Frugal Village Forums banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My family has been fortunate enough to qualify for a child care subsidy for our two children. We end up paying about $260-$300 a month for child care. However, my boyfriend just got back the hours that he had been cut last year (from 40 down to 32) and now makes more than we did when we qualified for the subsidy. Our case is up for review next month and I’m afraid that with the extra income we will be over the income limit for the subsidy program. Without the subsidy daycare costs over $1200 per month.

I make roughly $1300 a month before taxes and without the help paying for child care I will essentially be working to pay for child care. My boyfriend makes about $2400 a month before taxes and it doesn’t seem like enough for a family of 4 to live on. Also, I’m scared about quitting my jobs and then trying to get back into the workforce several years from now.

My daycare provider thinks I should lie and say that I kicked my boyfriend out so that his income won’t count and we’ll be able to still work and afford child care. Or, rent an apartment for less money per month than it would cost to pay for daycare and make that his address, though we would still live together. I’ve looked at taking drastic pay cuts at my two jobs and hoping that we’ll fall under the income limit, but without knowing exactly what that limit is it’s hard to know if it would help. We make about $700 more per month this year (before taxes) than we did last year when we signed up.

Any suggestions? I’m afraid of committing fraud and risking going to jail or something just to pay for childcare. However, on the other hand, I can’t justify working just to pay for childcare when my job doesn’t provide any other benefits like health or dental care that might make it worth while.

What would you guys do??

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
Ali,

I am sorry things are so tough right now! Please research as you are , hopefully someone can help you with figures, but whatever you do don't LIE.

Lying isn't just ethically and morally wrong as you know. It will give you worries beyond your belief and having it hang over your head is not good physically, spiritually or if caught you will have to pay all back as well as risk being convicted of fraud. I know you know all this but if in doubt in a moment of panic just remember you are worth so much more then that. You are a caring Mom and don't want to be in a bad position.

Lets see if someone can help you come up with concrete figures and we can go from there. I will see what I can dig up as well.

Blessings and hugs to you hon! Things will be ok.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LuLuBleen and jas

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
If you lie about it, what happens if he has to pick up one of the kids when they get sick or you can't? And also isn't there some tax credits you get for Child care from the IRS? You have to do what is best for you, I don't know if I was in your situation, if I would tell them about the new hours, because it might just be temporary. I don't know if I helped, but I tried.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We have to provide paystubs and have our employers fill out a worksheet that details the number of hours we work, our hourly pay rate and how often we get paid, so they would find out about the extra hours even if we didn't bring it up.
I just don't know that I could lie and not worry every day that someone would find out and turn us in. I can understand how people do it - can't afford to work and can't afford not to.
What a pickle :-(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
All it would take is one person knowing you've lied and seeing him live there for you to get busted.. If it is the way it was in Cali years ago, if you get caught it will cost you a lot more..

I would really try to find another route.. They might still cover you, but you just might need to pay out more than you are now, which would still be a savings.. I don't know where in Cali you are, but your combined income seems to be to low to survive as it is, so I can't see why you wouldn't still get help.. I know they only consider gross income, but that still couldn't be that much more..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
I don't think you ever really planned to commit fraud, although I can certainly understand that losing a subsidy you are used to would be very frustrating.

Going forward, I think you should seriously consider if it's worth it to keep your job. Do a realistic assessment of how much you are actually bringing home each month (subtracting childcare, commuting costs, work lunches, work clothes - everything). You might just find that you'd break even or come out ahead by staying home.

Then, if you decide to stay home, you can look at other ways to earn extra income. Or, you can look for a different job that offers benefits that would be worth working for. Good luck, whatever you decide!

Kara
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
Ali,

About those figures maybe if you feel comfortable you can post your budget and the number crunchers here can help you with your budget.

If worse comes to worse and you lose the subsidy you can figure out how to stay home on what you make, take another job, more hours etc.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,575 Posts
May I suggest to re-evaluate the 2 jobs that you have? If you got rid of one would that income drop, less the child care savings actually boost your income?

Can you work off shift from your BF?

What about a family babysitter?

What about finding someone who works 2nd or 3rd shift and trade babysitting services?

Before you doing the wrong thing, look for other ways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Don't worry guys, I'm not going to commit fraud. I'm just feeling a bit frustrated and stressed.

I think the answer may be to quit the smaller job and hope that our new income will keep us on the subsidy. I do wish I had more time to spend with my girls....

We both work 9-5 jobs, and can't really trade off working days to reduce daycare costs. Also, no family that I trust to watch them for more than a couple hours at a time. I tried that when my oldest was a baby and would come home to find that she had not been changed in hours.

Jobs are pretty scarce around here and I'm afraid of letting any income go because I'm afraid I won't be able to find a replacement.

We don't have a working budget yet. I'm in the tracking three months of expenses phase to see where everything is going. My boyfriend also isn't totally on board with the whole frugal thing. He thinks it's cute that I'm baking more, learning how to work a slow cooker, and staying away from stores, but he thinks it's just a phase. He frequently comes home with new purchases, albiet from the thrift store, and I have to ask him not to. Our money isn't combined so he feels that his money is his money and he can do what he wants with it. This is opening a whole new can of worms here....

Anyways, any moms here that decided to quit the workforce because working ended up costing them money? How did that work out? What did you find the hardest?

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
I know you have already said you won't commit fraud, that's great!! You never know that if you had decided to do that at some point down the road you may have needed assistance with other things if your bf split and they could deny you if you had gotten caught commiting fraud in the past.

I have been a sahm for the better part of 22 years. It has been the best decision for our family by a long shot. Sure if I had worked all these years we probably would have had a bigger house, newer cars, more clothes, eaten out more, gone on more and bigger vacations ect. Those things are nice, but are not the things that count in the long run.

Over time we have gotten those things or most of them anyway. What we have gained has been worth it. What I would have made even working full-time way back then would have just about covered the daycare and added work expenses and all the extras I would have said I just had to reward myself with mostly eating out and more clothes.

How stable is your relationship with your bf? What is the main reason you don't combine your income? Are the children his? Don't mean to get too nosy just trying to get a better perspective on your situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Our relationship is stable. The youngest is his and he's been like a dad to the older one for almost 3 years now. We don't combine our money because we've both had relationships in the past where we shared a bank account with a significant other and have had all our money spent for us. It's an issue that we'll eventually work through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,525 Posts
You can figure out your total income with either one of your jobs separately to see which amount would left you qualify for childcare. Then see if your financial needs would be met. That may help you decide which job to quit.

I hope you can figure out what will be best. It is difficult when you are trying to get ahead. Things always seem to work out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
540 Posts
I've been a sahm most of my kids lives (4 and oldest is 26)... When I did work, I always worked opposite of hubbys hours, we never had a babysitter/daycare...

When we last lived in Cali (96), we were paying $850 a month in rent, $200 a month in gas, $150 a mo in food, plus $150 in utilities, etc.. Hubby was making about $1,600 gross a month and there were 6 of us..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
You said that your review is up soon, but you probably could call your subsidy holder and see what the maximum allowable income is for the number of people in your family before that and do a rough calculation to see you will even be over income. I expect like median and maximum allowable limits in housing change every so often so it may also go up with other stuff like daycare subsidies. Everyone else has given better advice about looking at the pros and cons better than I could.

Good luck, with whatever happens and whatever you decide to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
We are a family of 5 living on what my husband brings home. It is about the same as what your boyfriend brings home. I am a sahm. While I occasionally do some contract work, I have not really added any income to our total for about a year. We have been able to make it by budgeting very carefully. It is possible.

The things that really did it for us were looking for a cheaper area to live in (without trading on safety), making a menu for each week and sticking to the list we make when we buy groceries, vehicles and gas usage - I walk my oldest to school instead of driving my husband to work and then driving to and from school, or getting a second vehicle.

I know cost of living is different here but those are some things you could discuss as you get your numbers together.

Good luck with it all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
This isn't meant to sound harsh, but if you aren't married and he isn't the father of the child(ren) then why does his income even matter when you are qualifying for childcare for the children? I can see if you were married and filed joint tax returns, etc. If he was a roommate or something his income wouldn't matter, would it? I wouldn't lie, but is there a way around it without lying? Do you have separate bank accounts?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top