3/22/11

One Income Family, In A Two Income World

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About two years ago, I had a job that I hated.  I went to work every day because I had too, not because I wanted too.  I was constantly depressed, unfulfilled and literally dreaded every day.  One day while talking with two girls I worked with, both of whom were friends, I confessed my dislike for working.  I said I couldn’t wait to get married, because I planned on quitting my job and staying at home.  Both girls looked at me like I sprouted an extra head!  I don’t remember exactly what was said, but it was to the effect that it wasn’t fair for my future husband that he would support me while I sat around and did nothing.  I was unprepared for such harsh comments, and I quieted up not sure what to say.  It had never come to my attention that it would be unfair to stay at home, or that it would be easy.  Over the next two years, I continued to struggle going to jobs I literally hated.  I had poor attendance at work, and I confess I even got to work, sat in my car, and cried a few times.  I hated it.  I never even discussed the thought with my husband before we got married if being a housewife would be an option because I thought it was unfair of me to want to stay home, and because I thought we couldn’t afford it.  God knew what he was doing, however, because just two months after getting married, I lost my job.  Sadly, I didn’t see what God was doing at first and I continued to search hopelessly for a job I didn’t want.  Then one day, I did a google search that changed everything.  I googled “how to make a house feel like home”, or something to that effect.  I found a Christian blog, about homemaking, and I knew that’s what I wanted.  I wanted to make my house a home; I wanted to specialize in delicious meals, taking care of laundry, and house upkeep.  My husband I talked and he said he supported me in my decision if that is what I wanted.  I’ve been a confused, yet happy housewife since!  It’s been a long road to getting organized, and managing my time wisely, and it is still something that I struggle with.  As tiring as being a housewife can be, it’s worth it!  One of the first things I went to work on was learning how to live on one income, in a two income world!!  These are the things we changed that have worked wonders for us!  I hope they help you, or spark an idea for you to implicate in your life.

1.       Use cash!  This is probably one of the simplest and easiest things that we changed, that really made a difference.  My husband I were the type of people who just swiped cards.  We kept “mental” track.  Now it’s all in cash, all the time.  We always know how much money we have.  For us, being able to see how much money we have makes us spend less money.
2.      Budget!  It’s so important to budget.  I really believe everyone should have a budget of some type they follow, and most people probably do have one.  We didn’t.  We just blindlessly spent. Now it’s written in ink!  We use Dave Ramsey’s envelope system.  Once we run out of money for our date envelope, that means NO MORE DATES!
3.      Prioritize!  This is something that works for us, and may not work for you.  The FIRST thing we buy when we get paid is groceries.  That way if there is something unexpected that happens, we will at least have groceries.  This also means we won’t buy frivolous things because we’ve already spent the money on food!
4.      Aldis!  I literally cringe every time I think of the fact we used to shop at a name brand grocery store.  We lived right next to a Hen House, and so that’s where we did a lot of shopping.  Now the majority of our shopping is done at Aldis.  The amount of money we save overall is dramatic.  To prove my point, this coming Saturday when we go grocery shopping, I will list what we bought at Aldis, and price it compared to a name brand grocery store.  ((This will be an interesting project!!))  We do continue to buy our meat and a few other things at name brand stores only.
5.      One Car!  Last July we sold my husband’s Ford Explorer.  Now we only have to fill one gas tank, worry about the maintenance on one car, and insure one car.  This is hard to get used to at first.  I went from bee bopping all over, whenever I wanted, to being stuck at home unless my husband is here.  I get stir crazy.  However, I get to be a housewife, and it’s worth it.
6.      Garden!  This year, as you all know, I’m planting a garden.  If, God willing, everything flourishes, I should have plenty of produce to not only eat, but freeze or can.  I will not have to buy tomato sauce, jalapenos, corn, carrots, potatoes, onions, etc. because I will have grown it.  (((Not to mention it’s organic!!)))
7.      Cell Phone!  I recently mentioned we have our phone service through Virgin Mobile.  I cannot gush enough about how thrilled I am about this.  I just went to all major cell phone companies’ websites, and this is how they compare.
ATT-189.99-Unlimited text, data, and 700 minutes
Verizon-159.99-Unlimited text, data, and 700 minutes
T-Mobile-139.00-Unlimited text, data, and 750 minutes
Sprint-129.99-Unlimited text, data, and 1500 minutes

Virgin Mobile-50.00-Unlimited text, data, and 600 minutes
Before we had Virgin Mobile we had ATT, since switching we’ve saved 139.99 per month, in one year we’ve saved 1679.88!!! That is just incredible!!  I know Virgin Mobile or another cheaper phone service wouldn’t work for everyone.  Not everyone gets the same service, etc.  This is just something for us that we absolutely love, and it’s saving us money.  It’s like chocolate cheesecake without calories!!
8.      Buy Used/On Sale!  It helps a ton to buy used items from ebay, amazon, craigslist, or thrift stores.  You get things at a fraction of what they would normally cost.  Another thing that has helped us is buying items we want only if they are on sale.  If there is something we really, truly want, we will wait to get it when it goes on sale.  At least then we’re saving something.
9.      Coupons!  This kind of ties in with number 8. and number 4.  Clipping and using coupons can be a great help with saving money  this is something I don’t currently do because we shop at Aldis and they don’t take coupons because they don’t have name brand items.  However, it’s something I do want to start doing to help with buying household items and some name brand groceries.
10.  Needs VS. Wants!  This is probably one of the hardest of things to learn, and follow.  It’s something I think I will struggle with for quite a while.  Weighing what you need versus what you want needs to be ever present in your mind.  I very much want many things right now.  I’d love to get a manicure, go to the movies, buy a new car, or go on vacation.  But I need new clothes, gas in the tank, and a vet trip for my dogs.  It also helps to realized that you may not have the newest gadget/item/etc., but you do have a warm happy home, you have a lovely loving husband, and in my case, I get to be a very happy housewife!

I hope these tips have given you something to think about!  I’m always looking for more ways to save money, or spend less, so if you have ideas not listed; feel free to share in the comment section!  I’d love to hear your ideas!!


((To see my grocery store comparison, just click here!!))







Growing Home

6 comments:

Missy said...

Hey great post! I'm a stay at home wife and we do basically all of these things too! Good job showing people that if you prioritize you can live on one income and love it!

Tami said...

loved it! i've been a stay at home mom for 20 yrs and yes you do pick up a lot of tips! we lived on a salary of $16,000 for a few yrs for all 9 of us,!

{esther} said...

LOVE hearing other homemakers sharing how it IS possible to live on one income! It's a sacrifice that becomes a wonderful BLESSING.

Thanks for linking this up for Simply Homemaking.

Much Love & Blessings,
ESTHER
Our Simple Country Life

DWYHomemaking said...

Excellent tips :)! Isn't it amazing how much you can live on if you have self-control... I'm definitely learning this right now :)! Thanks for linking up at Unwasted Homemaking!

Marlynn said...

Its great to be a housewife...and then when the children enter the picture...you already are use to being home and just have to adjust to their routine.
Great thoughts and tips

Schy said...

I liked this post. I want to be a SAHM when I am married and have children and this was quite encouraging. It can seem impossible, with the current economy, but many of the blogs I come a cross do it successfully. You gave great tips, too.