How do you make ends meet?

@4ofmyown (1119)
United States
February 4, 2009 3:16pm CST
With the way things are right now my family is really struggling! I do not work and my husband does not want me to work. We both agree that we and the kids are all happier when I am home but we just can't seem to make ends meet. I have looked frugal websites and everything they say I already do. It just seems that there just flat out isn't enough money. How do you manage to be able to stay home and be a home maker, especially if you only have one income. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
1 person likes this
5 responses
@Jae2619 (1484)
• United States
7 Feb 09
I am in your boat as well, stay at home mom, but my husband just took a massive pay cut so he could be home with us. For 10 months straight he worked 16 hours a day, 7 nights a week. Our children didn't know him, and it was rough around here... so he decided to go get another job, but lesser pay so he could at least spend sometime with us. It's been pretty rough trying to live off his income, but we've managed. I've always been a pretty frugal person... but what we have done is gotten rid of cell phones and bought pre-paid for those just in case emergancies, we don't use them inless it's very important and our minutes are there for 3 months... so we spend approx. 50 dollars a year on minutes for two phones. We cut back on our TV, by only having basic and using netflix to get movies. We don't go out to eat, either and I/we cook at home... We keep the kids' things down to the bare minimum, such as extra's. I would say start by writing down each bill you pay out monthly and see what you can eliminate, or cut down... Make a call to the phone company to see if you can bundle things to get a cheaper price on your services. Can your husband car pool? My husband does that, instead of driving 45 minutes to work, he drives 10 minutes to a co-workers home and they take turns switching every two weeks. This is probably the hardest thing we've done was cut back on personal items... buy only the NEEDS. Grocery shopping is the tricky thing too. I make a menu and buy only what is on the list for the montly menu, no extra's. It takes a little extra time but it does save money at the end of the month. We also started a change jar, all extra change goes in there and it's saved for the extra stuff we want to do... we usually try to plan something big, like vacation and that's what we save it for, but if something does come up and we need the few extra bucks we will dip in to it and try to replace it later. Being a stay at home mom is hard... and facing difficult challenges is what makes us mom's upset and frustrated because we feel we should be doing something to help with out with bringing in the money to the home... Things will work out and they will all come together for you... stick with what you are doing.
@Jae2619 (1484)
• United States
7 Feb 09
You're welcome. Being a stay at home mome is very important to me, because it allows me to be with them more than 2 to 3 hours a day. I don't know what i'd do to only be able to see my children that much. Having someone else seeing the first moments, would kill me. It's been tough not being able to have the extras we did at one point, but the sacrifices are worth more to me than any pair of jeans, purse or anything extra we used to buy.
@ladynetz (968)
• Canada
5 Feb 09
I know what you mean. Even when you're doing everything to cut corners, the money is still a problem. probably the best thing is to take a part time job at a time that the kids are sleeping. I did few months of paper delivery from door to door, from 3:30 AM to around 7:00 AM. Worked like crazy, had almost no sleep, but the money was pretty good for less than 4 hours work.It's 6 days a week, rain , snow or sunshine. The good part was that I was all day with my kids. Now, I'm very tired of doing this, and I use lots of coupons, trade the ones I don't need for the ones I need. Use them to buy things already on sale, so I pay as less as possible. I'm also part of a forum who each let's the others know about good deals, when and where to use the coupons to get the best price, every week. Not once, I got products for free, paying only for taxes.
@4ofmyown (1119)
• United States
5 Feb 09
Wow!!! I don't know if I could work those hours but a part time job looks like it might be in the future. Everytime I bring it up my husband tells me he doesn't want me to work...he says I do so much at home that even with him helping out more I would be able to handle all of it. I do remember when I was working I was exhausted all the time but of course things were easier because there was more money coming. I will have to see if there is any forums like that around me.
@ladynetz (968)
• Canada
6 Feb 09
I remembered something else. When I go grocery shopping, I buy most meat and vegetables half priced because they expire in about 2-3 days. I cook all the veggies, part of the meat, and the rest I freeze.Once frozen, I can take it out and cook anytime, no problem. Also I buy lots of things second hand.I find new, unused thingsm sometimes even with the tag still attached.All my kitchen is from the dollar store and second hand. No one knows the difference, and I save big. From time to time, even the second hand stores have sales.Next week, one beside me is having a huge winter sale, everything in the store 50% of.This means not only the clothing is on sale, but everything else. If I'll remember more, I'll post again...hope I'm not too much.
@riyasam (16578)
• India
5 Feb 09
i respect your decision to be a stay-at-home mom but i think you should do some part-time work from home,till this difficult phase vanishes.also frugual living will also help.you may have to sacrifice certain comforts,if both the partners are not working, but the good result of it ,will be seen in the long run,as yours and your loved ones health(physical and mental)will improve.
@4ofmyown (1119)
• United States
5 Feb 09
I agree with you...I am trying to find something that will still allow me to be home most of the time. Thanks
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
4 Feb 09
well you have to cut corners wherever you can, not spend needlessly, buy sometime the cheaper foods at the grocery store, use second hand clothing etc. I write so it brings in some money but not enough either.
@4ofmyown (1119)
• United States
4 Feb 09
I definitely have been working at cutting the food bill down...buying generic and buy one get one free. That in itself can save alot of money.
• United States
24 Apr 09
We are a one income family and we have struggled some. I am constantly looking for ideas to make ends meet and so far we have been doing okay. We get our bills payed but we would like to get something in the bank to help us in the hard times. I count every penny that goes through our family and we pinch it as hard as we can. I make my own laundry detergent and hand soaps ( looked for the recipes on line ) and try to get use out of things that we might throw away otherwise. Make a budget and stick to it. Track all your spending and see if there are any other things you can cut. Even pennys add up to something.