Author Topic: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?  (Read 9596 times)

WelfaretoWealth

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I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« on: April 17, 2016, 11:34:48 PM »

For the record I understand that I really don't belong here. Most of you have grad degrees and diversified portfolios. I have a HS diploma and a career technical certificate. I do plan continuing my education when  the time is right.

After a breakup I was left with no money, no job, and very little resources.  In order to be free of a raging alcoholic I had to cut all ties especially any financial ones to the old man. Now months later I've found myself an hourly paid position that will have full benefits after the 3month probation.

I have no debt and have very little credit history. The credit history I do have is bad.  I'm in need of a new vehicle, and more now than ever because I have to commute for this position. My car right now is a gas hog and has very little value.

So where do I start? Should I get a secured credit card that was offered to me by Capital One so I can build credit?  Do I focus on getting a vehicle? How and when do I began saving/investing? Advice much appreciated 😁😇
Thank you!

***As you can imagine my embarrassmen/ shame being on government assistance. Please don't be cruel as I'm only trying to be financially free***

MDM

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2016, 12:06:24 AM »
WelfaretoWealth, welcome to the forum.  Last I checked there are no preconditions to participation. :)

Being without debt is a great start - good for you.

Without knowing all your details, here are some thoughts:
- if your car is reliable, paying hundreds extra for gas is probably better than spending a few thousand on an upgrade.

- See http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/10-questions-before-getting-a-secured-credit-card-1.aspx and https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78617 for some thoughts.
     - Whatever CC you get, do NOT charge more than you can pay each month.

- During your 3 month probation, establish an emergency savings' fund.  E.g., in one of these: http://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/earning-interest/best-online-savings-accounts275921001
     - There is no "correct" amount for an emergency fund.  You might aim for "25% of total annual expenses" as a start.
     - If you don't know your annual spending, start tracking it now.  Use Mint, Quicken, YNAB, spreadsheet, paper and pencil, whatever.

- After 3 months, when things are a little more stable, consider a more detailed case study.  See http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-write-a-'case-study'-topic/.

Good luck!

Cassie

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2016, 12:15:59 AM »
At 21 I was a single parent of 1 child with a junky car that I needed for work. Between  rent,  food, gas we were barely making it.  Luckily I qualified for a much reduced child care payment.  Thank you President Carter.  I was lucky to have supportive parents that would fix my car when it broke down. I did not obtain my degrees until years later. It was a tough road and I actually would have had more $ if I went on welfare.  I hope you have someone in your corner to help as needed.  My car was a big gas guzzler but as long as it ran that was the best I could do.  40 years later I rarely even think about it. There were times that i was hungry but my son was always fed.  Hugs:))

pdxmonkey

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2016, 12:19:18 AM »

First, congratulations on the new job. I would hold off on getting a secured credit card. After you've had the new job a while you should be able to qualify for a regular credit card with a very low limit. How many miles is the commute? What is the MPG you get from your current vehicle?
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 11:13:42 AM by pdxmonkey »

AliEli

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2016, 01:10:30 AM »
Of course you belong here!  Anyone who wants to improve their financial security seems to have a place in MMM :)

I would also agree that getting a credit card probably won't be your best first move. 

I'm pleased to hear that you have secured a stable job :)  Regarding your car - do you have any options for ride sharing?  Is there any public transport to get around?  These possibly could reduce your expenditure.

And (from the perspective of an Australian) - don't be ashamed of yourself for needing some help.  Life happens, and noone is in a position to judge your situation except yourself.  So go easy on yourself, there's no need to be ashamed of needing welfare.  Just be grateful that it is there, don't complain about paying taxes for it, and don't contribute to a culture of shame around it :)

former player

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 02:00:15 AM »
Congratulations on escaping an abusive relationship.  Your local library should have some books which will help you to learn how to recognise good relationships and avoid potentially bad ones, which could help you avoid a repeating pattern of bad relationships.

Nothing wrong with being a certified technician.  You can do a valuable job and learn your organisation from the shop floor upwards, which can take you in any number of directions.

Keep your car: the internet/youtube is your friend for routine basic checks and keeping it supplied with oil and cooling water and air in the tyres.  Just those few simple checks will help to keep it going.

I agree with pdxmonkey on the credit card: wait at least until you have your three months probation done, as you will be in a better position to apply.  Given that you will be paying it off in full every two weeks in any case (to build your credit record quicker) it's not going to be your financial saviour now, just your financial ladder for the future.

MrsTuxedocat

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2016, 02:09:01 AM »
First off, congratulations on leaving a toxic relationship and finding a job. You should be very proud! There is absolutely no shame in accessing welfare, we all pay into it because life/crap happens.

I agree with most of the posters above: save for an emergency fund right now. Can you find out about ride sharing with your co-workers? I am assuming it's too far to bike?

Zamboni

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2016, 02:12:09 AM »
Welcome to the forums!

It can be very hard to get credit right after a break up (I was in that situation once too!) Do you have a secure place to live right now so that you will not have to move in the next few months? If so, then you do not really need credit right now. Keep your steady job, do not acquire debt (no car loans), and over time you can get better credit rates than you can get right now, so please don't rush into this.

Also, if you can get to work without a different car, then stick with the one you have. Please don't get sucked in by one of those "Poor credit or no credit? We have the car for you!" places.

Build up:
1) savings for emergency fund
2) credibility at work
3) financial knowledge

This is a great place to start! Good luck!

Cressida

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2016, 02:19:10 AM »
Government assistance exists for situations like yours. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Bad stuff happens, and the rest of us should pitch in to help. Best of luck to you.

marty998

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 03:10:15 AM »
Agree with the support here, please don't feel embarrassed.

You have shown you have guts and determination. Thats pretty much half the battle. Listen, learn and work hard.

About the car....even if it is a gas hog you can minimise the usage. Drive sensibly, don't needlessly idle, don't be a lead foot, no accelerating like its a drag race etc

SMCx3

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2016, 06:23:25 AM »
Glad you found the courage to post your details.  Congratulations on your new job opportunity!

Your are at a very crucial time and the decisions you make today regarding finances will set the foundation for your future.  The advice you are receiving is extremely valuable. 

Stay away from debt!

Please, please, please, be slow and do not rush into financial decisions.  You just started a new page in your life.  Enjoy and get to know your new job.  Look at the money coming in, BUILD A BUDGET, and make saving a priority.  A dollar saved toward purchasing a new car is much more valuable than financing a new car. Stay in your current vehicle for now until you can purchase a new car paid in full. Credit score will also come with saving, no reason to rush out and start spending money on credit cards you do not have. 

Cash is king, and invested cash is the way to a secure future! 

Make saving a priority and you will make great progress in a short amount of time.  Your position is so much better than those individuals who have massive loans, car payments, to much house, credit card debt, and not even close to saving any money even though they might have more income. 

Good luck and keep posting on your progress!


Uturn

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2016, 07:04:14 AM »
Welcome to the forum.  The only people who don't belong here are the ones who don't want to improve.

You don't need a degree, you need education.  I make over six figures and have only taken exactly two college classes, however, I have educated myself.  When I was 25, I sold everything that I did not need, and bought books and a computer.  I spent every night after work for 4 months learning about workstations, servers, and networks.  Passed some certification tests and have never looked back.  Since then, I spend at least one night a week studying something.  Sometimes work related, sometimes not, but it has all help propel my career. 

You are actually in a great spot.  No ugly financial mess to clean up and I didn't hear a whiny I'm-a-special-snowflake attitude.  Those two things are going to get you far if you let them.  Stay out of debt as much as possible.  Compounding interest is either a soul sucking, poverty inducing beast, or it is a glorious and wonderful wealth building genie.  It all depends on if you are paying interest or earning interest. 

Unless you are driving a 1970's land barge that gets single digit fuel mileage, I cannot imagine that you are spending enough in gas to justify a loan payment and higher insurance rates. 

I've never heard anyone say "dammit, I was such a fool to start saving early."  Save now, even if it's $50 a month. 

Don't let your credit score stay low.  Employers make hiring decisions and insurance companies set rates based on credit score.  Make payments on time and don't carry a CC balance and you will be fine.  It really is that easy.  The less payments you have, the easier it is to make them on time.   I have a CC from my bank.  I buy almost everything on the card.  Every Friday I log into my bank and transfer money from checking to CC.  Pay in full every week.  Since I'm paying so often, there is no interest accruing on my spending, and it helps my credit score because I'm using credit.  Only use this method if you have the self discipline to pay it off.  Never buy something with a CC when you don't have the cash to pay it. 

Don't compare your standing to someone who has been doing it a while.  No novice is going to perform at the same level as an experienced person.

JCfire

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 07:11:58 AM »
Look at case studys on this forum and see if you can provide that level of detail.  This community is extremely helpful to those who can provide more detail.  You will not regret it.

As a first step, figure out how much you are currently spending, and on what types of expenses.  Compare this to how much money you are making after taxes.  You can use this to discover your current savings rate.  Everything else you do can be viewed as strategies to reduce expense or improve your income in order to improve your long term savings, so knowing your starting place will really help.  The answers to questions about cars, education, etc are all impacted by your starting point.

little_brown_dog

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2016, 07:24:19 AM »
Congrats on having no debt. The fact that you were able to avoid debt while being in a very precarious financial scenario bodes well for your future financial health.

The car may be a gas guzzler, but if you have no payment on it, chances are it is still much cheaper to run every month than a more fuel efficient vehicle that you need to finance. Oil and gas prices across the US are still pretty low, so even an inefficient car might not be too bad in terms of gas expenses.

I assume you have very little or no savings. My personal preference for you right now would be to build up an emergency fund, and wait on the new car or the credit card. Yes, I know the idea of just stashing away some savings in a savings account seems really boring and basic, but it is critically important. Individuals coming off public assistance often get stuck in a vicious circle of random expenses (car repairs, medical bills, etc) that eat away at their paychecks, pushing them into debt or back onto welfare. An emergency fund of savings will help reduce the likelihood that this will happen to you.

The people around here tend to recommend an emergency savings fund of about 3 months of living expenses. This may be tough for you to do right away, but every little bit you can put towards it helps. 

In the meantime, you should post a case study for the forum to analyze. They will help you find ways to save here and there, and will be able to provide better guidance based on your unique situation.

Le Poisson

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2016, 07:24:48 AM »
I don't know how old you are or what stage in life you are facing, but your story sounds a lot like mine.

At 23 my wife moved out leaving me with $2500, a kid, credit card debt, and a mortgage. I was working shifts in a factory. 20 years later I still only have a community college diploma, but I have built a career off it, remarried, more kids, comfortable income, saving towards a goal of leaving the race.

I suggest you save as much as humanly possible. Live poor to get rich. You will be fine.

Questions to consider:
1. What are divorce laws like in California? Will you split net worth later, or has this already happened? Will the split be 50%-50% or different? Can you document your savings post breakup so they are protected?

2. Are kids involved - if so, what capacity do you have to raise them, and what financial help do you anticipate from EX-Dude?

3. Is further education a possibility? If so what fields are candidates, and what financial impact would further education have? At your age, will the cost of education be recovered, and how quickly (In my case, college made sense, but a degree did not). The diploma has made all the difference.

4. What does your life map look like going forward? If you don't have one, sit down and draft a plan. ie:
  • At 30 I will make $XX,000, live in a XXXXXXX, be in/out of a relationship, have X children.
  • At 40 I will make $XXX,000, working as a XXXXXXX, live in a XXXXXXX, be in/out of a relationship, have X children. Investments will include -XXXXXXX
  • At 50 I will make $XXX,000, be retired, live in a XXXXXXX, be in/out of a relationship, have X children. Investments will include -XXXXXXX

The purpose of this plan is to act as a ruler going forward to measure your reality against your expectations, and also to be a promise to yourself of what you will strive for. Of immediate importance, it will give you something other than the breakup to focus on.

My map had me living on a 10 acre hobby farm by now. I got close (2 acres) and found I hated it, so I changed the plan. Totally allowed. Maybe you dream of working as a cowgirl on a ranch, once you get there you may find you're allergic to horses - change the plan and revise. Its not the achieving that counts, its the striving toward the goals.

Edit to add - I really hope you start a journal. I'd love to see you progress.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2016, 07:27:53 AM by Prospector »

Reynolds531

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2016, 09:41:11 AM »
Just one thing to add, take care of that old car. Go to walmart, get yourself an oil change and an air filter if its been a while. Inflate the tires if they need it.

Take care of the car and it will take care of you.

esq

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2016, 12:54:07 PM »
Congratulations on your new life.  I suspect you speak for others here in a similar situation who don't have the chutzpah to speak up - so, good for you.  You are helping others by just asking for yourself.

You've gotten much good advice here.  I would add:  baby steps.  If saving up 3 months is scary, save up 1 month.  Save up two weeks.  You'll get there.  Do think about posting your particulars.  The smart, observant people here are on the outside looking in and can see things you may not.

Welcome.

Axecleaver

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2016, 02:00:21 PM »
Welcome to the forums. There are probably more people here who relied on government assistance at some point in their lives than you might expect. My father died when I was nine, and my mother was hospitalized for a year. My family survived on social security/disability payments, food stamps, and a small life insurance policy for the next ten years while my mother rebuilt her life. I started working at 14, left home at 18 after high school, and my wife and I put ourselves through college.

We're very successful today, but I'll never forget the shame I felt as a ten year old boy standing in line at the grocery store with paper food stamps, and the judgmental looks I got from people in my community. Please stick around, there are a lot of smart people here who can help in your journey.

Best advice I can give you right now is to keep your expenses as low as possible, read up on frugality tips (cheap but nutritious groceries, crock pot recipes, etc.), save up an emergency fund to get you through the unexpected, and put 100% effort into building your new life. It sounds like you're off to a great start.

bridget

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2016, 02:07:34 PM »
Government assistance exists for situations like yours. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Bad stuff happens, and the rest of us should pitch in to help. Best of luck to you.

Agree. As someone who pays a lot of taxes, I am DELIGHTED that the social safety net I help to fund caught you. It kept you from true disaster when you needed it most, and you are using that stability to become financially free. That is the system WORKING - I only wish it worked as well for other people. Good luck, good vibes, and the fact that you're here and thinking about these things means you'll be successful, even if you have a few stumbles or missteps along the way.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2016, 02:12:26 PM »
Welcome to the forums. There are probably more people here who relied on government assistance at some point in their lives than you might expect. My father died when I was nine, and my mother was hospitalized for a year. My family survived on social security/disability payments, food stamps, and a small life insurance policy for the next ten years while my mother rebuilt her life. I started working at 14, left home at 18 after high school, and my wife and I put ourselves through college.

+1. At one point I ended up living out of my car (eventually moved in with my brother, then my parents), newly single, no job prospects (applied to over 50 jobs and was rejected by everyone... small town during the economic downturn), on food stamps, and deeply, utterly depressed. My CNA training was paid for by a state jobs program.

I'm now a nurse, in a stable financial situation, and happily married.

Tony H

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2016, 07:24:43 PM »



***As you can imagine my embarrassment/ shame being on government assistance. Please don't be cruel as I'm only trying to be financially free***

Don't be embarrassed!  I believe that assistance should always be given to those that are trying to help themselves.

You help yourself, as you are doing and I'll maintain my respect for you.  Go girl!

lhamo

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2016, 09:26:02 PM »
Agree with everyone else that there is no reason for you to feel ashamed -- you got yourself out of a bad situation and are turning your life around, which means in these parts we think you ROCK!

I would much rather have my tax dollars going to support people like you who are trying to change their lives than paying for drones doing nasty things in other countries....

First thing will be to get yourself on a good budget.  If you don't mind his occasional tangents into evangelical topics, you might find Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and his daily podcast to provide good support/inspiration.  You can get the book at the library, or very cheaply at most used book stores/thrift stores/on Amazon.  The podcast is available for free download via Itunes and stitcher, etc., or you can listen to it directly on his website at daveramsey.com.  His advice, since you don't have any debt, would be to first save up 3-6 months of expenses as an emergency fund, and then probably upgrade your car -- save up 2-3k, then sell the one you have for whatever it is worth and get something slightly better.  Repeat as needed until you are in the car you think you will be happy driving for 5-10 years. 

Good luck to you and keep coming back!  We're here to support and encourage you as you turn things around

dess1313

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2016, 09:41:56 PM »
Congrats on turning things around.  It cant have been easy.  This place is for anyone looking for information or help. We all have started at different stages and have different stories.

If you have any utilities or phone bills in you name those are often reported on your credit history.  Just having a cellphone and stable payments for 6 months along with your job might help it be easier to rebuild your history in a few months. Like others say, beware of car salesmen.  Is it possible for you in a few months to move closer to your work? 

For now, live simply, learn how to do as much as possible by your own hand especially if it keeps your car rolling, establish even a small emergency fund, and read and learn as much as possible before making major decisions. 

Good luck!

Cosmos

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2016, 12:54:11 AM »
As someone in a similar starting-from-scratch financial situation (bankruptcy last year), I would recommend you get the secured card. However only do so if you think you will be able to pay it off every month.

I have their unsecured card and have been pretty happy with it. Unlike my previous bank issued credit card, Capital One has alert options that you can set up to email you for various scenarios like approaching the due date with a balance, for exceeding a particular total balance, and so on. This has made it pretty easy to not miss a payment.

Before you get the card you should find local advisers you can speak with about your situation. Find a local non-profit credit counseling service to start with. They tell you how to rebuild your credit rating and help you figure out a reasonable budget. Next meet with your bank's financial adviser and ask them about the savings and investing services they offer, and their fees. Shop around and compare them to the other banks in your area.

When I did this I opted for a bank (RBC) that offers unlimited virtual savings accounts and I set up automatic transfers of modest amounts ($20-$40) into those accounts. If your area banks don't offer the option to have multiple savings accounts, look into Tangerine (aka ING Direct).

Moving money automatically into savings lets you plan for large expenses (car repair, vet bills...), save up for things like paying taxes, and set aside money for investing. I just started saving for investing and wish I had thought to do that a year ago because it's remarkable how you don't necessarily miss/notice the money you've transferred when it's in small amounts, and it quickly adds up.
Creating my various savings accounts was one of the best things I did that is helping me stay out of debt. I can't recommend it enough.

Stashing Swiss-style

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2016, 02:24:37 AM »
You do belong here.  Lots of good advice given already.  I would just add two important points - (1) listen to the advice and (2) be patient.  You have got yourself into a good position for the future.  Use the forum to support you over the coming months. Life is easier/better when you have support.  Keep posting.  Good luck.

dess1313

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2016, 08:58:26 AM »
Also tripple check thwy have no shared accounts/online banking with you.  No joint cards, credit or anything.   My friend got hurt badly because after leaving she forgot they were both on a LOC together

asiljoy

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2016, 10:29:52 AM »
Government assistance exists for situations like yours. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Bad stuff happens, and the rest of us should pitch in to help. Best of luck to you.
Agreed!!

After you get settled in your new job/world, you may want to look into a local credit union. Mine at least offers classes on personal finance, how to build credit, etc.


merula

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2016, 11:07:50 AM »
Welcome to the forum, WelfaretoWealth! There's no requirement for membership, and there's no need to feel shame about taking the benefits you're eligible for. Everyone here has gotten a hand up, whether it be from being born into good circumstances, having a good role model/mentor or having some good luck along the way.

And I personally think of welfare and other government benefits as a kind of tax break. Most people would say that if you qualify for a tax break, you should take it. If the government says they will give you money if X, and you meet X, take the money. I think this is true whether it's a mortgage interest deduction, an IRA credit or welfare benefits.

I'll never forget the shame I felt as a ten year old boy standing in line at the grocery store with paper food stamps, and the judgmental looks I got from people in my community.

I realize this is decades too late, but I wish I could give that 10 year old boy a hug. There's a special place in hell for people who would judge an orphan for wanting to eat.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 11:41:34 AM by merula »

2Birds1Stone

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2016, 11:19:55 AM »
Great feedback in this thread. Looking forward to your response OP :)

Nickels Dimes Quarters

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2016, 04:31:07 AM »
Thank you for posting and welcome to MMM.

There's no shame in using whatever safety nets you need. Having a job is great. I think you need to give yourself some time to settle into the job. Figure out a basic budget that keeps you living on less than what you earn. Read as much here as you can to begin your financial education.

NDQ

libertarian4321

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2016, 07:00:48 AM »

For the record I understand that I really don't belong here. Most of you have grad degrees and diversified portfolios. I have a HS diploma and a career technical certificate. I do plan continuing my education when  the time is right.

Like you, my parents were had no education and had "working class" (meaning they didn't get paid much) jobs.

But they managed to not only survive, but thrive.  Because they were frugal.  And the wisdom they imparted is a large part of the reason I'm a multimillionaire today.

So yeah, you belong here.  Even if you never become especially wealthy yourself, you can do better with what you have (as my parents did) and influence, by example, the behavior of your children.

Inaya

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #31 on: April 21, 2016, 07:54:08 AM »
If you're interested in a secured card, Discover has a no-fee secured card that also gives cash back (minimum deposit is $200). And they give you your FICO score, so you can actually watch your credit go up. (Disclosure: I'm a happy Discover customer and have their card and banking products. I WISH this card had existed when I needed to build credit.) And I'll repeat what everyone else has said about never carrying a balance (and paying interest) and never spending more than you can pay. It is still a credit card, after all, not a prepaid card.

I love your username by the way. Glad to have you join us. It sounds like you absolutely belong here.

MrDelane

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #32 on: April 21, 2016, 08:06:49 AM »

For the record I understand that I really don't belong here.

I don't have any real advice for you, I simply want to add my voice to the chorus of people letting you know that you absolutely do belong here.

Its easy to feel low on ourselves when we compare ourselves to others, but I always try to remind myself that it's not an apples to apples comparison.  We all come from different places, different circumstances, and different eras.  It's not fair to compare ourselves to someone who is decades older, or who had different advantages or opportunities in the past.  The only comparison that matters is whether we are closer to our own personal goals than we were yesterday, last week, last month... last year.

In the end, we're all in the same boat.
You are your only competition - everyone else is here for support.
Welcome to the community.

wenchsenior

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2016, 09:10:14 AM »
Government assistance exists for situations like yours. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Bad stuff happens, and the rest of us should pitch in to help. Best of luck to you.

Agree. As someone who pays a lot of taxes, I am DELIGHTED that the social safety net I help to fund caught you. It kept you from true disaster when you needed it most, and you are using that stability to become financially free. That is the system WORKING - I only wish it worked as well for other people. Good luck, good vibes, and the fact that you're here and thinking about these things means you'll be successful, even if you have a few stumbles or missteps along the way.

Same here. Welcome to the forum!

MudDuck

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2016, 11:44:10 AM »
No new advice, just another person welcoming you, agreeing that having required government assistance is not anything to be ashamed of, and wishing you well.

Nederstash

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2016, 01:58:19 PM »
Welcome to the forum! Don't feel bad about using social security, that's what it's there for. Many people do much more dumbass things, like take out huge car loans and rack up credit card debt to get take out and shoes. Getting government assistance is hardly the stupidest financial/life decision you can make, now is it? Besides, you'll make up for it by getting a kickass job some time in the future and paying lots of taxes. That's the system.

One point about cars: don't buy (let alone finance) a new car because you think it'll save you on repairs or it's somehow safer. It's bullshit. A 5-8 year old car has years left in it, is way cheaper than new and won't - hopefully - be expensive on repairs. Of course you can have bad luck in this department, but the same goes for a new car! The only thing you can be sure of, is the new car will depreciate faster than the speed of light. Google is your friend, do your research.

Also, if you like the job you have an think you might stay there longer, you could see if you can move within biking/walking distance and eliminate the car completely for now. You can always get one later if you really do need it.

Also AMEN to the emergency fund. Start saving now!

LAL

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2016, 09:41:48 AM »
following.  good luck.  it can be done.

LawMMMan

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2016, 10:25:22 AM »
WELCOME and for what its worth, I am proud of you!  No shame for the past.  You can't change or control it so simply learn as much as you can from your prior experiences.  Stay positive, seek opportunities, push yourself hard, and listen the advice of people you want to mirror.  This group has a wealth of knowledge.  Best wishes and send an update when you can.   

neo von retorch

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2016, 10:28:30 AM »
And we hope you come back:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/profile/?u=28203
Date Registered: April 18, 2016, 12:15:19 AM
Last Active: April 19, 2016, 05:36:04 PM

SimplyMarvie

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Re: I'm officially done with welfare! So now what?
« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2016, 01:41:30 PM »
Welcome! I am also a newbie and just learning, and have found that the people on this forum are really a breed apart from most financial forums -- they've great at giving you hard-nosed advice without judging you as a person, or shaming you and telling you that you aren't deserving. I love it here, even with all my credit card debt, impractical cars, and other bad habits. :)

Also, I grew up with a single mama on welfare, and used public assistance to raise my kids when my husband and I graduated without jobs. No harm, no foul... it's a stop on the road of life for a lot of people, especially women. But it's just a stop -- you've got a lot of great things ahead of you!