Sick of being poor! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Need to vent here... sorry but I know y'all will agree and be totally with me! I am about up to here being poor!!!!! We went to my DH boss's house over the weekend for their company picnic, and well, needless to say we really stood out amongst his co-workers. I was wearing flip flops, the single pair of long pants I own, from the thrift store but not too raggedy looking, and my 16 year old son's new school t-shirt to cover up my holey raggedy cami that I wear for bf-ing. DH wearing equally pitiful looking clothes, the only ones we have. Now, because the trip up to their typical suburban home lavishly decorated with expensive potted plants everywhere, and it being in a new neighborhood, we got lost and used about 1/4 tank of gas to get there and now I have no gas for the week. I mean literally on empty and no money to get any until Fri. Hope no one has to go to the ER! We are still paying for last Jan's ER visit and ambulance bill, plus we have mountains of bills for the baby we had in April. What does that baby have to wear? A handful of yard sale clothes. Grrrr!

 

I would like to just go shopping, buy some FOOD without counting out change found in the couch cushions. Half the recipes I have I cannot make because I can't afford the ingredients so we mostly eat burgers and dogs and sandwiches.

 

And some might suggest we downsize our living arrangements, but we have already done that and live in a tiny rented house in a bad school district on a not-so-great street (our rent is super cheap compared to other houses), My husband is probably the only professional within a mile of where we live, and he doesn't make that bad of a salary, but seriously I am wondering what other people do to get by???? I am convinced that my neighbors must have a crime ring to bring in enough to live on because we are doing everything by the book and getting no where! We would be better off on welfare.

 

I guess I should be glad to have clean water to shower in and a roof over my head and toys for the kids. But I am feeling like we are just stuck!  It wasn't long ago people could live on one income, but I guess those days have slipped away. I am sure others sacrificing to stay home can relate. :(


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#2 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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It is really hard when ends don't really meet. We are just moving forward from that point in our family, and it was REALLY HARD.  We had to make huge changes to no longer be in that situation, and you can only decide what is worth changing to your family.

 

We had to choose to relocate, so it was a leap of faith.

 

If you post in Frugality and Finances you might get some really good suggestions as well. :)

 

 

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#3 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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I feel you WhiteHorse! I'm all about living simply and frugally, but the truth is, being "poor" can be really stressful, especially in our society where financial wealth is so glorified.

 

My family was very comfortable growing up (my mom is a lawyer and my dad owned a successful landscaping business) so I get stressed out feeling like I can't provide as much for my son as was provided for me. And counting every penny can be really anxiety producing--especially when you have to worry about not having enough food or gas.

 

It seems like more and more families are making a shift towards more simple/frugal/natural living, which is really uplifting for me. So much of the stress I feel around money comes from comparing my lifestyle to more affluent people. I think if we can shift as a society from putting so much value on having nice things, we'll all be better off. But I definitely understand how stressful and frustrating it can be to pinch every penny and still feel like you have nothing to show! Sending thoughts of abundance and plenty your way :)


~may all beings be free from suffering~
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#4 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I do feel the problem of comparing. The thing is, my DH works at least as hard as his peers at work and yet we live like people in poverty. While they all live in nice homes, etc. Their wives stay home too, it just feels so unfair. Never going to a company event ever again, thats for sure.

 

 


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#5 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 12:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHorse View Post

Yes, I do feel the problem of comparing. The thing is, my DH works at least as hard as his peers at work and yet we live like people in poverty. While they all live in nice homes, etc. Their wives stay home too, it just feels so unfair. Never going to a company event ever again, thats for sure.

 

 



If he's earning a comparable income, it may be worth looking at your expenses with a fine-tooth comb.  It also sounds like maybe it's time to prioritize a clothing budget for yourself- if only for one or two really nice outfits you can feel great in- those can come from a thrift shop with some careful shopping.

 

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#6 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No way our incomes are comparable - there is such a huge divide between where they are and us, more like a canyon. Which is why DH so depressed, he feels he is really not getting anywhere near what he should pay-wise. Why everyone else in the company live comfortably on one income but we can't make ends meet? We don't go out, we have NEVER had a vacation, we dont have a boat, motorcycle, atv, ymca membership, or even enough to simply get a fishing license. We don't have car payments - both cars are well paid for and it shows. We have not paid for a haircut in 3 years. We just got a free trial of Netflix and I watched a movie for the first time in 4 years! I have been over our budget and over it over and over and there just isn't enough money, period. We live in one of the cheapest cities in the US, so when I look at where other people live, I gasp and think how on earth can they afford that, we cannot even pay our Dr visits?     Sorry for all the whining, I am just really frustrated right now,


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#7 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 02:29 PM
 
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It's not whining, it's appropriate venting. :)  I've been there- even now there is still an occasional pinch, but it's not quite  as bad as it was.   If his coworkers are earning markedly more than he is, will he be getting an increase soon- that just doesn't seem right.  It's really hard to be counting change for gas when your peers don't have to give it a second thought- somehow it seems easier when your friends are in the same boat. 

 

If there isn't going to be upward mobility soon, maybe it's worth your DH putting out feelers for something that will be more rewarding, and where he feels he is earning what he is worth?  I know- great job market these days....

 

We had to actually move from a very low COL area to one with an extremely high COL to survive.  It stinks when I realize that housing is three times more, but even accounting for that- there is more disposable income. 

 

 

 

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#8 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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Dh & I have this conversation regularly. How is it that we are so tight when he makes a similar salary to all of his friends. The fact is, we are living within our means, most of them are not. They are simply getting deeper & deeper into debt each month.


Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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#9 of 25 Old 09-12-2011, 07:59 PM
 
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Do you have a lot of debt you are paying on (just asking b.c you mentioned medical bills)?  If you wanted budgeting help, the posters in F&F usually have great ideas.  Also, if your DH is making so much less than his co-workers, is there a way he can close that gap in the near future?  Not sure what line of work he is in, but can he take classes, get certifications, or even look around for a different, better paying job?  Can you work in the evenings, weekends, or at home (maybe doing childcare so you can continue to stay with your baby)? Or, would it make sense to get a daytime and pay for daycare (or get a subsidy to help with that)?  Maybe you aren't looking for ideas as to how to change your current financial scenario, but if making more money so you aren't feeling out of place and stretched thin are a real goal, there might just be some ways to get there. 

 

 


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#10 of 25 Old 09-13-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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Wow! I could have written some of that. Hope things start looking up for you soon.


K. Michelle ~ Single, working (and still homeschooling) Mama to dd (S) 8/02 and ds (A) 9/07
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#11 of 25 Old 09-13-2011, 03:20 PM
 
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I have been where you are.  It is so hard!  It felt like punishment because we oopsed and got pg when I was 19.   I remember one week in particular where we had no gas money for the week.  Our church was having a Ladies event for the entire week and asked me to help with childcare, paying me $20 (I think) for doing it.  It was such a blessing to us! 

 

I took on a paper route, which can be good money especially if there are any rural routes available to you, or you can get several retail stores on your route.  It does create wear and tear on your vehicle though, because of all the stop and start.  And no holidays.  My dh now sells plasma.  He can earn up to $200 a month when it works well into his schedule.  You and your dh potentially could both do this.  We don't live close to the location (it's near dh's work), or I'd give plasma, too.  Being a SAHM has always been my top priority.  We do okay now on one income, but dh is in school for hopefully better.  We need Food Share and Medicaid assistance to make ends meet, but I would never be able to afford childcare with any job I would be qualified to do.  I have three under age 4, and my 12yo is virtual schooling this year, too.  

 

Hugs!!!


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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#12 of 25 Old 09-13-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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Could you run an ad for housecleaning? I do this and the money is great and it does not take to much time... I just ran ads in a little local paper for 3 dollars a week.  ( one paper comes out weekly)


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#13 of 25 Old 09-14-2011, 12:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHorse View Post

Yes, I do feel the problem of comparing. The thing is, my DH works at least as hard as his peers at work and yet we live like people in poverty. While they all live in nice homes, etc. Their wives stay home too, it just feels so unfair. Never going to a company event ever again, thats for sure.

 

 


Does your husband earn the same amount as his peers? If so, you really need to examine where your money is going and determine whether your poverty is caused by poor money management.

 

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#14 of 25 Old 09-14-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

Dh & I have this conversation regularly. How is it that we are so tight when he makes a similar salary to all of his friends. The fact is, we are living within our means, most of them are not. They are simply getting deeper & deeper into debt each month.

 


Yep! People are very comfortable with debt and although things are gettng better money-wise for us we still have to be frugal to stay out of debt.
 

 


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#15 of 25 Old 09-15-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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Does your husband earn the same amount as his peers? If so, you really need to examine where your money is going and determine whether your poverty is caused by poor money management.

 

She did say there was a canyon of difference in salaries between him & his peers.. It doesn't sound like poor money management since she has repeatedly said she keeps within her budget. Is there a reason why his company pays him so much less than his peers? Has he been on long with them? Does he have the same qualifications as his peers? If he isn't brand new to the job and doesn't lack qualifications it's something he should be talking to his supervisor(s) about. It doesn't have to be confrontational either, just make it conversational, like I'm aware of the salary gap and I need to know what I can do to improve my position or make myself eligible for a promotion..
 

 


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#16 of 25 Old 09-16-2011, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the hugs... definitely needed. DH makes quite a bit less bc he does not have a degree. His company just reinstated tuition reimbursement, but denied his request for a program in the IT field, saying it was not a "real" education, just a certificate program. dizzy.gif He has been with them for 8 years, working his way up position wise but as far as salary wise, it has been very slow. He works prob 70 hrs per wk, leaving home at 6 and getting home after 7 most nights, a second job or me working nights just isnt possible. He has been looking for something else, but fears leaving this company with no degree etc.

 

I used to babysit at my house but no longer feel I can do that, my 3 yo is very high needs and having a difficult time right now, he has health problems and I lack the patience to split my attention with even more children. I have actually had several job oppty's come my way, but I just can't leave my 3 yo in daycare, he is very attached and would be devastated even more... We are readjusting some things, but it probably wont make much of a diffrerence - there is always another bill waiting in line.


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#17 of 25 Old 09-18-2011, 10:00 PM
 
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Then do something in another field that suits them. Whatever it is, it's a degree, and hopefully will at least partially close the gap. Keep your head up


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#18 of 25 Old 09-21-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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I feel the same way, OP.  You don't sound like you are whining.  We are a military family and have to work hard to live within our means too.  I miss going to the movies and out to eat and am just now able to start doing that again every blue moon.  But we made some poor choices when we first married that we're JUST getting clear of now.  I pray these times won't last forever for you and your family.  For us, the tradeoff in peace was priceless.  I hope you feel better today...

 

cj

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#19 of 25 Old 09-23-2011, 06:38 PM
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Dear OP, we also could not live on one income, which is why I work part-time. Thank God things have improved and I no longer have to keep adding up the prices of the items in my grocery cart to make sure they don't go over $20. We watch movies on hulu for free and there are other sites like tvland etc., also the library, where you can rent movies. Yes it really sucks to be poor, I am praying for you.

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#20 of 25 Old 09-23-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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yes it does. both my d/h and i are in school. the "extra" monies we get from student loans left overs is how we have some memberships to some local family places like a old time marine w tall ships and the like from the 1800 to 1900. but yup it more we have to pay back.. d/h is almost done w school. he is gonna have a a.s. in IT. while i am very pride of him i don't think he can get much on the way of a job w this. he taking a few months off and going back for his BA. i miss him. i beery get any time w him. or he is watching TV or playing his game on line or he falls sleep. he works full time. we get food stamps and i apply for energy asst every year.we also have housing aide. but we pay all our rent right now but 70. my d/h jobs have all been seasonal. now he is working for a boating equipment shopping warehouse. they offered to Early out him or let him stay on till early Nov. this is his seconds year w them. he has improved and they like him more now i guess. we don't make much. d/h only makes 12 a hr. and we beery sneak by w getting any help. sad as hell but i think him getting laid off would help us. we went to the food pantry the other week. we just don't have enough to pay the light bill, cable/phone/net bill and rent plus the gas..and i don't work. we have 1/2 day for kindergarten. so what could i do???  either way i have been searching and applying for work any how. paying for daycare for my 5 year old for before school care and my 11 month old, will hardy make it worth while..*shurgs* and this dang market gets worse and worse every week..


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#21 of 25 Old 09-24-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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We just went through three years of that.  Barely scraping by.  I didn't buy myself one damn thing for three years.  It sucked!  I know how you feel.  I didn't have my degree and had to get certs.  I'm in the IT field.  As soon as a good opportunity came up I took it.  I really have to say I got lucky.  I had a 20,000 a year increase by switching companies.  Sometimes it's better to start looking.  Good luck

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#22 of 25 Old 09-24-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

Dh & I have this conversation regularly. How is it that we are so tight when he makes a similar salary to all of his friends. The fact is, we are living within our means, most of them are not. They are simply getting deeper & deeper into debt each month.



This is how it is in my husband's office.  He gets so frustrated because we scrape by when everyone else has all these toys, takes vacations, etc.  He doesn't really want all those things but I think he feels guilty that he can't provide us with new stuff all the time, the groceries I'd love to buy, etc.  It's worth it for us and we learn to live without.  But sounds like your situation, OP, is tighter than ours!  I feel for you and hope some other poster's suggestions really help.  hug2.gif


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#23 of 25 Old 10-31-2011, 08:27 PM
 
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Have you heard of www.learnvest.com? It's a really helpful website for managing money, budgeting, getting out of debt. Anything money related, you know name it, they cover it! I have found it to be super helpful. I have also signed up for their weekly e-mails, so I get tips on how to spend $10. wisely. The suggestions change with each email... sometimes it's related to clothing, entertainment, cheap recipes to make for under $10. Really really helpful information for anyone, but especially when money is tight. Oh, and the best thing is that all of this helpful and relevant information is FREE! Check it out, maybe it will be helpful.

 

Also, regarding food... when the weather is warmer again, would it be feasible for you and your family to plant a small garden? Growing things like tomatoes and other vegetables can go a long way in filling your bellies with good things and saving money on produce. 

 

Money is tight with me, too, so I can imagine your frustration. I'm sorry you're struggling. :( Thinking of you and praying for you.

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#24 of 25 Old 11-01-2011, 05:37 AM
 
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I wonder by the way you describe this if you would actually qualify for some assistance? Be it with your electric bill, food, etc. There are food banks and other programs as well that may be able to help you get ahead. I know no one wants it to come to this but you have to figure out how to feed your family.


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#25 of 25 Old 11-01-2011, 07:52 PM
 
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Could he take the tuition reimbursement and get a bachelor's degree?  How much might that increase his pay?

 

Alternatively, if he is working 70 hours every week, maybe you should calculate his real hourly wage.  It is probably very low, and he might actually make more money by taking two or three part-time jobs.  Looks bad on the resume, though. 

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