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#1 of 10 Old 05-22-2014, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A few years ago, I got some wonderful advice and support from the ladies on this board. I cut expenses to the bone, got TWO jobs and worked the opposite shifts of my husband so we wouldn't pay for childcare.

Everyone thought I was crazy. I agree it was a hard and crazy time but I managed to pay off all our debt and save up enough to put a small down payment on our first home (huge regret in hindsight) but things were looking up so much at the time. I quit one of my jobs but we were still doing great. 

Well, less than a year later I ended up pregnant with twins. I had to quit my then only job almost right away - it was a self employed sort of thing so no disability or anything. Between the costs of now having three kids, a house, and medical issues since having the babies making it hard to just care for the kids much less go to work - we are back in debt up to our eyeballs. 

It's hard to say when if ever we will be in a position to up our income in any reasonable and/or significant way again. All the while our expenses have skyrocketed. There's definitely things I've been letting slide that can cut expenses a bit but it's not enough to break even every month. 

I feel like all that hard work and struggle was for nothing. It's depressing to say the least. 

Anyway, I'd like to get active on this board again and hopefully think up some ways to work on things. I'm going to reread your money or your life. I wasn't a dave ramsey fan. 

Thanks for reading and if you have any words of wisdom, I would really appreciate it. 


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#2 of 10 Old 05-22-2014, 01:09 PM
 
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Is there any work from home position you can do to being in a little money to help? What about your husband asking for a promotion at work or switching to a job that pays more or covers more medical expenses? Maybe he can get a part time job for the weekends fora little while. Are you positive cutting expenses isn't enough to make ends meet? Do you qualify for any help with food maybe?

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#3 of 10 Old 05-22-2014, 07:12 PM
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Been to the library lately> Not only is it a great source of books, DVDs, CDs and depending on where you live, maybe even laptops and Kindles to borrow, toys, museum passes and lots of free programs, but you can make money there too.

 

First GO. Say hello. Get to know the librarians. Ask about story hours. Ask about their summer reading program.

 

Here's what happened to me. After doing a few odd jobs at one library, another library hired me to sub. While there, I was asked to go to a 'performer's showcase'. I'd watch some children's performers and report back.

 

I was making $9 an hour. I watched some great story tellers, and a few really lame puppet acts. They charged $300-$450 for an hour to an hour and half session!

 

I immediately offered to run a weekly after-school program. $50 for a hour and half, super cheap but way more than I was making! Library provides a snack and a small amount for materials. The kids come on the school bus. I meet the bus, serve the snack, we go out to play on the play ground, the do a craft or science experiment. We go sledding in the winter. Occasionally, we do a good deed, like adopting a soldier or planting a children's garden at the local community garden.

 

Now I write my own grants to the cultural councils and I have a children's program I take to other libraries. I make $125 for a hour and a half to 2 hours. The libraries LOVE me. 

 

You can check your states cultural council grants to see what other people get paid and what they do. Story hours here pay $60. You sing a song, read a story or two, do a simple craft. If anyone is interested in pursuing this, I'd be happy to help!

 

Hang tough. You made your best decision the day you made it. I have twins too. 7 months of bed rest and no working for years afterwards. It's tough.

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#4 of 10 Old 05-24-2014, 01:11 PM
 
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I don't know how old your DD is, but maybe you could find a child her age to babysit (or homeschool)? Money and a playmate for your DD, leaving you with more time for the twins.

 

I'm sorry you're having a hard time financially. Money stress is the worst. :Hug


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#5 of 10 Old 05-25-2014, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies ladies. Anything I do is really going to have to come from the cutting side of things.

Trust me, I'm no stranger to looking for odd jobs or to hard work. We've done a lot of it in the past, but I'm completely unable to work right now. I'm having a hard enough time as it is just taking care of my own kids and home. I'm hoping I can get well enough eventually to turn things around but I don't know when that might be. 

For now, I'm hoping to cut enough from the budget to at least not tack on any more debt until we can do something to increase income. 


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#6 of 10 Old 05-25-2014, 11:02 AM
 
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Do you own the house? If so, can you sell and rent somewhere cheaper?

 

It would help if you list out your major expenses, if you're comfortable with that.

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#7 of 10 Old 05-25-2014, 12:35 PM
 
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Red that is awesome about the library.


I have been married almost 25 years. We learned the hard way, we absolutely cannot have credit cards even for emergencies. We would pay everything off and then something huge would happen and we would go in debt again. It has been stressful at times trying to figure out what to do especially when we literally would only have $5 and a child in the hospital 25 miles away and no gas.

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#8 of 10 Old 06-01-2014, 04:40 PM
 
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Can you bake bread or can jams/jellies and sell at a farmer's market? I do that and we make plenty more then we will eat, so I can sell the rest.

As for cutting, I bake my own bread, so we never have that grocery expense. I even make my own pizzas (get a good pizza crust recipe, some pasta sauce and top with whatever you want). We buy almost all our meat in bulk and eat a lot of meatless or low-meat meals (low-meat: flavored with a tiny bit of ham or bacon, etc.).

If you have to spend a lot of time sitting or laying down with the kids (breastfeeding, etc.), take up sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc. Even if you don't make stuff to sell, you can keep your family in clothes by making or repairing them.

Write down your bills with the amounts. Cross out "firm" bills that you can't affect (rent/mortgage, etc.). Troubleshoot how to lower the rest - google "lower electric bill", get on forums to ask about specific bill-lowering strategies (we flounder a bit without specificity ).

Write down all non-bills expenses - candy bars for the kids, a night at the movies, etc. Troubleshoot how to get the same or similar experience/treat for half-price or free - again with google and the forums.

Good luck and keep swimming!

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#9 of 10 Old 06-01-2014, 10:54 PM
 
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((((hugs))))

I'm so sorry, it sounds very frustrating. Reminds me of the 25lbs I lost and then gained back. I tried so hard and did so well just to have to start over again! Take care of yourself and your babies! When they are older you will be able to at least find some jobs to make little bits of money, but for now it sounds like really refining your budget and finding areas to cut back or find creative alternatives is the best solution.

I really struggle sticking with my plan, it seems something always pops up....someones birthday, car repairs, medical bills, someone need shoes, etc!! We spend a ton on food, so making a basic, simple meal plan is helpful. Cook extra and freeze for those hard days. When my 3rd child was a baby I would cook a bunch of food (on my dh's day off)once a month or so to freeze. It really helped since I often could get very little done with my demanding little one!

I think getting everything down on paper (if you haven't already)....a budget, debts, 'extra' expenses coming up....can be helpful. It may feel stressful but it gives you a clear picture. Hang in there mama! Best of luck!
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#10 of 10 Old 06-28-2014, 02:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post
A few years ago, I got some wonderful advice and support from the ladies on this board. I cut expenses to the bone, got TWO jobs and worked the opposite shifts of my husband so we wouldn't pay for childcare.
Everyone thought I was crazy. I agree it was a hard and crazy time but I managed to pay off all our debt and save up enough to put a small down payment on our first home (huge regret in hindsight) but things were looking up so much at the time. I quit one of my jobs but we were still doing great.
Well, less than a year later I ended up pregnant with twins. I had to quit my then only job almost right away - it was a self employed sort of thing so no disability or anything. Between the costs of now having three kids, a house, and medical issues since having the babies making it hard to just care for the kids much less go to work - we are back in debt up to our eyeballs.
It's hard to say when if ever we will be in a position to up our income in any reasonable and/or significant way again. All the while our expenses have skyrocketed. There's definitely things I've been letting slide that can cut expenses a bit but it's not enough to break even every month.
I feel like all that hard work and struggle was for nothing. It's depressing to say the least.
Anyway, I'd like to get active on this board again and hopefully think up some ways to work on things. I'm going to reread your money or your life. I wasn't a dave ramsey fan.
Thanks for reading and if you have any words of wisdom, I would really appreciate it.

First, ilovemygirl, I am not sure what types of medical issues you have been having or what limitations you have, so I am sorry if any of this is out of reach for you. Also, I know some of what I say will probably be the same stuff you always hear. What I am hoping for is that I can offer you new (possibly) resources to do those same old things.


Do you have anything to sell or swap for what you need? If there are things you need like clothing or food, have you tried freeycle.org or Facebook groups? I know that in my community, there are several groups where you can post needs and people offer to help if they can. Another thing about freecycle.org is craigslist is that you can post that you are willing to glean or clean up fields and yards for free in exchange for food. This is good for people that have fruit trees, etc. You can get extra produce or nuts (like black walnuts) for free and preserve for later.


Can you buy in bulk? I know sometimes that can be overwhelming to use a large chunk of groceries for one item. But, if you can make it work (say, use only $80 of your $100 and buy enough oats to make breakfast for a year), it can be really beneficial. My favorite place to buy in bulk is Azurestandard.com


Amazon can (not always) be a place to get good deals on diapers and such if you use Amazon Mom, Subscribe and Save, etc. There are tons of posts on the internet about this, so I won't go over it again. Same with doing "drugstore games" to get free toiletries and such at places like CVS.


I have collected a lot of different articles to help me with my finances. We live on a small income as well, so I understand how it is. Here are the links to my pinterest boards to give you a few ideas:


Money savers: http://www.pinterest.com/donnachapin/money-savers/
Earning money: http://www.pinterest.com/donnachapin/earning-money/
Frugal food: http://www.pinterest.com/donnachapin/frugal-food/


I also use Swagbucks and Pinecone Research to earn a little money. I would say I earn enough to cover our basic toiletries, toilet paper, and cleaning supplies.


I have heard great things about Bountiful Baskets. You can purchase produce through them for a fraction
of the cost of grocery stores.

I have so much more. You probably do all of this. I just want to encourage you because I know this can
be so hard. We are all here to support each other.

Mama to: one spunky girl and one angel baby Wife of over 10 years to an amazing man:
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