2014 Low Income Support Thread - Page 18 - Mothering Forums
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Frugality & Finances > 2014 Low Income Support Thread
justmama's Avatar justmama 06:25 AM 05-15-2014
Rhu, two words:water balloons. Dollar store. Easy, cheap, and compatible with hot weather. Check out story times at the local library. Also, our local libraries do Lego club and things like that. Also, Google recipes for play doh. Never underestimate the power of a bucket of water and some cups. You will be awesome. Take lots of pictures because this is a great memory building time with your grand kids.

justmama's Avatar justmama 06:36 AM 05-15-2014
Zebra, I hope you heal fast. *hugs*

Happy hats, how's dh doing? I haven't seen you around much. I'm thinking of you.

I'm having some massive child care issues for summer. Massive enough issues that may cause me to need to quit my job. :(I'm still hoping for a full time job to come through in the next 4 weeks before that though. It seems like everywhere I turn I am screwed with child care. Its incredibly frustrating. I'm being told at my apartment complex and by my social worker to work the system short term to get what I need to better myself. In those words! But I'm having a hard time enacting it. If I don't, we'll fall through the cracks ans never pull out of poverty. If I do, I have guilt at being a statistic. Single mom, no job, living off food stamps and rental assistance. It hurts me.
I don't know about you guys but we are really suffering this spring with allergies. It's horrible. I've pulled out the Claritin and the nebulizer. Miserable. We have appts today for the multitude of ailments that need addressing. Blech.

I'm off to get ready for work. It's been a long week. I'm trying to stick it out and keep my caffeine intake reasonable but I'm exhausted. No one ever said being broke was easy huh?
frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 07:49 AM 05-15-2014

Justmama - Does your town do summer camp? Maybe that would work? Or if you have a YMCA they might too. I know here the city summer camp goes 8 weeks, and if you are on any kind of aid {SNAP, WIC, Sec. 8, etc} then it's only $25 per kiddo. It's all day too, with meals provided. Otherwise I'd have to agree with your caseworker - work the system short term. If you feel guilty, consider that it's your tax $$ paying for it, and overall you'll hopefully be on the system less by taking this short term help.


Zebra - hope you heal quickly.



I've been swamped lately with stuff. I finally made it to the County Utility Assistance office yesterday & dropped off my stuff. Hopefully I will get a letter in 2-3 weeks saying I qualified & how much. Good news is that if I qualify, I'll get help through the end of the year which for us in summer means nothing to pay so maybe I can get ahead a little. Doing a whole house clean & praying they kick our info over to weatherization, as we could really use it. This house is so drafty on account of the single pane windows, and I've heard that weatherization might replace them in addition to insulating. If they do, I'm going to ask if I can keep the ones they pulled out, and frame them together into a greenhouse or a sunroom / catio off our back porch. Talked to the tax office while I was there, since it's in the same building. Next month I have to go down & set up a payment plan on the property taxes. Could have set it up yesterday, but wasn't sure how big of payments I could do until I get the utility assistance. Gotta try a couple of places to see if I can get my water bill paid next week too.


Today's goal is to get my labs done for an appointment next week, and then go hunt for deals at the local homeschool used book room. I have a couple of folks who wanted me to check for things, and if they have them then I'll make some $$.


Trying to make the most of my net - 99% sure I am going to cut it off this summer. Then when I sign back up I'll get the cheaper rate too :) Gotta list a ton on ebay this weekend too.

happyhats's Avatar happyhats 03:02 PM 05-15-2014
hubby returned to work yesterday on light duty-he has been driving a forklift and doing deskwork to stay off his foot. His mobility continues to improve though and Ive been keeping him relaxed as much as his stubborn butt allows lol. Ive been doing some decluttering and spring cleaning. Ive also been looking into furniture options in the next year because our couch bit the dust and our loveseat wont last forever either. The babes needed new shoes unexpectedly last weekend, thank goodness for having two free ten dollar coupons at kohls to help! And we have a ten dollar coupon for jcpenney we are going to use this saturday after going to the library.
rainbowasylum's Avatar rainbowasylum 01:04 PM 05-17-2014

I found a great deal on a set of bunkbeds (though I have them set up as singles for right now) to put in the boys' room.  They were listed on kijiji and I manages to get them- including the brand new mattress set the sellers had purchased to go with them and never used!  I spent $200 on them, but considering the mattresses were still in plastic, I thought it was fair.  The kids LOVED them.

Then I managed to find a set of matching 100% wool blankets at a local thrift store for $2 each, and snatched them up to go with the beds.   I've been looking for good wool blankets for ages- I just can't ever envision spending over $100 on a single blanket!  I need to replace the binding on one of them, but the other is perfect, and sewing on some satin binding will take no time at all. 

Today's accomplishment was getting a clothesline put up- it's close enough to the back door that I can just walk out on the deck to hang laundry.  That should help the electric bill a lot!  I have a message in to someone on kijiji with a free apartment sized washer.  I doubt I will be lucky enough to get it, but I can hope!  The washer here when I moved in is in terrible shape.  It leaks like crazy and overflows as the sensor to stop filling is defunct.  The drain is sketchy at best, and using the washer means I might have a flood.  My laundry is backing up like crazy. :(

Edit for celebration- the person with the washer got back to me, I am going to pick it up tomorrow!  :)  It's brand new, and was in their new home when they moved in. Thank goodness- I'm so tired of bleeding my savings dry to try to play catchup as we move in here.

Wolfcat's Avatar Wolfcat 03:52 PM 05-17-2014

Today, I'm going to play Good & Bad wherein I will alternate good news happenings with the bad:


DH got a promotion (and raise) at work! With me working more hours, we are doing a little better.

However, both the kids need a pretty big medical procedure, costing $3200 for one and about $10k for the other. I'm still waiting on Medicaid for that.


We did get one of our previous medical bills paid off, and we (finally) got the title for the van from the bank, so we got the insurance lowered to just liability for it. The insurance alone saves us about $500/year.


Both the van and the house need some work done. Mostly maintenance/cosmetic stuff, nothing that HAS to be done, but it would prolly be better to do it in the long run.


I have about (based on internet searches for pricing) $500 worth of food canned in my cupboard, with no need to break into it any time soon. I have several products that people are looking forward to getting from me at the Farmer's Market when it starts up next month.


I'm falling behind on my self-imposed schedule for finishing my cookbook, which means it will be longer before it's published and longer before it is selling copies.

sdelgadillo389's Avatar sdelgadillo389 09:06 PM 05-18-2014

I only have 2 weeks left of spring semester. I am glad it is almost over. My EMT class takes up most of my time. I wasn't expecting it to be this time consuming, I barely have time for my son. But on the bright side today I am officially credit card debt free! But I still have an old phone bill that is under my name that my stbxh left me with, a personal loan which can be repaid back in small payments then lastly I have the old car loan that was taken out in my and my stbxh name. I'm not worrying about that one until the divorce is final. I paid off my lawyer on the 5th and I am still waiting on her to call me to look at the draft judgement. I might call tomorrow to try to set up an appointment for that since I want it done asap and my divorce should be final on 7/31, at least I am hoping. My manager cut my hours at work so I will be lucky if I get 20 hours a week. I thought I was going to be able to get off cash aid... Now it doesn't look that way anymore. I will be making $720 a month before tax if I work 80 hours a month! So most likely I will start job hunting again come august that way I can get my son's birthday off. I am still having drama with stbxh but I am trying to ignore him, doesn't help when he blows up my phone and threatens me. But I do look on the bright side and I am grateful that I have my son, a roof over our heads, food in the fridge, gas in the car, a job, and a little bit of extra spending money to where we can go out to the dollar theaters watch a movie and get those expensive snacks!

justmama's Avatar justmama 11:58 AM 05-19-2014

-lots of hours at work next week.

-last week's commission check was double what I usually make.

-homemade pizza for dinner tonight

-I got accepted to that cna class. They pay for everything. Training, scrubs, test fee, license fee, etc. Just need to get daycare sorted out.

-had a nice busy weekend enjoying my kids
frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 01:47 PM 05-19-2014

Ooh Wolfcat can I play Good & Bad too? :)


~Finally sold the Hidden Mickey on ebay! I ended up making $400 after fees, shipping, etc. Enough to pay the school portion of the property taxes, and start a payment plan on the county portion.


~Worst possible timing to sell it because it's time to renew on SNAP & medicaid, but worse case scenario we have a gap in benefits for a month or so. I can deal with that. It is better to have a gap month than renew & have my income too high for TANF- level medicaid because of one month higher income.


~Homeschool stuff is selling good. This is my main income this time of year. I have 2 big book sales coming up the 1st week of June & I am hoping to do around $250 total from both. Maybe more if I can sell my Sonlight stuff.


~With all my income right now going towards the property taxes, I am worried about covering regular bills. I need to go try some places for my water bill this week.


~I found a Kindle Keyboard 3g on CL for $30 to replace my broken one, and am going to meet with them today.


~The summer food program doesn't have the small library near us as a site this year it seems, so my plan of canceling my net & using the Kindle at home plus free net at the library may not work as well. The elementary school near us that did summer food breakfast & lunch doesn't appear to be a site this year either.


~The Downtown library is a summer food site, but only for lunch. We may spend a lot of time downtown this summer. I need to map & see everywhere that is a site in our area.

ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar ILoveMyBabyBird 03:56 PM 05-20-2014

I am finally applying for jobs!


I have put in 4 applications so far. One for a full time teaching position, one part time, and 2 library aides. So many of the teaching jobs are already filled. I have plenty of large districts to apply at, but just like every job competition is strong. I am not sure my resumes were the best either, but I have to start applying sometime. 


My ex doesn't want ds going to VBS, I was planning to put him in since they are mostly free. Ex is atheist. Ds goes to sunday school at my job though. Anyway, since ex said no he would not drop ds at anything religous I said then he needs to be in something. He agreed to pay full fees for an activity, and ds chose tennis. So ds gets to do tennis 2x's a week for the month of june. I am happy it is at the school closest to our home so we can walk and dd can play at the playground and it will give us 2 mornings a week with an activity without cost even gas. 


i went over my food budget this week. I let ds choose our eating out and he chose culver's omg, I am never eating there again. I have only had it 2x's and always with a coupon. I felt i was robbed blind. I went to the store yesterday and with that and culvers I am not buying anymore food this week. 


My aunt has given me several bags of clothes for ds and dd the past few weeks. I am super grateful. My sister used to give me hand me downs but since we don't talk much anymore she hasn't given me anything in over a year. That is part of reason i started thrift shopping again. Well I let one of my aunts know that and now she is giving me bags and bags of clothes. I have clothes for dd up to size 7! She is in mostly 4-5 now. Some of the clothes for ds are already too small so i gave some to a friend, but this next batch i may try to yard sale or consign. There are many decent clothes, no rips or stains etc. Some stuff new with tags. My aunt probably saved me a few hundred dollars in clothes for the kiddos at least.

Satori's Avatar Satori 09:17 PM 05-20-2014

Were not homeless anymore! Yay! We signed the lease and got the keys today but we can't really move in until Thursday because we don't have time/energy,  today was running around like crazy between 3 different cities, about 4 hours of driving, visiting 2 charities, one will cover the security and the other the rent. Its income based so my rent is only $119! Tomorrow we have to go back to the big city for Dr appts and will be wiped out by the time we get back so Thursday morning we will load up what we have at my moms and take it over. Now to just figure out how to pull off getting my stuff out of storage. Thats my major expense since I need to rent a uhaul and the storage place is about 50 miles from where we ended up and I need to hire 2 guys to move stuff since I can't move a lot of it. hmm... why the bleep is the truck costing a heck of a lot more then last time?

happyhats's Avatar happyhats 11:20 PM 05-20-2014
Its a warm one today. I just spent an hr cleaning out and reorganizing my little storage closet. Ive really been on a minimizing kick this year. I still need to throw some stuff away but Im enjoying the air for a few min. Bills are paid but we have no real savings and debt. Working class!
Mylie's Avatar Mylie 04:14 AM 05-21-2014
Yay Satori!!!!!!! That is wonderful!!! I am so happy and relieved for you....
ILoveMyBabyBird's Avatar ILoveMyBabyBird 06:36 AM 05-21-2014
Originally Posted by Satori View Post

Were not homeless anymore! Yay! We signed the lease and got the keys today but we can't really move in until Thursday because we don't have time/energy,  today was running around like crazy between 3 different cities, about 4 hours of driving, visiting 2 charities, one will cover the security and the other the rent. Its income based so my rent is only $119! Tomorrow we have to go back to the big city for Dr appts and will be wiped out by the time we get back so Thursday morning we will load up what we have at my moms and take it over. Now to just figure out how to pull off getting my stuff out of storage. Thats my major expense since I need to rent a uhaul and the storage place is about 50 miles from where we ended up and I need to hire 2 guys to move stuff since I can't move a lot of it. hmm... why the bleep is the truck costing a heck of a lot more then last time?

Congrats!!! check with actual moving companies that have the trucks/men. My friend said it would cost her about the same vs uhaul pwith the gas etc and her family opted for a moving company because it was less hassle

happyhats's Avatar happyhats 01:29 PM 05-21-2014
Good luck on your move Satori! Just did all the flyer checking for this weeks grocery run. Yay for memorial day deals! Also just pmed my sister about getting a razor from her because she stockpiled a load of free ones recently and to see if there were any good yardsales coming up. Its a hot day so Im thinking of letting the kids munch on frozen bananas as a snack.
rainbowasylum's Avatar rainbowasylum 02:06 PM 05-21-2014

I was just running through the grocery store and grabbing good sale items when a woman in  line behind me struck up a conversation.  By the time we had both checked out, she offered me a once a month gig teaching people how to grocery shop on the cheap- but with nutritious foods.

Apparently it is a skill to find the stuff on sale, and combine it with other stuff on sale to make complete meals?   I'll give her a call at her office tomorrow to find out a bit more about what she is looking for.

Meanwhile with $40 less in my wallet, I found some great deals on groceries.  Nom!

mamarhu's Avatar mamarhu 09:59 PM 05-21-2014

This is fantastic!!! What a great way to make a couple bucks and share some good skills!

justmama's Avatar justmama 05:24 AM 05-22-2014
Rainbow, it is a skill. I love in Hud housing and not many people have that skill. They have a hard time affording real food so they buy Ramen and koolaid. It's feast or famine. And suggesting something like soaking beans or baking bread or whatever is completely or of their comfort zone.

-one more week of before school care to make it through
-my cold is ever so slightly getting better
-last week i crushed My sales goal so commission should be high.
-bills are all paid and on time this month.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 09:18 AM 05-22-2014
up much too learly for my liking today lol. Hubby had a workman comp dr visit sprung on him last minute so the kids and are tagging along. Cooooffffeeee! My sister gave us some childrens books and a microwave last night. Shes on a big cleaning binge, which is good bc it was getting to be near hoarder status. Im proud of her though, shes already gotten rid of a bookcase, a desk and desktop, and a couple boxes of things! So were going to use this chance to hit barnes and noble and visit a friend we dont see often.
happyhats's Avatar happyhats 03:33 PM 05-23-2014
Everyone is going off to parties or vacations this weekend and summer. No exciting plans for me. Boo.
Mylie's Avatar Mylie 03:41 PM 05-23-2014
We aren't going anywhere either....just lots of beach time smile.gif Thank goodness that is still free!!
dueinsept14's Avatar dueinsept14 03:50 PM 05-23-2014

Husband is visiting cousins this weekend.  I need to start packing and sorting things to prepare for a move that will be coming up sooner or later.  Might as well start now before I get to big:P

mamarhu's Avatar mamarhu 05:35 PM 05-23-2014

I get a day of paid vacation, but have no plans. Except to sleep. All day; all night. For 3 days straight. From tonight at 8.  Till Monday at 6 AM.


Yeah, right. Who am I fooling? But it sounded good for a minute there!

frugalmama's Avatar frugalmama 05:51 PM 05-23-2014

No plans for the summer here either, other than trying to stay cool.


Satori - WTG on the apartment!





~I scored SIX 3lb bags of cat food free after coupons & clearance today :) My cat is set for a while now, but I"m going to check some other locations of the chain to see if I can pick up a few more. I also got a bunch of Annie's Organic Mac & Cheese for .25 a box.

~ Got my electric assistance approval letter, and they paid off my payment plan. Plus my bills should be paid or nearly paid through the end of the year. Huge relief.

~A free health expo to go to tomorrow so we get a nearly free outing. Just have to pay bus fare. And Dr. Oz will be there!

~Scored a nice long denim skirt yesterday at Goodwill for $4. It's hard to find stuff in my size that is modest, but this was exactly what I was looking for. Also scored a neat Girl Scout t-shirt for dd that had patches sewn off over the back for $1.99 - I took the patches off & she will get to earn them this year for her vest.

happyhats's Avatar happyhats 06:43 AM 05-24-2014
Doing some yardsaling in a few. When I get home its breakfast casserole time! Im glad its a bit gloomy and cool today bevause our damn a/c is going out. I will have to call my landlord but goodness only knows how long before someone comes. Hubby and I are putting ourselves on a spending diet because our crexit cards have crept up once more. But those should be able to be paid off by endof summer if we buckle down. Hubby hasnt had ot practically all yr which is income we kinda relied on. On the plus side next week dh has a company picnic with free entertainment for the kids and free food. On the down side I havent been paying closely enoughto the budget the past couple weeks and now we may be a few days late on rent.
justmama's Avatar justmama 06:04 PM 05-24-2014

happyhats, if anyone can do this, it's you.  I know you've got this under control.


Rhu, enjoy your time off.  It would be great to catch up on sleep.


frugalmama, I don't know how you do so well with coupons and getting free stuff.  I'm jealous.


Mylie, I've missed you.  Glad you are around.  Enjoy your beach time.





-got my pending certificate number for daycare assistance so my mom can call and get certified to take the kids.  I hope everything works out okay.


-4 more shifts at work to go until I'm done there.  I'm ready.


-my little kale plants are growing well on the deck.  Can't wait to start eating from them.


-some health stuff I was concerned about with my dad came back healthy for now and just needs a recheck to be certain.  I was really worried so this is great news.

rainbowasylum's Avatar rainbowasylum 07:35 AM 05-25-2014

And just when things are getting better... my husband's paycheck was messed up because his boss didn't submit overtime hours when he was on leave. (Admittedly, emergency leave, but still.)  60something overtime hours missing from his check is going to be painful, and they don't think they can correct it before payday on Friday.

I know it will come through, but it won't be until the 13th of next month. 

I'll cross my fingers they get it sorted, but it is likely to be a pain in the butt.  I need to make the house payment, but most of the other bills are set for mid-month anyway. It's just the day to day living budget that is going to take the hit.


tonttu's Avatar tonttu 03:00 PM 05-25-2014

Our dishwasher broke , I couldn´t believe my bad luck ! This month , when we have bills piling up , so fingers crossed , that I´ll find a good ( or at least decent ) deal on a new used one somewhere

rainbowasylum's Avatar rainbowasylum 03:14 PM 05-25-2014

Oh, when I was initially dishwasherless it was a hard transition.  Now I don't have one because it's faster for me to do them by hand. 

I hope you can find one at a great price- or perfect the art of dishes by hand painlessly. :)

justmama's Avatar justmama 05:59 PM 05-25-2014
The trick to dishes by hand is keeping up with them. Never let them pile up. I've never had a dishwasher.
Tags: Frugality , Finances
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