Written by Luke Woodhouse | Blended Parent Network
Money!! The number one reason for worry in our house, as it probably is for many!
I work a 50 plus hour week. We cover the bills (just) but that leaves little spare. Yes we have a car, a mortgage on an average priced house and a few kid programmes on Sky, but we don’t live a life of luxury. By the 7th of every month we are living on the bread line. Literally, having enough money for food and petrol.
Some weeks I have to use the supermarket petrol pumps, where you pay by card at the pump, that way as long as you have £1 on the card you can fill your car up however much you need and the money doesn’t leave your account for 2 or 3 days. Giving us at least some breathing space. Around the 20th of every month were thinking about taking all them pennies from the penny pot to pay for the shopping!!
For many, any unexpected bills make a difficult month sometimes seem impossible. The washing machine breaking or the toaster blowing up. All that plus the essential extras…MOT, car service, boys school trips etc.
As a parent planning for Birthdays and Christmas is essential. Having a birthday in September and November and obviously Christmas, the back end of the year is always a struggle. We don’t spoil the boys but ensure we are creative and clever with when and how we pay for things. Spreading the cost of an item can help and as we saw Travis’ obsession with Pokemon increase, we starting heading onto eBay to buy the whole of Japan’s Pokemon range (well not quite) ensuring that the ten million years it takes to be delivered we will have it all for Christmas and Birthdays…but at a bargain price!!
We always tell the boys to save their pennies and they treat themselves to something when Mummy and Daddy have no pennies, they feel super proud, as if they’re doing us a favour by not having to pay on this occasion. It teaches them a lot of things actually.
We joke at the start of each month saying we are royalty for the first week and then poor as hell for the rest of the month but we know we are actually very lucky and ensure the boys know that. What they have is a lot more than millions of other children. We don’t hide the fact we have no money, we actually talk about it. Not in a negative way which means they may worry but in a way they can understand, that some weeks we can’t afford certain things.
It’s natural to want to give your children anything and everything but that’s not always possible with a child. Talk things through with your kids. Keep them in the loop, they pick up a lot more than you think! It’s true pennies make pounds so keep saving and that penny jar will save you!