes, hopefully. Right now I need $850 to pay them in full - hoping to get that next month.


Still waiting on the app from the county for electric bill assistance. I called at the start of Feb, and they said 4-5 weeks for it to be mailed. Tomorrow will be 6 weeks, and no sign of it yet :( Hoping it gets here quickly before the next bill comes in. Otherwise will probably have to go through the backdoor method to get on as I can't keep waiting anymore.

happyhats's Avatar happyhats 05:44 PM 03-17-2014
Go frugalmama! Sell Mickey Sell!
ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar ILoveMyBabyBird 06:07 PM 03-17-2014

So the state child support fee went from 10 $ a month to 30 $ a month. Not happy about losing 20 $ a month :/


My cc fraud case has been closed. I  am going to call in the morning and make sure everything is all fixed up and see what the fraud dept found


Cleaning out my garage. Not much to sell but it is nice to get organized

sdelgadillo389's Avatar sdelgadillo389 10:12 PM 03-17-2014

@Mamarhu- That is great that your son is doing better!



My little monster was sick all day Thursday, he felt better Friday and Saturday, then came Sunday night.... he threw up in bed! duh.gif It was about midnight, got him up, cleaned him off in the shower, took all the sheets off the bed, I had to try my best not to blow chunks as well, lol, but I did it! I threw everything in the wash and nothing got stained thank goodness. Today he did much better and I took him to daycare. I went to the courthouse to get some forms for a court date and mediation hearing. Also printed out the forms to continue the divorce. It shouldn't be to hard since stbxh didn't file a response. I will go to the courthouse again Wednesday to have the Self Help office look them over before filing them.


On the bright side.... Tomorrow is my 25th birthday! :joy And I will be going to to Denny's for my free birthday grand slam breakfast, of course my little monster will share with me! But then it will be off to daycare for him and a full day of school for me! lol Not what I had expected for my 25th birthday but that free breakfast with my son makes it sooo much better! And I am grateful for that.

happyhats's Avatar happyhats 06:56 PM 03-18-2014
Happy birthday! Hope you enjoyed yr pancakes! Finally got my butt looking into freezer cooking ideas. For our needs I think I would like a combo of casseroles/heat and eat things and prefrozen ingredients. Im thinking ingredient wise it would be things like grilled, cut chicken breasts, ground beef made into patties, and maybe pulled/shredded pork or chicken. Often we are out and realize we dont have something out or just dont have the energy to cook when we get home. So much cheaper and healthier to grab a bagged salad, or tortillas and peppers, or buns, etc. Then casseroles could be for those frazzled times I really dont care lol. Im not sure what those should be yet. In the fall and winter it will probably be soups bu Im not as much a soup gal in spring and summer. I may have to prefreeze some more tomato sauce though bc tomato soup is always a great side to a sandwich or quesdilla. Will it cut eating out completely-no because we do enjoy it. But it will cut down on a lot.
PeacefulSeams's Avatar PeacefulSeams 10:05 PM 03-18-2014

Been a long time since I posted...


I quit my job because who can survive off 9 hours a week? Luckily, I found a new one yesterday and go tomorrow for all the paperwork.  So that takes a lot of stress. I was starting to worry about upcoming bills since I am already behind on everything. I am pretty sure my water is gonna be shut off soon and I live in such a small town that there is no assistance for anything. The only place that helps is the church and I used them for gas last week because my husband was sent to the hospital 90 miles away. He is ok so that is good. I got accepted for college so I will be taking some more online classes this summer towards my nursing. They are prereqs but I really need to get them done. I have been working on my degree forever it seems. I already had to postpone my actual nursing classes and now I get to wait again to be accepted. The wait list is horrible. Thank goodness my taxes got here when they did. My alternator went out a few weeks ago and I had to have it replaced and bought a new battery and had to buy a new radiator. Mine had a huge hole in it. I spent most of it on bills and fixing the car. So we treated ourselves to some pizza and movie rentals. I also bought a new vacuum. I got tired of sweeping the floor. Also got my husband some new shirts and pair of overalls. My brother also came to live with us to help out. He helps cook and clean and watch the kids since my husband is disabled and can't. Glad that it is getting warmer because hey...the park is free!

sdelgadillo389's Avatar sdelgadillo389 08:34 PM 03-19-2014
This week has not been good to my son. He had just got over the stomach bug, now he has a chest cold! Now I have to give him even more medicine. On the bright side I was able to fill out all of the forms to finish up my divorce, problem is I haven't had time to get them reviewed before submitting them. That is on my to do list for next week. Stbxh hasn't paid his phone bill(it's under my name), so he of course will not be taking my son this weekend since I have no way of contacting him. He also hasn't bothered to contact me since last Wednesday. I honestly can not wait until I am officially divorced from him. He brings out the worst in me. I still haven't had any luck in finding a job or volunteer work. I most likely wont start working until this spring semester ends. I'm not to worried about it. I have about $120 left in food stamps this month. I really need to start shopping around for produce like I used to. Going to Von's and spending $100 on produce which I usually spend $40 at the Mexican grocery store is a big deal. I just need to stop being lazy and drive the extra 5 miles, instead of just going down the street. Hopefully I can go to this free couponing class this Friday to better my couponing skills.
mamarhu's Avatar mamarhu 10:10 PM 03-19-2014

I would love to take a couponing class - I have never heard of such a thing! All the coupons I see are for highly processed name-brand foods I never buy in the first place, so I have given up on the whole subject. I will look into classes like that in my area. Thanks!


I am feeling extremely unmotivated these days. I have a couple good ideas, money making or money saving, but I just can't seem to get going right now. Sleeping sounds like much more fun. I had a totally self-inflicted bad day at work today. Missed one appointment, just spaced it out, then totally forgot to turn in my time sheet that was due. Hope my paycheck won't be delayed. I will have to go to the office before my 1st appointment tomorrow morning, which will put a rush on the whole day. And I feel bad that my late time sheet will inconvenience the hard-working office staff. Ughhh. 


OK - I just talked myself out of being so mopey.  Best wishes to all. Thanks for being here for me to vent. I feel better already! Off to check the county job listings!

sdelgadillo389's Avatar sdelgadillo389 10:28 PM 03-19-2014

@mamarhu- I found this neat community center in my area. They also offer free cooking classes and zumba classes as well as a women's group. For the couponing, I mostly use it for cereal, my son loves cereal and so does my brother in law lol, but I also use it for household products. It helps me a lot, I usually try not to pay more then $1 for shampoo or conditioner, I pay around FREE or 50 cents, but I always try to keep stuff like that under $1. I am trying to cut out as much processed foods as I can, I fell back on the processed food wagon a couple of months ago and I'm still trying to recover. Hopefully soon I can go back to clean eating.

mar123's Avatar mar123 10:31 AM 03-20-2014

I have to share with people who will get how exciting this is;


In February, I made a $300 payment towards keeping our student loans out of default. I knew that March 25th was the date it would be officially too late, and today is payday. So I called to make the rest the of the payment and stop the default. The payment due was $637. I had no idea how I was going to afford it and the rest of the month. I do ACT tutoring and have been busy, so I was basically going to make the payment and pray that more students sign up. The person I talked to in February said that I had to make the $637 to be able to get the forbearance (something about number of days past due). She said to call and speak directly to someone to make sure everything went okay.


When I called, I was told the forbearance has already been applied, we're not behind, not in default and don't owe anything until April 15th! I was so happy, I was giddy! It was like being given a gift. Only people who have been there, understand this feeling of relief.

zebra15's Avatar zebra15 11:35 AM 03-21-2014

im still here... not in a good headspace yet....  not posting much  sorry..

sdelgadillo389's Avatar sdelgadillo389 11:30 PM 03-21-2014

Today I got a call from a previous employer (Baskin Robbin's) which I had put a resume at about 2 weeks ago, he told me I could have my old job back! I was so excited to hear that!!! I had to call my old manager and speak with her about what times and days I'm available. I start Monday, just for 2 hours, but I loved my old job. I used to be a cake decorator for them about 2 years ago and 4-5 years ago. I don't know what my pay will be yet. Hoping it will be at least $9 an hour (my last pay). Plus with this job my schedule is extremely flexable, I get to work my own hours and days. Which is great since I can not work Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sunday, due to school and no child care of Sundays. In addition to specific dates for my 12 hour hospital and ambulance internship shifts. This news has made my entire day! Especially since stbxh texted me today asking what time he could pick up our son. For one, our son is sick, two stbxh changed his number without letting me know until today and three he is still considered homeless. GRRRRR he makes me so angry. I also have to pay off his phone bill since I had to get it under my name.... there goes about $800 out the door, so I know my first couple of paychecks will be towards paying that off. I did a little grocery shopping today, mostly frozen food and cereal, I have $80 I think left on my food stamps, maybe $60. Not sure, the rest will go towards produce and milk. I swear we go through milk and cereal like there was no tomorrow. Couponing class today was a bust, found out they canceled the class since no one ever shows up. But I did at least get a couple of coupons out of it.



Finally got a stable part time job, no benefits, but very flexible, after looking for over a year

My son is getting better everyday, he has a chest cold and ear infection

Having a working car even though my alarm is broken and goes off randomly (super embarrassing!!)

ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar ILoveMyBabyBird 01:28 PM 03-22-2014
Urgh I signed up for the praxis exam I needto pass to even get my restricted teaching license. Not sure how I put it off this long. If I don't pass this first time getting a teaching job for august will be much more difficult. I have 10 days to cram and I can say half the information I was never taught in all my schooling. It also cost me 115 $ so I want to pass!

Decided to just have dd's bday party at home. Will serve hotdogs chips drinks and cake. Super unhealthy but cheap. Feeding 60 people is expensive :/
mamabear0314's Avatar mamabear0314 01:52 PM 03-22-2014

*Hugs* to all <3


My divorce should be finalized on Wednesday, I so need to be done with this. Stbx is much better with the kids now though and their relationship is better. We've been doing "family vistation" where he comes over a couple times a month and sees them at our house with me there. 


I have decided that I want to get us a tiny house on wheels. It sounds crazy, I know. But check it out:




The downstairs great room has a murphy bed but I was thinking of putting us all in these hammocks so I can just fold them against the wall during the day. 

I can choose a composting toilet and get this solar set up to be off grid.

rainbowasylum's Avatar rainbowasylum 11:08 PM 03-22-2014

Even at DIY prices, you are looking at $130/sq foot on the low end for a tiny house.  I understand the allure, but you might be able to find other options less expensively.

There are some plans  out there to DIY a tiny house that run well below $10K all told. For perspective, the house we just bought on 2 acres (about 1100 sq ft- not at all huge) was $45,000.  We plan to add either a yurt or a tiny house to the property in the next couple years- either will run less than $10K with bathroom and power (on or off grid, not sure) installed.

Hammocks can be a great sleep option if your kids are comfy in them, but try one out for the kids to test sleep in before making the switch.  Some kids really don't do well in them, others do really well.

mamabear0314's Avatar mamabear0314 10:41 AM 03-23-2014
Originally Posted by RainbowAsylum View Post

Even at DIY prices, you are looking at $130/sq foot on the low end for a tiny house.  I understand the allure, but you might be able to find other options less expensively.

There are some plans  out there to DIY a tiny house that run well below $10K all told. For perspective, the house we just bought on 2 acres (about 1100 sq ft- not at all huge) was $45,000.  We plan to add either a yurt or a tiny house to the property in the next couple years- either will run less than $10K with bathroom and power (on or off grid, not sure) installed.

Hammocks can be a great sleep option if your kids are comfy in them, but try one out for the kids to test sleep in before making the switch.  Some kids really don't do well in them, others do really well.

I've considered the same thing but I don't think I could dyi :(

I'm totally open to the idea if I can figure it out though. As for hammocks I know my oldest would do well but not sure about the others.


Do you have any links for a diy?

happyhats's Avatar happyhats 12:28 PM 03-23-2014
Hubby had a four day weekend so we took advantage and had a bit of a staycation. We went out to lunch sans kids Thursday, had a family bbq Friday, and yesterday did a bit of shopping. We probably shouldnt have spent the moneybut it was much cheaper than a vacation and was great for our well being. Today is catching up on housework a bit and a couple crafts with the kids. Hubby still isnt getting his usual overtime but we had our student loan repayments unexpectedly lowered. We also got a few discounts on our cell phone bil and will be getting the next couple months free due to credits.
kathirynne's Avatar kathirynne 03:48 PM 03-24-2014

Re: freezer cooking - I have a ton of recipes that you prep into Ziploc freezer bags and then transfer to the CrockPot on the morning of the day you want to eat them.  I could post them if anyone is interested.

sdelgadillo389's Avatar sdelgadillo389 04:21 PM 03-24-2014
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post

Re: freezer cooking - I have a ton of recipes that you prep into Ziploc freezer bags and then transfer to the CrockPot on the morning of the day you want to eat them.  I could post them if anyone is interested.
I would love to see some if you don't mind. I really need to start meal planning again. Plus I love using my crockpot.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 06:40 PM 03-24-2014
Me too!
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 06:52 PM 03-24-2014
Good news-my mom got a job she seems happy about. Things have been financially rough for my parents since she quit a hostile job a couple months ago. She is the main breadmaker now since my father is disabled but is still fighting for disability, and my sister is on ssi. The bummer- thats my yardsaling buddy! But maybe cutting down on yardsaling isnt such a bad thing, lol!
mamarhu's Avatar mamarhu 06:23 PM 03-29-2014
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post

Re: freezer cooking - I have a ton of recipes that you prep into Ziploc freezer bags and then transfer to the CrockPot on the morning of the day you want to eat them.  I could post them if anyone is interested.

Count me in! I don't have a microwave, but I love my crock-pot, so this is a perfect idea for me. TIA!

Mylie's Avatar Mylie 06:29 PM 03-29-2014
I would love to see them too....I also dont have a microwave smile.gif
frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 10:27 PM 03-29-2014

I would be interested too. I need stuff like this that I can just toss in the oven when I get home or drop in the crockpot when I'm not feeling good.


It looks like I may have to go gluten free, as much as I don't want to because of cost & allergies to most of the gluten subs. I went on a new high protein low carb diet recommended by my endo to try to get off some of my thyroid issue weight, and in 2 days my stomach issues stopped, my joint pain stopped, and the terrible cystic acne I've dealt with for 20 years improved a ton. Went back off the diet because I was craving sweets, 12 hours later & all of it back. Called the endo & the only thing she can think of is either celiac or wheat allergy, because this diet shouldn't have done it but it happened to be mostly wheat / gluten free the way I was doing it. I have no idea where to start - so much of what we eat now has wheat, because that is what is quick, easy and cheap or free at the store. We are barely making it grocery wise, even with all the free bread & other goodies. A large chunk of our meals, especially dd's, is bread. Or breaded items like fish, nuggets, etc. Not sure yet if she will have to go gluten free as well - but my willpower is cr@p & I crave carbs so probably best to just make the whole house gluten free.


We are broker than broke - trying to scrape up enough money to send a box of stuff so I can get paid a little. Still waiting on the electric assistance app - it's been 2 months so, and was supposed to come in 4-5 weeks. Gotta try calling again on Monday to see what is going on. And pretty sure I'm going to have to try to get help with our water bill again too - we just can't seem to get ahead. My net is going to get cut off any day now, and they raised the cost on it again. Gotta call & see if I can get them to drop the cost but first I have to get the bill paid.


Still waiting for the mickey bear to sell. Not going to bring enough to cover the taxes, but will cover a chunk of it & maybe I can get them to let me do payments or something. Going to have a yard sale next weekend to try to raise funds too.



Anyone heard from Justmama? Haven't seen her post lately & she has been on my mind.


*hugs* to everyone else. I've been reading, but just haven't had energy to post.

justmama's Avatar justmama 06:32 PM 03-30-2014
I'm here. Busy and quiet but here. It's been pouring rain for two days and we've got some serious flooding now. There's about six or more inches of flood water in a few of the first floor apartments in my complex. Thankful to be on the third floor. Got another babysitting job for a newborn starting in two weeks. They live across the hall from me. We are plugging along. I had to get new contacts this past week and they areoso damn expensive. I wanted to cry. Fortunately my glasses and my oldest daughter's glasses are free with Medicaid. Food has been tougher. So pricey lately. I'm definitely cutting corners as I can and having the kids order lunch at school so I can save. They eat so much. More than I do.

-a good paycheck this week and one expected next week.
-free art classn in our complex for one of my kids
-New babysitting job
-I got a lot of food prep done today. Yogurt, almond butter, granola bars... all put up for the week for snacks.
-laundry is finally blessedly caught up
-my birthday was yesterday and my parents bought me new plates to replace my broken ones since I didn't have enough to feed all the kids in the morning at the same time and a set of cubbies for backpacks for all the kids. Finally there's no pile on the floor.
Tags: Frugality , Finances
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