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)
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
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
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
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)
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.
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:
If your employer health insurance is more expensive then the exchange you don't qualify for any savings
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.
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
edit on 1-1-2015 by PaladinRoden because: (no reason given)