See what CafeMoms are saying about saving time this holiday season..
In the past I wasn't always careful about my spending habits. If I saw it, it was on sale and I really liked it, I impulsively swiped that debit card. Now, given the economy and another mouth to feed in my house, (my sweet, loving, supportive, handsomely delicious BF) I have my reservations and often put back whatever it is I thought for 2 seconds I couldn't live without.
My kids are clothed, a roof is over our heads, most bills are paid right on time and the honey and I occasionally get a night to ourselves when we can have dinner and drink and feel happy about our life together. He works at his mom's diner and I work at a bank. We both make OK money. He has 2 children that sadly live out of state and he's been denied any visitation from them because she won't allow them to come up here and visit. Since January, he has been unable to pay child support. He does not spend money frivolously. I maintain the checkbook and he gets a minimal allowance for gas, food and small must haves, as do I. His weekly income is just about enough to cover a small loan and a regular truck payment on a vehicle that has been less than reliable, (It has been almost completely redone and he is trying to sell it) some gas and a few groceries here and there. My income pays the rent, electric, car and renters insurance, daycare for my youngest child, cell phones, Internet and 3 credit cards and miscellaneous neccessities.
This month I no longer qualify for food stamps. Three months ago, I got this job that puts me over the qualifying mark. It's bitter-sweet for me. According to Maine state guidelines, I am financially able to provide for my family with no problem. It feels almost liberating to be told I can do this on my own. However due to the rising costs of fuel and food, it's a crock of sh%&. I can't provide food and pay the bills. That's the bitter.
I am almost at wit's end at least twice a month.
You can find me writing and rewriting my budget almost daily while on my lunch break at work. It has become almost an obsession. I worry, tweak, worry some more, rearrange and reconfigure until I am so mentally exhausted I can't think straight. I put away the pen and paper and vow to not look at it again until next paycheck. My paychecks are bi-weekly which means I am usually in panic mode by the beginning of the week after I get paid.
My BF and I get along really well. The only time we ever fight is when money (or the lack thereof) is involved. Now that I no longer qualify for foodstamps, we need to figure out how to come up with $500 a month.
I feel just awful every time his ex-wife calls to scream at him for being a horrible father. According to her, he should just sign over his rights as the boys' father and be done with it all. He feels like a failure and I wish I could just pay her for him and make it all better. He doesn't want me to do this and knows he needs to figure out another way to make money. He has sold almost everything he's owned to pay for his truck to get fixed. He is $3,000 behind on child support and guess how much it has cost him to get the truck running....yep, you guessed it. $3,000. He is a good man, a loving, kind and wonderful daddy. He deserves to be a part of their lives and knows he needs to pay for their well-being. He really does try, but always comes up short and has sh&% luck.
So I guess with all my complaining, I am really just reaching out to you other moms who may be in the same or similar situation. I am not the world's greatest cook. I can't sew to save my life and I can't cut costs any more than I have without just not paying certain bills. I would really appreciate it if you readers would step out and help me to be not only more frugal, but maybe a little stronger during these tough times. Like many of you, we are good people who just need some guidance and some ideas on how we can make our financial hardships become less of a burden.
Thank you to all who will be/are reading this. Please comment or message me any time.
Blessings to you all,