Dear Stay-at-Home-Moms, Work-at-Home-Moms, Earners of less than 50% of the household net income,
I have some unsolicited advice for you.
I know you scrimp and save, you stretch your dollars to make things work, you put up with things that really don’t work as they should because… because.
It’s great that you are so careful, that you don’t frivolously fritter away the family’s income, but there is a point at which you can say, stop. This isn’t working for me. We need to find another solution.
We have a microwave. It’s only 2 years old. It never actually worked right. The door didn’t close easily, and so it would need to be slammed shut. Eventually, the power supply to the microwave started acting up. You’d have to jiggle the power cable or hit the side to make it work. But I always got it to work, so we soldiered on. We tested and replaced the outlet, in case that was the issue. Moved it to a different circuit (behaved slightly better for a few days, then started acting up again).
For the last month or so, it’s been getting worse. To the point that I can’t rely on it to heat food. I’ll put food in a few minutes before I need to heat it, slam the door closed (now the power is off), and hope that it decides to wake up again before I need it, slamming the side or jiggling the cord every now & then to see if it decides to cooperate.
On Tuesday, we had a babysitter here, and I flat-out told her to avoid the microwave. It can’t be trusted and may in fact be dangerous.
Today, feeling guilty for our bad purchase 2 years ago or for squandering our money for not getting it checked out when it first started acting up (before the warranty expired), I ordered a new microwave.
We have a cesspool. The first few years living in our home, we had it serviced once. $400. They told us we needed to upgrade from our 1961 system to a newer, more sturdy one. We didn’t want to spend the money or tear up the lawn, so the next time we had issues, I called a different company. Another $400, and the same story. We needed to replace our pool.
Fast forward to last year. Company comes in spring. We have issues. $400. Company comes in fall. We have issues. $150. More company comes. $400. And it still needs to be replaced.
Then, this January, we have another issue. We finally are on the same page and get our cesspools replaced. After literally throwing thousands of dollars down the toilet trying to hang on to our old system.
I should have spoken more strongly, more convincingly, that I was convinced we should make the switch. We’d been seriously talking about it for over a year. But I’m not the primary breadwinner, and maybe because of that I feel compelled to be ultra-careful with our money.
When you see something that just isn’t working, speak up. Before it hits the breaking point. You’re not being heroic by making it work, especially when you know it will need to be replaced sooner or later. You’re just adding undue stress to your and your family’s life.
Let it go. Give it up. And don’t feel guilty about saying it just doesn’t work.
(I’m preaching to myself right now).