So when I think back I am pretty sure I was forced into being independent in my early teens. I had a part time job at a family business a few Sundays a month for very little money but it was my money so off I would go to earn my few pounds and home I would come again. This carried on with me taking myself to look for another job at 16, finding a job and then walking through town and back twice a day on weekends and to work said job. I was a 16 year old girl walking home at 11pm at night past pubs full of people, but I didn’t care because I had my job which gave me my freedom.
After moving out at a young age I was forced even more to become independent and again found myself a job simply by knocking on doors and asking. This meant I could always pay my way, I was never reliant on anyone to clear my debts, put a roof over my head or otherwise.
Since that age I’ve only had 1 period of being out of work for 3 months, not counting maternity leave, and up until that point I knew I was going to leave my job so I saved and prepared for it as much as I could.
When I was left a single Mum I had no choice but to be independent, I got help but I managed that money and we never went without anything. I could budget and plan and enjoy doing nice things I knew I could afford. Life was easy to manage.
Now life is different, I’m no longer a single Mum and have a loving husband who provides for me and T more than we could have ever dreamed of. We still plan and budget and save for the things we want but due to me being part time and having set things I pay for each month a lot of the spare income is Scott’s. This is not an issue, if there is something I need or would like us to do as a family Scott will cover it. If there is overtime available at work I will always offer and use this money to be able to pay for events like birthdays and Christmas, but I always feel like there is something to pay for, this month my overtime went towards a dentist bill, and one day it would just be nice to be able to treat Scott without it being like a special occasion. I feel like I’ve lost that independence I’ve always had with money because I’m now a part time working Mum whose minimal income gets swallowed up by all the boring things.
I feel like this is something that doesn’t have an end in sight either as right now I can’t commit to more hours at work permanently due to childcare costs so I don’t see how I will be able to earn any more money for the foreseeable future, I’m maxing my overtime at the moment as it is. I’m planning to do a boot sale when the weather warms up just to clear some old things and raise a bit of cash. The one we did last year made us over £100 so it was well worth the early start.
Don’t get me wrong I still have my independent streak, this weekend I painted the whole dining room on my own over 2 days. I love the feeling being independent gives you when you feel you have achieved something completely on your own without any help from anyone, I just wish I could feel that way financially more often.
How do you manage money between couples with everyone feeling equal? Are you a part time working Mum or a SAHM and how do you do it?