We struggle with money most of the time, but DH is home 1 hour for lunch and home by 5pm on the dot. Him and DS and I are all very close and do everything together.
He could probably drive to our closest city and almost double his wage, but it would be a 1 hour commute each way.
I could work full time and double our income, but I would miss my family far too much.
That being said, some days I would love to just be able to go shopping for clothes/new washing machine/ TV and not have to worry about how much I'm spending, and I'd love some savings put aside for emergencies. We do ok though, and once we pay off our large personal loan we will be much more comfortable!
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15-05-2015 16:03 #11
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15-05-2015 16:17 #12Senior Member
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- Aug 2012
I think it's important to find that balance and tick off life goals that may come at a cost. Our goals are simple - children, wedding, houses and living comfortably. We tend to focus on one thing each yr. this year we moved into our new home but are now saving for baby no 2 so I can stay hm at least 10mths and then I hope to drop down to 30hrs per wk next yr and onwards.
planning and living within your means is key and avoids known stresses. It also pays to have a lil bit tucked away for a rainy day or big unexpected costs like car repairs etc.
15-05-2015 16:42 #13
The tricky thing about income is that as it increases you tend to just increase your expenses to match.
When I was in my 20's I lived on next to nothing between work and benefits, and yet I could always scrape by somehow and had good friends and some good times amidst some pretty bad times.
As my income has climbed (mostly in the last 6 years) I've invested (because it was the smart thing to do) then I've gotten married and bought a house and the expenses just seem to creep up.
I'm the primary income earner and I feel the pressure a lot of providing for my family.
There are many days when I'd love to hand it all back and just be back on a low wage where no one expected much of me other than to make a decent sandwich as a sandwich hand.
Over the next few years I have serious plans to downsize, rent our Sydney home and live somewhere cheaper, work a bit less... The bigger picture of family time being more important than work is always pretty present for me but it's just hard to resist what seem like sensible money decisions.
For example, I'd been driving round in a really cheap little car, no loan for about seven years, no complaints and then bam I had a car accident last year, right when we were TTC and I didn't know if I was pregnant (I wasn't but that was in the glory days before I knew we couldn't get pregnant naturally...) anyway it shook me up how vulnerable I was in that little hatchback.
So, I'm on a good income, and sensibly bought a nice family wagon - new so it would last us ten years, and decent safety features - not fancy tho, it's a Volkswagen so we aren't talking status purchases...
And bam, I've got a car loan to add to my expenses. It's not unsustainable but it's an example of how you earn more so you spend more and stay locked into higher wages and higher stress, travelling interstate every week and being a high flyer.
The temptation of downsizing everything is pretty strong but it's hard to know how to pull the plug...
15-05-2015 16:44 #14
I think having enough money to pay the bills, put food on the table and just enough $$ stashed away for a rainy day is all you actually need.
Our situation is a bit strange. Dh is in the army and it's his career. This comes with a fair amount of baggage. He has spent the last 18mths interstate or OS. Consequently I've tried to keep my kids and I happy as much as possible. I work part time for company and socialization for me whilst the kids have daycare. We could live on one income long term but it wouldnt be much fun. But I have no wish to ever work FT.
Next year tho we are moving to Canberra and as I'm going to be on maternity leave for most of 2016/17 Dh and I have decided to work really hard this year to save up for the next few years. Life is much busier now and I'm not happy about it but will deal with it as it's short term.
I think OP that your life sounds unfulfilling. Drop the kids extra activities, downsize and live your life vs just existing.
wifey of hubby who is always away. mother of two girls who are always amusing.
15-05-2015 17:36 #15
My life is a very good example that money doesn't buy you happiness.
DH founded a business that was very successful - so successful that he was able to retire at 31 and help raise the kids while they were young.
Yet despite all the money (and sometimes BECAUSE of the money) our lives have been extremely stressful over the past few years.
Money can't cure depression, anxiety, PTSD, BPD or bulimia. So no, it cannot buy happiness.
But I am mindful that is can buy treatment, long term weekly treatment which I require. It can pay for a nanny which we've had because I am often incapacitated.
It can pay for the treatment two of my kids need due to special needs - not all the stuff they need is covered by medicare.
But money can't buy time - something my DH has had with my kids over the last few years. He could have been off earning a LOT of money during that time, but we had enough and we could not have had that time back.
So I agree with the people saying it is a balance - and it also is heavily dependent on your individual circumstances are.. what you and your family need, if you are secure now and in the future, what you need to make you happy and feel satisfied.
15-05-2015 18:41 #16
I'm someone who stresses about money. I think about our retirement and about the kids futures. I do stress more then I need to but to a certain degree its a good thing. I don't want to rely on a pension to survive. I think by the time I retire the pension will be for only very poor people and it will not be enough to live on. I don't want DH and myself to work till we are 70 or more. I don't want to be rich but comfortable. I worry about the kids and uni fees who knows if there will be such a thing as HECS so I'm putting some money away so we can pay for their education. I also am starting to invest so whatever I have by the time I am ready to quit work I can draw down on and have a decent life. I also worry about unemployment in the future so having a back up it important. We work very hard, harder then I would like but in return we are able to do the above... Slowly. To me money does equal happiness to a certain degree there is a degree of financial freedom and stability. I was poor and I never want to be there again. I would like to spend more time with the kids but we need to make choices and we are still trying to find a balance.
15-05-2015 19:14 #17
We are very unhappy and we have no money.
We have never been 'wealthy' but we have always been able to keep things afloat. And steady.
I strive to be rich. And happy. Everyone's different. I get anxiety about money. Some people worry about health I worry about bills lol the future, what school my kids will GOTO and how I can provide. I wouldn't care so much except right now we can't even get one person working to get studying up and running.
15-05-2015 21:00 #18
I was thinking about this a bit more and I think there are some other factors that influence quality of life and one of them is stuff - the way all the stuff you own and stuff you buy can creep in and overwhelm quality of life.
I fantasise about becoming more minimalist quite a lot - not to the extent of the tiny house movement which I think is a bit ridiculous for anyone who isn't single, but I would love to pare things back quite significantly.
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15-05-2015 21:14 #19
To me money is part of what can make quality of life. It not the biggest or the most important but it pretty high on the list to have some.
Enough to have a roof over your head, food in your belly, clothes on your back and access to medical care and a education.
Everything beyond that is a bonus.
To me Love is the biggest and most important part of the equation. Health is also in there. Plus a few other things.
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15-05-2015 23:03 #20
I never struggled for money so I can't say how happy I would be without it IYKWIM?
I don't think money in itself makes for a happy life.
But I feel very good with our lives. We both work full time, inner city, in fulfilling jobs with reasonable/flexible hours. Both our jobs pay well and we have time to spare at night with our family (home by 5-5.30pm).
To me that is what really matter, a fulfilling career with time to spare everyday with the people I love.
Oh and we rent so all the money we would put in a mortgage sits on a saving account.
That's why we sleep well at night too!!
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