Many families today are struggling with too much month at the end of the money and my family is no exception. My husband and I have what I view as a very American mentality about spending: “If I want it, I deserve it so I’ll get it and worry about it later”. It’s frustrating because we never seem to have money for the things we really want, or the things we really need.
Need vs. Want… it’s a concept I try to teach my kids, but that I’m not very successful at myself. I’ve made a decision and starting today I’m going to put my wallet on a diet. I’m going to choose to forgo the WANT for the NEED. Big talk, I know.
One of the first steps is going to be in the area of groceries. I don’t know about you but I am a habitual impulse shopper. I try to write a list, but then I get to the store and fill my cart with all kinds of things that don’t belong there. I love cool packaging (it’s a downfall, I know) and although I have nothing against buying generic, pretty packaging often finds its way into my cart.
I’ve been doing some research on feeding my family inexpensively and one area I’m going to try to cut down on is cereal bars/oatmeal bars. My kids love having a granola bar or oatmeal bar as a snack and so I buy boxes of them. I’ll be looking for a good recipe to replace the processed version (bonus benefit – healthy snacks!). I’m also going to get out my sewing machine and sew up a couple of re-usable snack/sandwich bags and save on the cost of ziplock bags for the kids’ lunches.
Another way I’m going to start spending less is the entertainment part of our lives. Friday Funday has become an automatic fast food meal and video. Why can’t I start cooking with my kids and playing board games?
I’m excited about this, but scared too. What will it mean to change these ingrained habits? Can I do it? Will I be able to bear the complaining from my kids (that’s assuming they complain, which who knows? They could surprise me!). Can I still give my family a full stomach with a skinny wallet? I’m willing to give it a try!
Parenthood is a long, bumpy road… ok, those of you who are parents know that’s an understatement. Some days it feels like you hardly have time to take a breath! My husband and I have been so frustrated lately, feeling like we haven’t had any success with our children. Sportie is struggling with taking time on his school work leading to lots simple mistakes. Bluebird has a toxic waste dump for a room and we can’t seem to get her to remember to make her bed or brush her teeth in the morning. Bubba is STILL having bathroom accidents out of sheer laziness. The Pork Chop is doing well, but she has developed that familiar mischievous glint in her eyes, one that indicates we are in for quite a time as soon as she starts walking. All the kids are suffering chronic laziness and severe brain fart-itis when it comes to taking care of the few little chores they have around the house.
It just feels like we’ve been yelling at them every 5 minutes. I HATE feeling like that. It seems like nothing we are teaching is actually getting through. Between the kids and the normal stresses of life (bills, laundry, dishes) and the major amount of clean-up we still have to do from the hurricane I am at the end of my rope. I wake up tired, I go to bed tired… there is no rest, there is no peace.
One thing I seem to be doing well at is working out. I’ve been able to fulfill the commitment I made to myself. I was hoping that it would help to make me feel renewed and energized at the same time, but I just find myself being even more exhausted. I’ve continued to stick with it though, so that’s something at least.
Today I took my frustration out on a big pot of potatoes. I had a bag of them that I’d been needing to use so I decided to make mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. I mashed the ever living schmidt out of those potatoes. I may or may not have cried a little as I mashed… I’ll never tell. When they were done I had a little taste and I swear I almost ate the whole big pot. Comfort food rocks my world.
Well, here’s hoping that the weeks to come bring some rest, some peace. I could use a fluffy place to land.