My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Can’t or won’t? May 31, 2013

Filed under: Family,Military — blankenmom @ 3:34 pm
Tags: , , ,

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I’m not sure how it works in your circles, but in ours, the sequester is actually causing an issue.  Manufactured issue or not, it is.



With budget cuts at our base for civilians, there is going to be a lot of already short belts being tightened.  With many of the families, both parents or spouses work on base, so they get hit twice.  Imagine losing $500-$1000+ a month along with a $500 health insurance rise.


Many of the families tell me that I just don’t understand because my husband is a dentist, as though he was born one?  After 18+ years together, he’s only been a dentist 3 of those.  I frequently get told that they can’t afford a budget cut or to even be a one income family, but we wouldn’t understand that either.


Ummm – for the most part, we’ve been a one income family for the entire 18 years!  Yeah, I pitch in here and there when things get tight, but it’s nothing major, just enough to get through.  4 boys on less than $50,000 was a usual for us and I have people with only 1 or 2 kids telling me they won’t survive on $100,000?  I have a hard time with this?  What the heck are they buying?


Ok, I’m not the most frugal person.  I can’t write a budgeting, couponing or major savings blog, but I can encourage people to know it can be done, with a lot of self-control.  And I’m not putting those people down who feel like it can’t be done either, they just aren’t used to the idea.  A one income family, no matter how many kids and, within reason, the income, can be done – even if it’s just to put the second income in savings for a rainy day.  Hey, some people aren’t completely crazy and actually like leaving their houses!  I get that too!


My heart really does go out to my friends though.  This is a major hit.  It’s scary and they truly don’t know how they’re going to make it.  I get their fear (especially since money is my biggest stress causer, even when we have money in the bank), but I also won’t coddle the idea that it can’t be done.  Nonsense is nonsense, even when you think it’s true.








Do you have a lot of big toys you don’t need?

Do you really need cable?

Smoke; drink soda or alcohol?

Do your kids really need that many activities?

Do *you* need that many activities?

Do you cook most of your meals or is take out brought home more often?




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It all boils down to, can’t or won’t.

There are so many little and big ways that we all spend money we shouldn’t.  I would love to hear your favorite ways to save money!


9 Responses to “Can’t or won’t?”

  1. I’ve never worked, but I bet you guessed that already if you’ve ready my blog haha. Here is what I can say:

    For 22 years my husband (who is considerably older than I) made well over 100k per year, four of which I enjoyed.

    Fr the last couple years (he retired) we have lived on around 40k.

    Honestly we both would say, we live the same in “famine” that we did in “feast”. Neither of us have ever been major spenders on things outside purchasing additional properties to generate income, and the necessary vehicles. We aren’t above thrift shops, and we don’t spoil our kids but they have the enjoyments of life that are necessary and many which are not necessary. We aren’t extravagant gift givers….we are more of the “this will come in handy, be useful or needed….and occasionally we think its just something they’d enjoy.

    Bottom line: a penny saved (by not spending it on something frivolous) is a penny earned,

    • blankenmom Says:

      Honestly, I think it’s all in how you’re raised… well, there are exceptions to the rule of course. But if you’re raised that way, you’ll probably live that way. We had gotten so used to *not* spending money when the boys were little and had so little, that I had to actually learn to spend a bit. I still save like a mad woman, but the boys now get it after this last year how beneficial mom being a “tightwad” is. But they are finally getting to enjoy a trip or two. I think I’m going to thank myself when we’re in your neck of the woods of retirement. 😉 Thanks for the reminder what we need to save for down the road!

    • I should’ve added that AFTER he retired he actually started a second career in law enforcement :). 2 retirements coming down the line, he’s a smart man (I on the other hand, would’ve thought one plenty). Apparently it’s very important o have more than one retirement and if you begin to work early enough in your life the you can work until a full retirement is accomplished (20-25yrs w most companies) and then still be young enough to begin a second career that you actually ENJOY and want to work at and create a SECOND retirement. My husband will be eligible to retire at 62 with 2 yes TWO full retirements because he began to work at his former job at the age of 18 and by AGE 20 was management and continued to be management for 22 years, now at the age of 46 he is 4 years into a second career that he LOVES and in 16 years will e eligible again for a full retirement through the state he works for :). Be savvy guys! Work as long as you’re able!

      • blankenmom Says:

        Excellent advice! I have to admit, we are in that boat with the military, but not everyone is as fortunate. A lot of places just don’t offer those packages anymore with people living longer. However, you can stockpile money away on your own by having your bank automatically withdraw the money before you even see it and put it in a ROTH IRA to keep waiting for you for when it’s time to retire…. or move on to your second career. 😉 Thank you for reminding people to save, save, save!

      • My “vice” is travel LOL my husband says I have “ANTI motion sickness”. Aka when I’m not moving (traveling generally) I am ill (he means in temperament not physically lol)

  2. My husband and I are on Social Security. We have a teen and a preteen sons. My homeless older brother has moved in with us and he’s on SSDI. We manage to feed everyone and buy the growing like weeds boys clothes. How? For the life of me I don’t know.

    No, wait, yes I can. We buy groceries at the dollar store, clothes at the local thrift shop or the flea market. We even exchange clothes with my neighbor whose kids wear my kids hand me downs. She gives me clothes for myself because I’ve lost a gargantuan amount of weight in the past 2 years (140 pounds!) She has incredible fashion sense so I’m wearing pretty clothes that costs me zilch.

    We are being hit pretty hard with the sequester. They cut our checks by 18% EACH and that adds up to a gas bill not being paid this month. Thankfully it’s summer and we can cook everything on the grill.

    Basically, it CAN be done. IF you know how to be frugal (hubby calls me cheap lol)

    • blankenmom Says:

      Excellent job and thanks for reminding me of second hand! Not only great for clothes, but furniture too.

      Oh the clothes! Boys are the hardest too. Girls go through a lot of clothes because they tend to change frequently throughout the day (so I’m told), but they are easy on the clothes in general. When a boy see’s a new pair of jeans, they see a challenge. “No holes? I can fix that!” We do hand-me-downs for the most part, but twice a year the oldest get’s a whole new set of clothes (since they’re more self conscious about that). 7 shirts, 4 pants and the younger three get 2/1 of each, since getting hand-me-downs kind of suck, especially for the fourth born. But my oldest who is now on his way out of the house has discovered second hand stores and pretty much thinks they’re the greatest. He’s off to a good start!

      And great job on the weight loss! That’s a great for so many reasons, but getting the awesome clothes is icing on the cake.

      Love the perspective on the gas bill btw. Keep up the great work on your budget and keeping positive about a hard situation!

  3. Claudine Says:

    I keep reading about the sequester, especially the military cuts. It is really interesting to me to read your perspective.
    A while back, I was pretty sure my husband was going to lose his job (one income family). This did not end up happening. At the time, I was happy that I keep a bit of a fabric stash so we would not have to go naked. But my stash is not so big that it would be a problem if we had to move to a smaller house.

    • blankenmom Says:

      Hahaha! It’s about priorities man – is there enough fabric/yarn to last? 😉

      I do really feel for the folks that are already on the brink and then lose their job. I have a couple of very close friends back “home” whose households were one income and they lost that job. It’s scary for them, especially when they weren’t making enough to set aside for this type of situation. You have the right perspective though. “We can downsize, no problem!” Great attitude towards what can be scary. Glad you didn’t have to though!

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