Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Being a Stay At Home Mum is not all that it is cracked up to be, especially in the financial department. Maybe I got it mistaken and SAHM is shorthand for Struggling At Having Money

Since making the choice not to work for what would be only a little more than a couple of hundred dollars a week (after childcare payments) and will soon only be about $20 a day if I had two children in childcare. Money has been T..I..G..H..T and that would have to be the biggest understatement of the year.

In fact, we are probably going backwards.
With no offers on our unit and renting the smallest home we could manage to spend time in for more than we can probably afford. We are struggling.

It's all just bad timing really and probably just a period that we will need to work through.

  1. Hubby-j took a full-time job at the beginning of this year for more job security and less stress but although his wage is effectively the same, the in-hand pay has been cut by about 20%.
  2. Having sold the store last November there is still no relief financially as the company that we started cannot be dissolved at this point.
  3. For me my employment issues are more the stigmata that is attached with having been the offspring of a larger than life personality and owning my own business within an extremely incestuous and gossippy health food industry.
  4. Just a shitty time to sell a unit with an increase in interest rates two days after listing and significant cost of living (e.g. petrol) increases.
  5. A second baby on the way limiting again employment for myself and ultimately costing more.

Surprisingly, however, I am not too hassled by it, although it is constricting. I madly wrack my brains every day for money making and money saving ideas for myself and try to convince J that his fledgling ideas for university study would be a great diversion from the regular monotony of his job (it wouldn't hurt his earning potential either, I figure)

So this is why you see the "Simple Savings" button over to your left. I receive their email and check out her blog for new hints on saving. Actually it has been quite interesting reading. She has archives - "the Vault" - which I could subscribe to but don't feel I can warrant the almost fifty bucks at this time....catch-22

I've made quite a few changes. Some have been tricky and others I cannot believe we have never done before. We wasted so much money when we had some money to waste.

  1. I make all the lunches and we never eat out.
  2. I try to shop only once a week. Currently I think I am ready to try once a fortnight.
  3. I plan all meals in advance. Not to the day but a set of 14 meals to choose from
  4. If for some reason we run out of food. I check out what I have and search the internet for a recipe that will fit the cupboard contents. (I discovered a delicious chickpea and sweet potato pattie this way)
  5. We do most of our shopping at Aldi's
  6. We buy staple vegetables at the wholesale markets in bulk and split the boxes or bags up between my mum and sister (tomatoes::$1.50kg; onions, carrots, lemons::$1kg; pumpkin, cabbage::$2ea;avocadoes although not a staple cheap at 60cents each)
  7. We toilet trained the girl as a priority. YAY! Only took a few days too! This step has probably saved us almost $20 a week alone.
  8. I try to walk everywhere locally. It takes twice as long with the girl as she insists on looking at every rock and bug on the way (not to mention dogs, cats, birds, clouds, ants....you get the picture)
  9. I work at a pharmacy one day a week (still selling health foods)
  10. I put $30 petrol in my car once a week. If I run out we don't go anywhere much for the rest of the week.
  11. I don't use a mobile (only to receive) and I only ring hubby on his work land line.
  12. Poor hubby-j buys beer only when it is on special and only when we have excess left at the end of the fortnight....We are looking into home brew after a work buddy said it tasted OK.
  13. I bake WAY more than I have ever before. Cookies, cakes, pies, pizza - from scratch (very proud!)
  14. I only "use what I have" crafty wise. I am sure I have enough supplies for a decade. No problems there.
  15. I no longer send swaps (postage was prohibitive) and I am now going to have to sell some of what I make to try and generate some sort of income from home!

There's 15 anyway. I keep telling myself it is not forever and that we will get to go on holiday, to the movies or out to dinner again one day.

All in all I am just trying to get into it and enjoy the process of tightening our collective belts. I feel it's one of the new contributions that I can make toward our income whilst I'm so relatively time rich and cash poor.


van said...

oh and i thought i was alone on this subject.
good on those saving ideas, i may steal some for myself.
You have an Etsy account?
Go sell your dragonflies ^___^


leesa said...

I hear ya! I have just finished baking a cake and a slice and used up the remainder of the BBQ chook in a curry last night for dinner, and there is also enough for tonight! - yeah! If I win the lotto, I'm more then happy to share!

chest of drawers said...

What a list! Good on you!

weirdbunny said...

Since I finished work to be a say at home mum, I feel I have more money that when I was at work!! I can't beleive the money I used to waste. The stuff I used to buy was absurd. We grow our own veg, have eggs from the chickens, lunch is always eggs! We kill the birds for meat. My craft is from grown out clothes, I very rarley buy fabric. Meeting friends for coffee and cake is now exciting, where as before I would have definately taken it for granted!

Drea said...

Being a stay at home mom is hard at times... but I think its well worth the sacrafices.

Just tonight I was looking at a photo of my son. In the photo he was walking in the park.. he was just over a year old. In less than 2 months he will be two...

Looking at that picture it almost makes me cry because it felt like yesterday I was walking with him at that very park...

Time passes us so quickly... I think its well worth the shopping at Aldi's (which I do as well)... the "less amount of perks" in life... such as full cable... nice cars... designer clothes, etc..etc...

You'd be surprised how much we can save each month by just cancling Cable. Our Cable bill is 11 dollars a month. We get the basic of basic stuff haha.

Would I like more channels? yes! Is it worth it? nope...

If I had more channels Id just be glued in front of the tv longer than I should be ... wasting time... that I could use spending with my son.

So to me... well worth every sacrafice out there! :-)

suzy said...

That is a great list! I am trying to do more of that kind of thing too. It is kind of satisfying to make up a dinner from what is in the cupboards, isn't it, especially if it ends up tasting okay.
I love your new blog look too!