Parenting Finance Sucks

This week I have waved goodbye to three pairs of socks. I finally admitted defeat when A giggled that she could see my heel. Yes, my socks have worn away to oblivion. They have been discarded peacefully into the bin with the scraps and crusts of bread. I have yet to replace them and I am running low on socks! Why haven’t you bought new socks? I hear you bellow out over the Internet waves! Sheesh, what a loser. It’s simple really. I have no money. And any tuppence I do have, goes to the house and A. I’m a good Momma Bear like that. No, I lie. I do have money but for some bewildering reason I rarely spend it on myself these days. B is quite the same. I call it our new Parenting Norm also known as Parenting Finance Sucks. 

Over heavens hill finance parenting

Oh Pennys, I Miss You

Let’s face it, pre-A, I could be seen shuffling outside Pennys on O’Connell Street on a Friday morning, waiting for the chimes of the clock over Easons bookstore to strike 8:30am. Opening time! Gifting myself a thrifty jumper or a pair of faux suede ankle boots was nothing out of the ordinary. I’m a jumper and jeans sort of girl. Dare I say, I would wander into Pennys with great intentions of spending €15 and walk out with a credit card bill I unintentionally landed on myself.

These days, I slip past the nation’s favourite budget clothes store with its doors firmly shut before opening time and wander into work minus a cheap treat. I no longer wait with the early morning workers ready to pick up a bargain.

What happened? Where did my self indugent gifts disppear to? Looking into my wallet, it is more sparse than flush these days. Like B, any spare change I have goes on potential sandwiches at lunch time or a generous coffee before work. Everything else goes to the house or to the needs of our growing child. 

Over heavens hill finance parenting

Payday used to be exciting and an excuse for a takeaway or dare I say a meal out. These days, once the last day of the month rolls round, my bank account looks healthy for all of half an hour before I start the wonderful joy of online banking and proceed to pay the bills. 

I have zero, zip, zilch disposable income

Having a baby in 2013 coincided with our decision to move house. The two biggest financial decisions you can ever make. Clever us. Every spare penny went to savings, nappies and a gazillion soothers. FYI soothers are ridiculously expensive – a teething baby has a wonderful habit of chewing through them or losing them in a matter of days. I lament a lost soother on the pavement and wonder how that poor parent is coping with a child that is craving the gentle soothing of their soo soo. I digress. We saved religiously for the two years before we finally moved in 2015. A was almost two and in her first couple of years she needed a wealth of clothes, toys, furniture. As our first baba, we dismissed frugality and bought everything new. There we go again being wonderfully clever. Of course, as they say, hindsight is a great thing. 

Over heavens hill finance parenting

Our new house needed modernising and some vital work, our daughter continues to grow at a rapid rate and we still need to live and enjoy life. It was tough but we finally have some sort of a balance and we’re learning about the best ways to manage our money. 

It Might Hurt, but it’s Worth It

No, our lives are not the same. We have little money for ourselves individually but does that really matter? We don’t necessarily need these things – well, I do need socks. We live without the little luxurious that came naturally to us pre baby. 

Having a family means sacrifices. Monetary sacrifices. B has given up splurging on games and restricted himself to games on sale. When I say sale, I mean games that are cheap as chips. When I say cheap as chips, I mean games that are more or less labelled retro. I shop when I’m given vouchers for New Look for my birthday. Thank you Great Aunt and P, you’ve kept me simmering above water in the fashion stakes – not that I have much stake at all these days. The best parenting tip I ever received was dry shampoo. I’ll kiss the boots of the person who invented the magic dust should I ever be in their presence. FYI I haven’t had a haircut since last year but maybe I’ll treat myself to a Rachel for the LWI Awards Night (eek finalist – still haven’t got my head around that).

Over heavens hill finance parenting

Money Comes Money Goes

For two people who enjoyed splurges, mega shopping days and spending a fortune on Christmas presents, we’ve culled our spending and focused our money to where it’s needed most. The little pumpkin who runs around in fairy dresses dropping glitter with every step she takes. A wants for nothing. You’d imagine she is on the verge of growing up to be a spoilt child, asking for and expecting to get everything she wants. She’s not. In fact, she’s quite the opposite.

At almost three years old, B is teaching her a gentle grasp on money. She rarely asks for any toys or sweets. And yet when she does, if the time is not right or money is not available, she is appeased and doesn’t expect it. So far we’ve had no cribbing or crying about wanting this or wanting that. Long may this continue. 

Over heaven's hill parenting blog finance

Future Finance is Never Certain

We know money may not always be there, that we may run into hard times. Our parents raised us in Ireland during the recession in the 80s. I’m certain that it wasn’t easy for our parents but I don’t remember any of the hardship. I was a child, oblivious to any financial concerns my parents may have had. We have just about made it out of the current recession with a new home and good prospects. I thank our lucky stars that we have managed all we have in the last few years through such hard financial times. I like to think we have our heads firmly screwed on and will ensure that our financial situation is kept in the black for A’s sake more so than ours. 

Money is always a contentious issue in families. I worry about money incessantly. Who doesn’t. But what good is worrying. Action is needed. So we clear debts, we save, we envisage the future. We believe we will be ok and if something goes awry… well, thats a much longer post for another day. At the moment, we make sacrifices, we make do. We’re not unique. We’re all doing it. Our children come first.  

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18 Comments

  1. There have been some hard times in this house too lol especially when the girls were younger and even though things are far easier now its still hard (at times) to put focus on us and buy things that we want.. spending money on us has become a bit more natural I hasten to add, but actually we’d rather spend money on holidays and trips and things that make memories with the kids. More so now they are so much older, memories mean so much more than a new handbag for me, besides the teen is a designer diva herself, and that is not cheap! 😉 – love this post, we’ve all been there! #mg

    1. I agree. We love giving A all of these good memories, and those memories are rarely attached to ‘things’. It sounds selfish but sometimes I wish we had a little bit more. Oh a designer diva! how awesome… and yes expensive hah 😀

  2. I have got two teenage boys (oh actually one is now 20 so a man child) I rarely buy clothes for myself or when I do it is from the supermarket, As you get older you realise there are more important things in life than having the latest designer outfits, shoes and bags! and this is coming from someone who had all of those. I get more pleasure out of buying what my boys need or want than I do myself and so my youngest drains my finances, but I dont care, he will grow out of it hopefully like his brother has and he thinks like me now. You cant take it with you, that is what I say…

    1. I’ve never been too materialistic thank god so I dont miss the luxuries like bags and computers or that sort of thing. I think I just need to realise that a treat for myself every so often isn’t a bad thing. We love buying for A and will always get her something over us… I imagine we’ll be like that a good while 😀

  3. I know what you mean, I always buy for my kids first and most of our money goes on their education. We have always put our kids ahead of our eating potential. I am a Registered Nurse yet I don’t work as it would mean shift work and being away from my kids at such critical time in their lives. I can’t rely on anyone to pick them up so I have to take a small job in between school hours. I used to have nothing nice for a long time but made do with what we had. I now treat myself to some nice things like flowers beers they make me happy, I chose what I buy carefully and save for what I really want. We are not struggling, but we don’t have any spare money that’s for sure. It does get me down sometimes I must admit. But I know my kids and love matter the most and I am very blessed to have a happy, safe, and warm home that is filed with love and laughter.

    Such a fab post, one of my favourites this week! #mg

    1. “A happy, safe and warm home” is most certainly the most important thing. ‘m coming to terms with this stage in our lives when money comes money goes but love shown always grows. Someday I’ll be able to treat myself again and that’ll be wuite a nice day 🙂 For now, I don’t mind spending every cent on the little one, no matter how much I miss our treats … and a new jumper

  4. You and B are doing a great job with A.
    I see a lot of parents (especially where I live), whose ideology is to give their child everything just to keep them quiet or happy for those five minutes.
    I may be wrong, but I believe that these children are going to lack integrity when they grow up.
    It’s great to see that I’m not the only person who doesn’t believe money is everything.
    PS good luck with the awards
    Alex Fihema recently posted…An ode to all mothers, but mainly, the mother of my children!My Profile

  5. Our children come first and money it tight! Oy, so very tight. I’m hoping that changes, because like you, I need socks and underwear too. I cut my own hair now, and mostly just let it grow, No more delicious am coffees. No out to lunch and 1 out to dinner per week with the family. Life was different pre-family, but this, i’ll take. M’wah! <3 <3 <3 #mg

  6. We’re just the same and moved house when my daughter was 3 months old…it’s been a penny pinching affair for us ever since, moving house is so expensive! It’s worth it as you say, but tough all the same. I have made the decision recently to go back to work and although it will be tough logistically, I am looking forward to giving my husband a helping hand financially too. Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam great to have you! x
    Bridie By The Sea recently posted…What I’ve Loved Reading This Week – 9th September 2016My Profile

    1. The logistics of working can make life so tedious but sometimes we have no choice. No matter what we make do. Happiness is more important than money but it’s nice to have “things” when you were used to it before

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