Tuesday, September 6, 2011

When the Child Support Doesn't Show Up



I’ve been going over my budget for August and September.  My budget is smaller during the summer months because I have less income due to school being out of session. But in August I had even less income than I originally anticipated because my daughter’s child support was only 50% of what I expected to receive, which made for a rough month budget wise.  

The reality is that child support depends on the non-custodial parent working and that is oftentimes out of your control.  Sometimes even with a court order in effect, child support money may not be paid on time. This lack of payment can hurt the budgets of families who depend on these funds to run their households. 

One strategy to assist families in cases like this is to have a savings account or emergency fund that will cover at least one month’s expenses in case the child support money is not paid in a timely manner.  This is the strategy I was able to use this month. I was able to transfer some money from my savings account, which reinforces to me how important it is to save money because emergencies can happen when we least expect.

With careful planning we were able to withstand the lack of income although spending was down in all categories across my budget. As a result, I only spent $187.36 on groceries in August and $77.38 for gas. From the looks of my pantry we went through a great deal of our food that I had stockpiled, which is another strategy families can utilize as a way to protect themselves from an unexpected drop in income.
 
Belinda 
© Belinda Richardson and Frugal Workshop, 2011. 
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”

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