Monday, November 10, 2008

Welfare 101

The economy seems to be in the news and on everyone's mind for good reason. There have been income losses for many and I know it's frightening to find yourself without enough money to live the way you've always done.

I've been appalled, though, at what seems to be the prevailing attitude: Get a handout. Go to the government and get help. Become a welfare recipient without bothering to think about other options.

While there's nothing wrong with getting help when you really, really need it, I see a real problem developing. The government is not Santa Claus, neither is it a parent with unlimited funds.

The money our government has is yours and mine. Governments don't make money, they take it.

The money our government has comes from the taxes it takes from us. When it begins to pay out more money, as in more welfare recipients, the money has to come from... guess where?

All this to say that we've become so dependent that we forget to think for ourselves. We forget that there are things we can do to help ourselves and that we can tighten the belt, get creative, and at least try to meet the challenge.

If you find yourself in this position, do everything you can for yourself first. Cut expenses, then cut again. Learn better, cheaper ways to do things. Find ways to make some money, even if it's just a few dollars. Spend them wisely. Read everything you can about living frugally, and put all of it into practice that you possibly can.

Hang in there. When it gets too tough and you can't hang on any longer, then get help.


  1. Very well written. Welfare should be for people that can't work... and then they should get adequate amounts to live comfortable and eat nourish meals in warm homes. It is the humane thing to do............and in fact, if ONLY the people who really needed it got it.. then they could be given a bit more..

    Frugal options are available. I just had a yogurt/banana/milk shake.. The bananas were getting a bit black so on sale for 3 pounds for $1.00. I bought and froze a big bunch; the fact they were getting black made them actually sweeter. The yogurt was on sale.. and fat free milk is healthy.

    I also stocked up on ORGANIC Chicken (remember you wrote about organic??). There was reduce stickers. I got 6 packs (with 5 legs in each). It say to eat by the 8th or freeze .. which I did freeze. I'll cook them up one bag at a time... and great price on them.

    It is actually FUN and EASY to save money and NOT time consuming.. and I prefer not having a shopping list; but going to stores and seeing what is reduced; and what is on loss leaders.. but some things are not advertised. (it is a pleasant surprise). I don't do couponing.. I tried and I really felt it was mainly things that were convenient foods; and not things I should be buying; and it was time consuming. I like working freelance; I rather work and extra 2 hours; then spend that time hunting coupons I can actually use. :)

    Thanks for another well written post.

  2. Thanks, Betty Ann. I have a terrible feeling that we're headed for a more and more welfare state. It's not good for creativity, dignity or intelligence.

    I know what you mean... I don't use coupons much myself.

  3. I didn't see us ever going on Welfare as my husband has an M.S. degree from a major university.

    He lost his job due to 9/11 when we lived in Michigan and now has been on Disability due to a serious illness.

    However, while we still lived in Michigan we ended up having to go on Welfare as that was the only way I could get medical help as a Juvenile Diabetic.

    We had to attend "work classes" when we received the state aid and about 95% of the people there were single mothers.

    It really opened my eyes to the state of society now. No kidding, these classes were to show people why you would WANT to work.

    I've often wondered why God would allow us to go through what we have but I can see in that case, where are the parents or some family member of these girls to teach them not only the value of work but how to live in the real world.

    This was in 2002 but I'm almost certain it would be even worse today.

  4. I agree with Betty Ann. Welfare should be for people that can't work, or to help them when the "bottom falls out of their barrel" I do feel frustrated when I see people using welfare just so they don't have to work. It also frustrates me to see people buying high priced items with their food stamps, or buying cigarettes and beer with cash after purchasing their food stamp items. Whether they realize it or not we tax payers are sharing the cost of these high priced items, including the cigarettes and beer that they purchase.

    I guess my frustration lies in the fact that my husband and worked our tails off, and scrimped and saved to remain off welfare and the use of food stamps.

    I think all schools should be teaching budgeting, and life skills. Where it would fit in the curriculum, I don't know. It might cost us more in school taxes, but it just might work to reduce the welfare spending. We are now sending "educated" but unprepared young people out in the world that don't know how to save or spend money wisely. However these same youngsters know how to use a credit card.

    I'm sorry if this is too negative. I do feel very lucky, in fact, that I learned the skills to live the way I did and to do it debt free. Now it is a choice and not a necessity.

    Regards, Peg

  5. Welfare 101. Interesting article. I know people at my job who also get food stamps and you won't believe what they spend it on absolute junk food! Candy, soda, and convince food! By the end of the month they are standing in line at a food bank because their food stamps have run out! I work full time and don't collect any help and I am frugal as can be while those on welfare run around with the latest fashions! Anyway we had a Fall Festival at our job and some one donated a basketful of pumpkins which nobody took so they were going to be thrown out until I claimed them all! I now have pumpkins which will save me money over the holidays. I can wake up to pumpkin breads, muffins and smoothies, pancakes and cookies for infinity! Also I can use them to make gifts this holiday season and all for FREE!

  6. From what I have seen, food stamps are very generous, so there's really no excuse to stand in line at a food bank if you get them.

    Pumpkins! Bring them on. :) A lot of people don't think it's worth the trouble to cook them. So sad, but I'm glad you got them. Happy eating! :)

  7. Whoa. I find these comments to be very heartless. I say walk a mile in someone's shoes before you criticize their situation in life, because it is undoubtedly different from yours. I've never been on welfare and hope I never have to, but I won't presume to know what other people need. It's hard enough to handle money and navigate through this predatory lending, over-consumptive society.

  8. birdieyumyums, I think you misread. Read it again.
    And for the record, I HAVE been on welfare. I really, really needed it. There's a difference between that and the welfare mentality that is sucking the lifeblood out of human dignity.