I don’t know why it’s an issue if I’m quite honest but most people including myself are really closed off when it comes to talking about money. We don’t talk about our salaries, debts, outgoings and struggles but recently I’ve changed my attitude and here are some reasons why.
1 – Honesty
I was always brought up to be honest about everything and sometimes it’s gotten me into trouble because my mouth runs away with me and my filter doesn’t kick in. I can talk to my friends about sex, relationships and everything else going on in my life but money is such a guarded secret.
2 – Support
In the last 20 years together Mark and I have been through some really hard financial times. I was made redundant when Miss B was 2 and life spiraled out of control financially after that. I was struggling to pay the bills and we used all of our savings and Miss B’s bank book which broke my heart. I confided in one of my sisters and she very kindly loaned me some money which paid the mortgage for a few months. I managed to get a job not long after that but it took months to get back on an even keel.
3 – No Shame
There really is a massive feeling of shame involved with talking about not having enough money. I’m the eldest of 3 girls and my Mum always brought us up to be sensible, and in the past when my little sisters have needed anything then I’ve been there for them. I felt horrible and ashamed borrowing money from her but it was necessary to keep a roof over our heads. It was as simple as that.
4 – Understanding
When you’re on a limited budget it can seem to people outside that you are a bit of a killjoy when in reality when you get invited to nights out, drinks or even just a coffee, you simply don’t have the money to go.
We used to socialise a lot but we just can’t afford it anymore. I’ve been a stay at home parent for 4 years working off one wage and the budget is tight. In theory we have enough money for everything but in reality when something unexpected happens it can cause chaos. A few weeks ago I took my car to get the tyres checked and I was told all 4 needed replaced. The front two were urgent and needed doing that day. That wiped out the money I had budgeted until payday and I’ve been losing sleep and really stressing.
5 – Organisation
One thing that living off a tight budget has taught me is that my organisation skills are off the hook. Every pay day I fill my freezer and make sure all essentials are in so that I won’t run out of anything during the month. Toilet paper, washing tablets, toiletries, birthday cards and store cupboard essentials are all things I stock up on. My Mum always taught me to make sure there was plenty of food in the house and how to make a dinner from nothing and all the rest will fall into place.
Our bills are all paid, there’s food in the house and the kids are clean, clothed and happy. If I can’t afford a few coffees or drinks with the girls then so be it. I know it won’t last forever and I’m trying not to stress myself too much. I will go back to work when the time is right and things will get better financially.
Not having enough money to do the things you want feels like failure, but it shouldn’t. Looking around today so many people are struggling to get by and like with any stress in life money can be a major headache but your support network are there for you no matter what the issue. There will be no judgement, just love and understanding.
photo credit: cafecredit Money in hands, white background via photopin (license)
Clare is a mid-thirties mum raising three miniature versions of her husband (with his help) – Miss B (11), Miss C (4), and Little D (2) and lives just outside of Glasgow. As an HR Professional currently enjoying a career break she is passionate about maternity and pregnancy equality issues and is a big supporter of Flexible Working. As a mum she spends her days dealing with food allergies, tween and toddler tantrums, all whilst striving for perfect hair and trying not to chip her nails. Generally dealing with the up and downs of life.