Living on 30000 or Less
Raising a Large Family on Less Than $30,000
Raising a Large Family
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.
1. 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”.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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 counselors 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: Raising a Large Family