Saturday, March 12, 2011

Staying Strong Through Financial Woes

I am horribly stressed about finances right now. Amidst all this wedding planning and preparation, we find out that we make too much to receive food stamps anymore. Thus they have revoked what little a month they were giving us and now we are in the hole BIG TIME. Let me tell you, we do NOT make too much to NEED food stamps. Even though my husband and I have jobs and each work 35+ hours a week, we still struggle every single month to make enough to cover rent, utilities, my car payment, car insurance (which just went up HARDCORE), cell phone bills, Lon's dental bill, Lon's therapy bill, Lon's medication, my therapy bill that we are in debt for, my medication and to pay back Lon's parents (we set up loan agreement with them to avoid bank interest among other things). We have been on food stamps since Alan was born, and though we do not rely all of our grocery budget on food stamps, they have helped us out a lot. We are also on WIC, which is also beneficial. But now, only being on WIC is not gonna be enough for us.

I've been continuously racking my brain for things that we could do to solve this problem without turning back to food stamps. Because my only options there is quit my job or have another kid, neither of which I want to do right now. So I have a few other options to mull over:

-I have only $500 in savings for emergencies, but groceries doesn't seem enough of an emergency for us... At least not yet.

-We cannot just cancel the wedding at this point either, to save us some money. All the invitations are out, my dress is purchased, and its only six weeks away as of today.

-I don't think I could work a second job right now. Working in three different departments at my job is already stressful enough for me, somedays it feels like I'm working three jobs. 

-Same goes for Lon, he works seven days a week like six to eight hours a day. There's no way he could work somewhere else too, even if it was only part-time.

-There's nothing really that we could give up so that we'd save some money every month. My family are such simple, non-materialistic people that the only luxury we really have is satellite cable and even that is more for the educational aspect (our television is normally tuned to either the History Channel, PBS, TLC, Sprout, Nick Junior, the Discovery Channel or the Documentary Channel) and only costs us $25 a month anyways. Plus we are in the middle of a two year contract that would be more expensive to break than keep.

-Of course its a given that we will be cutting back on what little we do spend on non-grocery store food. In other words, restaurants and coffee shops and such. But once again, that's only like an extra $20 a month.

The Dhammapadda tells me not to worry over financial or material issues, and normally I don't because I know that as long as we are continuing to work, money will come. But what happens when we have more hands asking us for money than we have to give them??? I've been reading and reading and yet I find no answer to this. And so I continue to stress... The answer is of course to cut down the unnecessary, and so we will. We will pull through, I have faith in this family. We will just have to work extra hard and go without some luxuries. But that's life at some points. :)


  1. I'll say a prayer for you tonight because I'm in the same boat. Tomorrow I go for my food stamp meeting and if I don't get them. I don't have food on my table. At all. I work part-time at Walmart right now making less than I did at my last job. My first paycheck isn't until Thursday and that's already spent on bills.

    My ex and I when we were together use to spend 50 dollars a week on food. That was a static amount that didn't change, and we managed. With myself, him and my son. We shopped at Aldis which is a cheaper grocery store than anything around us. I'm not sure which state you live in so I don't know if there's any around you.

    Another thing we completely eliminated was going out. For the weeks where we didn't have the extra cash, no coffee (other than the stuff we made at home), we brought our food from home. I often made a little more so that we could bring it to work with us the next day.

    To lighten the load, have you thought about switching phone companies? Here we have Cricket which is 60 dollars a month, you need to buy the phone outright but it's alot better than a 200 dollar bill. What my ex and I did for the longest time was only have one phone. I don't know if that's an option for you.

    Also, if there are any food pantries around. Go to them. They're usually at a church and just go there and explain your situation. Your food stamps were cancelled and you're struggling. The ones around us are usually once every two weeks. They'll give you fresh food, canned food, bread, different things.

    And if you belong to a church, talk to your pastor. I belong to my grandmother's church in West Seneca and she always keeps telling me to go talk to Reverend. I'm personally a little hesitant because I haven't been there in 5 years. Haven't been to a service either since my father passed away. But God is still in my heart and soul.

    I'm trying to think of more... I've been through this so many times I could work for social services. Once you can figure something out with your financials, try to make a meal plan and stick to it. We've saved so much money by buying things that we're going to eat that week. They're usually going to be a little left overs but my fridge looks bare right now because we bought enough food to last until Tuesday. Supposedly when I'm suppose to get my stamps, according to the worker.

    I'll be praying for you hun. For the both of us because it's to damned hard right now for no one too.

  2. Thank you for being so supportive Katie! :) I appreciate it so much. We are definitely looking into cheaper phones and car insurance this week. And we have completely given up restaurants and coffee shops and the such, for now I have to tell my husband. He's an avid espresso drinker because of his somewhat stressful job, but for now homemade coffee will have to do lol.

    About religion and a church helping us out, I am only a practicing Buddhist and I don't practice with a church. So I don't have any help there, except for maybe mentally. :) My parent's are Lutherans though and they possibly can help us if they talk to their pastor about our financial situation, their church is very big and they have a lot of community support. They are also very caring and understanding people.

    I'm gonna try to do the meal plan (I took a class last year on how to save a ton on groceries and I know what you're talking about!) and also do a shopping sweep of the Dollar Tree, Thirfty Nickel, Good Earth (our organic store, has cheap organic fresh fruit and veggies!), and Albertson's. We should survive, but any good recipes would also help lol??? :)

    Thanks again! Have a great day and week!