When family/friends don't get that your bank acct isn't looking so hot - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-09-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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My mom told me that when we were little, her IL's would come visit with little warning and no end date. So she had to scramble to make an extremely tight grocery budget fit 2 extra adults. She said she would agonize over what to not buy for us kids since she had to buy cream for their coffee. So they really "get" how tight it can be, and make sure they chip in enough to cover the costs + a little extra.
My ILs do this, too. It took me a month of scrimping grocery money after they left to pay for their 10 days here. I will never do this to my kids.

Mama to A 8/05 and S 11/06
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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Oh, I have. I've been brutally honest. They still do NOT get it. :/

Thanks everyone. Though I am sorry so many of us understand this problem.
I'm always honest too. I don't show up in rags or anything, but I'll say something like, "Wow, that sounds like it'll be a good time. Too broke, though!"

One thing that's nice is that I do have a friend here, who ironically is the one who's very financially well-off and grew up very privileged, yet the one who's the most understanding and non-pushy. Somehow she's more understanding than all the rest! And tonight she's coming over to my place for movie night.
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:51 PM
 
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Oh my gosh...that sounds like about the most wonderful evening ever! Any chance you live in southern Ontario?



Good LORD! $15/hr for a BABYSITTER? I'm sorry but that is ridiculous...in my city grown men can't even make that much for skilled labour a lot of the time. Only about 15 years ago, I was making $3-4 per hour babysitting and I was okay with that!
Yes, isn't it awful? I suppose you could offer $10 - that seems to be the minimum - but you'd look sort of cheap, because I've heard about moms around here paying the above $12-15. It's a little town outside of NYC where everything's expensive.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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I've been on both sides of the fence. We've had times where we didn't think twice about spending $30 or $40 on a night out, and times where we've agonized for $3. I will say that unless you've been in a situation where money is really tight, you really don't get it. I know I didn't. I totally didn't understand how some people wouldn't have $15 or $20 or whatever. And, then our situation changed and my husband went back to school, and I totally get it.

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Old 10-09-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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My mom told me that when we were little, her IL's would come visit with little warning and no end date. So she had to scramble to make an extremely tight grocery budget fit 2 extra adults. She said she would agonize over what to not buy for us kids since she had to buy cream for their coffee. So they really "get" how tight it can be, and make sure they chip in enough to cover the costs + a little extra.

I clean houses for a living. One of my customers that I had for about 8 years, was like a 2nd grandmother to me. She was in her 80s and had been a widow twice. Her GROWN children and GROWN grandchildren (and their pets) would come to her house during the holidays. They wouldn't lift a finger to help her out with food, cooking or keeping the house picked up while they was there. She would get so overwhelmed and stressed out. She never knew what day exactly they were coming and she never knew they were leaving. She was just so happy to see them leave. I believe that some people are just so selfish.

I'm a single, self-employed, homeschooling mom of 2 great kids. Girl 9/95 and Boy 3/99.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh my gosh, the idea someone had about telling them to pay for it (and the Martini or five..) had me cracking UP!

My FIL asked us again to go to the beach this weekend. It's pouring down rain all weekend, I have two kids who are sick (and one, when sick, can get very sick and need the hospital FAST!) and I am sick.. and I start a job at 4am Monday morning! I just looked at him and was like, "Ha, you're funny" I think he got the point.. again!

butterfly1976 - THAT is so sad about the woman. I would have loved to come over and help her cook and clean. I am so tired of selfish people. :/
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Old 10-10-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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Over the years I lost a few friendships because I was too poor to go out on the town when they wanted to, and I guess they figured I was making excuses. Too bad I can't find any friends who just want to hang out and knit and drink tea. Everyone always wants to "go out"--there is no way I can afford that. It's not going to happen!
Where in Ontario are you? I'm in Southern Ontario. That is what I like to do with my friends and family when we get together. Boy it would be so much fun to hang out with you MDC ladies.

When DH and I first got married we had a house and a baby and not much money coming in. Things were really tight so we learned ways to save money. Staying in, eating in, renting movies, walks and bike rides for entertainment.

Now things aren't quite as tight but we still do all the same money saving things. I am a SAHM who's HSing. I cook better than most restaurants and my coffee tastes better and is so much cheaper than buying it out. So why would I want to go out for that stuff?

Also my DH is paid based on hourly work. I don't want him to have to work like a dog because that's not fair to him and we like it when he's home because we like to spend time with him. So we try and save money.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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If they're going to be rude and inconsiderate, I think you're well within your rights to be rude right back.

"I'd love to! Of course, you know how tight things are, so obviously you'll be paying. Man, things have been stressful lately, I could really knock back a Martini or five. You don't mind if I order the top shelf stuff, do you?"
LOL, that can back-fire too. I actually ended a budding friendship last year over a martini! The gal pestered me for a month to go to an uber-fancy place for drinks and appetizers and I told her (for a month) I couldn't afford it. So, eventually, she said she would just pay because it was my birthday week. I had bought a ton of ridiculous stuff from her home hostess party business, so it was a fair trade.

She conveniently "forgot" her promise to pay and I was stuck with a big bill for an appetizer and a drink that I didn't even enjoy. Thank goodess, I had the money to cover it though it hit us hard in the bank account ($30 can be a lot of money for us some months!) I stopped socializing with her after that. I have seen her occasionally in the year since Martini-gate and she is still pressuring me to buy home hostess stuff and makes fun of our preschool co-op fundraisers (though I never ask her to buy anything.)

I am still annoyed by it. Like I wasn't being serious when I said I can't afford a $15 martini!
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Old 10-10-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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i dealt with this today, and probably my sister is mad at me. but really. . . .i just became a single mom, and have no job prospects after sah for 7 years, and 68 bucks to my name (x does have to pay the bills for now). she wanted to borrow some probiotics, she has some at home and doesn't want to buy more (6 hour drive, she goes back thurs.). i said sure you can borrow some, you are always welcome to anything i have, but i have 14 left and no ability to buy more in the next year, realistically. she makes something like 75+ grand a year and doesn't have any kids, and will be pissed at me for pointing this out. sheesh.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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i dealt with this today, and probably my sister is mad at me. but really. . . .i just became a single mom, and have no job prospects after sah for 7 years, and 68 bucks to my name (x does have to pay the bills for now). she wanted to borrow some probiotics, she has some at home and doesn't want to buy more (6 hour drive, she goes back thurs.). i said sure you can borrow some, you are always welcome to anything i have, but i have 14 left and no ability to buy more in the next year, realistically. she makes something like 75+ grand a year and doesn't have any kids, and will be pissed at me for pointing this out. sheesh.
To be honest, I think it's fair that you don't want to give your sister your probiotics. But I don't think it's very helpful to say so in this passive-aggressive way. Just say, "I'm sorry but that's all I can afford for the next year. I can't give them away."

I guess I've been pretty fortunate so far in that I don't have friends pressuring me to go out or spend money I don't have. I find when I'm honest, they're respectful.

4 kids under 10
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Old 10-12-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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Say it with me, "With dh being unemployed, we don't have extra money." Repeat as necessary.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 10-21-2010, 04:38 AM
 
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Omagod, I was JUST talking about this the other day.

I have a childhood best friend who I've fallen out of best friendhood with but we still keep in touch and talk and in the last few years have started closing the gap. However, one of the main reasons we drifted apart was because I moved to Vancouver Island (bc, canada) and she moved to Maui. So fast forward a few years and we both get engaged in the same year. She invites me to her wedding, I invite her to mine. Her wedding is 3 months before mine in Maui. I got SO much flack from her and her brothers about not being able to make it. I mean, I spent an ENTIRE night trying to defend myself against her two older brothers and the "I still have to pay for my wedding in a few months" arguement was met with "well, whatever, it's only like 600$ round trip right now." Um, ok, but that;s like damn near half my entire wedding budget thank you very much.
She was able to come to my wedding, but part of that was the fact that I had my wedding in our home town, where her parents live, where she was bringing her new husband to visit at the same time I was getting married.

She still brings it up and makes all sorts of remarks about how we should really visit her in Maui sometime soon. um, ok, sure, nevermind the single income, the new baby, and the accumulated debt that needs to be paid off first.

The most annoying this is that my husband and I have been working for the last 8 years straight (the length of our relationship), both of us. And we're financially responsible. But as far as I know, my friend hasn;t had a steady job for a while and while her husband works, he's a labourer....How in the hell do they have the money for all these trips?!?
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Oh I can totally relate to this thread. We have literally a zero $ spending budget. I have so called "friends" that have given me guilt trips about not getting a family membership to the YMCA (its "only" $100 a month) or putting the kids in soccer, ballet, etc. Or asking if I want to go out for dinner and drinks twice a month as a mom's night out. All those things sound like fun, but there is no way I can afford any of that. We pay bills (nothing extra at all) and then leftovers go to gas and groceries. That is all there is. If I buy a cup of tea for knitting night it comes out of grocery money.

What is funny is one of these people has a DH that was unemployed for a good portion of last year. I seriously don't think we are speaking the same language at times.

~Rebecca~
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:04 PM
 
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s Yeah, even my dad *who we live with* and you would kinda think would realize we're low on cash has occasionally made comments like 'so just get it fixed - its only $200/300' (or whatever) - mostly in relation to our cars. And then all you can say is 'but theres only $150-200 in the bank...' and they all just kinda look at you like 'what? you don't have $XX??' like its freaking crazy.

Honestly, I am just *SO* relieved that DH is working again. And I've decided that I just need to go drive around to various places and drop off my resume/cover letter/references list and say 'hey, if you can use me, give me a call' (I'm a former horsebarn director/wrangler/environmental educator... theres like 6 or 7 residential camps w/in driving distances to us, whose websites I keep checking for openings, but nothing... but as noted I've decided I just need to print off my resume and go say 'hi').
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Old 10-21-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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Oh I can totally relate to this thread. We have literally a zero $ spending budget. I have so called "friends" that have given me guilt trips about not getting a family membership to the YMCA (its "only" $100 a month) or putting the kids in soccer, ballet, etc. Or asking if I want to go out for dinner and drinks twice a month as a mom's night out. All those things sound like fun, but there is no way I can afford any of that. We pay bills (nothing extra at all) and then leftovers go to gas and groceries. That is all there is. If I buy a cup of tea for knitting night it comes out of grocery money.

What is funny is one of these people has a DH that was unemployed for a good portion of last year. I seriously don't think we are speaking the same language at times.
OT--I have been not so much insulted as a bit frustrated with people thinking we must be on the verge of financial ruin because DH was unemployed for about 18 months when in reality we were just fine. I would mention in conversation that DH was home and people would act like somebody had died or something (he was laid off with a generous severance from a job he hated so quite the opposite of a huge loss). The reality was that while there was lots uncertainty about what to do there was never any finaicial stress. When I would make comments to that effect we were doing fine I don't think people always believed it either.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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Oh no, Martini-gate!

And another top-shelf tactic:

"You must be behind the times! Being frugal and financially responsible is sooo trendy! You must not be very 'with it.'"


I seriously would pull out Benjamin Franklin wig/glasses costume (homemade of course) from my thrifted bag and start spouting aphorisms if people wouldn't listen to me explain that I had no money. That *might* get their attention.

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Old 10-21-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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I've been on both sides of the fence. We've had times where we didn't think twice about spending $30 or $40 on a night out, and times where we've agonized for $3. I will say that unless you've been in a situation where money is really tight, you really don't get it. I know I didn't. I totally didn't understand how some people wouldn't have $15 or $20 or whatever. And, then our situation changed and my husband went back to school, and I totally get it.

This. I sometimes read thread on mdc, (say a tao thread about clothes) and wonder-- is 20 dollars to me what 100 dollars is like to them? Or 5 dollars is like to them?

It's difficult to relate on both sides.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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Old 10-22-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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Oh, big hugs! I HATE that pressure. Part of the problem is that MOST people in the US spend beyond their means--I think I read that the average family has $9,000 in credit card debt. They're not really facing reality themselves (and don't want to), so of course they don't understand when other folks are on a strict budget.

When we were first attacking our debt and getting frugal I remember going out with group of friends who wanted to go to a $20/person restaurant (!) and tried to suggest we go to a much cheaper but quite nice $7/person place across the street... and a friend's boyfriend (who I KNOW was in debt himself) said "well, YOU can go there if you want!" (My friend broke up with him later, thankfully, and her new boyfriend is just as happy coming over for home-cooked dinner and a movie rental!)

I find that right now we can just use having a small baby as our excuse for not going out much and just having people over or going to the park or for walks. I'm also working and breastfeeding, so when people invite me to non-baby-friendly events I just tell them I'm not comfortable spending any time at all away from baby than I already have to. But I don't know what we'll do later when we start getting that pressure again...

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Old 10-23-2010, 10:31 PM
 
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Anyone else find this as frustrating as I do?

DH has been unemployed for awhile. He's looking for a job but nadda so far. I have been a SAHM, though I was just hired to start a job next week.

We've told friends and family that have asked us to do this or that that we aren't doing so hot financially. They KNOW this to some extent, since we haven't had regular income in 1.5 years.

My BFF keeps bothering me to go out to dinner/drinks with her. I'd love to go but it ends up costing $30 between food and drinks for me alone. Even if I just go and have water and say chips and salsa, that's still gas money plus $5-10.

My IL's are going to the beach this weekend for an event and have asked us to go. They'd have room in their yurt for us, so no lodging expenses. But even if I pack food, we'd still spend $50 roundtrip on gas and probably at least $10-$20 on some food or misc items that we'll end up needing possibly. I told MIL today, we just can't do it. We CAN do it, but we are really watching our money.

But everyone keeps getting so upset when I explain that we can't. I tell them I'd love to go, they tell me I deserve a mini-vacation or a break (I agree, lol!) but they still don't seem to grasp the idea that we can't do it due to finances. This coming from people that have had to scrimp and save themselves in very difficult times.



Vent over. If you read all of this, good on you. LOL!
Why don't you invite this BFF over? I'm seeing a lot of people mention staying in and hanging out around the house. Why don't you have a little get together and anybody coming brings a dish/form of entertainment with them? Do it after the kids go to bed and it'll still feel like going out a little.
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