I’m a solo parent to a wonderful 7-year-old boy. It’s just the two of us, but I love our little family.
When his father told me, during pregnancy, that he would not be involved in my son’s life, I decided that I would do my best to give this child everything he deserves: basic needs met, of course, but also love, structure, guidance, and support.
I’ve done my very best to keep that promise, but it’s been tough. Raising a child is expensive. Everyone says that, but I never realized how expensive it was until I lived it.
I didn’t have the best leg-up. I made plenty of mistakes in my teens and 20s. Dropped out of high school, got my GED, and developed a drinking problem. I began my motherhood in poverty, with primarily entry-level work experience, and freshly sober.
Before my son turned one, I found a job at a company I loved that was flexible enough to accommodate the demands of parenthood: “Daycare called to say your son threw up? No problem- go and get him.” I worked hard, earning several promotions over the 6 years I’ve been employed with this company. For the first time, I’d made it to the middle class! But it wasn’t the relief I was hoping for.
I make enough that I don’t qualify for government assistance anymore. However, my income hasn’t been enough to cover all of my expenses. Daycare costs were more than my rent. Healthcare costs are overwhelming. I had good credit and a decent income and wound up in a debt cycle to make ends meet. At my peak income, I was finally making enough to make ends meet and even save money and have spending money from time to time– if it weren’t for all the debt I was paying off. I was at least at a level where I didn’t have to continue taking on debt, but the debt payments are a significant part of my income and don’t leave me wiggle room for savings and emergencies.
2022 has been full of challenges. One of my tires had a blowout, and I had to replace all 4, costing a little more than my savings. Dipping into my regular account started a cycle of being behind. Overdraft fees, late fees, etc. make it difficult to recover on a very tight budget. Not too long after replacing my tires, I got a rough case of strep throat and missed a lot of hours at work. This combination of events crushed me financially.
I know something has to give. I made a decision. I stepped down from my position at work. I still work at the company, part-time. I’m now in college full-time, learning computer science/data analytics. I love this type of work, my current job dabbles in these categories. This can also lead to higher-paying, flexible, remote jobs that I need.
My income is still okay- my generous boss did not reduce my hourly wage, but the reduced hours reduced my income. Student loans are helping, but I’m still on a rice and beans budget.
I’m asking for help with some medical expenses, and possibly bills.
My most immediate, urgent expenses:
My son has cavities and needs fillings: $180.
I need an eye exam and glasses: $200
Any help is appreciated. If by chance, I receive more than these needs, money would go to a few different things:
I need some things for around the house and some clothing for my son (mainly kitchen supplies). I don’t have much room in my budget for spending aside from necessities.
Payments toward my $40,000 debt.
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