I refer to myself as the (self proclaimed) “budgeting queen.”  I get confused when I hear people complaining about not being able to afford to live, and there are LESS of them in their household and MUCH more money.  At the same time, when someone else mentions how much they make per month, and its close to what I do, I cringe- I do it for a family of 5, but when someelese mentions doing it for just 1, it sounds crazy lol- not sure why…

I’m very open about our income amounts and how we do it.

First, “I” am a family of 5- me and my 4 boys. 3 of which go to their Dad’s about 10% of each month. (So, the other 90% if all me.)

Second, other than a school loan in deferment, we are basically debt free. (obviously excluding normal monthly bills like house, and utilities.)

So here it is- my total average monthly income to work with: $1200.00

That amount has to pay our house payment, gas, utilities, storage unit, cell phone, pet stuff-everything… Like I said, when even my single friends say they only have what I do to live off of, my gut is “HOW?!”

I was doing a bit better- was babysitting out of my house, and pulling ahead, feeling pretty good- til I got some sort of letter that stated we were eligible for food stamps-&as long as my income is $2800/mth- and since we are way under that, that notice was quite depressing lol…

Then, all at once, the families I was watching for all left for various reasons- no fault of mine. (moving, shift change, etc.) I only have one family left, who will be leaving any day(most likely without notice).  So, meanwhile, I’m trying for get my boutique up and running full time vs hobby income.

oh- to back up- I can not work a “normal job” because there a clause in our custody that says I can NOT leave the children for “4 or more hours”- this includes for work.  I can’t work “1st shift” as A- the boys are only in school 6hrs/day, then you must subtract from that driving time to/from “work”, and also all the Dr appts the boys have- as Drs are only open during those hours, AND I am called to “immediately pick up” a child by the school an average of 3 times per month. Yeah.. one obvious thing I cant afford to budget for is a lawyer. (& its not something I can get legal aid etc for)

So. where there’s a will, there’s a way, and I make it all work.  I try not to focus on things like “christmas is coming.” & “birthdays are immediately after.” & “the mechanic has no idea how my van is still running.” “its now impossible to babysit during the day due to all the appts& I cant babysit other shifts due to my children’s needs.”

& focus on what I DO have-  I FINALLY have a home computer. That obviously helps in running an online business lol!  I only have *1* 11mth old during the day, which makes it slightly easier to get other work done… note the slightly- lol- if you have/have had a toddler, Im sure you understand this. 😉

The biggest problem is certain Drs and other appointments saying I CANT bring ANY children/extra children & of course, they are ONLY available during the day, and I cant leave the child I am babysitting with a babysitter. Although, this may have to happen soon- I cant NOT go to the appts. Im barely making anything from babysitting after expenses- idk how I’ll handle trying to pay someone else(or even FIND someone who’ll except even close to what im paid) for what im paid. It will most likely come down to me paying my “sub” my entire day’s wage, to come while i go to a 2hr appt. But, its that, or lose 100% of that monthly income now(instead of when they leave for good at some unknown time lol.)

I survive by laughing about it. I do. I mean, I can cry & be depressed- which will not help in any way- or just tell myself that someday the kids&Iwill look back & just say “WOW. How did we do it???!” & “look how far we have come…”  And besides, it is truly laughable what I put up with. Until, you study the alternatives…

SO. meanwhile- I have a house, a van, and even a kayak(which I WILL find time to USE in 2013!) We are already richer than 99% of the world, right?? AND I have a child going off to private Christian college (to become a pastor- he cant go to a public school for that) in a matter of months. So, at least he will be eligible for FAFSA aid, right? 😉

ok, the little one here is DONE, with the many games of patty cake, etc Ive been doing to keep him busy… time to get “productive.” (& I plan to leave my SUPER POWERED BUDGETTING TIPS in my blog posts from here on out too! )



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