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3 Bumps

Can't pay bills anymore ... and can't even do it at all.

I'm a 24 year old mother of 2 kids under 4. My husband works full time at a restaurant, and is lucky to bring in $1000 a month. Also, we are having $120 monthly garnished from his wages for a $400 tax bill. I work as much as I can, as we can't afford daycare and DH and I need to alternate schedules. I do home health care, medical transcription, and babysitting. I'm lucky if I bring in $500 a month.

We pay $600 a month in rent. We are 3 months behind due to unforeseen circumstances that took our money. We are 2 months behind on water and power. Our heat, hot water, and stove run on propane, and we have not had any of those for well over 6 months. If I need to bathe the kids, I heat water on a hotplate. Dh and I just grin and bare it in a cold shower. And heat, we use a space heater but some days we wake up to a 45 degree house.

We are SO SO SO fortunate to be receiving food stamps or we would starve. We will also be getting a $200 check for heating in february, but the least amount of propane the company will deliver is 100 gallons for $400 dollars, and in winter, if we do use heat, it doesn't last long.

Our car is on it's last leg, we don't even have registration for it right now. I feel like we will be evicted any day. Our landlord has been SO understanding, but how much can he let slide? We owe for 3 months totaling $1800.

Every day is a struggle just to survive, and we have been living this way for several years. EVERY DAY is a struggle just ot have gas to get to work, or toilet paper for the bathroom. We do very well of protecting our children from all of this. Most of the time, if my daughter wants yogurt or on a special occasion ice cream from McDonald's, we find a way to do it.

But we are at a point where every day is fear of when we will get evicted, an what we will do if that happens. We have no one for help. My mom is not reliable and DHs family lives 2,500 miles away. They've sent money when they can, but they are older and don't have much money. And it isn't their responsibility anyway.

What do we do? We seriously can't cut back on anything. We don't have home phone, internet, or cable. We don't own nice things that we can sell or pawn. We pawned the one thing we do have, which is hubbys guitar, and we are going to lose it on the 3rd of Dec. unless I come up with $160 to get it out. This guitar is very special to us, and that will be sad but it's just an item. We don't go out out eat, we don't buy clothes, movies, entertainment. Both of us are actually still wearing clothes from 6 years ago. I consider buying groceries a luxury.

I'm not trying to whine .. but then again I am. I hold it all in for so long i feel like I need to complain to someone .....

If anyone has any advice, please let me know. The biggest issue right now is getting help to pay our rent. But i don't know of any agency that does that?

Answer Question
 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:46 PM on Dec. 1, 2010 in Money & Work

Answers (32)
  • If you can't cut back on anything else, you need to raise income. Has DH been looking for a better job?
    Candi1024

    Answer by Candi1024 at 12:48 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • Go to a local church they usually can help or point you in the right direction
    arenad

    Answer by arenad at 12:49 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • go to www.angelfoodministries.com and you can get a ton of food for very cheap, also what about taking in more kids to watch? Look into government housing, where they help you with low rent costs. So sorry that you are going thru all of this for so long.
    NAT24ROXY24

    Answer by NAT24ROXY24 at 12:50 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • Do you still have a phone or access to one? Pick it up and dial 211. That is a NATIONWIDE phone number to connect you to social services in your area.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 12:50 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • I really hope things get better for you. I'm sorry you are struggling so much. Can hubby look for another job that pays more? Can you find a job that will allow you to make more than min. wage. Do you have any training or education for a job? Wondering if your oldest child could go to free preschool so you only have to pay daycare for 1 child. Can you find an elderly lady who can babysit the youngest for cheap while you work? Can you move back to DH family's house and pay less rent with them while you get on your feet? Can you find an apartment that is tiny but cheaper and has electic heat?
    ria7

    Answer by ria7 at 12:54 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • 211 doesn't work on some phones. If that's the case you can contact you local United Way directly and they can provide you with information and referral.

    Ditto to angel food ministries, excellent resource.
    UpSheRises

    Answer by UpSheRises at 12:54 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • I have been after DH for YEARS to look for better work. He thinks he isn't qualified enough for anything. He is a college graduate (English literature), but has huge self esteem issues and is also painfully shy, which makes interviewing grueling. When he gets mad at me for probing into this subject, he says he'll do it, but never does. This causes many fights between us. I myself have looked for additional work, but I have a limited work schedule do to my other jobs and DHs job, so no one wants to work around that and i have had no luck.

    I have been afraid of going to a church for help, because while I am a person of faith, I'm afraid I'l be forced to attend the church. I have nothing against that, other than I can't imagine adding one more commitment to my life. We do go to a church when we can, but not weekly. I may have to suck it up. It is also painfully embarrasing having to do so, but I will if I have to. Thanks.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 12:56 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • $1000 per month is crazy low for a full time job. If your husband can't find a better job, I would think you might have a higher combined income if you did home health full time and your husband worked at the restaurant part time. It would be a transition and wouldn't fix your immediate problems, but it just seems like it would pay better. I'm sorry you are having such a rough time.
    TweenAndTwinMom

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 12:56 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • There should be some agencies available to help and you can call FirstLink hotline to get help finding some in your area. The county should be able to help you with daycare costs so you can work more hours during the day. Otherwise you can try finding someone who would watch your kids for a small amount of money, because even if you make $300 a week at a job and pay someone $100 to watch your kids, you're still making more than currently. Your DH should try to look for better work as well. $1000 a month certainly isn't much these days. There are so many people in this same situation, so know that you are not alone. Keep communicating with your landlord so he doesn't give up on you and maybe try to make small payments to him as you can. Salvation Army may be able to help. I'm sorry for your situation and hope things get better soon. Contact as many agencies as you can. Good luck to you.
    Sharell8710

    Answer by Sharell8710 at 12:58 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

  • To clarify, my kids aren't in daycare. We work alternating schedules I work AM he works PM. DD is 3.5 and will be attending free pre-k in the fall, and DS is only 10 months.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 1:00 PM on Dec. 1, 2010

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