October 25th, 2010
My question is one that I have struggled with for the past several years. Our family has three young children, so I stay home full-time to care for them. Basically, it would use all my income to send them all to daycare anyway, and we feel giving them a strong Christian foundation in their thinking and development is so important. My husband, though always trying so hard to provide for his family, has had a difficult time finding full time work at all, let alone work that pays decently (despite the fact that he has a college degree). We have tried everything we can think of, and with some help from family, have been able to make things work – barely. After four years of this, without accepting government help, I am getting exhausted. We have used up our savings, and have piled up several thousand dollars of personal debt just trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. I am extremely frugal (I never buy new clothes, look for free things online, and shop the sales at the grocery store) so there is really nowhere else that we can make cuts in spending. In 2008 we earned only $6,000. 2009 was a little better, but we have still been below the poverty line for a family of 5.
So, is it ever okay to accept government help? I have been very resistant to this, as I don’t want to be a “part of the problem” with the national debt. However, we qualify for everything (food stamps, WIC, home heating credit, etc.). If we took advantage of these programs I would be able to stock pile much more food (we qualify in food stamps for twice what I spend on groceries right now), and prepare in other ways. I am beginning to feel like all our sacrifice does not really matter anyway. And I am sure that Uncle Sam will have no problem taxing us through the nose once we do get back on our feet financially, even though we have not been a burden to the national bankroll now. Am I being stupid in resisting getting the help that we can get in order to help our family and neighbors better in the future?
Struggling in Michigan
Your letter just touched my heart. I don’t think there’s any American that would begrudge you the benefit of services that your tax dollars have paid for. There are so many struggling families right now, and we’ve all been touched by this lousy economy to one extent or another. Those of you in Michigan are extremely hard hit by this crisis.
You’re right—daycare for your three children would eat up nearly any salary you could command. I would advise you STRONGLY against incurring any further debt if at all possible. It only makes digging out even harder. Your first responsibility is to your family and their welfare. Whatever you have to do as far as signing up for programs that you not only qualify for, but have paid into for years by virtue of your tax dollars, is totally acceptable. Your resistance to this so far, and your “can-do” attitude tells me that you won’t be on the government rolls for long.
In addition, even if your area is hard-hit with unemployment, you should look for ways to make money online, whether through writing or any other skills you have that you can utilize. Your husband needs to do the same. There is a virtual world out there that’s economically viable, and if you can find that special niche, it can be the start of a totally new career, one that you could do while remaining a stay-at-home mom.
God bless you, Struggling. You will be in our prayers.
I’ve been doing a lot of preparing since the Y2K scare. I have one very important question. I don’t have a thyroid gland and have tried several times to plan out a savings of medication. I will do well for a couple of months and then end up just having a month’s worth of meds. With the possibility of no medication I would not last for more than a year or so and even then I wouldn’t be in very good shape. I might end up burdening someone else. Are there doctors who are “preparedness” doctors? I’ve been reading some of the blogs and I don’t see much about medication preparedness except to have a conversation with your current doctor. I don’t think Levoxyl is a “controlled” substance under federal guide lines, but it is a prescription med. I would like to be ahead by a year if possible. You would have to FIFO the medication and keep it in a climate controlled environment but without it I would not make it too far down the road. I would guess because it is controlled by prescription it might be some work but I don’t even know where to start. When I spoke with my family physician, he gave me the odd, “why would you need such a thing?” look. I tried to explain to him that it would be just in case and I would come to my appointments and blood work ups as he saw fit, but to no avail. So is there a place for likeminded people to find a doctor?
Dave in Colorado
You’re right—that is a subject not touched on by anyone that I could find. Ever since receiving your letter, I have done dozens of searches and can’t even find some kind of network of “preparedness” doctors. It could be that, because the government is so strict on prescription medication, they refuse to come forward.
I would be very interested in hearing from our readers who have or are facing this very issue, and if you’ve come up with any solutions. We’ll cover these responses in a future article.
I wish I could have given you a more concrete answer, Dave. However, our readers here are very generous and willing to share their knowledge and experiences. We’ll see what they have to say.
Thanks for writing!
If you would like to contact the editor, please send an email to [email protected].