Entertainment And News

Stay-At-Home Mom Lists All Of The Things Her Family Was Forced To Give Up Because They Can No Longer Afford It

Photo: Pra-chid from Getty Images / Canva Pro
mom creating a budget with

It’s no secret the average person is struggling to live a financially comfortable life. Especially now that this phenomenon has started to trickle into “wealthier cohorts,” it’s gained rapid acknowledgment by the general public as a huge issue. Between 2010 and 2020, the cost of housing and food rose between 21 and 27%, respectively — with recent years only expediting that growth across more industries like transportation.

So, what does this mean for those of us trying to get by? Certainly, in many ways, we can look to our governing body for support. In some cases, the Biden administration has provided hope for the future of many communities, including initiatives aimed at providing housing assistance, rent support, and more widespread access to public services. 

Unsurprisingly, those initiatives are unlikely to make it to the doorsteps of the families and communities that really need support.

One mom on TikTok outlined eight things she’s been forced to sacrifice from her family’s typical routine in order to make ends meet. 



RELATED: 'Burning Man' Has Turned Into A Place Where Rich People Can Cosplay As 'Poor'​

1. The family’s subscriptions

The mom acknowledged that her family’s subscription services were the first to be cut in an effort to save money. The average monthly spending on subscriptions is around $220 — a total almost 2.5 times more than what the average person thought their monthly expenses were. Hulu, Netflix, subscription boxes, grocery deliveries — all subscriptions that add up over time. For this family, it was an expense they could no longer afford. 

2. Monthly Target trips

TikTok is constantly filled with influencers showing Target hauls — but this mom’s idea of a monthly trip is much different. For some, a typical shopping trip to Target can wrack up hundreds of dollars in total, but this mom admitted she only goes as an excuse to get out of the house — not to buy. That time away is used to grab a quick coffee or treat — almost always under $25 a month. However, with the rising cost of living, she said it’s no longer feasible to even take these quick moments for herself. 

3. Dining out at restaurants

Not to mention the cost of the meal and the potential transportation costs to get there, eating out at a restaurant means additional costs for tipping, as well. An unsuspecting expense — especially with the rising costs of food and service — the average American family spends around $170 per person each month when going out to eat. Typically an experience and bonding moment for the family, this mom was forced to swap sit-down restaurant time for quick drive-through dinners to ensure they’d have enough money throughout the month. 

RELATED: Mom Refuses To Plan Christmas After Husband Tells Her To 'Make It Work' With Only $100 After He Blew Money On A Trip

4. A job

Narratives of unemployed people in poor communities are some of the most misguided arguments in the media today. Research suggests that often unemployed people are making the most fiscally responsible decision by remaining jobless. According to research from April, more than a quarter of American parents are forced to quit or leave their job to fund childcare for their children at home. 

Not only is childcare extremely expensive for families where both parents work, as this TikTok mom addressed, but oftentimes social and public services are linked to income in a harmful way. There are two sides to a similarly harmful coin when discussing welfare or social program benefits — work requirements and income regulation. Attaching benefits to work requirements can be innately discriminatory towards certain communities, like disabled communities or families with young children who would find it more destabilizing to have a job.

Oppositely, for people who receive benefits below a certain income threshold, a side hustle or part-time job to fund outside expenses can actually put families over the income threshold. Meaning if a stay-at-home mom decides to take a part-time job making an extra $50 a month, the $300 grocery voucher provided by SNAP can be taken away if that $50 puts them over the income threshold. Both of these scenarios are the reality for many working and middle-class families in the United States today.

5. New clothes

Another important point, not often acknowledged by social media, is the reality that clothing is often overlooked as a necessity within social or welfare programs. This mom mentioned she’s been wearing her pregnancy clothes for almost a year despite the significant changes to her body because she can’t afford to buy new ones. Not only that, but something as simple as a correctly fitted undergarment has become a luxury outside their budget. 

RELATED: Dad Cuts Off Wife’s Money After Hearing Recording Of Her Speaking To His Adopted Daughter

6. Going to the movies 

We’ve all been there — the big screen on a Friday with our siblings awaiting a new movie that’s been promoted for months. What was once a fun bonding experience for families is now often financially unattainable. Movie tickets alone have risen in price by almost 15% in the past decade, not including the cost of food, drinks, and transportation. These increased costs, alongside the value of time for many impoverished families, make small trips like this unattainable. 

7. Weekend trips

Many families rely on the weekends to spend time together, especially when school, work, and other obligations take up the majority of their weeks. Even though these outings are the perfect way for families to spend quality time together, in recent years it’s become both more difficult and expensive to achieve. 

“Now we can’t afford that anymore,” the mom confessed, “with gas being expensive, we just can’t afford it.”

Coupled with transportation fees like gas, rising cost of living has seeped into attraction costs like petting zoos or water parks — as the mom mentioned. 

8. Doctor’s appointments out of town

A sad but true fact about living in the United States is the inaccessibility of healthcare. However, for this family, health insurance is not what holds them back from seeing a doctor or specialist. It's the commute. The mom detailed how living in a smaller rural area means the closest doctor to them is around an hour's drive away. With the price of gas and the time it takes to travel there, the family has been forced to get care only in desperate times. For a 55-minute trip to her OBGYN while pregnant, this mom said the costs to travel there “drained their bank account” for months leading up to her daughter’s birth.

In our current world and with the financial crisis on the doorstep of so many of our neighbors and friends, don’t forget to be kind.

Everyone deserves the right to have food, a roof over their heads, and a means to live. More than that though, families and individuals living in poverty deserve to do more than just survive — they deserve to be happy. Be quick to have empathy, not judgment. 

RELATED: Why 'Rich' People Don’t Put Their Parents In Nursing Homes — And What They Do Instead

Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango focusing on pop culture analysis and human interest stories. Catch up with them on Instagram or TikTok