Expenses keep rising for family
Carol has been working as hard as ever at her job at a day care center, but while her pay has stayed flat the past two years, her expenses have kept going up. "It's been a hard year," Carol said. "I was supporting the whole house. The taxes went up; the mortgage went up; the condo fees went up. ... I just wasn't making it."
Carol's household budget took an especially big hit earlier this year when the father of her three children was laid off and could no longer provide child support. The cost of her own child care also went up $100.
Carol said she doesn't rely on public assistance and increasingly she's had to tell her kids that there are things they just can't have because she can't afford them.
But Carol said she wants to make Christmas a happy time for her daughter, who is 12, and her two sons, 3 and 5, and has turned to the New Hampshire Union Leader Santa Fund for the Salvation Army for help. The youngsters are hoping Santa fulfills their wishes for, among other things, a toy race car track and a DVD featuring the Hulk and Iron Man.
"I'm still glad we have a roof over our heads," Carol said. "We're doing the best we can. And we're making it work. I'm trying to give them the best" to help them enjoy the holidays she said.