Inside The Lives Of The Rich Kids Of London
How This Family of 8 Lives Rich on ,000 a Year
What does it really take to live rich?Redbookspoke to three moms — with three very different incomes — about their secrets to saving, spending, and raising a happy, healthy family, regardless of how much money you have in the bank. Their advice may just change your life.
Read about Natalie, a single mom earning ,000 a year, and Alexi, raising a 4-year-old in a camper on ,000 a year, here and here.
Rochelle Matthews-Somerville, 42
White Plains, MD
Grocery Budget: 0/month
Latest Splurge: Movie tickets,
While ,000 is a great chunk of change for the average family, it’s not much when you have six kids. They range from age 3 to 14; five are boys, and good gracious, can they eat! We used to spend close to ,000 a month on groceries, but a gift from my brother five years ago changed not only our budget but also how healthy we were: He gave each kid vegetable seeds for Christmas.
At first I thought it was a token gift, but since my in-laws grew kale, turnips, and chard on their property, we gave it a shot. It was a big investment on the frontend — we spent 0 on soil, seeds, pots, wood for perimeter barriers, and organic herbs that keep bugs away — but now our garden helps us save about 0 a month on groceries from May through October. Last year, my kids basically did all the planting themselves — they love getting their hands dirty in soil — and on a warm day, they’ll pop cucumbers or tomatoes right into their mouths. It’s great not having to worry about how much money they’re eating each day.
In 2011, after I had my third and fourth children (twins!), I left my job. Working full-time became stressful—I was completely exhausted after work, to the point where it was nearly impossible to be pleasant around my family. I worried I was wasting the Ph.D. in psychological and cultural studies I’d worked hard for, so I decided to put it to good use by homeschooling my kids.
In our kitchen, I teach preschool and first, third, sixth, and ninth grades and incorporate biblical and African-American studies. The program we use was ,000 this school year; beyond supplying materials, it connects us to other families for weekly meetings. I feel a lot of pressure at times to defend my decision to homeschool, and this group encourages me to keep doing it and helps my kids develop real friendships with other homeschooled children in the area.
Even at a young age, my kids are conscious of the difference between "wants" and "needs."
When I’m paying our mortgage and other bills, I tend to reminisce about the days when my husband and I had enough money to go on vacation or to save. We’ve exhausted most of our savings while raising our kids, but not having money to spend on luxuries has taught them to understand what it means to provide for a family. Even at a young age, they are conscious of the difference between “wants” and“needs,” and my older ones show all the signs of being financially responsible in the future. They’re already the first in line when it comes to giving to others. It’s been a blessing to teach my kids how to take care of themselves and put family ahead of personal possessions.
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