My family is going through a rough time right now. I am at a point where I don't want to be frugal anymore, I just want to be able to have what my family needs, when we need it. I do enjoy being frugal, I like getting a good deal, and for a long time, my family lived pretty well on the less money we were living on when I quit my job. Over the last year, as my husband's paycheck got lesser and lesser, it was harder and harder to keep it together. We did well for a while, living off our stockpiled groceries, and the money in our savings acct for the 'extras'. My kids are active in sports, and that's not cheap, but I was able to do it.
My husband came home this weekend and announced to me that its not working anymore, which I knew and have known. He is looking for a second job. I have no idea when he is going to work a second job since his full time job takes up a great amount of his time. He also put the pressure on me to find a part time job myself. I don't know where I can work, since most of the jobs require me to work nights and weekends, which as a mother is not really a practical option. Its not that I can't, its that I can't afford to pay someone for child care, so I will be relying on my mother and my mother-in-law for help on this front. I know they don't really mind, or actually I should say, mind too much, but it still bothers me to have to do that.
We need more income that's just the way it is. We can't live on one paycheck anymore. We used to do it, but the economy has gotten worse and worse, and its harder and harder to support a family of 5 on less than $1100 every 2 weeks. There is only so much coupon clipping, deal finding, reusing, re purposing I can do before it just becomes a hassle, and it feels like there is no point to it.
I went to Walmart last weekend and applied for a job. They have a computer that you are supposed to use and I had the most difficult time working it, and I'm not computer illiterate. I'm actually pretty good on the computer. It took me over 45 minutes on this dumb computer thing, then taking some sort of assessment quiz, all while my 2 girls waited patiently and impatiently for me to finish so we could go home from our grocery shopping. On the way home, I told my girls, to PLEASE go to college and get a good job, a career, so they wouldn't be their mother who could barely figure out the computer while trying to apply for a job at Walmart. They laughed,but I quickly set them straight that I wasn't kidding. Whatever we have to do, I do not want them to struggle like myself, then worry about making sure they can sometime get a job at Walmart.
Its getting more and more difficult for me to be in my circle of friends and not feel twinges of jealousy, as they are all out Christmas shopping, finding deals, getting exciting at finding things their children will want, and I haven't even started yet. I'm afraid to spend even 1 penny, for fear of wasting, or finding a better deal, then worrying about not having enough to pay a bill. I'm having trouble functioning right now, as a mother and a wife, I've fallen into a depression that sometimes I don't want to get out of bed. I get up, take my shower, clean up a bit so my house has the appearance of someone who cares, but I really don't. I just want the world to go away. I'm all too happy to let my children go to my in law's house for the entire weekend, just so I don't have to put any energy into putting a smile on and pretending everything is okay.
As I sit here and write this, the tears streaming down my face, I don't want people to feel sorry for me, but to be educated. We made bad money decisions the whole time we've been married, we've had money, we've been broke beyond any stretch of the imagination. At each point I thought 'this is the worst its ever been', but each point in its own is the worst its ever been. My kids don't deserve this. They don't deserve the fact that I can't answer the phone, they don't deserve having to be told 'NO' over and over again because its something I can't afford. I am grateful that we did make it to this point. We still have our house, we still have our health, we aren't starving, and we still have heat, lights, and water running into our house. Those are my priorities and I'm thankful to have them.
Today I sit here and I have folks telling me to visit the food pantry, or call Toys for Tots, ect. I don't know if its a matter of pride, that I don't feel we belong there, but.... we don't belong there! I still feel like there are people way worse off that we are, we are just going through a rough patch, it will get better, and I hate to take away from folks that really and truly need food from the food pantry, or toys for their children at Toys for Tots.
If anyone has read this far, thanks for the support, I'll continue to clip my coupons, I'll continue to make stuff out of nothing, and I'll snap out of this depression. I will find a job, we will be okay.
Be thankful for all you have.
Thank you, and have a great day.