I am planning on going back to work 3 days a week. My mother will be watching our two children all day. They are 2 1/2 and 6 years old. My husband and I disagree as to whether or not to pay her. I think no, he thinks yes. What do you two Housewives think?
Pay Grandma or not in CT
JUNE: Dear Pay, I think you should definitely offer to pay her even though she probably would not accept. There are a few things to consider too. Does she need the money? Is she leaving a paying job to watch your kids for you? Even if she doesn't accept money for watching them you should leave money for them to do activities so she is not paying for movies, treats, lunches out or ice cream cones. Make sure that you get her a nice gift every so often as well to show your appreciation.
FLORA: You know if your Mom is in need of money. If she could use the extra cash but won't accept, buy her some groceries each week, cut her lawn, pay for her car to be serviced. Do pay for the necessary things in life and treat her to dinner every so often!
I am a single Mother who just recently lost a job that paid $45,000/year. The only job I can find pays only $10.00 an hour. How can I feed the kids and pay the mortgage?
Single Mom in Central Connecticut
FLORA: Dear Mom, first I want to say that I am sorry that you are in a situation like this. Losing a job especially when you have children, is very stressful. Please remember to not loose sight of a good outcome; there is hope.
Here are some things you can consider:
-get a roommate to share expenses while you work and learn some skills to get a better paying job.
- I am not sure what type of field you are in but try to develop some contacts and relationships to help you land a job in your field of work.
-call your mortgage company and anyone you owe money to. Explain your temporary situation to them and work something out.
-cut out ALL extras. Yes, the cable, your cell or land telephone line, if you go out to eat (even for a coffee) stop all of that.
-Shop at discount grocers. Prepare meals that are low cost and healthy. Prepared foods can be a waste of money. Use your discretion in the stores. And please don't let the marketing executives get control of your mind and tell you what you need to buy. Keep your power and you will keep some of your money too.Your children can have fun for FREE. You do not need to buy buy buy.
-visit Dave Ramsey's website. Read his books. www.daveramsey.com
This is a good example of how having an emergency fund is so important for families. Have enough to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. As Dave Ramsey (daveramsey.com) says about emergencies: It will rain; you need an umbrella. This would mean liquid,easy access funds.
JUNE: I am also sorry for your situation. It must be very scary to wonder how to take care of your children. I agree with all that Flora has said except taking in a roommate. That can often be a nightmare situation and it is one thing to fight to get someone out of your home when you are single but it can be dangerous with kids in the house. I see that only making your life more stressful and more confusing for your kids. You should never bring strangers into your kids life. You can also read Suze Ormon's books. She went from rags to riches in a situation like yours.
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Let us all make this autumn an autumn filled with adventure and gratitude.
June and Flora