Opinion,  Parenting


She said what now? That doesn’t make sense. If you’re on a budget then of course you’re budgeting.

Well sort of.

I’m carrying around a mental list because if I write it down on my spreadsheet then it becomes real once it goes on the record. I’ve memorised all our bills, know which date they come out of the bank account on and the amounts they’re meant to be. Of course I know when essential payments are going to fall, like child benefit, and their amounts.

The list is full of extra things that we need to pay for; some are items that we can expect like “back to school” expenses, Birthdays and insurance for the car. Other items are ones that I have no control over like needing to repair essential equipment. I check the bank account every morning to make sure that I’m on track, count the bills, and tot up my shopping list as I go around the shops.

We take out the cash we need once a week. Basically it’s money for fuel and shopping including bin charges (which have gone up again in the past month), then we try not to touch the cards again until the following week.

While I carry around this list and other stresses in my head, my brain feels heavy. A couple of Euro got lost last week. Accidents happen. In the good times I’d have spent that on a smoothie for breakfast on the way into work and thought nothing of it. I got upset. Over loose change for goodness sake.

There are some days the weight gets in the way of thought processes and doing basic things like sleeping. In turn this affects how I deal with life on a day to day basis.

Yesterday the Department of Social Protection announced there was a delay of a day in some payments this week. If we were affected that weight that I carry around would be a little bit heavier.

I’m trying not to give the stresses the head space, then manage my day a little bit better and I’ve noticed an improvement in the past few days to be fair. This budgeting lark isn’t easy.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Marian Heelan

    Dear Caitriona, of course you get worried now and again, you’re human!

    Hopefully you’re feeling a bit better now you got that off your chest. Share the good AND the bad.

    Take a deep breath and just relax for a few minutes … or get really mad, pummel the cushions and kill a pillow or two. (You could always name the pillows…)

    You’re doing such a great job- take a bow! Your family are so lucky to have such a wonderful woman – giving them the best of everything with so little money.

    A big hug,
    from Marian

  • Bernadette

    Try listening to Jon Kabat Zinn on u tube, I have found him such a breath of fresh air:) Bernadette

  • G. Allyn

    You sound VERY organized and should be proud of yourself. So many people around the world are in the same situation, the only difference is you are honest and talking about your day to day “worries” about family finances. I applaud you!

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