Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lets Talk .....Expenses

Let me tell you, the last few months have been brutal money wise.  End of August we received our teen K, along with $100.  Honestly, for a teen needing a wardrobe $100 doesn't even begin to cover that expense.  We do get a subsidy eventually.  Since we received her at the end of the month that means that the middle of September we received a partial payment and then in the middle of September we finally received a full payment of $400.  I didn't know that teens get more then little ones.  Still with that $400 we have to cover everything, even car insurance and cell phone when that comes around.

Then the end of September we received our little 2 year old.  We got the same $100 to purchase her clothing.  The difficulty with that was the weather was changing so she needed both warm and cold weather clothing.  Just after we purchased that she was moved so we could receive the new kids.

The two girls came from another county with different rules.  No $100 but with lots of clothing.  A big problem with that is that most of it is useless.  C came from an adoptive placement with no underwear and very little clothing that fit.  Both of the girls shoes that they were wearing had holes in the toes.  In their boxes of stuff there were two pairs of black tennis shoes.  Their SW told me that those came from the foster home and the girls never liked them.  True, they don't wear them.  The middle of November we will receive a partial subsidy payment (for their age a total payment is $332).  Finally in December we will receive a total payment.

The weekend before they came we bought some nice furniture from Craigslist.  All furniture and necessary items such as car seats are purchased by the foster home in this state.  Then after they came we had to buy clothing, shoes and school supplies.  Soon we need to get winter coats and more clothing as I realize that most of what they came with is useless.

Yes, I did enroll them in dance.  For the first time I put out on my facebook that I needed dance items.  Affording two sets of jazz, tap and ballet shoes was not in the budget.  I had a foster parent come to me with the shoes.  Wow, that was a first.  I am used to giving, not receiving.  I made their bags for a few dollars.  The dance instructor let them come to dance but isn't charging for them until November with no registration fee.  It is amazing how that all worked out.  Such a blessing.

Asking for things for my foster/adoptive kids is not something that I typically do.  I feel that we made the decision to do this and the responsibility is on us.  Why is it so hard for me to ask for help? 

We did take a trip to the fair.  They were allowing military and military retirees in for free along with all kids under the age of 10.  We got into the fair for $20.  I told all the kids before we left that we were going to eat and look at the animals, not riding the rides.  They took that well and ate well!  You gotta have priorities.

So, why am I discussing expenses?  For those looking at foster care be prepared.  If you can find big items at garage sales or Craigslist go that route.  It is easier to get over a period of time versus after you get the call for kids.  Don't be surprised if you are taking care of the kids and meeting all their needs long before you receive any reimbursement.  I know that most states receive a larger subsidy then we do, but with $332/month you are (well, we aren't) making money as some are keen to think.

I have learned that there are people willing to help if you only ask.  Sometimes I need to let others help. 

.......and, yes, we have more people staring now!  So, Stare if You Must.


  1. All of my kids furniture was bought from craigslist. My kids bunk beds which are a twin on top, futon on the bottom were given to me once the people found out I was a foster mom. Also for clothes, I try to buy "lots" of clothes on craigslist. Even if I had biological kids, I'd still get a lot of their clothes from garage sales, so I don't feel bad about it at all. I only purchase things in good condition, but definitely get more bang for my buck that way. Of course I spent my kids clothing allowance (which in my state is 200.00 per year) in stores, and every time their subsidy comes I go get them some things, regardless I still LOVE craigslist.

  2. I LOVE craigslist too. I must say that I never go to pick stuff up alone and most of my house is furnished from craigslist.


  3. We buy clothes for little ones at a kids consignment store. The longer the clothes are there, the more of a markdown. I still have a big $10 bag of clothes for a baby girl that didn't come...