Money Monster

Move over Bride of Frankenstein – there’s a new monster bitch in town and it’s the Money Monster!  Yours truly in case you were wondering.

One of the things that scares me most about facing our 6th big ART treatment besides the possibility of facing yet another negative result is the financial outlay we are going to have to commit to yet again.

I’m sure you’ll all agree with me wholeheartedly on this one.  Fertilty treatment is DAMN EXPENSIVE!  I’ve always been of the opinion that it will all be worth it in the end, when we hold our child(ren) in our arms that no amount of money would matter.  But the fact is that you are spending huge amounts of money on a slight chance that you might at long last pull the long straw.  We have been so blessed in the last 6 years of our journey because we have been lucky enough to have financial help from family but if I’m really honest I can see how this pipe dream is seriously making a dent in our lives (and pockets).

Those of you who know me in real life will know that I used to have the philosphy of “it’s just money” however in the last two years through a series of events that have occured I’ve become “the money monster”.  I watch literally every penny that I earn and budget it down to *the* last cent in order to ensure that we can afford IVF.  If it’s luxury it’s quite simply out of the question.  I gave up an extremely well paying  job (but a highly unsatifactory one) to work where I am working now but that came with a pay cut.  I’ve cut all luxuries in my life out so that I can still carry my load of the bills and put a small (very small) amount of money away to afford a chance at being a mother.  No more pedicures (can do that at home myself), no more painting, no more unecessary food stuff, no more constant entertaining, not a lot of eating out allowed anymore, no more, no more, no more…  We rely on tax refunds, bonuses etc to pay for our treatment and I watch every cent like a freaking hawk cos I.cannot.be.in.the.place.of.not.being.able.to.afford.another.treatment.

I hate being this person, this money monster who is so hectic about money.  I saw what worrying about money does to a marriage first hand with my folks.  I don’t want to be this person but I also can’t help myself.  When I look back at the nearly R200 000.00 we’ve spent on treatment alone not counting the probable R50 000.00 to R60 000.00 on therapy, reflexology, acupuncture etc I want to vomit. 

But I also know that if we do ever get this right that money will be worth nothing in my life.

Now here is where I need advise.  The husband wants to spend a substantial amount of money on a trip for the two of us.  He will be taking part in a mountain bike race and I will be waiting for him to come in and we’ll maybe have one or two nice dinners while we are there. 

I just cannot get it out my head that this trip, while it will be really nice, is a luxury.  We can go away to nice places locally that won’t cost us as much and will be just as nice, in fact nicer cos we’ll actually be spending proper quality time together.

I’ve suggested he go on his own.  He wants us both to go. 

I feel that flights for both of us are complete luxury and just can’t bring myself to spend a quarter of a treatment’s worth of money for 3 days.

So, if you have a moment please take part in my very first poll and also leave any wise words of wisdom for a “money monster” on how to find the balance in this all below in the comments.

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27 thoughts on “Money Monster

  1. Hey Sam I don’t mean “screw treatment” but I do think that you should pick your luxuries and a weekend supporting your husband might just be one of the important ones. Can I ask which race it is?

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  2. I have voted…Screw Treatment..both of you go. You deserve it…but more importantly, you need it. Looking back on your blog lately…you have been screaming out that you need a break. Heres your chance…and the perfect one

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  3. One thing i’ve learnt on our journey is that the most important thing i have had throughout hte journey is Hein – without him nothing would be worth the pain and heartache.
    You will find the money you need for your next ART even if it takes a bit longer at least you and DH had a special time together.

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  4. OK I’m saying both go, but not “screw treatment” 🙂

    We also have no more holidays planned or anything huge, but I insist on the occassional weekend away with my friends and dinner out. If I get run over by a bus tomorrow, I don’t want to look back on a section of my life with regret.

    I have certainly learned my lesson in terms of you only have today…

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  5. Budg, I voted for you both to go but not screw treatment! The thing is, you BOTH need a break, a time out this could be good for both of you. And you know, I totally understand the Money Monster BUT, you do need to also be able to have a treat once in a while. You only have today to live for. I think its the biggest mistake that ALL of us make along this journey, we spend so much time worrying (understandably) about all the strains and stresses of infertlity that we forget that life is passing us by.
    GO for it! It will cost a bit of money but what you loose in cash I bet you’ll make up for in a break away, in some quality time with yourself.
    (((hugs)))

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  6. Sam, It’s a tough one because how can I tell you to go when I think the same way as you do! I do know that these things are important to our husbands and that more then anything else on this journey they resent putting our lives on hold for the ‘what if’s.’ After all you have been through maybe it is worth being spontaneous and just doing it?! It’s a memory you wont regret if you can get your head around the cost and then let go of it so you can enjoy it 100%. It’s hard I know but maybe worth it! xxx

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  7. I voted neither go. Im in the same boat you are and although it would be nice to go, if you anything like me you will probably be counting the pennies every step of the journey. Sure go away for a weekend near by, enjoy one another but spending quarter of your treatment budget might result in resentment or you not even enjoying yorself?

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  8. Both go because you both need the break, the relaxation, the well being, the togetherness. Without both of you being happy and healthy, the next treatment cycle will not be worth it. You will find the funds, you always do. Go relax and climb some mountains (figuratively and literally).

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  9. I voted both go because t is so important for him that you both be there. You’ll find the money for the treatment. And in the end you’ll have some nice quality time together on the trip

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  10. I voted both go because I am just coming to realize how much I have missed out on our own journey trying to fund the “next big thing”. Sometimes we have to just embrace where we are at in life right now and find ways to still live in the moment.

    Because I also know how hard it is to spend that hard earned money when there is something out there that you want so much more than a trip, are there ways you could find to cut costs to make the getaway more affordable – less eating out, free or inexpensive places to visit like museums or parks? I suspect these are already under consideration, but really want you to have a little time to leave it all behind and just relax for a bit.

    Wishing you peace and hoping you find a solution you are happy with.

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  11. You know what, you only live once…….I have cancelled a trip for IVF, and it failed, now you say.I should have gone!! You could always save up afterwards just delay your treatment? Goodluck with your decision, I know it is not an easy one. T

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  12. I said “both go” but I didn’t mean “screw treatment”. I still think that when you feel ready you go for it when you can, but I also do think that you’ve been through so very much that you need to just take a bit of time for yourself and have some quality “us” time with your hubby.

    I do know about the money-monster – I’m a bit like that too which is why we’ve never done stuff like overseas travel (except to move here), it takes us forever to buy things like TVs and so on.

    But after our journey I suddenly realised I need to find myself again. I need to discover my hobbies again, I need to find and do something that will give me excitement, make me relax, make me focus on living life again, because somewhere along the line, you lose yourself a bit. I imagine that you are at that same exhausting point (probably even more than me).

    So Sam, I say go for it!

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  13. Sam, I voted that you both go but like some of the other ladies, I don’t mean “Screw the treatment”. Somehow, the money will find its way to you to continue with treatment. You need a break and this may just be the opportunity for you & DH to just get away, just the two of you.

    Just my opinion, so in the end, do what your heart tells you to do.
    (((hugs)))

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  14. Whilst travelling the road of infertility we tend to forget that life is passing us by in the fast lane. Whilst all we think about is treatment and falling pregnant we put everything else on hold and forget to live….. as in my case I look back 2 years later and think… wow… how much have i missed out on! 2 years have passed me by and all of it consumed with making a baby…. all that time of my life just gone…. although we want children so badly I feel that we need to remember that…time is more precious than money. It’s a nonrenewable resource and once you’ve spent it (and if you’ve spent it badly) its gone FOREVER! (QUOTE by Neil Fiore)… that quote struck a chord in me… although I want a baby more than anything in this world, I mustn’t forget that life is short and I need to live it best I can…. tomorrow something could happen to either of us and i don’t want our last time spent together to be no memory but the stress of trying to make a baby…. so in essence I guess what I’m trying to say is that you need to find a balance and budget for luxuries too… you can still cut down but don’t give it up. Don’t pass on the oppurutnity to actually ‘live’ with your husband. Go make a memory…..

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  15. I voted you both go! Perhaps this time your hubby just wants you two to do something different, yes you may need to save a little longer for the next treatment. But it’s imperative that you don’t loose perspective of yourself and your marriage. You HAVE to have a balance. And this, might just be that balance. Yes it’s a lot of money for 3 days…but so is a treatment a lot of money for 3 embies that may not even make the finish line.

    Life is too short not to have fun and adventure!

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  16. Both of you should go. He wants it, and he could use it. And you could do with a little indulgence yourself.

    Money is a recoverable entity. Enjoy those three days, and then roll the chips in again!

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  17. Tough decision. I am a “go with your gut” kinda person, so that is the only advice I can give. I try not to regret things, so if you can go and not regret it, then by all means, go and enjoy. If you will spend the whole time wondering if you really should have stayed home, then stay at home. I guess flipping a coin might help if it gets too tough to chose. 😉

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  18. I hear you on the financial cost Sam, initially its just money but as the years and amount of rands gets more and more it does become a major issue. I have stopped counting what we have spent over the years, it’s too frightening.

    While the money and ART is important living life, having fun and special time together is equally important. For a number of years I focused solely on treatment, I can tell you in detail about every cycle etc but nothing more, we had no life, no holidays, no fun trips the money was all for treatment. Ww\hen I kook back now it is very sad that I did that, those years are gone and I can never get them back. The big danger we have to guard against in IF is make sure we are living as opposed to just existing and if you are going to get enjoyment out of this then go!

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  19. I vote to send him on his own. I too am turning into a little bit of a money monster and I think a holiday for the two of you where you get to actually spend time together and enjoy some time out – more affordably would win for me every time.

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  20. I did not vote. Although I want you both to go, I don’t want my vote to come with “screw treatment”. I say go, but do your next treatment too if you can. I know this IF shit sucks girl, on so many levels and financial is a HUGE one. Much love to you. xoxox

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  21. Go, go, go!!

    I know how you feel, but you must try to keep a balance, but I may be biased as I looooveee mountain biking trips.

    What race is it?

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  22. I think you should both go – but not “screw treatment”. I burned through over R100,000 (excluding what the medical aid paid) in less than 12 months last year, and yes it hurts financially.

    There are many ways to save money and many sacrifices that can be made. But your marriage is a huge blessing in your life and money spent on a shared experience that’s just for the two of you is not wasted.

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  23. Sam

    I voted that he should go as if you are not spending quality time together then is it really worth all that money? Rather spend the money where you are actually sharing precious moments together

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  24. I voted that you should both go. I know how hard it is to delay or cancel treatment (believe me! email me!) when it’s something you’ve longed for so hard and for so many years. But I also know I really neglected Jeff during parts of our journey to parenthood and he’s still feeling that to this day. It’s also a pattern not easily broken…I tend to focus more on nurturing Sam than Jeff and occasionally Jeff has to ask me to pay attention to him. It’s not right that I’m so imbalanced and it’s not good for Sam that he be the center of my whole world. He needs balance too. I guess what I am saying is make your husband a priority now so that you can form the habit. And I think it will really bless his heart if you “choose” him. More than anything you could say, putting aside your timeline for him shows how much you love and value him.

    xoxoxo
    (all this said with love and not judgement!)

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  25. My advice is to pay attention to your H & go on holiday with him. It is very easy for all this Infertility treatment to be the full focus in a marriage, and to lose sight of the fact that you need to work at the marriage too. I was in a similar situation and was completely knocked off my feet with a situation I didn’t even see coming!!

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