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Frugality Exhausted - Page 2

post #21 of 44

It is pretty discouraging...A couple years out of college I was earning $10 an hour... 20+ years later, I'm earning the same hourly wage but getting fewer hours and supporting a family. Mostly I try really hard to not think about it or the future. 

post #22 of 44

I am not in this position so much now but I distinctly remember some time a year or so post-college when I was making $8.50 an hour and renting a room from a friend, and anticipating going back for 6 more years of school before I could make a decent income, looking at my closet full of thrift-store or freebie clothes and thinking "Being frugal was more fun when it was a hobby, now that I have to be frugal all the time and will have to be for a long time yet, it's not as fun anymore". It does grate after a while. I think there are some people for whom frugality is a blast and a challenge and the idea of a splurge being fun is totally anathema, and then there are the rest of us. 

post #23 of 44

My 23yo dd said to me the other day, "I'm so sick of being broke." I replied, "I've been broke for 24 years. I'm sick of it, too." 

 

And yes, teenagers suck cash like nobody's business. Except for maybe college kids. My 17yo asked for Beats for his birthday. Buahahahaha - $200 headphones? 

post #24 of 44

Here too! I also feel like we never really get ahead or any further than we are... and likely never will. Every time I think I'm about to get ahead something major happens and takes away that increase I would've had. It sucks. Right now we're righting for news and set up for DH to *hopefully* have a much better job. This is my current light at the end of the tunnel but today we got a slight stall so I'll find out tomorrow. If it happens we will hopefully be able to make more progress with our life situation but currently what money I have is all I'm getting for an undetermined about of time until his classes and transfer are done and he starts getting paid. My kids hurt my feelings more than anything with wanting everything their friends have. I swear sometimes I think it'd be better on my mental health for them to homeschool just so they won't see and want what the other kids have. :(

post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyms View Post
 

Here too! I also feel like we never really get ahead or any further than we are... and likely never will. Every time I think I'm about to get ahead something major happens and takes away that increase I would've had. It sucks. Right now we're righting for news and set up for DH to *hopefully* have a much better job. This is my current light at the end of the tunnel but today we got a slight stall so I'll find out tomorrow. If it happens we will hopefully be able to make more progress with our life situation but currently what money I have is all I'm getting for an undetermined about of time until his classes and transfer are done and he starts getting paid. My kids hurt my feelings more than anything with wanting everything their friends have. I swear sometimes I think it'd be better on my mental health for them to homeschool just so they won't see and want what the other kids have. :(

Homeschooling won't solve that problem. I've homeschooled and public schooled and there will always be somebody with more. 

post #26 of 44

That is true. Maybe it's just because they're getting older that it's changing. When we homeschooled before they never complained like they have since starting public. We did travel for work though and live out of an rv during that time as well so I guess maybe life was just a big adventure to them and they didn't pay attention to the other stuff. Probably that's what it is. I even miss it sometimes even with dealing with the small space living in an rv I was almost happier in some ways. 

post #27 of 44

It's different when they're older, too. My daughter homeschooled through graduation. She played basketball on one of the top homeschool bball teams in the nation. Lots of traveling, lots of team wear and new bball shoes. The coach was independently wealthy and paid for most everything. You can be sure my daughter (and others) noticed a difference when we went to team parties at the coach's house. His daughter drove a brand new Mini Cooper, mine drove an old Saturn with 175,000 miles on it (and she was happy to have it). 

 

My 17yo says that it's comforting that so many of his public school classmates are from working poor families. He feels some pressure, but not as much as he could. These are just hard years for kids. Just like I'd like a break from frugality, he'd like me to splurge on some Beats for his birthday. I totally understand, it's just not justifiable right now. 

post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildmonkeys View Post
 

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.

Yes! I agree! We make decent money, but we have a large family by our choice. The littlest four don't cost that much, but the 17yo and 22yo cost a lot. Our 22yo is a college athlete on scholarship. Basketball is his full-time job, so we help him more than we would otherwise (he can't work during bball season). We are supporting his dream of playing college bball, again, by our choice. And though we've chosen this life, it doesn't make long-term frugality any easier. 

post #29 of 44

It is tough even if it is your choice. I know plenty of people that don't make more than we do but they spend a whole lot more and have more "luxuries." They also have stress and problems that I don't have because I'm frugal. I know some of the things that cost us or some of the not spending are my choice but it doesn't make it any easier when you can't get to an end to it where you feel more comfortable. Having a large family and having kids in sports does give you more to have to pay for but they are valid choices that are worth the effort in my opinion. Doesn't make it suck any less though lol! I also find the money for my kids to do activities within reason because it's important to me and I think it's good for them. Not having the money to do the things you want or not ever seeming to move on from your situation is stressful though. I would love to get to a place again where I'm being frugal just because I want to be instead of feeling like I have to be and any slip makes the fall out my fault.

post #30 of 44
I am burnt out too and we didnt start out with any real debt. Its just staying out of debt while all of our friends enjoy their boats and ATV's on loans and have big parties for every holiday and event, etc. and put their 3 yr olds in multiple expensive sports. A few of our friends have even told us that we are almost amish compared to how they live. My to be SIL told BIL that the pitch on the roof of the barn they are building for their wedding is 2 feet too low so they are spending an extra $16,000 (financed) to make it steeper to look better. She prides herself on being frugal but she is def frugal for fun not necessity. I cant criticize her though as she is only 22 and has no life experience.
post #31 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenkri View Post
 

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

Just got our foodstamps cut off AGAIN (they cut us off BY MISTAKE last summer, we were out for 3 months, we used all the little savings we had...)

So last month waited a few weeks before we could go grocery shopping, there I was at the save a lot this morning, so happy to finally buy cheese, butter, chicken... and the card was declined.... I had money with me but it was for the electric bill... It's gonna have to wait!

I can't believe they would just cut us off without even a letter or a phone call...

 

I also work in retail, am a manager and work my butt off, but barely make more than minimum wage... And I get to sell crappy expensive things to people all day long, smiling at them wondering if I'll ever be able to walk in a store and actually make a purchase that I did not budget for.

 

We don't have a car, cable, insurance, most of our furniture was found on the curb, we live next to drug dealers in the ghetto... Needless to say that we never go out... I do spend way too much on food, often go to the coop and actually buy some stuff organic because I'm a nutrition freak and don't want my ginger coming from China... But that's my only splurge... I know I could be more frugal but between working 4 days a week, cleaning, cooking, at the end of the day I am left exhausted and all I want to do is relax for an hour, watching TV or complaining on this forum for instance lol. Most of the time I'm OK with our situation but tonight it just feels...welll... exhausting...

post #32 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxy View Post
 

Just got our foodstamps cut off AGAIN (they cut us off BY MISTAKE last summer, we were out for 3 months, we used all the little savings we had...)

So last month waited a few weeks before we could go grocery shopping, there I was at the save a lot this morning, so happy to finally buy cheese, butter, chicken... and the card was declined.... I had money with me but it was for the electric bill... It's gonna have to wait!

I can't believe they would just cut us off without even a letter or a phone call...

 

*snip*

Jaxy, if / when that happens again - CALL YOUR STATE DHS/HHSC OMBUDSMAN. They can normally get it fixed in 2-3 weeks. While it's getting fixed - if possible go to the food pantry. Here if you go & state your reason for going is because your benefits are delayed, the main food bank {which also processes foodstamps apps} looks in to your case & sometimes they can get things fixed.

 

 

And yes, I am so tired of being broke. My house is falling apart & needs major work but there is no way I can afford it anytime soon. I'm just thankful we have a home that mostly works. I'm busting my bum this month trying by some miracle to make enough to cover the property taxes that are now late. I can't set up a payment plan on them as I don't have a regular income.

 

I'm stuck in that catch-22 of too sick to work a regular job, but not sick enough to qualify for SSI. So instead I work small odd jobs, sell on ebay, etc. I've been so broke that I've even considered panhandling {but I was worried I'd get a ticket & not be able to pay that}. If it weren't for food stamps & medicaid we'd never make it. I am sick & tired of spending HOURS on hold or robo-dialing agencies to try to get help with our electric bill or water bill. And my safelink phone never gives enough minutes for doing that either.

 

I am tired of my house not having good heat, or any a/c in the summer.

 

I am sick of having to use the bus to get around. And not being able to go where I want because the bus doesn't run there.

 

I am sick of having to tell my dd no all the time because we can't afford it. Even on little things like a $5 toy. Or a carnival ride.

post #33 of 44
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post #34 of 44
Thread Starter 

Okay, so this seems like the correct thread for this :) Something that specifically is getting to me is home improvements and renovations. The house I live in was built in 1988.  The basement is unfinished, the kitchen leaves a lot to be desired, etc.  We STRECTCHED to get in this house and aren't making any improvements (except the cheap ones we can do ourselves like paint) Most of my friends and neighbors are having high end kitchen redos, new roofs, new furnaces, bathroom redos....my good friend is having her finished basement refinished because she doesn't like the current layout!!!!!

 

I keep wondering how in the world they can afford all of that???

 

And it makes me struggle with being grateful enough for our home which I know we are actually quite lucky to have.

post #35 of 44

I just spend my security deposit from my old house on a new mattress and boxspring for myself.  My first ever that wasn't super old and used.  Made me pretty sick to my stomach to blow $600 on a bed.  But I've reali*ed lately that all my pots and pans are scratched and warped and old.  My couch was used when I got it and it's 10 years since I've had it and it's ripped and beat up.  My bed was older than me.  I have just basically reali*ed that everything I own is broken or falling apart or duct taped back together and I'm sick of it.  All my knives were ancient so I splurged on a cute polka dotted orange knife to replace all the old ones.  I just hate that I don't have anything nice.  It's really hard to be careful and clever with my money all the time and not spend on replacing any of the broken and beat up stuff.

post #36 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by justmama View Post
 

I just spend my security deposit from my old house on a new mattress and boxspring for myself.  My first ever that wasn't super old and used.  Made me pretty sick to my stomach to blow $600 on a bed.  But I've reali*ed lately that all my pots and pans are scratched and warped and old.  My couch was used when I got it and it's 10 years since I've had it and it's ripped and beat up.  My bed was older than me.  I have just basically reali*ed that everything I own is broken or falling apart or duct taped back together and I'm sick of it.  All my knives were ancient so I splurged on a cute polka dotted orange knife to replace all the old ones.  I just hate that I don't have anything nice.  It's really hard to be careful and clever with my money all the time and not spend on replacing any of the broken and beat up stuff.

 

I think a bed is a necessity - you need to be able to get a good night's sleep in order to live your life and provide for your family. And $600 for both a box spring and mattress is a good price! You can't touch a decent set around here for under $1,000. 

 

Have you tried couponing and shopping the clearance deals? It's made such a big difference in our budget since I started shopping that way seriously about a year ago. Just today I picked up $50 worth of stuff for $15 at Target - and while I was there I saw some cute kitchen knifes, kitchen towels and cookware on clearance - much of it up to 70% off!

post #37 of 44
We are at the point where all of our hand me downs and used stuff (which is everything) is just done, no longer worth having. I spent all of January feeling guilty about every purchase I made to the point of depression. Now I am trying to let it go and just replace things with quality as best I can and then get back on track with our $ when we can. At some point we just have to cry mercy and get the stuff we need that is going to last.
post #38 of 44

I am with you on the crappy furniture thing. About 9 months ago, I had to hire a guy to make a dump run. I decided to make the trip worthwhile, and had him take ALL the bad furniture. My couch had been nice 15 years ago, but it smelled like pee (long story involving a foster child), and a puppy had eaten a substantial portion of the cushions. Two mattress sets (torn and stained) went, along with 3 dining room chairs missing slats in the seats, all the broken blinds in the house, a huge 1985 TV that took up 1/2 the tiny living room, and several small tables that were wobbly beyond repair. Oh, and the dresser from my bedroom with drawers that either stuck or fell out whenever you tried to open them. Anyway, we were down to nearly an unfurnished house. `One at a time, we have replaced most of these items. Both kids were sleeping on the floor, and I was on a plain mattress, so beds were first priority. Yay Craigslist!!! Then we found a great couch at a thrift store, 2 chairs free on the sidewalk, and gradually filled up the house again. I still need a dresser, but Oh, well. We made new drapes for the living room and dining room, and thumb-tacked up fabric in one room, but the bedrooms could still use real curtains. I am pretty much satisfied with what we have now. It took that serious purge to get me to replace anything. And it was a little weird coming into an empty living room for a while. But it worked out well for us.

post #39 of 44

Mamarhu, that's exactly the spirit! You can have nice things even if they're second-hand, or DIY. I think it's ridiculous to spend a ton of money on stuff even if you do have it. Just the other day on Pinterest I saw a cheapie DIY curtain rod made with a wooden dowel and drawer pulls - a four foot wooden dowel costs about $1.75, and a pair of drawer knobs cost $2.00 for the plain ones - but even the fancy ones are only $4-5 apiece. Simple curtain rod brackets are about $5. So you can have a nice curtain rod for $20 - a fraction of of the price of an off-the-shelf version. All kinds of things can be created - and if you get into it, it also becomes a hobby, rather than a chore or a depressing moment. I've been there though - the hardest part is getting to the point where you can see the good in the challenge, instead of letting it wear you down and beat you.

post #40 of 44
Im trying to replace my living room furniture myself. I seem to have bad luck on couches/loveseats. Etc. I dont seem to know how to pick out a low cost piece that isnt crap quality. Hopefully I will learn eventually!
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