Mom goes from $70K to food bank

@ersmommy1 (12595)
United States
March 27, 2008 2:29pm CST
Just weeks ago, Patricia Guerrero was making $70,000 a year. But then she was laid off. With bills piling up, this middle-class mom recently went to a food bank to feed her children. How many of us are far from this? It is scary. There but for the grace..go alot of us I can assume.
1 person likes this
4 responses
• United States
30 Mar 08
It can be easy, but it also points to a bit of poor financial planning. If you are making $70k, then you should be managing your finances so you have a reserve of cash to spend in times of need. Really, there's no excuse. People living at $40k or less might be floating close to the line when keeping a family going. I can't blame them for failure to make ends meet and pile up some cash. But at $70k, you would certainly expect some fiscal conservativeness and savings. I only make $55k a year and I try to keep money in the bank. Keeping credit cards clear ranks above money in the bank (because of interest rates), but I have so many credit cards and so much credit that even a little money in the bank can be stretched for quite awhile if needed by employing the credit cards and minimum payments. Being laid off would hurt in a massive way, but I could weather it for a bit. My situation would be dramatically different if I had no savings and most of my credit lines were near their max. Even so, I need to make a bigger savings buffer for my family that we have. I know this and I try to work our finances in that direction. I have a smaller house, I have older cars, I try not to do anything expensive for my own entertainment. So, I guess, I'm afraid this woman didn't live conservatively enough to provide a reasonably buffer for her family. It's sad that she has to go to a food bank, but then again she had -- and has-- the skills to get a good job making $70k again sometime in the future. I hope that she learns from this setback and saves more aggressively.
@emeraldisle (13139)
• United States
27 Mar 08
I've been seeing this happen since the 80's where people are only one pay check away from being on the streets. I actually remember watching a made for tv movie back then about a woman who had that happen. It is scary and frightening that it could happen. I wish I could say it is a new problem but it's not. It's just getting more attention now. Don't know if you ever saw the movie "Fun with D.ick and Jane" but it shows it very well how easy it is to go from having everything to having nothing. I know for myself if it wasn't for family my sister and I along with my niece wouldn't have a roof over our heads. Due to insurance rates going up so high here in Florida the monthly mortgage rate we had almost tripled in price and we couldn't afford it. Our parents paid off the house (we have to pay them back of course) and we could then cut down our insurance to where it was manageable but not everyone has that option. When your payment goes from $570 to $1300 in two years it hurts and many cannot afford those rates. This area is having a lot of houses being abandoned for that reason. It's not due to the house price but the insurance. The insurance companies feel that they need to raise the rates since they had to put out some money a few years ago. The fact that they had profits for years doesn't seem to matter. It used to be people would have in savings six months worth of bills so that if something happened they wouldn't have to worry. Now most can't even have a bank account due to how much they want to have in there but even if they do most can't seem to save more then a few dollars at a time, not enough to sustain them if they lose a job or have to go without a pay check for more then a week. It's not a new problem but one that has been happening for many years just now more and more are realizing what is happening as it happens closer to home.
@TriciaW (2441)
• United States
27 Mar 08
I think we all live what we can afford. If you are making $20,000 or $100,000 many of us tend to spend what we make. I don't know if it is the keeping up with the Jone's or what but it tends to happen to all of us. If we have it we spend it. It had to be very hard for her to do this because she I am sure never thought it would happen to her. I admire her for doing what she has to for her children.
@wickedangel (1636)
• Dominican Republic
27 Mar 08
Gosh, how scary is that. I know that when I was growing up we had a similar experience. My mother had no money to buy any food, so she sent me off to a friends house and I lived there for three weeks until she could sort things out. Of course, as a child you don't realise what is happening but it must have been horrific for my mother. I have great respect for her. Mothers are such wonderful creatures, they will do anything for their children. Come what may, she will provide. I am sure that this won't be the only mother experiencing this. There is a world depression looming on the horizon, I'm sure. The US economy is failing and the UK one isn't doing too well either! Let's keep our fingers crossed for everyone :)