Would you like to learn how it is possible to be a stay at home mom or dad and not go bankrupt?There are many women and/or men who would prefer to be home with their children but work an outside job only because they believe they have to financially. I am here to show you how that might be wrong and how to actually do it. I was one of those women until my own Father (my boss at the time) fired me and told me to raise my family. I had a 3 1/2 year old who my mother was babysitting for me (I paid her) and a baby due in about 6 weeks. We were into debt up to our noses and we didn't know the first thing about being frugal. To make matters worse, there was not another job close to home that I could do. It sounds like my dad was being mean but he knew what I have learned since, that you can make it on one salary and still live well. Times are hard financially for many people and it is more important than ever to learn wise money saving tips to help with the family budget.
We did make sacrifices over those years but none that were horrible for us and we still lived well. We just made choices and the benefit was getting to raise my children myself with our values, and belief system. I also never had to fear they were being mistreated or abused. My children came home to their mom not an empty house and not some other person with different values. I am not ragging on those moms who do make this choice. I am just saying that if you want it to be different then you can be a stay at home Mom or Dad.
I know some of you may be thinking that I raised my family in a different time and I don't really know how hard it is in today's economy. I answer that with, "I do know how it is even today." Despite the fact that we are making more money than we have ever made in our lives, we are experiencing financial hard times. It isn't because we are poor money managers but because we are choosing to help some other people in our lives who are struggling. We have had to tighten our own financial belts in order to do that. I could go into all the spiritual benefits of giving but I don't want to start with that today because I know that you need to see the practical side before you can go there.
The first step will take some time and effort but a payoff will be reaped at the end. This is important, just guessing or estimating is not going to work so do this step with diligence. Gather your credit card bills and bank statements for the past year and make a list of all your income and in another column list out all your expenses (everything!). You can do this with pencil and paper or you can do this on a spreadsheet. Make sure that everything fits into a category. List everything even the small things like snacks and fees, newspapers, etc. Your categories can be whatever you want them to be. Some good ones to start with are:
- Vehicles (License, inspection, maintenance, repair, etc)
- Child Care
- Gas (Travel, work, etc)
- Home Repair
- Personal Care (haircuts, color, pedicures, massages, spa, gym, etc)
- Library (anything you read)
- Loans (Home, Vehicles, all loans)
- Credit Cards
- Home Decor/Furniture/Appliances
- Tech Items (TV, Computers, Phones, etc)
- Snacks (Cokes, Starbucks, chips,candy, not purchased at Grocery Store)