Last week one of my readers asked a question so today I’m answering that question.
How do you manage a large family on one income and still ensure your kiddos get to experience a lot?
Money is one of mine and Steven’s biggest concerns. We have six kids who are all practically the same age, which means everything, all expenses, hit us at the same time. But with that being said, we don’t want our kids to miss out on having a fun childhood.
So how do we afford doing fun things with six kids?
- Free Activities are the Best Activities!
- We enjoy going to park, the playground at the mall, watching airplanes take off and land at DFW airport, my kids love to go to Target or Walmart and look at all the toys in the toy section (I never buy them toys, but they love looking).
- At the beginning of the summer, I got online and signed my kids up for a program called Kids Bowl Free. We go bowling once a week and they bowl for free. The only expense is the shoes, which is discounted through the program. Since the quints feet are too small for the bowling shoes I only have to buy shoes for Brady and that costs me $1.75. We go bowling once a week.
- Use Birthday Money for Experiences
- My kids have too many toys. When people ask me what the kids need for Christmas or their birthday, I usually say clothes or money for an experience. When people give money, I save it for when we take the kids to do something fun. This summer we have taken the kids to the Perot Museum, Ft. Worth Zoo, and Gator & Friends — for all those outings we used birthday money.
- We went on two vacations this summer. Both times we lodged for free. In Broken Bow my parents paid for the cabin. When we went to Dallas, we stayed with Paula & Dave. That saved us a ton of money.
- Eating Out
- Right now, we can get away with the kids sharing meals when we go out and eat. Often times, Steven and I share meals too.
- Family Time is the Best Time
- We have a big family, and our family is so good about taking a kid or two to do fun things usually on a weekly basis. This gives the kids more individual attention and they get to get out and do fun stuff. It also is nice for Steven and I because we get to have some time together without the kids.
Raising a big family on one income is not easy, in fact, it’s extremely hard and stressful. Our kids wear Walmart brand clothes instead of expensive boutique clothes. I buy most of their clothes on sale and I also shop at consignment sales. We are very blessed to have a family who buys the kids clothes and shoes, which helps us out tremendously. Our home is nice and modest. We live in tight quarters and that’s okay. Yes, we’d love a bigger house, but right now, we are thankful for what we have.
We are so thankful for Steven’s job. He works so hard to provide for our family and I’m very proud of him and how well he provides for our family. The plan is for me to return to the workforce next year once the quints can start Pre-K at public school. I hope once I start to work and am contributing financially that we won’t feel so stressed, but honestly, I think we’ll always have these financial concerns. But as with everything else we’ve been faced with, we will continue to take things one day at a time. We don’t have everything we want, but we have everything we need and for that, I’m very thankful.