It seems like every time you think you have a handle on things, something unexpected comes up and dries up any chances of getting ahead. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way and certainly I am aware how extremely lucky I am to have what I do, but sometimes I just feel like I am spinning my wheels.
In 6 years we have had 3 major blows to our income. The first was about $250 per mo. right when we moved 800 miles in 2006. The next was another $250 per mo. a few years later when the Fed. decided that there was to be no more 2nd shift -- a shift Hubster had been working for YEARS! Then KC turned 18 and the deadbeat bio-critter stopped paying his $600 per mo. child support obligation, just in time for her to go to college. So, if you did the math, that is $1100 per month less in income. Which means each time we have had a loss, we have had to readjust our budget. Now, in the years leading up to KC's 18th birthday, we were planning for the loss of Child Support, but the additional $500 loss really blew a hole in things!
Legally DT was well within his rights to do that, of course. BUT this man has done nothing her entire life... ever. He abandoned ship right from the outset. If the payments weren't taken from his pay, BEFORE he got paid, We never would have gotten a penny from him! When he finally deigned to meet her, at her request, when she was 17 or so, he made financial promises to her to help her with school. Has he forked over a single penny? FUCK NO! He made promises to me to repay the court ordered monies I was awarded back in 1995. Has a sent me a penny? FUCK NO!
KC decided she did not need to work over Christmas break last year, and so she saved nothing to put towards school. She was told before then to get a job, but she didn't. She was told yet again to have a job lined up for Summer break, but she didn't. After sitting on the floor playing video games downstairs for a month, she actually had the nerve to ask for help going to some birthday trip she wanted to take with her girlfriends. We decided no... AND we told her that if she hadn't gotten a job by the birthday that she would get nothing for her birthday. She was informed that her birthday budget would be used to repay the car insurance that she has not contributed to since she got her license at 16. Boy she got a job right quick when the birthday money was a target.
KC worked for exactly 14 days. She brought home great tip money. She was in a hostile work environment and quit because of it. Fine, that is not unreasonable. The amount she pulled in, in tips, in that short time was great, but she never got paid her wages -- the restaurant went belly up shortly after, so chances are slim and none that she will ever get the wages she earned! She was told to get another job -- right away! Did she do that? NO! Instead she started campaigning to go to an out of state wedding with her boyfriend. How will you pay for this trip? What about a job? She actually was in the process of getting a job but had not been hired yet. No income? No trip to a wedding.
Call me a bitch, but seriously, this kid had nerve. She had a fit about me saying I wouldn't help with that. (Apparently when I say there is not any money to be spent on frivolities, she thinks I am blowing smoke rings out my ass!) To her, NO means we are ruining her life and don't care about her needs and wants etc... SO, she packed all her shit and moved out. The day she left I told Hubster I knew she would call on the day following the wedding that she would have been coming home had we allowed her to go, wanting to come home from this little tirade/escapade. Was I right? Yes, though she swears the timing was not related to the wedding weekend.
We agreed to let her come home, provided she understood the condition for coming home, getting family support for school, a warm bed, meals and all the benefits of family was...GET A JOB! Did she get a job? NO. She said she applied places, who knows. Did she go out looking? No. In fact the only time she used the car was to try to get paid at the one she quit who refused to pay her wages. Oh and the place she had been in the process of getting a job at... dropped her.
KC went back to school in August and, to date, is still without a job... Not even a campus job. She swears there are none, and that she has applied all over, but that is the same swearing she's been making since last Christmas and it long ago started to sound stale. The simple reality is if you really want a job it shows and then people are more interested in hiring you. Following up is key and being visible is the only way they are going to keep you in the front of their minds.
Some have said we should cut her off and toss her out on her own. There are days I want to, but the truth is, there would be no way at all for her to go to college if we did that. She'd have to be independent for a long period of time for the Fed to give her any financial aid/loans and she needs to go to college. To do what she wants to do... she has to go. She needs a future, but not at the expense of the entire family. How to get through to her, I don't know. What I do know is that she won't like this post for sure...
Life ain't a free ride and my ass ain't stamped "meal ticket" for anyone. This economy has repeatedly pinched our already tight resources. I just hope things change for the better soon.