Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Apartments For Low Income Single Mothers

March 30, 2012

William asks…

How much should I give my daughter’s father from my tax refund?

Well, this is kind of a weird situation. And, I’m sorry, this is going to be kind of a long detail section, because I want to be thorough and get some real advice. My daughter’s father and I (we’ve been separated for 5 years now) has let me and my 2 children stay in an extra room in his house since I had to leave my apartment about 3 1/2 months ago. I have not been able to find work in this time, and have not been able to help with bills or anything much except food (I qualified for food stamps during this time). Since we moved over here, he has told me that he doesn’t expect anything from me, money-wise, except help with the electric bill once I am working.

Here’s where the weirdness starts. When I met him, I was only 17, very innocent and naive, and when we had our child, I let him claim her on his tax return for the year she was born. I had no knowledge of dependency rules, commonlaw marriage rules in Texas, or anything of that nature. After she was a year old, I decided to leave him, and he began to blame me for his financial problems. So, I gave him money here and there at first, to help with the electric, water, house payment, whatever. We were a low-income family, the most I ever made in a year then was 12,000, and he made between 17 and 18,000. I don’t know why I gave him money then, because I didn’t have to, and as a new single mother, I had enough to worry about. I have kicked myself many times for this, because one of the reasons I left him was that I didn’t trust him anymore concerning money. He lies to me a lot, to this day, and he still blames me for a lot of his problems. I cannot bring myself to file for child support from him, because he makes me feel guilty about it, like I’m the one who has done something wrong to him, even though I know better. I’m such a wuss in this area, he was the first guy I ever dumped, and the father of my first child. I thought, if I’m good to him, he will be good to me… but that just wasn’t the case. Every year after I left, he would ask me to waive my right to claim my little girl to him, and said he would give me money out of his return. I refused each time. Instead, I would offer him half of whatever the additional amount of the refund was after claiming one dependent, in hopes that he would use the money to provide for her better when he was allowed to keep her, or maybe go back to school and help himself out of his rut, but he just bought computer and video games, or other electronics. And this year, I have a son who is only a year old, and my ex told me that because I get to claim my son, he should get to claim my daughter. He doesn’t understand that he doesn’t have any right at all to claim her. He didn’t provide anywhere NEAR 50% of her support at ANY point except the first year we were still together, and then we split it evenly. In fact, after I left, it was more like 7%, and that 7% is the percentage of the year that she stayed at his house overnight, and I had to provide everything for her then anyway except the house itself! He did not help with clothing, food, toys, childcare, medical expenses, or any emergency situation with her. I am currently going to college to obtain my Master’s in Accounting, and have taken income tax classes. I know the rules. I have explained them to him. But he won’t give up his blame game long enough to listen to me!

I’m at my wit’s end right now. I need some help!

I don’t know why he feels entitled. I am the single mother, who has had her share of difficulties working and going to college with two little kids, and who to this day, has not had the heart to break his bank account by hitting him for child support. I have made ends meet for my little family right up until disaster hit in October last year, when an immediate family member died of cancer. I had to miss a lot of work, because I wanted him to be taken care of at home, and not die in a hospital with no loved ones around. I was fired for a tiny mistake almost right after he passed away, because my boss was already angry about having to adjust the schedule for me. I lost my apartment, was at a loss for what to do, until my ex offered the guest room of his house to us.

I worked hard for every paycheck I ever earned, and my children are my world. I know I should not have given him a red cent after I left, and I wish I had never started that trend, because now he expects it! And THEN SOME, this year! He thinks I’m going to just hand him thousands of dollars because we were here. He has matured a lot, especially the last year or so, and has grown as a person, and become a better father to her. But we are still not married, not even dating, and we never will be. I have told him for months that this a strictly platonic arrangement, and that I would help him cover the electricity bill while we were here. He has been trying to make me feel guilty about not wanting to be with him, and not wanting to sleep with him, and not kissing him, or holding hands, or

Administrator answers:

Didn’t read post, too long.

Give nothing.

Lizzie asks…

Need some help making a big financial decision, I’m stuck?

Alright, my income level is only $3000 per month, and I say that is low because I am a single mother with 2 children. I’m in the midst of a divorce and have been staying with family for one year, so now, it is time for me and my kids to go on and get a place. I have the option of saving up for a down payment for a home or moving out and getting an apartment. I feel that if I move out and get an apartment, it will take twice as long to get a place to own. My question is, Should I stay a little while longer and save up for the downpayment on a home? Or should I just go ahead and move out and then save?

Thanks – oh yeah, and I’m also paying off some medical bills that I had over the past few months, so I’m in debt – about $4000 right now, paying up to $1000 per month plus an additional $1000 per month in living expenses -food, my portion of utilities, necessities, gas for work, etc.
And if I save up for a downpayment, it’s gonna take me another 6 months to get out of here, and I’m also going to have to pay down my debts regardless, which is going to take another 4 to 6 months as well. So basically, I’ve got about a spare 1500 per month to work with. Rent where I’m from is around 600 for something “liveable”. I feel like I’m losing my mind living with my family, – really. I hate it and I just want to get out. We’ve been living here because I was pregnant and had to find a job, and now, i’m ready to move on from here. I just don’t want to do the wrong thing. I mean, I still have to fork out money here, but just not nearly as much if I were renting. I have an 9 month old son and a five year old daughter. I have the option of saving up for something I can own, or getting out by next month. I’m just stuck on what I should do. I feel I could get ahead right now if I chose, and I want to do that, but I can barely stand it here anymore.

Administrator answers:

I would put $1,000 in savings in case of emergency and use the rest to pay off that debt – if you put another $1,500 toward debt it will be done in no time. Paying up to a grand each month toward that debt is a lot! Better to be done with it and have the freedom to move out when you choose. I don’t think it’s a good idea to move out until that debt is gone. Once the debt is gone, I’d encourage you to stick it out at your parents as long as you can stand it and sock all that money away in savings. Even if you can’t stay there another 6 months, at least you’ll have started saving for a house down payment so you won’t be stuck in an apartment for as long as you would if you move out now.

Ken asks…

i need some advice PLEASE?

im a single mother of two beautiful boys ages 3 and 5.the kids father and i recentley broke up and he kicked me 3 year old is his biological child.not the 5 year old.hes trying to get custody of my son and i dont want staying with my friend at the moment.i wanted to know if anyone knows how to go about getting housing assistance or an apartment so i can have my two kids living with me.i go see my child every other day and he also comes to stay with me.hes saying im unfit because i dont have my own house.and i know im not an unfit parent.please any advice will be helpful.i just want my boys with me.also we live in hattiesburg so any low income places for housing would be helpful…thank you

Administrator answers:

I know living in housing isn’t all it cracked up to be but at least you will be together. I live in housing in TN. I filled out a paper at the main Housing Authority office and within a few weeks I had a 2 bedroom apartment. That was 3 years ago so I’m not for sure how long it’ll take to get an apartment. The earlier you do this the sooner you’ll get an apartment. Look in your phone book for Housing Authority.

Or here you go: 515 E 4th St, Hattiesburg – (601) 583-1881

As for your child’s father calling you unfit. I don’t see it. Your trying your hardest to be with your kids. Best of luck!

Steven asks…

Why Do Teen Welfare Bums Make So Much $$$$ ?

Can anyone explain to me why, in Canada anyway, a teen mother who sits on her ass all day gets more money (and lives better) than I, a working person does? I have worked hard for years, and like most lower-income people, find myself struggling sometimes to afford things in life. Yet my upstairs neighbour, an 18 yr old single mother, always has plenty of cash. I was talking to her one day, she said she gets about $1,600 a month from the government, plus her child tax credit, plus child support ($400). She has never worked a day in her life and has no plans to. She has a grade 8 education, and was given her own apartment by Children’s Aid at 16. Technically she isn’t on welfare yet, Children’s Aid (CAS) will provide her this free existence til 21, providing she’s in school. She isn’t, just gets correspondence books from the school and doesn’t even have to work on them. She hasn’t earned one credit in 2 years. She is constantly going shopping, comes home in a cab frequently laden down with baby items and new clothes for herself. Always getting take-out food and trunk loads of groceries, when I struggle to do these same things WORKING and contributing to society. She even gets a TAX REFUND!! How the hell is that possible, she doesn’t pay taxes, she’s given free money to stay home with her baby while the tax payers foot the bill. She’ll never work, she as much as told me that. (Why would she? The government will pay her more than she needs, and she gets to stay home for the next 18 years.)Yes, I know it must be hard raising a baby alone at this age, but she wants for nothing, has every need provided for by CAS and doesn’t have to pay a single bill. Can anyone tell me, is the system like this in other parts of the world, or are we in Canada just far too liberal as far as providing teen moms a free pass in life? It would give me hope to know it wasn’t like this all over the world!!
And in response to one of the posters….I am not “complaining about working”…not sure where you got that…I was complaining about having to support able-bodied people for years. There’s a difference.
Forgot to mention, she only has ONE child. And she isn’t on actual welfare yet, it’s some kind of Children’s Aid subsidy…but she WILL be switching to welfare when she is lo longer eligible for this kind of support. Still, women on welfare in Canada, with even one child, get a LOT more than a single supporting person who is working part time to try and supplement it.

Administrator answers:

Don’t feel bad for you dear, feel bad for her. What kind of life has she had, out of her parents home at 16 and already a single mom at 18 – you should feel sorry for her. No plans of college and no education. You are struggling now, but i gather you’re on a path to success. You’ll see the difference in five years…… Keep your chin up. Trust me once that child becomes school aged – she’ll struggle – what is 1600 a month. Are you in college – I hope so because no matter the profession with a college degree you’ll make double that in a month or more – By the way, you say she always has money – you might be surprised to know how she gets it – hmmmmmmmm Your life is better Im sure…………

Lisa asks…

My girlfriend keeps asking me to do stupid things. Should I just end it or try to be more understanding?

First of all, me and my gf have some significant differences, namely education, career field, income, and living arrangements. She has a certificate from a trade school, I have a MBA. She doesn’t have a career, I work as a financial advisor. She is on public assistance. My income varies. This year last year I made $25k. This year I’ll make $80k. She lives with parents and her 4 kids. I live in an apartment with my son that I have custody of. I also have 2 older kids that live nearby.

My girlfriend keeps asking me to do things which to me seem downright stupid. And they doubly seem stupid because as a single mother that gets little help from her childs’ fathers.

I don’t make a big deal out of the differences. I knew what I was getting myself into when I met her and I don’t judge people; however, there are times when those differences are really evident.

I’ll tell you about the last argument. She out of the blue told me that I should move closer to her. I thought she was joking, so I said “No”. She asked why & I said because it doesn’t make sense. My job and my kids are out here. That wasn’t good enough for her & she wanted to pout and get an attitude. I kept asking her how did it make sense for me to move closer to her, but she wouldn’t answer. I then explained that I would have an hour commute to work each day or I would have to take a lower paying job near her. I also explained that I would see my older kids less & would have to pay more child support for doing so. That still didn’t stop her from getting upset. I then asked her how would she feel if her kids’ father moved away to be with a woman & didn’t see his kids as much…still no response.

I use to think when we had these disagreements that she was just emotional, but after continued arguments over similar stuff I’m starting to feel that she’s just dumb. I know that’s not nice, but COME ON!!!! From my point of view…this stuff is simple.

Last month’s argument was why don’t I come to visit her. My response “Because you live an hour away, with your parents, and can’t have male guest in the house (althought you have 4 kids). It doesn’t make sense to drive that distance, sit in a Starbucks for an hour and drive home.

Am I being too harsh or mean?

Administrator answers:

She lives an hour away, has four kids (with more than one man), lives with her parents, is on welfare, doesn’t seem to have any aspirations for herself, asks you do do inane things for selfish reason, and doesn’t seem to respect your relationship with your kids…. And you are dating her why?

Nancy asks…

Child support and extra curricular activities?

Does child support cover this and other things? This is an opinion question, not a legal question – I know the legal answer.
Let me start by saying I do not begrudge one dime that goes to the support of my children.
Having said that, when my ex and I divorced, I was under the impression that the legal system favored an equitable financial end state situation – it’s understood that going from a dual sourced income household to two single sourced incomes, the quality of living is going to drop for both people. According the legal system in regards to child support, that is not true. The custodial parent gets income support to the degree to maintain the quality of life for the children to pre divorce levels.
What this means factually is that most fathers now must maintain a quality of life for the ex and the children that they had prior to the divorce while maintaining his new household as well. So, to clarify, the family court system expects the non custodial parent (usually the father unless the mother is abusive, an addict, or exposing the children to gratuitious sex – seriously, those are the only three criteria that a father can gain custody in most states, unless the mother consents) to maintain the quality of living of the children.
So, when child support calculations are made, they are made with the expectation that the non custodial parent will be maintaining the pre-divorce quality of living for the children. That’s the basic reason why child support is so high and patently unfair.
It wouldn’t be quite so unfair if father’s got the same (or even NEARLY the same) rights as mothers. I stay engaged with my children. I’ve missed two baseball games in one year due to travel associated with my job. I all but beg her to let me spend more time with my children – I even took her to court because she used a baby sitter over me for watching the kids (I won).
So… she gets about $12,000 year in child support. Consider this – that money is completely tax free (I pay the taxes on that). Take into account cost factors and tax factors, that’s about $15,960 actual value.
I also pay for all medical and dental at a not insubstantial cost. When I get my kids, they always come in raggedy clothes. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to take them shopping just to get them in decent clothes. Once, my middle child’s shoes were so ratty, they were wearing blisters on his feet, so we had to go get new shoes.
I digress.
So, as I pointed out, in my legal research, I’ve found that the guidelines for child support is specifically to keep the children at pre-divorce quality of living standards. That can be interpreted in many ways. The way I interpret it is that this should cover those activities. Otherwise, it would be lower to meet the NEEDS of the child, not high enough to maintain the pre-divorce quality of living.
So my ex always asks me to help pay for their extra curriculars. She lives in marital home, a nice three bedroom house. I don’t begrudge that because it benefits my kids. The kids have their own space and a big back yard to play in. I, however, live in a 550 sq ft apartment because that’s what I can afford.
The law is clear – I am not responsible for extra curricular activities. But I think it’s unreasonable for her to even request extra money as the underlying belief is that she gets enough to maintain their quality of living. And, with the amount of money she gets, their needs should definitely be met with enough left over to provide for these extras.
When I decline her requests, she makes sure to tell everyone how cheap and stingy I am not to “help out.”
Some additional notes to consider: She takes them on vacations every year. Week long vacations. Again, I don’t mind that – they get alot of out it. I’m only able to afford a long weekend vacation once a year with them. I only point this out to put it in context with her asking for additional “help.” There are many more examples – they go to local entertainment frequently – we go to the library and other “free” activities so I can save money to afford a larger place eventually.

So… your thoughts/opinions?

(Sorry for the duplicate posting – I posted this earlier and it ended up in the “Preschool” catagory)
Ironically, I had the better attorney, but the laws regarding child support are clearly on the mother’s side – from finances to being involved in the children’s lives.
Let me be clear – they will be in activities with or without my assistance.
If the expectation is that I pay for additional activities, why would the court dictate I pay so much to keep the children at pre divorce levels and not just dictate I pay a lower amount that meets just their needs? It’s like saying, for example, I should pay X dollars to meet their basic needs and an additional Y amount to maintain their standard of living. It seems the rationale is that the current monthly support money already factors in that additional amount. My children’s needs are more than met (they have three video game systems – those are wants, not needs). They have all of their needs met and most of their wants. I feel that I just come off as the greedy one because I don’t agree to add to the already exorbitant amount she gets

Administrator answers:

I am sorry that you feel this way and that you feel that your children are not dressed according to an income and child support your ex-wife gets. I have a child and my ex is paying child support and that’s it. He does not pay for any of the extra curricular activities because legally he does not have to. But they do add up, not only I have to pay for ballet classes but I need to buy proper outfits, and shoes and tights, and recital outfits, same with piano classes, I have to spend my time, energy to drive child there, I spend $ on gas and piano classes plus I have to pay out the loan I took for piano. You are not there every day (as sad as it may be) and you do not see these every day struggles. So, opinion only, yes, I think you need to pay portion of their extra curricular activities.

Maria asks…

Divorce or Tough It Out?

My husband and I have been married for 3 years. He has 4 children from a previous marriage. We have no children together. He was laid off from his job after we were married which in turn caused us to lose our 3 bedroom home and relocate to another state because he couldn’t find work where we were living. His kids are with their mother in another state and we are both making much less than we did. My car was repossessed, we have been evicted from an apartment, our electric has been shut off on several occasions, my wedding ring has been in the pawn shop more times than I can count just to pay bills, we haven’t had a full refrigerator of food in months. He asked me to quit my job a few months ago because it was affecting my health and convinced me that we would make ends meet because I would get unemployment (which I did). I decided to go back to school with the intent of eventually not having to live paycheck to paycheck. We have sold almost everything in our home…the furniture, the flat screen TVs, laptops, cell phones…anything of value is gone. Finances have taken their toll on our marriage…we don’t communicate like we use to, there is no affection between us, just a lot of disconnection. Its like we don’t even have anything in common anymore. He tells me things will get better but I have been hearing that for the past 3 years and nothing has gotten better…just worse! He gets into arguments with his kids mother and takes his anger out on me. He also has PTSD which has put a lot of strain on me emotionally.

He wasn’t honest with me about his child support before we were married which I am still angry about.I believe his financial obligations to his kids mother along with our low income is the root of the problem but he doesn’t see it that way. He tells me that we are to blame for everything that we are going through but I don’t believe that. I start school next week and would put it off until next year but I worked very hard to get accepted into this program. I just don’t know that I will get this chance again. He says that I should be grateful because he is supporting me going back to school and any other husband wouldn’t do that and would make their wife go back to work. I was stable and single and lived on my own for 10 years before I met him. I find myself often wondering if I am better off without him. He feels like a burden. I think my marriage was a mistake. I know people get divorced these days just because they don’t like the way the other one sneezes but does it seem like I would be justified in getting one? I am so drained and frustrated. Or do I tough it out and hope for the best???

Administrator answers:

Help to get the child support modified is free from the state.


Federal Child Support Enforcement Handbook for Non-Custodial Parents


To learn a father’s rights, join Dads House Educational Center in Yahoo Groups. It’s free to join, access all materials You associate with other fathers going through, and have already gone through, the same issues. We have an Educational Manual that teaches everything that needs to be known in addressing your legal issues. Mention your question here when asked why you want to join, as well as your state?


2nd Wife Club, for those brave enough to take on a man with “baggage”.



For 22 years, I have volunteered my time working with divorced/single fathers dealing in family law issues, such as child support, teaching them about what the states are not telling support obligors. However, men are also highly stressed these days, with severe depression and high rates of suicide, which also need to be addressed.

Helen asks…

How can I kick my mom out but still have a relationship?

My mom has been living with me in my one bedroom apartment for a little over a year now. She was originally living in her mother’s home, but she refused to pay a higher rent that her brothers/sisters asked her to pay, and so they kicked her out and have been trying to sell the house. She moved in and out with a few relatives the next month, but didn’t like staying with any of them, so I caved and asked if she wanted to stay with me. I’m a single guy, late 20′s. This was around 13 months ago. Before she moved in with me, we always got along great. In fact, I’ve always got along great with everyone in my family, me and my brother, me and her, me and my dad. I’ve worked hard my life to be a good person and build a good reputation. But she works at a low-paying job, making a little over $2 over minimum wage, and claims she can’t afford her own place. But she was paying $275/mo rent, light bill, water bill, cable tv, a $250/mo car payment, etc. at my grandmother’s house working the same job for the same hours, for slightly less pay (she’s had a small raise). Why can’t she afford it?

Her car broke down last November, and she still hasn’t gotten it fixed. We shared my car for 3 months, leaving me stranded most of the time (luckily I work mostly from home). I had been saving for a new car, and ended up having to get one earlier than I wanted. She currently drives my old car still. She claimed to be waiting on her income tax return to get it fixed, but that came and went somehow and she still hasn’t gotten it fixed. She’s claimed to have several people offer to help her, and then they suddenly change their mind. I’m starting to think she makes it up. She ended up taking out a loan to get a new motor, but the car still isn’t fixed. I promised my old car to my dad several years ago, and he currently has nothing to drive and has to pay people to take him places.

She’s also been causing problems with my younger brother and his wife, to the point they’re no longer speaking to her.

I don’t know what to do. I want to kick her out, and my brother things I should just do it, but how can I son kick out his own mom? I’m worried it would ruin my reputation. I know this is long, but I needed to get it out. Any advice? Thanks…
I should also mention that she doesn’t pay rent, the only thing she co-pays is half the light bill. Over the past year she’s lived with me, the only thing she’s had to pay is $50 for cell bill, around $50-60 for half the electric bill, her car payment ($270 or so), gas, and food (which she now claims to not have money to buy). But she can’t seem to save anything to get her own place?

Administrator answers:

Huh! Reputation .. She should have kicked u out a long time ago when u where in her belly ..

James asks…

what should i do about my mother?

i got married in may of 2006 my husband and i got an apartment
in july do to some problems we had to move out and now we are
back at our parents house we are buying a new home in january
or feburary of 2007 iam on social security and my job is low
on work right now so iam not really working. i just had my bill
consolidated $140 a month, my only income is $651 amonth
now only with social security, iam trying to get my credit
straight and catch up on some bills. it my parents fault
that my credit is bad they used my name for every thing!
ever since i was small and now i have to pay everything
is all left on me. i am 32 years old. i asked my mom
if i could keep all of my social security money the month
of december to pay some bills she said no! i live her
and i have to give her $200 a month, but my brother is 29 years
old and he will not hold a job but he stays at home to and
never paid a single dime in his life. is that fair? ive alway
stood by my mom form day one .

Administrator answers:

Hang on in there until on your feet and then ‘repay’ some of the similar treatment.

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