shoestring living

july 2023
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(Siew Household Profile)
Quint Siew (33 years), Rebecca (33 years), Scarlett (13 years), Elodie (7 years), Wyatt (3 years), Tyson (1 years)

narrated by: Quint

Rebecca wants to be a stay at home Mom, before that she wanted to own a pottery shop, with her it is always changing. I have a difficult time keeping her appeased, if I ever had to begin with. It feels like she’s always twenty steps ahead of me, and picked up all the stair pieces behind her, just shouting for me to catch up already.

She was able to weasel her way and get an entire paid year off work, but now she’s had to return, just in time for the girls’ summer break. Scarlett begged to babysit, even rounded up her best friend Lulu to help, and they didn’t request much money compensation ether.

Tyson wakes up soon after six, just after we leave. Scarlett didn’t anticipate a summer break with waking up with the sunrise, but she didn’t complain once.

Since the boys share a room, Wyatt is up too, and neither are patient for their breakfast. Wyatt really should be better seeing that he’s 3 1/2 now, but he just isn’t.

This is about the time that Rebecca calls from the diner to see how it’s going since she drove to work. Scarlett can’t always answer which I think is forgivable, but really gets Rebecca into a fit of worry.

If Lulu couldn’t help, then I wouldn’t feel comfortable with the arrangement, but they can tag team the boys and both are capable thirteen year old girls.

They both do a great job cleaning up too, it might not be done immediately, but it’s done before we get home from work.

They also interact with them, play at their level, and I find that is something that most daycare places can’t be bothered to do. For the girls, this is pure fun, plus money which is always rare and exciting at their age.

Rebecca gets home an hour before me, and she tells me about how the boys were too much for the girls, that she finds them practically comatose on the sofa. When I talk to the girls, they admit that the boys are exhausting but totally fun.

Rebecca just doesn’t feel comfortable with it though, so she spoke with her boss, Hazel yet again about her schedule. She’s changed it to weekends only for the summer, for eternity? I don’t really know with Rebecca.

Now we are working opposite schedules, with her days off being every single day I work, and my two days off are the two she does. And she works all day from 6 am to 10 pm. She makes good money as the weekend is the best shift, but she made more working the weekday overall. We are losing $1600 each week, that’s money that we can’t afford to lose no matter how much she wants the time off, nor is it comparable to paying a few hundred for a nanny.

She can’t be reasoned with, she updated the entire house this past year despite us not having the funds for such a frivolous thing. Sure it wasn’t really our style, but it still provided comfort and shelter, and we’d eventually get to the point of remodeling.

The biggest struggle is that she’s never been patient, she wanted a house immediately, a baby right after, while I was still hung over from the college buzz. I thought in time that we’d be on the same page, but now she feels ready to be done working at the ripe age of thirty-three, and we just aren’t independently wealthy, nor did we build a savings when we just threw ourselves into the family way.

Scarlett is thirteen, she’s going to start college soon. She wants guitar lessons, and to play country music, and while I know that she might outgrow these aspirations, it’s important to me that she can throw herself at them. I can’t even think about her college education, I already know that we can’t afford to send her, and I know that Rebecca will want to, though she isn’t thinking about that part yet.

Construction is back breaking, and pays enough in a two income household, where every party is pulling their weight, and the curtains are out of date but no one minds. It just isn’t enough for Rebecca though and the lifestyle she wants.

I’ve recently become friends with the new kid at work, Isaiah. He’s only here for a stint before he gets picked up in a good career, he has the degree to support just about anything better than this. He’s been my ear through all this financial burden though, and really started pressing for me to go for a four year degree. I have a two year, so it won’t take much to get it done.

It’s a $10,000 loan for the two years, I had wanted to go back to school back when Scarlett was a toddler but Rebecca was passionately opposed. Back then I was a paramedic and saw the extra money that nurses and lower level doctors made, I’d wanted a slice of that pie. But medical isn’t really my passion, I’d love to do some CIA or FBI work though.

I invited Isaiah over to discuss it with Rebecca, we haven’t exactly been seeing eye to eye since she announced her pregnancy of Tyson. I thought a third party with some knowledge could lend me some credibility to getting a four year degree.

Tyson wouldn’t sleep because of the thunderstorm though, and was overtired so nothing would appease him. Rebecca was distracted, and it wasn’t going well.

When she finally got Tyson back to sleep, we started discussing again, but Rebecca just wasn’t interested in it. She doesn’t like me bring our family into debt, she thinks it is selfish on my part. And she went to bed all pissy, that I could dare think of doing this, now!

In the end, I made my own decision. I called and got the student loan easily over the phone while Rebecca ignored me and the entire phone call with her nose in a book. She’s suddenly very interested in baking, and doing cooking contests, I don’t even know where this came from.

I was able to enroll immediately for the summer session, I’m studying Political Science and Foreign Affairs, hoping to get a job in Intelligence when it’s all said and done. The pay will be better, the hours less strenuous, and more hope for promotion.

In the mean time, I’m studying and writing papers and still working full-time. Despite all of this, it just isn’t enough, and I can’t pay the bills without Rebecca’s full income.

Everyone is home when the bank comes calling for some repayment on the $3000 we owe them. I’m relieved I got my student loans, but wish I could have gotten more to get us squared away for this summer, in hopes that eventually Rebecca would return to full-time work.

Rebecca isn’t talking with me, unless it is to complain about all the housework she has to do, or what mischief the boys got into. Scarlett has been fine with me, proud that I’m going back to college, but has been giving Rebecca attitude. She blames her for the repoman, and not allowing her to babysit the kids this summer.

Rebecca will complain about this to me as well, but I understand where Scarlett is coming from, and I agree wholeheartedly. If Rebecca had stuck to the summer plan of the girls babysitting, and kept her good $3000 weekly paycheck, we would not be in this situation, just another week of work and I could have gotten our bills squared away.

At least the kids aren’t mad at me, it’s hard for me to find the time to spend with them. Elodie still greets me as soon as I get home, and tells me all about her day before anyone else can claim me.

Elodie still complains about Scarlett’s taste in country music, though I’ve heard Elodie sing Carrie Underwood before when she thought no one was near by.

On the weekend, it’s just me and all four kids, Scarlett usually hangs out with Lulu for part of it, and I try to do something with each of them.

Despite the trauma of the repoman, I think only Scarlett understands and she isn’t blaming me so I don’t feel too terrible over it. I think getting a career in Intelligence will be better for our family in the long run, maybe get to the point that Rebecca can stop working, and we don’t have to worry about the bank coming to reclaim something.


Notes: This became very marriage, and finance focused as soon as I switched the POV to Quint, and it was his time to speak up. I did get some cute photos of their kids though and I’ve been posting them up on tumblr all week with bits of story about them. I just couldn’t leave them in my folder unused!

Quint rolled the ROS to go back to college, as he has a two year degree, he only needs two more to get a four year. He matched for Police, Intelligence, Fire Service, and Lawyer…. only two require degrees and while I could see Quint as a low-end lawyer with his balding hair, I didn’t think he’d aspire to be a low-end lawyer, but could aspire for FBI/CIA, plus less college.

Rebecca has always dragged Quint along for the ride, when they first married he was still very young, and in a party/friend-mode lifestyle, which she nagged right out of him. He’s done really well in maturing, and providing for this huge family of his, but Rebecca is very flighty in her wants and desires, and impulsive (she also wants to adopt another baby! She won’t stop thinking/talking about it.). She’s obstinate and rather belittling towards Quint, as if his opinion doesn’t carry as much weight as hers. So there is some friction, they didn’t ACR anything the entire time, no hug, no kiss, and no bedroom behavior, they also worked opposite shifts too which doesn’t help.

I wouldn’t say that they are doomed, but I’m keeping an eye on them. A little concerned that her aspiration for the “perfect american lifestyle” is going to break their family. But Quint is a hard worker, and they are both devoted, so I still have hope that they will reconnect and get through this hump, it’s common with all these kids to feel some distance too without financial burden. So I’m not on red alert at all.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read (and comment if you do!), it means a lot to me! ❤


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12 thoughts on “shoestring living

  1. I really love how a change in POV can bring out a whole different angle in a story. Whoa, poor Quint. He’s a stand-up guy and Rebecca needs to check herself. And yes, those girls do look comatose, lol! They’re both so pretty though.

    I love those construction shots so much! What a neat set!

    Also, it’s so funny to see Isaiah as a grown up in your hood, since I used to play him in mine too but I didn’t follow what became of him after high school.

    1. Changing the POV really does make it completely different, no two people are exactly the same, and Quint really opened a whole new focus. You totally made me think of “Check yourself, before you wreck yourself” from Ice Cube, haha. The girls are really pretty, I was never totally smitten with Scarlett, but she’s really growing into herself.

      I’ve been dying to do a construction lot for Quint, just as he’s about to leave the career! But he’s never had a co-worker, and that seemed lame to have him putz around solo. I like seeing what others have done with townies/playables too, it’s fun to see the alternate universe so to speak for them all.

      Thanks for commenting Laura!

  2. Wow! Talk about a different perspective. I am going to side with Quint here because Rebecca is being completely ridiculous! She needs to rein in her interests and spending a little bit to something more reasonable or at least moderately feasible. Quint is going to end up keeling over with a heart attack, lol.

    Boo to her on not trusting the girls when they volunteered and everything! They were doing a good job. Also, they definitely needed that money. I’m definitely a ‘Fortune sim’, so I’m always about the financial stability! Crazy lady.

    I really hope these two can find some common ground and work it out. It would really be a shame for this big family to crack down the middle over things that can easily be addressed!

    1. Hover parent is Rebecca, I just can’t see her trusting anyone but herself when it comes to her home/children. I’m not a fortune sim, but I’m a logical woman that likes finances in order, retirement building, and Rebecca would make me insane… I actually have a sister that spends stupidly and she stresses me the freak out.

      I am really hoping that once Quint gets a job in Intelligence (I hope it doesn’t take long to pop up in the job section after he graduates), that they make enough money to support her weekend-only schedule. But honestly, by the time that rolls around Tyson will be on his way to school, and he’s the baby of the family, so it really won’t benefit her there. I think Rebecca just rushed into adulthood without really thinking about what she wanted when she got there, so she’s struggling to set up her ducks, and in the meantime her kids are growing up, and she’s missing it.

      Thanks for commenting Mao!

  3. Scarlett seems like such a great big sister, taking care of her siblings while Rebecca is back at work. Not many teens would willingly spend their summer break taking care of their siblings! Scarlett and Lulu look exhausted after chasing the boys around all day!

    Rebecca is really set on being a stay at home mom! Quint doesn’t sound too happy about her changing her work schedule. It seems like there might be some resentment between the two of them. Rebecca and Quint don’t seem to share the same views on money. Rebecca seems like a spender while Quint would rather save up before doing something drastic, like remodeling! However, when it comes to something like going back to school, Rebecca is opposed to the idea, claiming that kind of debt is selfish. Wow, I don’t know how Quint deals with her!

    I am glad he is back in college and I hope that he’s able to land a better career opportunity with more pay.

    If you don’t mind me asking – where are those high chairs from? They can eat at the table!! I love that!

    1. Scarlett is a great sister, she’s always helping out the kids, rolling wants for them, and wants something like 6 kids when she grows up with her Ideal Family Size. Lulu also wants an equally large family, so they are the girls to entrust children too, because they thoroughly enjoy it. The toddlers were super exhausting, not on the same schedule for much, and Wyatt kept climbing out of his toddler bed nearly immediately.

      Rebecca wants to get to point D, without hitting the other steps, she can’t see that in the long run it is beneficial to take out a loan, and get a higher paying job. Which sometimes, it doesn’t actually work out that way, and she’s shut the book on college, if she’s going to think about that, it’s in regards to Scarlett who is an eighth grader now.

      And the booster seat is available here – http://www.affinitysims.com/IPB/files/file/310-toddler-n-infant-booster-seat/ It uses high chair recolors so that is extra awesome, but I have like one in my game, I really need to fix that!

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Lulu and Scarlett are awesome to help out with the kids, as tired as it obviously made them! I would have loved doing that with a friend at 13, I think.

    I really felt for Quint in this! He obviously has a strong drive to provide for his family but Rebecca needs to meet him halfway. I think being a stay-at-home mother (or even a mum who works minimal days, like Rebecca is doing) is admirable but only if you can afford it. It’s just too tough on everyone to live beyond your means. I hope it doesn’t end up harming their marriage, in this case. I can see them getting past this but it could easily go the other way as well. :\

    I’m excited to see Quint go back to college though! I never wondered if he had aspirations of getting out of construction – figured he was just a blue collar kind of guy – but I love that he has that aim or working in intelligence.

    1. Lulu and Scarlett are both my 6 kids IFS girls, I think they are adorable as friends, I’m really glad that they lived next door as grade school kids to hit it off.

      Totally agree that you have to be able to afford the lifestyle you want if you will be staying home/working part-time. If they lived less expensively (and they don’t live the best in my hood by any means), then Quint wouldn’t mind her working at home. He likes to please his wife, and provide as you mentioned. But she’s always wanting things, babies, adoption, then randomly stuff items as if she were a fortune sims, which she isn’t, she is family/popularity, but fortune secondary might fit her better.

      By the time Quint graduates, Tyson will be 3 1/2 years old, and Wyatt will be 5 1/2, and that’s not waiting for the job to show up on the computer, which sometimes takes a bit, so it’s all a bit of a loss cause for her, unless she weasels another kid in there. Which would only be through adoption, if there was a need for a family at some point.

      Okay, I am with you. Quint is like the blue collar guy, and I really adore that about him. I hate sending him back to college, but that darn ROS demands it. I could see him being a police officer, which I’m not opposed to stuffing him in while he waits for Intelligence (I mean what if it never pops up for him?! It’s possible, I have a lot of careers). I really do like the idea of him as a balding lawyer though, working to help the victims in this world and lower class who struggle to make ends meet, let alone pay a lawyer. It’s just even more schooling though, but man, can’t ya picture it? Him in an outdated office, Rebecca popping in and trying to spruce it up, some wood wall-paneling… Ahh… See I’m not sold on the Intelligence yet. We will see, but ROS demands he get a degree, so we will get that done first.

      Thanks for commenting Carla!

  5. These 2 certainly are on a different level! I hope they can work things out, because at this rate I don’t see their marriage lasting (and I hate saying this).
    I think it’s time Rebecca gets her priorities strait. I get that she wants to be at home for the kids, but it’s just not possible at the moment, and I hope she gets that now that the repo guy showed up.
    Lulu and Scarlett had an exhauting day with the kids, but it’s admireable that they volonteered to do it, and they didn’t say they didn’t want to do it anymore. I think it’s sad that Rebecca changed her schedule for that, especially when they needed the money so bad.
    I really do hope they can get through this.

    I’m very excited to see Quint in college again, despite Rebecca being against it! I could see him as a police officer as well though!

    1. I could see Quint as an officer too, he just has that grunt work vibe. I always feel that Quint and Rebecca are on different pages, she’s always running ahead and dragging him behind. Neither have any romantic wants for anyone else though, and I don’t see one of them quitting just because they aren’t happiest right now. Quint would want to work harder to make things right, and Rebecca has a guy who lets her do what she wants mostly, so she wouldn’t trade that in. Plus divorce wouldn’t fit with her ideals for raising all these kids.

      Lulu and Scarlett did a great job with the boys, I had them do every single thing that they needed, no cheats, and they were so exhausted by the time Rebecca got home. Both girls are crazy about babies, and are young enough to still like to play, so I imagine them playing house the whole day and loving every minute of it.

      Thanks for commenting Tanja!

  6. I’m glad to see that Quint is going back to school. It’s really a good decision for the family. I don’t know if Rebecca forgot that she put them in the hole to remodel the house or if she’s just used to always getting her way, but it was grating on me this whole update. Despite all that, I hope Rebecca can get over it and get some more time at work. It would be different if they had enough money for it, but they don’t.

    1. Rebecca has one goal in mind, which is to have the perfect family/childhood for her children, and whatever can obtain that. So her remodeling and getting the kids nice bedrooms, and being home with the boys to do classes and activities, those are all for their benefit. Quint going back to school won’t really allow her to do those things, because he will graduate when the youngest Tyson is getting ready for preschool. And that doesn’t count him having a job instantly, or making enough money ether with whatever position he gets. I have a hack for bigger bills, so they really do need the income, it’s made them more of a struggling middle class family then they were before. Rebecca should have waited to have kids, like Lorelei is doing, where she’s settled and can do the parenting job on her terms. Rebecca rushed in, leaving her grasping and pulling at things she wants.

      Thanks for commenting Fini!

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