I might have to find a job. I'm so frustrated. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 09-17-2005, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm a SAHM to 3 kids (7,6 and 18mo). I love staying at home and I can't imagine how I could make working an outside job flow. It's getting so hard to be a SAHM and I'm so tired of being stressed every month and having to go without because we can't afford it. My dh makes a very good income, yet every month someone else has their hand out and we can barely make ends meet. We don't get any assistance from anyone (except the rediculous family allowance check we get each month, it's not even worth the paper it's printed on). We don't qualify for childcare subsidy, kid sports subsity, GST rebates, a decent family allowance check. We are all on our own. We live in a modest house (1200sq), in a sucky part of town. We now have a newer (not new) van that we are making payments on, but we got rid of 2 other cars just to make it happen so we only have the 1 car. The only debt we owe is student loans. Yet we are still struggling. We put the girls in soccer which is the first sport either has ever been in and it was important to us that they participate in a group sport this year. It's also the cheapest sport for them to be in. We don't go out, no sitters, 1-2 times a month we order dinner in (usually a pizza). I make everything from scratch and we don't do expensive cuts of meat. We conserve gas and only go through a max of 1 tank every 2 weeks (dh carpools to).

This month we have soccer fees ($500), school fees, our electricity bill was $150 over the estimated amount (and I estimate well over the actual bill) because they made a mistake and underbilled us over the last seven months, our student loan officer cashed 2 post dated checks yesturday so we overpaid by $150 which we don't get back, the kids buss fee is due ($300), and our inserance company raised our rates and took the money out of our account before sending us the paper work. All the mean while all three kids are desperate for cloths and shoes. I am so frustrated, I just don't know what to do. Honestly if I new we were going to get dinged with the electricity and student loans the girls would not be in soccer (which would have broken their hearts).

How do I juggle 3 kids and a husband who travels for work (a lot) and a job, with 1 car? I could only work part time and it would have to be shift work. Then what do I do with the baby? What about when the kids are off school or sick? What about when dh is out of town? I can barely keep up as it is. My oldest dd has 3 pairs of pants, 1 sweater, and 4 t-shirts. She went through 2 growth spirts this summer and I was waiting until things settled down to get her some new cloths. Now I don't know when that's going to be. I'm at my witts end. Dh agreed to support me so I could get a degree in nursing (part time through correspondence for the next 4 years, then full time when the baby is in school). That is my dream. When will I have the time to study? My husband makes an income that is what most couples make together, so why is it so hard to make ends meet? The government takes a third of his salary, but because his net is so high we don't get any breaks. It pisses me off to no end. A single mother can put her 4 kids in a sports program, daycare, go to school to upgrade her skills while she works part time, and she still has more money than we do every month. I just want to be able to buy my kids some cloths when they need them.

Sorry. I'm very emotional today.
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#2 of 24 Old 09-21-2005, 02:21 PM
 
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I could totally have written your post. I just went to see about a job today and it sounds wonderful, but I just don't see how I can fit 30 hours of work in a week. My Dh works different shifts each week, so I can't count on him. I have no advice, just know we are in the same boat. Making more $$ than we have ever, yet we are broke.

What size clothes are you looking for? I have several big tubs of nice clothes that need a home...

~C~
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#3 of 24 Old 09-21-2005, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your understanding. I can't work. It's just not possible. To many sacrafices will have to be made and it would affect the kids in a negative way. I think I may have to do some childcare. Which is OK, I did it for 6 years when the girls were babies. I just don't want a house full cause I'm buisy enough. Maybe 1 ds's age so he has a playmate and we can all benefit from it.

My kids are in 24month (boys), 6 and 7 girls. It's so sweet of you to offer, but I wasn't looking for anything. Just needed to vent and find other mama's in the same situation so I know I'm not alone. That's one thing that is so great about the mama's here, everyone is so generous and quick to offer assistance. It warms my heart.
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#4 of 24 Old 09-21-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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No extra advice, just a hug and let you know I'm in the same boat to! My kids have no cloths that weren't gifts, hand-me-downs or thrift store bag sale (all you can stuff in a bag for $10 or something like that) same with me and dh. We have no debt other than student loans but we have very little extra money each month.

I've just started doing child care for a neighbors boy who is close in age to my ds. It's not big bucks, but it will hopefuly help out with the cost of ehating the house this winter and give us something to spend at Christmas. It's working out well actualy. The boys play together well and that gives me a bit of time to get things like baking done.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
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#5 of 24 Old 09-21-2005, 04:55 PM
 
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I totally understand what you mean about money not being what it seems like it should. About a year ago my dh got a great new job, making WAY more money- and I thought things would be great and there'd be no more worrying about money. But things are still hard, and I've been contemplating what I can do to make some extra $. Dh and most of my family/friends think I should put dd (age3) in a preschool program and go back to working part time. I have tons of reservations about that, but no one else understands. For the moment I think I'm going to start selling our extra junk on e-bay.

Hope you find a good answer for you.
Peace,
Laura

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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#6 of 24 Old 09-21-2005, 05:00 PM
 
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I'm so sorry! We are in the same boat. I actually have been working weekends, but only becaus DH is reliably home every weekend. It's not working, although it is more money. I mean it's not working in the fact that we still can't pay bills each month.

I'm looking for a nanny job that I can bring my kids with, or a family that would bring their kids to my house. A PP had the same idea. What about that? Could you advertise that you'd be willing to watch one family in your home?

I hope that you guys can figure this out. I know it's tough and very stressful. I'm just so sorry that you're going through this.

Shannon
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#7 of 24 Old 09-21-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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#8 of 24 Old 09-23-2005, 07:34 PM
 
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I am so sorry. We are in the same exact boat. I lie awake at night wondering if we'll be able to afford to pay all the bills, and still be able to send DD to her beloved Karate classes. It would be immensely helpful to us if my MIL could learn to live within her means(but that's another post!) I just wanted to say that I am sorry that this is bringing you so much stress, and offer you a hug.
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#9 of 24 Old 09-24-2005, 01:32 AM
 
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Just wanted to add my hugs and tell you I understand. I actually have a job interview next week (great PT hours while the kids are in school), but I'm not sure it will work out for a variety of reasons. I worry about money ALL the time -- if worrying could make it appear, I'd be a rich, rich woman!! And it really is crazy that the more we make, the less far it seems to go!
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#10 of 24 Old 09-26-2005, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjr
My kids are in 24month (boys), 6 and 7 girls. It's so sweet of you to offer, but I wasn't looking for anything. Just needed to vent and find other mama's in the same situation so I know I'm not alone. That's one thing that is so great about the mama's here, everyone is so generous and quick to offer assistance. It warms my heart.
Oh, I know you weren't looking, but I thought maybe I could help. Unfortunatly, our girls are in the same sizes, and my boy is younger! I guess all I can give is support.

Oh, I called that job back and said 30 hours was just way too much, they offered me a job-share position and I can bring the two younger kids! So yay..I got a job!

~C~
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#11 of 24 Old 09-26-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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#12 of 24 Old 09-27-2005, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much. I get this way every fall. It seems like the hardest part of the year with all the fees due at the same time. Plus the weather is getting colder and without fail our bills always increase. It's so hard to make it all balance. No matter how much money we have it's never enough.

Dh and I talked about me doing childcare again. Ds really needs a playmate and I could use some help with the money pressure. The funny thing is that all it would take is an extra couple hundred dollars every month. That would eliminate the pressure totally. How sad is that? I like having my time with ds alone but he really does need a playmate and it's what's best for the kids, right?

Once we get past Christmas all will be good again...I hope. :LOL
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#13 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 11:23 AM
 
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Wow. for your stress.

NOw, I do not k now what a family allowance check is or a kids sports subsity or GST? Can you tell me more about those?

Can you reduce your expenditures asap? I mean, I understand about soccer and all but $500 in one payment? That is crazy. Can you work out a payment plan on that expenditure?

And you mentioned there always being someone with their handout? What does that mean? If it means that people always come to you for help, while that is awesome, you will have to kindly share with them that you are not able to help them financially anymore?

What is a bus fee? $300 is a lot too to come up with at one time. Can you arrange for payments?

If you want to stay home, I would. And I would encourage you to share you heart with your husband about your concerns. Tell him that you trust him to provide but the stress of all of this is getting to you. See if there are any areas that he feels y'all should cut spending on.

: I'll be praying for y'all. My dh has been out of work for over three months and I know how money issues can tempt you to give up the desire of your heart to stay home.

Will you pray for us as well. DH has an interview tomorrow. It would be great to have income.
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#14 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 12:26 PM
 
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I'm expecting my first baby in January. DH and I both have good jobs and as pregnancy continues on and I feel more and more tired, I wonder how I'll be able to hold down a job once the baby comes. But I know that's what I'll need to do! Much better to raise a kid in a happy home not stressed about paying for food and heat than to constantly fret about paying the bills.

If it makes you feel better, there has actually been a lot of research that shows that it is no more harmful for a mother to work than for her to stay at home. In fact, if the family is in poverty, it is BETTER for a mother to work. Not only does this alleviate the financial burden, it leads to a variety of benefits down the line for the child. The trick is to stay connected with your daycare provider and make sure things are sound there, and to spend quality time with your child when you are home. Just because you are not home all the time doesn't mean you are never home.
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#15 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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AmyC08, we do not live in poverty. This is why I am so frustrated. Dh makes a great income. His income is more than what most household incomes are with both partners working. I should be able to stay at home and we should be able to live comfortably and be able to handle these extra expenses when they come up. Our problem is that we are at the upper end of middle class which means that dh gets taxed like crazy. We pay $30,000/year in income tax to the government. So, even though dh makes great money a good chunck of it goes to taxes. That's frustration #1. We have savings in RRSP's and get the tax break with that but we can not invest anymore money to help us with the rest of our tax situation. You can't invest what you don't have available.

hotmamacita, in Canada families are helped out by being provided a family allowance or child tax credit check monthly. Here's my frustration. My sister is a SAHM and her husband is self-employed. He makes (after his expenses) as much as dh does, but he writes off a lot of stuff he shouldn't and it puts them is a much lower tax bracket. Her family check is $800/month but that's also the gst check included. When the government implimented the GST (goods and services tax) they decide to re-emburse lower income families this gst money. Which means that lower income families don't have to pay it, but we do. Our provence will also subsidize sports for children if their families can not afford to let them participate. You need to be of a lower income to qualify. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for assistance to lower income families, but where's the balance. Why not subsidize the whole program and make it more affordable to everyone?

As middle class income earners we pay the most in taxes and get no assistance when we need it. It costs more to raise a family on a middle class income than it does on a lower class income. I know what I'm talking about becuase we were a lower class income family. If I went out and worked and needed care for my kids it would run me around $1200/month with ds in full time and the girls would be part time. The most I would bring home is $1600/month working a full time job. If dh made less money then I would get subsidy for childcare and be able to bring home most of my paycheck. So, for $400/month is it really worth it for me to work full time outside the house? I would rather babysit and make $400 while being a SAHM.

The bussing fee gets paid when I find the money to pay it. Honestly, I don't care how many notices I get. If I don't have the money I can't pay it. I have been making installed payments for soccer since August. I am volunteering on the soccer board and coaching so I can get a discounted rate next year. I will also be doing all the bingo's I can to help pay for next year. School feels are due when they are due, unless you qualify for assistance.


Quote:
If it makes you feel better, there has actually been a lot of research that shows that it is no more harmful for a mother to work than for her to stay at home.
Honestly I don't care what research shows. They did not conduct a study on MY family. I grew up with both parents working and my dad was a truck driver. I grew up without parents. I came home to an empty house after school and I was responsible for locking up the house when I left. My brother and sister and I always fought because we were put in positions of responsibility none of us were ready for. I had a terrible relationship with my parents. 3 hours of parental time during the week and a weekend spent house cleaning and running errands was not enough to create a good family dinamic. There was never any time to go on a family outing on the weekends because there was laundry to catch up on and things to take care of. My kids have told me that they want me here for them (they are 6 and 7) and they do not want to go to a sitter's house. They have friends who do that and they obviously don't like what they hear. If dh made less money then I could work, but we would still bring home the same income. If I work the amount of income I would bring into the home would not justify the caos and problems that would result from my working. Also, dh is out of town alot for buisness. There is no way I could function stress free doing it all by myself (holding a job and taking care of the family).
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#16 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, when I said everyone has their hands out I meant the billing companies. Our insurance company raises our rates without notifying us, our electric company makes a mistake and sends us a huge bill which has to be paid immediatley, gas prices, property taxes, basic nessesities go up due to gas prices. Everything just keeps going up and up and up that it's almost impossible to make ends meet.
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#17 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 03:30 PM
 
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Oh, that just sucks. I sort of know where you are coming from. We are a part of the "nouveau not-so-broke" and right now we are finding that no matter how much more we make, someone always wants a piece. The kicker is that DH works tons of overtime so he gets taxed on that income, but we cannot count it towards anything useful like buying a house.
Luckily, we live in a relatively inexpensive area (soccer is only $100 here) but the cost of living is skyrocketing due to a suddenly hearty economy.
Next year we will lose a good chunk of our CCTB and I don't know what I am going to do. I might be able to watch my friend's DD for 4 hours a day when she goes back to work.
BTW, your DH would have to make a *lot* less money for a childcare subsidy, if it is anything like here. Once net family income is over $2000/mo, you are disqualified here.
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#18 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 03:49 PM
 
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Wow. That's a lot. Thanks for explaining it to me. I can totally see your frustration with it.





Quote:
Originally Posted by cjr
Honestly I don't care what research shows. .
I thought the same myself. Research can show anything it wants to do. Two stastical analysis classes in college taught me that.

Trust your gut, cjr. You seem like a sharp woman who has a wonderful heart for your children.

I have not advice only support and I will be praying for you. I want you to have the desires of your heart.

:
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#19 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjr
AmyC08, we do not live in poverty. This is why I am so frustrated. Dh makes a great income. His income is more than what most household incomes are with both partners working. I should be able to stay at home and we should be able to live comfortably and be able to handle these extra expenses when they come up. Our problem is that we are at the upper end of middle class which means that dh gets taxed like crazy. We pay $30,000/year in income tax to the government. So, even though dh makes great money a good chunck of it goes to taxes. That's frustration #1. We have savings in RRSP's and get the tax break with that but we can not invest anymore money to help us with the rest of our tax situation. You can't invest what you don't have available.

Honestly I don't care what research shows. They did not conduct a study on MY family. I grew up with both parents working and my dad was a truck driver. I grew up without parents. I came home to an empty house after school and I was responsible for locking up the house when I left. My brother and sister and I always fought because we were put in positions of responsibility none of us were ready for. I had a terrible relationship with my parents. 3 hours of parental time during the week and a weekend spent house cleaning and running errands was not enough to create a good family dinamic. There was never any time to go on a family outing on the weekends because there was laundry to catch up on and things to take care of. My kids have told me that they want me here for them (they are 6 and 7) and they do not want to go to a sitter's house. They have friends who do that and they obviously don't like what they hear. If dh made less money then I could work, but we would still bring home the same income. If I work the amount of income I would bring into the home would not justify the caos and problems that would result from my working. Also, dh is out of town alot for buisness. There is no way I could function stress free doing it all by myself (holding a job and taking care of the family).
Wow, sorry, I was just trying to make you feel better if you feel you have to work. I never said or even thought that you were in poverty, I was just stating that especially for families in poverty, it is better for two parents to work so they can bring their families out of poverty. No commentary on your income at all.

And I'm sorry you had it rough growing up, and I can relate. My dad died when I was 10 and my mom had to work (even before he died). I was also a latchkey kid. But I was involved in a lot of after-school activities and had lots of fun. My mom made it clear I could call her and she would be home in minutes if I needed her. That was the definition of stress, truly raising three children by yourself on one income while grieving the death of your husband. But still, we had a great relationship and we still do. She is a constant inspiration in my life. She taught me that you can love someone and be a presence in their life, even if you can't be home 8 hours out of the day (or more in her case). So maybe your family wasn't able to work out that balance between work and home, but it can be done.

But again, the intent of my original post was to show support for you as you make a difficult decision. Guess I won't do that again. Best of luck.
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#20 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 05:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotmamacita
Wow. That's a lot. Thanks for explaining it to me. I can totally see your frustration with it.







I thought the same myself. Research can show anything it wants to do. Two stastical analysis classes in college taught me that.

:
Six graduate classes in statistics, teaching research methods courses to college students, and a PhD in social psychology with a minor in child psychology taught me that the research I read, which was held up to rigorous peer review, can be trusted. These experiences also taught me to go to the original source of the research before judging it. You didn't ask, but since you have such advanced knowledge you may wish to read up on the topic yourself. The reference for my comment is:

Halpern, D. F. (2005). Psychology at the intersection of work and family. American Psychologist, 60, 397-409.

What's really nice about this article is that it reviews decades of research on the topic but incorporates very current information. It's not just one small study that might be interpreted in different ways. It's very clear-cut.


But I guess I really don't know what I'm talking about.

I also learned in all those classes that there are always exceptions to rules. I understand that. I'm surprised you didn't learn about tendencies in your stats classes and how it's easy to point to a few exceptions to the rule.
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#21 of 24 Old 09-29-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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I'm so sorry that you're stressed. We're kinda in the same boat. Is there anything that you can do from home? I've been making jewelry and throwing jewelry parties at home. If anyone who comes wants to host a party they get 20% of the sales. I'm just getting started but it helps. Plus it's cash income (the best to get). Is there anything that you can do from home? I know that your hands are full but hang in there...

Hugs
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#22 of 24 Old 09-30-2005, 02:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyC08
Six graduate classes in statistics, teaching research methods courses to college students, and a PhD in social psychology with a minor in child psychology taught me that the research I read, which was held up to rigorous peer review, can be trusted. These experiences also taught me to go to the original source of the research before judging it. You didn't ask, but since you have such advanced knowledge you may wish to read up on the topic yourself. The reference for my comment is:

Halpern, D. F. (2005). Psychology at the intersection of work and family. American Psychologist, 60, 397-409.

What's really nice about this article is that it reviews decades of research on the topic but incorporates very current information. It's not just one small study that might be interpreted in different ways. It's very clear-cut.


But I guess I really don't know what I'm talking about.

I also learned in all those classes that there are always exceptions to rules. I understand that. I'm surprised you didn't learn about tendencies in your stats classes and how it's easy to point to a few exceptions to the rule.
I can opine without it threatening yours. Its all good.

Just because someone disagrees doesn't mean you do not know what you are talking about. Please do not assume the worst of my heart or insinuate things about me.

I respectully disagree with you. Its okay that I do. My academic and intellectual credentials would certainly impress you but I feel like my heart as a mother is what I care about these days and I just don't care about 'research' anymore.



Peace.
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#23 of 24 Old 09-30-2005, 11:48 AM
 
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We got to the same point you're at abt 6 mos ago. DH makes a pretty good salary, he's in a higher tax bracket too, but makes the lower end of the pay scale, kwim? What's on us though is that we got comfortable. We went thru a rough transition period at first and then figured out how to make it work. Well, we got to a spot where we were making it work really well, had a little extra here and there...and what do we do? Get more bills. Now, I"m not talking running out and buying a boat or a sports car, but the little bills add up too, y'know.
So, anyway we discussed me going back to work....dh is not a fan. We decided that I would try my hand at waitressing. I'd never done it before, but I have an outgoing personality and let's face it, I'm a mother, i CAN multi-task lol. Doing childcare was out of the question, I'm just not geared to be patient w/others children unfortunatley.
As it turns out, I make as much waitressing nights as I did working 40 hrs at a desk job - less childcare. And since we don't absolutely depend ont he income it's okay if I have a crappy tip night every now and then.
I hope you're able to get thru til xmas. I know how you feel thinking....it'll get better after X.
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#24 of 24 Old 09-30-2005, 01:28 PM
 
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I feel your pain.

What I found helpful was a three-pronged approach:

1) The famous "pay yourself first" savings method -- in our case, we use it not only for long-term savings, but also for a short-term "rainy day" sort of fund. That way, when we have car repairs, home repairs, or other unexpected bills, we can pull money out of our rainy day fund instead of scrambling to scrape it together.

2) Looking at our expenses with a microscope -- I was recently able to shave about $65 off our monthly expenses by eliminating small recurring bills -- only $5 or $10 each, but they add up. Unfortunately, some of them were charitable donations, but we felt we just had to scale back in that area for now. I also cut our food budget by about $150 a month by setting a fairly austere weekly grocery budget and sticking to it. This involved cutting out a lot of "extras," and doing most of my grocery shopping at Costco.

3) Using the allowance system for me and DH, so we each get a certain amount of money a month that we can spend on whatever we want. This prevents us from feeling totally deprived, avoids fights about money, and provides a clear budget for "splurges".

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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