Broke, in pain, and scared

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/10/2008 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, HW family,
I thought I'd start a thread where we could talk about our (or my, at least!) anxiety over not being able to pay the bills while being in pain. And being scared - bordering on terrified - about my future.

Please - no politics - that's against the rules. But I think it's ok to talk about our fears. I'd especially like to hear from others like me who live alone and have no one else to rely on. Trust me, it's different. And if you've got enough money to pay your bills, bless you, but this thread isn't for you.

Anyone else getting even more fearful than you were before all this economic mess? And how are you handling it? My unemployment insurance will run out in a couple of weeks - literally just stop. No one bailed me out! (oh, I've got to be careful, no politics) Thank god for my one cousin who has been helping me pay for my COBRA coverage, but she lives alone, too, and with all this financial stress I can't depend on her. I know I'll need to apply for government programs, but we ALL know in good times that takes awhile - those programs now will be overloaded with applications.

I guess I'd just like to know I'm at least not alone here on HW!

PaLady sad smhair

Pamela Neckpain
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1821
   Posted 10/10/2008 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
My husband and I are in your boat, dear PaL,
He can't work now (After that killer surgery)
Of course, I can't work.
All our money is in the stock market.
Every day it goes lower and lower.
I get a wham in my stomach when I even think of it.
Lord, we've raised a family, been ideal ditizens, contributed to charities, WORKED,
and blah blah blah ...
Now, here in our Golden Ears, we're facing .... what?
We have rich relatives. That makes it worse somehow.
We are fighting our own war right here in our livingroom.
I do know a woman in exactly your spot. She was living with her
evil sister. Evil sister got tired of her. Jeanne has to move out
by the 20th. No welfare, no car, no friends, no relatives ....
I don't know what she's going to do.
She and I aren't friends at all. If we were, I'd invite her to
come live on our sinking ship.
US gives money to other people in troubled places. I think
they forgot about us.
Pamela Neckpain, (Not Political)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 10/10/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
i am fearful as well.  we are a single income family and have lots of medical bills; mostly with my daughter and i.  i am constantly using coupons and looking for deals wherever i can.  i fear my next dr. visit b/c i haven't been to p/t for 2 weeks b/c i can't afford $40 per visit right now; nor have i been to my psychologist for the same reason.  i don't know how he'll react.   it's also really hard to explain to the kids why we can't do the things we used to do (movies, out to eat more) b/c money is so tight.  i had planned to get a p/t job in the fall, but don't know how employable i really am.  luckily, my little one should be ok w/ clothes for the oldest, tho (13) will def. need new pants/jeans.  what makes it worse, is that we live in an affluent city and sometimes i feel like we're the only ones that struggle.  as far as the scares me to death..i can't imagine the hit our retirement accounts are taking...luckily for us, we're not even 40 yet, so hopefully the mkt. will rebound.  i will keep you all in my prayers.

Degenerative Disc Disease, bulging discs (3) in low back, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety
"The most important work you and I will ever do will be within the walls of our own home."
--Harold B. Lee
"We are human beings, not human doings.  Be in the now."
--Sarah Susanka

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/10/2008 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Retirement? What's that? I'm 58 and this is no joke! Maybe in a weird way it'll turn out to be "normal" to be poor. But to have to live in poverty and pain? shakehead

And like Pamela, I worked all my life. Heck, the overwhelming majority of us have. And I'd LOVE to work again, as my other thread implies. Not just for money, either.

I feel for you, hurting, with children. I just keep taking comfort in the fact I'm not alone, and I'll bet, hurting, there are more people in your town struggling than you may know. Lots of people have been living way over their means. Course, I'm not one of them, but I sort of wish I had been! I don't even own a cell phone! I tell people it's because I don't want another voice mail to keep track of, and that I'd probably lose it anyway (that's probably true!), but mostly it's because I can't afford it. My credit used to be excellent until I couldn't pay on the credit cards 6 months ago - and that's because I got laid off. I wish I could say I used them for fancy things like trips, but for me they paid for health insurance for years when I didn't have it, large car repair bills (I have a 10 yr. old car) and things like that. Now I don't have them to fall back on, but no income either. Can't believe my last unemployment check will come in about a week. I've already taken most of the money out of what was a small 401K, and paid penalties to do it, so there's little left - and I've not even had the heart to check it in the past week.

Oh, well, thanks for listening to me lament, friends. sad

I think the absolute worst would be if I couldn't connect to the internet to connect to all of you! yeah


Post Edited (PAlady) : 10/10/2008 5:53:35 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 315
   Posted 10/11/2008 10:16 AM (GMT -6)   


I am also getting very fearful and nervous. I am currently unemployed, though I did get a grant to go back to school, which I'm doing now..but school ends in early November and my UE will end the day I graduate. I've already just about used up the federal emergency extension, then for the last 2 weeks of school, I will get the UE school extension. I've been sending out my resume for a while now, had 1 interview and am supposed to have another with a different company (the job is through an agency).

At first, I thought, okay..if I don't find a job right away after graduating, at least I have my IRA that I could cash out or borrow from (though I really, really do not want to do this). But, OF COURSE, now my IRA is losing value quickly, just when I might need it, it figures. The only good thing is, my family has offered to help me out....but I hate to borrow from them, too.

The worst thing is, I cannot even just go work in a local store or get 2 low-paying jobs to hold me over until I find a good job. I cannot stand or walk around for more than 5 to 15 minutes (well, unless I  have a shopping cart to lean on). So I can't go stock shelves, or cashier, or all that other stuff one has to do while working in a store. And even basic clerical help, they think I am "over-qualified", blah, blah, blah...Not to mention that when I do go on interviews, I have a limp, and sometimes I have extreme pain. I soo worry that I won't get hired because they can see something is wrong.

I had a nice savings before I lost my job, but it's dwindled down to nothing after paying for Cobra, a bunch of doc visits, bills, and I had to buy my own basic insurance so that my next insurance cannot exlude my pre-existing conditions. I met my yearly cap on prescriptions in a little over 2 months, but THANK GOD!! I was approved for prescription assistance!

So, by day I am getting more worried about my whole situation and I know what all of you are going through. You are definitely not alone.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 10/11/2008 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
You are definitely not alone. I am trying to work again, but some days it feels like it's killing me. What's most frustrating is that my income barely covers living expenses and insurance and such. Well, it doesn't cover everything really. I keep the job to keep the insurance, but my copay is so high that the medical bills have still taken over my life. I have always been very responsible with my money and paid promptly what I owe to people, but these bills are outrageous and I just can't keep up.

I had a visit to a neurosurgeon a little over a month ago, and the office visit cost nearly $1000 with combined costs of travel to get there (out of town) lodging expenses, x-rays, a bill from the PA who came in to talk to me first, and then a bill from the doc TOO. My copays are through the roof, and between that and paying to keep fuel in the car and the smallest bit of food in the house I am scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I can't imagine how scary it is for those of you who are nearing the end of unemployment or fighting the long fight of disability. I think I know that those are things I can pretty much count on being in my future too. I just wish I had some magic wand to fix this for all of us!


Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 10/11/2008 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello PAlady and all, and hugs to everyone(((())))

Believe you me you are not alone as you no from my last post palady.  I am struggling as well.  I am behind already a month on all my bill and paying late fees and barley making a dent in what I owe, and being single with 4 kids doesnt help, winter is around the corner as well as Christmas and I cant even pay my bills let alone any thing for Christmas.  I think this is the first yr in my life that im not looking forward to it, I have always loved Christmas.

I cant ask my mom and dad for any more money as they are paying my rent for me and thats 1000 a month.  The problem with me is that I was making good money before the acc. and I didnt have much credit because I was trying to repair my after my divorce so I stayed away from credit cards thank god, but just my monthy bills and now working part time is putting me under as well as trying to raise 4 kids on my own.

I know how hard it is to be alone and struggle with all that we struggle with, its such a lonely exsitance and at times it gets the better of you and the weight just pulls you down so low sometimes.

As far as the economy goes,  I was so scared intil the other day I gave myself a mental slap and told myslef to stop it if it tanks there is nothing I can do about it so stop worring, I have enough to worry about right here and right now than to live on what ifs and its not like I have money in stock anyways lol.  So I will have to deal with that when and if it comes.  Thats all that any of us can do and pray that things will turn around.

I wish I had some answers for you Palady and all but I dont.  I, like you are trying to figure it out as I go and do the best I can.  But I do understand Palady and I understand being alone with all this as well, it sucks and there is no way around that one but I jsut want you to know that you have me and you have everyone on here and altho it doesnt help with the phycial aspect at least its is something to know you have people on your side praying for you and understand all that you are going through

We all just have to keep fighting and hang in there and do the best we can

Take care PAlady and wishing you all the best and I really hope all goes well with you.


deb in indiana
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 387
   Posted 10/11/2008 7:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I worked two jobs 28 years i fell at work boss got pissed cause i had to be on walker needed a knee replacement .I filed ssd it has been 4 years next month still fighting have all these illnesses ,11 bad disks 33 pills a day but still fighting ssd.The only thing that saved us was i told my husband we had to file bankrucy rather he liked it or not i was down to my last 1100.00 dollars in the bank and thats what we did and the sadDeb part was most of it was husbands credit card debt.I just take it one day at a time and had to go on nerve medicine to deal with all the crap so i do feel for everyone the more i stress worse the pain.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/11/2008 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Altough I hate that others are in a similar spot, reading all your replies just warms my heart. I thank you all!! And know that if you're ever feeling alone in your struggles I'm in the boat with you, too!


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 10/12/2008 10:14 AM (GMT -6)   
  Im in that boat also, that mean lots of oars, lets just row to a nice island, kick back, make our lil nest in the warm sand and soak up some rays smilewinkgrin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/12/2008 12:07 PM (GMT -6)   
How great it would be if we all lived closer, and we could put together our own little apartment complex, or live with the person who has the biggest house (mine's pretty small!) and then we could all share resources PLUS we'd have a built in support group who really understood eachother.

There's gotta be a way... idea


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/12/2008 2:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi PAlady,

I'm SO sorry that you're in this position. As you maybe remember, I'm with you (and seemingly so many others here too) in this reality of being Poor, in severe PAIN 24/7, panicked about what lies ahead, knowing that the day may come soon where I won't be able to afford my pain meds and I also am terrified of the pain, as it is getting worse everyday. My pain meds don't seem to be helping much at all and I'm on a mixture of strong narc meds, muscle relaxants, anti-depressants & an anti-anxiety med which I must use sometimes for the pain when I'm to the point of tears. I don't want to scare anyone, but I've already lost most everything b/c of the pain & not being able to work. In 2004 I lost my career as a nurse, maxed out my 401K, Savings & all credit cards to keep up with mounding medical bills. I'd seen abt 26 doctors, specialists, had multilpe MRI's, tests & was tried on a huge amt of different pain meds +++ I lost my job, my home and had to claim bankruptcy. Friends were long gone, my dad (and best friend) had died, and my health got worse b/c I was SO alone. I had to move back home to my mom & s-dad's house. It's been 4+ years & I'm still here. It's not a good situation. There's a lot of tension. I cant get assistance b/c of their income...and I have lost "me". Finding HW and the support here has helped a lot!

PAlady, start asking your Dr. for Samples of any meds you can. They cant give samples of Class 3-4 meds (narcotics), but I usually get my Proventil Inhalers & other asthma stuff from the office and have occ. been able to get the anti-depressant. Also, contact the Pharmaceutical Co. who makes your meds & ask for applications for their PAP (Prescription Assistance Program)s. You can many times get meds very cheap & somtimes even free. I get ny Zoloft free from Pfiezer for over a year now. It's worth a try. Also, if you're not on Disability already, please look into that asap. Most SSD Attorney's have free consultations & dont get paid unless you win the SSDI case.

Please keep posting. My thoughts & prayers are with you!


Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/14/2008 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi PAlady, and everyone.
Just checking in to see how everyone is doing?  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.  I've been thinking about this post all weekend (thank for starting this post PAlady  :-)  It's a subject that I think most all of us here are struggling with.  I too try not to say anything about the politics of it all...I'm just praying that whoever becomes our next "leader" will put healthcare first!  We need help!  I'd like to know how you are all coping and if you've found any kind of assistance or support from your County's Assistance people and/or your Country's support system.  I had a friend that lives in Austrailia who told me how their system works and how they have a fund to help people like us.  Just wanted to know how you're all doing?  PAlady, how long do you have to be able to stay in your home? 
I hope everyone is getting some pain relief today.  My day started out with a migraine headache among other pain issues.  The headache is better now, but the rest of my body doesn't seem to want to cooperate.  I hope you're all having better luck with your pain meds and really REALLY hope you have a good support system.  I have basically no support except for HW and all of the wonderful people, like myself, that I've been blessed to have found.
You're all be in my thoughts and prayers today.
Fibromyalgia, Myofacial Pain Syndrome, RSD-CRPS, 11 herniated discs w/ multiple pinched spinal nerves, Osteoarthritis, TMJ, Sleep Apnea, CFS, Narcolepsy, Hypothyroidism, Asthma, Insulin Resistance, Major Depression, Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Bilateral Peripheral Neuropathy (cause unknown)...LONELINESS & POVERTY (lol...)

Other than the above, I'm in great shape!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/14/2008 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Willow,
Thank you so much for responding - and caring! And I'm glad you've found us. We all need eachother, especially those of us with extremely limited supports.

Yes, I, too, hope our next "leader" will recognize the importance of healthcare. And I guess we can't say much more. But the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that doesn't provide at least minimal health care for all its citizens. Funny thing, once my COBRA runs out (and my cousin is paying for that right now, for as long as she can, bless her, so I can have better coverage) I'll probably be eligible for Medicaid because my income will be pretty much non-existent. But if I try to work part time, I may just make too much money, and then I'd end up being one of those nearly 50 million people without health care. All because maybe I wanted to work some to keep my sanity.

Like a lot of people here, I've paid my bills my entire life. As a matter of fact, my house is paid for, or I'd have been out of it long ago. However it's small and old and in need of a lot of repairs, like my 10 year old car, (and my nearly 60 year old body!), and it's keeping up with all those costs that is becoming impossible. Right now I'm still trying to get squirrels out of the attic but that's meant paying an exterminator (well, I've not paid him yet, and he may not yet realize I'll have to pay him very, very slowly). There's a leaky spot in the roof and winter is coming. My car needs brakes. The taxes on my house will be due by Dec. 31. And none of that touches the outrageous cost of all of our utilities. So while I've paid all my bills, it doesn't seem to have mattered now. One small but temporary light is that I'm still doing my taxes (I took an extension last April and the govt. now gives you 6 months so they're due tomorrow!!) and at least I'm getting a refund on my federal taxes plus the rebate check. That will help for the next couple of months, although most of it will get eaten up likely with car costs, etc.

Sorry, I'm going off on a rant! I guess it's why I still look at job ads and applied for that recent one. It's so very hard to accept that this may be what the rest of my life looks like. And I really can't keep up the costs of living in the house indefinitely, even if I did have government programs to help with things like heating. The government doesn't give you a break on your property and school taxes and such. At least not in my state. And my car won't last forever.

I'm so glad we at least all have eachother. I do pray that I can always have some type of internet connection, but I fear my computer one day going caput and there's no way I could afford a new one.

Ok, enough!! smhair

And I know some of you may suggest selling my house, and that may happen, but it's not worth a lot yet it is in a safe neighborhood. I'd have to live somewhere, and if I had the income from the house sale that would, for awhile, make me ineligible for any kind of government programs. So before I sell, I need to think long and hard that I don't go from the frying pan into the fire. yeah

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 10/14/2008 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
To get a medicar card  my case worker at s.s. told me that I could only make 600.00 a month.The hospital that I was in is fighting with my insurance to pay my bills.I hope to god thay win because if thay dont we will have to file a medical bankrupsey.We owe about a million dollers to the hospital alone.Igot a bill the other day from the prescription center that brings me the infussable anti-biotic that I just got done with(12 weeks)it was for the first 8 weeks.The bal. is 21,473.00 I told my 15 year old son that with the last 4 weeks added on to the bill you could buy a real nice car.Its hard to beleave that medication cost that much. mad My husband and I both have worked all of are lives and about all that we have to show for it is are kids.I am younger then alot of the people that post but I have still been working since I was 17 and my husband has been working since he was 15.But we still dont have much to show for it.Well I guess that its time for me to stop complaning today.I got my self into this mess got to just hope we can drag areselfs out.I am also like most of you and think thay need to do something about health care here its way past due.
Lost half of my small intestine, Nerve damage to right leg,part of my right hip bone removed,hernia,infection in my back called discites,and depression

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 10/15/2008 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   

We are in a similar boat, even though I have a husband who works. He is a cop, so you all can guess how well that pays... eyes We have 4 kids , all at home, the oldest is 15...youngest is 7 and has ADHD

I would suggest that you get ahold of your doctors and ask them about the Patient Assistance programs , they will send your meds to your doctors offices for you to pick  up. It's kind of a pain at first, but at least the meds are free.

If you are waiting for SSD, then also apply for SSI. You may be eligible for that, even while you await the outcomes from your SSD applications. Many who are not eligible for SSD, are eligible for SSI. Check with your local governments to see what programs and assistance they offer for disabled people in your area. There are some areas of the country that have many programs for the disabled out there to assist, only for the asking.

I know that many of us are facing hard times, whether we are alone or have a spouse. I hope that things turn around for all of us, soon....


PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 125
   Posted 10/15/2008 10:03 PM (GMT -6)   


  I have been in similar situation for several years myself. I could no longer work full time, tired the part time stuff but was on too many pain meds to perform as I always had in the past.  I was ashamed.  Calling in sick, limping around and dragging legs. Anger rages that I never had had prior to my DDD began.  I walked off the job at two different places.  I had no health insurance and ppl would ask me why I didn't keep the cobra coverage that costed more then what my income was when gainfully employed. Geeze how I could go on and on.  But wont, LOL.  I am sorry you are in a stage of fear with what your next month may hand you. I can only say stay in your day, in the moment, many times minute by minute.  Car payments, insurance, house payments or rent, child support was the main thing that got me down.  When I was at my worst my ex took the kids and requested child support.  I finally got over that hump then he took me to court for collage support.  Had to ask once again for money from my family who were already making my house payment and car payment if they could give me $900.00 for attorney fees.(I won that battle but my kids were mad at me)  Utilities getting shut off.  Once my son at a very young age, ran outside to the gas and electric men and said 'NO YOU CAN"T DO THIS TO MY MOM SHE IS SICK'  They laughed and shut us off.  Gosh I said I wouldn't go on and I am.  Sorry. 

Inspiration.... Continue to look at the glass half full not empty. Let all your creditors and collectors know that you are in a health situation that is not their business and you will do what you can.  Find a contact source in your community who can assist you in what you are in dire need of let them help you this is their job. Try real hard to never be scared, have faith.

Sorry your in a rut right now, I could go on and on.

Take care, Cloe

Edited to add:  once when my water was shut off my friends all brought me over gallon milk jugs of water. I was so grateful.  The guilt I felt from being a financial hinder to my successful family sicken me. I am still not in a position to pay them back.  We just do not talk about it.





Post Edited (~Cloe~) : 10/15/2008 9:08:23 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/16/2008 1:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Cloe and Sandi.

And you're right, Cloe, staying in the moment, minute by minute a lot of times, is about all I can do. I'll try to heed your advice but you do the same, ok? (re: my post on the other thread!) smilewinkgrin

I'm exhausted. Time to curl into bed. I did splurge today. Bought some of my favorite votive candles at this place out in the country that makes their own. I haven't been there in months and wanted to take a drive to look at the colored leaves. They'll soon be all gone. sad



Post Edited (PAlady) : 10/16/2008 12:17:25 AM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 10/16/2008 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   

PALady (and others here), have you applied for SSI/SSD?  (When you apply for SSD, they will automatically assess your situation for SSI, while waiting for SSD.)

From '93 until 2005, I was only able to work P/T, due to fatigue from hep C and pain from osteonecrosis and resulting hip replacements.  For the past nearly-10 yrs., I have lived alone and been responsible for only myself...but also alone in dealing with finances.  I moved to Federal HUD housing, where the rent is 30% of one's gross income.  Not actually that much, as they give a credit for utilities, and for Rx co-pays, etc., for those over 62.  Some places are not so nice, but at least it's a roof over your head where you have low rent.  Since May, I have been on the waiting lists of 2 senior complexes that accept HUD applicants, and I expect to be able to move into one of them by next summer (nicer environments.)  Prior to being approved for SSD in '05, my P/T work kept dwindling in hours as my health got worse.  When I finally stopped working, I was only putting in about 12 hours a week.  Even after getting SSD and Medicare, I had huge dental expenses and no insurance coverage.  Thankfully, a rich aunt with no children or husband, was able to pay for my dental bills.  She also helped me out with other unexpected emergency expenses.  She finally put about $3000 in a special acct. for me, over which she had total control.  I would call her when I needed emergency money, and she would send me money from that account.  Tues., she went into a NH.  By then, I had only $1800 left in that account.  It was sent to me in a lump sum, and I banked most of it today.  There will be no more forthcoming, so I have to use what's left very wisely and carefully.

Even with help from my aunt, I have had to cut expenses and use coupons for food and toiletries, paper goods, etc.  I also clip Walgreen's coupons and use those.  I went there today and got 5 boxes of Royal gelatin for $1, Butterball chicken broth for .50/can, a half-gallon of OJ on sale for $2, etc.  I usually don't buy anything that doesn't have a coupon or isn't on sale.  It's best to combine both.  I eat very little meat and only use milk for cereal.  I use store-brand items whenever possible.  I also stock up on canned goods, etc., when there is a good sale.  I have a Medicare RX plan that costs me nothing.  My generic Rxs only cost me $1 ea.

My landline phone is totally basic.  I don't even have the wiring maintenance plan.  Also, as I live in Section 8 housing, I get a credit called Lifeline...which pays for the residential line.  I only pay the taxes...about $6/mo.  I got a low-cost long distance plan by searching online.  Mine is only 2.7 cents/min. Interstate, with no fees.  I haven't bought minutes for my prepaid cell phone since May.  I have a free checking account.

I don't have a car--never learned to drive.  Before becoming disabled, I took the bus.  Now I use a handicap van service for $1.50 one-way.  I use it for everywhere I need to go, if I have nobody to drive me, which is 99% of the time.

Prior to getting Medicare, I got my care for free at a teaching hospital, including prescriptions.  Since Medicare, I'm going to Mayo.  Anything that Medicare doesn't pay for, their charity program picks up.  I have to be reevaluated every year to get this help.  It has been a God-send, as I had liver cancer and would have died had it not been for the treatment I received at Mayo.

I go to a $13 haircut chain for haircuts.  I have also gotten cuts at beauty schools, which are even cheaper.  They also do manicures and pedicures.

I buy all my clothes at thrift stores.  The only thing I buy new is underwear and shoes.

When I worked outside the home, I always took my lunch... a Slim Fast shake, microwavable soup, or leftovers from the previous night's dinner.

I had 7 major surgeries in 5 yrs., starting Nov. '02.  The result was that I needed help with household cleaning.  I use a neighbor...actually am on my 3rd neighbor to clean for me.  I used one every week until the past 6 mos. or so, when it has become too expensive for me, with the rising price of groceries.  I still use that help once a month for approximately $22.  I get a thorough cleaning for that.

I use my crockpot, microwave, or contact grill instead of the stovetop or oven.  I unplug appliances such as toaster, computer, etc., when they aren't in use, as they continue to draw power, even if turned off.

These are just some of the tips I use to help me get by on my SSD income.  I hope that some of them will help you or others here.  Even with keeping a close eye on spending and cutting services to the bone, it is still really difficult to make it these days, as everyone knows.

"But that was yesterday, and I was a different person then."
Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Post Edited (hep93) : 10/16/2008 6:43:33 PM (GMT-6)

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