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Old 10-21-2011, 06:28 PM
 
2,873 posts, read 5,849,692 times
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Long, long story short, I'm 31 and take care of my elderly mother who has multiple health problems. I love her, but I really REALLY need some space of my own. Even if I spent all day with her and just went to my own apartment to sleep, it would give me a place to decompress and just have some SILENCE.

I've turned down job opportunities and promotions in the past because I wouldn't have had the time I needed to care for her. My current job allows me to work from home part of the week and has been very flexible in meeting my needs. But it isn't high paying- I bring home about 1,500 a month.

I'm thinking that would be enough for a little one bedroom apartment, yes? Because I've been her caretaker since a young age (13), I've never had the chance to be on my own, and she's always told me I can't possibly afford my own place (she's a wee bit manipulative and afraid of being on her own). Right now I pay most of the household bills, but there is money coming in for other sources

I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that it is possible to live as a single person on that budget. I'm fairly good with my money and never have any major debts, always pay my bills, don't have credit cards, etc...
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:55 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 3,049,571 times
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1-In which part of the country do you live? This is the most important factor.
2-You said you don't have any major debts, does that mean you don't have monthly car payment?
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
15,143 posts, read 27,769,264 times
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Devil's Advocate here: sounds like your mother has you wrapped around her finger? Have you investigated caregivers for her? If she's that bad off, maybe an assisted living facility?
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Indiana
93 posts, read 212,170 times
Reputation: 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
Long, long story short, I'm 31 and take care of my elderly mother who has multiple health problems. I love her, but I really REALLY need some space of my own. Even if I spent all day with her and just went to my own apartment to sleep, it would give me a place to decompress and just have some SILENCE.

I've turned down job opportunities and promotions in the past because I wouldn't have had the time I needed to care for her. My current job allows me to work from home part of the week and has been very flexible in meeting my needs. But it isn't high paying- I bring home about 1,500 a month.

I'm thinking that would be enough for a little one bedroom apartment, yes? Because I've been her caretaker since a young age (13), I've never had the chance to be on my own, and she's always told me I can't possibly afford my own place (she's a wee bit manipulative and afraid of being on her own). Right now I pay most of the household bills, but there is money coming in for other sources

I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that it is possible to live as a single person on that budget. I'm fairly good with my money and never have any major debts, always pay my bills, don't have credit cards, etc...
First let me say, that it sounds like you are a very giving person.

Do you pay for your mother's household expenses now? Will she be able to afford to pay for those expenses when you no longer can? If she can afford these expenses, then why are you the one paying the majority of the bills?

Do you have car payments and expenses?

Would you have to keep both places clean and tidy?

It seems that you would be taking on a lot of extra work and expense for a little peace and quiet.

I hope I haven't come across as being harsh, but there are so many variables. The best thing you can do would be to make a list or a spread sheet. It sounds like you are frugal and good with money and depending on where you live (if it is a low-cost-of-living area) you may be able to live on your own, but I would think it would be tight.

You do sound like you are overwhelmed and need a change. Would it be possible if you did move out from your mother's household that she could hire someone to come in and take care of her? Would you be able to look for a better income source if some/most of your mother's care was achieved through other sources?

I know there are sources for assistance for the elderly, such as meals on wheels and nursing visits, but of course some of these things depend on her income.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
9,524 posts, read 16,507,823 times
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I do think its possible to live on $1500 if one lives in an area, where a studio or 1 bed can be rented in the $600- $700 range at the most. Meaning you don't live in the high COL areas of the USA, where that amount of rent means high crime areas. You would also need to watch what the utilities are like and how costly. Sometimes finding a decent priced rental is not such a good deal when high utilitiy bills are figured in.

You say you do not incur debt so you would have some disposable income left over each month. You would definitely need to set up a budget. Food, car expenses, entertainment and savings
.
Yes I do think its possible and many do just that in this country. In this day and age as always I imagine you make do with what you have. You probably won't have tons of money to spend on fun but you could do it on $1500.

I can understand you wanting your space and I think in time your mother will understand. It might be wise to check into what assistance is available for your Mom. I would contact Senior Services for any info they can give you. I think its commendable you help your Mom like this, but I think as someone else mentioned you are overwhelmed. I have actually been there and it can be overwhelming, and I had my own home at the time when my parents were becoming ill. Everyone needs some space just as you do.

Just think it thru before you do it. Money can go so fast when your renting or owning a home. I know a few people that are much older than you, that live with elderly parents due to cost of housing. Its something you just have to figure out whats right for you. You could try renting an apt not far from your Mother for awhile, and discuss that with your Mom. If you find a rental is costing to much or just not working out you could return to her house.

Do what you need to do because you only live once.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Indiana
93 posts, read 212,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
I do think its possible to live on $1500 if one lives in an area, where a studio or 1 bed can be rented in the $600- $700 range at the most. Meaning you don't live in the high COL areas of the USA, where that amount of rent means high crime areas. You would also need to watch what the utilities are like and how costly. Sometimes finding a decent priced rental is not such a good deal when high utilitiy bills are figured in.

You say you do not incur debt so you would have some disposable income left over each month. You would definitely need to set up a budget. Food, car expenses, entertainment and savings
.
Yes I do think its possible and many do just that in this country. In this day and age as always I imagine you make do with what you have. You probably won't have tons of money to spend on fun but you could do it on $1500.

I can understand you wanting your space and I think in time your mother will understand. It might be wise to check into what assistance is available for your Mom. I would contact Senior Services for any info they can give you. I think its commendable you help your Mom like this, but I think as someone else mentioned you are overwhelmed. I have actually been there and it can be overwhelming, and I had my own home at the time when my parents were becoming ill. Everyone needs some space just as you do.

Just think it thru before you do it. Money can go so fast when your renting or owning a home. I know a few people that are much older than you, that live with elderly parents due to cost of housing. Its something you just have to figure out whats right for you. You could try renting an apt not far from your Mother for awhile, and discuss that with your Mom. If you find a rental is costing to much or just not working out you could return to her house.

Do what you need to do because you only live once.
This is all good advice!
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:31 PM
 
Location: in a galaxy far far away
19,201 posts, read 16,683,192 times
Reputation: 33331
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
Long, long story short, I'm 31 and take care of my elderly mother who has multiple health problems. I love her, but I really REALLY need some space of my own. Even if I spent all day with her and just went to my own apartment to sleep, it would give me a place to decompress and just have some SILENCE.

I've turned down job opportunities and promotions in the past because I wouldn't have had the time I needed to care for her. My current job allows me to work from home part of the week and has been very flexible in meeting my needs. But it isn't high paying- I bring home about 1,500 a month.

I'm thinking that would be enough for a little one bedroom apartment, yes? Because I've been her caretaker since a young age (13), I've never had the chance to be on my own, and she's always told me I can't possibly afford my own place (she's a wee bit manipulative and afraid of being on her own). Right now I pay most of the household bills, but there is money coming in for other sources

I guess I'm just looking for reassurance that it is possible to live as a single person on that budget. I'm fairly good with my money and never have any major debts, always pay my bills, don't have credit cards, etc...
From two of your statements (in bold), it's pretty clear you have never had much of a life, except to be of assistance to your mom. I'm sorry to say this but your mom has been very selfish when it comes to you. A parent should encourage their child to grow into an adult and, at some point, take wing to achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams. You haven't been given this. Your mom is more than just a "wee bit manipulative."

At the age of 31, you should be doing better in your career and planning for your own future, whether solely or with a companion. If you care a caregiver, you have relinquished your entire personal life.

While you can survive on $1,500.00 a month, the bigger issue is what will happen to you when your mom is gone? Unless you inherit some inordinate amount of money where you are set for the rest of your life, you are setting yourself up for an unstable future. Instead, you should be enlisting the help of an agency or social services to help your mother so you can work on securing a better tomorrow.

I don't mean to sound harsh but it's better for you to know what lies ahead if you don't do something about it now.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:34 PM
 
2,873 posts, read 5,849,692 times
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I live in South Jersey.

I've owned my car for years, so no monthly payments there.

My mother is not yet ready to admit she needs a nurse, and not yet at the point where I can force the issue. She would be able to pay her bills on her own- I pay them to help out, and because she's not good with money and will spend what she does not have. We had the house free and clear, but she's remortgaged it twice for things like furniture or siding. She's also at the point where she can't handle the checkbook, so I would have to set her budget and pay them for her. I'd also probably give her some spending money out of my salary, because she wouldn't have much left over.

I know I would be better off money-wise staying here, but if I have to do this for another 10-20 years I'm going to break. Plus I'm thinking I may have my own my place for a time, but as she gets worse I'll probably have to move back in.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:40 PM
 
2,873 posts, read 5,849,692 times
Reputation: 4342
Quote:
Originally Posted by HereOnMars View Post

I don't mean to sound harsh but it's better for you to know what lies ahead if you don't do something about it now.
No, it doesn't sound harsh. I'm becoming more aware now as I grow older that my life basically got put on hold, and that's why I'm trying to make some changes.

Career wise, I want to be a writer and I'm trying to get a book published, which I don't often have time to work on because when I'm not working I'm dealing with my mother's issues. So I'm hoping if I can free up some time, I can move forward with that (you can view some material for the book at threelivesdown.com)

Truthfully, I don't want or need a high-pressure, high salary job. I don't have any desire to marry or have children, or have a big house with four bathrooms. If I can live comfortably alone and take care of my cats, I'm good. But I do want to be able to have a savings and not live hand to mouth.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:48 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 3,049,571 times
Reputation: 2356
Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
I pay them to help out, and because she's not good with money and will spend what she does not have. She's also at the point where she can't handle the checkbook, so I would have to set her budget and pay them for her.
Could you set it up so all the bills be paid by the bank? A bit of the burden would be off your shoulders (and your schedule) that way. We have done that with all our bills for years, it works well for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
I'd also probably give her some spending money out of my salary, because she wouldn't have much left over.
That would be another entry in your debit column. Every dollar counts in a small budget, so don't overlook anything.
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