Thursday, February 3, 2011

Money MATTERS.

There's lots of sayings about money.

It's the root of all evil...
It can't buy Love...
It apparently doesn't grow on trees...
A penny of it saved is a penny of it earned...
It's ONLY $$... (the person who says that usually HAS it, I've found)

It AND be short AND late...


Etc.


We are a culture of money.
It makes our world go 'round, or stop, depending...


I think about money all of the time.
I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it.
My husband and I argue about it all the time.
I worry about how money will affect our future, my son's future.
I worry about the toll it might take on my marriage.

Worry Worry Worry!

Will we ever be able to move out of my IL's?
Will we ever be able to relocate out of CA?
Will we ever have a savings?
Will we ever be debt free?
Will we ever be able to buy a home?
Will we ever be able to have another baby?
Will we be able to send said children to college?
Will my husband ever be able to finish college?
Will we ever be able to just fucking breathe a little bit?


We try to be smart and responsible.  We try to make good choices.  We try to keep pushing forward.
I watch for sales, clip coupons, I use any customer savings card I can get my hands on, shop Craig's List, gladly accept hand-me-downs, and I always try to plan ahead.  Frugality is a way of life!



Even so-
Sometimes we spend a little too much.
Not like Hookers-and-Blow too much, but eating out (of the Del Taco not the Morton's Steakhouse variety) when we shouldn't or buying gifts on special occasions when we should have just gotten each other a card... We know that we should be more stringent, but it's difficult to say:
NO all. the. time.
Sure, every little bit helps, but when you're chipping away at a mountain range, sometimes you just want that "little bit" to be a bit more fun.


Sigh.


But fun doesn't pay the bills.


I'm really frustrated because I feel like my whole life is wrapped up in money.


Can we afford this?
No we can't do that-Go there-Buy this-Save what?
If we drive to see this person, it will take this much gas...
We have x amount of days to make y amount of dollars last...
If this happens then we'll be set back x amount...
Maybe we can start saving more money after ________
It'll be this many months/weeks/years 'til _____________________is paid off
and so on. Always down to the wire, down to the penny. There's never any wiggle room.


Based on a biweekly, full 80 hrs of pay--by the time we are done paying our our bills, rent (which is a tiny amount, so if we paid real rent we'd be screwed), necessities for O, and gas? We are left with $300 for the month. That's not including savings or groceries.


It's amazing how how fast $300 bucks for a family of 3 depletes.
G-d Help us if there's an emergency or a sick day....

Husband is trying to find a second job.  It's been a frustrating and fruitless process thus far, and he loses the will to even look sometimes.

That is understandable, but we have GOT to HUSTLE.
Becaaaaaaauuuuuuuse-


We have decided once and for all, (after going over every scenario) that I will not be going back to work.

Given the financial quandary we are in, you might think we're ridiculous but given my health, and the cost of daycare-my gong to work does not make financial sense. When I was laid off, I did not leave behind a career, I left an hourly wage. A wage by the way, that was less than my spouse's, even though I had a degree...

On top of full-time day care (and a new wardrobe as I haven't worked in 3 years), we would also end up probably doubling our gas costs as my husband would have to be my transportation...This would pretty much cancel out any money I might be able to earn.

So we asked ourselves: What was the benefit? Neither one of us want O in daycare, and the last thing we need is for me to run myself further into the ground.

And in an much-needed epiphany, I stopped feeling guilty and realized:


I have a job.  I am a mother.  I take good care of my son, and as wife, I take good care of my husband. I keep our lives and our money in order (as best as I possibly can).


It's a hard, 24/7 kind of position.
Unfortunately, the hourly rate is hugs and kisses.
I love it.


 However, Hugs and Kisses, much like Fun, doesn't fatten our bank account.

Husband needs to find a night job.

In the meantime,

I've been looking for at-home work, but I'm fairly certain I'd have better luck finding a Unicorn
I don't know anyone who works from home that didn't transition to that from a 9-5 position.

I've tried selling Avon/Mary Kay/PartyLite, etc. and it was just not successful. I didn't make any money and neither did my friends...

In my experience, both in my own ventures and those of friends--to make money in those arenas it's important to have the money to invest in a good inventory, so there's product on hand, it's important to have a car so you can get back and forth to your clients, parties, and the like, and finally? It's important to have a place of your own from which to run said business.

I'm 0 for 3 at the moment.


Now,  it doesn't help that I'm not the world's best salesperson. I won't push someone into something they can't use or can't afford. I will be the one to tell them where they can find a product that works just-as-good and costs less over at the local Target of Walgreen's.  Oops.


[Please don't think I'm dissing any salesladies out there. I'm not. If you make a living selling your wares, go on w/yo bad self! I'm just saying that I DIDN'T/can't]


I'm thinking that maybe there isn't a Pink Cadillac in my future...not that I could drive it anyway. Ha!





What do we do?  I DO NOT know.
BUT, I'm praying daily for a miracle.


I know that we are so much better off than a LOT of families. I fully realize that. And I am THANKFUL.



But in terms of our life?  Our goals?  Our needs?


I'm frustrated.  Scared.  Cornered.


I grew up poor.  We didn't live on the streets, but we got welfare and food stamps.  Moved from apartment to apartment, motel to motel.  Basic necessities weren't always so basic.  We didn't own anything, and everything was always unstable.  There were times when things were good, or easier, but it never lasted.

You never knew when the bottom was going to drop out.
You were made to feel guilty for needing anything, for wanting anything.


I hated living that way.  I swore that I would NEVER end up that way and that my children would NEVER know what that felt like.  I swore that my marriage would not be filled with fights and endless struggling over the Almighty Dollar, but I see signs of that beginning despite all my efforts to avoid it.







What is it that they say about "the best-laid plans?"


...Sigh.

5 comments:

Aceazza said...

Maybe Will should take up computers. It pays well and all you really need are a couple of certifications to get in the door. If you ask me, it's a fun career too. ;) Here's a link to a recent salary survey.. http://www.indeed.com/salary/Systems-Engineer.html I'm a Senior Systems Engineer and I love what I do. Granted, starting out he would probably be tech support but he could work up from there. My 2 cents.

~Cousin Jer

livingsj77 said...

I so feel your pain. Reading this post was like listening to my thoughts. It's so hard...life is hard...money is hard. I hate that so many of my decisions are tied to finances...doesn't matter if the decisions are good/bad, right/wrong, smart/stupid...basically we can't afford it and that makes our decisions.

I'm thinking of you and pulling for you. Eventually you're going to come out on top. Hang in there.

Jaime

JayneSees said...

Jer- We've actually been thinking about trying to do that for the last year or so, inspired by you, of course! We're just trying to figure it out financially. Thanks for your 2 cents! :)

Jaime-Thank you. Much! Here's hoping we both come out on top...and soon!

he calls me wifey said...

I just have to say that out of all the things that you wrote in this post that tugged at my heart, the part about you not feeling guilty about not having a money paying job (as opposed to a hugs and kisses paying job) really tugged my heart right out of my chest.

I think it is really great that the women's movement helped us realize that we didn't have to settle for what everyone else in society said we were supposed to settle for, but I find it extremely sad that now our society pressures us to be more than just wives and mothers. Being a stay at home wife is difficult enough, especially with a part time job, but being a stay at home mommy is (at least I perceive it as) the hardest job on the planet. It's 24/7, constant work and it never ends.

And I know that this post is more about money than about the women's movement (obvi), but I seriously commend you for not feeling guilty about not having a "real" job. If you ask me, the real job is the one you already have.

I love you girl. Sending tons of love & prayers your way.

JayneSees said...

ABH-Thank you! I'm really trying to be proud of myself and NOT feel guilty or "less" b/c I am a SAHM. It's real work, and I deserve real respect, but it's easy to forget that sometimes b/c of outside pressure/judgment. Love you much!