I can’t say I’ve had the most sunny of dispositions recently. It has affected my desire to write about life, and that isn’t helped by the fact that two of the issues I’m currently working through are not things I’m able to write about even though I really would like to. It’s times like this that I can see the benefit of having a totally anonymous blog.
Sorry to play the cryptic number, I know it’s pointlessly frustrating. One of these things I can write about one day soon, the other one is more of a legality thing so will always be notably omitted from my posts, which sometimes feels like omitting a leg.
The third thing is, surprise surprise, money.

I’ve been resisting talking about money stuff on here recently, because I decided that I talk about it too much and it’s boring and sounds like I’m after pity. Plus, it makes friends and family want to give us stuff, which is not the point of all this and not what we want to happen. But not talking about it has been getting me down as this is my venting space, so here I am, talking about it yet again.

I know that having money isn’t the be all and end all of everything, so I feel a bit ashamed to admit that I am still struggling to adjust to losing my salary and disposable income. I have been getting really jealous of the following things, and I hate it as jealousy only makes you feel miserable.

People with money to spend on gadgets and luxury items for themselves. People going on holiday. People who have their own workspace. People who can afford childcare. People who can afford trips to visit family members that live far away. People who buy things that I have wanted for ages. Young, free and single friends who, when we get on the subject of how I have no money, say “tell me about it, I just maxed out my credit card on a holiday because I just had to get away”. I’m not judging your actions, this is a GREAT stage of life to be at. Live it, love it, just don’t ever take it for granted! And as if I don’t have enough case studies amongst my real life peers, reading other blogs is like crack for unreasonable jealousy.

Despite the extra bit of money I’m bringing in here and there, we are still not making enough to cover all our basic expenses. Our debt is mounting each month, the only saving grace is that we have just been approved for a credit card with a very long interest free period, woohooo *definite sarcasm*. The balance transfers alone have maxed out the credit limit, so not much danger of spending beyond our means *more definite sarcasm*.

I still can’t believe amongst all of this, that we are not entitled to any benefit apart from child benefit – I’m not saying we should be entitled, or we deserve to be, but when I think that our mortgage is significantly cheaper than the cost of renting a two bed house like ours in London (or even a one bed flat in a slightly more desirable area) and our bills include just the standard utilities, internet costs and SIM only mobile contracts (no Sky/Virgin, no subscriptions, no other fun extras), but Sam’s salary is deemed high enough to not qualify for any benefits, I wonder how on earth families with similar household incomes but higher housing costs than us are managing to get by. They probably aren’t.

Anyway, the money situation is not permanent (hopefully!). Sam’s job is largely commission-based, and his recent switch to a new role means it take time to build up sales again. Fingers crossed, we should be in a better situation by the end of the year.

At the moment we are on complete spending lock down. No more public transport costs across London, no more pub. No driving unless necessary. Should be easy enough as it’s summer, and we can still invite friends here (although the icing on the cake is that our BBQ has broken just as the weather improves). We are spurred on by each other – if one of us turns down a trip to the pub, the other one will follow suit out of a sense of fairness. But the fact that I know I’m on spending lock down has not helped my mood these past few weeks.
But then nothing else has been helping my mood either. So it was time to write it all out, hover my finger over the publish button, go back and delete some sentences, and hit publish.
And now I’ve vented, it’s time to look to positive thoughts. There are a lot of good things in our lives. We have fun, we are healthy, and we enjoy the company of our little family. I’m really hoping that this money stuff won’t be our permanent way of living, and that we will look back and say “Remember when Arlo was young and we had literally no money back then?”. So, I’m going to start taking the time to jot down one (or more!) happy thing that happens each day. I’m not mad enough to attempt to document that here, we know how rubbish I am at blogging my 366 project. I’m going to use Oh Life, but I might share some of it here for fun.
I hope this post doesn’t come across as too ungrateful. I am grateful for a lot of things and we are hardly on the bread line. I’m just not coping greatly with all of life’s stresses at the moment and it felt like I was being dishonest with myself by not writing any of this on the blog.

14 comments

  1. Money has been a struggle here, OK I bought a laptop (second hand) last week as if I was going to go anywhere, with Skype my daughter can still speak to Daddy and it made sense buying one as Skype will mean that my daughter will see family more often (OK virtually). I hope that things get better for you. I think things are starting to get better here. Only time will tell.

    1. I agree that Skype is really important in this day and age if you have family dotted all over the place (says the girl who STILL hasn’t got her act together to buy a webcam and mic so Arlo can Skype with his grandad who he hasn’t met yet!)

  2. I know where you’re coming from. My recent entries on budgeting have been more about coming to terms with losing my salary than any intention to help others (as horrid as that sounds!) I just hope I can make my new/upcoming projects work because we’re screwed otherwise.

  3. I’m so glad you wrote this post as it mirrors most of my thoughts on money right now too. My husband earns good money yet we still can’t afford for me to return to work because of the astronomical cost of childcare for 2 children. I worry though that the longer I don’t work the more impact there will be on my future earnings, and we will be stuck forever in this position of stretching to make ends meet. That is so depressing that I try not to think about it!
    The only thing that helps is if I think that we are so lucky in every other way and if I was given the choice to give something else up in order to have more money I know I wouldn’t do it.
    Sometimes you just have to vent every now and then I say!

    1. Yes exactly, in many ways for various reasons I’ve chosen the situation we are in and wouldn’t want to change things, but it does help to vent anyway.

  4. My mother has lived with us for the past 6 years and looks after the kids while we work. Lovely childcare set-up but after moving to a different continent at 17, I am now in my 30’s LIVING WITH MY MOTHER 😐

  5. This sound very similar to us from this time last year-I literally don’t know how we made it past Christmas. We are no way out of debt but have been able to chip away at it a bit this year, just annoying how quickly it can go back on! You’ll probably find a turn of events will help and things will get easier 🙂

  6. You’re definitely not alone here – from my own experience and obviously from the comments already. I completely understand when you say, “I know money’s not the be all and end all.” People with money say that 😉 We’re finding it tough too. We are in a transitional period where Dan has started a new sales job (also commissioned based), great money if you can make it, but he’s just started out. And I have just started working freelance so no idea where the next job is coming from – current job ends right before Christmas too. YAY.

    Look, when we are rich and famous all these money woes will really buff out our rags to riches autobiography.

    xxx

    1. Thanks Alice. Exactly the same with Sam, he’s just starting out and it take time to build up those contacts and see any commission roll in. We knew things would be tough for a while when he decided to take the job offer, but it was with the hope that by this time next year things will be looking up and we’ll be a bit more comfortable. Panics me slightly that we are unable to save anything…. but what can you do? Having children before we were financially ready has turned out to be one of the toughest things for me.

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