Homeschooling and Finances... I'm lost - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-17-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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I agree 100% when you say "being with my children and doing the work we are doing is more important than being able to go to the doc for check-ups and building onto the cabin." You will never get this time back and you have made the decision to stay home with your children for  reasons that I am sure are important to you! Your children will not remember how big their house was but I can promise you they will remember all the time you spent with them! There is nothing wrong with getting a little financial assistance when you need it, that is what is is there for.

 

I spent my childhood in private schools and after school programs and I know that no matter how broke we are I will stay home with my kids!

 

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Old 11-18-2010, 05:52 PM
 
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Just piping in to say that I work from home and that's the only way it's possible for us to homeschool. DH doesn't make a whole lot (for three kids at least), but my extra income makes all the difference. I'm also a very relaxed homeschooler, so that makes the work/HS balance easier. If you're looking to start working from home, you might want to look into freelance writing. That's what I do and it pays pretty good if you work for reputable websites. Some places don't even require prior web content writing experience. nod.gif


s momsling.GIF - JW asl.gif writing geek.gif wifey to j aaman.gif  (11/03) and cd.gif  homeschool.gif  knit.gif sewmachine.gif read.gif mommy to s dreads.gif (10/04), l kewl.gif (8/08), j diaper.gif (8/09), and little s boc.gif (12/12)

 

 

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Old 11-19-2010, 10:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastkygal View Post


thanks... We have no savings and no insurance... that's right.  We live month to month.  I have a Master's Degree in Teaching and a Bachelor's degree in English/Creative Writing.  I just don't know how to find these jobs and how to tell if these companies that hire work from home transcriptionists are legit.  How do you work it into hsing?  I'd love to be able to work from home and set my own hours.  I tried Melaleuca a few years ago and that was a huge flop.  I hate cold calling... I hate parties... I loved the products, but I couldn't do the work.  So, that sort of stuff is out.  Transcriptionist sounds nice, since I could still do my birthwork and still hs. 

I like the idea of tutoring.  Definitely!  DH does teach lessons... that is part of our income.  Thanks for the ideas. :)

 

This site might help:  wahm.com  Also, for more information about transcription, I recommend the forum at Transcription Essentials

 

Transcription work is one of the best options for wah-jobs, IMO.  Once you get some experience and several contracts, you'll probably stay as busy as you want to be.  I really encourage you to look into it.  I'm actually thinking of getting back into it, too.  I got busy and dropped it (big mistake) and now I'm starting to wish for the extra $$ again. 
 

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Old 11-20-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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We're living on less than $1600 a month, no public assistance except that I get Medicaid for my pregnancy. DH is a full-time student in his last semester of college at this point, but we've never once considered having both of us working. It's always been a top priority for us that someone is home with the kids, at least until school age, and then we decided to homeschool and now that's a huge priority as well. We've switched roles a few times over the years.

 

No, we don't have health insurance. Okay, I have Medicaid until Feb '11, but am only using it for pregnancy-related stuff. I'm 32 years old and have *never* had health insurance other than pregnancy Medicaid, nor do I want it.. unless we happened to get some really unusually awesome insurance for an unusually low cost through a job. Which could happen -- one of the jobs DH is interviewing for offers exactly that. I really, really, really prefer being private pay, and always have. I guess I'd kind of like to have catastrophic insurance for everyone but I've had hospital stays in the past (and a couple of more recent ER visits) and have always been able to work something out with the hospital. The worst thing they can do if you can't cough up is trash your credit score and we don't use credit at all. 

 

We manage and are actually living fairly comfortably. But we don't have many of the expenses most people have:

No car payment (1 car, purchased used w/cash), state minimum liability insurance only, no other insurances, no TV bill (none of us care to watch TV), we **rarely** buy clothing or shoes, I cut everyone's hair but my own, no cell phones, no childcare, and we pretty much never eat out (by choice). We spend very little on gifts, too.

 

The sum of our expenses: rent, electricity, Internet, food, gas (very little - about $25/month), my medications/medical supplies, and about $50 a month in non-food consumables (laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, etc.). Rarely -- perhaps once every few years -- someone other than me goes to the doctor. I do have to see the doctor a couple of times a year (I have MS) but my neurologist charges a whopping $70 for an office visit and is great at negotiating down MRI prices when I need to get one. My last brain MRI, with and without contrast, was only $300. Medical supplies do add up but still cost far, far less than insurance would for me.

 

No doubt it helps a lot that we live in a low cost of living area. We are in a very nice brick duplex built about five years ago (we moved in four years ago).. 2/2 with a W/D in unit, nice appliances, a great big patio, covered parking, and all of the extras except for a dishwasher. Very nice neighborhood (upscale subdivision) and within easy walking distance of the school DH attends. W/S/G is included in our rent, which is only $525/month.

 

We'd have to be in danger of getting evicted or something before I'd consider having both of us working full-time with younger kids in the house. Even then, I'd figure out a way to homeschool. And yes, I'd go on public assistance to homeschool if we needed it. (We don't, but I went ahead and signed up for pregnancy Medicaid at DH's insistence.. and given the hassle it's been, I kind of regret it.)

 

That said, if you need to make more money, working from home is a good idea. When I was the breadwinner, I had a heck of a career as a freelance writer and editor and we were (compared to now) rolling in dough. We switched so DH could finish his degree after I was diagnosed w/MS and my hourly rate started plummeting (I'm paid piecework) because of MS-related symptoms. However, I still hold several contracts where I can get a bit of work here and there if time allows. I only work about 5 hours a week on average now, but I can vary my hours from zero to 60+ in any given week on a moment's notice, so we do have that as a contingency plan.

 

But we don't really have much in savings at all (a few hundred dollars) and we don't have health insurance, and we definitely feel we're doing the right thing by homeschooling. It's just an extremely high priority to us.

 

--K

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Old 11-21-2010, 12:14 AM
 
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k-

 

sounds like we are in pretty much the same situation financially. glad to hear it is working for you. we will be cutting way down on expenses in a couple months (getting rid of a cell phone, paying off our car, cutting down on the grocery bill, ect..) . i have been considering getting rid of my own health ins, but the kids get ins free thru the state so they will keep theirs. i wish i could get dh to get rid of the cable, but he's a tv addict. at least i'll be able to keep it off during the day while he's at work.


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Old 11-21-2010, 11:06 AM
 
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Cutting down on expenses really makes a big difference. We can get our food expenses down really low if I cook from scratch a lot, but I haven't been doing it as much lately as I'm 28 weeks pregnant and starting to feel the third trimester fatigue and blahs. But that's made up for by our electricity bill going down as it cools down (the major expense electricity-wise here is air conditioning... we're in a subtropical zone and it is still in the 80s during the day). Hoping to get the electric bill under $100 a month this winter. It's over $300 in the summer.. was $150 last month. We don't need heating even in January and can get away without AC during the winter if we set up fans and open the windows.

 

There are some programs where you can get a cell phone with a limited number of monthly minutes entirely for free if you qualify for state assistance. Maybe that would help with the cell phone bills? I should sign up for that... a cell phone could come in handy in emergencies.

 

Whether or not to dump health insurance is tricky and very much a personal decision. It depends so much on how much you're paying and how much your medical bills are. Since I'm self-employed, health insurance would cost me roughly $900/month (high risk pool because I have MS) but my medical expenses are nowhere near that, even if I have to go to the ER a couple of times in a year. Obviously, the health insurance companies have to make money, so for most people it IS a net loss to have insurance (unless you or your spouse get a really good deal through work).. but.. some people really value the peace of mind they have from knowing they're covered. DH is like that.

 

DD does not have coverage but we use an inexpensive day/night pediatric clinic on the rare occasion she does need to go to the doctor, and office visits there are only $30. DD is super-healthy, though, and almost never gets sick. The last time she was at a doctor was two years ago because she had a piece of glass embedded in her foot that I couldn't get out myself. We'd find a way to get coverage for her if she had any medical problems at all.

 

There are also clinics for adults in our area that have a sliding scale and we only pay $20 for an office visit, $5 - $10 for blood tests, and they do referrals for other tests to get the price down... I had a chest x-ray through a referral from there and it was only $20. My husband gets limited free medical care (from a PA or nurse practitioner) through his college. It's possible they have clinics like that in your area... I think everywhere I've lived has had a few clinics like that, but sometimes there's a waiting list for new patients, so it might be worth scheduling an initial appointment and getting on the waiting list so that you're an established patient and can get appointments quickly if you need them.

 

If you DON'T have insurance and your income is fairly low, you can get most ongoing medications for free through the manufacturer. NeedyMeds.com is a good website to check out if you're on any ongoing medication and you decide to drop your insurance.  Also, a lot of doctors can provide free samples or coupons if you ask. The doctors around here kind of hoard the samples and give them in large quantities to patients without insurance. And you can ask a doctor to write prescriptions for an inexpensive medication if you need antibiotics.. there is usually a cheap one that will work. It's handy to have the Wal-Mart or Target $4 prescription list on hand when you visit the doctor.

 

It does really help that we don't have a car payment, cell phone or cable, and that we don't use much gas at all. DH walks to his classes most days.

 

We no longer eat out because I can make better food than any restaurant we could possibly afford, and it's much cheaper, so there's no real point. We do grab a little food to go when we take short road trips, like to visit my parents (they're an hour away). I'm trying to get into the habit of making food to bring with us but usually we wind up grabbing paninis from a local restaurant on the way there. (At least the paninis are pretty inexpensive as long as we bring our own drinks with us and buy just the sandwiches, not the combos.)

 

We do have the very high speed DSL and that costs extra (it's $30 a month for 6mb DSL here, I believe... vs. about $15 a month for 1.5mb) but it's worth it as we are Internet fiends, I work online, and DD does a lot of her homeschooling stuff online. That's really our only ongoing luxury though.

 

Also, you might want to join the low-income support thread in the Finances & Frugality section. Maybe someone there will have some ideas to help you out, and it's nice to be in the company of other folks in similar situations.

 

--K

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Old 11-21-2010, 11:36 AM
 
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i forgot there was a frugality and finances section, i'll have to check that out. thanks!


Leah- mama to Audrey born 12/29/03 and Gwyneth born 4/1/2009! Soon to be TTC #3!
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Old 11-21-2010, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karanyavel View Post

No car payment (1 car, purchased used w/cash), state minimum liability insurance only, no other insurances, no TV bill (none of us care to watch TV), we **rarely** buy clothing or shoes, I cut everyone's hair but my own, no cell phones, no childcare, and we pretty much never eat out (by choice). We spend very little on gifts, too.

 

The sum of our expenses: rent, electricity, Internet, food, gas (very little - about $25/month), my medications/medical supplies, and about $50 a month in non-food consumables (laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, etc.). Rarely -- perhaps once every few years -- someone other than me goes to the doctor. I do have to see the doctor a couple of times a year (I have MS) but my neurologist charges a whopping $70 for an office visit and is great at negotiating down MRI prices when I need to get one. My last brain MRI, with and without contrast, was only $300. Medical supplies do add up but still cost far, far less than insurance would for me.

 

 This is pretty much us as well, except... We have food assistance, my girls have Medicaid.  We have no cell phones.  Our rent is only $100 a month.  Our electricity and garbage bill is our only utility bill.  However, we still aren't making it.  We haven't been able to get the girls gifts for Christmas, not to mention family.  Our biggest hit is student loans.  DH and I together have about $75,000 out in them.  I have also had many doctor's visits this year because of a few conditions.  I utilize free internet resources for schooling.  I am doing kindy with DD1 this year.  She asked to learn her letters and such, so I am teaching her.  I did buy Rod and Staff curriculum over the summer for us to use, so I don't have anything else left to buy there.  It was cheap too.

I just can't stand the thought of putting them in childcare and school.  It breaks my heart.  I feel like being poor is preferable to that.  So does DH.  It is just that we both are stretched thin, and a bit worried about the future.  I don't want to die and leave my daughters with debt.  My heart isn't convinced that I am done having children either... though right now I don't feel like I could actively try to conceive because of our situation. 

What brought me to this point is that someone hacked into our bank account a few weeks ago and took all of our money.  We are having a time trying to get it back... We were already a little behind on the student loan payments at that point.  It wiped us out.  DH is an artist and musician.  In this economy one of the first things our state cut was the arts.  No one is buying art right now.  It has been rough.  DH is doing all he can at this point.  We both realized how unstable things are and how it can take just one little mishap to totally put us in a bad way.  It is kind of stressful living that way.

So, I totally appreciate the suggestions and advice.  I truly love MDC for this reason.  DH and I have had several long talks.  I'm going to look into some of the online working options you all have given links to.  I'm going to put out my services as a tutor.  And... DH and I are going to look into opening a tattoo shop.  We kind of wanted to avoid that, but there is steady money in it, and if we do things right, we can work together and school the girls at the shop.  DH used to tattoo a few years ago when we lived in a bigger city and did real well.  Tattoos are popular here too, and so many have asked him to do them.  It will take time, so we'll be looking at options in the meantime.

Thanks so much...


Appalachian mountain woman, radical homemaker, homeschooler, childbirth educator, and doula loving her DH and three powerful little femmes. Deladis 8-4-05, Ivy 4-28-08, and Gweneth 7-21-12 HBA2C! hbac.gif  -  blogging.jpg ribboncesarean.gif

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Old 11-21-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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it sounds like you have a plan. i hope things get easier for you!


Leah- mama to Audrey born 12/29/03 and Gwyneth born 4/1/2009! Soon to be TTC #3!
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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I wish I had some great advice but I can't think of anything that you're not already doing. One thing I kept thinking of when reading your post is about your insurance issue. If your kids were in school they would almost certainly get sick much more often and need doctor's visits that you would have to pay out of pocket for. That coupled with babysitting costs over the summer and breaks, commuting costs, work clothes, unpaid sick days when they're ill (or you are), mandatory school supplies, and so on could make the cost of working nearly what you would be earning. Working is not free and public school is not free, there are always costs which must be taken into account. I went though this dilemma when my kids were little. I had found a job I really enjoyed and had hours that allowed my husband to be with the kids for the couple hours each day I was out of the house but then his work schedule changed and after doing the math for the cost of working with child care we determined that I would be earning just 50-somthing¢ an hour so it simply wasn't worth it. 

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Old 11-22-2010, 07:43 AM
 
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I do understand the desire to homeschool despite financial crisis. We had a money meltdown in 2008, thought we would have to sell our house, lost all our savings just trying to keep afloat. But we decided we would continue to homeschool instead of me taking on a job. We made it through by the skin of our teeth, we have debt to pay off and are in rough shape financially.

 

But I have to agree with Frugalmama, one hospital stay could bankrupt you.  We had health insurance, we were lucky. But I think, personally, that would be a  deal breaker.


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Old 11-28-2010, 06:30 AM
 
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I would only work if dh were home to watch the kids while I was working. I stopped working after it was an issue for employers when I took off for a sick child.I had no choice since dh is gone.It became such a worry and hassle.

 

With your degree you could also work for an online charter school.

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