Long time lurker, first time poster

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2012
Long time lurker, first time poster
7
Mon, 12-17-2012 - 2:53pm

Hey everyone,

  I figured I'd finally start actively participating. I am now undergoing a year of service to my country by being an AmeriCorps service member. AmeriCorps is a domestic branch of the Peace Corps. Instead of serving overseas for 2.5 years, in the AmeriCorps, members serve 1 year terms still within the country. Part of being in the AC means that I don't get paid! Members receive a living stipend and after taxes that equals $810 a month. We qualify for things like forebearance on our Federal Student Loans and SNAP (which I'm still waiting to hear from...come on DHS, I want to eat!) So as you can imagine, budgeting is something I need to be more active in.

In September my dentist told me I had the beginning stages of gum diseases so I've been getting a 4 part Gum Scaling procedures that cost $135 per visit and are not covered my my insurance so that's coming out of pocket.

My car also broke down 2 months ago and I've had to bum rides from people and I've been couch surfing with family. It's been rough.

I have 2 credit cards.

One with a balance of just below $3,000. Last December I made the decision to punch out debt so I cut up the card and have paid off about $1K.
The other card is up to $500 which includes 3 of those dental visits so far.

I'm going to have to buy a new junker car because I can't be without one. If I took the city bus from my mom's place to work it would take 2 hours instead of 20 minutes. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Anyway, so I'm starting to be active so I can stay in control. And tips or support would be immensely helpful.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2013
Tue, 04-16-2013 - 11:15am

Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link, Mojo50.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2012
Tue, 01-15-2013 - 10:21am

Thanks for the encouragement Serenity.

I have a car! My uncle found a great deal on a 90 Cutless for $900 at 63K miles. I have to pay my mom but it's worth it. Having a car is so important.

The fiscal cliff or the holiday tax break that ended at 2012 stripped my bi weekly Americorps stipend of $10 which really does make a different when you're getting paid so little but having a car definitely is making me feel more positive.

I am planning on applying whatever I get during tax season to the principal on my credit card so I'll just sit tight and pay minimums until then and then reasses my budget.

[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/debt/w7dZSLQ/]
[img]http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/t/w7dZSLQ/debt.png[/img]
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Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 12-20-2012 - 1:08pm

Welcome to the board!  

Sounds like you have made a decision to make a short term sacrifice for a long-term goal.  I would agree with you that under the circumstances, a car would be a priority.  

My one concern is that you are using a CC to pay for dental work.  I always work out a payment plan for my medical and dental.  In general, using a credit card is a last resort.  

I would guess that right now, just staying at status quo is about all you can do.  I don't know what the other think, my thoughts would be to save as much cash as you can (if that is even possible) and make minimum payments on your cards.  

That way, you hopefully won't have to use your cards at this year, as you would have cash already saved for emergencies, car repairs, etc.  

Good luck and I look forward to your posts!

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2012
Thu, 12-20-2012 - 10:28am
Oh, and I wanted to note that I work 50 hours a week. I don't have a lot of free time to pick up a ton of extra hours but I'm willing. I keep looking for some sort of internet work I could easily do from home but everything looks like a scam.

[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/debt/w7dZSLQ/]
[img]http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/t/w7dZSLQ/debt.png[/img]
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2012
Thu, 12-20-2012 - 10:19am

Thanks for the input.

I just wanted to say that AmeriCorps is NOT an internships. It's considered service to my country just like the Peace Corps.I'm essentially working for the government.

I do have a second job, I work at a university but for only about 6-10 hours a week. I would look for something else but not having a car makes it impossible to get another job. I do not live in a big city that has amazing public transportation.

My family lives in this city so I can just stay with them for minimal cost. I agreed to cover my mom's tv/internet in exchange for me living with her but because I'm carless I can't move in. Her schedule doesn't make it easy for her to drive me to work.

I get health insurance through AmeriCorps but it's only okay. My next dental visit is in mid January. I've been scheduling the appointments to be close to when I get paid which has helped.

I've never heard of Cars for Charity, I'm lookin gup the website right now!

When my year in AmeriCorps is done I get an education award which I can either put toward my student loans for grad school. Not sure what I'm planning on doing yet.

[url=http://www.TickerFactory.com/debt/w7dZSLQ/]
[img]http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/t/w7dZSLQ/debt.png[/img]
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Tue, 12-18-2012 - 12:48pm

Welcome,

That is what I was thinking...can you get a 2nd job to add to the first non paying job? You have some bills you rightfully need to take care of. 

I would be thinking about where to live before a car instead of couch surfing but that is just me. Put the word out for both or actively start phoning around. 

It sounds like you need to save some of that cash for first months rent etc or possibly a down payment on the car. 

Can you put off some of the dental work even for a few months to get a handle on things.

Good luck, post often!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Mon, 12-17-2012 - 4:48pm

Wow, sounds like a big undertaking, but I would be worried about the income.  First with only $810 a month and all the bills you have, even with the loan in forbearance, that seems like you will be adding more to debt in the coming year, than building on your base.

That said, I would run to the cars for charity donation sites in your area.  Many times charities get a lot more donations during the holidays and they might have more cars to choose from for low income people.  They might have a good working auto for under $5k you can purchase at a low rate.

I would normally suggest a spending plan, but I just don't know how to stretch $810 into food, health care, gas, dental work, debt payments and more.  Can you also take a part-time job to suppliment your income?

I know internships are supposed to be really worthwhile, but studies have shown unpaid or very low paid internships do not result in much better jobs.  (I will search for the study.)  Our kids found summer internships for $14.95 an hour last year, and that really helped them with college costs this year.

Do they provide housing costs, low cost health/dental care or anything else?

Thanks for posting, but the more we know, the easier it is for us to help you.

-Marie

#Marie