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How do you support yourself financially?


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Currently, and for the past several years, I'm living on borrowed time because I get a refund check for unused portions of my financial aid and loans for school which is usually in the neighborhood of $2,500-$3,000 and I live off that from semester to semester. I have worked for brief periods at different jobs, most recently as a cashier earlier this year, and I put all the money I made into savings. I'm lucky because I have a section 8 apartment so rent and utilities aren't a huge issue. I have no clue what I'll do when I graduate, but I try not to think about that. 

 

If you're in the US, have you thought about applying for SSI/SSDI if you're unable to work? 

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I guess I been pretty functional as they would say or pretty damn lucky. I've maintain full employment with only a couple of brief leave of absences. My most recent job however has been very difficult for me. I feel like I am in over my head, but have managed to survive for 3 years so far.

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I work "full-time" but really I miss so much work that it's part-time. I've considered going on disability but I'd lose my home if I did and I don't want to put my family through that so I keep on trying.

I'm pretty sure one of these days I'll crash because of it but until then I'm going to keep on working for as long as I can.

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I've been lucky with this job and have had it for 3 years.  That's the longest ever in my life.  It's full time and I really enjoy the work even tho it can be stressful at times.  The commute is awful, from my house in the country to the big city but I've gotten used to it.  Now that I'm on meds, I can even relax some with the commute.

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I've been in the same fulltime job since April 2009, and I'm able to live alone and pay rent.  I do have horrendous credit card debt, which is part of having never really recovered financially from the expense associated with my divorce.  I have pretty good medical insurance which comes with my job, and all my pdoc visits are covered in full.  The monthly copayments on my meds are pretty ghastly, but if I weren't on these meds (seroquel XR in particular), I wouldn't be functioning, so I suck it up and pay. 

 

I went through a very, very bad space from 2006 - 2008 (during which I picked up temporary consultancy jobs when I was able to), so I'm grateful that I've been able to maintain this permanent job and level of functioning for so long, with only a few hiccups along the way.  I don't really know anything about how disability works in my country, but I don't think it's nearly as efficient as it sounds like it is in the US.

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I am married, and my husband brings home a full-time salary.  I also work part-time.  We also have high credit card debt because of my manic spending.  We'd be better off financially if I worked full-time, but we have kids, and they have so many needs and activities that it would not really work with me being full-time.  So we make do.

 

There was a time when I wasn't working because I left a high stress job that was triggering my symptoms, even with medication that works well.  I now have a lower stress job that I enjoy and can still sink my teeth into.  

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Since 2/7/13 I have been on State Disability (California) and will be until this coming Feb. I am hoping I am approved for SSDI by then.

 

 

I am fortunate. My house and car are paid for (Housing costs me $250/month in property tax and insurance.). I have only one credit card with a balance.

 

 

Until January 1, I pay $668/month on COBRA. I pay $130/mo for my pdoc and about $400 in copays. So, all of those expenses are more than a house payment.

Edited by Savannah
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Thank you for your responses. I see that indeed, mental illness makes it hard for people to get a full time demanding Job. However you all have managed to survive financially one way or the other. I see that a few lucky ones are able to lead pretty normal lives in spite of your mental illness and support yourselves. I am currently living with my parents. The thing with me is that I am not bad enough for SSDI, but I am not good enough to lead a normal productive life. I am in between.

Edited by CookieN
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I was very lucky that my parents were willing and able to support me well into my 20's. i had jobs on and off through those years but none of them ever lasted very long because they were too stressful (customer service, food service...oh my).

 

in 2012, at age 24, i finally got my lucky break. i got a job doing laundry and assorted housekeeping duties at a hotel, which was initially a part-time temporary position. by the end of the summer it had become full-time/permanent because i was actually good and they wanted to keep me around. so for the first time in my life i am able to fully support myself and i actually look forward to going in to work each day. the key thing about this job is that it's "boring". every day at work is pretty much the same, and i do pretty much the same thing for all 8 hours. and that is the way i like it. i didn't realize that this was what i needed to remain stable in a workplace until i had it--but i'm glad i stumbled across it because now i know what i'm going to look for in future jobs. jobs that most people would consider boring are perfect for me--jobs that most people would find stimulating are terrifying.

 

if you're thinking about trying to find a job with MI, i'd definitely recommend listing the qualities of a workplace that would be least likely to exacerbate your symptoms. a lot of towns have job centers who might be able to help you find a job with these qualities. job descriptions can be useful too, but at least in my town, the job center often seems to know about jobs that aren't listed in the usual places.

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I guess I should mention I've worked over nite for the past 3 years so it's a little easier. Very little contact with people except over the phone. I don't do well with a lot of people at all. So it definitely helps getting a job with the least inter-reaction with real people as possible! I'd be in serious shit if I had to work with a lot of people too. First they would notice when I'm odder then usual, and I'd no doubt get in trouble more too.

Edited by IndieVisible
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I haven't worked since March. I'm at a crossroads what to do. Thankfully, I'm stingy with my money and managed to accumulate a relatively substantial amount of money. I hate having no source of income. I feel so...dependent. So that's how I'm supporting myself until I get [hopefully] get disability and part-time work. My issues took so much away from me.

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