Money Matters

Money troubles, don't know what to do

Hi everyone,  I don't ever post here.  I am jumping over here from the bump because I really need some money advise.  My husband and I had twins in december.  Before that I was working part time, and since having my girls I am not able to go back to work to that job.  My hubby works all day sometimes various hours and with the price of daycare there is no way I could do that and work.  I do take advantage of state programs to help pay for things and I hate it because I am not someone who takes advantage of that stuff.  But between the mortgage, diapers, utilities, and all other bills plus trying to pay off our debt we have no money.  We have the christening for our girls this weekend and we are struggling to pay for this.  I am so scared that if we are having problems now it is only going to get worse.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could make some money at home?  I have some decent baking and cooking skills and have tried to get my name out there for catering or baking for parties and such, but I just have no idea how to do it.  Any suggestions on how to get my name out there or what else I could do to make some money at home would be really appreciated.
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Re: Money troubles, don't know what to do

  • Can you post your budget? it's easiest to give advice when we can see exactly where you could cut costs, etc. 

     

    Why does the christening cost money?  

  • Have you considered cloth diapering?
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  • hocushocus
    Ninth Anniversary
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    With 2 kids, no child care and no food prep certifications I don't think casual catering is the way to go. What is your earning potential? Would something like an au pair be cost effective? Would you consider watching another kid part time?

    I'd take a long hard look at your budget. Chances are it is much easier to save money rather than earn it. Can you sell stuff to get your debt down? Have you thought about selling your home and renting for a time?

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  • image hocus:

    With 2 kids, no child care and no food prep certifications I don't think casual catering is the way to go. What is your earning potential? Would something like an au pair be cost effective? Would you consider watching another kid part time?

    I'd take a long hard look at your budget. Chances are it is much easier to save money rather than earn it. Can you sell stuff to get your debt down? Have you thought about selling your home and renting for a time?

     

    I would of course consider watching another kid or a couple kids part time.  We have also cut down on everything that we can already.  We only have what we need and very rarely do we spend any extra money.  As far as selling our house, I do not really see that as an option.  We just bought the house in September, our mortgage with insurance and taxes is 900 a month.  We were paying that to rent a smaller place before we bought this house.  So it really would not make sense to sell the house. 

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  • image JJwritergirl:

    Can you post your budget? it's easiest to give advice when we can see exactly where you could cut costs, etc. 

     

    Why does the christening cost money?  

     

    My hubby brings home about 600 a week after taxes.  Utilities and all other expenses (phone, internet, cell phones etc) are about 700 and our mortgage is 900.  Then of course groceries, maybe 200 a month.  

     

    The christening cost money because of the party afterwards.  We both have huge families and more people said yes then we expected and my hubby is to proud to ask for help from our parents to pay for it.  We are about 400 short because we have had a lot of medical bills from having our girls.  Our insurance is really bad so we have had thousands of out of pocket medical expenses since December.   

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  • I agree that posting your budget might help identify areas to save in.

    And with two in diapers for another 18 months or so getting some prefolds and covers (that you can even buy used) would save money for sure over disposable diapers.

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  • I agree that with two very young children being able to perform any steady work from home is going to be tough. Are they old enough to be toted on short trips? You could advertise around the local neighborhoods as a pet/house sitter. (note: if you go this route you should eventually get insured/bonded). Taking on a kid to watch is another option.

    If your husband is reliably home on weekends that is an opportunity for you to go work part-time until the debt is paid off.

    How bad is the medical debt? Will getting it cleared give you significant breathing room? Do you have other debts to deal with? Cars/student loans/credit cards? What about finding things to sell to help clear the debt - for example trading in a car for an older/smaller model and using the difference to pay things down.

    The $900 mortgage on $2400 a month is pretty high, but I'm assuming that when you were working it was more reasonable. I have to agree that if the cost of renting is similar, selling won't do much.

    Surely there are corners to cut that you don't need a $400 christening party. People don't expect a nice affair for something like that....cake and a few finger foods is really all they need. If the party is held after the morning service, maybe  some sandwiches for lunch. But no way should that cost so much. As far as christening outfits can you borrow from a friend? Those suckers are crazy expensive for an outfit only worn a few hours.

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  • image Kb103109:
    Our insurance is really bad so we have had thousands of out of pocket medical expenses since December.   

    Are you able to work out a payment plan with the hospital? I would probably start there.

    Is there any way you can pick up a weekend job, when DH is home to watch the kids? The first thing that comes to mind is banquet serving at a hotel. I'm currently doing that and making around $400-600/mo, depending on the season, and it tends to only be 1-2 shifts a week.

    Otherwise, watching another child, even part-time, is a great way to make a little extra cash.

    Best of luck!

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  • image northhillsbride:

    image Kb103109:
    Our insurance is really bad so we have had thousands of out of pocket medical expenses since December.   

    Are you able to work out a payment plan with the hospital? I would probably start there.

    Is there any way you can pick up a weekend job, when DH is home to watch the kids? The first thing that comes to mind is banquet serving at a hotel. I'm currently doing that and making around $400-600/mo, depending on the season, and it tends to only be 1-2 shifts a week.

    Otherwise, watching another child, even part-time, is a great way to make a little extra cash.

    Best of luck!

     

    DH and I have talked about me working on the weekends.  The problem is he is a supervisor at a golf course and the summer is obviously when they are really busy.  They have a big event a few times every week so they are super busy keeping the grounds looking really nice.  The course is like number 70 in the country so the owner of the course always makes sure everything is top notch everyday.  There are two other supervisors and they all alternate weekends.  I want to go back to work part time, but DH keeps telling me that I can't because it would be to hard to work out a schedule and I he has tried getting a second job but he keeps telling me that nobody wants to hire him because he already has a job and they want to give the jobs to people that don't already have one.  Which i think is a load of bull*%$@.  I do sell things on Etsy.com but it just doesn't bring in anything significant or steady.  We are on a payment plan for most of our medical bills.  Problem is it is just so much!!  I was in the hospital for 4 days and my twins were in the NICU for 5 days and I had a c-section.  After the insurance paid their portion I think we have about $6,000 in total bills.  So we are trying to get rid of it little by little.   

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  • image ArcadianDreams:

    I agree that with two very young children being able to perform any steady work from home is going to be tough. Are they old enough to be toted on short trips? You could advertise around the local neighborhoods as a pet/house sitter. (note: if you go this route you should eventually get insured/bonded). Taking on a kid to watch is another option.

    If your husband is reliably home on weekends that is an opportunity for you to go work part-time until the debt is paid off.

    How bad is the medical debt? Will getting it cleared give you significant breathing room? Do you have other debts to deal with? Cars/student loans/credit cards? What about finding things to sell to help clear the debt - for example trading in a car for an older/smaller model and using the difference to pay things down.

    The $900 mortgage on $2400 a month is pretty high, but I'm assuming that when you were working it was more reasonable. I have to agree that if the cost of renting is similar, selling won't do much.

    Surely there are corners to cut that you don't need a $400 christening party. People don't expect a nice affair for something like that....cake and a few finger foods is really all they need. If the party is held after the morning service, maybe  some sandwiches for lunch. But no way should that cost so much. As far as christening outfits can you borrow from a friend? Those suckers are crazy expensive for an outfit only worn a few hours.

     

    My husband is not home every weekend.  Especially during the summer.  I would love to work part time, but I just don't think that we can swing it with his schedule.  My girls are very good babies and I am able to get a lot done in my house so I think I would be able to work from home doing something part time.  I just have to find something.  The medical debt is around $6000.00.  We are paying a little every month.  We have about $2000.00 in credit cards and my car loan.  I have a small toyota corolla (2007) so I just don't see how I could trade that in for something cheaper because I am just in a backwards loan.  Plus if anything I need a bigger car with twins.  Anywhere we go they need so much stuff.  With the christening, I would have loved to do something smaller, but it's in the middle of the day (the reception) and I know people expect something nice because that is just how the families are.  My dad is helping us pay for some of it.  It's a lot more then $400 like you mentioned.  We used our tax return to pay the majority of it which was why we decided to do something on the larger scale.  of course regretting it now.  The christening gowns were bought by the godmothers so we didn't have to worry about it.  They actually only cost $50.00 each.  Surprisingly inexpensive. 

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  • Cake, punch and cookies for the Christeniing.  Forget what others expect or want. If someone says something - they be honest and say  that right now money is tight.

    900 on housing costs is high for a 2400 income.  You should keep that to 25-28% of takehome pay.

    Sorry, but using your tax return to pay for a Christening celebration was a poor choice when you have so much debt.  It appears your expectations are out of line with your income.  Face reality and live within your income.

    OK -  what do you do now.

    Track your spending - every dollar for the next month or two. Then look at each item and see if it is necessary (and if yes - how you can get it for less) and if not necessary - eliminate or reduce. You need to differentiate needs and wants.  You fund the needs and the want may need to wait.

    Cloth diapering will save.

    ETA:  Do NOT use credit cards - go to a cash basis.

     

  • I am guessing as the christening is coming up this weekend, it is too late to change the plans.  If you can, then do it.  There is no reason to add to debt over a christening.  Use a room at the church or have people back to your house and cater it yourselves.

    I agree start tracking your spending and see where you can make cuts.  When DH and I began serious budgeting, we realized that we didn't need an unlimited cell plan as we rarely go over 300 min.  We got rid of the extra cable box on the TV in the guestroom.  We found many small $10-40 cuts that really added up in the end.

    Sorry I don't have ideas for extra income.  I think working from home with kids is easier said than done.  Put up signs at gymboree and the grocery store stating that you are available to watch kids, do after school care when school starts back up, etc.

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  • Your husband brings home $2600/month.  Subtract $900 plus $700 other expenses plus $200 groceries and you have $800 left each month.  If you feel money is so tight, $50 for a dress worn once is a lot, $400 SHORT on a party is a lot; it seems like you need to figure out how to curb spending and when to waste money on a party (never) and when to put it towards your debt.  What "other expenses" does the $700 cover?
  • A $900/mo mortgage on $2,400 of monthly income is crazy especially when you still have other fixed debt, like a car payment.  Can you downgrade your house at all? I know you just bought it but you can't afford it, even before considering your other debts.

  • SxiaSxia
    Ancient Membership Combo Breaker
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    Rent a room?

    Sell your hair?

    Babysit?

    Don't go out to eat.

    Make cookies/favors for baby showers/etc (Sell on etsy?)

    Go through your house and sell stuff.

    Never buy anything new for the babies. (the only new stuff we got was the crib and the rest was either handed down to us or was a gift.)

    Cloth diaper. (Wash hands before making cookies/favors for baby showers.) :)

    Dog sit?

    Be a part time waitress/late night bartender?  Waitress for catering? (Make friends with caterers and say you can help out when they need an extra hand.)

    FOCUS GROUPS. Those are easy and you can make pretty good money in a few hours. Look on Craigslist.

     

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  • SxiaSxia
    Ancient Membership Combo Breaker
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    BTW, $100 for dresses for one day? Try and resell them after you're done with them.

    Do you think people will give you/the babies money for the Christening?

    If it's to them, put it in savings.

    If it's to you, put it in savings or pay off your debt. No more expensive parties.

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  • You guys need more income.  If you need state assistance to make ends meet, you can't afford to be a SAHM.  Do you qualify for daycare assistance if you go back to work?

    If not, I see your options as either working at night when your husband is home, or taking in a kid or 2 to babysit during the day.  As you can already tell from the other responses, there really aren't many legit work from home options that you can do with twins.  I think babysitting for others is going to be your best bet.

    Your financial situation looks dire to me.  You and your H need to really sit down, create a budget, and stick to it.  If you don't want to go back to work, you have to be realistic.  In an area LCOL to buy a home for $900 a month, can you really not rent a 2 bedroom apartment somewhere for less than that?  Not an equivalent house,  a small apartment?

     

  • Is your hubby's salary typical in your area? It seems very low to me, but that may also be because of the nature of his job. Does he have any kind of education that could get him a higher earning job?

    Also, after having the twins has he changed his tax withholdings? You said you are using the tax refund to pay for the christening, but if you change your withholdings, you may not get a big refund but get more money every paycheck. 

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  • Have you cut your cable TV yet???
  • I am about to have a baby in October and was worried to death about what we were going to do to make the extra money we needed for our child. I had a friend tell me about Rodan and Fields  and I sort of brushed her off. I then started to research the products and the pay scale and realized this was just what I needed to make easy money from home. I started February a year ago and am no making almost what I make teaching. It is fun and easy and is not something you have to work much at. I literally work the business about three hours a week and can not believe the extra money it has brought to my family!!!!

    If you want to learn more just check out: https://rparmelee.myrandf.biz/

    You can contact me any time and I can give you more information and tell you more about my story and the story of so many of my friends that are benefiting from this!!! you can email me at : rebecca_evans771@yahoo.com

  • image rebeccaevans:

    I am about to have a baby in October and was worried to death about what we were going to do to make the extra money we needed for our child. I had a friend tell me about Rodan and Fields  and I sort of brushed her off. I then started to research the products and the pay scale and realized this was just what I needed to make easy money from home. I started February a year ago and am no making almost what I make teaching. It is fun and easy and is not something you have to work much at. I literally work the business about three hours a week and can not believe the extra money it has brought to my family!!!!

    If you want to learn more just check out: https://rparmelee.myrandf.biz/

    You can contact me any time and I can give you more information and tell you more about my story and the story of so many of my friends that are benefiting from this!!! you can email me at : rebecca_evans771@yahoo.com

          

     

    wow does that sound like a scam ad. I sell on amazon to bring in a little extra. As you havent mentioned the cost of formula for twins I assume you are Bf. Good for you! If it were me in your situation...I would get a job as a waitress part time in the evening when hubby is home with the kids. Buying the house was a pretty bad idea but nothing you can help now. While I am usually against public assistance. In this case childcare for two babies while you go to a possibly min wage job makes no sense and costs more then the job plus takes you away from your babies. I would go apply and see what they will help cover for now. See if the medical bills can be worked out or possibly reduced because of income. It sounds like you need a miracle honestly. Hubby needs to be looking for better work in the area if it is available... The babysitting suggestion could work but I wouldnt personally leave my baby with a woman with 2 other babies. Just how much time can that one woman spend watching my child if the other two are melting down? Renting a room? Nooooo. who would want to rent a room at a place with infant twins??? Anyway somehow you need to figure out a way to make this all work out until the twins start school and you can go back to work. They are so cute by the way! So sweet :)

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  • There is nothing SCAM about my job!! It has great rewards and you can google and see that it has changed the lives of so many who needed it! I am sorry you feel this way but you should check out a business before you call it a scam. I am just trying to help someone by telling my story.
  • So what is your degree in?  I know this isn't always the best option, but if you went to work full-time and got some benefits, how much would you bring home after daycare costs?  Working part-time our daycare costs were very similar for 2 kids compared to working full-time and so the margin is better for working full-time in my situation. 

    If you area able to earn about $2000 per month and daycare costs are only $1000-$1200 for two kids in daycare, then I would think it's still worth it for you to be bringing home $800 per month to help out. 

    Other than that, I think you need to consider any other skills you have and/or having your DH look at his earning potential and other similar jobs in his area that could pay more than $2400 per month. 

    Plus, the party is a one-time thing.  Don't stress about it and just make sure you don't go over board just b/c you are trying to "keep up with the Joneses."  If someone asks if they can bring anything, say, "yes" and let them help. 

     

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  • For immediate results, I also recommend having DH lower what he claims on his paycheck so you get more in the check each week versus a refund.  We chaange our filing a lot through out the year depending on over time etc.  There is a calculator on the IRS website where you can calculate what you should be claiming to break even.  When we were in a tight situation it helped us by getting close to $200 more a week which adds up for a few months! Also, I tried to work part time, but it just isn't worth it, unfortunatly full time was.  The realty of our situation was that I have to work and I am sucking it up for a few years at least :)
  • :::Lurker butting in:::

    Have you thought of something like pampered chef, avon, lia sophia, mary kay, etc.?  I know several people who have done each and made some decent money.  I sold pampered chef for a few months.  I made about $450 on a month where I only did three shows (approx. 6 hours of work).  Plus, you can write off your groceries on taxes because it's for business purposes.  My director made more in one month than I did at my full time job (though she was very dedicated to it).  

    All of these options have additional income based on how hard you want to push it.  You can also make your own schedule around your husband's schedule.  I am in no way trying to push any of these companies but any one of them seem like a good option for stay at home moms. 

    Good luck!

    ::butts back out::::

  • You're not going to cook or bake your way to enough income to get yourself out of this situation w/o you realizing you keep making poor financial decisions.

    What did you do in the ten months prior to having the twins?  Save any money?  Pay off debt?  Were you working then?  This is not supposed to be snarky, but really, did you do anything to prepare.  My husband's income is similar and I don't think we could make it work for long w/o me having an income of some sort.  

    You're going to have to just get over your husband's pride or whatever notions he has about how you are doing financially.  

    Making money at home isn't going to get you where you need to be.

    Do you not have one family member willing to watch your LOs even on one day a week?  You need to get a job outside the home.

    You need to cut your major bills.   Cars, and homes are biggies.  Even if you are upside down on your loan, it may make sense to get out of it completely, and then for the short time you have to make payments to pay off the overage, do it, but then at least you'd be out of that debt and get something that you can afford.  You cannot afford your 2007 toyota, and the size of the car is just fine.  I grew up with my parents driving my sister and I in a Ford Fistiva.  Tight, sure, but it got my mom to work.

    Just knowing that you are spending hundreds on a party goes to show you need a wake up call.  I have parties with 30+ on a regular basis, and rarely spend more than $100.  For a family event like this, let people bring a dish or a bottle of wine.  You cannot afford to spend hundreds on a party.  

    You need real income.  You need to start living within your means.  You need to fix your past money mistakes by cutting your losses.

    With your income and family count, you may also qualify for discounts off that 6k.  Typically if you are 400% of the poverty line, the bills can be cut drastically.  Even if you aren't, there may be some you can have cut 10% for just asking/paying off in full.  

    Do you guys have no savings at all?

    I'm still confused as to what you did to prepare for all of this when you were pregnant.  I'm 7 months now, and it's all I've been doing. 

  • I'm not sure if it will work for you at this time, but I had friends who went back to work in child care, because they could bring their kids along.  One worked in a gym/health club, and the other PT in a day care center.  They only had one child, but I can't see it making that much of a difference.  I think they started when their babies were walking (so a little over one year old). 

    Another thought is for you to get a job in retail or waitressing etc. when your husband is home from work in the evening and on weekends.   Can your parents help out with babysitting?  Or maybe you could get a job helping out with waitressing at the events at the country club for the events when your H isn't working? 

  • My SIL's husband actually does golf course management as well (at the same golf course since he was 14) and has worked his way up to management. It's a smaller club, so not nearly in the top 20 in the country, and I know he makes at least double that. If you were renting for $900/mo then I'm guessing you're in a fairly medium cost of living area, so really, he needs to ask for a raise. Also, I know my BIL uses the golf course equipment to do side jobs...he does a lot of tree work for people or plows fields and stuff around his weird schedule. My SIL started working nights (since usually, he was never home later than 6pm) doing elderly care. She makes like $12/hr with no formal training or degree of any kind. She actually said she loves it and is feeling relieved with all the extra income. She says her family eats crock pot dinners most nights that she can prepare during the day and they can just serve themselves when dinner time works for them.

    I also think the babysitting would be a huge help for you. Assuming you live in a fairly medium cost of living area, I'd think you could get at least $125/wk per kid. With twins, I think you are still legally allowed to take on 3 more kids (and I know our neighbor took on 5 with her twins, but she was perfectly capable of handling it so I was confident in having her watch my kids even with all the others. But even three kids would be $375/wk! You may have to spend $75/wk on food/supplies but still $300/wk extra would make a huge difference. Just be sure to get your house neat and tidy, set up some type of routine, show that you are doing something educational (and there are TONS of ideas on pintrest that don't cost money....even just fruit and veggie tasting with a little booklet to check things off as you try them, cheerio counting games, stamps out of potatoes, etc. Those type of in home daycares are usually the ones who can increase price and have waiting lists!

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  • I don't want to be a debbie downer here but as a fellow mother of twins I will tell you you it will be very hard to watch other kids while you are taking care of two infants.

    Twins are exhausting.

    They might be good now but watch out when they start walking. You need to watch them 24/7 as they go in opposite directions at the same time all over the place.

    My advice is to use freecycle.com to get free baby toys and other items you need for them. You could also you consignment shops and go to mothers markets for cheap items and gently used clothes.

    You can also resell some of the free items you get that you no longer need.

    Cut out the cell phones and do not pay $400 for a party . Thats ridiculous.

     

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  • Work swing shift, when your H is home go to work full time.  Probably your best option.
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