More month than money.
Living on child support
From December 2005 until April 2010 we have lived of the child support we receive every month from the French goverment. Being a large family, at that time we had five kids (from 5 months to 7 years) this is about 800 euros a month. But after paying the bills for health-insurance, school, taxes, phone-bill and other fees we couldn´t avoid, it would leave hardly 500 euros a month to feed and dress 7 people. But it´s possible.
But you learn to spend it wisely, you turn every penny twice. Check the shop for special offers, but buy only the most important things. I have learned to cut our own hair, I have learned to mend clothes if the kids had ripped them and sometimes we would get clothes from neighbours or friends and family. We even had our own vegetable and fruit garden and with these ingredients I created my own homemade recipes. Very tastfull and healthy. Just everything to cut the costs.
A summer vacation was unthinkable and birthday presents were home made.
But saying all this I remember these years as happy ones, because we were all healthy and strong. Not having a lot of money is not a reason to be depressed or angry. It´s a period of fighting for your family, loving each other and enjoying the small things in life.
This year we had a bit more money to spent, we have survived. We will leave behind this period of poverty and are working on a future somewhere else. We are going to leave all this behind us. I was able to spent money on Christmas presents for everybody this year and we had a great new years eve with a glass of champagne.
I´m still happy, strong and healthy and enjoying my family. Money doesn´t change that.