How Are you Making It Financially

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kch64, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. kch64

    kch64 New Member

    I know many of us have jobs and some are on disability.

    I have a job but have gotten deeper in debt due to missing work because of this illness, and not getting paid.

    I try not to worry about losing my job, but for the past few days, I can't help but worry.

    How are you all making it, not to be nosy, just for my own insecurities.

  2. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    In looking at your profile, I see you are married with no children. What does your husband do? Like you, I am also married with no children. I am fortunate to only have to work part-time and that I really love my job. My husband makes pretty good money so I am able to do this. Also, we live a pretty simple lifestyle-small house, don't do a lot of shopping, cut back on things that are not necessary, etc. Our combined income is around $35,000 (after taxes).

    Maybe you and your husband should go over your finances and see if there are ways you could cut back. Then perhaps you could find a job with less hours and see if your present job could have reduced hours. There is no way with the FMS that I could work a full-time job now.


    LISALOO New Member

    When I'm feeling better I fill out surveys for money. It's probably around $100 per month. Sometimes more. helps pay for supplements.
  4. renae1979

    renae1979 New Member

    I am single and support myself 100% with a full-time job. I have rent, car payment, all my living expenses, insurance, medical deductibles, etc., etc. and it isn't like I have savings or anything to fall back on. It is a struggle - especially when I love buying things for others and taking my younger siblings and entire family on trips, to concerts, etc.

    I have realized that a long term budget is the only way I'll make it. I downloaded a wonderful monthly budget template for Word and began putting everything in. It is amazing how quickly everything adds up, especially the little things and the periodic things (vet bills, car taxes). Now that I plan for those expenses and keep a portion of those bills every month so that they don't hit me so hard when they come along has been very good.

    Cutting out the expense of eating out all the time has been another huge improvement.

    Making a true and accurate budget to get a good picture of your spending is a HUGE help. It helped me to see the areas that were out of control and unnecessary and I've been able work on those. Now, I actually have money in my account the day before payday - it isn't a lot, but at least its something and I'm making progress.

    Good luck to you!!
  5. kch64

    kch64 New Member

    My husband draws disability for a mysterious kidney ailment that has caused him emmense pain and suffering with kidney stones. He was awarded SSI 2 years ago.

    So being that we live in a high cost of living area, and his income is about 1/3rd of what it used to be, I'm feeling to pressure to keep up most of the financial burden.

    I'm not complaining. I'm very thankful for what we have. Just need to cut corners I guess.

  6. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member

    I'm happy that you started this thread, K. I often wonder what others do.

    I'm a single mom with 2 children- I work full time, own(make payments)on a small house and a car. I am able to get daycare assistance for my youngest, my state offers health insurance for my children- because it would take half of my bi-weekly check to insure them, and I get a small amount of child support- all in all my anual income is under 25K- My ex makes a wonderful living and was able to secure a top notch lawyer so that I basicaly get nothing in child support.

    I'm drowning in debt, don't have a savings acct. I'm fearful everyday that something will happen and I'll have to sell my house or lose my car. I struggle to put gas in the car and food on the table. My girls are growing like weeds and it's really hard to keep them in clothes. I cry often and pray even more often.

    My family is wonderful, and they help in so many ways, but I've never let on to them exactly how ugly my finances are. I don't know if I'm too proud or too embarassed.

    It is so hard... so hard. I try not to dwell on what I don't have and remind myself what I do have.

    I just got my doctor to put me on intermitten FMLA- so that at least I know my job is secure.

    So, that's my life.... no wonder I'm

  7. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    My husband is 4 years younger than I am and he supports us. He makes a good living. Also our house is paid off, so we don't have a mortgage. That is what has helped us, but we are not in debt either.

    It gets hard for us sometimes, because our one adult son has been living with us for 1 & 1/2 years and he pays no rent to us. He has medical issues and right now is carrying a debt, so we don't ask anything of him financially. He does work full time...

    I sort of felt odd putting such personal info on the board, but there is no way anyone really knows who I am or can contact me, except for about 2 people on this board who have my email addy.

    Good post idea, sorry you are having so many problems. Hope everything works out for you.

  8. kaiasmom

    kaiasmom New Member

    I work full time, and make pretty good money, and my fiance also works full time. We have 2 kids between the 2 of us, and barely make it every month. Guess that's the price we pay to live in my home town in the bay area suburbs in CA. We rent a small condo, the kids have to share a room (one is a boy & one a girl....gonna have to move soon), car payment, and unfortunately a ton of debt. Between credit cards for the living expenses we can't afford (you know, gas or milk before payday) $12,000 a year for daycare and everything else, the money just goes too fast.

    Seems this is very common, especially with all of our disabilities. I hurt too much to work, but we couldn't survive on disability, not to mention the time I would have to be not working to try to get disability. AND, I'm only 26. I guess that's the good thing. Hopefully we can get some things taken care of in the next few years so we can start thinking about buying a least then our monthly payment will go towards owning something.

    Time will tell. Good luck to everyone.

  9. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

    i am a single mom to one 8 year old son. i hear your pain and worries believe me.

    have you ever tried shopping at salvation army or yard sales for clothes for the girls?

    i do that for myself sometimes. once in a while i'll find something for my son but it came to mind because i usually always see such beautiful things for young girls!!!!

    just a thought. when it comes to making ends meet it's important to have an idea or two on the back burner.

    some of the girls clothes i've seen are practically new! the boys things tend to be stained here and there, ripped, etc.!! wow, the difference between the sexes!!

    also, we don't eat meat all the time. like two or three times a week we'll have meatless meals like cheese pizza (made at home is the cheapest: buy the freshly made pizza dough at the grocery store, buy a can or jar of pizza sauce and add your cheese and/or toppings). some ideas for you!!
  10. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member


    I have tons of ways of cutting corners-It's amazing what you learn to do without-

    Most of our meals are meatless- we eat pasta, it's cheap.

    I replaced light bulbs with energy effeceint ones which helped with the electric bill.

    Coupons are a must. I do get hand me downs for my youngest from my sister, and I'm no stranger to the dollar store and thrift stores- you can find some really nice clothes there!

    Take care

  11. kch64

    kch64 New Member

  12. greenlynn

    greenlynn New Member

    I have been sell my girls clothing on ebay, and if I find some cute/cheap thing at yard sale I resale them,
    this help to bring in some money to help out my husband check
  13. CinCA

    CinCA New Member

    I am fortunate my husband has a good job. I haven't worked since we had our 4 y.o. daughter. Fortunately, we bought our home 8 years ago, so the mortgage is very small compared to what homes costs these days. We do everything the house, taking care of the garden, etc. Our daughter is in preschool, because she needs the socialization and mom needs the space, and we can swing a few activities for her. I really never go shopping for myself, but when I have, my husband's current company makes clothes and shoes, which I could get at cost. And my mom gives me money for my daughter's BD and Xmas, to get her new things. I also have friends who give me great hand-me-downs for her, which really helps.

    I try to shop as much as I can at discounters like Wal-Mart, etc. and buy things in bulk whenever possible. I don't drive much, so I don't use much gas. We live very basic meals, never go out, etc. Even with working on our house, we're fortunate we are handy and can do much of it ourselves. I had a very good job before we had our daughter, so we were able to do some big, and much needed, remodeling then without residual debt (we could afford a lot because all we had to pay for was materials, and we did the work so slowly we paid for little things as we went).

    We also have racked up our home equity account quite a bit, something we hate to do but had to for my and my daughter's medical bills. She was dx'd with high functioning autism 1 1/2 years ago, but she was so "high functioning" the state programs for these things wouldn't help us. Fortunately, there is a bill mandating insurance coverage, so we did get 80 or 90 percent of therapy paid for by our insurance. That helped a lot. We both see a naturopathic physician, the only one who has helped us (and he has been amazing in what he's done for our little girl). He is licensed and is supposed to be covered by insurance now, but there was a big snafu with all of it, and we still have to pay out of pocket. That is hard, but hubby has a medical reimbursement account we can use. Plus, my doctor is great about free phone calls, and we don't go to see him very often.

    I so want to go back to work because hubby is so stressed about finances, but between my unpredictable and still very needy daughter, the fact we have zero family help, and my having CFS, I've been very hesitant. Also, it's so hard for me to take care of the house, and hiring help is extremely expensive. Not to mention daycare.

    Best of luck with everyone. I have learned over the years that while it's nice to have things, you really don't need much, and many times it is easier and you can be happier when you only have those things that are important. One of these is your health, and I hope everyone here finds that someday soon!
  14. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I am very fortunate, we have no financial problems, but we still owe one heck of a lot of money!!

    My husband is still working his "day job" but is thinking of retirement in the next year or two. He already has 30+ years of service in, but wants to get closer to the actual Soc. Sec. age.

    I had my 30 years of service in in July 1999 at took an early retirement then at age 48 due to my numerous health problems (mainly my heart & back, but the arthritis, lupus, and fibro played a big part). By taking "early" retirement, I had to take a 25% cut on my monthly pension check. Bummer. So I receive my pension plus medical and dental benefits from work. I also applied for SSDI in Dec.2000 and was awarded it on first try--rec'd first check in May 2001. So I now also have Medicare -- it's actually my primary insurance now, with my work's insurer as the secondary.

    My husband and I have also farmed "on the side" as our second jobs for the last 34 years. That is where our large debt is. We own for 2 large farms, a new tractor, and other large farm equipment. Regardless of what people think, farming is NOT cheap! We could buy a subdivision of new homes and a fleet of Lincolns and Cadillacs for what we still own on our farm land and equipment!! That's one reason why my hubby is still working, too, because it will be another 10 years before the farm land is paid off.

    Our house is paid for, but we have 3 vehicles with over 200,000+ miles on them -- so we need to break down and buy a new car and a new farm truck soon. We bought our son a new truck when he went away to college so that he would have safe transportation on all his trips home and back. He's got his college degree, but we won't have his truck paid off until this Nov. 2006. Maybe then hubby will get him a much deserved truck that won't break down every week!

    I can afford a car for me (me making the payments out of my checks) but I just don't want to get a new car right now--I'd rather put it in savings in case we need it. Besides, with my bad fibro fog, I am afraid that I would just wreck it. I figure as long as my car keeps running, I'd rather smash up an old one rather than a new one! Heaven forbid, though, that I would have an accident! Insurance and our state's yearly vehicle taxes are lower on olders cars, too!

    We got our middle daughter through medical school and the oldest daughter through college, so we are through with all of our big expenses/debts and now just have the farms to pay off.

    We both have works like dogs all of our lives and have provided well for our family, have a lot to show for it, but have reached the point - I reached it in 1999 - that it's time to quit. My hubby is slowing down, too, due to arthritis and age. He has quit growing tobacco, our pick-your-own strawberry fields, and much much more. So our farm income is much much lower, but as long as we still make enough to pay the end-of-the-year farm payments, that's all that matters now!

    I feel grateful to be retired and in the position that we are in. However, I would not be able to make it without my SSDI check though. My hubby and I pay for certain things out of each of our checks (his goes mainly towards operating the farms) and I could not pay for all of my responsibilities on just my low-dollar pension check.

    We don't live high on the hog. We never go out of the house for movies, or any type of entertainment; have only had 2 vacations in 34 years and they only lasted for one week; we never eat out--only order the occassional pizza; don't rent movies; I rarely buy new clothes or shoes--but hubby does because he has to look spiffy for his day job; etc. Our only luxury is having city water and a satillite TV with a TiVo!

    I clip coupons for groceries, try to find all gift items on sale, and shop wisely for Christmas gifts.

  15. motomom412

    motomom412 New Member

    I had to take off one month from my previous job before I literally thought about Then started my financial problems, we were already over our head before then, this little break made it so much worse. I thought my short term disability would cover it, but they never did.

    It caused us to get further behind, so now we're in bankruptcy because I no longer have a job and still looking for one, waiting to see if I will recieve a unemployment check while I'm searching for a new job, so right now I bring nothing home. I had to walk away from my house (long story on that one), hubby didn't think it was worth cleaning up and trying to sell before the bank repossess', and I definitely could not do all that by myself, because he refused to help.

    He's one of those husbands that thinks this DD is in my head.

    So, hang in there, if it does get worse, just remember that alot of those things are material things, and the most important things are you, your family and friends, lean on them if you can, it helps when you have support.

  16. ellikers

    ellikers New Member

    Unfortunately I have no words of advice. I luckily mooch off my parents. Well, it's not mooching so much as they support me. I'm young, and they told me that they would provide support for me through college,since they are able to afford that and I work part time as well. There is NO way I could support myself if I didn't have their help. I would probably have to try getting on disabilty.

    I'm currently out of school (I have a couple terms left of college and then I will have a bacherlor's) but after undergrad I want to go on to nursing school and then graduate school to be a nurse practioner, so that's gonna take awhile, and I haven't exactly figured out how I'm going to make it there ...

    The future can be very scary when we're coping with so much. I try to take it as slowly as I can so I don't freak out and crumble in fear.

    I'm very much interested other people's experiences though .... :)
  17. kimfibro

    kimfibro New Member

    replacing the light bulbs with the more efficient ones really made a difference in your electric bill? i mean, i'm sure it does but is it that significant?

    the other things i thought of which maybe you already do is that libraries often carry cd's, videos, dvd's for a very minimal rental fee. although my son has quite a library himself of movies, we go once in a while to check out their.

    yes, we do pasta a lot as well. the veggies are not that expensive so we eat those and salads.

    yes, the coupons for the grocery stores is what i've fallen out of somehow! gotta get back on that savings track!

    let me know if those light bulbs make a big difference.
  18. Zzzsharn

    Zzzsharn New Member

    Yes, they did make at least a 10$ a month difference, and for me every dollar counts. I also qualify for energy assistance- which makes my monthly electric bill manageable.

    There are programs out there that do provide help, you just have to search for them.

    Also, I have oil heat.. oil is sooo darn expensive- so I bought 2 standing electric oil heaters from wal-mart 35 bucks each and I haven't had to get more oil yet.. I'm wondering how I'll come up with the $400 for that..

    It IS amazing what you learn to do without- And taking that giant step backwards from an upper middle class married woman to a low income-single mother with disablities- can really do a number on your self esteem!

    I even went to a VP of our company and explained that I was a full time employee on welfare, and didn't he find it alarming that he employees people for such a low wage that they qualify for welfare..? I told him that my income doesn't "supplement" a spouses income, and I point blank asked him for suggestions. I have 17 years experience in my field- made twice my annual salary before this DD- His suggestion, bid on other higher paying jobs within the co.. Each pay level is a apprx a quarter an hour more.. yeah like that'll do it.

    Gas is going up, electric is going up, the price of bread is going up.. yet our salaries remain in the poverty range... but he doesn't mind, his back porch overlooks the 18th hole on a golf course and he didn't have to decide whether he would either eat lunch OR dinner that day..

    Ewww, I'm sounding a little

    :::stepping off soap box::

  19. kch64

    kch64 New Member

    I want to thank all of you who have posted so far to this question.

    I just got my approval letter today for FMLA, but I'm still not so sure about my future. I can pay my debts and such, but was feeling really scared and unsure when I posted this question.

    I know these are personal, but it is interesting to see what everyone says.

    I just need to learn to take things a day at a time and not worry about the future.

    Keep on posting if you like.

    And yes, the flourescent bulbs do make a difference in saving energy (smile).

    Hugs to everyone.
  20. Moonshyne

    Moonshyne New Member

    I'm on disability- and supporting my 20 yr old daughter and my 9 month old things get pretty rough around here!

    When i got my disability settlement, I was able to buy a mobile home that still needs ALOT of repairs and work I can't afford-- but it's a roof over our heads & cheaper than paying rent. If I hadn't done that, God only knows where we would be now! So I am grateful I didn't wind up homeless or in the ghetto!

    I don't get to shop often, what I make on disability just covers my monthly bills. Anything extra ... we've learned to live without. When my car breaks down... it sits.

    It's hard, but considering my options... I'm doing ok.

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