LeRainDrop: Figures that you'd totally ignore the fact that I answered your question directly.
According to the thread I'm reading, you posted the direct answer to my question directly after I asked it. As in, I asked where do I start, and you responded. Sorry I didn't thank you, I thought I had at the beginning of my next response.
fantasma: Do you have medicare? Also there are grants out there that help people with their hospital bills/medical bills.
I have medicaid. And thank you for the link, I'll check that out.
fantasma: He should definitely pick up another job while he is looking for a full time.
He's been looking for ANYTHING, and currently he has two jobs though the first one refuses to give him hours while he has a second one, and the second one has a clause in their employment that you cannot secure another job after being hired without permission from the management, who have said he cannot have another job while he's working for them because they need everyone to have open availability right now (they're not and just learning when they need more people so the schedule changes every week). So the only way to get another job is to get one that pays more/more hours than he's making now, and he hasn't even been offered any positions at all. He was told by someone recently that he's too clean-cut for Portland restaurants, but it's not going to stop him from shaving and putting on a tie for an interview! I'd think those people we just nuts if that hadn't been the fourth time he's been told something similar in the last 8 months.
Your local electric company may receive grants to assist low income people/families. They may provide low income discounts and or rates if they don't give you a partial credit.
I don't pay an electric bill, so I don't qualify for credits on one.
kombat: I'm a little confused - I thought he was currently working? Albeit, only a couple of weeks per month, but he's working, isn't he?
How do you collect unemployment benefits when you're employed? Is that possible?
Yep, it's called "undermployment." You file for unemployment benefits, and they determine how much you are supposed to be making based on your previous 4 quarters of employment. They they approve benefits up to 70% of that number, and any earnings you make are taken out of that (not dollar for dollar, though) and they pay you the rest. So if he was making $700 a week and they approve him for $450 a week and then he only earns $250 that week, then the unemployment office may pay him $100. Since those are pretty close to accurate numbers, he was told that based on his last three paychecks he would be getting checks of about $100 per week, which would increase our income by about $400 a month. Of course, there comes a point that you make too much to get benefits but not enough to replace them, but that's better than being completely short all the time.
It's very useful when going from a salary job to a part-time hourly, and allows you to work and continue searching for work without completely cancelling benefits.
I must admit, I'm still a little unclear on the reasoning behind why you pay rent to his parents if they just turn around and give it back to him to buy groceries.
Unconventional, yes, and I can understand the confusion. Technically he is living rent free because it is his job to take care of them. It's not my job to take care of them, so I pay rent to cover part of the mortgage + the increase in utilities with me living here. I pay them my share, but they are cognitive of the fact that his income has dropped to less than half of what it was by moving here to take care of them, so they are contributing to his budget, which he can use any way he pleases. But if he starts making more money or their income drops or their bills increase, there's no guarantee they will continue to help him out.
kombat: You don't get to choose the debts you're bankrupting. I know you've mentioned that you want to keep the car, but if you file bankruptcy, I'm almost positive that the car has to be part of the deal. You would be forced to sell it, and you'd be liable for the difference between what it sold for, and what you still owed on it. Of course, that deficit would be lumped in with your other debts, and subsequently cleared in bankruptcy. But you'd be without a car, and your credit would be trashed.
I've been assured by 3 people who have gone through bankruptcy that they lost neither their house (not applicable here) nor their cars by filing bankruptcy. Technically those things are included, but if you keep paying on them they don't get taken away and neither do they get discharged. I've read in a few different places that you can selectively not include certain debts like the only car in a family if it would otherwise be a hardship. Still, I would certainly be checking into the details of my particular situation before assuming that filing for bankruptcy wouldn't automatically lose me my car.
You'd also still owe the student loan debt, the $1,500 to your mother, and your boyfriend's $6.5k in credit card debt. Would reducing your debts from $25,000 to $9,500, but losing your car and ability to borrow, solve your problems?
Considering a number of folks going through bankruptcy still get offers and approved for credit cards while going through and immediately after the process, I'm not concerned. Moreover since I have no intention of borrowing money any time like what I would consider soon, I wasn't worried. Since I was under the impression that bankruptcy was no longer on your credit report after 10 years, I also hadn't really been concerned with the effects on borrowing for a business 10 years from now--though 5 would be an issue. And at our current income, removing just my credit card payments would solve our budget issues, since I can pay my mom back after I pay off my car and student loan (3 more years down the road).
Am I the only one seriously bothered by policies that create circumstances like this?
Nope, not the only one. I keep asking for ways that I can contribute or earn some money, and while I can do so once I get onto social security disability, state disability says that I cannot. I'm not even supposed to do online market surveys, but according to my social worker as long as the checks aren't disbursed I can't be punished for that. Selling crafts online means that the money goes into an actual bank account (even if it's just paypal) so that's out. Once on social security, there are programs in place for helping disabled people start their own businesses doing crafts, online sales, etc. in which I will be eagerly participating.
Of course it's worth noting that the $1,500 figure on medical benefits is an estimate based on my calculations of benefits used--for example this month I had a $10k surgery, so I definitely went over the $1500 figure, but last month I only had one doctor appointment while I was sitting on waiting lists.
peachy: My only concern ... is with the dream of moving to Australia with a parent with a disability/terminal illness
She is a citizen there, and once she lives there for two years her sons can get citizenship. There will also be inheritance money to fund that because it will be happening once my partner's father dies, and he is 8 months into a 12 month prognosis. Miracles happen, but in this case it will be a miracle of time rather than recovery. Whether or not my partner and I will be accompanying her will depend entirely on what our lives look like at that point, including governments, economies, and family health issues (mine and my family's as well as whether she will be able to get the help she needs over there or will require my partner to care for her--again, all being determined at some date in the future once those variables can even be measured).
Also, get rid of the storage locker. That is a total waste.
In your world, perhaps. Until we get some of the parents' junk cleared out so that we have more space than the bed and the half closet, all my and my partner's belongings are in off-site storage. We've already cut our off-site storage to 1/3 of what it was when we moved down here by selling things to cover bills and more creative organization of space, ad well as getting rid of some of the built-up junk from the packrat parents that was taking up space.
Cancel the cell phones, and get a landline/magic jack/whatever.
This is not an option. Cell phones cost less than the house's landline (that we don't use because we have cell phones), due to long-distance calling. Also, the medical situations require my partner and I to have cell phones on us at all times for emergencies.
Buy a cheap used car, if you own it outright you can lower your insurance to just liability only.
Cheap used cars + the repairs to bring them up to "reliable" status cost more than I owe on mine. That math has already been done, hence the not wanting to lose my car. It's worth noting that when I bought the car and started the payments on it, I was gainfully employed and ready to pay it off in a year. Life happens, though.
If I was in this trouble I would use some of Dave Ramseys advice.
That is the debt snowball.
The debt snowball doesn't work if you can't even make your minimum payments. Though I do see your advice to call and get other payments pushed back, but those requests were denied. We were on a debt snowball (and if you notice the rest of the discussion I DO have a budget in place), before the income dropped. And until the last three months, were even still making emergency fund savings contributions and extra debt payments. Everything is arranged in a spreadsheet in order or priority, with the lowest balance at the front and the lowest interests at the end, and scheduled out to know which debts get additional payments as others get knocked off. That's how I know that with the extra $300 a month we could meet our budget, contribute to an emergency fund, and be out of debt in 3 years. $500 a month extra needed if we include giving ourselves any kind of spending money and investing in some health insurance and dental work for my partner that would result in better job prospects and therefore better lifetime and even immediate income.
Sorry I didn't get all the names into all the quotes.