2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
To avoid being in the red and to be able to sleep well at night, it takes a minimum of preparation and planning.
You also have to know how to make sacrifices or rather certain concessions. In fact, the women at the luncheon agree that prioritizing is key!
How do you manage your expenses?
Julie B. Every budget is different depending on family priorities. Here, my pleasure is to eat, so I don't cut out groceries. However, we are developing things. I do my grocery shopping every two weeks. It may be a weird logic, but when I do it every week, it costs me more.
Melanie G. I plan a lot. I go to farms to buy my products, I buy in bulk, I cook and I freeze. I do it for fun and also for the budget. But I think that if it weren't a real pleasure, we would see the food budget differently. Also, I try to find where I can cut. I cut coupons for diapers, for example, because activities with children or my sport are more important to me.
What choices did you make?
Mélanie G. We bought a semi-detached. Of course, we would have liked to have had a bigger house, but notso much so that I go back to work just to pay for it.
Julie B. We only bought our house last year. Before, we lived in an apartment. We chose to go live in Verchères. You have to make choices, deep down!
Isabelle D. With children, the rhythm of life changes completely. We no longer go to the “on the fly” restaurant two or three times a week. We travel less. We go to the chalet that my parents lend us and the children are super happy. Children don't need much to be happy. We used to play a lot of golf before. There, we play two or three times a year and that's okay. It goes without saying. Our activities revolve more around children. It's not really sacrifices!
To avoid having to ask your spouse for money for the slightest expense, the solution for moms is to each have a personal account in addition to a joint account. So mom keeps her independence anyway.
Mélanie G. Every Friday, a certain amount is transferred to a joint account and a portion to each of our personal accounts. For me, from the start there was no question of me asking him for money to go somewhere or for an expense. Everyone manages their personal budget as they see fit. The day we moved in together, we pooled everything, but we each have our money too. If there are any left over the weekend, we go to the restaurant with the family. You never have to say I'd like this to go tosuch a place, can I? »
Isabelle D. Same thing here. We have a joint account and 2 personal accounts. Everyone contributes a percentage of what they earn.
Spending someone else's money?
Financial independence is another tricky facet of a stay-at-home mom's life. When we have been used for years to spending without accounting, how is the transition? Several questions hover: when you spend on yourself (clothes, dinner with a girlfriend, hairdresser, etc.), do you allow yourself to do so without thinking about what your spouse will say? Should he “accept” the expenses? Do others (or yourself) make you feel like you are spending the money your spouse has earned? Tricky questions, but thoughtful answers!
Isabelle M. I admit that I am a little uncomfortable. My maternity leave has been over for a month, so I have not had a payment. My spouse gives me an amount of money to cover all the expenses for the month. I am super careful, I run the specials and I pay for the expenses related to the children, the house and the groceries. I still feel guilty if I want to buy something for myself. I try to save at the beginning of the month and I think that at the end I could afford an item of clothing or something.
Mélanie G. It's crucial to have something for yourself. We need it and often we forget it. We put the children, the family and the boyfriend first and then it's us. I'm not saying go and buy $500 worth ofgarment that you will never wear, but a little something for yourself is important.
Julie B. I manage the budget so much that it's my boyfriend who calls me to see if he can go to dinner with his colleagues. He does not know what is happening on the budget side. He doesn't even know the account numbers! For him, he arrives in the evening, the fridge is always full, there is food on the table and the children are well dressed. We lack nothing. I feel bad for him sometimes. It's me who spends all the time.
Revised November 2009
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