saying because we can't afford it

(26 Posts)
likesnowflakesinanocean Sun 30-Jun-13 20:36:44

why aren't you going on holiday this year, why didn't you last year.
are you getting a new sofa/bed/kitchen soon
why don't you have a baby
why don't we buy this anymore mum
why do we always go on walks or to fun days not theme parks or cinema trips

aibu to repeatedly have to say because we can't afford it and to hate every time I have too sad we are really trying hard to get things straight through no fault of own family circumstances and massive cuts we are skint it seems like I have to say we cannot afford it multiple times a day. someone cheer me up with tales of how it gets better

chocolatespiders Sun 30-Jun-13 20:40:41

Do people really say these things to you?

I have not had any of your list since dd1-16 was born. I dont consider myself skint as I am able to cloth and feed my children I have to go without though.

I would never say to someone why arent you going on holiday or getting a new kicthen.. tell them to mind their own.

kim147 Sun 30-Jun-13 20:41:20

I know exactly what you mean. DS knows money is tight and it's going to be a difficult summer.

It's hard because we live in such a consumer society and children just don't understand the reality. He asked me what I earnt when I got a day's supply work and he said I could buy him a gadget with that. Had to explain that bills, food and mortgage come first.

jamdonut Sun 30-Jun-13 20:42:22

YANBU

I have to say the same thing. We are both working,and yet we have no money because it basically goes on bills. We have no way of saving for anything,because what we have coming in is more or less what goes out each month. I hate pay day,actually, because it reminds me that I won't see a penny of it, as it will be going straight out again.

Sorry to be depressing.sad

MsVestibule Sun 30-Jun-13 20:42:45

Who are you having to 'justify' yourself to? Your children, other family, strangers? Strangers & other family, you should only have to say it once to - if they continue to ask, they are just being rude. Your children are a bit different, but they still need to understand why they can't have everything all their friends have.

Someone trying to cheer you up with tales of how it got better for them is not going to help you, though. How will things get better for you? Are you paying off debts that have an end date? Will you/your DP get a better paying job soon?

Nottalotta Sun 30-Jun-13 20:43:41

No yanbu. It makes a change to people putting it on the credit card. Better you don't try to afford these things now than be in debt forever more. My parents said this to me regularly and tbh i stopped asking. But, things did improve for them and i feel better off as a person for not having everything i ever wanted. I hope things start to look up. You are not being mean, just sensible. I deal with people at work every day who have tried to afford stuff, got in debt and ultimately lost their homes. Its just not worth it.

OwlinaTree Sun 30-Jun-13 20:43:53

chocolate do you have 16 daughters? If so im not surprised, that would be a massive tent/caravan/apartment!

likesnowflakesinanocean Sun 30-Jun-13 20:47:21

family, friends and the dc. the dc are the people I feel the most guilty for if they ask though. things will change I was off work due to bereavement I am trying to get back into work. once that happens we should be back on track but not minted if you see what I mean. currently it is like another poster said money in money out from the one full wage. I do try to make things fun even if they are cheap it is depressing at times. I do not have credit card which is a blessing so once we are on track it won't get eaten up again

likesnowflakesinanocean Sun 30-Jun-13 20:47:43

16 daughtersgrin that would be interesting

PrettyKitty1986 Sun 30-Jun-13 20:47:59

To other people asking stupid (and rude) questions such as 'why don't you go on holiday...' then I'd answer that you can't afford it.

I never say that I can't/we can't afford it to the dc as I've learnt my lesson.

I once absent-mindedly said to ds1 (5) 'no, I can't afford it' when he brought me a magazine in a shop and I didn't have much cash on me. When we got back in the car i had to answer lots of questions about what 'can't afford it' meant. Job done, so I thought.

Except that he really took the conversation to heart...and for around the next 6 months he was fixated on money, the cost of things, if we could afford it.
It's rather embarrassing standing at a supermarket checkout and being repeatedly asked (in a fairly worried voice) by your 5 year old 'But mummy are you SURE we can afford this? If we put some back it would cost LESS wouldn't it? Shall we do that mummy? Otherwise maybe we won't be able to AFFORD it' blush

It did get better for me, but there are still times when we can't afford things that we want, and even more times when we can't afford things that other people think we should have. We can't afford to replace our car, we can't afford to have a holiday - unless we take a tent into a field and spend the entire week inside it because it's peeing down outside and we can't afford day trips! We can't afford to have desserts everyday, maybe once a week - but then they're not good for you anyway wink, we can't afford another baby (and DH wouldn't want one anyway - so i just blame him grin). But we CAN afford to have a good time together at home, we can afford to eat and have a roof over our heads (even if the DC's have to share a room), lots of positives, try not to tell everyone that you "can't afford" things everytime they ask, make it into a positive statement "we are saving up for ...a really nice holiday in a year or two",....or whatever else you think would be nice to have in the future. You don't have to save much but put some coins in a jar, it will surprise you how fast they mount up and then you can treat yourself to something, even if it's not enough for a holiday, you'll probably get a nice day trip out of it.

OwlinaTree Sun 30-Jun-13 20:53:58

I'm sorry to hear about your bereavement. Hopefully you will get back into work soon.

People say these sorts of things to make conversation tbh re 'are you going on holiday'. It's something to say. Doesn't make it easier, but lots of people ask this round this time of year. As justforlaughs said, try to make light of it, they are probably just waiting for you to ask about their holiday plans!!

likesnowflakesinanocean Sun 30-Jun-13 20:54:36

oh dear can imagine that being embarrasing with ds, my ds is about the same age so I will watch that one. the baby question I say never ever we don't want any. maybe most of the problem is the fact I'm worrying about saying we can't afford instead of feck off being nosy grin. that's cheered me up. as has the fact that having pudding isn't good for you. it just makes me feel useless when there are things I really wish we could do but are out of reach

purplemurple1 Sun 30-Jun-13 21:00:34

To strangers/family at least i always just say I've better things to spend my money on - it not their business if we can afford a newer car, holidays etc. Your finances - your business. DC must be harder - i'm preg with our first so I've that joy to come. smile

NicknameIncomplete Sun 30-Jun-13 23:39:31

I said this to my dd tonight when she heard the ice cream van. Her reply 'you never have any money'.

No my darling dd i dont have any money. I am skint.

likesnowflakesinanocean Mon 01-Jul-13 07:54:44

that's the hardest part I think the dc noticing, am trying to look at it that they have all they need even if not what they want.

I avoid saying it too. A lot of things are 'sometimes' foods, which to be fair, are sometimes foods though we'd have them a lot more, like maybe once a month, if we weren't budgeting so hard.

No, sorry DS, we can't go to softplay with X because softplay is a sometimes thing.

No magazine today, we have books at home!

But we bought sandwiches didn't we? We don't need mcdonalds! <buys the happy meal toy without the happy meal because his playdate is teasing him with his, and the look on his face is killing me>

likesnowflakesinanocean Mon 01-Jul-13 08:24:25

that sounds grim.I.didn't know you could buy the happy meal toy on its own! I try to say other things, why are we going for a walk, because its good for you. but sometimes the only thing I've got left is because we can't afford it.

hermioneweasley Mon 01-Jul-13 08:32:05

I don't think it does kids any harm to know that some things can't be afforded - it prepares them for reality!

Giving my DS pocket money has taught him a lot about saving and budgeting (but I know if you're really skint then even regular pocket money can be a stretch).

Went to DS's school fair recently and did a few games and stalls etc, then went off and did something else. We walked past the school on the way back and DC2 wanted to go back in. I said "no darling, we've spent all our money" at which point DS went "what?! You've spent ALL our money? How will we eat?!". It is possible that I stress money and budgeting and saving too much with my kids......

bochead Mon 01-Jul-13 08:33:56

Hunt the yellow label at the supermarket was one of DS's favourite games as a toddler. He learnt early too that pester power doesn't cut it with me so doesn't embarrass me in public now I'm out of work. Last year a friend gave him a tenner for his birthday and he got a lava lamp and two HUGE remote control Daleks + a super mario soft toy off the local flea market with it, rather than going to the shopping centre. I was VERY proud at his emerging bargain hunting skills grin.

DS has special needs so is behind his peers in many areas. He will go out into the world able to budget, cook etc even if he never passes a single GCSE if I get my way. I've seen too many early 20 somethings in real trouble due to a total lack of awareness of all things financial.

We don't even attempt to keep up with the Jones, I don't walk around with a megaphone announcing I'm skint either. Genteel poverty has more class than flash trash imho. It's a mindset thing wink.

I don't ask strangers about their sex lives, or their finances, nor do I expect to have to explain my own. It's vulgar (pokes tongue!).

Oh I like "genteel poverty" grin

It's hard for children to grasp scale - why you can afford a £50 supermarket shop but not a £2 comic, for example. I don't know what the solution is for small children but I know that later on it can be worth sitting a numerate 11yo down and looking at household expenses such as rent/mortgage, council tax, utilities, supermarket, car, etc. Show them where the money goes and how much difference that tenner really makes.

We try hard to find equivalence for DS(5) so that if he asks for a £3 comic we can say that's the same as an ice lolly, a book from the charity shop and a packet of sweets, say.

Sparrowp Mon 01-Jul-13 10:28:18

Oh yeah, I say this all the time, to everything.

Birthdays? "can't afford it"
Christmas? "can't afford it"
Best friend getting married? "can't afford it"
Funeral? "can't afford it"

Its really embarassing. Its not socially acceptable. But still "can't afford it".

Sparrowp Mon 01-Jul-13 10:30:10

The worst thing is that its now getting to the point of: roof over head? Can't afford it.
(haven't even got DCs yet!)

bochead Mon 01-Jul-13 11:31:01

Mum: - "What's my favourite word?"
Son:- "No"

I never in a million years imagined I'd end up not able to work for 3 years when DS was younger, but given our current situation I'm so glad the above conversation was played out ad nauseum when DS was a pre-schooler & I was a 40% tax payer. Lots of things about being constantly totally skint are unpleasant but at least I have a kid that appreciates the little I can provide rather than be constantly envious of the possessions of other iykwim. It's horrid when your kids are unhappy.

The old style forum over on the money saving expert site is a really great place to go for those who wish to embrace "genteel poverty" rather than feeling like they've stepped off the shameless set in front of friends and family. I always find a new hint or tip over there on a low day to inspire me.

yanbu, you are being really sensible

perhaps have a good old brainstorm or start a thread about how to have fun without spending, as sometimes its good to jog the memory a bit get get more ideas

I find that helps when im skint or struggling for ideas

also do you use mse, you can get great tips on there

noisytoys Mon 01-Jul-13 11:54:25

YANBU 'Because we can't afford it' is a common phrase in this house. I just wish we said it earlier then we wouldn't be in so much debt!

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