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  #1  
Old 12-08-2014, 11:37 AM
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Default I Need Advice on Preparing to Move

I'm 43 years old and in 17 months, want to move out of town. This would be the very first time I move with no one helping me. I am scared to death!

I have honestly been living financially off of my ex-husband for years. Daycare income fluctuates. I seem to average $300/week. I can barely afford my bills. My ex-husband pays my rent and I often get extra money from him for groceries, gasoline, and occasionally have to get him to pay a bill or two for me. I don't know how in the world I expect to be able to move!

But I can't stand the area I live in and really want to move to a better area when my daughter graduates high school. I would like to move to the area my older daughter lives in (where she goes to college). It's a mid to upper class area, people are more respectful to each other, more neighborly, the children have more respect and manners, the area is cleaner, people speak properly, etc. Where I live now, honestly scares me! I literally witnessed a gang of teenagers yelling at a man in a parked truck. Then the man opened his truck door, pulled out a machete and started chasing the teenagers with it! There have been a handful of people who have been shot in my neighborhood. There's a lot of drug and gang activity here. My daughter and I don't socialize in my neighborhood, so we should be left alone and stay safe enough. But, this is definitely not where I want to live for too long. My ex refuses to help us move, and I'm completely broke, so I have to stay here for now. I am hoping to be able to move once my daughter graduates high school.

My problems are:

I don't know how much money I should set as a goal to have to be financially ready to move.

I have credit issues and items in collections as well. I don't know if I should work on saving money to move or work on paying off my debt.

I don't know if and when I should try to establish employment in the area I want to move to. It's about an hour away, and it is common for people to drive an hour to work. But the money I would spend on gasoline, I could save towards moving.

My thoughts and things I have looked into:

I have thought about getting a weekend job in the area I want to move to so I could establish employment there and get to know the area (jobs, housing, etc.) but would only be spending gas money 2 days/week driving there instead of 5 days (for a full-time job there).

I have looked around at apartments in the area I want to move to. The typical apartment will be about $1,000 to 1,200/month.

I have spoken with a couple of licensed home daycare providers there and they say there is a real need for daycare providers. So, if and when I get a house that I could do daycare in, I can get back into my true profession.

I just don't have a clue as to how to go about preparing to move to a new town. I know it's pathetic that I am 43 years old and am scared to death and clueless about this. But every time I've moved, it was when I was a kid and my parents did everything to move, my boyfriend (now ex-husband) got us an apartment to move in together, when we were married, I just found a house I liked and told my husband to 'get me that one', and after getting divorced, my ex has done everything to move me (except I did make the calls to turn the utilities in my name). Honestly, my ex has completely taken care of me moving since I was 18 years old. I have no clue how to prepare (financially and job wise) to move!

Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2014, 11:45 AM
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I know it's a simple concept of lower your expenses, raise your income, and save as much as possible. But I don't know how much money I should need or when to to what.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:04 PM
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Firstly, donít feel bad. Everyone has to start somewhere.

As far as how much to save; I think only you can answer that question. Since it sounds like you are temporarily switching jobs and not doing DC I would recommend 6 months of bills/living expenses plus, any additional money you would need for moving expenses, deposit, etc before moving but I know that isnít always possible.

I think before you look for a part time job in the new area you may want to try a part time job in your area first. That way you can save money without spending as much on gas and wear and tear on your car. Then maybe 6 months prior to your move date you can look for a part time job in your new area.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:55 PM
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Another reason to want to move...

My 16 year old daughter (who drives her own truck) came in after school today and the first words out of her mouth were, "I think this man just tried to kidnap me!". She went to Rite Aid before coming home from school. She said a man walked into the store right after she did. He followed her around the store and as she walked out of the store, he followed her out and told her "Come on with me, let's go."

Of course she got right into her truck and came straight home. I asked her if she called the police from the store. She said she did not. She said she's just fine and doesn't see a reason to call the police. I told her that if a man is trying that if he's trying to get an older teenager to go with him, he might also try to get younger kids to go with him. And younger kids might not think fast enough to get away from him. I told her that she should report it to the police to hopefully keep other kids safe from this man. So I called the police and am waiting for them to come to my house so I can file a report.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:59 PM
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Baby Beluga,

Thank you. I have never had to save for anything in my life. I have never had to pre-plan and prepare for something that I wanted. I really don't know how to prepare and save for something.
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:18 PM
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Baby Beluga,

Thank you. I have never had to save for anything in my life. I have never had to pre-plan and prepare for something that I wanted. I really don't know how to prepare and save for something.
I'll be following this thread for ideas of my own... I'm in a similar situation. I won't get into my situation because I don't want to thread jack, but I definitely understand how overwhelming it is wanting so desperately to get on your feet and take responsibility for everything financially and just not being able to or knowing where to start.
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:23 PM
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First thing you need to do is see where you are at now. Learn to budget and learn to plan. A good first step is just start tracking everything you spend money on into categories, and you can build your budget from there. You may find areas you can cut back on to start saving. Only you can determine what categories are a priority and what you feel you can live without, for something else you would like more.... moving in this case.

Plan on some unexpected expenses (also annual bills)... they happen... if you expect them you won't get discouraged by what looks like set backs.

Also, bad or good things can happen anywhere, moving is not going to make you or your daughter immune. Growing up we lived in a very 'good' town... and had our own family experience in the day, on the main street that might make you think otherwise.

Great job by the way on determining a timeline 17 months seems very reasonable time to save up!
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:42 PM
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Start down sizing as much as possible now. Sell anything you can live without. Your toaster, extra pots and pans, clothes, furniture....everything.
It will give you extra money and be less you have to move later. Open a special savings account and put something in it every week...even if it's only a dollar.

Make it a challenge to eat frugally and find some new, cheap recipes. Work evenings and weekends, keeping in mind that it is just for a while so you can get to your goal.

If you cannot find a job you want, do some house cleaning, ironing etc....again...it's temporary. I took in ironing for several neighbors when I was first married. I don't mind ironing...they hated it and were willing to pay. It was just a few dollars, but it adds up.

Ask others what they have done (besides here). You obviously have internet access, use it to research budgeting/moving plans. You may find a blog or something written by someone who has been in the same situation.

Good luck! You can do it!
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:42 PM
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There's a little shopping center at the entrance of my neighborhood. I just found out that yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon, someone was robbed at gunpoint by 2 people in the parking lot.

Yeah, I NEED to move!
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2014, 01:50 PM
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Margartete,

I know there's crime everywhere. But in my neighborhood, it's MAJOR crime (people getting shot point blank (usually over a drug deal), drive-by shootings, robbed at gunpoint, houses broken into over night by guys with guns, etc.) on a constant basis.

In my daughter's neighborhood, you might hear of someone stealing a bicycle once every 6 months. There's a BIG DIFFERENCE in the crime between our neighborhoods.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2014, 04:02 PM
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PV, I really, really, want to encourage you to seek out assistance from an abused women's program.

I know your ex is not physically abusing you now, but he has in the past. He's still controlling you under the guise of helping. Maybe he's making up for before, or maybe he's looking out for his daughter, but my feeling is it's not that innocent. I think he LIKES "taking care" of you as a means to control.

If there is a such a program in your area, they could perhaps help you sort out your finances and set some real, realistic goals. Maybe they have contacts such as landlords that can rent to you. Renting with bad credit and the idea of doing childcare may be a double whammy in a landlord's eyes.

Unfortunately, just paying off your collection items won't help quickly. If you pay them off, they will still stay on your credit bureau report for several years. Sure, eventually you can say "that was before", but that'll take a while.

You can do this, PV, but you need to reach out to every resource you can find; except that EX of yours!
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:05 PM
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And this evening, within a 5 minute drive, there is, yet again, another armed robbery. This time, of a business.

The amount of violent crime in my area is absurd!
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2014, 04:28 PM
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Heidi,

Yes, I know he is using money to control me and I am sure he is enjoying controlling me. That's why I can't stand it when I have to ask him for money. I feel so degraded and belittled when I have to get money from him.

Until very recently, he used to demand that I provide things for my daughter that I honestly couldn't afford. Things like cable (which many single parents don't have), taking her out to eat when she didn't like what we had at home, giving her money to go to the movies, mall, etc. It is all normal pre-teen and teenager activities, but, as a single mother, I just couldn't afford. I would tell my ex-husband that I had to give her my gas and electric bill money for her activities, and he would just continue to demand that I give her money for whatever she wanted. I don't know why, but in the past month or so, he's stopped demanding my money for her and has been giving her his money for everything she asks for money for. SO, at least I don't have to give her my money now. But like I said, it wasn't that I had extra money to give her. I was just not paying my bills on time. So, with him giving her money instead of making me give her money, I can start paying my bills on time. But I still don't have extra money to pay my debt down or save towards moving. She recently got hired for a job, so soon, she will have her own spending money.

He physically, mentally, and verbally abused me for years when we were married. He mentally and verbally abused our younger daughter, and although he didn't directly abuse our older daughter, she witnessed pretty much everything he did to me our younger daughter, therefore, she was also mentally abused by him. I called Child Protective Services then about him and they said that they couldn't do anything about the things he did, said, and allowed the children to see him do to me. Apparently, at least, at that time, there was no such thing as mental child abuse or verbal child abuse. I did, finally become able to get him out of the house and divorce him.

As far as getting on a program that would help me now. I have called around and talked to different agencies, and talked with women who have been in situations like mine. Everyone has told me that the only way to get help is if my daughter and I were homeless for a full year and stayed in a homeless shelter that keeps track of you staying there at night. We would have to be homeless and have a record from the homeless shelter that we slept there every night for a year before a program would help us.

I am not willing to make my daughter be homeless for a year and I know my ex-husband would fight for custody of her if I became homeless. So, I have to figure this all out relying on myself with no major help from a program. I do have free government health insurance for my daughter and myself though. We used to have food stamps until my daughter turned 16 years old and didn't have a job. Here, if your child's 16, they are required to have a job and their income is included in your family's income to receive food stamps. She had been looking for a job since she was 15, but had been unable to get hired anywhere. She recently got hired at a local restaurant, but they aren't going to have her actually start working until after the holidays. We have to wait until she gets her first paycheck to take the paycheck stub to Department of Social Services as proof of her employment and income. Then I can re-apply for food stamps.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:46 PM
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I'll post tonight when I'm on the computer. I have some good tips!
At least I think they are good
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:22 PM
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PV-

How about seeing about a nanny job? It sounds like you've only got 2 kiddos (based on your weekly income). Someone with your experience should be marketable as a nanny, and be able to make double what you're making, I'd think.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:26 PM
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http://baltimore.craigslist.org/edu/4785364493.html

I don't know where in Maryland you are, but here's an example...
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:39 PM
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PV-

How about seeing about a nanny job? It sounds like you've only got 2 kiddos (based on your weekly income). Someone with your experience should be marketable as a nanny, and be able to make double what you're making, I'd think.
This is a really good idea Heidi!
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Old 12-08-2014, 08:31 PM
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I have been a nanny twice. Once in Florida and once up here in Maryland. The family I worked for here in Maryland fired me because I needed to take 2 days off for an operation I needed. I scheduled my operation for Christmas week because I knew that both the mother and father would be home from work all week. I really didn't think they would need me every day while BOTH parents were also home. They fired me the day before Christmas because I needed the following 2 days off for the operation (Which I had given them a month's notice about!). It made me nervous to put my faith and need of income in only one family.

If I do home daycare, if one family leaves, I still have income from the other families. Also, if I need to take a day or two off to tend to my daughter, go to doctor appointments, etc. I hire my substitute to work for me and all of my daycare parents are alright with that. I don't have to be afraid of losing all of my income at once.

However, I am not making as much as I should as a licensed daycare provider or what I would as a nanny.

I have a daycare interview scheduled for tomorrow night and I have started quoting a higher rate. I used to make (and should make) $1,200/week doing home daycare. There's no excuse for me to average only $300/week now. I need to raise my rates. My contract is a yearly contract and expires every December 31st. That's so I can make changes to it or change my rates. The two babies I have are at a lower rate than the average rate here. I am going to try to raise their rates for the new year. If the parents aren't able to pay more for the new year, I will start advertising for new babies at the going rate.

I have torn up the carpet in my dining room. My ex said he would lend me the tools I need to fix up the hardwood floor which is under the carpet. However, he backed out of his agreement and won't lend me the tools I need. Since he refused to loan me the tools I need, I simply threw my hands up in the air and completely gave up on finishing the dining room floor. I need to figure out a way to get the tools I need on my own and finish the floor. Honestly, with the floor the way it is, I wouldn't hire me right now! My living room is just fine, and that's the only room I'm using for the daycare for right now. But you can see the dining room floor from the living room. With the dining room floor not finished, it really gives a negative feeling about my home.

I also have an 'office area' in my living room which is the only room I am using for daycare right now. If I move my 'office' to my bedroom, it will allow more space for the daycare. If the daycare room is ALL daycare things ONLY, I think it will be more appealing to daycare parents.

Over the past couple of years, I think because I know that I don't have much more time with my daughter because of her planning to move away to college after graduating high school, I have put emotional needs/wants ahead of financial needs. I would not take a daycare family if their hours would not allow me to see my daughter's sports games. If a daycare family's hours or the child or parents didn't quite fit with my family, I would not take that family on or I would terminate them. I have been slacking as a business woman to be an emotional mother. I can't do that any more. I am running out of time to get my finances in order so I will be able to support myself when my daughter graduates high school and my ex-husband will no longer be required to pay me child support and will most likely stop helping me financially. I need to stop putting my emotional wants ahead of my financial needs.

I would like to try to stay in home daycare if I can get a better income from it. I am going to make more of an effort to fix my dining room floor and raise my rates. If I can't get a decent income from daycare in a few weeks, then I will look into going out to work as a nanny or something.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:01 AM
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I've been broke and I've done well. My suggestion to learn how to handle money is the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Also, he is on the air for 2-3 hours a day. Try to find him on am radio. If you do and listen for a few months, you will get most of his ideas for free. I think his website keeps his last week of shows for free, too.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:39 AM
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And this evening, within a 5 minute drive, there is, yet again, another armed robbery. This time, of a business.

The amount of violent crime in my area is absurd!
If I didn't know better I would say you are either in the worst part of Baltimore I know ( lived there and got out)... either that or a part of PG county I won't go near either. It did take me running to a crisis shelter with my kids to get out... The shelter sent me out of county to start over.

MD is expensive to begin with compared to other states, so just going over the border to WV can allow you to care for up to 3 kids without a license. Sometimes you just got to downsize and keep your hopes up.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:48 AM
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Midaycare,

A while ago, I went to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class that was offered at my church. As many times as I have tried, I can't even get step 1; save $1,000 done and for me, the amount I need to save is actually only $500 because my income is so low. However, I know it's in a large part due to the fact that I haven't truly focused on saving money. Now that I only have 17 months, I really need to work hard on my finances.

I haven't read Dave's Total Money Makeover or gone to that class. But since I was a member of his Financial Peace class, I'm supposed to still be able to see classes on his website. I'll check out his website today.

Thank you.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:18 AM
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Lyseskids,

I am in Middle River. I live in the neighborhood called Hawthorne (behind Gereseback's grocery store) which is off of Eastern Avenue.

The neighborhood has A LOT of gangs and drugs. Typically, during the day, things are quiet. But it's gotten to the point that at night, even some of the gang members won't go outside! Your typical family that is not involved in that life style is usually not affected by them. Typically, the people getting shot are involved in a drug deal gone bad, someone who knows that drug dealer lives in a certain house, has money there, and guns, so the one gang will break into the other gang member's house, or if the gang member/drug dealer they want to shoot is in jail, they might shoot one of his family members because they can't get to the one they really want. So, usually, a regular person like me who isn't in that lifestyle is safe enough here. HOWEVER, in the past year or so, they are breaking into regular people's houses, going through our cars overnight to see if there's something to steal in them. If you lock your car windows, there's a good chance that they will be broken one morning. A month or so ago, a regular boy, not in the drug life, was walking with a book bag on his back that had a video game system in it to go to his friend's house to play videos. He was robbed of his book bag at gun point. A while ago, at night, a drug dealer was shot (he lived, but is paralyzed for life) on the school grounds of Hawthorne Elementary. They are robbing regular people who have nothing to do with the drug/gang life more often just when they are walking down the sidewalks or in parking lots, and more stores are being robbed at gunpoint in my area. A while ago, there was a swat team in my neighborhood to get a man out of a house who had shot someone, then ran into his girlfriend's house and held people hostage in the house. A while ago, a cashier got stabbed while working at the register in Gereseback's grocery store which is at the entrance of my neighborhood. A year or so ago, a regular (not drug/gang related) was shot (I don't remember if she died or what the outcome of her being shot was) while she was taking out her trash. That was really the only time I know of when a drug/gang member missed their intended target and accidentally shot an innocent person here.

We actually lived in another house in this neighborhood years ago, before I separated from my ex-husband. At that time, my kids were younger and one day when my older daughter was riding her bike in the park here. She came home all frantic and said she had just witnessed one man shoot at another man! Around that time frame, I personally sat in my house, looking out the front window and watched my neighbors (who are one of the biggest drug dealers in my neighborhood) a few houses up unload all sorts of guns out of a box truck! I couldn't wait to get out of this neighborhood after I separated from my ex back then. I really didn't want to move back into the neighborhood, but it was the only place I could find in my price range and my daughter's school district at the time that I needed to move a few years ago. So, I did know what I was moving into, but I really didn't want to have to move here, and don't want to stay here any longer than I have to.

I feel like I live in a little mini-Baltimore City.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:27 AM
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Midaycare,

A while ago, I went to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace class that was offered at my church. As many times as I have tried, I can't even get step 1; save $1,000 done and for me, the amount I need to save is actually only $500 because my income is so low. However, I know it's in a large part due to the fact that I haven't truly focused on saving money. Now that I only have 17 months, I really need to work hard on my finances.

I haven't read Dave's Total Money Makeover or gone to that class. But since I was a member of his Financial Peace class, I'm supposed to still be able to see classes on his website. I'll check out his website today.

Thank you.
Okay, I'm not trying to be a bad news Betty, but if you can't save $500, a move probably isn't in your future unless you can take on a second job or quit daycare for a better paying first job. Moving is really expensive! I've done it 7 times in 8 years due to DH's job.

There are always things you never think about, and if credit is poor, companies find ways to make you pay more. For instance, in order to set up utilities, you may have a $200-$500 deposit. An apartment will most likely include first and last month's rent, and again, if credit is poor, maybe more. It took my DSD 10 months before she could find an apt that would accept her due to credit. And she had the help financially of her boyfriend.

It is so great that that you are planning this far ahead. I would say find a way to bring your income up and make sure you can get an apt or house over in that area. I don't know your credit, but you mentioned having some issues.

If it's just you moving, I would say the very least you need (without a job) is $8000. If you have a job and just need moving expenses, then about $3000-$4000. But not knowing the cost of things in the area, I can't be certain. I come from a very reasonably priced area.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:31 AM
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Now, it's not ALL horrible here. Last night I went to a Christmas concert at the local fire hall. It was very nice. All it cost was a donated canned good that will be given to feed the hungry in the area. There is a local concert band that played Christmas music, there were door prizes, a Santa and Mrs. Clause, and free refreshments. The fire hall was decorated beautifully for Christmas. The entire program was just awesome. So, there are some nice things about my area. It's just that the amount of violent crime, in my opinion, outweighs the nice things here. And makes me literally nervous to live here.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:35 AM
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And there are plenty of regular families that are not involved in drugs or gangs. The regular families really do out number the drug dealers and gang members. But, the amount of violent crimes the bad guys commit are way too violent and way too often for me to feel comfortable here.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:30 AM
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So, back to thinking about how to get money to move...

I called my daycare specialist and found out that it's no longer required to have a land line phone (house phone) for daycare. I also called my cable company which I have the house phone, cable, and internet through. I found out that if I cut off my house phone and cable, I can save $45/month.

I have turned my heat down 4 degrees.

I told my one daycare parent this morning that I want to raise my rate by $30/week beginning in January. She actually said that's fine and had no problem it. However, her husband is being promoted and they don't know what his new hours will be. They might not even need daycare by mid-January! UGHHHH! So, if they don't need daycare, I will advertise to replace their child and quote a higher rate for a new baby.

I know I don't have many extra things, but I am going to look around to see what I can sell at a yard sale.

I am going to start putting my food program money into my savings account which currently has about 20 cents in it! I talked with the apartment complex that I would like to move to in my daughter's area. They said that me having debt and things in collections won't get me turned down, it will just make it so I have to pay a higher down payment (typically 2 months rent to move in rather than 1 month's rent), so, I would be better to save cash rather than pay off my collections and debt.

My plan is to save as close to $6,000 as possible and at the same time, pay at least $20/month on my debt and collections accounts mainly to help raise my credit score. Starting in January, 2015, I will have 73 weeks before my daughter graduates high school and I hope to be able to move. So, if I save $83/week for those 73 weeks, I will have $6,000. By starting my timeline on January 1st rather than today, it gives me a couple of weeks to try to get some more daycare kids and try to get a weekend job so that as of the beginning of January, I will be have some extra money to set aside.

I will look for a weekend job and advertise more while making my daycare more attractive to try to get more daycare kids and I will raise my daycare rates. I will offer daycare later in the evenings Monday - Friday. There really isn't a need for daycare on the weekends here, so I would be better getting a weekend job out of the house.

Instead of putting my office things in my bedroom - they won't fit there anyway and I really do use them for daycare purposes, I have decided to put my office in the dining room. I am also going to put my non-baby proof preschool manipulatives and bookshelf with my educational games/activities that the kids are not allowed to get by themselves into the dining room and put a baby gate to block off the dining room. That will keep everything I use during the day on the main floor, but allow more space for the kids in the living room. Most people in my area only use the living room for daycare, so it should be alright to just use my living room for the kids. I will also start blocking my dog off in the dining room so he is down here with us, I can go into the dining room to give him attention during the day, but he's not 'in the daycare area'. The only problem with this idea is that I have to buy a baby gate. The one I need is about $80! It's extra wide (to fit in the opening from the dining room to the living room),extra tall (so my dog can't jump over it), has a easy open handle and a cat door at the bottom. Even though the gate I need is expensive, it is still cheaper, and faster, than renting the tools I need that my ex now won't lend me and buying the hardwood stain/paint and brushes and items needed to finish the floor. Since it will be blocked off from the daycare and used as my office and dog room, hopefully parents won't mind that the floor isn't completely finished.

I am also going to create a financial goal chart to give me a visual of how much money I have saved, how much I've paid my debts down, and how close I am to my goals. That will make me focus on my financial goals on a daily/weekly basis to keep me excited about working towards my goals.

I have copied and saved these plans onto my computer so I can keep track of what I plan to do to save money.

Any other ideas?
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:39 AM
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I've been broke and I've done well. My suggestion to learn how to handle money is the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Also, he is on the air for 2-3 hours a day. Try to find him on am radio. If you do and listen for a few months, you will get most of his ideas for free. I think his website keeps his last week of shows for free, too.
This was what I was going to suggest, too. I'm using this book to pull myself up by my boot straps and get out of this mess I've dug. I bought several of these books when they were $10 a few weeks ago and I'm giving them as gifts for Christmas
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:43 AM
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If you put that $45 directly into savings every month then that will get you $540 in a year! That's awesome!
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:46 AM
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PV, if you PM me your email address I can send you a TON of budgeting printables I bought awhile back. They're editable and extremely helpful.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:00 AM
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Midaycare,

You're not being bad news Betty. You are being realistic. My track record is horrible! I have never supported myself - EVER! I have never relied just on myself financially. I have always done the 'mom' job of nurturing the children, taking them to their activities, and tending to the house. Yes, I have always been employed, but I RELIED on my husband and then ex-husband to really take care of my girls and myself financially. I have always been able to go to my ex and say I need money and he'd give me money - often accompanied by cussing me out, but I would get the money handed to me. This is why I am so nervous about the fact that I truly need to set financial goals and Hell or high water, MUST meet those goals all by myself.

I plan to be employed here until I move and plan to obtain a job in the new area before I move there. I have been researching jobs in that area and have actually already spoken with a couple of daycare centers in the new area to get an idea of how much they need people and what the rate of pay is in that area. I think I will be able to get a job there quickly enough that pays a decent salary when I need to. I am sure, mainly because of my debt, that I will need to have a full time job as well as a part-time job starting as soon as possible and lasting at least until I pay off all my debt and collections accounts.

Part of the reason that I couldn't save $500 or do much of anything right with my money is that my ex would dictate to me what to do with my money. I knew I shouldn't have allowed him to control me and my money. But he gets so abusive; verbally, emotionally, threatens me, won't help with any money if I don't do with my money what he demands me to, etc. that I just obeyed him rather than stand my ground regarding my income. But now he's stopped controlling my money. And my daughter has a job. She hasn't started yet. She goes in Friday to discuss her schedule and everything. So, I can now start taking control of my money and doing with it what I know I need to. The problem is that since I let my ex control my finances for so long, I have a good bit of debt to pay off. But I am going to figure this out. I will, I have to be able to support myself in 17 months.

I might not be able to move right when my daughter graduates, but I really hope to be able to do so and I am going to really work towards being able to do so. I know, especially since I have NEVER planned and saved towards anything, that there's a good chance I will mess myself up somewhere along the way and that I won't stay focused on my goal. But I have to realize that my ex-husband is most likely not going to give me one red penny by June of 2016. So, somehow I have to train and condition myself to make financial goals, rely only on myself, and actually achieve those goals.

Actually, I did, once, create a financial goal for myself and achieve it. Right after my ex and I separated and sold our house, I paid off all of my debt then and was actually debt free for about 2 years. I made a plan and stuck to it. Of course, at that time, we had sold the house and I was able to put a good bit of money from the proceeds of the house towards my debt, but I still had debt that I had to work for a while to pay off.

Then my ex started demanding that I allow our kids to do things that couldn't afford, but to keep from having him cuss me out and yell at me, I obeyed him. Which led to me getting into debt like I am. But now, my ex, recently, has started paying for our daughter's activities himself. And my daughter got hired at a restaurant. She's supposed to start working soon. So, she will have her own money. She also has been dating a boy for 7 months now who has been taking her out for dinner often over the past couple of months, so she doesn't eat much of our household groceries. Which saves me grocery money.

So, basically, this is the first time in 21 years that I really have complete control over my money! My ex isn't dictating to me how to spend my money and my daughter is going to make her own spending money. If I truly focus on how I handle my money, I just might be able to be able to achieve my financial goals!

Last edited by permanentvacation; 12-09-2014 at 08:09 AM. Reason: added first paragraph
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:04 AM
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So, back to thinking about how to get money to move...

I called my daycare specialist and found out that it's no longer required to have a land line phone (house phone) for daycare. I also called my cable company which I have the house phone, cable, and internet through. I found out that if I cut off my house phone and cable, I can save $45/month.

I have turned my heat down 4 degrees.

I told my one daycare parent this morning that I want to raise my rate by $30/week beginning in January. She actually said that's fine and had no problem it. However, her husband is being promoted and they don't know what his new hours will be. They might not even need daycare by mid-January! UGHHHH! So, if they don't need daycare, I will advertise to replace their child and quote a higher rate for a new baby.

I know I don't have many extra things, but I am going to look around to see what I can sell at a yard sale.

I am going to start putting my food program money into my savings account which currently has about 20 cents in it! I talked with the apartment complex that I would like to move to in my daughter's area. They said that me having debt and things in collections won't get me turned down, it will just make it so I have to pay a higher down payment (typically 2 months rent to move in rather than 1 month's rent), so, I would be better to save cash rather than pay off my collections and debt.

My plan is to save as close to $6,000 as possible and at the same time, pay at least $20/month on my debt and collections accounts mainly to help raise my credit score. Starting in January, 2015, I will have 73 weeks before my daughter graduates high school and I hope to be able to move. So, if I save $83/week for those 73 weeks, I will have $6,000. By starting my timeline on January 1st rather than today, it gives me a couple of weeks to try to get some more daycare kids and try to get a weekend job so that as of the beginning of January, I will be have some extra money to set aside.

I will look for a weekend job and advertise more while making my daycare more attractive to try to get more daycare kids and I will raise my daycare rates. I will offer daycare later in the evenings Monday - Friday. There really isn't a need for daycare on the weekends here, so I would be better getting a weekend job out of the house.

Instead of putting my office things in my bedroom - they won't fit there anyway and I really do use them for daycare purposes, I have decided to put my office in the dining room. I am also going to put my non-baby proof preschool manipulatives and bookshelf with my educational games/activities that the kids are not allowed to get by themselves into the dining room and put a baby gate to block off the dining room. That will keep everything I use during the day on the main floor, but allow more space for the kids in the living room. Most people in my area only use the living room for daycare, so it should be alright to just use my living room for the kids. I will also start blocking my dog off in the dining room so he is down here with us, I can go into the dining room to give him attention during the day, but he's not 'in the daycare area'. The only problem with this idea is that I have to buy a baby gate. The one I need is about $80! It's extra wide (to fit in the opening from the dining room to the living room),extra tall (so my dog can't jump over it), has a easy open handle and a cat door at the bottom. Even though the gate I need is expensive, it is still cheaper, and faster, than renting the tools I need that my ex now won't lend me and buying the hardwood stain/paint and brushes and items needed to finish the floor. Since it will be blocked off from the daycare and used as my office and dog room, hopefully parents won't mind that the floor isn't completely finished.

I am also going to create a financial goal chart to give me a visual of how much money I have saved, how much I've paid my debts down, and how close I am to my goals. That will make me focus on my financial goals on a daily/weekly basis to keep me excited about working towards my goals.

I have copied and saved these plans onto my computer so I can keep track of what I plan to do to save money.

Any other ideas?
I like the plan . When you have something written down, it makes it much easier to achieve.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:16 AM
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Midaycare,

Thank you. I really think keeping track of my finances and goals will help too. Somehow I have to figure this out and make it work. 17 months from now, for the first time in my life, I will have to support myself. I am scared to death, but I have to survive on my own, and hopefully THRIVE on my own.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:29 AM
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CraftyMissBeth,

I pm'd my e-mail address to you.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:49 AM
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None of this will happen unless you actually start implementing the ideas you have been given. You have started many threads about your finances, lack of daycare kids and desire to move. You have been given tons of advice, I have also seen you advise others on their finances. You know what you need to do but you need to stop talking and start doing. Get an extra part time job or change your job, you aren't making enough money.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:14 AM
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Lyseskids,

I am in Middle River. I live in the neighborhood called Hawthorne (behind Gereseback's grocery store) which is off of Eastern Avenue.

The neighborhood has A LOT of gangs and drugs. Typically, during the day, things are quiet. But it's gotten to the point that at night, even some of the gang members won't go outside! Your typical family that is not involved in that life style is usually not affected by them. Typically, the people getting shot are involved in a drug deal gone bad, someone who knows that drug dealer lives in a certain house, has money there, and guns, so the one gang will break into the other gang member's house, or if the gang member/drug dealer they want to shoot is in jail, they might shoot one of his family members because they can't get to the one they really want. So, usually, a regular person like me who isn't in that lifestyle is safe enough here. HOWEVER, in the past year or so, they are breaking into regular people's houses, going through our cars overnight to see if there's something to steal in them. If you lock your car windows, there's a good chance that they will be broken one morning. A month or so ago, a regular boy, not in the drug life, was walking with a book bag on his back that had a video game system in it to go to his friend's house to play videos. He was robbed of his book bag at gun point. A while ago, at night, a drug dealer was shot (he lived, but is paralyzed for life) on the school grounds of Hawthorne Elementary. They are robbing regular people who have nothing to do with the drug/gang life more often just when they are walking down the sidewalks or in parking lots, and more stores are being robbed at gunpoint in my area. A while ago, there was a swat team in my neighborhood to get a man out of a house who had shot someone, then ran into his girlfriend's house and held people hostage in the house. A while ago, a cashier got stabbed while working at the register in Gereseback's grocery store which is at the entrance of my neighborhood. A year or so ago, a regular (not drug/gang related) was shot (I don't remember if she died or what the outcome of her being shot was) while she was taking out her trash. That was really the only time I know of when a drug/gang member missed their intended target and accidentally shot an innocent person here.

We actually lived in another house in this neighborhood years ago, before I separated from my ex-husband. At that time, my kids were younger and one day when my older daughter was riding her bike in the park here. She came home all frantic and said she had just witnessed one man shoot at another man! Around that time frame, I personally sat in my house, looking out the front window and watched my neighbors (who are one of the biggest drug dealers in my neighborhood) a few houses up unload all sorts of guns out of a box truck! I couldn't wait to get out of this neighborhood after I separated from my ex back then. I really didn't want to move back into the neighborhood, but it was the only place I could find in my price range and my daughter's school district at the time that I needed to move a few years ago. So, I did know what I was moving into, but I really didn't want to have to move here, and don't want to stay here any longer than I have to.

I feel like I live in a little mini-Baltimore City.
I have friends in East B-more... know MR/Essex/Dundalk well because of friends and I lived in the city which can be much worse (can we say white family in a black neighborhood?). Hookers & drug deals on the corners and sleeping on the floor at night because of gunfire, it's why I said no more; school district or not, I would not have gone back. My home was cheap, but safety wasn't worth the low price

I left after my home was firebombed (it was in '92 - they were aiming for the house next to me) - I had to save all my kids in middle of the night, so yeah, it was time to go. Sometimes you have to give up what you know and just start over in a whole other town to get your head back in the right frame of mind... thankful I had a mom that bought me a beater car to go out of state.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:44 AM
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Needavaca,

You're right. And that's part of what I mean. I have been telling myself for the past few years that I have to truly acknowledge that my ex will not be helping me financially in a few years, then, as time went by, it was in 3 years, 2 years, now, it's actually that I am counting down the time in MONTHS and I absolutely have to realize that it is really HAPPENING SOON! The reality needs to hit me and I have got to step up to the plate and bust butt on my finances. I can't procrastinate any longer. I can't think that I have time. Time is really running out.

I have done some of the things that have been suggested to me on the forum from previous threads. But I haven't really buckled down and pinched every penny I can. That is partly because of me still allowing my ex to dictate to me how to handle my money. He is not doing that now, so I can make even more changes financially.

Some changes I have made from the advise you guys gave me before are:

I have stopped going out to eat other than maybe once every 2 or so weeks, then I only allow myself $10 for me and $10 for my daughter. Which is a drastic reduction from going out to eat almost every night and not paying attention to how much it cost. Lately, my daughter is being taken out to eat by her boyfriend, so I have only spent $10, typically on one container of shrimp lo mein on myself every couple weeks.

I have stopped driving around out of boredom to save on gas money and wear and tear on my vehicle. I couldn't tell you the last time that I 'went for a drive'.

I have stopped shopping unless I make a list of items that we truly need such as groceries and toiletries.

I haven't even bought a dollar iced tea from McDonald's in forever. I take a bottle of water in my car when I run errands so I won't have to buy a drink while I'm out.

I have reduced my grocery bill a lot.

I told my kids - they're old enough, 21 and 16 years old, that I will not buy anything for them for Christmas this year.

I didn't cut my cable off because when I mentioned doing so to my ex, he flipped out on me, but I did call the cable company and lower my bill.

I had gotten a part-time evening and Saturday job, but the manager needed me to come into work earlier than I could because of my daycare hours, so I had to quit the job. From that I learned that I need to do daycare during the week, and get a part-time job on the weekends. I can't fit a part-time job after my daycare hours. If I have 2 daycare kids and have them on the food program, I make what I would make going out to work full-time. So, to me it makes more sense to stick with daycare.

I had built up my daycare to a full load of 8 kids for a while, but then I let my emotional wants get ahead of my financial needs again and as kids or parents caused too many inconveniences with my family's needs/wants, I terminated them. Plus if a child cried too loudly and the neighbors got concerned, I would terminate that child. I did that with 2 kids. Now, I need to make myself put my finances ahead of my emotional wants and tell my neighbors that some kids just cry loud and they'll have to deal with it.

I bought a low price, but decent clothes washer because many people said that in the long run, I would save money by doing so than by using the laundry mat. We hang up our clothes instead of using the dryer to save money on drying our clothes.

I had a yard sale, but I really don't have much stuff, and the stuff that I have isn't really anything others would want to buy, so I didn't make much money, but I did make a little money.

I paid off my cell phone bill that was in collections and got a cheap, non-contract monthly rate. As a single mother, with a teen age driver, I really feel safer with a cell phone knowing that my daughter can get a hold of me if she has an emergency, so I really want a cell phone even though I know it's an extra cost.

I paid off my cat and dog's health insurance plans. I know, it sounds ridiculous to have health insurance plans for pets, but it was the most affordable way to get them their shots and spayed and neutered. But since I asked for financial advice from you guys, I have paid those 2 bills off.

I paid off and canceled my gym membership.

I paid my car insurance up for 6 months which saved me some money that I would have been charged for paying monthly.

I had all of my bills get changed over to online only not paper bills so they would give me a little discount for that.

I have told my daughter that I can not afford things she's asked for and stuck to my guns about it.

During this time, I had to take a couple of weeks off work for surgery and just to keep the couple of daycare kids I had, had to pay my assistant my entire pay for those weeks.

So, I have made some changes, but I haven't made enough changes. I need to do more.

Oh, and last college semester, I sold my books back to the college and this week am going to sell this semester's books back to the college. I have never looked into doing that before.

Last edited by permanentvacation; 12-09-2014 at 09:54 AM. Reason: added about college books
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  #37  
Old 12-09-2014, 10:31 AM
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Lyseskids,

So you know what type of area I am talking about. I am not over-exaggerating. It's scary here! After I moved into this house, I found out from my neighbors that the police did a drug raid on the previous tenants and took out multiple bags of drug paraphernalia. They were arrested. That's how the house became vacant again and without knowing that history, I moved in here. For quite some time, cars would drive up in front of my house and some questionable looking people would look up to my house. I started getting nervous that some druggie/gang member might have gotten mad at the old tenants and not know that I live here now instead of them and was afraid of the house being attacked. My sister suggested making major changes to the yard. So I put all my outdoor daycare toys out front, put a daycare sign out front, and planted some flowers and little shrubs to show the passersby that the drug addicts don't live here anymore.

I don't know how I would be if my house were firebombed!!! I'm so sorry that happened to you! And I'm glad your family is alright. A boy who knows my older daughter, his house in Essex was shot up. Luckily no one got hurt. The shooter got the wrong house. The intended target was the house across the street from his!

My sister used to live in Baltimore City. She and her kids have slept on the floor a few times because of gunfire. I refuse to have to live in the city! I will live homeless in the county before I get a home in the city!

So, you know that I truly want and need to get out of this area. It's just not the type of area I feel safe living in. I was raised in Alabama, in the country. I used to think these 'living situations' were just made up to make movies more scary and interesting! I went through a major culture shock when I first moved here!

My daughter and I call the man across the street from me "Hooker Man". He has a different really skanky looking hooker at his house every couple of nights. The one 'lady' was drugged up or drunk or something, wearing a very short dress sleeping in a chair on his porch. Her legs were completely spread open and she wasn't wearing anything under her dress! The man's next door neighbor's 5th grade daughter and her friends saw WAY TOO MUCH and were trying to wake the lady up to make her close her legs! I went over and hollered at her and got her to close her legs. That man and his 'guests' are just nasty!

When I lived here before, the house diagonally across the street from me was a hooker house. There were a handful of hookers that lived there.

Yeah, I've seen things here that I never thought I would see and actually never even thought was real when I was a kid. I've seen and experienced enough of the way this side of the world lives, it's time I move on to a more upscale area.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:08 AM
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I live in TN for a reason now lol. cheaper to live and safer areas. I am only an 9 hr drive from you, so a one day move. I live enough outside of Knoxville that I'm not in a city but right by a River, and close enough to get decent shopping done when needed. My little community does background checks on everyone moving in here and they crack down on those that break policies - everyone cares and my daycare babies are safe here. Of course rates for childcare are lower than in MD too, but I am still on the high end and I have 4 kids - legally licensed exempt.

Downsizing can be good when starting over, I still don't have cable, but I do internet, prepaid phone and I go out to eat once every few weeks (my current beau treats me weekly on Sundays too). I have half the size home I did up north, but I'm ok with it too. less space to worry about. My car is paid off and all my kids grew up and left home. I will be in Frederick & B-more counties for Christmas because of family & friends
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:37 AM
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Lyseskids,

Wow! That's so wild! Frederick is the area my daughter lives - the area I want to move to! She's in her Senior year at Hood College. I've been to Frederick many times since she started college and really fell in love with the area. It's so clean, the people are well-mannered and respectful, the landscape is beautiful with the mountains in the distant. The only thing I don't like about Frederick is that it's farther north, therefore colder and has even more snow than here. I don't particularly care for the cold.

Since you know both areas, I'm sure you know the difference between where I live now, in Middle River, and where I want to move to, Frederick! There's a big difference in the two areas! I would much rather live in Frederick than Middle River.

And I have a long-time family friend that lives in Tennessee. Her family and my family were friends when I was a kid living in Alabama. She moved to South Fulton, Tennessee a while ago. I know nothing about her area. I've never been to Tennessee. She seems to really like where she lives. She's posted pictures of her yard on Facebook. She has a LARGE yard next to a corn field. She said it's really a peaceful area.

Because my younger daughter will go to college in Maryland after she graduates high school, I need to stay in Maryland to get her 'in state' college rates. Plus, I don't want to move too far away from either of my children just yet.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by permanentvacation View Post
Lyseskids,

Wow! That's so wild! Frederick is the area my daughter lives - the area I want to move to! She's in her Senior year at Hood College. I've been to Frederick many times since she started college and really fell in love with the area. It's so clean, the people are well-mannered and respectful, the landscape is beautiful with the mountains in the distant. The only thing I don't like about Frederick is that it's farther north, therefore colder and has even more snow than here. I don't particularly care for the cold.

Since you know both areas, I'm sure you know the difference between where I live now, in Middle River, and where I want to move to, Frederick! There's a big difference in the two areas! I would much rather live in Frederick than Middle River.

And I have a long-time family friend that lives in Tennessee. Her family and my family were friends when I was a kid living in Alabama. She moved to South Fulton, Tennessee a while ago. I know nothing about her area. I've never been to Tennessee. She seems to really like where she lives. She's posted pictures of her yard on Facebook. She has a LARGE yard next to a corn field. She said it's really a peaceful area.

Because my younger daughter will go to college in Maryland after she graduates high school, I need to stay in Maryland to get her 'in state' college rates. Plus, I don't want to move too far away from either of my children just yet.
Frederick is not cheap in a lot of areas... and if you go out past Woodsboro or Walkersville (like Thurmont) there used to be alot of clan (mainly blood related)
There are gangs in the city... Crips & Bloods, people don't talk about them, but they were there 15 years ago, so I doubt they left (I lived in Frederick when I first left B-more and my daughter was neutral friends with people in both ; long story). Now if you go more towards Boonsboro, not so much issues. My sister lives in Walkersville, but it's gotten pricy. You won't be saving $$ moving from where you are to that county.

I grew up in MD and lived there a good part of my life... places that were country & farms 20 years ago are built up now to the point I won't come back to live. See here in TN, when a child graduates high school they automatically get 2 free years at community college; they passed the law earlier this year. Something thing to think about
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:15 PM
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I know that Frederick is not a cheap area. When I go to visit my daughter, I make a point to check out the area. We usually get something to eat at a different restaurant each time, sometimes we'll go to a 'real' restaurant, other times go to a fast food restaurant, go to a park, walk through the local shops, and every once in a while, go to the grocery stores, clothing stores, and other 'regular stores' so I can get an idea of prices in the area. Keep in mind that my daughter is a college kid who has to watch her expenses too. So she has learned of the 'affordable' restaurants as well as found the more affordable places to shop for necessary items like groceries, clothing, etc. So, she's shown me how to afford to live in Frederick and still enjoy your life.

The little apartment that I would like to move into cost the same as the 3 bedroom and full basement townhouse I currently live in. But the area is safer and overall nicer. I did find some cheaper apartments in a lower section of Frederick. I think, after living in Middle River, I can handle living in the 'lower section' of Frederick. I would be much safer there as a little old lady than I will be here.

I am also taking into consideration that it will just be me, not my daughter and I. So, my groceries, laundry, cooking, electricity, etc. will be less expensive than I am paying now for the two of us.

Plus, if I can get to the point that I either rent a home or buy a home that allows me to do daycare in, I would get paid much better for daycare there than here. I would think that if I move there and keep a full-time job as well as a part-time job for a couple of years while I pay off my debt and fix my credit, once I have no debt, I should be okay.

There are a few really nice, safe, parks there that I would enjoy spending time at for free. There's a main street that my daughter has taken me to a few times in the middle of Frederick that has little shops and restaurants. I like just walking there and 'sight seeing'. I have never felt the need to buy anything in the shops, I like just looking around. You can go hiking in the mountains there, which is free. The apartments that I would like to move to has a swimming pool, tennis court, and basketball court; all of which I enjoy. I think I would be able to occupy myself and enjoy myself for fairly low cost there.

I have looked into the cost of houses there. A nice house in the nicer section is most likely always going to be out of my reach, but there are smaller single family houses and townhouses in the 'okay' area of Frederick that are the same prices as homes in Middle River.

I think, if I learn to handle my finances well, I will be alright in Frederick. But I know I need to get a good handle on my finances in the next 17 months or I won't be able to live in Frederick or anywhere for that matter.

My daughter's boyfriend's mother lives in Walkersville. I don't know anything about the area. I did drive through it and a couple of other cities close to Frederick one time just to see the what was near her, but I have not spent any real time in any of the other cities. I haven't even met his mother and they have been dating for 3 years and living together for the past 2 years. I just think I should have met his mother by now. But that's another story.
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:52 PM
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I have a book called "Financial Peace Revisited" Dave Ramsey. If you want it, I can let you have it. I had to buy for a college course. Of course PM me under MOM OF 4 and it may be a couple days, bc of my schedule.

Other than that, maybe go to a state agency and ask for assistance? I don't know exactly what they do.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by permanentvacation View Post
I know that Frederick is not a cheap area. When I go to visit my daughter, I make a point to check out the area. We usually get something to eat at a different restaurant each time, sometimes we'll go to a 'real' restaurant, other times go to a fast food restaurant, go to a park, walk through the local shops, and every once in a while, go to the grocery stores, clothing stores, and other 'regular stores' so I can get an idea of prices in the area. Keep in mind that my daughter is a college kid who has to watch her expenses too. So she has learned of the 'affordable' restaurants as well as found the more affordable places to shop for necessary items like groceries, clothing, etc. So, she's shown me how to afford to live in Frederick and still enjoy your life.

The little apartment that I would like to move into cost the same as the 3 bedroom and full basement townhouse I currently live in. But the area is safer and overall nicer. I did find some cheaper apartments in a lower section of Frederick. I think, after living in Middle River, I can handle living in the 'lower section' of Frederick. I would be much safer there as a little old lady than I will be here.

I am also taking into consideration that it will just be me, not my daughter and I. So, my groceries, laundry, cooking, electricity, etc. will be less expensive than I am paying now for the two of us.

Plus, if I can get to the point that I either rent a home or buy a home that allows me to do daycare in, I would get paid much better for daycare there than here. I would think that if I move there and keep a full-time job as well as a part-time job for a couple of years while I pay off my debt and fix my credit, once I have no debt, I should be okay.

There are a few really nice, safe, parks there that I would enjoy spending time at for free. There's a main street that my daughter has taken me to a few times in the middle of Frederick that has little shops and restaurants. I like just walking there and 'sight seeing'. I have never felt the need to buy anything in the shops, I like just looking around. You can go hiking in the mountains there, which is free. The apartments that I would like to move to has a swimming pool, tennis court, and basketball court; all of which I enjoy. I think I would be able to occupy myself and enjoy myself for fairly low cost there.

I have looked into the cost of houses there. A nice house in the nicer section is most likely always going to be out of my reach, but there are smaller single family houses and townhouses in the 'okay' area of Frederick that are the same prices as homes in Middle River.

I think, if I learn to handle my finances well, I will be alright in Frederick. But I know I need to get a good handle on my finances in the next 17 months or I won't be able to live in Frederick or anywhere for that matter.

My daughter's boyfriend's mother lives in Walkersville. I don't know anything about the area. I did drive through it and a couple of other cities close to Frederick one time just to see the what was near her, but I have not spent any real time in any of the other cities. I haven't even met his mother and they have been dating for 3 years and living together for the past 2 years. I just think I should have met his mother by now. But that's another story.
The section of Main street with shops is the ok area ( I used to love eating at a few places there)... they light it up at night for the Holidays.

Walkersville/Woodsboro/Liberty is more country but pricey... lots of new shops on 26/94 have shot up in the last few years as you leave Frederick city heading out that way ( I shopped at Wegmans for the first time 2 weeks ago). Hood is a good College... took a few classes there when I lived on Key Parkway (too rich for my blood now lol). Thurmont is a cute town. Cunningham Falls has a great lake for swimming & fishing, but it's on national/state park land about a mile from Camp David (RT 77 in Thurmont). You pay by the car to get in and there is no cell service for obvious reasons... we use to watch the helicopters fly over on weekends when we were there; lots of picnic space too...
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:32 PM
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Momof4,

Thank you. I researched online and found a free download of Financial Peace Revisited and saved it to my computer. I have been skimming through it already.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:23 PM
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Lyseskids,

My daughter loves Hood College. She's done very well there. She's only able to go there because I'm so broke and she had really good grades in high school. She got a lot of FASFA money, grants, and a couple of loans. The college is extremely expensive. If she didn't get all the free money, she never would have been able to go there.

I don't know if this farm is in Frederick or not, but my daughter drove us to a farm that has a zebra! That was so cool! I've never known a farmer to have a zebra.

I would really love to live in a more country setting, but because of doing daycare, I need to stay in a more populated area. If the country areas are more expensive, that's alright. I would be happy just taking rides through the countryside on occasion.

I did hear that a section of Frederick has a heroin problem. But it seems to be contained to that specific section. And after living in Middle River, one little area with a drug issue that doesn't really bleed out to the rest of the city, I can handle.

I just pulled up Mapquest and found Thurmont. I might have driven to there with my daughter once. She took us past Catoctin Zoo which is in Thurmont. We just drove down the main road for her to show us a little of the areas around Frederick. We just drove down the main road. I don't even remember how far we went or where we turned around. But I might have actually been in Thurmont for a few minutes.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:37 PM
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First things first, I would log all spending for a month... Every last penny. This will help you to see where money is going. Even if you don't think you sojourns extra, little things that you don't notice might be adding up.
I did this and was shocked. I thought I want spending extra, I never went to Starbucks or to eat out, but when I did this, I realized that a lot of money ($2 here, $4 there) spent at Walmart was really adding up.
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Old 12-09-2014, 04:52 PM
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Jenboo,

I did keep track of my spending for a couple of weeks a while ago. I learned that I really was nickle and dimming myself like crazy; a McDonald's iced tea here, a candy bar there, a Slurpee for my daughter when I stopped to get gasoline. That's when I stopped buying things unless they were on my shopping list, started taking a water bottle with me when I ran errands, and held my ground with telling my daughter 'no' when she asked for little things here and there.

I haven't been keeping track lately. So I will keep a pen and notebook with me everywhere I go again for a couple of weeks and keep track of my spending to see if I really am not spending extra money.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:32 PM
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I made a little progress today.

I just paid off one of my credit cards with this week's pay!

I made a small payment on my other credit card.

I took my cell phone bill to the lowest plan they offer which lowered my cell phone bill by $10 starting next month.

I canceled my cable which saves me 16.09 per month.

And I found some food pantries that I can go to.

I decided not to cancel my house phone because I tried using my cell phone all day yesterday and today and it kept dropping calls. Obviously I don't get a good enough reception in my house to rely only on my cell phone. So instead of saving money by canceling my house phone, I lowered my cell phone bill which I stated above.

But I only lowered my bills by $26.09/month though. I don't see the point of only $26.09. That's not enough at all!
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permanentvacation View Post
I made a little progress today.

I just paid off one of my credit cards with this week's pay!

I made a small payment on my other credit card.

I took my cell phone bill to the lowest plan they offer which lowered my cell phone bill by $10 starting next month.

I canceled my cable which saves me 16.09 per month.

And I found some food pantries that I can go to.

I decided not to cancel my house phone because I tried using my cell phone all day yesterday and today and it kept dropping calls. Obviously I don't get a good enough reception in my house to rely only on my cell phone. So instead of saving money by canceling my house phone, I lowered my cell phone bill which I stated above.

But I only lowered my bills by $26.09/month though. I don't see the point of only $26.09. That's not enough at all!
Add that 26 and some change together for 12-18 months hon; may not seem like much but it adds up. There are limited phone plans for house phone too, but I think you have to request them from ATT or whoever you are with. A long time ago I know you could limit it to so many calls then were charged by the call. Are you locked into a cell contract or is it prepaid? can make a difference too. And I totally get the I need to be able to make calls because of where you are.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:35 AM
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I like the 'hon'. Yep! you are from up here. lol

Yeah, when I told my daughter I only saved $26.09/month and she saw that I thought it wasn't worth it, she added it up and said, 'Well, that's $313.08 for a year." That sounded more worth it.

I asked Comcast what house phone plans they have. They only have unlimited local or unlimited local and long distance. If you only have local, they charge by the minute for long distance even if you are the receiver of the long distance call. I know I won't remember to pay attention to the number calling me and will wind up getting myself charged up the wazoo if I cut off the long distance. So I didn't cut off the long distance.

I also applied for a free cell phone with a free calling plan from the government later last night. My girls and I are on Medical Assistance which qualifies us for the free cell phone. If I get approved for that, I will cancel my current cell phone and won't have a cell phone bill. My current cell phone is not under a contract. I can cancel it at any time.

I really don't feel right getting free services from the government. I have an issue with 'people who live off of the government'. But I am working, not just living off the government. And I plan for this to be a temporary thing so that I can get myself on my own feet and be able to support myself.

I have to have a phone that works in my house because of doing daycare. My parents have to be able to call me if they need to and we need to be able to speak over the phone without the call dropping and us having to call each other back multiple times.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:37 AM
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Kidzeducare,

You're right. The people on this forum are really nice and give helpful advice. I like being in this group.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:19 AM
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My youngest dd (now 22.5 years) was born at Harbor. I use to live in the Hood section of East B-more, so yeah, after 8 years up there it sticks, especially since my BFF still lives there - she actually started out as my childcare provider and helped me raise my kids for a few years. I have to blend in when I come back to visit... down here I picked up the slang/accent quickly because I have lived here before too
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:23 AM
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I was raised in Alabama from 4th - the middle of 10th grade. When I came up here, it was a complete culture shock. My Southern accent was VERY heavy! After being in Maryland for a while, I now speak like a Marylander except when I get mad. Then my Southern accent comes out!

I also quickly pick up the Southern accent when I have a conversation with someone from the South. I have one friend my age that I still talk to every few months who still lives in Alabama, and my friend who lives in Tennessee who has the Southern accent. Within a couple of sentences on the phone with them, I go straight to my Southern accent and slang. Like they say, you can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl!

I know where Harbor Hospital is. I've driven past it a few times. I was born in St. Agnes Hospital. My older sister lived in the city for years. I don't know which part thought. I don't 'do' the city! I might have visited her a whole 5 times if that throughout the whole time she lived there! I love the Aquarium and the Zoo, but I really don't go that often simply out of fear of the city! My mother had cancer years ago and went to Mercy Hospital every month for Chemotherapy. At the end of her life, she was in the hospital for a month straight and died in the hospital. So I did drive there to see my mother in the hospital. But I was scared the whole way in and out of the city.

I get lost in the city like crazy! As nervous as I am being there, every time I get lost, I know I can ask someone driving or walking by and everyone has been very nice in helping me with directions.

My sister had a lot of problems raising her kids in the city. She's a single mother and the only place she could afford was the city. She has 4 kids and two of them got really into the drug scene. Her other two didn't get involved in drugs like they did. My one nephew was selling drugs at 12 years old and started making babies in cars by the time he was 15 or so. We still don't know how many kids he has! He's been in and out of jail most of his life. My niece got so messed up with drug dealers that she and another girl were actually kidnapped by them. My sister and her older son had to save her from some guy who had her and another girl held up in a drug house and was forcing them to be sex slaves to the guys that came to the house. There's a lot more that my niece and nephew have done and been through because of living in that life style.

Yeah, I don't do the city! I heard enough about the city from my sister living there.

My ex husband knows Nick Vaccaro and got my older daughter a job at Vaccaro's in the city a few years ago when she was around 17 years old. I threw a fit about her working in the city, but she kept telling me she'd be fine. One day, she was walking to her car to work and some young kid pulled a knife on her. She handled it really well and offered to buy him some food at Vaccaro's if he'd calm down. He calmed down and went to Vaccaro's with her and she bought him some food. I still don't know how to take that one! I made her quit working in the city the next day.

Because of the things I know about living in the city from my sister, I am determined not to have to live there. Middle River is too rough for me. I definitely don't want to have to move to the city. I'm determined to fix my finances and move to a better area.

I mean, I can handle myself, I don't want to sound like some pathetic waif, but I am getting too old to have to deal with the violence here. I want the nicey nice area where in the news, you hear of things like the group of ladies in the community center have planted flowers along the roadside instead of a man was shot and killed today while being held up at gunpoint in the grocery store parking lot. Yeah, I'm ready for a Leave It To Beaver type neighborhood.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:26 AM
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See when I first lived there I was a private process server for numerous attorneys; I learned how to "fit into" the different sections of the city; no option, ran in and out of courts daytime along with businesses... the night serves were worst because many were child support papers... I pulled some crazy stunts and walked a fine line in some neighborhoods, yes even on the infamous Block! If you have to serve a cop for something like being sued for unpaid debt, and they work 2nd shift on Gay street, you" walk the walk" like the people that work there just avoid standing out (yeah I went to that extreme sometimes)... I wouldn't do it now but it fed my kids at the time... I even went as far as going into a few bars supposedly looking for work (you know the kind I'm talking about) just to serve someone who worked there. I was crazy 25 years ago.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:45 PM
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WOW! You're more courageous than I am! I don't think I could bring myself to do the things you did. I'd be scared to death just walking down the sidewalk.

I can blend in with the hood rats if I need to. The longer that I have lived here in Middle River, the more 'hood-like' I have become. There's been a few times when I had to go off on people for messing with my car, starting crap with me, messing with my kids, and other things. I've done and said things to people that made my kids tell me that I'm going to get myself shot. I'm the type that will smack a bull elephant in the face and look at him like, 'and what 'cha gonna do about it?" Then later, I realize I could have gotten myself killed. I can fit right in if I need to. However, I would not even have the guts to try to fit in on the block though. Nope, not going there!

But I am getting tired of having to be like that. It's not me. I am tired of having to be 'hard'. I'm tired of having to be 'aware of my surroundings'.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:56 PM
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I went to some food pantries today. They told me that I am allowed to and actually encouraged me to go to all of them. They gave me a list of all of the food pantries in the area. So I went to a couple today. I got so many groceries they wouldn't fit in my pantry! Some of the food pantries allow you to go to them each week, some you can only go to monthly, and one only allows you to go there 6 times per year. If I can go to the food pantries, that will save me a lot in my grocery bill!
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:00 PM
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My daughter was verbally hired a couple of weeks ago and they told her they would contact her after the Thanksgiving holiday. Then days went by without them calling her. But they finally called her yesterday and had her go in today to do the hiring paperwork and gave her her uniform. They said they will call her tomorrow with her schedule. So, she is truly hired and will soon be making her own money! YEAH!!!

I am going to go out tomorrow and start looking for a weekend job.
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:04 PM
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Does anyone else have any other ideas on how to make more money and save money throughout the next year or so so I can hopefully move in 17 months and be able to support myself once my ex stops paying child support?

By the way, Momof4, I have been reading the book you told me about; Financial Peace Revisited. Thank you for suggesting it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:15 PM
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I have also unplugged the televisions since I have canceled the cable. Just having things plugged in even though they aren't turned on takes power and raises your electric bill.

I am also going to unplug the clothes washer and dryer and only plug them in when we use them.

Anyone other ideas?
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:56 PM
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Maybe you've already got this covered, but just in case ...
When I was pinched for $$ I kept a log of all expected income, and where I planned for that income to go. I think it helped me to see that I would be making progress, and kept me on track. I would do without rather than not meet my goals.
I also cheered if any child care parents were late or paid late, because that meant I got a few extra $$ to put toward bills

Also, I don't remember how you eat or feed your child care children, but there is plenty to be saved by cooking dry beans in a variety of ways. You can serve nutritious food economically, though maybe with a bit less variety, by using the less expensive fruits and veggies. Eggs are an economical protein choice also.
If you have co-ops in your area, they often have less expensive bulk beans, rice and other dry goods than you'll find in a typical grocery store.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:52 PM
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A while ago when I first asked for financial advice on this forum, I started keeping a record of my expected income and expenses. On my expenses list, I included a column to write how much I planned to put money toward paying off each debt. However, I don't make enough money to make plans for paying towards all of my debt. I check my budget a couple of times per week, on Fridays when I get paid and mid week so I can remind myself of what I plan to do with the upcoming Friday's pay. Doing so keeps me mentally aware of my income and expenses.

My parents are never late and never pay late, so I can't rack it in on late fees. One of my daycare parents has mentioned a couple of times that she has to take her child back to work with her for the evening when she has picked him up. So tonight, when she said that he had to go back to work with him, I told her that for an extra fee, I will watch him into the evenings until she gets off work if she will just call me during the day to let me know she has to work late. She doesn't know ahead of time when she will have to work late, so it's not a schedule or set amount of extra income each week, but it will be something even though it will be sporadic.

I've never cooked dried beans. I will have to look up recipes. I am on the food program which reimburses me for feeding the children. I have to provide a properly balanced meal. But in the past few months, I have learned to cook much cheaper, yet healthy meals.

I don't know what a co-op grocery store is. But we do have bulk grocery stores like Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club. They sell items in bulk which makes the individual item cheaper (for example, 3 bottles of shampoo sold as one item for $6 instead of buying each bottle separately for 2.88 which saves .88 per bottle.) I belong to BJ's. I shop there every once in a while when I can get enough money together to buy a few items at $6-$10 per item. Even though in the long run, you save money shopping there, just buying 4 items (one pack of ground beef, one package of toilet paper, one package of shampoo and one package of green beans might cost $30). Whereas for $30 at a regular store, I can get about 15 different items. So every once in a while, I will stock up on a few items from BJ's but I can't afford to go there often.

A few months ago, when I started really paying attention to my finances, I went to the 3 local grocery stores and wrote down the prices of every item that I might possibly buy to compare prices at the 3 stores. I did that each week for a month. I learned that one of the stores was always cheaper, so I only shop at that store now. It's been a few months, maybe I should compare the prices at the stores again just to make sure this store is still overall the cheapest.

I also clipped coupons for a while and compared the price of the couponed item with the store brand and found that the store brand price was always cheaper, so I stopped bothering with coupons and make sure to buy the store brand. I do, however, use the store's coupons they have for their brand items.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:20 PM
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Couponing only works if you are using them paired with a sale. I always get name brands far cheaper than store brands.
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Old 12-12-2014, 07:28 PM
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When I lived in Georgia, I did really well couponing. There was a store that offered double the coupon price or something like that, this was years ago, I don't quite remember the exact details of how it worked. But just outside of the grocery store, there was a recycle bin, so I would get the coupons out of there that people threw away with their Sunday paper. Then I would clip away and organize the coupons for the proper weeks, etc. I would get the name brand for a better price than the store brand there. I did very well with couponing there. One time, I bought only items that I had coupons for and when the cashier rang me up, the store actually OWED ME money!! The cashier rang me up twice than had the manager ring me up because they couldn't believe that they actually owed me money after I bought a whole cart of groceries!

But here, no matter what coupons I try to use, the store brand is always cheaper.
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:10 PM
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Beans make a complete protein when paired with a grain, which is required by the food program anyway You can make all kinds of tasty dishes, from soup to 'refried' beans (which you don't need to fry) to dishes from India. It all depends on which beans you use and how you cook and flavor them.

And great idea to take your daycare child on sporadic evenings. It doesn't matter if it's sporadic - that money still spends. You can put more toward a bill that you're paying down, or put it in savings. Just like the $26/mo that originally sounded so measly to you - add up month by month, and it adds up!
Your plan will be successful because of what you do with each small amount that you make, and how carefully you spend. You can do it!
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:16 PM
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Signmeup,

Thank you for the encouragement. Yes, every penny counts. I'm going to Google recipes for dried beans.
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Old 12-13-2014, 02:49 AM
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Lentils are a good, cheap protein too... my babies love Curried lentils with rice (mild), but you can also make lentil soup and use them in place of meat when you make spaghetti sauce (yes, my babies like lentil bolognese).

I'm grateful my kids eat Ethnic food ( I have nothing but littles under 2 years old) because other countries tend to make more vegetarian meals than the US; Helps with the budget a lot
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:43 AM
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Yay legumes
I figured I would call them all 'beans' because not everyone distinguishes between the types until they have some experience.

One nice thing about lentils, and yellow or green split peas (all legumes) is that they are small and cook quickly.
I make a yummy yellow pea soup, cooked with carrots and barley. The barley provides the grain element, and also cuts down on the 'beany' flavor, for those who aren't used to eating legumes. The carrots, I put half in when starting the peas. They cook down and give the soup a very slightly sweet taste And then I put the other half in when they barley is almost done, because the orange and yellow look pretty together, and it seems like most kids like carrots. (The only other ingredients besides the above are chopped onion, pepper and salt.)

I make a huge pot at a time, then freeze in portions appropriate to my group size. Easy lunch next time I need a quick one! (No need for fish sticks or chicken things here.)

Adding this: Last year my group decided that they wanted to have yellow pea soup and green pea soup on the same day so that they could compare flavors Nothing like a food/science experiment!
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:30 PM
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I applied for a few weekend jobs today. I applied at the hospital, a call center, a receptionist position, leasing consultant, and some retail jobs.
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Old 12-13-2014, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SignMeUp View Post
Yay legumes
I figured I would call them all 'beans' because not everyone distinguishes between the types until they have some experience.

One nice thing about lentils, and yellow or green split peas (all legumes) is that they are small and cook quickly.
I make a yummy yellow pea soup, cooked with carrots and barley. The barley provides the grain element, and also cuts down on the 'beany' flavor, for those who aren't used to eating legumes. The carrots, I put half in when starting the peas. They cook down and give the soup a very slightly sweet taste And then I put the other half in when they barley is almost done, because the orange and yellow look pretty together, and it seems like most kids like carrots. (The only other ingredients besides the above are chopped onion, pepper and salt.)

I make a huge pot at a time, then freeze in portions appropriate to my group size. Easy lunch next time I need a quick one! (No need for fish sticks or chicken things here.)

Adding this: Last year my group decided that they wanted to have yellow pea soup and green pea soup on the same day so that they could compare flavors Nothing like a food/science experiment!
On the lentil note: if you or your family or dck's won't go for straight lentils easily, you can substitute lentils for half of the ground beef in almost any recipe. I've made tacos, meatloaf, and chili. It's SO good... and not as noticeable for those who aren't quite sure about making the switch.
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Old 12-26-2014, 06:53 PM
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I just calculated and compared my bills and expenses that I had in August to the ones that I will have starting January. Due to the changes that I have made between August and now, I have lowered my expenses by $663.44 per month!!! YEAH!!!!

However, I just lost the one daycare baby, so my income has gone down by $480/month as well until I get another daycare child.

But that's still a saving of 183.44/month!! So, I still did good!

Thank you to everyone who has given me suggestions on lowering my expenses! You have definitely helped me make a big difference in them!!

Last edited by permanentvacation; 12-26-2014 at 06:54 PM. Reason: put per month beside each total
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:31 PM
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I just compared my shopping expenses (groceries, buying daycare toys, pet supplies, office supplies, dining out, etc.) from January and February with November and December.

In January and February, I averaged spending $692.39/month.
In November and December, I averaged spending $251.14/month.

I lowered my spending expenses by $441.25!!
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