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how to help struggling new parents ($$)


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#1 mantilla

Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:01 PM

Just after some ideas from other new parents about how they coped with the change to one income etc.  My DS & DIL have a 3 mth baby & have recently moved onto just one income after DIL's parent-leave pay finished (2 weeks ago).  I know they are really struggling with debt repayments & despite suggesting going to a budget advice centre, put in a vege garden or a pot of tomatoes on the front deck; selling one of their vehicles - altho not really an option though as DS works away plus they live about 5 km from nearest town, no buses etc - etc, I dont really know what else to do.  I have made loads of meals & baking since baby arrived, but we too have a limited income & my DH probably wont appreciate me propping them up so much.
DS does have an expensive hobby & has said "what will he do in the weekends without this "  - dont worry, I said quite a bit back to him, that parenting is a compromise for both of them, & sacrifices need to be made until bubs is bigger &/or DIL goes back to work somewhere.  I know the solution is to put a halt on that, also they need to find a solution that works for them etc

DIL said that one of their options is to split up (WTH  ??) & so I wonder if the stresses of having a little bub plus no $$ is just proving too hard.  Many years ago with my eldest, my then DH & I had major money problems so I understand her predicament - but solutions from 28 yrs ago seem a little outdated so your ideas & suggestions are really appreciated.  TIA  happy.gif

#2 Shellby

Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:11 PM

The first year of a first child born is the highest odds of breakups, its the stress of becoming 'new' people, your relationship changes in what is expected of each other, and as you have seen most families dropping back for the first time to only 1 income.

Really other than what you have suggested there isn't much more you can do. What saved DH and I was counselling actually, luckily DH was open to it when suggested by my councilor due to my PND. It really opened his eyes to what I was trying to become as a mother, but also opened my eyes in what I should have been expecting.

We had major money issues also, somehow we made it though but did have to give things up - which hopefully your DS will see one day as having to do to save money - being a family as a whole was more important than a hobby every weekend. Now after 10 years we are better off and DH has his hobby back, your son needs to see its not forever even if it looks like it at the time.

I am so glad we didn't take the 'easy' option at the time and split up. I now love my DH more than when we married, have another beautiful son to him, got ahead with our money and improved where we were as well. At the time it seemed so easy, split and try and walk away from the debts and see what centrelink will pay - but the debts are still there and its no easier really.

Your DS and DIL will just have to learn to live within their means, sadly if that means they break up all you can really offer is support and help.

#3 paod

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:06 PM

I can't believe people would break up instead of drop hobbies, budget planning assistance, go back to work etc

Eta I understand this is just one option but tbh I can't believe they haven't tried all the others first. It seems a bit hasty to be talking about splitting after only 2 weeks off payments

Edited by paod, 23 November 2012 - 09:08 PM.


#4 MrsShine

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:59 PM

What may I ask is this expensive hobby?

Maybe he has to give it up for just a short while - 6 months even until things have settled down.

Can they move somewhere less expensive, or is DIL going back to work even part time as PP suggested possible?

I wondered when you say they said splitting up was an option - do they mean so she can claim benefits?

There are lots of ways to save money - sounds like they aren't living in a major town but doing things like buying less expensive brands (Aldi Mamia VS Huggies for nappies ) bulk shopping for things somewhere like Campbell's cash & carry or Costco.

Meal planning, vegetable gardens again as you suggested are all great ideas but it also sounds to me like they don't really want help or to be told how to live their lives??? :/

#5 mantilla

Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:07 AM

Hi - many thanks for your replies, all appreciated.  His hobby is racing motorbikes (so lots of maintenance, parts, entry fees, travel costs).  Mrs Shine, yes its hard to think that she is considering a split to claim benefits (so wrong in my eyes).  I have suggested easier, less expensive meals - but agree with what you each have said re their choices - as in not moaning about no money but buying Subway etc.  They use MCN's so luckily no disposables;  I've suggested (in a roundabout way original.gif  ) that DIL look for part time work esp with summer & seasonal work out there but she is fully BF & made a comment along the lines of ... she doesnt want someone else to see baby roll over/walk/ etc for the first time.  Please dont flame me here for that ... I can see her point, but sometimes, needs must - & this may be more about them both making changes as I said in my OP.  
I read some of the other posts about MIL's & feel very blessed that I have such a good rel/ship with DIL, but feel at the end of my string here.  Your point Shelby that they learn to live within their means is so very true - all of us have to, regardless of income streams.

#6 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:22 AM

He needs to put that hobby on hold, not only is is eating up huge amounts of money it's taking away family time from his wife and child.

They need to find their own way, it is hard to make a financial adjustment but shouldn't be impossible. If the baby is still so young it hasn't rolled over or eaten solids I'm afraid I'm with DIL, I would be hesitant to go back to work that soon (especially when I know how expensive motorbike racing is).

#7 TillyTake2

Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:39 AM

I would definately say he needs to quit the hobby for now. I certainly don't think forcing a new mum back to work at 12 weeks against her will to maintain a motorbike hobby for her husband is AT ALL reasonable!!

Re the breaking up, it could be that there are other problems. I can imagine your son spending all weekend on motorbikes rather than helping with his family would put a pretty big strain on relationships. I doubt she's considering splitting "just to claim benefits".

#8 MacFeral

Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:19 AM

If their debt repayments are with a bank, the first thing I'd suggest is going in to talk to the bank and changing their repayments to interest only for a while. It will help them in the short term whilst they are finding their feet as a family of 3 and if your DIL does go back to work they can switch back again.

He definately needs to cut back on the hobby; it can wait until the baby is older surely? Does he ride a motorbike to work?

#9 Julie3Girls

Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:58 PM

If her paid leave finished just 2 weeks ago, are they now getting FTB-A/B?  I thought I'd heard with paid parental leave, you don't get FTB-B, but if the paid leave has finished, she should now qualify for that.

Your son needs to grow up and put his hobby on hold, or at least cut back majorly. As for what he can do on the weekend without it ... well gee, you can be a parent and spend the time with your wife and child.  
To be honest, if your DIL is at home with the baby, watching her husband go and race motorbikes, spending money when they can't make loan repayments, then I'd be pretty peeved and thinking breaking up is a good idea.

While I agree with you that if things are that tight, yes, having the mother go back to work is an obvious solution. But there is no way I would expect a mother with a 12wk old to go back to work if she didn't want to , if there are other options.

- cut out/ cut back on the expensive hobby
- talk to the bank, see about refinancing, or if they can get any sort of break on repayments while your DIL is on maternity leave.
- make sure there are any payments that they should be getting but aren't claiming.

#10 Unatheowl

Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:25 PM

QUOTE (TillyTake2 @ 24/11/2012, 06:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would definately say he needs to quit the hobby for now. I certainly don't think forcing a new mum back to work at 12 weeks against her will to maintain a motorbike hobby for her husband is AT ALL reasonable!!

Re the breaking up, it could be that there are other problems. I can imagine your son spending all weekend on motorbikes rather than helping with his family would put a pretty big strain on relationships. I doubt she's considering splitting "just to claim benefits".


This.  If I was your DIL and my DH even suggested that it would be appropriate to be racing bikes on the weekends I would be pretty danm p*ssed for two reasons 1) complete waste of money especially if they are struggling and 2) taking time away from baby and helping mum get some sleep on weekends.

Are you sure she is not at her wits end with this ...erm...'hobby" and is considering splitting for this reason?

#11 Chasing*Rainbows

Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:38 PM

The hobby has to go. Parenting is about making sacrifices so maybe its time your DS learnt this lesson.

#12 LovenFire

Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:03 PM

The hobby doesn't have to go, but it does need to take a backseat.  To be honest, the weekends need to be about rebuilding their relationship, ESP if your dil is considering splitting - it sounds like they need to look inwards.

The only other thing I would suggest is to look for purchAses on eBay - high chairs, toys, strollers, etc.  I once got a bag of clothes off Gumtree for $5 - it was full of awesome, high end clothes ... Easily $300 worth.  Also, start doing two grocery lists - one for weekly things and one for things that are not urgent but that ought to be purchased if they are on special.  

If you can, perhaps keep an eye out for clothes for the little one - nothing expensive, just bigW onesies or best n less things. Or nappies? My mil used to be forever on the prowl for nappies on special and would turn up from time to time with a box of nappies for the bubs.  



#13 MrsLexiK

Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:36 PM

I don't think the hobby has to go but they need a budget and need to stick to it. As part of that budget they each get x amount to spend on what they want, if your DS wants to all of his can all go to his hobby. If they want take away it needs to be in the budget.

#14 Lauren Bell

Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:52 PM

As most people have said I think a budget is the way to go as well as your Ds giving up his hobby at least for a while. Also, like someone has already said, get dil to call Centrelink and make sure she's getting everything she's entitled too. And lastly, would dil consider getting a night time job? I worked from when my dd was 4 months, I did 3 1/2 hours at a restaurant, it started at 6:30 and went til 10, dd was asleep and I didn't miss any of those special moments - also good for bub and dad time.


#15 April girl

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:57 PM

QUOTE (mantilla @ 24/11/2012, 06:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi - many thanks for your replies, all appreciated.  His hobby is racing motorbikes (so lots of maintenance, parts, entry fees, travel costs).  Mrs Shine, yes its hard to think that she is considering a split to claim benefits (so wrong in my eyes).  I have suggested easier, less expensive meals - but agree with what you each have said re their choices - as in not moaning about no money but buying Subway etc.  They use MCN's so luckily no disposables;  I've suggested (in a roundabout way original.gif  ) that DIL look for part time work esp with summer & seasonal work out there but she is fully BF & made a comment along the lines of ... she doesnt want someone else to see baby roll over/walk/ etc for the first time.  Please dont flame me here for that ... I can see her point, but sometimes, needs must - & this may be more about them both making changes as I said in my OP.  
I read some of the other posts about MIL's & feel very blessed that I have such a good rel/ship with DIL, but feel at the end of my string here.  Your point Shelby that they learn to live within their means is so very true - all of us have to, regardless of income streams.


If you we're my MIL I'd be furious that you're suggesting I undertake pt work and miss out on those milestones so your ds can race a damn motorbike. Sheesh stay out of it. Let them manage on their own then they will have to learn to live within their means.

#16 April girl

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

QUOTE (QueenB.PrincessC @ 24/11/2012, 08:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As most people have said I think a budget is the way to go as well as your Ds giving up his hobby at least for a while. Also, like someone has already said, get dil to call Centrelink and make sure she's getting everything she's entitled too. And lastly, would dil consider getting a night time job? I worked from when my dd was 4 months, I did 3 1/2 hours at a restaurant, it started at 6:30 and went til 10, dd was asleep and I didn't miss any of those special moments - also good for bub and dad time.


Why can't the ds get a night job instead?


#17 Sunshineandsmiles

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:00 PM

Look at the sahm - secret to living on one wage. Great tips and tricks I have found.

#18 belinda1976

Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:09 PM

QUOTE
Hi - many thanks for your replies, all appreciated. His hobby is racing motorbikes (so lots of maintenance, parts, entry fees, travel costs).


Ah how did I guess.  My DH's expensive hobby was dirt bikes and yes it does get costly.

But in all honesty (and I may be a little harsh) but your DS has to suck it up and put his family first now and yes he might love his hobby but at the end of the day that shouldn't be his No 1 priority - it should be his family!  

My DH had to seriously cut down on his riding which he terribly missed but what the alternative - cause even more financial stress which wouldn't be good on the marriage.  It might only be 2 weeks into living on 1 wage but as time goes it will get tighter money wise.

QUOTE
If you we're my MIL I'd be furious that you're suggesting I undertake pt work and miss out on those milestones so your ds can race a damn motorbike. Sheesh stay out of it. Let them manage on their own then they will have to learn to live within their means

April Girl I'm sure it was just a suggestion/advice as it sounds like the OP's son's family is struggling quite a bit.  I can totally understand where you're coming from not wanting to miss the milestones but if money is very tight, to the point you can't pay your bills, what other choice would you have???  My friend had to return to work after 4 months of maternity leave for financial reasons.  She wasn't happy with it but had no other choice.  I'm sure the OP has suggested other options as well.

Edited by belinda1976, 24 November 2012 - 11:14 PM.


#19 Unatheowl

Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:12 AM

QUOTE (belinda1976 @ 25/11/2012, 12:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
April Girl I'm sure it was just a suggestion/advice as it sounds like the OP's son's family is struggling quite a bit.  I can totally understand where you're coming from not wanting to miss the milestones but if money is very tight, to the point you can't pay your bills, what other choice would you have???  My friend had to return to work after 4 months of maternity leave for financial reasons.  She wasn't happy with it but had no other choice.  I'm sure the OP has suggested other options as well.


I may be wrong but I think AG was referring the insinuation that the next setp would be for the DIL to get a job rather than ask her son to stop the bikes, which of course, is outrageous.

#20 mantilla

Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:41 AM

I would love DIL to be able to stay home with their little one (I was very fortunate to be home wioth each of my children - but different circumstances, plus many years ago original.gif  ).  AG - I do hear what you are saying, sorry you feel so cross re me "over-stepping .. etc" (paraphrased here), & I do totally think the hobby has to either go or be put on back burner for some time, be that weeks or months/years until their budget and family circumstances allow that to pick up again - if it ever does.  He does need to man up etc, but I was after some ideas to offer DIL ways of saving money now that may be more 2012 oriented than my rather dated ideas from the 1980's etc.  I have made loads of meals, bought ingredients for BM enhancing when that seemed a bit haywire; have bought gifts & they are often here for meals.  DIL's family is also very supportive.  Reading all this back the crux of the matter is the motoX bike & DS has to realise this now they are on just one income - BUT despite me being very supportive to DIL I am not going to wade in & tell them both face to face what to do.  I am respecting her choice to tell me this & wanting to help in little ways - this is their relationship so any solution has to be right for them.  But, many thanks for the replies - all very thought provoking.  At times in our lives we all face financial hiccups & money is often a challenge to relationshios.

#21 ThatsNotMyName

Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:45 PM

QUOTE
Just after some ideas from other new parents about how they coped with the change to one income etc. My DS & DIL have a 3 mth baby & have recently moved onto just one income after DIL's parent-leave pay finished (2 weeks ago). I know they are really struggling with debt repayments & despite suggesting going to a budget advice centre, put in a vege garden or a pot of tomatoes on the front deck; selling one of their vehicles - altho not really an option though as DS works away plus they live about 5 km from nearest town, no buses etc - etc, I dont really know what else to do. I have made loads of meals & baking since baby arrived, but we too have a limited income & my DH probably wont appreciate me propping them up so much.
DS does have an expensive hobby & has said "what will he do in the weekends without this " - dont worry, I said quite a bit back to him, that parenting is a compromise for both of them, & sacrifices need to be made until bubs is bigger &/or DIL goes back to work somewhere. I know the solution is to put a halt on that, also they need to find a solution that works for them etc

DIL said that one of their options is to split up (WTH ??) & so I wonder if the stresses of having a little bub plus no $$ is just proving too hard. Many years ago with my eldest, my then DH & I had major money problems so I understand her predicament - but solutions from 28 yrs ago seem a little outdated so your ideas & suggestions are really appreciated. TIA

Perhaps your DS could sell both his car & racing bike & buy a reasonably priced motorbike to ride to work? At least he'd still be riding which may make putting racing on hold more tolerable.
Other than that: meal planning, reduce meat meals, home made gifts, free entertainment (free to air tv, board games, go for a walk together and make future plans - dream dreams, visualise making it all work!!).

Edited by ThatsNotMyName, 25 November 2012 - 01:46 PM.


#22 jayskette

Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:49 PM

they don't sound like they are struggling much... just struggling to function as mature adults




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