MAKING ENDS MEET


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If monthly incoming funds are not enough to cover the expenses in the budget, consider utilizing money from other assets such as non-monthly income generating investments, annuities, or stocks. Seniors over the age of 62 who own a home may also qualify for a reverse mortgage based on the equity in their home. A counseling session is required prior to receiving this type of mortgage.

Pinch pennies where you can Since budgets can easily spiral out of bounds with an unexpected catastrophe, creating an emergency fund can be helpful. One way to create an emergency fund is to spend less money on expenses each month than income, and put the extra money into the emergency fund. Some programs may help with lowering costs, for instance, many pharmaceutical companies have patient assistance programs. One such program is the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Utility companies may also offer programs for seniors or people with low incomes.

Some stores, restaurants, and services also offer senior discounts once a week. Look for government options If your elderly loved one does not have savings or investments that can help supplement the cost of elder care, they may qualify for government services to help subsidize long-term care costs. For example, low-income seniors may qualify for Medicaid. There is an application process for Medicaid, and as part of the process, the applicant will have to submit income and asset information and records.

However, there are a number of restrictions, and these types of programs are intended for people who would otherwise be in a nursing home because of the level of care that they need. Second, in most cases, your loved one will need to qualify for Medicaid, which includes asset and income tests.

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Third, there are specific eligibility rules for Medicaid waivers, which may include age, type of disability for example, a traumatic brain injury , and the level of care needed. To learn more about interest lists, also known as waiting lists, read our previous blog here. Finally, some states also limit what types of relatives are allowed to be compensated. While not all states allow caregivers to be compensated, it can still be worth looking into Medicaid, especially if it will open the window to services like home health care that will give a caregiver a break. Supplement with family income In many cases, family members end up using their own money to pay for the long-term care costs of a loved one.

Depending on the family structure, this can be complicated because of the ability of each member to contribute. If family members are contributing to the costs of long-term care, there are a few strategies to consider that may reduce conflict or tension.

First, the primary caregiver may already be giving their time, especially if they have quit their job in order to care for a loved one. My siblings and I took pride in helping our mom with household chores on weekends, enthusiastically vacuuming the floors and doing laundry in the wringer washer in the garage.

Every Thursday, which was discount night, we went to the drive-in theater, bringing our own popcorn to save money. One summer Mom was determined to take us on a vacation to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and we piled into her old junker and headed east. We had car trouble along the way and were stranded on the side of the road for a while, but we eventually made it to our destination. Years later my siblings and I wanted to buy our mom a Christmas gift. We sold toys and other items we could do without at a local flea market.

With the money we made, we purchased two dresses that she could wear to the ballroom dances that she loved.


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Meanwhile my dad remarried and started a new family. We went to stay with them a couple of times. We would not have traded houses for anything. My family and friends think this prison provides me with necessities like soap. When my supply of soap gets low, I wait until the communal shower is empty, then collect the discarded bars littering the floor. Many are only half used. Finding them is like finding money, and I am baffled that some inmates can afford to leave them behind.

I press the slivers of soap together to create a makeshift bar that usually lasts a couple of days. I self-medicated with PCP , a hallucinogen that only exacerbated my symptoms. After twenty-five years in prison, I wonder what the victims of my robbery would think if they could see me collecting used soap from the floor of the prison shower. The year I was nine and my sister was thirteen, our mom moved us to an apartment in a small Arkansas town. She worked the night shift at the front desk of a lakeside lodge, making nine thousand dollars a year.


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My dad owed forty-two dollars a week in child support, but he rarely paid it. I remember seeing my mom hunched over her checkbook at the kitchen table with a pile of bills, a calculator, and a steaming cup of coffee. When her shoulders shook, I could tell she was crying. To earn extra money, she began to work for our landlord cleaning apartments after the tenants had moved out.

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I longed for the weekends, when I would crawl into bed with her, and we would listen to a recording of Robert Frost reading his poems, which seemed to soothe her. I often fantasized about answering a knock at our door and seeing Ed McMahon standing on our porch with a sweepstakes prize of a million dollars. I dreamed of what we could do with all that money. One day we drove to a pawnshop, and my mom told me to wait in the car.

Making ends meet

After a long while she reemerged from the shop looking defeated. She had hocked her wedding band for five dollars so we could buy a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter. In the s I dropped out of college and moved to Southern California.

I had a large blue glass bottle in which I dropped loose change from time to time: pennies, nickels, and dimes, but no quarters. Those were good for laundry machines and video arcades. I enrolled in radio-broadcasting school in Hollywood and worked evenings at a hotel, balancing its accounts to the penny. On the side I interned at a local radio station and was eventually hired part time as the producer and writer for an afternoon disc jockey.

Later I was offered another part-time job producing the morning traffic report, which allowed me to quit the hotel job.

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During my daily five-hour break between the two radio jobs, I would play tennis, go to the beach, or hike in a park. Then I lost the morning-traffic gig. I got some coin sleeves from the bank, dumped out my change bottle, and stayed up half the night separating, counting, and rolling the coins. It all added up to more than three hundred dollars. The next day I paid my overdue bills and put what was left toward rent. That afternoon there was a message on my answering machine from the manager of the hotel where I used to work.

I got pregnant at nineteen, and shortly after I gave birth to my son, I became a single mom. For six years I worked hard to make ends meet, juggling living expenses with the cost of my college tuition and books for my classes. I dressed my boy in secondhand clothes and bought his toys at garage sales. I may not have been financially successful — I overdrew my bank account and borrowed money from time to time — but my son ate well and was always warm and safe. I know my grandmother only as the unsmiling bride in a black-and-white wedding photograph and from the stories her surviving children tell when prodded.

In the photo she is somberly pretty, with dark, wavy hair and large, serious eyes. My father and his three living siblings rarely talk of their life before the war or their internment at Auschwitz and other camps. When I ask about my grandmother, they give her high praise, saying she was a kind woman who worked hard to care for her children.

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Recently they have begun to open up more. One day my youngest uncle told me that, in the tiny garden apartment in Czechoslovakia in which their family of ten lived, my grandmother often invited their poorer neighbors over for the weekend.

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She also welcomed any traveling Jewish student for Sabbath dinner. Her children would reluctantly obey, although, according to my dad, they were always hungry. My father also told me his mother ate only pickles and the water left over after she cooked noodles for chicken soup. A pious woman who prayed daily, my grandmother scraped together enough funds to send her eldest son to a private Jewish school to further his study of Judaism.

But in her husband was conscripted to do forced labor, and the son, thirteen at the time, had to return home and find work to help support the family. In March they were to be deported to a concentration camp.

Making ends meet

She also baked bread to pack in their bags. Then, before dawn, she buried her silver Sabbath candlesticks in the back-yard. My grandmother died in May in the gas chambers of Auschwitz with her three youngest children. Miraculously her five other children survived their year in the camps. After the war they retrieved her candlesticks and left for Toronto, Canada, where they eventually married and started families of their own.

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