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Hard Times a'comin'!

October 14th, 2012 at 01:06 am

Just when we thought we were doing so well! Argh!

Our food assistance is being cut by $45 starting next month. Our six-month review was last month, and my income was too great for our current benefits. So they dropped it. Unfortunately, this month is going to be pretty tight, as I will be missing about 12 hours of work to drive to see my wife's parents (they are paying for the gas and will provide lodging and food, thankfully).

So, we should be short our normal income and won't have all of our normal food stamps for the month of November. With how the pay schedule is falling the coming weeks, even if I do overtime, it won't make a difference when it matters.

I will be working normal hours, and we will be submitting my pay stubs to get our normal food stamps back.

I really wish we could just afford to get off of them now! As it is, I only make $12/hr and we only get (were getting) $175/mo in assistance. They know our rent and utilities are high, but I guess it does not matter. :/

9 Responses to “Hard Times a'comin'!”

  1. Wino Says:

    This is the insidious nature of the assistance programs. The more you do for yourself, the less help you get. It has to be this way, or else people would qualify one time, then get assistance forever, even after their income increases.

    You should see the benefit decline as a victory. You're that much closer to becoming independent, which is the first step to becoming comfortable, which is the start of the path to "wealthy."

    That's right. The government just said, "Keep up the hard work and sacrifice, and you'll be 'wealthy' which means we can tax your success for those 'less fortunate.'"

  2. Frgal Says:

    Hey, I'm all for the social assistance programs. I am also all for getting off of them. But it just is not possible right now. Only reason I made more last month was because I received some commissions on one of the checks.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    The fact that you are on food assistance is another reason you are NOT ready to be a homeowner. Is there something you'd be willing to sell to make up the difference?

  4. Frgal Says:

    Yes, yes, creditcardfree, we know. :/

    Sell? Hmm. Can't think of anything. Like I said before, we tend to keep around only what we use. Smile We should be okay. We always are. Wink If we find that we are short some, we won't get stuff for making coffee. Also, I don't think we will need to use our Pets budget at all in the coming weeks, so that should help as well.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    Okay, let me say I'm kind of disappointed that Frugal here is getting lectured or reprimanded for being on food stamps. Sometimes, you work hard, but still can't get ahead, and with a family with a young child (from what I understand) this is a a needed boost until they can grow the hours/skills/childcare whatever to get on the ladder to the middle class.

    Let me also say I had a brief 3 month stint in my early 20s when I was on food stamps. It pretty much kept me from starving, as I worked two jobs, was paying for my own college education, rent and living expenses in Chicago (very spendy), all while making minimum wage. I felt embarrassed about it for a long time, but it really made a difference. Sometimes you are doing everything you are supposed to: working hard, but still not getting ahead.

    Anyway, I hope you do manage to restore part of your benefits. I also know how tough it is to bring in money with a new baby. We have a 2 and 4 y.o. and it pretty much blew up our finances, because I couldn't work as much, childcare is unbelievably expensive, and jobs are generally inflexible to families.

  6. Frgal Says:

    ThriftoRama -

    Good to know someone can sympathise. Smile We sure don't enjoy being on food stamps, but we also understand that it is one of the graces of living in such a country. We have to count our lucky stars sometimes. If there was a way to reduce costs, we would do it. I think you all know that, given a recent post of mine. (Oh, btw, we are cutting costs in another area - can't wait to post about it!). And we even extend our food stamps as far as they will go. We never buy soda or other treat/non-essentials with our food stamps, or even with our budget for groceries. I know of another user on her that pays $30/mo just for soda. (poke!) ;P

    I think, for the most part, everyone here is just trying to help. I thank you all! Smile

  7. Wino Says:

    "I hope you do manage to restore part of your benefits."

    Conversely, I hope Frugal manages to make enough money to be paying taxes rather than getting more benefits. Which way would you prefer to live?

    Hoping that someone restores the benefits, to me, sounds like you're saying, "I hope you stay in financial straits and never have enough money to buy the nicer things in life." I would never wish that on anyone.

  8. Frgal Says:

    Wino -

    I should have mentioned that the reason that my income was higher than normal was because of overtime pay. I put in 6.25 hours overtime on one check, and normally it is only around 2. Corporate doesn't like to see us put in much overtime.

    By the way, I pay taxes just like the rest of you... o.O

  9. creditcardfree Says:

    I do know you are doing your best! I have no problem with you using food stamps, if you qualify. That is what it is there for. Don't want you to starve!

    Can't wait to hear about your latest cost cutting plan!

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