Are you a working mom in a two-income family who longs to stay home with your kids? Does it seem impossible that your family could afford to lose an income? Here's a new series where I'll show you areas where you can cut back your expenses and live off one income. Lot's of people are doing it.
Rather than giving the bulk of your time and energy to the office, apply all your smarts to running an efficiently run home. Once you minus childcare, wardrobe and commuting costs, you're already well on your way to balancing the books without a second income! Today I'm focusing on saving money in your homekeeping.
- Shop at dollar stores for cleaning supplies, toothpaste, soap, and other medicine cabinet basics.
- Shop thrift stores - esp. for kids and men's casual clothing, furniture, home decor and storage containers.
- Use free and trade web sites to give what you don't need and get what you do
- Cut the cable or digital TV. Get an HG receiver and take advantage of free channels. Watch episodes of your favorite series for free online.
- Sell expensive sporting/hobby gear you don't use often enough
- Do your own house cleaning. Follow a simple, organized plan.
- Do your own yard work.
- Shop in free parking neighborhoods. Don't shop as a hobby or entertainment. You go, you spend.
- Make connections with friends and family you can trade services with. Do graphic design for your hair stylist, trade yard work for plumbing, etc. In the Home Depot age, most of your friends and neighbors will be DIY specialists at something.
- Cut back on water, gas and power waste.
- Find the least expensive gas station in your neighborhood and plan a weekly or bi-weekly fill up
- Plan use of car trips, cut back on unnecessary driving.
- Check to see if you can save $ on car insurance now that you're not commuting daily.
- Buy and use an inexpensive used bike (and kid trailer if you need it.)
- Clear the clutter. Sift through your house, room by room and clear out what you don't need. Sell it, give it away to friends or family, donate it to charities, recycle it. You'll spend less money having to store and maintain all the stuff that "owns" you.
Start talking to your friends who are staying at home and making it. They'll give you great encouragement, help and ideas. Most importantly your kids and spouse will thank you for making them your focus, having more energy and making home a great place where everyone wants to be.