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I was visiting my parents and...

post #1 of 133
Thread Starter 
my whole family was around the table talking about the economy and how times have changed over the course of our lives. My dad says: "I don't know anyone who can make it with only one spouse working. You just can't do that anymore." This gave me great pleasure to point out that DH and I have been doing it for two years (our whole marriage). It was really funny to me because I don't think people look at us and think that we make sacrifices for that. We have a nice home, but it's sensibly sized and in an inexpensive location. We drive nice cars, but they're purchased used. We look fashionable, but don't buy name brand clothes. Our son dresses the best of all of us and his clothes are all hand-me downs and yard sale finds. We use cloth diapers, but the average person couldn't tell. We eat out every week, but the rest of the time I cook from scratch and hunt for food bargains. We keep our processed food to a min, which keeps our food bill at a min. We take vacations, but we stay at Christian retreats instead of hotels. There we also cook our own meals, and then we can afford to do more things while we're there.
It really gave me a proud feeling to know that we don't stand out as disadvantaged to others. I like knowing that we fit right in as we all sit around the table and talk. When I meet people who say "you're so lucky that you get to stay home!" They never know until I tell them, and I always tell them they can do it too.
Just this past week DH said to me "I don't know how people can't live with only one income. I can't imagine having an extra $30,000 a year!" Of course everone has a very unique situation and I'm sure there are many many people who just have not had the life we have had (and who knows it may not always be this way), but I was also glad that he didn't feel deprived of anything.
Just thought I'd share these warm feelings. Has anyone had similar experiences?
post #2 of 133
Perhaps you'd be more at home posting this in the SAHM forum.

Some of us in Frugality are...........gasp.....................WOHMs. (I know. Scary, huh.)
post #3 of 133
I think it's great that you have found ways to make one income work for you. We are trying to do the same but it is really hard sometimes. For some families, especially those with unavoidable debt or who live in expensive areas, it just isn't possible.
post #4 of 133
i'm a wohm and i thought this was a great post. it didn't seem snarky or anything to me.

of course i have an sahd. and we get a pretty good bit of assistance from the gov't too.

but i often have the same thoughts as the op's dh.

point though is its nice to know we don't necessarily "look" disadvantaged b/c of our frugal choices. and i like hearing the how and why of frugality in all kinds of situations.
post #5 of 133
I agree with the OP's husband's remark about how some people claim that they can't be a one-income household, when in reality they just don't want to let go of the lifestyle.

I'm not saying that this is true for all situations, but some.
post #6 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
Perhaps you'd be more at home posting this in the SAHM forum.

Some of us in Frugality are...........gasp.....................WOHMs. (I know. Scary, huh.)
could you explain why you think her post is inappropiate here? the op obviously felt just fine posting it here -- otherwise, she'd not have pressed the "submit" button. Seems to me she's talking about the frugal choices she and her family make, and how that makes it possible for them to make it on one income.
post #7 of 133
Does your dad not know you SAH? That part confused me.

Also, I'm a SAHM and I'm active in the F & F. Nothing wrong with being careful with your money and mindful of your spending. It's a big reason some of us can SAH.
post #8 of 133
Thread Starter 
I'm glad most of you haven't found my post snarky, I didn't mean for it to be snarky or self-riteous at all. I was, in fact just sharing and did conciously choose this board over the SAHM board because this is about the money aspect, not the parenting aspect.
For those of you who are WAHMs I think that's great! And being at home is certainly not for everyone. If it were we would never have had the womens liberation movement! The choice you make for your family is the best one.
That being said, I know that SAHMing is something many women hope and wish for, so I just wanted to share our financial aspect and what works for us.
My Dad does in fact know that I don't work, that was the funny part. Even knowing that, when he thinks about what it must be like to have only one income he certainly is not picturing us!
post #9 of 133
I'm glad you['ve found a way to do it. Unfortunately, it's NOT POSSIBLE for my family, and I do feel a bit ticked at that comment.

DH is self emoplyed small business owner. He makes decent money, bbut he works long, hard hours for it and we never know how much he's going to make from one week to the next, one month to the next, etc. Also, medical coverage out of pocket is insane, and we live in one of the most expensive counties in the country.

So, yeah, I'd like to SAH, but it's NOT possible. I work for steady income, a roof over our heads, and medical coverage.

And, no we can't "just move."
post #10 of 133
We have friends who constantly comment about how cool it is that we have been able to make the career decisions we have. Nevermind that they make more money than we do. Over the years, they have also made different choice (for good or bad). I have worked PT, FT, gone to school for a couple of years and SAH. DH has done similar things, although not to the extent I have. Living frugally can give a family so many options.

OP, I appreciate your point about misconceptions about what a frugal family would look like.
post #11 of 133
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
I'm glad you['ve found a way to do it. Unfortunately, it's NOT POSSIBLE for my family, and I do feel a bit ticked at that comment.

And, no we can't "just move."
Did you read my entire post? I addressed this and in no way am I saying that all people can or should be able to do this. I'm just sharing our situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoddessKristie View Post
Of course everone has a very unique situation and I'm sure there are many many people who just have not had the life we have had (and who knows it may not always be this way), but I was also glad that he didn't feel deprived of anything.
post #12 of 133
I think it's great that you're able to be a SAHM and wish others had that good fortune. When my children was growing up I always worked, just as much to save my sanity as to earn $ to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.

I will say that if someone is a SAH parent, whether it be mom or dad and they take advantage of public assistance then they aren't making it without help and although they are comfortable doing so, it's not quite the same as someone doing it without assistance. I could have chosen to stay home and received housing and food assistance if I wanted to, but I believed in the fact that I could work and not have to accept a handout and it taught my children that you can't always get what you want handed to you, but that you have to work for it.

I'm not saying that's the situation with the OP, as you didn't mention that you rec'd any assistance, but a PP did in fact mention that they are a SAH and receive help, to me that's not someone who is able to support their family on one income. JMHO.

I have a daughter who is pregnant and will be a single mom, she knows that she was brought up to not accept a handout and that she has to work to support herself and the baby she's due to have next month, and if then she can't make ends meet, she will have no choice, but otherwise she won't apply for assistance, she wasn't raised to take from the government with food stamps, housing subsidies, etc when she can work and earn $ to support herself and soon to be baby.
post #13 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by _betsy_ View Post
I'm glad you['ve found a way to do it. Unfortunately, it's NOT POSSIBLE for my family, and I do feel a bit ticked at that comment.

DH is self emoplyed small business owner. He makes decent money, bbut he works long, hard hours for it and we never know how much he's going to make from one week to the next, one month to the next, etc. Also, medical coverage out of pocket is insane, and we live in one of the most expensive counties in the country.

So, yeah, I'd like to SAH, but it's NOT possible. I work for steady income, a roof over our heads, and medical coverage.

And, no we can't "just move."
:
post #14 of 133
I wish I could live your lifestyle, but I have a lot of medical debt which makes it impossible for me to stay home. Some people don't have a choice and have to work. I don't think it reflects on my lifestyle, just bad luck medically.
post #15 of 133
Thread Starter 
We do not recieve any government assistance. When we were first married we were without medical insurance and I got pregnant right away. At that point we took medicaid, but only used it until we had insurance.
My husband also works at an entry level position. He does have a degree, which increases his pay by a few thousand dollars, but we are by no means "well-off".
I also wanted to say that we moved out of the 5th most wealthy (read: expensive) county in the nation to the next county over to afford our home. We ended up only 15 minutes from where DH was born and raised and we still feel just as close to family here as before. Because of this move DH drives an extra 20 miles to work every day. We are fighting to get him telecommuting, but he wont be able to until September.
post #16 of 133
OT

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcollector1 View Post
I think it's great that you're able to be a SAHM and wish others had that good fortune. When my children was growing up I always worked, just as much to save my sanity as to earn $ to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.

I will say that if someone is a SAH parent, whether it be mom or dad and they take advantage of public assistance then they aren't making it without help and although they are comfortable doing so, it's not quite the same as someone doing it without assistance. I could have chosen to stay home and received housing and food assistance if I wanted to, but I believed in the fact that I could work and not have to accept a handout and it taught my children that you can't always get what you want handed to you, but that you have to work for it.

I'm not saying that's the situation with the OP, as you didn't mention that you rec'd any assistance, but a PP did in fact mention that they are a SAH and receive help, to me that's not someone who is able to support their family on one income. JMHO.

I have a daughter who is pregnant and will be a single mom, she knows that she was brought up to not accept a handout and that she has to work to support herself and the baby she's due to have next month, and if then she can't make ends meet, she will have no choice, but otherwise she won't apply for assistance, she wasn't raised to take from the government with food stamps, housing subsidies, etc when she can work and earn $ to support herself and soon to be baby.
I think a lot of people who have this view have never really looked at the tax structure of our country.

So, do people who take the EIC accept "assistance"? How about people who write of the interest on million dollar homes? Both situations are changing the tax structure. There is a good chance, though, that the first person pays a larger percentage of their income on payroll and sales taxes that you cannot avoid.
post #17 of 133
Thread Starter 
Just a note to remind everyone that I said in my OP that I am fully aware that everyones situation does not allow this. If you're mad at my husband's comment don't take it out on me! He said it, I only repeated it to show how undeprived he feels.
As I said in the original post: "Of course everone has a very unique situation and I'm sure there are many many people who just have not had the life we have had (and who knows it may not always be this way), but I was also glad that he didn't feel deprived of anything."

This is the second time in the last hour I have had to point this out.
post #18 of 133
The point the Op is making is that A LOT of people are not willing to make the kind of changes it takes to be a one-income family. I don't think it's a critique for those who honestly can't afford to do it. In America we seem to think "we need" way more than we do. We have gone in and out of debt for me to stay home and some may think with teh kind of student loan debt that we have I should work, but my kids are only little once and we want to homeschool. I won't work FT for quite a few more years. I have worked part time and will do that more as teh kids get oder b/c I enjoy and it will help our family.
post #19 of 133
Thread Starter 
Thank you, jentilla. You understand me exactly. I think it is also a problem of society as a whole convincing people that "it's just not possible anymore." Often when I tell people that they can stay at home (as I said in the op), they take a second and get a look like "maybe I can, I've never really thought about it." It's my hope that these people go home and take an honest look at their situation and judge for themselves if they honestly can.
post #20 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post
OT



I think a lot of people who have this view have never really looked at the tax structure of our country.

So, do people who take the EIC accept "assistance"? How about people who write of the interest on million dollar homes? Both situations are changing the tax structure. There is a good chance, though, that the first person pays a larger percentage of their income on payroll and sales taxes that you cannot avoid.
I don't think this is totally OT, I was responding to a PP who stated they have a SAHD and accept a lot of assistance. I have nothing against someone who gets an EIC because they don't make enough $, and in fact that is a large part of the population, I don't agree that people should have to work several jobs and never see their kids, but I do feel that if you choose not to work it should be due to the fact that you can support the family you chose to have on the income you earn as parents. There are always exceptions to the rules and I totally understand that. I know my husband and I received WIC when my children were babies, we both worked full time opposite shifts to avoid day care expenses and still didn't make enough at that point and qualified for WIC. There's a difference in making a choice to stay home because you want to and staying home because you can afford it.

I will apologize to the OP if she feels this is taking her thread OT.
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