Friday, January 8, 2010

Five Cannot Live As Cheaply As One

I don't suppose it comes as a shock to anyone, including me, that having four additional people (one adult daughter, two grandchildren and their father) living in my home is causing issues in my budget.

My daughter is home for a few months (we've agreed she will be gone by April); my grandchildren and their dad are probably with me for a lot longer.

A comparison of some of my bills for November and December shows the damage: my water bill, which I get quarterly, went from $116 to $317. Since the two grandchildren have bedwetting problems, my washer and dryer run at least two loads a day, often more. And then, there's all the extra showers and dishwashing that occurs with four additional people.

My electric bills have soared, largely because the basement where the bedrooms for the grandkids and their dad are located, are heated by electric space heaters. Instead of $69 a month, I'm currently paying $184.

My oil bill is higher as well, thanks to young kids who have a hard time remembering to shut doors and not turn the thermostat to 80 degrees.

I am getting a small contribution as "rent" but it doesn't cover the actual increase in expenses. Both my daughter and my grandkid's father contribute food to the household since they both get foodstamps--that helps, but, again, it really doesn't cover the increases.

Time to do some rearranging of the budget!


Anonymous said...

Anyone with kids knows the impact, Grace.

I hear you on the bedwetting laundry. I had one bedwetter and can't imagine two. Nothing like starting your day BEHIND in the laundry. If I was lucky, it was just the sheets and PJ's ... not so lucky and it was the blankets and comforter as well. And that was with pull ups at night. I'm so glad those days are behind me.

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Anonymous said...

Get that adult daughter and the father of those kids out of the house and working. Some hours at the local fast food eatery ought to pay those utility bills. And come to an understanding with the father that there is a limit on how long he and the kids can stay.

You, and through you the rest of us (food stamps and who knows what other welfare benefits), have been enabling these unproductive people to be parasites entirely too long. What you are doing to subsidize this behavior isn't exactly setting a good example for those kids, either.

Stop and ask yourself if what you have done so far has worked to make these people productive, contributing members of society. What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. You will spend the rest of your life chasing this mess unless you set some expectations and some boundaries.

Sharon said...

Sigh. You are preaching to the choir on this one. When my daughter graduated from college and moved home (she does pay rent), the bills increased. Water, electricity, food, etc. My other daughter has been home for 5 weeks and just left today to go back to college. Again, while she was home, the loads of laundry, extra food, and constant computers running surely put a drain on the utilities.

You have a generous heart, Grace. Your family is lucky to have you.

MasterPo said...

IMO, depends on the situation.

Based on what you have described, I must agree with the majority of posters there in that you should lay down some rules and make them contribute much more or get out. Not so easy when it's close family but still...

Morrison said...

Where's Tough Money Love when you need him?

Bucksome said...

I'm saddened by the lack of compassion shown by some posters.

Food stamps and other social benefit programs are designed to help those that don't have enough income.

Unfortunately, minimum wage is not a living wage in most of the nation. I don't think there's anything wrong with you helping out the grandkids and their dad until they can get subsidized housing. He's trying; people shouldn't knock him down.

Living Almost Large said...

Is the father of your granddaughters working? Is your daughter? Can they work? Can they contribute more so then it would make sense for them to stay?

Retired Syd said...

Well of course, I don't know all your circumstances, but I find it a little offensive to read others' comments that they should simply "go get a job." The BLS just released December statistics, 15.3 million are unemployed now. And that's just the people that are technically unemployed. Add discouraged workers that have stopped looking and those that are underemployed, and the picture is much more bleak. As if it was that easy to just go get a job.

In such a time, I find it wonderful that some of these 15.3 million people can fall back on the love and care of their families. I think most people, if they are able, want to do anything to help their families.

And one last point, I can't believe with such a state we are in that some people are actually begrudging providing food stamps and other government help to those in need right now. Many people have paid their taxes for years and years before becoming unemployed. It's their money too. Of course all those complaining didn't mind getting 12 years of free public education on my dime, did they? It's called civilized society.