Friday, April 08, 2005

you know it's bad when

me and money ain't never been what you'd call "friends". it seems i never have enough. i'm terrible with money. i'm incapable of saving.

when i first moved to ny (3.5 mos pregnant), i had saved up enough for a deposit and first month's rent and that's about it. it took me 3 weeks longer to find a job then it did to find a studio apartment. (for $800/month!! - ridiculous)

so, i made $20/week cleaning my cousin's bathrooms for her. she has 2 young boys - this is not an easy feat. i would eat dinner at her house 2 or 3 times a week and spend $8/wk on gas and $12/wk on food. i qualified for medicaid - duh - so at least the pregnancy was being well-cared for. i also had wic (where they give you checks for dairy products and peanut butter) and since i don't drink a gallon of milk a week nor eat a pound of cheese, i would give all the food to my cousin as a "look i appreciate what you're doing for me - here's what i can give back" kind of thing. i would also do chores around her house - like laundry, dinner, dishes, etc... as a way of helping out and doing "my part" - oh and i babysat. for free. a lot. oh, and there was this teeny-tiny thing about being pregnant, caring for her house and mine and living alone. i was exhausted. (and nauseous.)

anyway, i did it. i survived. on $20 damn dollars for like 3 or 4 months. then, as i worked more, i saved more. (i was going to be out on disability for 8 weeks - i would need to save up a month's rent because the disability checks would only cover about 3 weeks.) i still only spent about $30/wk and then the occasional purchase (like a maternity shirt or something - on clearance). i managed to save almost a month's rent and then used some cash gifts from micah's birth for the remainder that disability and my savings account couldn't cover.

one of the hardest parts about being on your own is state aid. the MOMENT you start to make a little more - they pull back a lot. for example, in ny, if you make $2000/month you can get child health plus for your one child for $9/month, but if you make $2201/month - that fee jumps to $153/month. HUH?? doesn't make sense!

this is my problem now. i'm making more but because of that i no longer qualify for medicaid or wic. daycare was costing me $55/week, now it's more than doubled. EACH WEEK.

3 weeks ago, i bounced 2 checks which equals $60 in fees. 2 weeks ago, i bounced 1 check for $30 in fees and last week i had to pay myself out 2 sick days in order to make rent and yesterday i had $10.13 in my account!!

more than that, i hate never having any.