Tag: stay at home mom
in For Moms

Four Things we did to Save Thousands of Dollars

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To be honest, saving money has never really mattered to me. That is, until I became a stay-at-home mom. Now that we are living on one income, it has become my mission to find ways to save money. You may be in the same boat as I was and you’re not sure if you are financially ready to live on one income. Click  HERE. to read my blog post Living on One Income- Are You Financially Ready?

I would like to share with you a few things we have done so far that has saved us THOUSANDS of dollars each year. If you read to the bottom I will also share some posts about how others have saved money. Here is what we have done so far to change our budget.

in Toddlers, Uncategorized

Living from the Laundry Basket

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Laundry is going to be the death of me. Okay, so that might be a little bit dramatic, and very much a first world problem. But, I know some of you other moms can relate with me on this! I hope I’m not alone in this!

 

My family lives from the laundry basket! We do the laundry. As in, we wash the clothes. But getting it put away? That’s another story. Sometimes, it doesn’t get put away. We simply pick our clothes out of the pile each day deciding last minute if we have time to iron it. If not, it just goes back in the pile and we pick something else out. The pile is so BIG, so overwhelming. The thought of spending an entire hour folding clothes is enough to make us leave it for another day.

 

Here’s the other problem. Once you do the laundry, there is always more to be done. It is NEVER. ENDING. Why put away all the clothes when there will just be a new pile to put away the next day? Ahh!

 

Please Lord, encourage my husband to do the laundry today. I pray this prayer a lot, and I know he prays it about me too. When one of us finally does fold the laundry it’s like we deserve some kind of award or something. I folded the laundry today! What a great accomplishment. Oh, wait, there’s another load to be done now.

 

I will soon be a stay at home mom and I know the laundry duty will be on me. So, I decided I need to have a plan with laundry that will actually work for me! Here’s are my goals.

 

Let me just note here that I am very much of a Type B personality. I know you Type A people are laughing at me that I am not already doing this but hey, I’m trying my best!

Wash Less

We wash SO. MANY. CLOTHES. Pajamas? Put them in the wash. Towels? Wash them. Got a little dirt on your shirt? Take it off and wash it. Played outside today? Change your clothes for nap time and again when you wake up. Clothes on the floor for no reason? Put them in too.

No longer. My new plan here is to wash less. If my daughter wore something for half a day and it isn’t filthy? It’s going back in the drawer. If she tries on three outfits in the morning I will use it as an opportunity to teach her how to fold them and put them back in the drawer. My kids will wear the same pajamas more than once unless they get dirty. I am determined to WASH LESS.

Going along with this idea, I also want to have less. I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe which you can read more about over at Pinch of Yum.

 

Wash More Often

My next goal is to wash clothes more often. Instead of doing a huge load every week, I plan to do a small load every day or every other day. I know you may be thinking, what a waste of water! But, we probably have enough laundry to do a small load each day using less water in each load. This way I will have a smaller load to fold and put away. My hope is that with smaller loads, it won’t be as intimidating and I can fold it and put it away in a timely manner.

Which brings me to my next goal.

 

Fold and Put Away Immediately

My next goal is to fold and put away the clothes right as they get done in the dryer. Not only will this prevent the clothes from getting wrinkled but I won’t have to worry about setting aside an hour or more to fold clothes. I also won’t have to worry about growing piles of clothes laying around the house.

Change My Mindset

I know I will never truly enjoy doing laundry, but I also know I need to change my mindset. Instead of dreading laundry and putting it off as long as possible, I am looking at it as a challenge to get done quickly. If I keep with my schedule, it shouldn’t be as dreadful.

 

 

 

                    

 

 

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in Newborns, Toddlers

Living on One Income-Are You Financially Ready?

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Making the Decision to Stay Home

Deciding to be a stay-at-home mom (or dad) is a HUGE decision. Maybe you are the parent who always knew they wanted to stay home. Or, you might be the parent that said you would NEVER stay home. Either way, there are a lot of factors to consider when making the decision for one parent to stay home with the kids.

Can you Afford to Live on One Income?

The biggest factor most families must consider is their financial situation. Are you financially ready to be a stay at home parent?  One way to find out is to try living off of one income. Automatically put one paycheck in savings for three months and consider how it affects your finances. Do you still have money left over at the end of the three months? Do you need to cut spending in some areas? Will you save any money by staying home? Will you spend more money by staying home?  I have listed out steps you can take to help you answer these questions below.

Figure Out Your Budget

I highly recommend signing up for a free account with Mint.com. It is a great free and secure tool for budgeting, tracking and paying bills, and managing your money. Mint allows you to enter your bills, credit and debit information, and create your own budget. It shows you easy to understand graphs of where your money is going. You will also receive alerts you when you are getting close to going over budget in any one area. I suggest signing up for a free account to track your spending for these three months to see where you might be going over budget.

Next, make a list of expenses that you have because of work including daycare, work attire, gas for commuting to work, etc…I like to think of these extra work expenses as income when you stay at home. 🙂 Subtract these expenses from your budget and do a happy dance!

Of course, while you will be saving money in some areas, you may spend more in others because you stay home. For example, you may not have to pay for lunch and snacks when your kids go to daycare. However, when you stay home this is an added expense you will have to pay. Some daycare providers also pay for diapers and wipes so don’t forget to add those types of expenses as well.

What Can You Live Without?

Now, at this point you should have a general idea of how much much you will have left at the end of each month. You may realize that you are way over budget and feel like staying home is not a possibility for you. However, if you really want to stay home, consider things that your family could possibly give up to save money. For example, you may be able to cut cable and use Netflix instead. Or, you might be able to get rid of your gym membership and work out at home. If you are over budget, make a list of things that are not a necessity and subtract them from your budget. Remember that this is potentially temporary and you may be able to add things back in slowly when you get a better feel for your budget.

Consider a Part Time Job

If you are still over budget after completing these steps, you might consider other ways to earn a small income on the side. You may be able to find a job that you can do from home such as blogging or customer service. Another option would be to find a part time job in the evenings or on the weekends. This may not be ideal as you wouldn’t be together as a family as much. However, if you are absolutely set on making it work, you might consider this as a temporary solution.

To Do Checklist

In order to help simplify the process, I have created a checklist of steps to take in order to decide if you are financially ready to live on one income. I hope you can use this checklist in order to get a better idea if you are financially ready to live on one income.

 

 

 

What else is keeping you from being a stay at home parent? Leave a comment below and let me know!

 

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