We have become consumed by the idea that earning two incomes is the only way to maintain a family, and perhaps sometimes things actually seem to be that financially restricting. Many mothers and fathers in the workforce would like to stay at home with their kids and see all the “firsts”, but think that it is just impossible to give up the extra salary.
In truth, raising a family on one income instead of two is possible, with a few sacrifices and some smart budgeting. In addition, raising your children yourself is probably the healthiest thing you could do for your kids’ environment.
Calculating Monthly Living Expenses
The first step to analyzing the possibility of staying at home is sitting down and going over your monthly expenses. You need to figure out what you can reasonably give up. For instance, how often do you really watch movies on the premium cable you pay for? Can you pare down your phone expenses by cutting back on long distance or getting rid of a cell phone plan? Now is the time to shop around for all the monthly services you use, as well as calling your insurance company to see if you can get a better deal. If you do find a better deal with another insurance company, call your current provider and ask if they can match it.
Cost of Eating out Daily
The average family in the United States eats out twice a week, with the average bill being $40 – that is $320 a month! Grabbing lunch at the deli next door costs an average of $7 a day, which adds up to $140 a month. If both you and your partner eat lunch out, the total adds up to $280 a month!
Another entertainment area people spend too much on is movies. Instead of renting movies, consider checking out movies from the library. Most libraries have a large selection of movies to choose from that are free.
Work at Home Moms Save Money
Do not forget to figure in the ways you will be saving money. There will be no more day care costs, no more filling up the gas tank as often to get to work, and no more new “work clothes” to factor into the budget! Do not forget to call your auto insurance company and let them know you are not driving as many miles. Your rate will go down significantly.
How to Earn Money at Home
Staying at home does not mean that you cannot earn money or help to provide for your family. There are several ways to turn your interests into a small home-based business to bring in a few extra dollars. For instance, if you love crafts, make a bunch of items and sell them at local stores or at craft fairs. If you are very good at something, you can offer to teach others and give courses. The Internet can be a good place for ideas and resources for home-based businesses, but do be cautious. If the offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Also, network with other stay-at-home moms. These women can end up being your best resources and your biggest support.