Mayhem and Motherhood: Money

Friday, August 25, 2006


Being poor really sucks. And I'm not even really poor.

I am however a bit of a spoiled kid whose always been able to get what I've wanted and never needed to set boundaries I couldn't step over. If I wanted something I could always find a way to make it happen. No matter the extravagance. Fortunate for me I don't have extravagant tastes (are you laughing at me Yvonne?) so it just came out in clothes and travel. (shoes more specifically) Funny how this principle just won't cut it forever. It feels like God's got me with my arm twisted and I have no option but to LEARN how to live within these boundaries. The problem is I don't really even know how to so I don't know how to even try to get started. I bet God does but we're not on speaking terms at this moment. I'm having a temper tantrum soon to be put on the naughty mat for my time out.

So, I feel foolish even asking my three readers how to do this. Erica, Yvonne, Dee... my friends who I have lived alongside with who have lived with quite tight budgets, who I've heard you say "that's not in the budget" before and I just didn't get it. Do you have any suggestions for me? Any computer programs you would suggest that are EASY for computer no-good people like me? What do you do for groceries-shop bi-monthly? Just needing to learn and you guys all seem to know how to do this without complaining all the time (or maybe you just don't complain to me)

I was filling out this form for child care subsidy for Emma's preschool and I was just getting madder and madder. Mad that I needed to fill out this stupid form, mad that it would really be a help to get the money, mad that we even need the money, mad that having twins pretty much makes it impossible for me to work at present, (and all this is God's fault-whose else could it be), mad that God's inviting us into a new venture that is all about his heart and not about living comfortably secure in this lifetime, mad that I feel like such an idiot with my finances, mad that I care so much about having stuff which doesn't equal happiness anyway. Did I mention I am mad?

So, an honest blog. what else could I write?
Rhonda at 10:55 PM


Blogger Yvonne said...

Perhaps Dee, Erica and I rolled into one would be one budget savvy woman.

- I think Dee is the one to ask about budgets.

- I think Erica is the bulk queen. Give her $400, and she'll buy you shoes, clothes, bedding to last a year.

I'm a budget idiot. Never did figure out how to track it all. And I never have enough cash at one time to buy bulk. So, my gift? Finding anything for less. If I need something, I'll find a way to get it (or a suitable clone) for less. I don't buy....I SHOP. It takes hours...but it works.

For groceries, I asked Jason to put all my grocery money in a jar. Cold hard cash, in a glass jar. For me...the visual is everything. Jar empty? No more moolah for groceries. This works for my brain. The glass jar can't go overdraft, can't slip onto credit. Glass is glass. Cash is cash.

The hardest part is saying "NO". No, I can't buy jeans right now. Why? Anneka needs runners for school. My jeans have to wait. The art of "Making Do". It sucks....but it's life...and life won't end if I wear a belt with my much-too-large jeans for another month.

But then...I may have been spoiled a bit too....cuz if I'm too Mom finds a way to buy me the jeans. So see? It's our parent's fault! haha (just kidding)

Good luck on your journey

9:33 AM  
Blogger Deanna Momtchilov said...

Great post! Although I would have to say that lately I haven't been very 'budget-savvy'! I think it's the fact that both Deyan and I are working right now so money is flowing more freely. I always said that regardless of how much money we made in the future, I wanted to maintain our lifestyle and use the extra money to pay off school debt or save etc. I'm definitely not living up to that goal at the moment! Hopefully it's just because we've been so tight for so long so I am allowing ourselves to be a bit spoiled for a short season.

Ex: Don't feel like cooking tonight? Let's do Thai...again! I need a caffeine boost, why not a $4 Starbucks frappuccino? You get the drift.

Now with buying this house, our budget will definitely need to come back into play and I think it's a great thing. I like Yvonne's glass jar idea - I think it definitely helps to use cash for things like that. My family always did this because they had no other choice and it worked for them! Debit and credit are just way too wishy-washy.

Love hearing about your journey though! We should catch up on the phone sometime soon! :)

10:43 AM  
Blogger Ron said...

Hey Rhonda. I have been secretly reading your posts and enjoying, but not commenting. The glass jar idea reminds me of a similar thing which I know a lot of people use (in terms of a budget system). They take all the money they budget for a month and put it in separate envelopes (groceries, clothes, miscellaneous, dates ...). When the money in the envelop is gone ... you get the drift.

Always the hardest part of budgetting is not the system, but keeping to it ... attitudes, patience ... I feel for you. When life gets down to tackling these things, life is harder. You can do it.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Hey! I read you every day! Even when there's nothing new. I just don't let you know I'm there all the time.

As to budgeting... well, I was much better at it when I was single and poor. It was easier to tell myself "no". Now I can't seem to figure out where it goes every month...

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Vikki said...

THANK YOU RHONDA! Thank you for sharing this and when you figure out what to do with the anger, can you let me know? I've been carrying it around for a few years now :)

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Robin said... I can relate to this one too. For different reasons than you...obviously....but still. It does suck.

I do know God provides for my every need....too bad my want is for more....gotta get that under control...or better yet give it to God.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

I'm not really good at budgets, or diets or exercise regimes. My sister and I have a motto which we say to each other often, "Don't tell me what to do!" (then we have fits of giggles)

My point?
A system or computer program wouldn't really work for me. It tells me what to do too much.

I don't think of it as a budget, but more of categorizing. When DJ gets paid, I put the money into categories, "Household" "Gas money" etc

These are kept in separate places so they don't mix and when its gone, its gone. No do-overs.
So as a result I'm very careful (or cheap) with the money I do have. Ie. I don't buy anything retail, if I don't need it...I don't buy it, I stock up when I find a really good deal, pray for deals when I go shopping, and treat myself with the left-over money when I've done well with the budget. A little extra built-in motivation for buying things on sale. Kind of like a game. Bargain hunting is fun for me!

Also it is important to come into Winnipeg and let Erica take you out to lunch, its easy on the pocket book, and your will feel spoiled rotten...does the soul good!

Love you.
Remember, this will pass. Its only a short season, you will look back and say to Jon, "remember when....HOW did we do that?"

9:05 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Hey Rhonda,
It's so hard to be in this place, especially in a consumer oriented society like ours. Being the perpetual student that I am, I'm in the same place. It really is a practice in self-discipline. Aside from the budget tips & money-saving tricks, I always fall back on this one question when I'm shopping for anything, be it groceries, clothes or whatever: Do I really need this? Often when I ask myself, I discover that I actually don't need it. I find that I'm much more inventive in finding ways to make what I do have serve my needs, or finding the things I do need to buy for less. Another thing I discovered is that people are very generous. People have offered me furniture, a place to stay, food.. with no strings attached. Maybe this is the hardest thing to do, but making specific needs known and asking for help has often resulted in the provision of all that I needed.
Anyway, hang in there. It's hard. But you can do it.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

I miss you

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rhonda,

I'm a secret reader too...I love reading your blog - you are soooo sweet!
Some of the most fun times have been when I had no money. I don't know why, it's just that way. When you get everything you want, it's just not as fun. Yes, I've also been very pissed off with the Big Guy and He is so awesome, He just loves on me more. Once, when I was the maddest at him, so mad (about money), He provided a large amount of money and that made me madder at first because I felt like a big butt head... and then I fell in love again.
Did I mention I think you are sweet?


9:17 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

I was cut off from my parents money when I left home. No amount of pouting will do. Good parenting. Although my Mom does take me and the boys to McDonalds every once and a while and she does pick up a few articles of clothing at her nearby thrift store almost every time I see her ($.25 cents for a shirt - how can you go wrong). I am always thankful for anything I receive.

Ron and I have never put groceries on credit card. To us that would be terrible. But we do put a designated amount into the grocery account and use that up monthly. I usually go grocery shopping twice a month. We try to buy bulk which sometimes means waiting two weeks to get the other things we may need. It seems to work for us. Superstore is awesome as well and can save you a ton. I hear that Winkler is getting a Superstore (is that too far away from you - I should know, we have family out there)

I am refreshed by your post need I say. I get mad sometimes when I have to make supper just so we save money. (I just love to go out and eat.) A grown woman being so selfish because she has to make supper . . . 20 or so years ago women wouldn't have even had the thought.

I think God's going to give you some wonderful ideas as to how to live within your boundaries. Hasn't it been said that the ones that live on less are most happy. It's harder to learn things backwards - to have one day and then not to have the next.

Let us all know what ideas he reveals to you. This could become part of your writing . . . . . . . hmmmmmmmmm.

4:59 PM  

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