Wow... I'm glad this thread got started.
I'm Emily, we've got two baby girls and a baby on the way. I graduated from college 2 years ago, just before DD#1 was born, but I've chosen to be a SAHM, so I've never worked, and DH is still in school. Thankfully DH has an awesome job that pays very well... but because he's still a student he was only working 20 hours a week. Right now he's taking his last class and is able to work 28 hours a week... but we're basically living on one full-time minimum wage job.
Unfortunately, DH isn't in the job he wants (it's not really in his field of study) and the job market for Computer Science here in Utah stinks... he's interviewed a lot in the area and no one is willing to pay him more than 35k/year, which is what he would be making now if he were able to work 40 hours a week. So... DH finishes his last class next month, and we're planning to move to Oregon and live with my parents for a while.
We currently scrape by with housing subsidies, second-hand stores, and both girls were born with medicaid assistance. Unfortunately, my girls get kicked off medicaid after a year, and I only qualify when I'm pregnant, so we still have to pay private medical insurance. We only have one credit card (we just finished paying off mine!!!) with a $3500 balance, and we owe another $30,000 in student loans. We don't have any car payments, we drive a 1991 Toyota Camry Wagon, with 190,000 miles on it. We're hoping to save enough to buy a minivan this Christmas, when the baby comes.
We're trying to save all the extra $$ DH is making this term, so we can pay for our move, and have a decent savings account in case DH doesn't find a job for a couple of months. Thankfully, my parents are totally open to us living with them, and we all get along, so it shouldn't be a problem. We're hoping to find a job, and stay with my parents long enough to pay off our credit card, and buy a minivan. (I really don't want an auto loan.) We won't have to even start paying off our student loan until January 08, and thankfully the interest on that is only about 3%.
We buy the cheapest groceries we can possibly find, and stay away from all pre-packaged food. I buy meat in large quantities and freeze a bunch of it, then we buy mostly fresh produce and cheese. We have some wheat in some food storage that was given to us, and I'd love to make our bread, but I haven't found a good recipe yet. We also CD and BF to save. Honestly, if we had the $$, I'd probably use sposies, cause I don't like washing the poop out of the cloth. (Other than that, cloth are SO cute, and kind of addictive, I've actually planned to make cloth diapers for the next baby. I can make a full birth-potty stash for about $200.)
I do agree that there is a trade-off with being poor. I did graduate from college, so I could go out and get a great job, and put our kids in daycare, but I really believe that no one can raise them as well as I can, and if me staying home means that we don't get a ton of luxuries, then we're okay with that. DH and I have struggled since we got married four years ago, but we've made it work, and we're just hoping and praying that this is a temporary stage, that we can get through in the next year or so... though buying a house, especially in the Portland, Oregon area, is still several years away.
Thanks for letting me vent.