Monday, October 8, 2012

Saying No to the Good Things

If you're living on a shoestring budget you know that we have to say no to a lot of things.

"No, we can't go on that field trip"
"No, we can't afford the gas to drive to the relatives house."
"No, I can't renew the cell phone contract."
"No, we can't upgrade our Internet or get cable TV."
"No, we can't do that activity at this time."

I've had to say each of those things several times since I've become a stay at home mother.  It can be hard for my children to understand why I need to say no. I try to come up with alternatives for the field trips and activities, but for some things I can't make an alternative.

For example, we have a small farm. I've yearned for life on the farm since I was a child and I do pay dearly to have my farm. I must work to pay for the feed, hay, animals, fencing, vet bills, etc. I have to make time in my schedule for milking, feeding, and caring for the animals, while caring for my family, cooking our meals, cleaning the house, homeschooling, and working at home! My children sometimes get angry that I can't afford to take them to every activity available, and it's not just the money that prevents us from going, it's also the time. Running a farm on top of a household takes enormous amounts of time. There is always something that needs to have been done-yesterday!

My teenage son hates that he doesn't have his own cell phone. He seems to think he is the only teen in the world without his own phone! Truthfully, even if we could afford him to have one, we wouldn't. Thankfully, I've been blessed with a son who understands it's not in the budget, however, he still wishes he had one. The only alternative I've found is face book. Many, if not all, teens have a face book and it's usually connected to their phones, so it's "almost" texting!

My husband struggles with not having cable. He loves football season! He likes to watch every single game. We were seriously looking at getting cable put in. We ran our budget and tried to see what we could cut out. Thankfully, we realized that it wasn't the best choice for us at this time. He has found that he can watch many of the games on Justin TV online. He's also able to watch some games on our local channels that we get with our antenna.

As a family, we can say no to the good things so we are able to say yes to the best things! There's no better place for me to be than at home with my children!

This post is linked to:
Titus 2sdays
Domestically Divine Homemaking
Frugal Tuesday
Teach Me Tuesday


momstheword said...

What a beautiful post because you're right, there was no better place for ME to be either than home with my kids!

My kids never had cell phones either. We bought our oldest his first cell phone at 18 (we got it for a penny, one of those specials).

Our youngest bought his own cell phone at 17 or 18, I don't remember. Both pay for their own phone plans.

I have several friends who bought their kids their first car, but my kids bought their own cars.

Our kids did without a lot too. We had basic cable (it was $15 a month) but that was mainly to get a good reception.

We had dial-up internet and they wanted faster but we told them weren't going to pay for them to be in a hurry, lol!

Once the oldest started college we got the high-speed internet so that he could do his college papers without having to wait forever. We were blessed to be able to afford it by then by making some changes (such as dropping the daily newspaper, etc.)

Our oldest worked his way through college, and the youngest is currently working his way through HIS college.

Two years at a junior college and then transferring to a four year is a lot cheaper, plus working while you're at school as well as scholarships help.

My oldest just graduated in May and he will probably have his college debt paid off in less than a year (he went to a fairly inexpensive four year college).

So, stay the course, mama! These frugal lifeskills that we teach our children will only help them as they make their own way out in the world.

Jenni said...

You are so right.. Saying yes to one thing requires a no to other things!