Alone and Confused

Updated on March 25, 2009
J.T. asks from Trinidad, CO
24 answers

hi all you wonderful moms,

So I am at witts end with what to do with life in general right now. I will start at the begining. In Dec my husband was laid off due to lack of work from a $40/ hr job. He recently got a job working for pepsi in a different state making 12/ hr. We already lost our house and we, well now myself and my two sons 8 and 2 into my aunts house. she was kind enough to let us rent a room for a while. Now the only the bank wants to repo our car unless we can come up with 1500.00 by tax day. Friday I found out that i am 6 weeks pregnant and dont know what to do. My job, i can only work 20 hours a week, we are so finacially broke. I am freaking out about how we are going to surive, as of right now he doesnt have enough money to get a place where my husband is at and we cant afford to pay the bills we have now. Please any advice on what I can do would be great. I am just scared and freaking out because I dont know what to do

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So What Happened?

ok, Thank you all who responsed. one of the reasons my husband got a job in another state is because that was where he grew up and his father fell ill and asked him to come and help out of a while, in just happened that a friend of his was able to get him a job there. The kids and I are not there because he is staying with his father in a one bed senior center. frankly there isn't enough room for all of us right now. He and I are both trying to save so we can put a deposit down and get into a place there. by the way there is colorado. to respond to birthcontrol lady, I was on BC when I got pregnant. Thank you to everyone who did provide good advice, Thank you

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,
I am sorry for all that you are going through, but believe me, you aren't alone; which is a of little solace and a sad fact.
First, be grateful for what you do have. Really, this is a very helpful exercise. Say thanks (out loud so you can hear yourself, is even better) for your boys, and for your husband who was brave & humble enough to work for a quarter of what he was making just to support his family (thank him for his sacrifice and tell him how much more you love him for it!), say thanks for your aunt and the kindness and genorosity she has demonstrated, be thankful for those 20 hrs of work you do have and be thankful for the blessig of a new baby on the way. There's a saying in spanish that says that every child is born with a loaf of bread under there arm. A baby will bring joy, hapiness and hope to your life, even if the thought of a third child to raise is scarry right now.
Then, get a plan together. I was 4 months behind in my car payments, got caught up for a few months and then fell behind again (my husband hasn't had work for over a year). I talked to the finance company and they agreed to bring me current by taking the months I had fallen behind and tacked them to the end of my loan, exteding it that many months. I then sent in my payments on time but split them into two. My payment is $530/month so I send them $265 every two weeks, so that it doesn't break me to send it all together.
Sign up for Angel Food ministries and sign up for food stamps and Healthy Families/Medical. If you're pregnant you can also sign up for WIC. This will cover your food expenses and healthcare for you and your family. You are almost sure to qualify. You may even qualify for a monthly cash aid, depending on what your total earnings are. Claim what you pay your aunt in rent and your car payment, as these are necessary expenses.
With your bills you need to prioritize. Call all of your creditors and tell them you simply can't keep up. Ask them to put you on a minimum payment plan and to stop the late charges and drop your finance charge to 1%. They are doing this with everyone right now because if they don't people simply can't afford to continue paying and give up. Then always make sure to pay your car first and then the rest, per payment arrangement. If you still can't keep up then consider filing bankruptcy and starting over fresh. If you lost your home, this might even be the best solution. Finally, see if you can do someting else with the extra time you have on your hands. If you still have your belongings from the home you lost in storage, rather than paying for storage, start selling them off. Advertise the big stuff on craigslist and maybe advertise the smaller stuff on ebay or hold a garage sale. You may want to suscribe with Care.com as a babysitter, pet sitter/walker or house cleaner/keeper during your off hours too.
Don't give up and always give thanks! If you want to get in touch with me personally, to have someone that is "there" to talk to, please feel free: [email protected]____.com Bless you and your family! K.

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M.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I would first determine a budget. Write down all of your expenses, then income and figure the difference. Then list your expenses by priority and start cutting what you can. A great forum for specific advice is www.savingadvice.com. I highly recommend posting to their 'Debt' forum. Some people are a little more tough love than others, so be prepared! Post your entire budget, etc and they will help guide you along. It's a huge wake up call and you have to be ready and willing to take advice.
Also, try to apply for any public assistance. Maybe that can bridge the gap for a little bit.

Take care and good luck to you!!!! You and your family can make it out of this, please have hope!

2 moms found this helpful
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J.F.

answers from San Diego on

I don't know if your boys are school age or not, but I am a public school teacher. I have seen this type of situation happening more and more with my students. You are not alone.
There is a program called the MacKinney Vento program that will help you find resources to help with your situation. This program helps families who are homeless. You would be considered homeless because you are living in someone's home. Not only does this program provide you with resources, they point you in the direction of help, and make sure that your boys get to stay in their school (even if you have moved). Talk to your child's teacher or the office and ask about the program. Sending you love and warm thoughts.

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Put on soothing music that makes you feel calm and happy. Take a warm bath. Be sure to have some time each day outside and take about a half hour a day doing something physical that you like, even if it's just walking. You need to have your sanity and calm before you can take any action so please try these things first.

Next, I'd suggest quitting your job. Gasp! That's right. It could well be that once you do the math and see what you are actually receiving after taxes and all deductions, plus the conveniences you need that you may actually be draining your income from this job rather than increasing it.

If you quit your job:
1. Perhaps you can help your husband try to find a better job through online sources, library, connecting with others.
2. You can go through books like "Tightwad Gazette" and learn better ways to spend much, much, much less. What you lose in income you gain in time.
3. Possibly you qualify for different types of aid and by not working you can look into that.
4. Live where your husband is, no matter what it takes. The separation is killing you more than what you perceive is a savings in money. It is better to live in a car together than apart, but thats my opinion.
5. Figure what you truly do need. Housing. Warmth. Food. Phone. You can use the internet at the library if needs be. Join the ever growing ranks of us poor and you will see your values change as to what is really important. People take priority over stuff, anyday.
6. Join groups that interest you, wherever you settle and you will learn you are loved wherever you go. You didn't say what area you were writing from but there are good people wherever you go.

Positive energy is what I'd like you to have so you can turn this into a blessing.

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M.M.

answers from Las Vegas on

sorry to hear you are going through this. My DH was laid off and right now we are on food stamps (EBT), medicaid and DH is getting unemployment. I am illegible for WIC, but we don't take it because the EBT is enough for us. Not sure where your DH is, but has he tried getting some kind of Gov assistance so that you all can be there together? It would be worth checking in to. Every state is a little different, depends where you all end up. You might be able to get medicaid for your kids and yourself since you are PG. Maybe you and DH could look into applying for new jobs online in the same area. If you don't have internet where you live, you could go to the library. Here in Las Vegas all the hotels do their hiring online. Most hotel jobs pay decent with medical benefits. Economy is down so jobs are not that easy to find, but you could get lucky depending on your skills. Here your best bet is hotels/restaurant or construction. Could your DH find a job where you live now? Could you apply for a job where he is now and move there? Maybe you'd be able to get Gov housing temporarily. Another thing that could help is bankruptcy, you could file and keep you car since you need it for work.

I know all this will put a dent in your pride, for us it did too, but these are things that are meant to help desperate families get back on their feet. It has been a life saver for us. We also lost our house and filed bankruptcy almost 2 years ago. It relived us of a lot of stress and our kids are fed, clothed and sheltered, that's what is important. Good luck!

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V.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

I can only tell you to STOP PANICKING! I have had to go through this on a smaller scale recently and I will tell you that nothing gets accomplished when you have your thoughts clouded by all this.

First of all, try to keep the car. Even if it means giving them a payments worth right now (that might at least get you an extension, past tax day). Have you gotten your taxes done yet? Tht's always a nice bandaid if you get a retun (from the fed at least since the state is not giving the money up yet) Since you had the house last year you shoud still qualify for the tax credit eventhough you lost the house since then. I age with everyone else and get back to your husband. There is no reason that either of you should be alone in this scary time. At last if you get your kids out there and they take the car, your family is together and that is all that matters.

Life is going to change for all of us. I am lucky because I have never really had anything so whan it happened to us, I had essentially nothing to lose. However, the situation we were in really made me think on my feet. It taught me that no matter how bad it gets, if you act rather than panic, you can handle any situation.

To start saving money, I started making my own laundry soap and baby wipes (gotta love the internet) I have cooked dinner every night and have not eaten out in months (also internet!). You can look all over the internet for coupons at the grocery store or Target or any place you need to go for your family. Small odd jobs like pet sitting is another one. "$20.00 a day, sure I'll walk your dog and make sure he's played with and fed! Stay gone as long as you want!" ;) I also picked up a weekend job from my last employer and I work Saturdays grooming dogs again :) As others have told you, California is hellaciously expensive. You will be surprised how little it costs to live elsewhere.And as a last bit: you will also be surprised how resilient kids are (in case you are worried about them getting uprooted) My mom moved us all over the US before finally settling in CA (for the third time) Have them think of it as an adventure! Get their friends addresses if they want but also remind them that the friends you had at their age are not the friends you have now.

I am so sorry you are going through all this but now is the time to prove to your family that they made the right choice in choosing you. Be strong. Be resilient. Smile through it all and cry when the kids aren't around. The best compliment your kids can give you is to find strong women for themselves (when they grow up, of course) out of your example. Good luck and get started!

~V.

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J.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

You may need to seek another part time job or a full time job. What does your husband do? Why can you not live together with him in a simple apartment? Most states have lower cost of living than California so instead of paying 2 rents then you're only paying one.

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

DON'T let the bank repossess your car. That's just money down the drain. Sell it if you have to (umm...as long as it's not leased that is), but don't let them repossess it.

If you hadn't already lost your house, I would be suggesting filing for bankruptcy. Since you HAVE lost your house, I have to third looking into moving.

Why not see if family can take the kids for a week, and go out and meet up with your husband, and see about setting up something permanent?

The $40 per/hour job will come back...eventually. If he was worth it before, he will be again. In the meantime...I have friends on the east coast who only pay 450 for an 1800 square foot apt/townhouse kind of "in the country" and then they catch the train into the city for work. Others who complain that they had to pay "Over a HUNDRED thousand" for their house. Sigh. I WISH.

Jobs tend to pay less, EXCEPT, for in the cities...which are all just a short train ride away. Sheesh. And I hear complaints about "30 min to work". I've had trips to the grocery store take longer! Are they nuts???

Anyhow...there are a lot of other places out here in the west too..we just don't have the trains, you didn't say what other state your husband is (I'm assuming you don't actually mean N. California ;), but if it's anywhere except Seattle...you're probably better of. Half my family is in Seattle and were talking 1600-2500 a month to rent 800 square feet.

And come to think of it, seriously DO think about filing for bankruptcy. With the house gone...you won't even have to fight for chapter 7 (clean slate). Or you could go chapt 13 and repay part of your debts. Regardless...a good rule of thumb is: look at your credit and your future...how long is it going to take to pay off everything and repair your credit...and where you're going to be life wise. Is your life going to be on hold until everything is paid off? If it's going to take 5-10 years...SERIOUSLY consider it. One of my favorite quotes is this:

The drafters of our Constitution guaranteed the right to file BANKRUPTCY because they believed that free people should never feel imprisoned by their debt.

You've got a lot of options right now, they're all probably scary, but none of them are likely to be anywhere NEAR as bad as you're afraid of...and the ones you choose may actually be the best thing you ever did.

Good Luck.

We're with you.

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B.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Are you in California? Sounds as though you could qualify for WIC (Womeen, Infants, Children). They give you coupons for about $50 a month worth of milk, cereal, eggs, cheese, juice - basic food necessities. It may be more for more than one child. It is for low income women with children under 5 years of age, to make sure the children get some of the basics for good nutrition. You have to go to a nutrition class and take the kids with you to get weighed once a month. After you have been on for a while they will give you two months worth of coupons at a time. You may qualify for other types of state assistance. It's hard, but relying on state help temporarily is better than wearing out the good will of all your relatives.If not in Calif, other states have similar programs. Go to your bank (with all the kids) and tell them you need the car to get to work, and ask them to work out a reduced payment plan (figure out ahead of time what you think you can pay each month.) In today's economy, most banks would rather accept a reduced payment than none. We'll be praying for you. B.

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M.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Would your aunt be willing to keep an eye on the kids overnight a couple of nights a week while you get a second job? Maybe you can be a stocker somewhere during graveyard shift. It will be harder now that you are pregnant, but you have no choice. Tell your husband to get a second job where he is too. After you have this baby, you need to start taking birth control. It's not fair that your children have to go through this and having a third will only make it worse. I don't mean to sound mean, but it's the truth. When you have the third, breastfeed for as long as possible. It will save on formula costs. Also, you can apply for WIC because you have a child under the age of 5. It will help you will grocery costs. Also, there are other places cheaper to live than Lakeside. Try moving to Hemet, near Temecula. You can rent a 2 bedroom house in some areas for $600-700 a month. Your husband can also move back and find a job there so that you do not have to pay for 2 households. Good luck.

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S.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sorry to hear about your situation. It seems everyone's affected at some level. I've been researching the possibility of taking night classes as well for "Workers Comp Claims Adjuster" (just in case).

If you can get caught up on your car payment, they will let you take a month's payment and put it on the back end. I called my car lender and they gave me 2 months, but you have to be caught up.

Good luck with everyone and your family will be in our prayers.

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C.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

sorry you are going thru that.....get your local phone book and at the front of the book there are listings for all kind of city and state agencies ...just keep calling around and they can direct you to someone who can help....for imediate needs....go to a couple of local churches...most larger churches have funds to help you out for a week or will help you find ways to get thru this....hope that helps

C.

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

J., wow, i feel for you. I will tell you what i know about this. Californa is a very expensive place to live. My business partner from San Fran., just experienced the same thing you are going through, her husband, an engineer, was told that his "multi billion dollar project" was being cancelled...in mid build! 100's were let go, the building is sitting there half completed and in about 48 hours Mike went from a job of over $200 000 a year to a $5000 pay out and a letter of reference.
They immediately moved out of their San Fran loft (where they were paying $2500 a month) and moved to just outside of Phoenix. They are now renting a 3 bedroom home with a pool for $500.
Barbara, my friend has stepped up her business (it is a home based business with me - it is not appropriate for me to advertise it here - you asked for advice not to be solicited! - if you want more info you can email me privately) Mike has joined her, and they are getting back on their feet. They know that it is not a quick fix, but it is a permanent fix. They understand that they msut "do today what others won't so that they can do tomorrow what others can't"

J., i know this is hard, i see many people around me each day in the same situation, i may have been there too if I hadn't made the decisons about my own business a few years back. I have friends and family who are being "downsized" "let go" "laid off"...choose a word, but bottom line is, they are now relying on themselves for their income. The world is changing, it will continue on this path for a quite a few more years. I have some amazing mentors and coaches who are teaching me and my team how to THRIVE in this economy. I have been blessed with the information to make my world, my economy stable, i do hope you find the same thing.

I wish you all that you deserve.

B.

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L.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

my name is L. vacha and i work with a credit restoration company. if you are interested please feel free to visit getyourcreditbackontrack.com. if you decide to follow thru with the services then good things will happen...good luck and take care. in the mean time you should look towards government assistant in your area or the area your husband now lives in. congratulations on your arrival and god bless....

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L.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

I'm sorry to hear that you are having a tough go at it of late. Now's the time for you and your husband to really think "out of the box" to see what you can do to bring extra income in. Definitely see what you can do to live together with your husband because, for one thing, it is cheaper than sustaining two households and, for a second, you need to live together because that's what families do. I know that you are pregnant right now but one option that you can consider is doing some babysitting or running an in-home daycare if at all possible. If you have become accomplished at a particular hobby, see what you can do to start teaching a class on that particular craft or interest. If you or your husband have a thought, "Gee, I wish there was someone there that can do "X," "Y" or "Z" to make life easier for us, that's when you should pick up the ball and fill that particular niche in the market as long as it doesn't cost too much money. I don't mean to over simplify things because I know how difficult your situation is right now but sometimes a belief and the gumption to make things happen when you see an itch that needs to be scratched is all that is needed to completely turn around a difficult situation.

Hang in there and have faith.

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B.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

You didn't say what state your husband went to, but anyplace is cheaper than California. You should pack up and join him before you lose your car and have no transportation to get there. It's not worth it to stay here for a 20 hr a week job. The way things are here that job could disappear too. Move while you can, look for a job there or do something at home like taking in kids for babysitting.

Don't sit here alone and confused, get going to wherever your husband is, you and your children need him, your family needs to rely on each other until you move on to more prosperous times.

Good Luck!!!

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S.R.

answers from San Diego on

Wow! what a most difficult challenge you have. What to do when you must survive? Just that. It's not easy but it has been done for centuries. You are the ship and Absolutely keep hold of your body and your mind because both can betray you and sink the ship. The kids can't swim so they are holding onto you. You're smart to ask for help. If it were only you, but you have kids. Go up the ladder of basics: food, shelter, (we live where government can help)
Another tip: take this as a challenge. Can you do this? What a great chance to play with the kids, listen to your aunt talk about her life, etc. Somehow, life is giving you some lemons to make lemonade with! Not bitterness...

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J.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Definitely apply for WIC and Medi-cal. You can find information on the internet. You may need to find a second job so you can work more hours. I know it's hard but try to stay positive, especially for your children and that little baby inside you. Good Luck!

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M.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Find a credit counselor who will work with you for free. I've never used them but know they're out there. Search the Internet or call your local city/county government offices asking for one. The counselor may be able to help you consolidate or otherwise manage your debts to make them easier to pay. Also once you have a plan to do that they may be able to help you work out a budget to manage money more effectively going forward. Meanwhile, obviously you have a crisis on your hands but try to de-stress yourself in small ways (deep breathing, go for a walk, yoga DVDs borrowed from the library) to maintain your own health, because you will need it. Good luck .

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K.M.

answers from Reno on

J. T.

I am sorry to hear about your losing your home. It sounds like you are very close to your husband, however, layoffs are now a thing to deal with. Children can survive this recession just like you can. Be strong for your children, they need your strength. How much one makes is not going to break your relationship as long as it is strong. Contact some of the debt solution places and find a way with their help to make some kind of action plan to help you with your situations financially. Recently my hubby lost his job and we managed on my social security alone, which is no more than $700/mo. We made it and you can too. He is now working two days a week, it is a help but not a total solution. The fact that you have another child on the way is not all that bad,congratulations. Don't freak out, just use your resourcefulness and calm your self down. I know this is easier said than done, but please try. Your husband can find a low rent place where he is working for your family, this is not all that difficult. You also have the option of filing for a government grant, it will cost for the writing of the grant unless you can find or know someone who can help you write this out. It can help, the cost for someone to write these grants range from about $250 to around $300. There are also classes that will help you to learn how to write these grants for yourself, the forms can be found in some of your local government offices. My daughter-in-law went to ground classes to write grants for her friends and people she knows from her church. Check it out, it can also be a third income for you to do at home. However, beware there are many scams out there so be careful to check these out with the BBB.com and you can verify these forms of income. And do not give out any bank account numbers, social security numbers, and the like. Remember, these idea's are just things I have found to be beneficial to me and my situations. If the requirements include this information then stop all communication with these individuals and turn them into the following url. Consumer Fraud Reporting at [email protected]____.com, or Federal Trade Commission at [email protected]____.com

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M.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm confused as to why your husband is out of state if he's making so very little money! If he was making $40/Hr. he surely must have talent & skill. He needs to quickly zero-in on getting back into what his skill-level is so he can provide for you. He's the one who needs to come through for you right now, esp. with the new baby on the way. He needs to get as creative as he can be (meaning, find what you're good at/experienced in and find ways to make yourself as appealing as possible to the employers to let them know they MUST hire you - or let him start something of his own.) Desperate times call for ... you know. And as for you - what are YOU good at? Is there something you can do from home on the side. What about watching someone's child for half as much as they'd pay a daycare! Again, be creative and dig deep to find out what you can do to help earn money and move into your own apartment at least. I'd def. say he needs to be home and the 2 OF YOU PUT YOUR HEADS TOGETHER AND MAKE THIS HAPPEN. I know people who have been diagnosed with cancer and who have real problems like how they will survive - money is out there but most importantly you are young & healthy. Really that's All That Matters - I know it's so hard, but it'll be ok if you stay focused and positive. Hope this helps.
M.

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D.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know you already responded, but take a day and go to the Social Services office that is closest to you. When my son's Dad and I split and I moved out of the house we were sharing, I had a 8-week preemie baby (I was on the pill too, so I feel you on that surprise) that needed meds and a breathing monitor and no job or insurance. I acted quickly and got Medical, CalWorks Cashaid and Foodstamps. My parents took me in, but there are programs like Section 8 that you can apply for to get assistance with housing.

Once my son was off the meds and was able to be cared for by others, I went back to work part-time and after a series of temp jobs, I found a great job that is flexible with hours and feel good again about being strong and stable.

Don't give up!! You can do it!! This is why Mommy's were created, and not that I'm super religious, but we are only given as much as we can handle and learn from. Good Luck and I wish you the best.

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J.P.

answers from San Diego on

Put your faith and trust in God. He will take care of you. Anytime you struggle, God is trying to bring you closer to Him.

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J.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Well let me start by saying congrats on the new to be baby... I am a christian woman, i have thru the years been faced with many "obsticals" in my life, I have found that keeping my faith in Godhas always gotten me thru these "obsticals". God only gives us what we can handle. All looks bleek now but this will pass. keep your faith in God and he will never leave you alone. Iwill keeo you and your family in my prayers. Stay stron and remember every baby is a blessing take care of yourself physically and emotionally all the stress you are going through is the same stress the baby feels and believe it or not the other two blessings are feeling the stress too. Be Blessed and stay strong this will. Also go to church this is a way of leaving all you worries in Gods hands.
God Bless

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