7 Ways to Happily Survive on a Small Budget
My sweet bloggin’ sisters now tease me about being the “small budget lady” because I’ve written so many posts on this topic. They’ve even joked about changing the name of our blog because of it. Well, here I go again! What can I say? Living life on a small budget is something I know a lot about! 😉
Are you saving up to have a family? Maybe you’re nervous about having enough money to raise a family or maybe you already have a family and are struggling to make ends meet. Welcome to the story of my life! Growing up in a large family, money was always tight and sometimes non-existent! I remember watching my mom clip coupons, I remember eating a whole lot of whatever happened to be on sale, I remember wearing my cousin’s hand downs and I remember…being HAPPY! How is that possible? Even now, I am married and have 4 kids of my own, and we have always barely had enough to pay our bills and make ends meet and yet we are HAPPY! I suppose growing up the way I did, I learned to appreciate the small things in life and to value relationships more than things. I also learned to rely more on God than myself and to trust that he would take care of me and my family. If you’re struggling in the decision to even have children because of money, or struggling to provide for children you already have, consider yourself lucky! It’s the trials in life that help us grow and become who we are really meant to be. Here are some things I have learned that help when the pockets are empty and the bank account is running low!
1. Live Within Your Income. However small it may be, find a way to live on what you make. That may mean sacrificing things you want for things you actually need. It doesn’t have to be miserable! Being frugal and finding creative ways to save money can be a fun journey. Plus, think of how much you can teach your kids in the process! For more great ideas on how to live happily on your income you can read this post I wrote.
I remember when my sister-in-law, Trisha in fact, had her very first. It was the first grandbaby on our side and we were all BEYOND thrilled. Mom picked us up early from school in our trusty minivan and we high tailed it over to the Ogden hospital, even though it was a blizzard outside and we were sliding all over the freeway. Whatever it took to hold that fresh, brand spankin’ new baby. Most of us were still so little at the time and Trisha was so patient with us.
Now that I’m a new mom (and in the winter season) I think back and wonder how in the world Trisha handled all of us kids bombarding and overwhelming her new little one. I know it’s totally normal to be completely paranoid with your first child so I don’t beat myself up over it and just hope that people will understand why I’m acting like an overprotective, hand-sanitizing nazi. 😉 I really haven’t run into too many problems. Both mine and my husband’s family have been really helpful, respectful, and sensitive to our wishes, (no matter how absurd they may sound). In fact, because of how wonderful our experience has been, I’ve come up with some tips for those who might be wondering what is appropriate when visiting a new mom.
**Disclaimer** A new baby is very exciting and it is extremely easy to fall into one or more of these tendencies. I myself have been guilty of one or more of them in the past. The purpose of this list is simply to give some perspective and not to complain or critique. In fact, most of the tips for this post were influenced by positive visits I have experienced. 😉
First and foremost: ALWAYS ASK TO VISIT. Don’t ever show up unannounced. There’s this new found fear in a new mom who hears a knock at her door that she isn’t expecting. Especially since a new mom’s schedule mostly involves nursing and sleeping. (Trust me… you don’t want to interrupt either one of those if you wanna stay on mama’s good side.) Don’t get me wrong. A new mom LOVES company, especially when most of her day consists of baby-talk and diapers, but giving her a simple heads-up of a visit is extremely appreciated.
If she says YES to your visit— Consider a few of these: