Living on 30000 or Less
Raising a Large Family on Less Than $30,000
Raising a family, large or small, can be a difficult task no matter¬†where you come from or your position in society or in your community. I¬†have a large family of 10 when everyone is together, so I am always looking¬†for a good deal or a way to save money, there just never seems to be¬†enough of it no matter how hard we all try.
I have made it something of a mission of mine to locate community¬†social networks, outreach programs and other groups that are willing to¬†teach, or show you how they have mastered different ways of improving¬†the quality of life with whatever means are available to you.
First, I would like to draw attention to one of my favorite places, and¬†that is freecycle.org. Freecycle is a place you can go through Yahoo Groups¬†and sign up to be able to post for things that you need or want, or things¬†that may be cluttering up your garage or closets. You can post anything that¬†is free, as long as it is morally appropriate, even yard sales as long as there is¬†a box marked “free”.
I never realized how many people are out there just¬†like me struggling to change the quality of the life we lead.¬†By saying “change the quality” what I mean is using what we¬†have in a different way, to barter or trade for something else we may need¬†or want or just find new creative ways of doing things. For example, my¬†husband and I (mostly my husband) is a couponer. When we go to the¬†grocery store, you might not want to be the one behind us in line, that is,¬†unless you are waiting to see how much we will have to pay after seeing the¬†size of the coupon binder! Since beginning to clip coupons, we went from¬†having just enough to get by and mostly what we need for meals, to having¬†a whole cupboard in our kitchen dedicated to snacks that the kids have been¬†asking for but that maybe just didn’t fit the budget.
There is also a store called “The Habitat Store” in our community.¬†This store is full of everything from building materials, to furniture and knick¬†knacks, as well as curtains and anything else that you may need for home ¬†improvements or repairs. Everything in the store has been donated to the local¬†Habitat for Humanity program, so the prices are rock bottom.
For expecting families, the Crisis Pregnancy Center, or Carenet, has¬†confidential pregnancy tests, and they offer an amazing program to help you¬†prepare for your new baby, even with no money. For each doctor’s appointment,¬†WIC appointment, church service or function you attend, in addition to watching¬†the videos that are readily available at the center, you earn points. With the points¬†earned you can then purchase maternity clothes and everything you will need for¬†a nursery or to prepare for a new arrival, giving you a full 9 months to have¬†everything ready and waiting without stressing over how to get things that you¬†need or want for your baby.
Another resource that we utilize is clothes banks. I have always¬†donated everything “gently used” to one of the resources I have already mentioned¬†or to the local battered women’s shelter. Having gotten down to the very bottom¬†of our barrel of luck, I one day had to go into the clothes bank as a need instead¬†of a donation. It was extremely hard to swallow, but I was assured by the very¬†friendly volunteers that more people than you would expect come in for assistance¬†in the same ways. Once inside, I realized that a lot of the clothes were brand new¬†with tags still on them. All of the clothes were very nice and free of tears and/or¬†stains, so now it is kind of like an exchange program for us. We take in clothes that¬†are too small, and trade them for things that fit, or even accessories or shoes that¬†will be suitable to go with something we already have.
One last resource available in virtually all communities, would be your¬†child’s school. The counselors at the school sometimes have little swap shops set¬†up to trade out your older, too small, or unwanted items for things that your child
can use. Also, for those who need it, there is usually a program through the¬†councelors that helps furnish school supplies, food and gift items at Christmas and¬†throughout the school year. Your child’s school is an excellent resource for a wide¬†variety of programs.
The most important thing to remember, your creativity is a very powerful¬†resource, as well as the creativity of your family. Everyone has something special¬†to offer, listen, pay attention and apply the ideas you all come up with. Let your¬†entire family participate in improving the quality of life and you can’t go wrong!
Thanks to Patricia O. for this Living on 30000 or Less tips!
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Topic: Living on 30000 or Less