I am a single Mother who just recently lost a job that paid $45,000/year. The only job I can find pays only $10.00 an hour. How can I feed the kids and pay the mortgage?
- Single Mom in Wallingford
FLORA: Dear Mom, first I want to say that I am sorry that you are in a situation like this. Losing a job especially when you have children, is very stressful. Please remember to not loose sight of a good outcome; there is hope.
Here are some things you can consider:
-get a roommate to share expenses while you work and learn some skills to get a better paying job.
- I am not sure what type of field you are in but try to develop some contacts and relationships to help you land a job in your field of work.
-call your mortgage company and anyone you owe money to. Explain your temporary situation to them and work something out.
-cut out ALL extras. Yes, the cable, your cell or land telephone line, if you go out to eat (even for a coffee) stop all of that.
-Shop at discount grocers. Prepare meals that are low cost and healthy. Prepared foods can be a waste of money. Use your discretion in the stores. And please don't let the marketing executives get control of your mind and tell you - what - you need to buy. Keep your power and you will keep some of your money too.Your children can have fun for FREE. You do not need to buy buy buy.
-visit Dave Ramsey's website. Read his books. www.daveramsey.com
This is a good example of how having an emergency fund is so important for families. Have enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. As Dave Ramsey (daveramsey.com) says about emergencies: It will rain; you need an umbrella. This would mean liquid/easy access funds.
JUNE: I am also sorry for your situation. It must be very scary to wonder how to take care of your children. I agree with all that Flora has said except taking in a roommate. That can often be a nightmare situation and it is one thing to fight to get someone out of your home when you are single but it can be dangerous with kids in the house. I see that only making your life more stressful and more confusing for your kids. You should never bring strangers into your kids life. You can also read Suze Ormon's books. She went from rags to riches in a situation like yours.
What can I do to entertain the kids when I want them outside but can't afford to drive anywhere? Hoping for Help in Meriden.
JUNE: Hmmm, uhhh, put them outside. Can't see the correlation between wanting your kids outside and driving them somewhere. When I was a kid I went outside in the morning, went home for lunch and dinner for the night. I was always outside, my mom didn't drive me anywhere and my dad was at work. Don't feel you have to go anywhere, tell them to go outside and find an imagination.
FLORA: I wish we knew the ages of your children. Explore your neighborhood. Teach them marbles, jump rope, jacks. Identify leaves, flowers, birds. In warmer weather, use the sprinkler. Let them play. They will finds games to play on their own. Kids are naturally curious and creative. Let them be kids, stand back and watch them have a wonderful time.
FLORA: I have a few books that are accumulating in my 'need to read' pile. So, I too will challenge myself to read the group this winter: Wicked and The Memory Keepers Daughter
I just finished reading "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith. This is one of my Top Ten favorite books. Published in 1943, this story takes place in Brooklyn, NY at the turn of the 20th century. This well written, modern day classic takes the reader into the Nolan family. The main character is young Francie Nolan who is a young irl living with her alcoholic dad, her hard working mother and younger brother. The Nolans are a poor family, unlike what many consider 'poor' by todays standards. Betty Smith is brilliant in the way she describes the relationships and situations on this well crafted novel. I was captivated with this novel so much that I did not want it to end. If you have not read this story, now is the time!
JUNE: Flora, I read "Wicked" and I think I had assessed it in this column at an earlier time. It was a bit long and monotonous after a bit. It was the "back story" of the Wizard of Oz. It was a good book but I feel that the author could have shortened it quite a bit to get to the story quicker. Well worth the read though. By the way, I heard that Wicked on Broadway was fantastic.
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June and Flora