I think that every last one of us is feeling the money crunch issues that are going on around the world right now. Every household I know of, every Mom I talk to, is looking for new and creative ways to pinch their pennies in a desperate attempt to keep their family's lives as close to normal as possible.
Cutting back has been a big thing in my house. Gone are the days of picking up that totally-cute-just-gotta-have-em pair of princess shoes for Miss Missy or the wow-the-boys-would-love-this video game.
Cutting back means putting a price tag on everything now. The little things that didn't really seem to matter so much before are now a part of the budget. A simple McDonald's lunch is like taking the kids to a facny restaurant. A lunch invitation with friends always begins with, "Let me check my bank account." And picking up those unneed things at Dollar Tree, those little cheap toys that I'd let the kids get just for having a good day or a good week, now feels like it's taking food off the table.
And don't get me started on food! Why is it that the price of all our favorite brands seem to keep going up, but the portions seem to be shrinking? Is it just me? We have converted to store brands more often than not now, which isn't really a bad thing at all, just a household change. But when you really look at it, you are, in most cases, getting the same thing for less.
It seems that everytime I go to the grocery store, with the same amount of money to spend, I come out with less things that I did the trip before. And when you're already struggling to keep the essentials in your pantry it's extremely frustrating.
The kids are having to understand a lot more than they should about mom and dad's finances and that things surely don't come for free. I'm so sure that they are tired of hearing me say "Times are getting hard" in an effort to teach them the importance of not wasting.
Where it didn't seem like a big thing to me before if they didn't finish a bowl of cereal, I'm now seeing hard earned cash being disentigrated in the garbage disposal every time they don't clean thier plates. And I'm sure they are noticing less snacks in their lunch boxes than before, and less fruit roll up and honey buns in the pantry.
Everyone is scared. The news is using scary words like recession and market crash and we have no idea what to do to make it better except look to the top dogs for help. But until they get it together up there on top enough for some of that bailout money to start flowing back down here to the little people, we are stuck to help ourselves, making changes within our homes and in our budgets.
We are all hoping that change is really coming.