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Topic : Living on One Income

Number of Replies: 385
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:21:37 am
Author : dataimport
Whether you're a stay-at-home mom, single, separated or unemployed, living on one income can be quite a challenge. Share your tips and advice with others trying to make ends meet.

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January 5, 2006, 12:25 pm CST

Single Mom with one income

It is very hard to support two pre-teen boys. They grow so fast. I work a full time job, a part time job, and sub for two other companies when needed. The boys father doesn't pay child support yet. I have been going to court for child support for 3 years now. I can't seem to get the Judge to order support. I feel it is in part due to my ex being a police officer and the child support judge and him were friends. Also, the boys father has other children with other women that he had after our marriage. He pays both of them child support and after he pays them he claims to have nothing left to pay me. Mind you he has no children living with him. I say he should be the one working 4 jobs. His new thing is he said he is going to file for custody because I am always at work and the kids are raising themselves. How am I supposed to feed the kids and pay the bills if I don't work like I do. I don't want to work as much as I do, I have to! Now I am worried that if I am not home much with the kids he will have ground to take custody. Can I tell the Judge, Make him work 4 jobs and pay support then I won't have to work so much and would be able to be home more with the kids?
 
January 5, 2006, 12:34 pm CST

Living on just one income

Our circumstances changed about 3 years ago.  I was diagnosed with Neuropathy and my health has declined so much that soon after that, I was unable to work.  I am waiting right on disability to come through. 

  

I have learned to live within our means.  I also cut coupons and bargain shop.  We have 3 kids and that makes it rough at times.  Two of them are graduating this year!   

  

We also drive used cars that are paid for.  We use income tax refunds or bonus checks to pay for them.  It does not bother me to drive a used car, I look at all these nice cars around us and I just shake my head and say to myself that our 2 cars are paid for!   

  

We have only 2 credit cards that we use.  If I buy anything, it is paid off when the bill comes in.  The main reason I got the 2 cards was for emergencies.  Otherwise, I use layaway plans or pay cash.  The only thing we owe is our mortgage payment and it feels great!   

  

One big thing that helped us to handle birthdays and Christmas is I start my shopping in January.  Not only do I finish early and don't have to mess with crowds, but I am not putting a strain on us that we can not handle and we don't get into debt.  I shop sales or I don't shop.   

  

We may not be flashy and have what the "Jones'" have, but we are happy and have what we need.  Personally, I do not care what the Jones' have!   

  

I think most people could live on one income.  You really have to realize that you are not competing with anyone out there.  You need to figure out what makes you happy and that for me is easy.  My family and the time we have together.  I am here for them all the time and I do not want it any other way.   

  

It takes a bit of planning, but it can be done.  A budget can be your friend.  

 
January 5, 2006, 1:50 pm CST

Living on One Income

Living on one income for me has been a road down poverty, because I seperated from my husband for emotioinal and physical abuse 3 years ago.  I have borrowed from Peter to pay Paul this whole time to try and keep a roof over my head and basic things we have to have like a car for work and so on, I have lived on charge cards, borrowed on my life insuranse and from my Dad's estate my retirement like I said every resource I had I used.  I even had to live in a camper which was like being homeless and at my age I have never had to live like this before.  My husbands income was 3 times more than mine he has the house ,camper, everything he even made me give away my 2 dobermans that I loved like my children because where I now live they would not let me have them and he would't keep them for me anymore just anothe way to strip me with his abuse. As of yesterday I found out the judge signed the divorce papers and I'm now free from him.  Last Dec. the judge orderd him to pay me maintance that he only paid for 6 months and he just stopped because he wanted to. My first attorney I had to let go she was just doing nothing and i started representing myself which went no where and by the grace of God I got this attorney and after another year, it moved forward  to the end now.  My plan is now to put all this behind me and start looking to my future.  I have never been wealthy but this marriage stripped me.  
 
January 5, 2006, 1:55 pm CST

Some tips that might help some

I came here looking for tips with my situation and seemed to notice alot of "here's my story" bits and not really many tips.  Which is fine cuz you all made me thankful for what we do have.  I am unemployed right now and Dad is not making much-we have 5 kids between us 4 live with us full time. I get support for one of the children and the other 3 he doesn't get a dime.  I have a 16 year old son who does not live with us but is here every other weekend.  The kids here are 15, 14, 12 and 8.  Man can they eat------and drink!!! Kool-aid, sweet tea, plain tea-----ya know how it is when you are asking "Who drank the milk we needed that for cooking it wasn't for drinking"  Whoever thought that would come out of your mouth huh-I have some tricks I have found for feeding the crew-I make all the snacky things homemade we eat alot of cupcakes with homemade frosting-alot of cookies- while it's not much it does help cuz I am baking every other day or everyday depending on what is in the oven. Cupcakes seem to stretch the farthest I once came across this recipe called a CAKE EXTENDER-you add a few small ingredients to your cake mix and whalah you have more cake and the same flavor.Out of a cake mix I can end up with 24 good sized cupcakes and a small cake thats not bad for a cheap cake mix.  You add the following:1 CUP OF FLOUR,1/2 CUP OF SUGAR,1 TSP. BAKING POWDER, 1/2 CUP OF WATER---now i add the dry ingredients to the cake mix then i add the wet ones follow the mix directions and add you 1/2 cup of water on top of that.  I have found that my cake mixes are better this way then without adding the extender ingredients it is so moist and yummy i get more compliments with this recipe than just a plain cake mix-I can't explain that one.  I hope this helps maybe one person You all hang in like we are and remember it sure makes things interesting.
 
January 5, 2006, 4:41 pm CST

Living on one income

Quote From: candace

Thank you for your suggestion that I should talk with family or friends, the ones that understand are either single like myself and might have also worked on comission. I don't really feel that I'm working for the money. I forgot to tell you that I live 22 miles from Washington DC and it is very expensive. I live in a upper middle class neighborhood. The stress is from not knowing week to week what I will make, comission is very hard to live on. I hear people with two incomes coming 

into a household  weekly and I don't understand that I feel you just need a budget. I can't budget when I don't know what I'm making. My family does not understand. They have a different life from me there both marrried with children.    

  

    You say that you've been doing real estate for a while now, but you still don't make enough to support yourself?  I'm confused, I am also getting into the real estate business and also live 20min north of DC and I'm hoping to make a great deal of money doing that..  Do you work in DC?  Because I think thats where your problem is.  You need to go to Howard, montgomery cty or even VA to make a great deal of money with real estate.  I am divorced and have no children so I am right now living pay check to pay check, so I know how hard it is.  But you should be making enough not to work 80hrs a week and be able to work from home as well if.  If you've been in the real estate business for several years you should have the knowledge and skill to balance your work and money to not be so stressful.  Good luck,  M 

  

                                                               

 
January 5, 2006, 6:38 pm CST

Priorities

Quote From: sbruin98

My problem is that my husband and I are both successful in our fields and I NEVER thought that I would want to be a stay at home mom EVER.  However, after having the second in 2 years, I am really struggling with guilt at not being at home, the stress level of juggling a high-stress job that is commission only with managing the house.  And while my husband is GREAT, we have very little time together because EVERY weekend is spent doing chores that cannot be done during the week nights.   My husband just received a large raise that would more than keep us comfortable on 1 income, but where I was excited because I thought it would make the decision easier for me to stay at home, he sees it as a great opportunity to make more money.  We have no debts other than our house, and we have plenty of savings, so it is not as if we would suffer a lifestyle change going to one income, I am just worried that he won't support the decision and wonder where this new attitude has come from (since he married a work-aholic). 

Any advice on how to word my desire to stay at home without it sounding like I want to take the "easy-way-out" ? (I am thinking from a male perspective there) 

  

Thanks!  (sorry for such a long rant - this is my first post) 

Corrie 

I had my son at 39 and he's now 16. I worked at a professional job, high paying and at a company that expected 80 hour weeks and 200% effort ,until he was 6 After leaving work because I was truly burned out, I was separated within one year and divorced 3 years later. The whole thing was and is a nightmare regarding custody and the absolute inability my ex and I have in getting along.  

  

Now, to the point. I waited patiently to have a family and only realized much later that my ex didn't really want to change his lifestyle. This was a guy who grew up very poor and having alot of money became extremely important to his sense of well-being and identity. Money means opportunity and choice. Taken to any kind of extreme it can become the priority and having money is addictive. Therefore, my desire to stay at home and raise a child was considered "lazy" and a cop-out, because how could I be so spoiled to think I wouldn't have to contribute anymore.  

  

Not to say your husband feels the same, but it's important to establish what both of your priorities are. Only you know why you are anticipating a problem here, but it's probably safe to say that a man feels the "burden" when he's the sole wage earner. So, my suggestion is to find a safe place and time to tell him you have an important subject to discuss. Start out with saying you know what the responsibility "feels" like, but you also assured that you have the same values and goals. How to get there may be the point of difference. So, show him on paper the hard numbers and why it is workable. Also, it's important to say that this isn't a "forever" thing and you'd probably want to return to work at a later time (and state when). You would need the stimulation, believe me. But, in the meantime, you really feel it's necessary to care for the children in the home during these first years. Somehow, find a way to help him visualize how life would be in that case and be sure you can deliver.  

  

I'll tell you, I will always regret not being home during those first 6 years. The money was never worth it and in fact, set me up for a difficult time of dealing with things when I found myself on my own, because I was so exhausted. Hopefully, you have a good and stable marriage. If so, it can weather this kind of change. Good luck 

 
January 5, 2006, 8:10 pm CST

Living on One Income

Quote From: lilhunny

I came here looking for tips with my situation and seemed to notice alot of "here's my story" bits and not really many tips.  Which is fine cuz you all made me thankful for what we do have.  I am unemployed right now and Dad is not making much-we have 5 kids between us 4 live with us full time. I get support for one of the children and the other 3 he doesn't get a dime.  I have a 16 year old son who does not live with us but is here every other weekend.  The kids here are 15, 14, 12 and 8.  Man can they eat------and drink!!! Kool-aid, sweet tea, plain tea-----ya know how it is when you are asking "Who drank the milk we needed that for cooking it wasn't for drinking"  Whoever thought that would come out of your mouth huh-I have some tricks I have found for feeding the crew-I make all the snacky things homemade we eat alot of cupcakes with homemade frosting-alot of cookies- while it's not much it does help cuz I am baking every other day or everyday depending on what is in the oven. Cupcakes seem to stretch the farthest I once came across this recipe called a CAKE EXTENDER-you add a few small ingredients to your cake mix and whalah you have more cake and the same flavor.Out of a cake mix I can end up with 24 good sized cupcakes and a small cake thats not bad for a cheap cake mix.  You add the following:1 CUP OF FLOUR,1/2 CUP OF SUGAR,1 TSP. BAKING POWDER, 1/2 CUP OF WATER---now i add the dry ingredients to the cake mix then i add the wet ones follow the mix directions and add you 1/2 cup of water on top of that.  I have found that my cake mixes are better this way then without adding the extender ingredients it is so moist and yummy i get more compliments with this recipe than just a plain cake mix-I can't explain that one.  I hope this helps maybe one person You all hang in like we are and remember it sure makes things interesting.

I totally understand.  I was a single parent for a while too.  My ex-husband and I divorced when my youngest was only 1.  I have 3 kids and now they are 6, 8 and 9.  For 4 years I was a single mom.  I am fixing to re-marry so I don't have to struggle anymore.  PRAISE God...  I get to be a stay at home mom and only because I want to I am choosing to be a substitute teacher at my childrens school.  But with meeting him I now have 6 kids to take care of.  Its ok though.  Just more hugs for me :)  So with that, thanks for the cake idea.  Sounds great.  :)   

  

Very smart making things extend like that.  I know I did the same thing because I had to.  It for sure was not easy on one income.  Having to tell the kids no because I had to work or tell them "later" because we had other things to do for now.  I am so thankful for what I have now! 

 
January 5, 2006, 8:11 pm CST

Its not easy

Its not easy living on one income. Its harder still if your a single mom with courty ordered support and a dead beat donor, I mean father, who does not pay. Me, being the mom, goes with out so my son can have what he needs. I have to make my money go a  long way.  I am lucky to have my mom and dad help out with babysitting.  I am not trying to complain because compared to others, I have it pretty good. i clip coupons, go to discount stores to buy food, save change. All that helps in some small way. I also work and I hope to start classes soon. 
 
January 6, 2006, 10:04 am CST

Living on One Income

Quote From: amyamy

I live in a small town in Louisiana. I have a 8 month old baby, and have been staying at home since I got laid off from my job in September 2005. My company operated on state funds, and Katrina wiped out our funds. I have been searching for a job, but cannot get one. I have a bachelor's degree in psychology with a 3.53 GPA and I have completed all the required training for my master's degree in clinical psychology, except I cannot afford to regester another semester to complete my thesis. The job I had before (mental health rehabilitation) paid $8.00 per hour. I am willing to work for that same amount, but I have a feeling that I could make more money in a different area of our wonderful country. My marriage is beginning to suffer because of the financial stress we are facing. I am ready to cut my losses with graduate school and move somewhere that I can go to work. Anybody who knows of a place where I should start searching for jobs, please let me know. Thank you.
 CALIFORNIA!
 
January 6, 2006, 10:37 am CST

Living on One Income

Quote From: fornii

It is very hard to support two pre-teen boys. They grow so fast. I work a full time job, a part time job, and sub for two other companies when needed. The boys father doesn't pay child support yet. I have been going to court for child support for 3 years now. I can't seem to get the Judge to order support. I feel it is in part due to my ex being a police officer and the child support judge and him were friends. Also, the boys father has other children with other women that he had after our marriage. He pays both of them child support and after he pays them he claims to have nothing left to pay me. Mind you he has no children living with him. I say he should be the one working 4 jobs. His new thing is he said he is going to file for custody because I am always at work and the kids are raising themselves. How am I supposed to feed the kids and pay the bills if I don't work like I do. I don't want to work as much as I do, I have to! Now I am worried that if I am not home much with the kids he will have ground to take custody. Can I tell the Judge, Make him work 4 jobs and pay support then I won't have to work so much and would be able to be home more with the kids?
it sounds like to me you are getting the raw deal with the court system as I have, trying to get my divorce and it took 3 years we had no children together or was wealthy, he fought it all the time he got everything so I could never understand WHY, maybe you need to file a complaint with child suport system and file another motion to see another judge don't give up and hold in there for your boys  good luck
 
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