This is the second half of an interview with my daughter who became a new Mother on January 4, 2011.
Q. 7. What resources do you have to help you deal with the shortfalls in your budget?
A. With every available dollar going to pay rent owing or to transportation costs for Daddy right now, we have had to utilise the food bank in our area to supplement our groceries. My very helpful parents have helped by lending us money and with transportation. It's been so cold out, Daddy walking home from work at 4 a.m. is really not an option at this time. We've contacted The Rent Bank, a service provided by the Salvation Army, and Ontario Works to see if they can help us in any way, even if it is only to provide Daddy with a bus pass. Daddy's Mom has helped us with gifts of money when she's able, and I have a lot of friends who have been very generously helping us out with things we need here and there. We know of more resources available, but have yet to approach them for assistance. It's difficult to fill out the required forms and go to see people with a newborn in this cold weather.
Q. 8. When thinking about your financial situation, what is the most important to you?
A. Being able to pay rent and get groceries. My main focus is this because we're so far behind and I worry that we're going to become homeless with a young baby. We need help because we both have such low incomes and we can't make ends meet. It also bothers me a lot that I can't get things for my son that I want to buy for him. He doesn't need them, but I want him to have them. I have truly learned the differences between needs and wants!
Q.9. Are you doing anything in particular to advance your financial knowledge? If not, why?
A. I'm reading Easy Money by Gail Vaz-Oxlade right now that was loaned to me by my Mom. I readily accept advice from my parents as they sometimes see a better/different way of doing things. Other than that, I am not actively seeking out things to learn on my own right now, I'm just too busy. It doesn't really cross my mind to learn more about it.
Q. 10. What advice would you give to young couples considering parenthood?
A. Figure out a plan of how you're going to deal with the finances ahead of time, as best as you can.
Save money. Having money set aside for the unexpected things that will come up. I opened a savings account but never actually saved any amount of money in it that would do us any good. My Mom told me to do this. I should have listened to her.
That concludes the interview. It was good to sit and talk honestly with my daughter about her entire situation. The Mom in me wants to rush in and save them from their own mistakes, but I also know it's part of the learning process that they must go through. In summary, I can surely say that my daughter has a tendency to learn from her mistakes, and this situation will have a long-lasting effect on her. It will be a tough road for her though, because I see that New Daddy has conflicting thoughts and actions. He says the right things, but his actions are entirely different, making her question his true priorities. I hope that their situation is as bad as it will get right now, and will only get better from here. However, I feel that this is not rock-bottom for them yet. My heart goes out to them both as they are trying so very hard to do the right things. I wish them luck, and I pray they know I will always be there for them to help pick up the pieces.