We’ve never been “rolling in the dough”, so to speak. But we always had a comfortable life. Before having children, my husband and I both had full time jobs. Once our daughter was born, we made the decision together that it would be best financially for me to stay home with her and not return to work in 2008. What an oxymoron that is huh!? Not going back to work seemed to make more sense financially. With the costs of daycare, groceries and what I would be making at the end of the day, I wasn’t really going to be keeping much of what I was earning. So we decided to cut back on things, tighten the belt and make it work with me staying at home.
Our lifestyle had dramatically changed after the birth of our daughter – not eating out as much, not as many outings with friends etc – so we had become accustomed to 1 income, and things were manageable. In the summer of 2010 we found out that we were expecting baby #2, and with the birth of our son it now made a family of 4 living off one income. And with me not having gone back to work after my daughter, this meant that I wouldn’t be getting maternity pay with our son like I did after the birth of our daughter.
Everything still seemed fine until we needed to buy a new vehicle. Living in the country, and with my husband being gone long hours with work, we needed more than 1 vehicle and my husbands truck was done! So we bought a new truck in the spring of 2011, and started feeling that financial pinch. With the added biweekly payment it really spun our finances in a downward spiral. We are obviously able to still keep a float, but we are now feeling more financial strain, and are watching our money more than in the past.
This winter a friend and I booked a trip to Paris for this coming October. I have wanted to go for years!! We figured out the costs and we were able to manage it, so it was all booked! I started saving money and things were a go! Over the summer it seemed money got tighter, and just this past week, our fridge up and died! We were not expecting this at all! We want a fridge the same as what we had – all fridge, no freezer, glass shelves. Of course this is harder to find which of course really means, more money. So there goes my savings.
So I am left feeling guilty for having booked a trip to go away, when really the money could have been spent elsewhere. My husband and my friends all tell me not to feel this way. They say we only live once and I deserve that trip away that I’ve always wanted. Of course I am excited, but that mother’s guilt still creeps through.
I am not trying to sound all “Debbie Downer”, but I am just REALLY FRUSTRATED!! I had discussed going back to work, even part time. But again it doesn’t make sense financially which is really aggravating! If I go back full time, we run into daycare costs for 2 children, if I go back part time, I work evenings and weekend and don’t see my family AND my husband doesn’t have set hours, so it doesn’t make sense for him to come home for me to go make less hourly than he would working. There really is no answer, and often feel like I am on a treadmill of sorts, going but never getting anywhere!
Discussing this with friends, I found out that a lot of them are in the same boat, feeling the stresses of money related issues. And it is hard not to get stressed about it all or feel guilty for not contributing financially! If only I could win the lotto millions
Can you relate!? What tips or tricks does your family use to save or stretch out your money!? How do you deal with the financial stresses?