Hasn't It Been Long Enough???

Updated on July 29, 2008
I.C. asks from Columbus, OH
10 answers

Hi Moms,

It is really hard for me to share this, but I have to tell somebody.

We have been in a financial mess for over three years now. I am just about at my wits end with these finances. I came home to do childcare thinking that we could save the money that we were spending on childcare, and put it towards our bills. We filed bankruptcy about 2 1/2 yrs ago - Chapter 13 - and now we are not even able to pay my portion of the trustee payment, let alone of our monthly bills. I only have one child in my care other than my own at the moment, and that is not helping. I am pregnant again with my third child, and I feel like things are really out of control. I'd really like to go back to work so I can help my husband with a steady paycheck coming in, but I have no idea how we would afford childcare. Title XX is out of the question... he makes too much money for gov't assistance, I've already tried.

It just seems like we are just slipping further and further into debt, and nothing is helping or working. I even have a weekend night job, and that is not doing much for our situation. My husband has been working like a dog, and he makes pretty good money, and still we don't have anything to show for it... he even works with his dad painting sometimes just to bring in some extra money. It is beyond frustrating! He is at his breaking point, and so am I. It is very hard for me to be joyful through this time, and it just can't seem to get the joy that I once had back. Just yesterday, he told me that he can't take much more of this and he has been seriously considering separating. I am a christian, and I love God, but frankly it just seems like He is not hearing us, or saying much of anything right now. It is utterly frustrating, and I just want to be happy again... and be rid of this burden of debt. We have looked into debt consulting, and as I already mentioned, we've already filed bankruptcy. We hardly ever go out to eat, and we rarely spend money on things other than bills. Don't have a gym membership, no other expenses really. Shop at discount stores like Aldi's and Once Upon A Child, which helps. But it's like money is so tight we don't even have a "shoe string budget." It feels like it has been like this for way too long, and I do not know what else to do. And I am so sick of this.

I guess I am looking for some words of encouragement, prayer, and some resources. If you have any helpful advice, I'd love to hear it.

Please ladies, if you have something negative to say, please do not say it at all. I really just need some encouraging words and some helpful advice, and some prayer. Thank you.

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So What Happened?

What great responses, ladies! I am so grateful for the words of encouragement that I received from all of you, as well as the great ideas and suggestions. And to all of you who have prayed for us, thank you for your loving prayers! It really feels great to know that you care!

God has taken me through some difficult, but necessary, transitions; and I am still looking for a steady way to increase our income, but the difference between then and now is that I know we are going to be okay. And that we'll be ok as a family.

Thanks again!

More Answers



answers from Columbus on

Please don't be discouraged my sister. God hears and answers every prayer! The answer may not come right away or in the way you expect it. Finances are the number one reason for divorce. Don't let the advarsary take hold of your marriage! I know things look difficult now, but hold on....change is coming. You have to believe that for yourself. As I minister to you I also minister to myself. It sounds like you have not fully turned your situation over to God, when you stop trying to fix the problem, then God can step in and take over. Keep praying and hold on to your faith....don't give up. God loves you and He wants the best for you and your family...believe that!



answers from Columbus on

Hi I.:

I read your posting and my heart goes out to you. The circumstances you describe are very unfortunate. I understand your predicament because my sister has been through very similar circumstances for most of her married life. I know it has been a source of her depression and sadly, it has wreaked havoc on her ability to focus on raising her children and they have suffered. Money doesn't make people happy but when basic needs and occsional desires aren't met, it causes enormous stress on a family. It sounds to me like there are a few options:

1) Build your daycare business in order to bring in more income.

2) Encourage your husband to seek alternative employment to raise his earning potential.

3) Consider reducing your living expenses (ie: selling and moving to a smaller house and reducing your monthly mortgage payment).

The answers are easy to say, harder to do. Ultimately, the only way to get on top is to either bring in more income, or reduce your living expenses. My sister and her family chose all of the options above and they are in a much better place today. Her husband has started doing more side jobs (handyman type)and she is starting her own business in her home. In addition, they sold their "money-pit" of a house in the country and moved to town with a smaller house and greatly reduced upkeep.

Separation isn't the answer to your problems. You need to come together and work together to change these circumstances. I will pray for you today. I am a Christian as well and I KNOW that God can give you wisdom and direction. Just remember that rarely does God just solve the problem without your involvement. You will need to exercise your faith and actually do something to change your circumstances.

If you're at all interested in hearing about a side-business I am involved with, I'd be happy to share it with you. I am an indepedent consultant with Southern Living At Home. I do home parties and earning a minimum of $400 a month is very easy and a lot of fun. That money helps my family enjoy a few extras.

May God give you renewed strength, encouragement and hope for your future today. I pray for JOY to be yours today!




answers from Columbus on

Dear I.!

Well, I have never plugged home based businesses although I have answered several of these e-mails since I have become a member, but I am plugging mine and anyone else out there's now. About 10 years ago I decided that I needed to do something so I would have some personal spending money and could socialize my son more. I had worked at home for 6 previous years - and I can tell you there are easier ways than childcare to make good money at home. The first 6 years I did payroll and bookkeeping for construction companies but that was leaving my son of 2 entertaining himself a lot and it was so dedious I was afraid I would make an error...so we he became 3 I started my Avon business...I really didn't believe you could make money at it but I thought I could make enough to afford the extras like eating out...after about 6 months I met some ladies that sold $60,000 a year....so I decided I needed to try a little harder. I have had several years selling over $60,000 and furthermore I have built a team that sells over $1 Million a year in Central Ohio and I can assure you I make more than I ever did working in Corporate America or doing my bookkeeping business. Avon pays me bonus money based on what my team sells. I am not going to tell you I don't work -- I do work the same hours I would put into in other job, but I arrange them around my family schedule and have never missed a family happening. I take vacation days and I run my business like Wal-Mart - complete with office hourse.

I am not necessarily pluggin Avon over any other company but if you are short on cash or nervous about how it works out - it is only $10 to get started and you earn 50% on most products for the first 4 orders so you can build up a great clientele and make great money all the time. My son is now 13 and does a substantial amount of my routine work. There are no parties...and I love what I do so much I picked up another Direct Sale company this week although it was more expensive to start.

Finally, I would suggest some positive visualization excercises - many times the events in our life follow our line of thinking -- even if it is not true at the moment -- try to visualize yourself on the other side of your financial woes -- see yourself with enough money to do all the things you want to do with even more left over for your children's future...practice this particularly before you rest and I believe you will begin to see ways out of your current situation. I do hope your husband sees that separating would not lessen the demands for him to work hard...he will still have the children and you to support and there are so many ways to resolve this to everyone's happiness! - A. www.youravon.com/aalbaghli - See my add at Mamassource and promise never to plug my business again - but there truly is money out there to make everyone's dreams come true if you believe in work and yourself!!



answers from Columbus on

First I wish I could give you the biggest Hug. I too stay at home and do child care to save money and fortunately it has worked. Yet, I know it is not a guaranteed income. If it were my husband saying he was ready to leave due to money, explain to him that would make the situation ten times worse as he would now owe you child support. I always tell my husband its "cheaper to keep her." Next, instead of fighting really get down and look at your fiances. Force your self to stick to a budget. Mine is $100 dollars a week for grocery's...that's it. Take a calculator and over estimate everything.
Do you have grand parents that can help out with kids clothes etc? If it weren't for my mother in law I sometimes think my kids would be naked.
Has far as your daycare business goes, I use Craigs list A lot. There is also a new site called Kijiji with is a lot like Craigs list just not as known. I also have gotten kids by simply going to a local park putting up fliers around playgrounds, even on the playground equipment.
If you would like to talk in person I would be more then happy to help. Just send me a message back on mama source and Ill give you my email or phone number to see what we can come up with.
God luck and please believe God does hear you.



answers from Columbus on

Dear I., You cannot give up! God is with you. Just when you feel that you can't handle anymore, you are recieving one of the most beautiful gifts of all, a child. I know from personal experience that just when you think that God has given you more than you can handle, he helps you out of your situation. He doesn't say, "I'll never give you enough to make things hard", Just that He won't give you more than you can handle. Have you gone through Wic yet? Have you applied for food stamps? How about medicade? Also, did you know that they are hiring nights at the wal-mart werehouse? They start at $15 per hour, and it might be better than what your making now. If you ever need a friend, write me any time. When you think you can't have any more faith, have more. God is with you, and you are loved and not alone. God Bless you and yours.



answers from Columbus on

I just have to say, I'm sorry for all that you're going thru. My husband and I also filed bancruptcy and are just now starting to see a light at the end. We lost our house and almost lost the car. The only saving grace for us, I think, is that we don't have a car payment. But, we have no savings if this one breaks. I can't tell you what to do, but I can let a little light in on what we are still doing. We moved into a small apartment. There are 4 of us in a 2 bdrm at almost 900 sq ft. Not a lot of fun with 2 small kids, but thank goodness, kids are very easily entertained. They don't need expensive dinners, movies out, or for that matter, even cable. We had to cut our cable. We have no credit cards. The only "luxury" is the internet. We have one phone and it is a cell, which we get a small discount thru my husbands job. We don't go out to eat. The last time was last week, but, we did celebrate a slightly larger check. But, the time before that was in June I think. We are "lucky" enough to live near 4 major stores: Meijer, Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Aldi. I try to plan a menu for the week, and shop the best sales with coupons. We very rarely even get "snacky" items. My husband eats most of the quick ready made meals for lunch and I try to make larger meals that have lots of leftovers. As I said, there is a light, but it's faint. Things do get better. The best advice that I can offer, is to SERIOUSLY evaluate your finances and see if there aren't ways to cut at least for now. Don't think that you have to get a certain toy or meal or clothes for the kids, because, believe me, they don't care. My kids are very happy with the toys they have and PBS. lol Chin up.



answers from Columbus on

Hi I.,
I know how hard financial troubles can be. Our church has an online course that is easy to use and will help you get a handle on your financial situation. Go to lds.org, then click on home and family at the top blue section near the statue of Christ. Follow the drop down menu to the financial section and choose what will be helpful to you. It sounds like you are doing many good things already to live within your budget. Hope this helps!



answers from Columbus on

I., where are you located? are you looking for more children to watch?



answers from Columbus on


Try this book "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey - it's a very helpful plan on how to pay down your debt and begin to live debt free.

My prayers are with you!! Take care and God bless.



answers from Columbus on

Hi I.,
I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. I just wanted to let you know about an organization called Crown Financial ministries. They have a website: www.crown.org They're a Christian-based ministry that helps people with all sorts of financial problems. lots of local churches have Crown courses - you can check on the website or with a local representative to see if there are any in your area. You might try calling in to their radio show - they often send free materials to callers :) I have many friends who have been helped by this ministry.
Other than that, I can just say that it sounds like you are on the right track with your spending habits (not eating out, shopping at discount stores, no gym memberships, etc.). God IS with you, even if you feel like he is silent right now. Sometimes in your faith you have to go on what you know, not what you feel. Maybe in your next quiet time, you could try some listening prayer. Ask God what he wants you to be doing right now, or what he wants to say to you right now, or what is blocking your relationship right now. Then listen for a thought, a word, or a picture. Ask God to clarify what he means. This has been a really powerful thing for me when I'm in those times of silence and I feel like there's a wall between me and God. A couple of years ago, God showed me that I was still hurting from a miscarriage that I had more than a year before and a bunch of friends getting pregnant had brought it up again. The awareness allowed me to let God bring me to a new level of healing. (Then 6 months later, I got pregnant again and my son is now 2 1/2)
I'll pray for you and feel free to write back if you need someone to talk to.
J. B (pastor's wife and mother of 2 - 6 yo girl and 2 1/2 yo boy)

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