Welcome. Today is the first post in a new series.
In this series, there will be five women sharing the individual struggles they face economically with their families in a particular region.
Each week one of us, Claudia, Elaine, Jen, Diane and Brenda, will feature a topic on how we are living more thriftily in the year 2012. Then the rest of us will add our own paragraph or so on how we apply that to our own lives.
We run the gamut. Brenda is the only single family household. Claudia and Don live with their two dogs in New York. Elaine and her husband have a small daughter and older children in Southern California. Jen and Gar have just relocated to another part of Canada and are looking for their first house. (In fact I think they just found one.) Diane and Ron live in Florida and are retired.
Here is my introduction:
If you are new here my name is Elaine and I am a wife and mother of four. I have been married 22 years and have four daughters that are 20, 17, 14 and three. As you can see we run the gammut of ages around here. I have kids in college and one not even in pre-school yet.
I worked for the first 18 years of my marriage but came home full time when I had my last baby. It was always a dream and it finally came true. Thanks to a husband that works very hard and very long hours, we are able to survive here in expensive Southern California on one income. Needless to say though when we gave up my extra income, we had to change our ways if we were to survive not only on one income but on what was and is some the most expensive years as a parent. Kids starting to drive and entering college.
Before, when I was working, I would pretty much shop and buy whatever we needed or wanted. Not a good plan. Now I am a whole different person. I consider every dollar spent, working hard to pay cash only and pay off some loans so we can be debt free eventually. Frugality has become my mantra and feeding, clothing and providing for this large family as thriftily as I can has become my new job here at home. I am always reading a book on frugal this and that. You know what I also discovered? That when I starting turning my focus inward to our home and living a more simplified life, a result of our newer frugal ways, that I became a happier person. Buying and shopping was not making me happy but now cooking up a good meal and stretching our money, keeping the house warm and inviting was really what I was in search of all along. I think many people are struggling right now just to cover the basics and I hope what I have learned can help.