I meet all kinds of people while sitting on the bleachers at your sons' swim team practice. No joke, some have trouble paying their bills and others are wearing sunglasses indoors while recovering from having the skin around their eyes lifted. You never know where the conversations may lead. One woman stands out in my mind.
She's a single mom with three kids. She's having trouble meeting her bills. She's even got pretty severe medical/emotional issues with her preschooler. She's got issues with medical coverage too. Her plate is clearly full, overflowing in fact.
In talking to her I discovered that her kids are a bit on the finicky side. They only eat the "expensive macaroni and cheese" and a particular kind of chicken nugget, as well as a laundry list of other things. Then there are the non-food things. She feels trapped. She doesn't want to deprive her kids but she can't afford to go on this way. On and on it goes.
The details are unimportant but the overall tone is. Why have we become so obsessed with keeping up appearances that we sabotage ourselves? Why are we unable to be honest with our kids when we can't afford something? Why do we give in to our kids demands? Why is it shameful to live within our means? Perhaps the biggest question, how do you effectively let people know there are other options when they aren't ready to hear about them? How do you bridge the gap between frugal and spendthrift?
What prompted you to become more frugal? Share your story so we can all learn and maybe help more effectively the next time we encounter a situation like the one I described.