family finances – who are we taking care of?

There was a report recently that said that something like one in seven families in the UK are stretching their income between dependant children and elderly parents who can’t pay their bills. Many of those in their middle years are not having the lifestyle they expected (I wonder what they expected) as they are having to keep children, including adult ones and their own parents from financial disaster. It was reported as a terrible thing, but I think most of us who are truly struggling to make ends meet, still keeping a roof over their heads, food on the table and ensure education for our adult children it isn’t so awful. Is it difficult? Yes, very. Does it mean lots of doing without? You bet. But is that so awful? Maybe it’s expecting a certain lifestyle that’s the problem?

After a few months of unemployment (neither could sign on) both our lads have jobs again. Both are doing skilled and challenging work and both are paid minimum wage. Note; minimum wage is not a living wage. On top of this both lads have been expected to work hours for free so in reality they are on less than minimum wage. This is true for many of their peers also.  Worse still, many adults are leaving Uni with a degree that wont get them a job and are taking on “internships” which is working for nothing, often for big money-making firms.

There are a lot of people our age on two quite nice salaries and therefore I can’t see why they would mind caring for grandma’s gas bill when she can’t pay it. especially if grandma’s hard work and care was the leg up the financial ladder for her children.

Perhaps the fact that less money must go further will bring down the cost of living and help everyone. So far that doesn’t seem to be happening. But a girl can dream.

In the meantime while we can’t hope for a good Catholic approach to the workplace with just wages and subsidiarity within families, it is good to know that so many other families are caring for their own.

There was a Catholic/Christian family I read about from a home ed site that showed a family, living on one a  bit wages, caring for their 11 children, home educating them and having granddad living with them too.

The parents noted the ridiculous way the benefit system works and that they are made worse off financially because dad works and he and mum are married.  Until there’s a Govt with the will to support families that wont change.

My oldest daughter has been advised to sign on. The friend who told her she should do this asked why she hadn’t done so yet. Well, because she’s trying to build up a little business of her own in her cakes. She is held back by the fact we need a considerable financial injection to make  the kitchen up to scratch and then pay for it to be licensed. Meanwhile she tries to sell to friends and family. All this is good but she should sign on said our friend. She then went through the “hoops” that must be jumped. She must accept being treated appallingly by staff at the benefits Office. Then she must take lessons in applying for jobs she wont get and attend a “job club” where she must do what most people automatically do from home anyway. But it’s worth it to get the dole money and  pay the bills.


Life isn’t a bed of roses, trying to hold it all together in a shockingly high cost country, but we work together and although I know the older three would love to have their own place and more independence – for now, this works for us. God has been kind and I refuse to be afraid for the future, (no matter how sick I get) I know He will step in when He needs to. It’s a good thing we have Him, because we certainly can’t put trust in the “princes” can we?

2 responses to “family finances – who are we taking care of?

  1. Hello. I’ve just started Reading your blog, and like it very much. I think We actually live very close to you (according to some friends!) and also home school. With regards to the cake business, are you sure she needs a licence. I spoke to someone in the food health industry, not long ago, who said it’s a well held myth about insurance/licenses etc; And that reasonable hygiene is adequate. I have a very good book about setting up a cake business, you would be welcome to borrow… Just email me!

    • Wow thank you for that. It would be so much more sensible if we didn’t have to completely revamp the kitchen/ She’s never poisoned anyone!
      I will email. Thank you.

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