What DO YOU do when your child support does not cover everything? I think perhaps the more important question to start with is what is child support supposed to cover?
Some people are of the school that child support should include mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, school, activities and pretty much your whole entire life.
I am of the school that I believe that with or without children, my basic bills will remain the same and the child support should cover anything and everything child related: birthday parties, doctors, school, activities, food, clothing — essentially, the necessities for my children.
So, you get a job and it pays less than the support, and you struggle. So what do you do when even all of this is not enough?
Using the child support to help your living expenses is really just robbing peter to pay paul. But, the fact is, it all goes in the same pot in the long run. You have to support YOU just as much as the kids. If, at the end of the day, you do not have enough, and we rarely do, then the following four options might help:
- One option is to see what other job opportunities there are. There are lots of opportunities for online virtual assistant positions or writers. You can start a blog that can be monetized with reviews or ads. It just takes a little creativity, and the best part is that most of that can be done while your children are sleeping.
- The other option is to cut back where you can and just make do.
- And, yet a third option is to try to get your support raised, which is NOT easy and is also expensive.
- The BEST option is to budget. Make a list of all your monthly expenses and what your monthly income is, including the support. See if you end up in a positive or negative at the end of the month. Remember, this is just a list. If you are negative, see where you can cut back. Sometimes you can make other payment arrangements. If you use credit cards, make sure they are FREE cards and there is no yearly fee. Try to pay them off each month, so you are not paying interest. Roll your taxes and insurance into your mortgage or even refinance, as rates are very low right now. Cut back where you can and make yourself use coupons for shopping, looking for great deals all the time. Set a goal for yourself, that you are going to put a certain amount of money away every single month, and keep it set aside for emergencies or your nest egg. Make sure it is put in an interest bearing account. In fact, make sure all your money is in interest bearing accounts.
But, remember, if you run short, don't beat yourself up!! You are doing the best that you can do, and if you aren't, get yourself on the right track and do the best you can do. That is all any of us can do!