Hi, it’s been almost a year since you asked your question, anyway, here’s my input:
Thats a lot to take in….but let me offer a few suggestions.
We are in a similar situation…not that large of a scale as we only have 2 children, I stay home with them and work from home (work for myself- which is NOT a stable income), my husband works fulltime and just started working parttime on top of that to help us make ends meet…unfortunately. He will now be working every day of the week. We have been living off of credit cards a bit too much also….groceries, gas.
First, do a little homework and see, but I think with bankruptcy now you still have to pay off your debtors, you just get some leniency (and bad credit maybe?)…but I’d check on that. Look for a FREE LEGAL AID office in your community. Go online or check the phone book.
Second, for childcare while you work… check your local Health Department or Department of Human Services or whatever they call it where you live and ask about childcare assistance that you may qualify for. WE make a little too much for HEAD START but we qualified for the E.L.I program and my 4 yr. old will be starting preschool this month with NO cost for us….and I believe we can keep in full days if we need to….in fact there is a minimum of hours he needs to be there to qualify for the free aid but I think we can use the maximun hours they are open which is about 11 hrs a day. NOW- I am not leaving him there all day…just so you know. But 5 hrs or so a day gives me time to work on my home business and keep my 2yr old with me…etc.
Third, I saw an Oprah series awhile back where a few families were given help through financial coaches(?)….and they proved that sometimes you can get the credit card companies to lower your interest rates I think? You have to threaten the card company sometimes with the “if you don’t give me a better rate, I will stop using you and go to another card company”…..but say it nice and be sure you mean it. They are making money off you!
To help make money at home I sell on ebay…you can see my link below…, I also do childcare for people, but usually I only watch one child parttime because its a hard thing to do and I have the ebay biz also. I also buy and sell gently used clothing and resell it at a local church sale making maybe $200-300 a year….I take my things to a consignment store and as my items sell there I opt to not take the check…I keep the money on account and when she has her end of season “bag” sale…I shop big! I can use the money on my account and I’ve gotten around 200 or more items for almost nothing before. Be creative, look for ways you can make that extra money and save those extra bucks. Check out some of my other article I’ve written at this other link also.
Best Wishes! Hope these helped. All in all…I give credit to the Lord really for keeping us afloat…we have used credit and tried to cut back, etc…but its almost a miracle I’ve been able to stay home with my kids at all these 4 yrs.. He takes care of us and he’ll do the same for you if you allow him! We don’t want to carry a balance from month to month and we haven’t had much interest at all to pay ….we are trying to change our lifestyle where we need to (I don’t know that theres much room to change though:) ) so we don’t have to rely on credit for necessities and not be able to pay them off monthly. We’re muddling our way through as well! You’re not alone! Check out these links and see if any of the info gets you thinking about creative ways you can get ahead at home.
Also, Have you read Total Money Makeover by DaveRamsey.com?
Staying current on your bills but not having money to eat and live doesn’t work. You are not your credit score and I know the feeling that “My name is on it, I need to pay it.” Totally agreed. But right now, you are in a tough spot. Drop the CC payments and focus on making a budget that will allow you to eat and live. Once that is under control, then you can grow to the point where you can start paying again.