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zebra15 12-27-2013 02:25 PM

Thought I would start a new thread. The other one was getting huge and we are close to the new year away.




Happy New Year - a few days early!

frugalmama 12-27-2013 03:14 PM

:) Happy New Year everyone - hope 2014 is a better year.


Hoping our SNAP is approved by the new year but not holding my breath. I'm guessing it will be closer to the end of January & we'll get back benefits. I applied on the 10th, phone interview on the 13th, and got the last of the paperwork in the 23rd as it took them a week to get me the form I needed to sign. I'm drawing a total blank right now - I know it's 30/45 days to process but which date does that start on? Spent last night meal planning for the month to stretch what we have. We'll probably go to the good food pantry I found & try to get some perishables & bread items to stretch with.




~Heat! With two heaters plus the oven now we can actually keep the house fairly decently warm!

~Food enough to coast a month without SNAP, though we'll be sick of chicken by the end of the month

~A happy dd who STILL hasn't stopped playing with her presents

~I got my new credit card today - while I hate using it, it hopefully will allow me to coast some larger purchases for income making.

Mylie 12-27-2013 03:29 PM

Happy New Year!!!! Here is hoping 2014 will be wonderful for everyone!!! :love


The snow and ice are finally slowing down a has been crazy here anyways...





Heat!!! We have been getting some wind chill and it has been super cold..


Time off I can spend time and help out with my dad..


Beefy Rotini soup(hamburger soup)...Made a big pot of it and it is so good  and my dad ate about 1/4 cup...1st thing he has eaten in 3 days...I told him I would make him all he wanted...

mamabear0314 12-27-2013 08:21 PM

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I haven't been nearly as active as I wanted to be in the 2013 thread...I plan to do better this year, I need the community. :)

greenemami 12-28-2013 04:37 AM

Originally Posted by frugalmama View Post

Hoping our SNAP is approved by the new year but not holding my breath. I'm guessing it will be closer to the end of January & we'll get back benefits. I applied on the 10th, phone interview on the 13th, and got the last of the paperwork in the 23rd as it took them a week to get me the form I needed to sign. I'm drawing a total blank right now - I know it's 30/45 days to process but which date does that start on?

Frugal mama, IIRC, I applied in early July, got approved at the end of the month/early August, but received benefits starting from when I applied-so when I got my card in August, it had July & August on there.  It was a really great feeling to be able to do a big stock up with that extra money, since our cabinets had been pretty bare bones for a while! I don't know if it is the same in all states, but I'll cross my fingers for you!

greenemami 12-28-2013 04:42 AM

Happy New Year everyone!


I'd like to be more active here as well-I popped on sporadically last year, but I don't think my income is magically going to get that much higher any time soon :)


For those who don't know me, I'm a single, WAH mama of 2-very low income, but making it work.  I actually make enough per month (plus child support and assistance) to pay all my bills and live fairly well, but I'm behind on just about everything, which makes each month tough.  I should get a decent amount back on my taxes, which I am really really really hoping will get me caught up so that I can get out of this cycle. 



-I am finally caught up on one credit card, which means less phone calls a month asking for money.  Not much available credit yet, but that will be my emergency card once I get it paid down a bit more (hopefully at tax time). 

-My house is nice and warm, we have plenty of food, the kids had a lovely Christmas.  I didn't get them much, but they loved what I did get, and they got spoiled by the rest of the family. 

-I have a job, even when it stresses me out, that allows me to be home with my kids and homeschool, even as a single mom.  I am so very grateful for this and need to work harder to show my bosses I am not just skating by!

thatgirliknew 12-28-2013 09:12 AM

Well, my worker finally gave me my cash assistance. A week and a half late. Ugh. I couldn't go anywhere I needed to or do basically anything for the last week and the food was starting to dwindle. It took 1.5 weeks even after calling supervisors up to the state level....

mamarhu 12-28-2013 06:56 PM

Happy New year, my friends!


I will be starting out the new year with the best xmas present imaginable (at least for me!). As per my request, my Mom and siblings chipped in to get me 3 nights at a hotel at the beach, about 50 miles away. ElderSon is 32 years old, and I still have teens at home. This means in practical terms, that I have not been alone overnight for over 3 decades. Longer, if you count that I have never really lived alone; roommates, husbands, partners after my parents' home.


The hotel will not be fancy or luxurious. I don't mind that the winter beach weather will be less than ideal. I want to walk on the sand and listen to the surf. I want to bring a pile of books, a bag of yarn to knit, a pad of paper for writing, and NO PHONE. I don't need cable TV or WiFi. I want to be alone with my thoughts, no interruptions, no one needing me. I want to see how late I naturally sleep in, if no job, baby, child, parrot, or puppy wakes me. I want to eat what I want, without accommodating everyone else's tastes. I am thinking lots of different cheese and crackers, topped with tomatoes or bell peppers, veggies with ranch dip or hummus, like that. A variety of teas, with milk and honey. Maybe a bottle of red wine.


3 nights, with 2 full days, of alone. I haven't booked it yet, because I just had a job interview, and I am waiting to hear, one way or the other. It would be for a second, part-time job, but I guess I can't start out demanding a vacation.


I know I will come home to all the same worries, bills, and stresses. But this sounds like the ultimate get-away for me. I am so excited!

harrietsmama 12-28-2013 08:54 PM

Hi all!  I haven't been on this thread before, haven't been on mothering much this year.  I am a psuedo-married mom of 2. I have a mental health disability and so does my hubby, but we are both doing well.  I have had SSD for almost 7 years, hubby is waiting for appeal hearing.  We live on my SSD and both get foodstamps, so pretty frugal.  


My greatfuls:


I had a heck of a year but it turned around this fall and I have had wonderful holidays this year.  I started a new med and I was able to make handmade gifts for everyone instead of just my smiling face for the first time in several years.  


I am 3 months from finishing a Greenpath debt plan, and I will be officially out of long term debt, just my small card I use to buy stuff online and it has a emergency vet bill on it.  


My babies are just so incredibly wonderful and growing so fast into the wonderful people I had hoped for them to be.  My DD is 14 an my son will be 12 in January.


Tom and I are still mushy in love after 5 years, pretty awesome and I never thought it was possible to retain those feelings long term.

averysmomma05 12-30-2013 11:30 AM

I plan to be a lot more active on this thread this coming up year and hopefully make some friends. I really need to pull the ropes tight and will be so nice to have people that understand!

happyhats 12-30-2013 01:47 PM

Happy new year! Its going to be a rough couple weeks fiancially but we will scrape by. December is always crazy for us but thankfully january has five checks. Now that holiday craziness is done my immediate goals are stocking the pantry with healthy foods and paying down consumer debt. Once we have accomplished that we are going to try to agggressively save and start a snowball for more long term debts. We are really hoping to look at purchasing a house in 2015, though thatcould be a pipe dream. Sil and her children are coming over sometime tomorrow. We are supposed to be doing snack foods but the pantry is nearly bare. We are doing a quick grocery shop tomorrow but have to make it stretch so I will be getting creative in the kitchen tonight.

justmama 12-30-2013 06:06 PM

Sounds like everyone is doing what they have to do to get by.  Welcome to Harrietsmama and a big hug to all of the quieter gals who popped in to say hello.  Don't stay away so long next time.  :grouphug



Littlest one was generous enough to share her cold with middle one and myself and their dad.  Thanks sweetie!!!!  :irked  That kinda sucks but I'm making it through.  Some knitting, some netflix, and a lot of rummaged from the fridge type meals.  I have to go car shopping tomorrow.  Not looking forward to it.  I just cannot stop worrying about how to afford a new vehicle.  My current car won't make it through another New England winter though.  I was able to get a few things from my neighbor when she moved out.  Some coffee, a nice space heater to keep my oldest girl warm in her basement room, a nice little shelving unit for my plants, etc.  It's the little things in life really.  :love  I'm on my last pair of contact lenses.  One of them had a tear this morning when I went to put them in so I had to bust open the last ones.  That's another big expense coming up.  I was doing so well financially for a while.  Ah well, it was good while it lasted.  

mamabear0314 12-30-2013 07:45 PM

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Hi everyone! I am having an issue and I'm hoping y'all might have some insight...


The kids and I have moved in with my parents. The tentative plan was for us to stay here until I graduate in 2017. My mom watches the kids while I'm in school and I spend a LOT of time doing homework and crap. STBX left us so I'm just trying to get a degree in accounting so that I can support the kids.

Problem is that my parents act like they don't want us here. They would never say anything outright but that's what I gather from the little things they say. 

I have offered to get into government housing but my mom says she wouldn't be able to watch the kids for me so I'd have to get a job to pay for childcare while taking 16-21 hours a semester. It just wouldn't work. 

I feel so stuck. Today my dad implied that I should keep the whole house clean as my "rent". When am I supposed to find time to be a single, home schooling, student, mother of 3 and also clean up after 6 people?? I've offered other ways to compensate them but they're not too interested. My dad asked me today when I'm going to start getting child support so I wonder if they're going to kick us out...

Mylie 12-31-2013 08:23 AM

I am so tierd...I got my electric bill shutoff notice for the day after tommorow in the mail...I had taken my bill to an agency because I have been laid off most of the month..I don't go back to work till next week and don't even call into unemployment till the end of the week.The agency had called me the week before last asking for 1 more check stub and I took it in that day and they told me everything was taken care of..But obviously something went wrong and I can't call them because they are closed till Monday :(


I am panicking just a little that they will shut it off before I can get ahold of them to ask for an extention till I can find out or at least try and scrape up the $$(which is pretty slim since rent is due tommorow)..


I have been staying at my parents the last 2 weeks because Dad came home with hospice and mom can't do it all alone..Today we were told it will be tonight or even into tommorow when it happens..Dad doesn't hardly respond to us anymore... bawling.gif I don't want him to suffer and be in pain from the cancer anymore but I am not ready for him to go...


I just need prayers and energy to get through this rough time and hopefully a little understanding from the electric is below 0 out there..Thanks for listening...

justmama 12-31-2013 10:26 AM

Oh Mylie, I'm so sorry.  I hope your Dad passes peacefully as possible.  Cancer is a horrible horrible way to go.  


micah_mae, have you looked into daycare assistance?  I don't remember.  But it sounds like a tough situation living with your parents.  I remember how much I hated it when I did it so many years ago.  And  section 8 is likely to be a long waiting list so I would actually go and put my name on the list NOW to get in next year if I were you.  That will help you not be so dependent on them and give you and "out" if you need it soon.  It doesn't sound like it will be a long-term solution for you to live with them if it's already not going well.  And you know this is temporary anyway.  You will get your degree and be able to make more money.  It won't be a lot will be more than being a full-time student.  Unfortunately I think you have to make some compromises on how you want to do things.  I know you want to homeschool but you may need to use daycare and homeschool while you are all home.  Maybe if you are living in section 8 housing you will be able to bring the kids to your mom when you go to school in the morning and it won't be as tough as she thinks it will.  





Feeling a bit downtrodden today.  I think it's a combo of being sick and having no money and feeling stuck.  My kids have been constantly fighting for the last 3 days.  Thankfully tomorrow is the last day of their Christmas vacation so life will be back to normal but honestly, I am tired of seeing them.  Bad mama.  My house is disorgani*ed, I haven't been cooking so there's no food, my bank acct is empty, and I'm tired of being poor.  Winter is so crappy here.  It's dark, it's cold, etc.  And my kitchen ceiling is leaking and my roof is leaking and my oven is broken.  It's just everything all at once that feels crappy.  I can't pull myself out of it.  :(

happyhats 12-31-2013 11:14 AM

Praying for peace for your dad and family, Mylie. And prayers for all the mamas under stress right now. As far me, hubbys work did their pay schedule a bit different this week, resulting in a larger than expected check. Yay! Now we can afford things like trash bags and kitty litter, lol, and splurge on a take and bake pizza for tonights get together. Meanwhile, my sis, neice and I are planning on hitting the goodwill outlet in the city. Has anyone ever gone to one. Im also excited to get some free clothes for both kids through freecycle. Ive been lucky and had to pay very little for kids flothing this yr.

mamarhu 12-31-2013 12:51 PM

We L-O-V-E the Goodwill Outlet here! Everything (a few exceptions) is priced by the pound, and you can come home with some amazing deals. The books are overpriced in my opinion, but otherwise, it is great. They have huge bins, filled with leftovers from the stores. Clothing, household goods, electronics, whatever. Some things will be dirty, torn, or otherwise yucky. But in between, you never know what you may find. I have seen nice couches for $20. Bicycles for $5. I just got a large, new, fabric purse, a bra (new, with the tags still on from Macy's) and a coffee mug for 97 cents. Some people wear gloves or bring hand-saniti*zer. It's that kind of place.

zebra15 12-31-2013 02:34 PM

Had to spend some $$ for household repairs over the past 2 days.

new toilet seat

new air filter

new weatherstripping for the front door

Literally less than $40 but still...


Still need to get new screens for the patio (2) of those

a new ceiling fan for the master bedroom and find someone to install

and possibly a new dishwasher and stove (depending on the scratch and dent place prices)


For furniture we need 2 more storage things for the living room and 2 end tables plus shelves for the 'coat' closet to make it a pantry.


Its a short list but $$ is non existent.  I've been selling a bit of crochet stuffs on the side and hiding $$ away.


Sounds like the IRS refund check  is allocated huh??   I'm not in a rush, things will get done, slowly.  Now that I know the lease can renew annually I'm more apt to fix things to my liking. (the landlord wont fix a thing)


I'm tracking spending/saving in another thread.  SHould be intersting if i can keep up.

rainbowasylum 12-31-2013 04:59 PM

Ugh.  New battery and a rebuilt cord for the block heater today took a chunk of my allocated food budget, but it's ok.  My husband took the van with him to work, so I am car-less for a couple weeks, but it will be ok.  I live in a great community and can grab a ride if I need anything. 

We are looking hard at taking on a HUGE financial obligation this year, so while things are looking up financially, it will all be allocated to the expense.  However, it would mean being mortgage free in about a year, and having a nice efficient house not always waiting for the next repair (or challenge to heat.  There is an inch of ice on the inside of over half my windows here.)  It means a huge chunk of money coming to us in the next couple months is gone as soon as we get it, but I feel like the end payoff would be worth it. We'll just have to live on a super tight budget for one more year.  Oddly though, on paper our income will look fabulous. -_-

PeacefulSeams 12-31-2013 10:40 PM

Hello. I am new to this group. 


Mama of 3 boys. Married to a wonderful man for 6 years. DH was in a semi accident where is was thrown thru the windshield and is now fighting to get SSI. I am the only one working but I have injured my foot so now I am out of work for 3 weeks. We get SNAP so that helps immensely. Everything else runs tight. I get just enough hours to cover rent and the utilities. Things have been stressful lately but hopefully 2014 will be better.

mamabear0314 01-01-2014 09:07 AM

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Peace to you Mylie *hugs*


Justmama, I can't apply for anything until the divorce is finalized in February but I've been looking at options.


Sounds like everyone is just about in the same spot as usual, hugs to everyone. Is anyone else putting away xmas money for this year?

frugalmama 01-01-2014 11:08 AM

Micah_Mae - A little worse this year, but coming out close to even. I'm not putting back $$$ as that never works well for me, but I am stashing back gifts. On your housing - does your college offer family housing? Some do & your can use loans to pay it. Might get you through until Section 8 came through.


PeacefulSeams - Welcome!


Rainbow - Mortgage free is wonderful :) It is such a load off to not worry about foreclosure.


Zebra - Even the little stuff can be pricey :( We are trying to pick away at small repairs too, but it's slow going.


Mamarhu - Your GWO sounds lovely - ours stinks. Everything is priced pretty close to the regular GW stores except Wednesdays is half off that. And most of the clothing is torn / missing buttons / etc.


Happyhats - free kids clothing is great. I don't know what I would have done this year if I hadn't had clothes stashed back for dd & been able to pick up a bit more at the local blessings bash.


Justmama - *hugs* I totally understand you on the kids part - right now my dd is driving me crazy. I just got done telling her if she would go out front & leave me alone for a while maybe we could have pizza for dinner.


Mylie - *hugs* Not sure about your electric co, but here they put a holiday moratorium on shut-offs until the 7th. Maybe yours does as well? And SO sorry about your dad - it's hard losing a parent.


Anyone else I didn't mention - hello & welcome!



Still here, still chugging. Health is going down the drain - my autoimmune is flaring bad. Still broke. Still have no idea what I'm going to do on the property taxes. I am hoping to make enough this month to cover at least the school portion {$300}, since they won't do payment plans. The county part will do a payment plan, so planning on going down in February & pleading for a payment plan. But the good news is our SNAP was approved & on the card today! SOOO thankful for that - was trying to work out how we were going to buy needs. And my medicaid was renewed! I wasn't sure I would still be able to get it.


Going to be a busy month for us - lots of working/thrifting, Dr. Appointments, re-signups for programs, etc. Hopefully I can hold it together long enough to get everything done.

mamabear0314 01-01-2014 11:51 AM

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Frugalmama, I'm going to look into that thanks!

justmama 01-01-2014 03:46 PM

micah_mae, if you are separated with separate finances, you can apply for services.  I wasn't divorced for nearly 3 years after we separated and I was on food stamps after about 3 months.  

justmama 01-01-2014 03:46 PM

Peaceful Seams, :w

mamabear0314 01-01-2014 04:11 PM

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Really? I don't have my own finances, per se, until I get child support but he gives me money for gas and diapers and food. (About $500-600/mo)

zebra15 01-01-2014 07:15 PM

Micah- you are in seperate households.  You are prepping your own food, you are 'on your own'.  Go appy for benefits.  From this day forward, keep track of what he 'gives' you and what you spend.  Get to WIC, DES and everything else you can.

frugalmama 01-01-2014 08:10 PM

Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

Micah- you are in seperate households.  You are prepping your own food, you are 'on your own'.  Go appy for benefits.  From this day forward, keep track of what he 'gives' you and what you spend.  Get to WIC, DES and everything else you can.

 Totally agree. You may have to get a notarized letter or a letter from someone not a family member that states how long you have been living apart & that "pending the official order, he is giving you the mount of $xyz monthly in leiu of child support". But you don't have to wait until you have the official court order. They probably will have you submit the order when it gets approved though.

mamabear0314 01-01-2014 08:31 PM

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Thank you Zebra and FrugalMomma, I'm going to do that! I'll let you know how it all turns out!

greenemami 01-02-2014 06:08 AM

Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post

Really? I don't have my own finances, per se, until I get child support but he gives me money for gas and diapers and food. (About $500-600/mo)

Yup, you can apply now-he does not live with you, so his income does not count.  As long as you buy and prepare your own food separately from your parents (I think you live with them, yes?) I was told you don't have to count them either (so maybe keep receipts from the grocery store?)  Any money he gives you is your income.  I had to get a note from ex saying that he was giving me $xxx voluntary y child support a month, but if your ex is writing a check, that might be good enough until the actual order goes through. 

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