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Frugality Exhausted

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

So, my oldest kid is almost 14 and we were broke before he was born and wow...all of a sudden, I am so very tired of being broke.

 

There have been points during the past 17 - 20 years when we have gotten excited about our frugality and how it would eventually get us ahead, but here I still am and !@##$% I am so tired of worrying about money.

 

Has anyone else hit frugality fatigue? How did you push through it?

post #2 of 44
Well we are frugal by necessity. Being frugal vs. Homeless is a no brainer. But yes it gets old at times. Once id like to go grocery shopping and buy whatever I wanted. Not excess just no comparing prices etc. Or buy shoes that feel great without worrying about cost. I see no change anytime soon. But you keep on keeping on.
post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 

So mommaof3boyz are you saying yes? You are also exhausted? Because I also have to be frugal and always have and I thought at some point we would push past it and I have just realized that we never will.

 

I am wondering if others feel this way because I could use a support group. Not a high income and high debt, getting out of debt, or no spend challenge....just a flat out "Tired of Being Broke" community. We just miss the mark on low income support though I crunched the numbers and if we made just a tiny bit less we would qualify for all sorts of services and actually have waaaay more spending money. Go figure.

post #4 of 44

Relying on assistance is stressful in its own way, because it could go away.

 

I'm tired of being broke too. I'm tired of just not being able to buy the necessities, and easily pay for the stuff that comes up. I don't even mind the price comparisons, and price watching, and deal watching, and thrift store shopping. I'm frugally minded anyways. However, I want to be able to get what we need when we need it, and I'm tired of wearing stained ill fitting clothes but that could be the pregnancy talking ha.

post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 

On their own my kids drew straws for who gets shoes. Breaks me. Ruined my last 48ish hours.

post #6 of 44
I am with you. Besides being tired of always being broke, I am tired of playing the game and losing. I am pretty smart, I work hard, I live pretty frugally, I follow the rules, and yet the American Dream isn't working for me. I don't know what I could be doing differently.

In the past, I have lived off the grid in a couple different ways. I am just about ready to leave again. My youngest Dumplings are 17 & 18, and my Mom is 95. The day will come when they don't need me to stay here any more. It's not all about money, and yet it sort of is. It seems that in this culture/lifestyle, I spend every drop of energy just to make enough $ to barely remain afloat. I am exhausted at the end of the day, from running as fast as I can just to stay in one place (the Red Queen dilemma).
Edited by mamarhu - 11/15/13 at 8:06am
post #7 of 44

I was just posting about this in the pantry challenge thread yesterday.  We've been broke and frugal by necessity since I was pregnant with my youngest who turns 6 right after Christmas.  I'm goddamn tired of trading off bills month to month, scrounging for change for toilet paper, saving my veggie scraps for stock, scrutini*ing(because that key is broken on my laptop) every amt of food my kids put in the trash, and comparing prices on EVERYTHING.  It feels like everything in my life is on it's last legs.  My car is over 100K miles and is making squealing sounds AGAIN, my laptop dies the second it's unplugged and a certain key doesn't work and it takes FOREVER to do anything, my bed hurts my back every night and I've put several boards under it to hold it up, my vacuum is held together with duct tape, the light in my laundry room is broken so we use a lamp and an extension cord, my kitchen faucet leaks constantly, my tv has SEVERAL issues that make it impossible to watch most days other than a movie, etc etc etc.  On and on and on.  I don't mean to be ungrateful, really I don't.  I know those are first world problems and it could be tons worse.  But man it gets old to be constantly in survival mode for years.  I try to see the good.  I work 3 part-time jobs because I can't find or afford full-time work.  I am blessed with medicaid for my kids.  They are all healthy right now which is a huge change from last year with our asthma issues.  We are finally off food stamps for the first time in 5 years.  There IS progress, slow as it may be.  *sigh*  I just don't see it happening fast enough and I'm burnt out.  It's just hard to watch your kids be affected by constant poverty and not be able to do anything about it.  They see the stress in me and they react accordingly.  "It's okay mom.  There's a scholarship fund for that field trip.  I'll ask about it."  "Mom don't get me new jammies.  I'll just share with G."  Yes dear, but she's 3 years younger than you and they don't fit you.  "Hey mom, can we save this grape for smoothies?  I don't want to waste it."  :(

post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by justmama View Post
 

I'm goddamn tired of trading off bills month to month. . . my vacuum is held together with duct tape . . .  I don't mean to be ungrateful, really I don't.  I know those are first world problems and it could be tons worse.  But man it gets old to be constantly in survival mode for years.

:yeah I could have written those exact words! I LOL and thought at least I am not the only one with duct tape on the vacuum! :laugh

 

I make enough money to pay all of our standard living expenses every month BUT I still end up trading off bills because two of my five kids have special needs. I can't always determine how much I am going to have to spend from one month to the next on doctor bills. I know that in December we are going to have an additional $200 in co-pays to specialists and in January $3000 :( Yes, that's 3K (I am saving up but saving at the holidays is no fun). All that money and the boys still are not getting all the therapy and services they need because I have had to pick and choose what I can afford when it comes to my children's health. That makes me feel like shit. I am so tired of running out of money - usually to buy food - every month. My ex is suppose to reimburse me part of the medical expenses but he hasn't paid a dime. I am still paying off the attorney for the last time we had to go to court over child support so I can't really move forward with a petition for contempt until I have paid off the fees and have a new retainer. I just want to go to Costco and stock up my house with food without worrying about the $$$.  Forget new clothes, shoes or a freaking vacation! Ok I really want/need all those things but I will take a Costco trip :wink

 

On another note my 16 year old DD is a pain in the wallet! She participates in school sports and it adds up fast! Then she turns around and tells me she wants an iPhone, Uggs, the list of ridiculously priced items makes me want to slap her. Hello DD your brothers each only own one pair of shoes so why the hell are you asking me to spend $150 on your shoes when you have multiple pairs. I know that she is at a selfish age but she acts so deprived when I tell we can't afford that shit and she doesn't need it anyway. It makes me really angry:irked Right now I am hating her Christmas list. She is not getting all that stuff! and I am tired of her trying to make me feel guilty about it.

 

Chronic stress over finances is my biggest hurdle. I have no choice but to keep plugging along. I don't really handle frugality fatigue shrug.gif so I don't have any advice. I just wanted to commiserate! I am tired of it and happy to be a part of a support group!

post #9 of 44

My husband was telling me this morning, "Burnout is what you get when you put in huge amounts of effort, and get little or nothing back in results."  We've seen that the last few years--we live a very frugal life, but we've had one expensive mishap after another.  However, we are Christians and have also seen God provide for us frequently, in entirely unexpected ways.  Not that we get everything that we think we need, but somehow we get enough to keep going.  This applies all the way down to my simplest craft projects; that God thinks of everything.  I gave up on the American Dream and Getting Ahead last year; that's not the direction God is leading us.

 

 

 

  

post #10 of 44
Thread Starter 

Patti - I am with you on the teenager...I have one and he just wants so much more than his brothers (and everything is so much more expensive in adult sizes).

 

Justmama - there is duct tape on my vacuum cleaner too and I swear I have the exact same model laptop. (Which I bought a few years ago used for $25 so it is actually a pretty good laptop considering!!!) You are right, these are first world problems...it is just that when I started being super frugal about 16 years ago, I expected to have come farther by now. The fact that give or take good years/bad years - having everything be tight might be our "forever" is just a little overwhelming.

post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattimomma View Post
 

:yeah I could have written those exact words! I LOL and thought at least I am not the only one with duct tape on the vacuum! :laugh

 

On another note my 16 year old DD is a pain in the wallet! She participates in school sports and it adds up fast! Then she turns around and tells me she wants an iPhone, Uggs, the list of ridiculously priced items makes me want to slap her. Hello DD your brothers each only own one pair of shoes so why the hell are you asking me to spend $150 on your shoes when you have multiple pairs. I know that she is at a selfish age but she acts so deprived when I tell we can't afford that shit and she doesn't need it anyway. It makes me really angry:irked Right now I am hating her Christmas list. She is not getting all that stuff! and I am tired of her trying to make me feel guilty about it.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys View Post
 

Patti - I am with you on the teenager...I have one and he just wants so much more than his brothers (and everything is so much more expensive in adult sizes).

 

Justmama - there is duct tape on my vacuum cleaner too and I swear I have the exact same model laptop. (Which I bought a few years ago used for $25 so it is actually a pretty good laptop considering!!!) You are right, these are first world problems...it is just that when I started being super frugal about 16 years ago, I expected to have come farther by now. The fact that give or take good years/bad years - having everything be tight might be our "forever" is just a little overwhelming.

 

Hahahahahaha.  Now I kinda don't feel AS bad if you both have duct tape on your vacuums.  Maybe it's a vacuum thing.  :laugh

 

My teen is my expensive one too.  Ugh.  She only wears Aeropostale clothing  Thankfully, that's a brand that regularly goes on sale for cheap but man!  I just found her a tank top for $.99 brand new in store.  She has other clothing but she basically won't wear it and wears the only Aeropostale stuff she's got until every.single.piece. is dirty in the wash and she's forced to wear something else.  And somehow she cons my mom into buying her Bear Paws(the boots that are like Uggs).  For the longest time she refused to get ereader books from the library instead begging my mom to fund her brand new books until I shut that down.  She's just a snob.  

 

wildmonkeys, I think you are right.  I expected after a while of hard times that eventually things would get better.  But having hard times be the "normal" for us is difficult to swallow.  You would think that since I have 3 part-time jobs that life would give us a little breathing room.  But honestly, it's not really changing much in our finances because now we don't qualify for food stamps that we had before I got the jobs.  So it didn't change much.  It still sucks.  And I work 50 hour weeks.  It's just hard to know that this will be my life FOREVER.  I don't anticipate this changing anytime soon.

post #12 of 44
Thread Starter 

I was gone all weekend because the most amazing thing happened!

 

Church friends offered some moms a beach house for the weekend --- I spent all weekend in the most amazing (on the beach!) place! They said it was a thank you for volunteering, but it was so perfect! Reading, napping, fellowship and so much quiet : ) I just live a 3 hours from the beach but haven't been there is awhile - it was awesome. Exhaustion lifted a bit!

post #13 of 44
how luxurious! that must have felt amazing!
post #14 of 44

Yes yes yes.  I have not even been super low income for very long, but I just don't see any change or way to get ahead in sight and it can be really depressing.  Every time I think I might catch up, something comes up.  I'm counting down the months until I get my tax refund because it might give me a chance to at least catch up on bills to current and put a little aside for an emergency (knock on wood).

 

I don't have extravagant taste for the most part-I just want to be a frugal mama because I *want* to be, not because I *have* to be.

post #15 of 44

It still sucks.  And I work 50 hour weeks.  It's just hard to know that this will be my life FOREVER.  I don't anticipate this changing anytime soon.

 

I was just thinking this the other day and have totally lost hope. 

post #16 of 44

I am feeling it.  For me it's not so much "I wanna buy stuff!" but that I feel I should be further along in the material things of this life than I am.  Husband and I, when we feel down, think we've moved "backwards".  I went to college, got a teaching job, got a nice apartment, got my job cut, took a lower-paying job, got married to a student, rented a not-as-nice apartment, had a baby... and now we're saving money whilst living in my grandmother's basement.  The one thing that really helps is there are several other couples in this rather wealthy neighborhood also living in basements with babies.  I just hope one day Husband will get a better-paying job in his field and we will move on.

 

And yet... I realize I have so much to be grateful for.  The basement is great, the rent is free, we're all healthy.

 

But, alas, this is a complaining thread and I want to take advantage of it.

post #17 of 44

I am feeling it too... It is especially hard during a holiday season when everything around me is so shiny and inviting and I can't take part in that. I avoid going to malls or stores full of stuff b/c I don't want to be reminded I have barely enough money to just buy food. I was shopping at Aldi yesterday and they have a  lot of delicious looking holiday merchandise, but nope, no money for that, had to buy potatoes instead! What makes me keep going, I guess, is having similar minded good friends, who are in a similar place in life as me, we keep each other motivated and supported, just having a community in my life, making me feel like I am not the only one, helps me survive and keep going.  It would be great to have a support group on here!  I do feel discouraged from time to time, but talking to my friends who are going through similar things really helps me keep going, and I am so greatfull for them!

post #18 of 44

tropicmama, I hear you.  I work in a store in the mall and I stand there selling $200 and $300 pairs of sunglasses to people who have several bags of "stuff" hanging off their arms looking festive and happy while I make my grocery list between customers writing down lentils, brown rice, broccoli, steel cut oats, etc.  And then I sit there budgeting out everything wondering if I can fix the car or if it makes more sense to try to get a loan to buy a new one.  It's just painful ya know????  Everyone gets to enjoy their holidays and give generously and I wonder if we'll need to visit the food pantry.

post #19 of 44

I am sort of in the opposite situation. In between clients, I am also writing the shopping list of lentils and brown rice. And worrying about the car repairs. But I work with families far worse off than I am. I spend my day referring them to food pantries and various other basic level needs services. So I feel guilty for feeling like I am not doing well. I really have my family's needs met. My life isn't nearly so rough. And yet I think I am as stressed as my clients. I don't get it. It is really quite unfair.

post #20 of 44
I wonder if I belong in this thread more than the low income one. Im not as low income as we once were. Really we are in a much better place than even a yr ago. And when I think about where I was eight years ago...woah, a whole different world. But its still a struggle. We havent figured out how to fund a savings acct, we have some credit card debt. I know we overspend even though we arent extravagent. And this time of year, while beautiful, is always stressful. This year Im feeling guilt for not giving more. I feel like if I really pulled and scrimped I could give more to people having problems with food, warm clothes, and christmas. And even though hubby and I do need shoes do we need them enough? Really, do we need to worry about setting goals for getting a couch or a dryer? Its almost like ontop of money stress I have a form of survivors guilt for having come so far and not doing well enough with my blessings.
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