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I live better on Welfare then I ever did working!

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+16 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 07:48 PM
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Situation:

My wife and I both are college educated and professionals in our field. We both have Masters degrees and made good money. However, when we got married we wanted to start a family and decided to have children, as a result we got twins and now have two children. The numbers are as follows:

Annual Income = Wife 45,000 (works 8 hours a day 5 days a week) Me: 41,000 (works 10 hours a day 6 days a week)

Bring home monthly pay after deductions (taxes, social security, health insurance, retirement plan): Wife = 2800 Me = 2400

Our monthly Bills:

Rent = $1,200
Food (groceries, personal items) = 800
Daycare = $1,600 (800 per kid, yes that is the cheapest we can find it in our area)
Health Insurance = $1,400 (that is deducted from our paycheck)
Student Loans = $1,600 (wife and I are similar in the amount of student loan debt with 80k a peice with each paying around 800 a month)
Electric = $200
Phone Service = $100 (includes two cell phons one for me and one for wife)
Transit card = $80 (we each have a bus/transit card with a cost of about 40 a month each)

*Once a Year in April Tax Bill = $950 (we owed money each year)

Total Annual Household Gross Income = $86,000

Total Bring Home pay = $5,200 (Health insurance is calculated in this figure)

Total Monthly Expenses = $5,580 (Health insurance is not caculatred in this figure because of auto deduction from pay)

Total Difference = -$380

Things we don't have:

1. Cable/Internet (because of our tight budget we don't have internet or cable service)
2. Car (because of our tight budget we use public transportation, thus no insurance or gas cost)
3. Credit Card Debt (We refuse to use credit cards and if we didn't we couldn't afford the payments so we have zero)
Total

Because each month we were in the negatitve we constantly had to ask family and friends to cover the difference. And we felt really bad about this. So we sat down with one of our friends who is a financial adviser and we went over the numbers and then made a plan to make it work.

This is what we did and it works great giving us more time together as a family and a lot more money in our pocket. We both decided to quit our professional jobs for the next few years until our kids get to school age which is about 3 more years. My wife an I decided to get part time minimum wage jobs instead (even lied on our applications saying we were high school drop outs and left out or advance education) The numbers work as follows:

Annual Gross Income: Me = $7,250 Wife = $7,500 (We both work for 7.25 an hour and work around 20 hours a week)
Total Annual Gross Household Income = $14,750
End of Year Tax Rebate = $4,800

Bring home pay: Me $130 a week, wife around $140 a week
Combined monthly bring home pay = $1,100

Our Monthly Bills:

Rent = $10 (We signed up for section 8 housing and recieved a vochour for our rent and we were able to stay in the same house as we where before, it took a total of 5 months to make the transition)

Food = $0 (We currently recieve $900 a month in food stamps that can be used almost anywhere they sell food such as gas stations, resturants, and grocery stores)

Daycare = $0 (we were able to keep our kids in the same daycare with the state picking up the tab each month)

Health Insurance = $0 (our kids were able to get on CHIP and kept the same doctor, my wife and I got on the exchange with our low income qualified for a $0 monthly payment bronze coverage, best part is we now have a zero decutable and zero copay for our kids doctor visits and perscriptions and we also get free dental with zero copays and deductables with 100% coverage)

Student Loans = $0 (We applied for Income Based Repayment program and got our payments down to zero a month and after so many years they forgive the balance)

Electric = $5 (we get subsidized electric and gas through a state program that is income based called Light Up Texas)

Phone = $10 (we got to keep our same carrier Sprint and filled out the income based phone plan also known as obama phone)

Transit Card = $0 (because of our income we now get free public transportation through the metro program)

Total Monthly fixed expenses: $25

Total Bring Home pay: $1,100

Difference: +1,075 (cash money in our pocket to spend how we please)


Before Welfare:

1. Family: My wife and I worked very hard and spent very little time with the children with most of their time being stuck in daycare.

2. Finances: Money wise we had nothing in spending money to do things with our children such as going to the zoo, vacations, family weekend Bar-B-Q's. We couldn't afford presents at Christmas, birthdays or anniversary.

3. Health: I had no time to focus on my health, no time or energy to workout nor prepare healthy meals, I was always on the go and couldn't take a moment for me and the same applies to my wife. Our relationship was getting bad because we would constantly fight about bills, time, and intimacy.

After getting on Welfare:

1. Family: We now have time and money to do things with our children. We now go to the park, zoo and help guide their education.

2. Finances: We now have a lot more money in our pocket to do lesiure events such as family bar-b-q's, using the food stamp card we can take out children out to dinner a few times a month, we now have money for presents for birthdays, christmas and aniverseries. We also have money for internet and ability to save for entertainment items such as a nicer TV, computer and game system. We also have the ability go to movies and have a date night with the wife.

3. Health: Going from 60 hours a week down to 20 hours a week allows us to spend time that improves our health. We can now make healthier meals at home and can afford organic veggies and fruits and leaner healthier cuts of meat for our family. We also have time to workout the YMCA near home has a income based gym membership plan and with our kids medicade we get a free family membership. I personally go to the gym twice a day now and never been more healthy in my life. Same for my wife we have both lost weight and look great and our sex life has increased ten fold as a result, our children are happier and healthier as well. Mental health wise we are no longer stressed out nor depressed about money. The bond we now have with our children is very strong and we feel like a strong family unit emotionaly.

Conclusion:

It is a sad state of affairs when the welfare system is better then being middle class. My father worked a manufactoring job while my mother stayed at home. My dad got his GED and was able to provide a good life for his family. We had health insurance, we went on family vacations and my Dad had a good wage, a good pension and that was the way life was back then. Today its much different, most couples who are college educated starting out are bogged down by student loans and things like health insurance and daycare have gone out of control in price with wages not keeping up with inflation. As a result a family with a good household income just can't make it. I can only imagin how people survive with credit cards bills and having cars to get to work. A household income of $86,000 a year put us in the top 20% of wage earners in this country. However, being a working poor you are able to perform better financially then being middle class educated poor. If you add the subsidies as income it would look like this.

Household Net Income before welfare = $62,400 a year

Household Income counting welfare subsidies as income: Welfare susbsidies = $72,960 a year Job Net income = $14,050 with a combined TOTAL: $87,010

Difference of: $24,610 year more and work 3,120 less hours a year.

God Bless America! Were the middle class live poor and the poor live middle class. WTF!

Edit: To cover some of the tings mentioned.

1. We never lied on any government form, all income reported to welfare is legit and accurate. The statement about lying was in reference to our job application at Wal*Mart, most places will not hire college educated individuals for low end jobs simply because they are over qualified.

2. The reason we made this decision was because of the change in cost of healthcare about a year ago, our family coverage went from 850 a month to 1400 a month, putting us in the negative each month.

3. We have no assets, savings, or credit card debt. If we were going to downsize anything it was our jobs to make life affordable.

4. This is about affording life, and we understand everyones situation is different. Because of our student loan debt, the cost of daycare and the cost of health insurance those three things alone was more then what we earned. Each of these cost are a direct result of government intervention. Daycare today cost more then sending your kid to college. Here is a reference: money.cnn.com...

If your employer health insurance is more expensive then the exchange you don't qualify for any savings www.npr.org...

Student Loan debt has caused many to delay having a family, buying a home, saving for retirement. My mother was able to go to college with zero student loan debt and work part time at McDonalds with it she was able to have an apartment, pay her tution and buy books all with a part time job. www.usatoday.com...

I wanted this to be an educational experince for those to better understand the economic situations and how the government intervention has made things bizzare in terms of family planning and living.







edit on 1-1-2015 by PaladinRoden because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-1-2015 by PaladinRoden because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-1-2015 by PaladinRoden because: (no reason given)



+10 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 07:58 PM
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a reply to: PaladinRoden

It's a trap!

Even though you might think you won? At least before you were self sufficient, (still a slave) now you and your wife and kids are dependent on government subsidies! Those can end tomorrow and then what?

This is how slaves become slaves without realizing it until it's too late......



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:01 PM
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I had mentioned in another thread about moving out of country for lower cost of living. I was making a boat load of money in my job and when I went to get a lone for a house they offered me 400k....I bought a tiny piece of crap 45k house instead and saved all my money. Friends of mine went for the 400k house or something in the upper end of their budget. I lived like a king while they lived pay check to pay check in a mansion. I then moved to a place that has about 1/4 of the cost of living and nicer weather. Thats it...im done working...unless I live to be like 100 I may worry a little. I have pretty much all the same things I had in America but for way less price.

Its hard falling into that slump of keeping up with the jones and then having no family time cause both parents are working. Id rather live in a tent and see my family...if I had one...Glad you have more time with your family mate...enjoy it all you can.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: seeker1963

The same can be said with a job, it can end tomorrow and then what? For the time being its better financially for our family and if it was all stopped tomorrow we would just go back to our professional jobs only difference is the company that hires us would get a tax subsidy for hiring someone on welfare and as a result will have a better chance of landing the job then someone who couldn't improve the companies profit margin
Thats why McDonalds, Wal*Mart and all these other low wage mills love hiring people on welfare or getting their employees on welfare because it saves them on their end of year tax bill improving their profit margins.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:07 PM
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originally posted by: PaladinRoden
a reply to: seeker1963

The same can be said with a job, it can end tomorrow and then what? For the time being its better financially for our family and if it was all stopped tomorrow we would just go back to our professional jobs only difference is the company that hires us would get a tax subsidy for hiring someone on welfare and as a result will have a better chance of landing the job then someone who couldn't improve the companies profit margin
Thats why McDonalds, Wal*Mart and all these other low wage mills love hiring people on welfare or getting their employees on welfare because it saves them on their end of year tax bill improving their profit margins.


Not disagreeing!

As I said, "It's a trap!"......

I would rather be poor and self sufficient that rely on the government..........

That's all....


+7 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:08 PM
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a reply to: PaladinRoden

Boo freaking hoo!

Sorry, not trying to be a Debbie downer but,
YES it is possible.

I've been a stay at home mom for almost 12 years.

We live in one of the most expensive parts of the country. (outskirts of DC)


If there is a damn will...guess what....there is a God Damn Way!

We Are Proof.

It takes SACRIFICE!
That is the key that most spoiled people will NOT accept!


+9 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:08 PM
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a reply to: PaladinRoden

My husband is in school. I am a SATM with a part-time job. We make 13,000 dollars a year (and thats being generous). We have a kid still in pull-ups, a dog, student debt and other debt.
We have internet, eat organic, and spend a lot of time together that most families miss out.

I LOSE SLEEP OVER TAKING $200 FROM DSHS EVERY MONTH. I feel so guilty that I cannot help myself, like I'm robbing my neighbors and people who are FOR REAL destitute. I would never spend the money on anything but necessities and emergency stock.

I'm not sure ATSers will be the most responsive to this post,honestly. I have noidea how anyone could struggle making $60,000 a year. Just thought I'd give you a polite heads-up, there's been a lot of frustration voiced here as of late.

Yeah OP something about your situation I can relate to, but a lot of it I cannot.

ALSO
YOU SAID
" My wife an [sic] I decided to get part time minimum wage jobs instead (even lied on our applications saying we were high school drop outs and left out or advance education" (bolding mine).

Right there, buddy, is where I need to go grab a beer. Consider the idea that bragging about getting one over on the welfare system online is hard evidence that you know (or may know) you're taking advantage.

Good luck, and I do mean that sincerely. Times are tough, though it's becoming clear "tough" is completely subjective.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: PaladinRoden

Get rid of the crap you don't really need to survive.

Plain and simple.

Prioritize!



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:10 PM
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a reply to: seeker1963

^TRUTH^
They can ask for that money back at ANY time, I had a friend owe DSHS thousands YEARS after her son was born b/c they took advantage...I believe they lied about one of the parents having employment.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:15 PM
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Sounds like a plan, hope you don't get into trouble somehow.

It's insane though, how can our government be able to sustain such programs if people start doing the math and give up on the old American dream?

Your catch phrase should be, "Do the math!"



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:17 PM
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a reply to: PaladinRoden

and you remember the government shutdown? SNAP cards didn't work for days.
I'm almost concerned that you're trolling---rarely do we see such blind lust for government subsidies on this site.


(post by MagesticEsoteric removed for a manners violation)

posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:18 PM
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a reply to: kismetpair927

Your friend should have worked under the table and saved it in the mattress.

Like I've said before, the only free market enterprises are in the black market.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:18 PM
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a reply to: kismetpair927

We didn't lie to anyone at the welfare office, our income is legit, however to get a job that pays minimum wage is a different story. When we applied for low end jobs no one would hire use because we were "over qualified", by not including our education Wal*Mart was more then happy to hire us. Once we established our jobs we then applied for welfare with complete honesty on all applications. We have no assets, no cars, no savings. What killed us financially was our student loan payments, health insurance and daycare payments. It was more then we made and the only thing we could downsize was our jobs in order for us to survive.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:21 PM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
Sounds like a plan, hope you don't get into trouble somehow.

It's insane though, how can our government be able to sustain such programs if people start doing the math and give up on the old American dream?

Your catch phrase should be, "Do the math!"


Do the math?

Go ahead and do it! That's why I said it is a trap!

To think you are getting over the system that knowingly is using you to enable their takeover doesn't necessarily mean your math is better than theirs?

They know what they have created and they have a purpose for doing so! So it might be a win situation for awhile, but when that damn rug gets pulled out from under your feet, then what?



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:23 PM
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a reply to: MagesticEsoteric

Actually I wasn't complaining, I was simply being honest in my comparision in how a person making a good wage has less money then someone working for less money. If its about surviving and doing whats best for your family one should look at all options. Like I said in another post, because of the cost of student loans, health insurance and daycare was more then what we earned and we had no assests we simply downsized our income to afford living expenses. I know it sounds strange and it should. I'm getting a feeling many are not reading the entire post and are jost flying off the handle with their comments. If it was up to me I would of rather stayed in my profession, but because of government intrusion into the market place daycare, health insurance and education cost have outpaced the populations to afford it.


+9 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:24 PM
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Wait.......You're actually celebrating about becoming one of the "can but don't want to" crowd? You'd rather scam the system, than work and pay your own way? So now basically, you get every thing "free". Except, it's not, is it? Someone out there is footing the bill, the American tax payer. Yeah, yeah, you get more time with the kids. Yay. Now you have more time to teach them that giving up and leeching the system is better than sticking it out, working hard and earning what you have, rather than have it given to you. By the way, if you couldn't afford it, why did you have kids?
That may sound harsh and yes, your's is a prime example of how screwed our economy is, but it's not going to get better by taking advantage of it and making the problem worse. But hey, everybody's gettin' a piece of the free pie, why not you.

Right?
edit on 1-1-2015 by DAVID64 because: typo



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:29 PM
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a reply to: PaladinRoden

From your own numbers, you were behind in monthly costs $380 dollars.

Could you have cut day-care to 2 or 3 days a week? If you cut out daycare by itself you'd be UP almost $1,200.
DSHS can pay for daycare too. Are there any stay-at-home-moms in your neighborhood who'd watch the kids? My friend has a tiny home daycare and the rate is $100/wk/kid. There are lots of options, friend, I suppose everyone is having issue not seeing what other alternatives besides government funding that you tried.

I totally get the over qualification thing, I was working as barista along side kids who had just graduated with Masters. Thats why I quit school after a couple years---gunna be flippin' burgers or making coffee anyways.


+4 more 
posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:30 PM
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a reply to: PaladinRoden

Interesting analysis and thanks for doing the work of putting this altogether for us to read and contemplate.

On one hand, I can't say I blame you for benefiting from a system that allows it. On the other hand, it really disgusted me that two able bodied adults are doing this. Not that you are the only ones but you get the point.

I suppose to me it's just a matter of pride and how I was raised.

Taking a handout or being on some kind of government program would be a major blow to my self esteem. I'd die a little inside every time I had to pull out the food stamp card or fill out the forms for my son to get CHIP and SNAP or whatever programs there are. Especially knowing I am able bodied, intelligent, and perfectly capable of providing for my family.



posted on Jan, 1 2015 @ 08:32 PM
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a reply to: DAVID64

Its not about the "free pie", not sure if you read the entire post and how the economis of it broke down. Having kids wasn't the problem, we where living find with our head above water until we got our new health insurance cost. It was raised by 500 a month and we simply couldn't afford it. The system forced our hand so we took action. We are not planning on being on the system forever nor for very long. We are constantly looking for a job that will provide us with more affordable healthcare and pay that will allow us to pay our bills. It was a financial decision. Companies do it all the time, corporate welfare dwarfs any and all social spending, plus the tax money I paid into the system thus far in my life is much more then anything I have used thus far in assistance.




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