Search Frugal Divorced Liz

Friday, January 29, 2010

New challenges

I found out last week that my ex-husband is losing his job. He is currently in the Air Force, but they have decided to fire him. I'm hoping that I convinced his First Sergeant to wait until Summer, but even if I did, my ex-husband's bad conduct might force the First Sergeant's hand. This is a serious blow, because my children and I still rely on military benefits, and of course, child support. I'm anticipating that both benefits and child support will disappear the second my ex-husband is kicked out. At first, I kind of panicked about this, but really...I don't have the luxury of giving into panic, so I tried to pull myself together and come up with a plan. Here's what I've come up with:

If the First Sergeant can delay the firing until June, I will (hopefully) finish up my pre-requesites by the end of Summer quarter and be able to get a job while I wait for my program to start. I would need $8000 to get me from June to November. I say November, because I might not get a job right away. The unemployment rate in Augusta is pretty high right now. I feel pretty confident I can come up with tthe $8000. My tax refund alone is almost $6000, I'm getting a Pell refund of $300, and I have my new babysitting job. The lady I babysit for is paying me $300 on February 5. That is $6600 right there! I will get one more Pell refund before June, which will bring me to $7000. I will get paid (hopefully) $750 from babysitting between now and June, and I plan to save $600 of it. That brings me to $7600! I'm sure I'll be able to save that last $400 somehow. *sigh* there are always a few places to cut corners, even in the strictest budget. If I can avoid tapping into my long term savings before I find a job, I'll have enough money to get me through school...No matter what my ex-husband does.

The more extra money I make, the better, especially in the Summer. If I can get just one more child to watch, that would bring my income up to $500 a month. I wish I could watch kids during the day, but school is more important than money at this point.

Luckily there are a lot of federal and state programs out there to help single moms go to college. President Obama has promised to increase Pell grants and other assistance for school. I know a lot of people consider these programs to be "welfare" and "socialist," and maybe they are. The way I see it, though, is those same people are usually devout christians...Doesn't the Bible say to help each other, and that we're all children of God? Wasn't Jesus all about giving to the poor, and needy, no matter how they got that way? It doesn't seem to me that wanting poor people, especially poor CHILDREN to starve and die in the streets, is a very christian attitude.

Well there it is, my plan to (hopefully) avoid disaster.


Mary said...

Don't worry about those people who criticize others for accepting help. You are getting temporary help to enable you to support yourself and your children, and you're not just sitting around. You're going to school and working part time. Helping people in need is a much better use of government money than spending it on things like missiles and tanks--or lining the pockets of rich bankers. Just keep on doing what you're doing!

WilliamB said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry that your ex's behavior can still affect your life.

I second the comment about ignoring people who disdain educational assistance. People who think this are economic ignoramuses who cannot back up their claims with numbers. You know, folk in the same class as the protestor with the sign "Keep your government hands off my Medicare." Sheesh.

This, more than just about anything else, is an effective investment in the future that pays off for you, your children, and everyone in the US. I'm not exaggerating - increasing maternal education levels and earning potential is the cheapest way to improve the health and economic welfare of a society.

If you want to think about it in purely economic terms, you'll pay far more in taxes as a working nurse than you would otherwise.

Cate said...

I'm with WilliamB--ignore those people!

It is terrible that your ex's behavior still affects you, but it sounds like you have things together pretty well. I wish you the best!

thriftygal @ Chasing Prosperity said...

Hi Liz,
I'm new to your site and I was actually cheering for you when I read the 1st sentence of this post. But then quickly realized how interconnected things are and how the repurcussions of others' actions can stil affect you negatively.

I admire your tenacity and resolve in handling this situation. My goodness, I would have never thought of talking to the Frist Sergeant! And you're right, when adversity hits, it's never a good idea to panic especially if you're responsible for little children. You are being a good role model for them by setting up an action plan instead.

Have you looked into tutoring as a means of supplemmenting your income? My sister tutored throughout grad school and she kept getting requests for tutoring even after she finished school. You can set up your own hours with tutoring and it benefits you as well because you are constantly having to refresh your knowledge base.

You remind me of the old adage: When the going gets tough, the tough gets going! :)

Frugal Divorced Liz said...

Do you have to already have a degree to tutor?

thriftygal @ Chasing Prosperity said...

Nope, you can tutor just about anyone as long as you're familiar with the subject matter. It helps to have taken the course you are going to tutor as that shows that you know your stuff. Just make sure your rates are affordable to students. If you're good you'll most likely get repeat clients:) I'd put up flyers offering to tutor, or inquire from your department if there have been any requests for tutors. Craigslist is also a good place to look for tutoring opportunities or to advertise your tutoring services.

Hope this helps!

Amanda said...

I applaud you for sticking with school and finishing. It is a pitty you have to deal with your ex's poor behavior. ...But you are doing the best with what you have.

I believe being a responsible person on the "system" with a plan will do so much more for your family and society than those opposite you.

On the Christan topic. I am Christian specifically a Lutheran. I believe I don't have the right to judge you. No human does.

There are programs set up within the United States to assist those in bad situations. I'm not the one to judge how you got there. Infact I know how much you had to go through to get that assistance. (This ID, that pay stub, cut off your left arm, and use a child as collateral.)

I pray that with the assistance, your part-time work, and whatever money comes in from your taxes it will support you in your journey.