Making ends meet

Penny - posted on 11/18/2008 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Do you ever feel like you aren't doing enough to help make ends meet when you stay at home?

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Lorna - posted on 11/19/2008

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I'm sorry to hear about your Christmas fund-that is terrible! Seems like that stuff always happens at the worst time. Christmas time is hard. There are so many expensive toys out there that the boys want as they get older. It is really hard when their friends actually get a lot of those toys at Christmas too. I keep having to mentally slap my hands when I get into Target or Toys R Us. But realistically, kids tend to want a lot more than they actually need. Just like when they overdo on candy...they don't really have a 'stop' point when it comes to wanting stuff. We are fortunate because we have the only grandkids-so we can let the grandparents take some of the holiday burden and they are happy to do it. That way the kids get at least one pricey item on their list. I've fallen in love with the dollar store-I can get a lot more stuff under the tree for a lot less there.

Penny - posted on 11/19/2008

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I tell you. I just came across the Circle of Moms yesterday. Evidently, I had a lot on me; cuz I sure went to town posting!
I appreciate all the encouragement. I have actually been home for 19 years and WOULD NOT change it.....I just get discouraged every now and then. We have kids from 6 to 19 and sometimes I feel like they get the short end because I stay home. I guess it is just the stress of trying to make sure five children are happy at Christmas. It wouldn't be so bad if our Christmas fund didn't have to go to fix a vehicle! I know my children are better off by being at home with me. I can see the difference with other family memembers. I just get a lot of pressure from family to go to work. NOT my sweet hubby, he thinks my place is at home schooling our children. I just let it get to me sometimes. Thanks for giving me a place to get rebooted!

Karee - posted on 11/19/2008

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That fits us to the tee! I have been home for three years not by choice at first because having two preemie's it was the best choice for them. As I have enjoyed the time w/ my children and would not go back and change it for the world- I too want to help out financially but really can't find anything. My husband and I are doing the best we can we are not big spenders on extras but dental exp., NICU bills, and all the extras that life throws at you becomes so over bearing and that is when I go crazy looking at what we don't have in the bank. I am glad to hear that many of you feel the same way and I too hope our luck changes where we too can start living just comfortable again so I can really appreciate my children rather then always worrying about what I cannot change which is our financial status. My husband and I agree that parents are the best way to raise children and I hope that all this worry will be worth it at the end even if we are paying for it for many years to come.

Tiffany - posted on 11/19/2008

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You are not alone. It has been rough since I haven't been working and to top it off just last week both our cars broke down in the same day. And one of them broke down the day after it was fixed. Things are just overwhelming when it comes to money.

Lorna - posted on 11/19/2008

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Hi Penny! I'm a first time poster here-but your question really struck a chord. It is so nice to see others feeling the same way I do! Although I'm also sorry that others have to experience the same feelings of guilt and worry over finances. I had my children late and was a career mom until about a year and a half ago. I was in the housing industry and saw the market going-plus I was in Mar/Com which is always the first to go in times of cutbacks. Coupled with this I had always felt angst about not staying home. I knew my children weren't getting what they needed and my oldest was growing up fast into a person I didn't recognize. My first son-he had just turned 6 when I decided to quit-had always been in a very good daycare/school until he graduated from pre-k and entered the local elementary. That had eased my mind. Then we moved to a location that made that daycare inaccessible so I switched my then 6 month old son to another school that I was never happy with-and my oldest went into the after-school program at the elementary school which was not ideal in many ways. Long story short-I decided to gamble financially and stay home with my children. In many ways it has been a great decision and I love the time I get to spend getting to know my kids and getting my house in order in so many ways-but it has been very stressful for both my husband and me. Our main concern is of course, financial. But coming into the SAHM business kind of late it is almost like learning a new job for me as well. I don't cut coupons, make my own clothes or do any of that kind of thing. We are not particularly extravagant people but we are having to convert from a life where we knew we could make up impulse expenditures by putting in more hours or by waiting for a bonus from my husband's company-to a financial structure that requires close budgeting and is unforgiving of impulse purchases. Now bonus's give us that little extra to pay the bills each month. At the same time I have run the numbers and with the economy being what it is the salary I would have to take to re-enter the work force would just barely cover the expense of my going back to work...and if I did we would go back to a lifestyle that was just barely managed chaos. The kids would be further removed from our values and expectations, exposed to more germs and go back to being sick all the time-making us sick all the time too, our house would be unmanaged, the kids many school needs would be unmanaged, sports would go out the window and we would all be living on fast food-just to name a few drawbacks. Plus the time I have spent at home has really freed my husband up to focus on his career-I think it would be very hard on him to go back to being a part-time house-dad. I would still like to do something to help us financially but every time I get in a real funk I just have to think of how stressful it was when I was working and how I felt a kind of despair when I looked at my kids and realized how little influence I was having in their lives. That makes the financial pain worth it.

Katie - posted on 11/19/2008

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I can totally identify! I even have a "get out of the house job" so that I get adult interaction a few times a week. But somehow we are still pinching pennies. And I am constantly getting the "please don't spend any money until Friday when we get paid." It is very frustrating. I constantly wonder if we would be better off if I went back to work full time, but if you figure in the cost of daycare, we would still be in the same position financially. Add to that, quality daycare is hard to find. And in my area, daycare with an infant opening is nearly impossible to find. That doesn't make it any easier though when we are in a tight spot. It still makes me feel bad. I don't think that feeling of guilt will ever go away.

Jaime - posted on 11/19/2008

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Hi Penny! I would say that it's absolutely natural to feel that way. I feel that way at least twice a month. My husband is very supportive of me staying home and truly feels I am doing as much work as, if not more than, he does. So try to remember that you are shaping the future and keeping a happy home - not just wiping bottoms and cooking food. (Although it's easy to feel that way sometimes!) We really do have the most important job - creating great citizens!

Jenny - posted on 11/18/2008

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CONSTANTLY. I have started unplugging appliances and shutting off computer monitors, timing my showers, closing off heat registers, turning heat off at night, cut down on cable service and cell phones, clipping coupons, getting online coupons, tutoring and babysitting. It all adds up not to mention the savings in terms of the health and well-being of your children.

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yes all the time until i found a group of motivated moms that work from home. We do not sell anything no door to door selling either..We just help other moms convert their homes into a better living environment..I work at my pace and my own hours! here is my website www.barbwithmotivatedmoms.tk I hope you have a great evening..barb

Judy - posted on 11/18/2008

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Whenever you're tempted to think that way, start adding up the ways you're SAVING money by being a stay-at-home mom. If you had to hire someone to do all the jobs you do (childcare, cooking, cleaning, driving, tutoring, etc), you would pay a small fortune. I've read that the estimated "salary" of a SAHM would be about $117,000 if she were paid for all of her positions.



Working moms often have to keep up a professional wardrobe, pay commuting expenses, and usually spend a lot more money on convenience/take-out food because they lack the time and energy to cook. Suddenly all that "extra" income isn't really there after all.

Nicole - posted on 11/18/2008

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HI Penny! Yes I have felt that way too! I decided to look for something to do from home to help out my families budget. So now I work from home without having to sell any products, go door-to-door, purchase inventory or host parties. FREE TRAINING, FREE WEBSITE and 100% RISK~FREE! This opportunity is with a team of motivated partners who work together to run our own home~based business. My Team partners with a 23yr old PROSPEROUS company which allows me to work at~home with my computers and telephones. If you are interested you can check out my website at www.familytimefirst.com or email me at ndilly@iw.net

Jen - posted on 11/18/2008

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ABSOLUTELY!! I try to get only whats on add. Stock up when its cheap and do coupons when I have them! I make the meals everyday. (thank you food network) Eating out has been put on the back burner.I sometimes think I feel just as stressed as the husband who is trying to provide, just on the other end of things. We have 4 kids ages 2-10yrs and I've been home for all 10 years. It's been a blessing but the challenges come as well, you know. I'm real excited now because this past year we started a business at home, and our company is going to be on NBC primetime in the spring!!!! I really feel like our end of the tunnel is coming now. Hang in there and do what you can.

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