Need help!! What do I do???
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Need help!! What do I do???

    We are trying to budget and get ahold of our money situation. We are well below poverty level but don't have a mortgage payment (house is paid for) and no credit cards.

    So here is my BIG dilemma.

    I have 5 kids and need a vehicle big enough to fit all 7 of us.
    I currently have Jeep Cherokee (paid for) and a minivan.
    The Cherokee fits 5 including driver.

    The minivan payments are $356 per month, plus full coverage insurance which is very high in Michigan.

    I simply cannot afford this vehicle any longer. I'm robbing peter to pay paul every month - calling the electric company and begging them to let me make half a payment, negotiating with the insurance company to extend our coverage period by just a few days, etc.

    My idea was to give the van back. Our credit is already shot due to student loans, so I'm not worried about that. But then it leaves me without a usable vehicle. We live in a rural area with no public transportation.
    If I give the van back, I can take half the normal van payment and put it in savings and buy a used van next year. But then we can't go anywhere as a family, a big problem when it comes to doctor appointments, homeschool group, etc.

    There is literally nothing more I can cut from the budget.

    What do I do??? Creative financing ideas???

    Thank you in advance!!

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    13
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Do you owe more on the van than what it's worth or could you sell it and get out of the loan that way?

  3. #3
    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    1,058
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    17

    Default

    People often assume their fixed expenses are fixed.

    Do you get a tax refund every year? If so, adjust your withholding so you don't. At well below poverty level, you might qualify for the earned income credit which could be paid to you monthly.

    Can you lower your insurance costs? Increase your deductible? When you say "full insurance", I assume you mean you have comprehensive and collision which is required by the lender.

    Can you sell the Jeep? If nothing else that would be one less vehicle you have to insure. You could also use whatever money you get from the sale to make your payments on the van.

    Do everything you can to negotiate your student loans. If nothing else, to get your payments suspended for a little while.

    Lastly, you have five kids and you're well below the poverty level. #1 - I recommend you get a part time job. I'm sure that seems impossible and I believe you when you say you are very tired just from home schooling and taking care of house and kids, but when you can't cut another penny from the budget the only option you have is to increase your income. You could even keep the Jeep and make that your work vehicle as you use it to deliver newspapers or pizzas or something in the night, early morning or weekends (my daughter used to be an early morning bakery delivery driver). Face it, you wouldn't have to earn much. $500 a month would make a huge difference to your family. That's a weekend job.

    And as much as it makes you a target to be making expensive vehicle payments, you could go and apply for food stamps (SNAP). You probably qualify. Have a plan for how you're going to get OFF food stamps but it is something you could do Monday morning to make an immediate improvement in your financial situation.

    Lastly, look at renegotiating your van loan. Maybe you could get the payment lowered.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    FrugalVillage.com
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    13,930
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    25
    Rep Power
    88

    Default

    What you can't do is leave yourself stranded in a rural area w/ kids
    And you can't only have a vehicle that fits 5 of 7 in case of emergency.
    No-fault here wasnt much cheaper w/o collision here when I checked 6 mo. ago.
    Need more info
    Driving records? Could you shop for a cheaper ins./can you make money online w/ crafts/ebay or such.
    Can you garden/get chickens or such.
    How much do you owe on the van? How bad is your credit-can you pay it off w/ a small lower interest loan from a credit union?
    More info.

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,167
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    if you are below the poverty line, you should definitely be able to get SNAP because I think their cut-off is you can't more than 130% more then the poverty line. I just looked it up, there are 7 of you, right? If your gross monthly income is less than $3914, you're probably eligible. And it's over $1000 a month with 7 people. That puts a good dent in the food budget! And you can have it and be employed, just check the guidelines. You can apply online, I believe and it's a well run program you don't have to keep jumping through hoops to keep. The kids can get free breakfast and lunch at school. Visit food pantries if needed. And I would look at this site:

    http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/faq.cfm look at the link "What Programs Use the Poverty Guidelines"

    and that's just Federal Programs, you'll find state programs as well. There are programs to help you go back to school if that would help job-wise. There are programs to cut the cost of heat. There really is a lot out there, but it can be hard to cope with, if you know what I mean? Like I'm waiting for SSDI, at first I was ashamed about that and when I get it, I'll qualify for many of these programs. In the beginning, I wanted no part of any of it. But mull it over, I got to the point where I will welcome this help down the road. Good luck!

    oh, I thought of one more, my state has this amazing health insurance for kids at a very low cost, I qualified and I was working full time as a nurse. If your state does this, you may save a lot at the next open enrollment period by insuring only you and spouse through work, and the kids through the state programs.

  7. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    13,930
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    25
    Rep Power
    88

    Default

    She is in Michigan and we are one of the few states that are asset based. She owns her own home so that could be a problem. But she should check. I just know we couldn't get anything when Dh was out of work. We had more than $5000. in assets.
    She should however seek out church pantry for food and clothes. She should type in her zip code and see what comes up. I found there was a church pantry I could have used at a very close church

  8. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,167
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    ugh, that stinks, you'd think they would consider that she is not in need of low income housing as a positive. Especially because they are trying to help you do things to get you off SNAP since there are limits to how long you can get it. NY lets you own your home and car, they no longer consider up to a certain amt of savings, do not factor in retirement or college savings. And if you have, say, very high medical bills, they will look at these factors and you may be able to get SNAP when you thought you couldn't. I'd try, the application is easy or you can try to see if you are eligible through an online questionnaire, it gives you a tentative idea of what would happen if you apply and it also looks at your info and at the end, lists other programs you probably could get. This Fed page is helpful because so many of the things that are taken from your income (i.e.:medical expenses) and that makes you more eligible.

    A Quick Guide to SNAP Eligibility and Benefits | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    what I plan to do once my income is known, is sit down with one of my social worker friends, see what she suggests and apply for those things. You can go to DSS and get a case worker to help you through the system for all programs you may be eligible for

  9. #8
    Registered User CookieLee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    1,058
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by frugalwarrior2 View Post
    She is in Michigan and we are one of the few states that are asset based. She owns her own home so that could be a problem. But she should check. I just know we couldn't get anything when Dh was out of work. We had more than $5000. in assets.
    She should however seek out church pantry for food and clothes. She should type in her zip code and see what comes up. I found there was a church pantry I could have used at a very close church
    The SNAP rules have changed. Assets are no longer considered and that is a federal ruling. When the economy went to heck in 2008, the givernment realized that people were still in need of food even though they owned million dollar homes and a garage full of SUVs. Yes, they should sell their assets to get food but you can't sell if there is no market!

    SNAP (food stamps) is considered temporary assistance. You don't have to destitute yourself and make yourself homeless just to qualify.

  10. #9
    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,916
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    59

    Default

    As far as letting the car go back it isn't that easy. They'll take it back, clean it up, put new tires if needed on it and sell at an auction. If you owe say 10,000 on it and it goes for 5,000 you will have to pay the 5,000 difference plus the cost of whatever they did to "clean it up & repair"... including the tires. And they almost always put new tires on one if it's a decent vehicle.
    Don't go that route if you can keep from it. THIS I know what I'm talking about. Had one repossessed in 2009 and we ended up getting a bill for over 7,000.
    Bank of America is THE godfather of Hell with Wells Fargo running neck and neck. When the world ends the only things that will be left are cockroaches, Walmart, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. Not necessarily in that order. The order remains to be seen.

    Challenges
    Coupon/Sales Challenge Feb
    $8.00

    Grocery Challenge/Feb
    Goal $250.00
    Total $33.55

    Eat Out No More Feb
    Goal 20
    Accomp/8

    No Spend Challenge/Feb
    Goal 20
    Accomp 4

    Change Jar 2020
    $

    Christmas Fund 2020
    $

  11. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    13,930
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    25
    Rep Power
    88

    Default

    MDHHS=1-855-275-6424 Food assistance prog. SOM - State of Michigan.
    Excludes 1st house and 1 car.
    but includes cash on hand,ck. and savings acct.,investments,some trusts must be under $5000. will be reviewed cases by case.
    Call them.

  12. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your ideas. I am not opposed to getting a job, but there just isn't much out here. It would cost me that much in gas and child care. I am about 35 miles from the nearest small town (about 2000 people) and an hour from a major city. The tiny town nearest me has one little store and a library, and they are not hiring.

    I am busting my butt every way I know how, with selling stuff (pretty much everything that isn't nailed down!) and trying to generate food and income from our property. We raise/hunt all of our meat, have laying hens, meat birds, meat rabbits, and grow a huge garden, but I'm not quite at the place where I can sell the excess. (Shooting for next year, though!) We heat with wood from our property, I don't have a dryer, I can and freeze everything I can get my hands on. I've gotten really good at finding things that are extremely cheap or free, fixing them up, and selling them. My husband gets free pallets from work and I am learning to build things with them that I can sell.

    I was able to negotiate with the phone company and get my internet bill lowered substantially. I wouldn't mind going without, but we use it a lot for schooling the kids. Public school isn't an option for many reasons, mostly due to the district itself.

    My mom offered us a loan of $1200 for a different vehicle. The van was purchased through a predatory lender when our other vehicle (a 1989 Oldsmobile) caught on fire. We didn't feel like we had a choice. So we owe about $8000 on a van that is worth less than $2000. UGH, the messes we get ourselves in!! I am sick of paying the stupid tax!

    If I do a voluntary repo on the van, they will want their money back for sure. I am sure they will try to garnish wages and or tax refund. I don't know how that all works... we've never had a car loan before, let alone dealt with repossession. A garnishment would kill us financially, but might be lower than the current $356 a month that we're paying. And we could get PLPD insurance on the newer vehicle which would knock that bill from about $225 a month to around $110 for both vehicles.

    Student loans are all in good standing and my payment is measly, $5 a month through a rehabilitation program. I plan to keep paying that because it's fixing my credit score. Dave Ramsey says we don't need one... maybe he doesn't, but he doesn't live on $30K a year, either.

    I will call DHS today and see if they can help. My grocery bills are low considering our family size - I budget $550 per month and rarely go over, but that would be nice, to have that go toward electricity or something.

    I look back on when we were doing well, before my husband's job was sent to China, and kick myself for not putting much away. It's been rough here since 2011, but this stupid van loan has made it so much worse. I guess now i am just venting lol but seriously, I am so mad at myself for getting into this nonsense in the first place.

  13. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    1,167
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Blog Entries
    2
    Rep Power
    9

    Default

    What is PLPD car insurance?

    it's funny, I literally just finished writing in my post how mad I am at myself for not preparing for illness that would end my job. I had a plan for how things would go and I would retire from my only employer at age 62. I'm 45, healthy, the possibility of the plan being derailed like this, I just did not think about it or plan for it. So I'm looking back and regretting big expenditures, like vacations, what a waste of money.

    I failed to prepare. You probably hadn't thought that DH's job would be moved to China. Give yourself a break, unless you have a higher end income, how are you supposed to save for every eventuality and have anything left over for a life? I'm trying really hard to not look back and play the woulda, shoulda, coulda game. Just keep pointing yourself forward. Forgive past "mistakes", that in reality you could afford at the time, so maybe they weren't even mistakes, kwim? I am struggling with my own advice, lol, but each day I blame myself a little less and try to come up with plans.

    Good things about your situation: if your income grows, you will never make the "mistakes" again that will put you in debt, because you know what can happen. The second thing- you're role modeling for your kids how to be thrifty, etc. and you will probably teach them when they are older, the things you did right, and the things that didn't work out. That's my 2 cents. I wish you easier days ahead

  14. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Age
    81
    Posts
    423
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    7

    Default

    Thanks everyone for your ideas. I am not opposed to getting a job, but there just isn't much out here. It would cost me that much in gas and child care. I am about 35 miles from the nearest small town (about 2000 people) and an hour from a major city. The tiny town nearest me has one little store and a library, and they are not hiring.
    What's holding you there, ie what's your tie to the region? Seem like you could sell the house and buy another one that's only a few miles from the major city?

    What does DH do now, since his job went to China? You mentioned a student loan, who has the degree, DH or you?

    But it appears that you're caught between two life-styles. Ie "modern" and "subsistence". If you desire the subsistence route - hunt, trap, fish, keep a milk cow, some laying hens, a few hogs, a veg garden, grow hay for for cows, etc. Raise enough hogs for cash sale (to pay the property tax & power bill). Forego the modern things such as cars, appliances - live similar to Amish. Or, if you go 'modern' you'll need access to salaried jobs, cars, groceries, clothes, bank, services such as schools, hospital.

  15. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    We grew up here, our whole family is here (within 15 mile radius) ... I just can't picture us leaving. My husband is facilities coordinator for a testing facility, worked his way up from warehouse and still lots of potential for growth. He takes the cherokee to work which gets much better gas mileage than a minivan (and is also safer in the winter, having 4WD and all.)

    We did make a decision - we are giving the van back. We bought a van for $500 and all it needs is a tune-up, which DH can do, and minor cosmetics that we probably won't even mess with. We are going to pay my mom back (she loaned us the money) in two months. We aren't worried about what this will do to our credit. It's already shot, and keeping the lights on and food on the table is much more important than a credit score right now.

    Voluntary repo will free up a lot of money that we can put in the emergency fund, so that if this vehicle dies, we can either repair it or buy another.

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Age
    81
    Posts
    423
    Post Thanks / WTG / Hug
    Rep Power
    7

    Default

    We grew up here, our whole family is here (within 15 mile radius) ... I just can't picture us leaving.
    That's a personal decision. For many families over the past century, that choice was forced upon them. Europeans were forced to leave Europe, most immigrated to Iowa, MN, SD, ND, NB - you see mostly German, Norwegian, Swedes, in those states. And economics forced Southerners to migrate North to Detroit for jobs. Many folks have followed the Mining Industry, many follow Oil, and so on. And many moved from Agriculture to Industrial centers in the 40's & 50's. The US has a constant population shift as we move from Ag to Industrial to Computers - so you have to adapt accordingly - either by staying with a way of life or updating.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •