Monday, March 15, 2010

The Weight of A Family

I haven't been posted in a couple of days and I usually try to post 4 days a week. We have had some bad news here. Not life threatening news but a big bump in the road. At the end of this week Darryl will be unemployed because his job doesn't have enough work to keep him busy and paid. It is causing a lot of stress for me. It has also caused a lot of stress on the whole family. Last week the kids were very irritable and hard to get along with. Lucas was testing limits and Nathan wanted "Mom, mom, mom". It's interesting how they pick up on the family dynamics so quickly. I made some not so smart decisions with all this stress.

I am picking up a lot of shifts to keep us a float and Darryl will be able to go on employment insurance. But at the same time I'm worried. We have never really had to worry about money, we both have been lucky to be able to work as much as we want. But we need to be more frugal. Here are some of my thoughts...
  • Eat less meat, try to have more meatless meals
  • Cancel all the extra TV channels
  • Get more books from the library, rather then Scholastic
  • Eat at Home Challenge is helping, not eating out
So what are your tips for being more frugal?

Till Tomorrow



Goofball said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Darryl's job loss. It's very stressfull to find yourself all of a sudden in a situation of uncertainty. What's the job market in Calgary like at the moment? Is it much effected by the global economic crisis? Good luck with the job hunting!

As for living a bit more frugal, you've really listed already good ideas.
Additional to eating more at home and less meat, I'd make sure not to buy much "prechopped, prewashed, preprocessed vegetables etc..." as you pay for that extra. I know Jan likes to grab such handy bags of eg soup vegetables but they are really much more costly than buying the bulk vegetables and cut them up yourself.
Other things to look at : hobbies that cost? subscriptions to stuff?
I don't know, I'm sure you will find ways to make slight changes that do have an impact.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Make up a budget and use only cash to buy stuff. Those interact cards make it too easy to spend more than we should. Maybe next month instead of an eat at home challenge we should do a cash only challenge. Just a thought.

Deena Marie Fusco said...

When we were growing up things were very tight. Movie night at home with homeade popcorn, or making homeade pizza was sometimes more fun then going out and it includes the whole family. Now that it's summer there is a lot to do outside. All the best to you guys!

Anonymous said...

Awh ... sorry to hear of Darryl's job. It is so tough out there right now isn't it? And it is so stressful in a family too. You and Darryl are solid so you guys will make it through this bump in the road.

As for cutting corners, since moving to Cranbrook, we have lived extremely tight in the money department. We live on a budget and can't stray from it ever. And while there are days that it seems so lonely, I just remind myself that things will get better for us and that I am blessed with my kids and husband.

We do little things like turn the temperature down in the house and put a sweater on. Ensure that the lights are always off. We try to walk more instead of drive (which is easier in a small town). We picnic more instead of go out for dinners. Go on scavenger hunts in a park rather than rent a movie or hockey game. And I find now that the kids are older, we do more family activites outside like playing in parks, riding bikes, camp in a tent in the backyard. We do our grocery shopping on customer appreciation days and go with a specified list of our needs. Although name brand is usually better, we will try no name brands or on sale brands if it isn't our usual. We planted a garden last year for fresh veggies and will attempt that again this year.

It is certainly a lifestyle change but it is also what you make of it. I won't lie to say that I have days where I feel sorry for myself and wish I could just have the freedom to buy something that I wanted without having to worry about the repercussions, but then, most days, I don't feel the difference and either would the average person who just met me.

I guess when it comes down to it, we budget and pay cash for everything. That way, we can only spend what we have allotted for.

Good luck Jenn and I hope that things will work out for Darryl and his job!!

Love Allie
(sorry - my laptop won't let me use my blogger account for anything)