The other part to that is I really, REALLY wish I was still young and “cool” and “hip”. Because I’m old now. I can’t get away with saying things like “Erryday I’m shufflin'” and look normal. That makes me sad. I miss my youth.
Take this picture into your mind.
This family ranges from 4-6 people in a household. 2-4 of those people are children ages 5, 5, (almost) 4, and (almost) 2. There are clothes that need to be bought, food that needs to be bought, bills that need to be paid, etc. There’s so much money that goes into it. SO MUCH. The husband is the only one that works. The job is one that pays, but no where near the amount that is necessary to really live. Cuts need to be made.
It’s tough when you start off as a young family, in an economy that’s been taking downfall after downfall, but you do your best. Not for you, for your kids.
I know a lot of people, whether young or old, are having money issues. We make a lot of compromises in things, and that includes me making things. So I’m going to give you an idea of things we do.
1. Hand-me-down clothes. We have 4 girls and one boy, so the girls get a lot of hand-me-downs. I keep the clothes in good condition. Also, I keep an eye out on Craigslist, Freecycle, and Facebook groups, as well as checking out Goodwill and The Salvation Army. Sometimes you can find some GREAT stuff for better prices. The oldest and youngest do get more new clothes than the middle kids, but the middle kids get new stuff, too. I also sell the clothes that no one else will be able to use for a few bucks here and there to get them new clothes.
2. I make our dinners. All of them. From scratch. We rarely eat out, and while that kind of sucks for the husband and myself, it works for all of us. I’m able to incorporate the kids in learning measurements and help aid their counting when they help me, and I’m also able to introduce things with nutritional value a lot easier than if we were to go out. Sometimes it’s pretty tough to come up with meals that works for everyone, but we use the “you get what you get” rule in this house. It works for us.
3. Any repairs on the house that can be done ourselves, we do ourselves. We also get furniture at cheap prices and fix it up ourselves to serve fully functional. Most of the stuff in our home was bought used. We can have new stuff once the kids are older and money’s better, but at the end of the day it’s all material.
4. For entertainment, I use a lot of crafts for the kids or get them outside playing. We go to the park or nature conservation center. We opt for free sources of entertainment.
5. I make my coffee at home. This makes the most sense because, well, I’m the only one in the house that drinks it.
6. I take my own photos of the kids. With our income taxes, we splurged to get me a good camera while weighing the pros and cons. We found that me taking the photos vs. having a professional photographer take them would be a lot cheaper. And so far, it’s worked for us. I get exactly what I want as far as the photos go, plus I get them doing the things I love seeing them do. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bad day, because I can wait. It’s unscheduled and random. I love it.
7. “Date” nights happen at home. We have a lot of DVDs (I’m talking 300+) that came from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. We also have Netflix instant streaming. Netflix is rather unimportant, so we could do without it, but the husband and I will stay in and watch a movie with popcorn. This cuts back on the money we’d spend at a movie theater ($20+ for ONE movie? Get outta here.) and dinner, not to mention gas in the SUV.
8. For home decor, I make everything. I wish I was kidding, but I’m really not. We don’t have a lot of things right now, but it’s a work in progress. Occasionally, I’ll get something on clearance, but typically I do it al.
9. CLEARANCE CLEARANCE CLEARANCE. I can’t stress that enough. Look for major sales on anything and everything. There’s a good chance you’ll find something you need. That’s a GREAT place to get party supplies.
10. I make our laundry soap. Trust me, this saves a bundle. I also use an HE washer and it’s safe. The only difference between regular laundry detergent and HE detergent is the amount of suds – no lie.
I’m sure there’s more things that I do. I’ll add them as I think of them.