I married a school teacher. I knew we would never be rich, and that we would always have to buy supplies for his students. I knew that we would live a simple life. I knew that he loved children and so did I, and teaching is his calling and who he is to the core. I love that about him. I love our simple life. I do not love our struggle with money.

You see, things always crop up that exceed our budget. At first, it was car repairs, and school expenses. Then there were the medical bills, and the increase in cost of living. Now there are medical bills, car repairs, and the cost of adopting.

Somehow we became a family with debt. In the past two years we have taken major steps to end that cycle. The credit cards are gone, and we have a lawyer working with us to help settle that debt. We try very hard to live within our means, and we short-sold our home and moved into a much less expensive rental to conserve money.

Wednesday our car engine, alternator and transmission died. My medical problems have yet to go away, and I still want to achieve my dream of a Master’s degree. My son’s goal is to own every Lego ever made. That and all our regular bills, expenses (we all have to eat a special diet), and student loans has once again brought us to a crisis.

We have three choices:

1. Increase our income

2. Reduce our expenditures

3. Incur more debt

My goal for the next 6 months is to increase our income. I have applied for several jobs and hopefully they will allow us to pay off some outstanding medical bills, and afford some of what my son wants for Christmas. The second is I am going to become quite frugal and transfer my family to the cash method. Benjamin will get an allowance, to teach him the true value of money. I will withdraw what we can afford for food and such, and the rest will go to pay bills. I will have a segment in this blog about will hold me accountable to this method. I will also share how we are teaching my son to manage and understand money, and any resources or advice that i stumble upon.

I would love it if readers would comment with their money-saving tips. It is time for me to become a frugal chef, a coupon queen, and a hard-working employee. In it all I hope to find balance and joy. How do you all manage finances during these difficult times, and what strategies have worked best? Is there a great work-at-home opportunity out there? Finally how do I eat gluten-free for less? Stay tuned, and share your ideas.

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