25 July 2010

You CAN Live On One Income - Part One

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.
You can be at home, raise your kids, be less stressed, less tired and a more loving, sexy wife to your husband. Don't try to keep up with the "Joneses". Don't worry about your former schoolmates and what they'll think. They probably won't admit it, but they'll be jealous.

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.


Briana said...

Annnnnnd another great post! Love it.

Anonymous said...

"You can be at home, raise your kids,"...kinda implies women who work aren't raising their kids. But why would any sane person quit their job in this economy, with job security at an all-time low? I know several of my SAHM friends whose husbands lost their jobs with the economy downturn...now they are back at home with *their* aging parents...I guess the upshot is the kids get to know their grandparents?! Don't devalue the contributions you make as a working mom!

kalanicut said...

Hey Anonymous, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I was happy to publish them, although most bloggers do not to publish comments from people who do not include a name.

You have every right to your life choices and I can tell you have thought long and hard about them. I salute that kind of consideration of your path and make no judgment.

I also understand you may have been upset by what I said when you wrote this because to say "no sane person would quit their job..." would imply that anyone who disagrees with you must have something wrong with them and that only your thoughts are sane. I hope you would agree with me that there is room for everyone to do what they are comfortable with.

I do know some lovely, intelligent, very well educated women who have chosen not to work and do thrive staying at home in this economy. Some have husbands who have lost jobs and they have worked together to figure out a way to get through that and get income flowing into the home again. This is a very private matter between couples.

These posts were directed to women who are looking to leave the work force, not those who are happy in it. Those for whom work is causing high levels of stress and who are interested in finding a way to spend more time at home and more time with their family.

Thanks for reading and for sharing your opinions.

steve o said...

this is a huge subject
being half way to dead
makes you rethink
anyway, i think the idea of one income it cool what ever
if mom or dad---doesn't matter can spend a ton of time the kids
that is very very good
life is short (maybe cuz i'm old) but
hugs for kids, going to their soccer games, doing legos with them, drawing with them------i do not get enough of that--just saying
life is good--gotta find balance----
and we all have our own issues to deal with
but life as a filmmaker is important to me
and life as a daddy-o is rad too--even more rad
blah blah blah

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