Financial struggles

Katrina - posted on 05/13/2014 ( 20 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 month old son, my boyfriend barley makes enough money to pay for rent, gas for his vehicle, pay my phone bill, and buy formula and supplies for our son.
with all the expenses the last couple of weeks i had to borrow money from my parents, his parents, and my grandparents and now i once again need to find a way to buy more formula to last us until my boyfriends pay day. So my question is how can i make money from home so i can take care of my 3 month old but without the whole scam of survey's, as well as where can i get free baby supplies.
btw i am from calgary, alberta, we pay $600/month for rent, $50/month for my phone, added onto everything else

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Kayla - posted on 05/18/2014

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Presumably, you do not qualify for E.I. but you mentioned you are getting Child Tax Benefit and Universal Child Care Benefit & GST Cheques from Revenue Canada which is helpful! There is obviously more cost involved with running a vehicle then just gas (insurance, registration, maintenance)... so maybe that is one way your BF can cut down costs so you have enough for formula? Of course he needs to get to work, but you guys should see if it is worth it for him get a bus pass and take the c-train (or bus... I know, Calgary Transit is NOT ideal) and park the car for a few months?
Honestly, you should go talk with AB Health Services as they will be able to provide local resources to you. The public health nurse came over yesterday (My son was just born on Thursday) and she gave us a phone number for Wee Feed - I'm not sure if they help with formula though, as in our case it was for the breast pump. Trying calling them though and ask! the phone number is 403-246-7008. There are a couple programs in Calgary that provide formula that I found online. The ICU2 program (403- 209-1930), The Salvation Army Community Support Services (403-220-0432) and Healthy Babies Network (403-777-7635 - this one has to be referred by a professional but I'd go to your doctor or the closest AB Health Services center and ask them for a referral)

Michelle - posted on 05/15/2014

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You can ether set up a spreadsheet on the computer and put in all expenses each day/week. Keep all your receipts so you can see where your money is going. That way when you have it all written down you can easily see where the money is going.
If you don't want to do it on the computer you can write it out in a notebook.
When you have to account for every cent then you do think twice about some things. It can be scary to see where a lot of it goes.

Rachel - posted on 05/15/2014

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I do in home daycare... Have you thought about doing that? I also sell younique make up it's still a very new company and there isn't a lot of presenters there. If you want any more information about either of those let me know! Hang in there something will change for the better! I've been there thst how I got started with daycare!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/13/2014

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Honey, there were some days when my eldest was a LO that it was a darn good thing he ate eggs, because they were free, and it was about the only food we had! I understand how it is, and I know that you can get yourselves into a steady spot. It won't be instant, and it won't necessarily be easy, but you CAN do it.

Looking back now, I can see how our situation when he was little shaped my eldest. He's extremely frugal now (especially for a 20 yo), and very careful to watch every penny. His brother, who was born after we were a little more stable, tends to think we're made of money sometimes...typical for a 16 yo...and its a little harder to get him to save his money.

You'll be fine. Hang in there. Find little things that you can do to bring in money. A lot of things that I do have to do with crafting...I make upcycled purses and bags for a business in Colorado, my hubby runs a knife sharpening service out of the house...Heck, I even picked up a paper route when the boys were babies because I could leave them at home with dad, be out and done between the hours of 4 & 6 am, and still stay home with the boys when they were little. There are a lot of things, if you think a bit outside the box ;-)

Good luck!

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Missie - posted on 05/18/2014

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I watch my children struggle everyday they both have children and house payments, and we do try to help them out as much as possible. If you want to make a change in your life for your family you need to start with you.........go back to school, set some goals, that is the only way your going to make it in this world. You cannot rely on the government or hand outs........these programs only last for short periods of time with all the government cuts...........it will be rough for a few years but in the end it will be all worth it. Your struggling now so what difference does it make if you struggle while getting an education and degree in an area that will make your family self sufficient.

Katrina - posted on 05/15/2014

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no I moved out of my friends house into my grandparents when I found out I was pregnant and spent the whole 9 months looking for a job and all I got was 2 interviews and never heard from anyone again. I'm getting Canadian child tax, national child tax, and federal tax I think

Tanya - posted on 05/15/2014

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Wait a minute....

I think people are not from Canada replying here.

Ms. Keil, I'm from Montreal (Quebec, Canada)... aren't you getting maternity leave?

Were you working before your baby? We also provide great social assistance here in Canada...

Katrina - posted on 05/15/2014

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thank you, how can i organize something simple and doesnt look complicated to get my hubby to start saving and start up a budget or something?

Denikka - posted on 05/15/2014

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So you're looking at roughly $2200 in income, plus the HST credit every 3 months.

Just going by your numbers and my own experiences, you're not that badly off. It seems much more reasonable that you're just over spending somewhere and not realizing it.

We bring in a total of about $2400 a month, between hubby's pay and our child benefits. Our rent is $800 (and we have paid up to $1350 on the same wages), we each have a cell (so about $125 for both together), we have a good internet connectiong, home phone and cable (about $200), etc. We are comfortable. We don't go out much and usually don't have much for extras, but we could definitely go to McD's for a cheapy date if we wanted to.
We have 3 kids, aged 5, 3 and 9mos. And hubby is 6'6" and eats like a horse.

SO much depends on how you handle your money. Simple things that you may not think of. Buying second hand clothes for your child. I know you can pick up clothes from Value Village for $1.50, and there are places like the Salvation Army that sell even cheaper. Kids grow out of clothes too fast to really be buying new things every few months.
As I said, cut down on your food budget buy shopping smart and cooking big. If you can, invest in a freezer. You can get a good secondhand chest freezer for a couple hundred dollars max. It opens up a world of opportunity for freezing batches and for being able to pick up great deals.

Like I said, a well thought out budget can make all the difference in the world.

There are also the other suggestions to actually bring in more money :)

Katrina - posted on 05/15/2014

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he works full time making about 900 every 2 weeks, i have a student loan of 3568 to pay off, rent, formula, diapers, phone bill, rent, clothes cuz hes growing fast, gas, food, preparing to introduce solids to my son, looking for a place where the three of us dont have to share one bedroom, vitamins for all of us, bum cream that works, my boyfriends visa, by the end of all this we have no spare money to treat ourselves, not even a cheep date to mcdonalds or $2 cheep theater, it be nice to get myself some new clothes to look better and feel better instead of old too big tattered stuff

Denikka - posted on 05/15/2014

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Is your partner working full time? Because if he is, I don't think you have a money problem, but a money handling problem. Even working min wage (which is about $10 in AB, plus you should be getting about $350 in child benefits, and about $350 in HST credit every 3 months), you should be able to live comfortably if you're living frugally. And $600 is pretty good for rent.

Look at WHERE your money is going. Do you eat out a lot? Buy lunches for your hubby at work?
Try to stay away from pre-prepared foods. Packaged foods are much more expensive than making the same thing at home. Cook in batches. A good roast (costing about $10) can make a good dinner PLUS lunches for the next week. Look for bargains and sales. Buy in bulk where ever you can.

There's lots you can do to cut down on excess costs. Even something like condensing your running around for the week into a single trip can save a lot on gas. Having a well laid out budget plan can make all the difference :)

As for making money, the best I can suggest, if you really want to work from home, is to look at what skills you have. Are you crafty? You can sell things online on places like Etsy. Are you good at baking? You can look into selling at Farmer's Markets, and this is a perfect time of year to start.
Childminding is another great way to earn some money. Or pet walking.
You just have to find what you're good at and what you have the time and energy to do :)

Katrina - posted on 05/15/2014

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rachel could you email me more information about both those options please. k9keil@gmail.com

Katrina - posted on 05/13/2014

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thank you that is very helpful and gives me a lot of encouragement! Thank you for the faith and advice!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/13/2014

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Well, that makes sense, if he's using the phone for the majority of the time ;-) Sounds like he's pretty level headed. Sometimes one can't afford the luxury of staying home for 6 months. Either way, whether you stay home or not, you can pump to continue to provide breast milk for your child, and still get back out into the work force.

You'll do fine! You both sound like mature individuals, just that looking at it from your current prospective makes things seem a little daunting. Take it one step at a time.

Perhaps you could take in someone elses child for some daycare income?

Katrina - posted on 05/13/2014

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He pays my phone bill because he doesn't have a phone and uses my phone just as much, if not more than I do and I have no source of income at this point in time. I do plan on getting a job but I would like to wait till my son is 6 months old that way he is eating pureed food as well and not just breast feeding and that way me and my boyfriend can arrange it where he's home to watch our son after he's done work and then i will go work nights. But until then i still need to find a way to get income for the next 3 months so I can help my boyfriend with the financial issues. Yes i know our expenses aren't that bad, but when your barley making enough to pay the expenses then it feels like a lot

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/13/2014

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First, it is a HUGE burden to financially care for a baby, and you may need to get an actual, physical job to do so. You shouldn't expect your boyfriend to fully support the both of you, and why is he paying YOUR phone bill? your phone, your bill. If he wants the phone, it's his phone, his bill.

Yes, it's a struggle, but you're going to find that 9 out of 10 work from home programs are scams, and the 10th is one that you have to work 700 hours to earn $10.

Arrange inexpensive child care (or free, if you can get your parents to help), and get out there to look for a job. Honestly, your expenses are not that huge that a two earner minimum wage home couldn't handle it. Yes it can be a struggle, been there, done that. persevered and worked my ass off. It's well worth it.

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