If you live anywhere near Phoenix, AZ, you have probably heard the story of Shanesha Taylor. She is the woman accused of leaving her children in a hot car while she went in to do a job interview. A single mom, she left her 2 year old and 6 month old in her car while she tried to get a job. Police heard the children crying and she was charged. However, support for this single mom poured in as people saw the tearful mug shot and learned that she was homeless. At least she was trying to get a job, right?
In the following weeks, over $100,000 was raised to help her get back on her feet. She got a place and seemed to be recovering. Part of her deal with the courts, however, was that she take $40,000 of those donations and put them in trust for her children. In addition, she would attend parenting classes. But, this Woman Claims She Can’t Afford to Put $40,000 of $100,000 in Donations Away for Her Kids.
The deadline came and went and she never put the money away. So the deal is off the table now.
Here is the deal, though, when the courts asked her for her budget, she submitted it, claiming it cost over $4000 a month to take care of her and her kids. Her rent is only $1,000. With expenses like $300 a month for clothing, $160 for cable and $115 for internet, and $300 for dining out and entertainment, people are outraged at the ‘misuse’ of funds that she is choosing.
I am torn on this one. I am a single mom with three children with a mortgage that is way higher than her rent. I go out to eat, have excesses I could cut and even pay for gymnastics and such and I am barely above her $4,000 mark on my expenses per month. I also work 7 days a week on my own business (ADayinMotherhood.com) I could live comfortably on $100,000 for at least 3 – 4 years if I lived thin. So if I had to give $40,000 to my kids in a trust, I am still looking at 1 to 2 good years with no other income where we would want for nothing.
However, I do not think that the budget is out of control in most areas. Sure, I pay less than $200 a month for cable, internet and Netflix, which is a lot less than she does, but I also live in an area where it could be cheaper. I also see a lot of things she could cut down. I also do not understand how she can’t afford to put the money away for the kids that the courts want.
But, she is a single mom who was trying to at least get a job. I absolutely do not think she made a good decision to leave her kids in the car. No way. And I would happily hand over most of any donation to save for my kids when they are older. But are her expenses out of control? Or does she deserve the outrage over her ‘unnecessary’ expenses?
What do you think? I am torn…