L.L. asks from Fort Worth, TX on June 12, 2008
Need Advice from Sahm's!!
Hey guys, need some advice/tips from you lucky Stay at home moms - Especially those that left work life to stay home.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
I have been the breadwinner of my family for at least the last 10 years. My husband and I both work in the IT industry, but my job pays considerably more. I've been working in this field for 14 years, simply because it pays REALLY WELL, but the thing is...I HATE IT!!!! My passion is Photography. I just recently decided to try and start my own photography business. Its been a really slow start, but its all I can think about, even while I'm at my day job. Its all I want to do. I really enjoy it and think I'd be sooooo much more happy doing this full time. How do I go from being the bread winner to being a supplement? I want to quit my IT job and do photography full time. I know there will be times, especially in the beginning, where I wont be brining in much money at all.
My dh makes around $45k/yr. How do we go about supporting a family of 5 on his income? how did you go from 2 incomes to only 1? What do I need to do?
Any advice on how to go about scaling down to one income, will be greatly appreciated!
 Oh, and Please, do not suggest or attempt to recruit me into your MLM business, I'm not interested. I have a business in mind, and that is my photograpy. I need info on how to go about saving and cutting expenses since i will be leaving a job that pays $85k in addition to my dh's $45k, to just living off his $45k while I begin building my photography business. I'm clueless on how to go about budgeting and cutting out such a large chunk of money from our income.
Thanks in advance!
L.A. answers from Dallas on June 12, 2008
Well, we mostly are living off of student loans, but that will change soon. I do have a little side business, but it is definately not one to live off of.
One thing you need to do is to make a budget and stick to it. Maybe shop at Sams Club for food and such as that can help save some money. Cut back on unneccessary things like fast food, soda, restraunts, movies, name brand clothes, maybe trade in a new car for an older one, less luxuries like cell phone upgrades, cable tv...
Also, I sold a lot of unused toys/furniture/clothes on craigslist and ebay to help pay for some supplies and so I didn't feel as guilty purchasing the things I needed.
Here are some interviews of people that quit their day jobs in order to pursue their passion side careers to go full time, hopefully, they will have some insight for you:
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D.O. answers from Dallas on June 12, 2008
I would recommend continuing with your current job for a certain amount of time that you and your husband agreed on, perhaps 6 months to a year. In that time, live off just your husband's income and totally save your income. Cut out everything that is not necessary for survival and minimum comfort. You might be surprised at how much you will be able to save!
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J.J. answers from Dallas on June 12, 2008
Congratulations on pursuing your passion - a great paying job that is not fulfilling - is not worth the money in the long run. You can make it one income - you just have to reevaluate priorities and BUDGET!!! I would get a clear idea of your spending currently to know what you need to live on - so you can see if this is feasible for you. Itemize all your spending over the next couple of months - housing, food, entertainment, and also look at what you spend if anything in child care, work commute, wear and tear on vehicles, gas prices for commuting - you need to find out your bottom line for what you need income wise.
We do have 2 incomes right now (my husband has a good paying job, and I work part time as a nurse - but we have 2 house payments right now b/c of a move last year from out of state and a really sucky housing market where we moved from....)However - we don't eat out, we don't have to pay childcare b/c I work nights, we limit entertainment spending, we budget everything and have to stick to it. We don't live large - with all the newest, best gadgets - we have 2 vehicles that are 10 years old and have no car payments. It is all about priorities - I could make great money full time in my field - but I don't want to have someone else raising my kids so I can pursue worldy wealth - that is just me - you have to know yourself...
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C.W. answers from Dallas on June 13, 2008
We went from 2 incomes to pretty much one income. I have a disability and pretty much can't work full time anymore. I do work part time at church and have a home business. We pay 1-2 bills with my income. We take very few vacations, our last one was last summer for a family reunion. We take more small mini weekend or local trips in the area than long vacations.
We shop at Save a Lot and don't buy a lot of the name brands foods. We've cut our grocery bill quite a bit. Anything that Save-A-Lot doesn't have, we buy at Super 1 Foods or Fiesta. We use coupons some, not a whole lot. We have one vehicle and it is tough, however we are making it. It costs less as far as gas and maintenance/upkeep goes. We have someone do our yard, so we don't have to worry about the maintenance and upkeep on a mower. We use our church for childcare mostly. I have a sitter that we use occasionally part time when I have a Dr. appt. We mostly rent movies from Blockbuster or the library. We don't shop a lot for clothes or toys. If we do get something it is a resale shop or Wal-Mart or Target and Just Between Friends has saved us a lot of money. They have 2 sales each year, they sell used (some new stuff) children's clothes, toys, furniture, strollers, cribs,etc.... You can find good buys and flea markets, yard sales/estate sales too.
We have one cell phone and I mainly use that. We don't have cable, we use the main channels that we get with rabbit ears. We don't have video games or any of that kind of stuff. We have a small house, not in the greatest of neighborhoods. We got our car stolen last year and it was paid off, however we decided to save money and not get another car.
When you go out combine all your errands to one or two days and do things in one area to save on gas. We have a friend that has given us her son's clothing after he has used them. This has been a lifesaver! It has saved us a huge amount of money and time. We also don't buy a lot of DVD's or CDs. We do less expensive enertainment activities with our child- Trinity park train, going to the park to feed the ducks, playgrounds, mall play areas, library,etc...
We've learned in order for us to save, we have to have it automatically taken out of our checking account and placed in another account. We have gotten help from family at times, and we really appreciated that. We got a home equity loan and that really helped us do some repair on the house and pay off some bills. You might want to research saving money on groceries and other things on the internet. Good Luck!
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A.C. answers from Dallas on June 12, 2008
We pay very close attention to sales. Of course it just comes down to spending less than what your income is. Don't rely on credit- that will create a terrible nightmare. We had to get used to dressing in what we have, not the latest fashions. We cook meals instead of eating out (it's a challenge to eat healthy cheap to- so brace yourself to clip coupons and rpice match ads at Walmart). We get movies from the library or Blockbuster instead of the theatre. We barter for babysitting services.
It's hard but it's worth it. Being a millionaire isn't worth missing my child grow up.
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C.G. answers from Dallas on June 12, 2008
When I got pregnant with my fourth and final daughter my husband and I had only been married for about 8 months. I had three girls from my first marriage and his son lived with us full time. So four kids in all! I worked as an accountant for an insurance company and he was a body shop manager. We bought a new house in Allen and I had planned to continue working, although secretly I think I was going to try and get out of going back to work :).
When I was five months pregnant I got laid off. I never saw it coming but it was almost a blessing in disguise. I got a severence pay, plus I could draw unemployment. However; I would lose my insurance if I didn't pay COBRA. COBRA pretty much ate up my unemployment. We did start to struggle and around the seventh month of my pregnancy my husband's parents bought a house and were going to put their house on the market. They offered it to us and I said I didn't want to buy it but we would lease it if we could sell ours. Keep in mind this is before the housing crisis and our new house was in a pretty desirable neighborhood so when the builder learned we were putting our house on the market he offered to buy it back. We wouldn't make any money but we wouldn't lose any money. At this point I was beginning to worry about having to go back to work and I saw a glimmer of hope that I might not have to. I never worked with my older girls when they were babies and I didn't want to this time. Also I lived about 90 miles from the nearest relative so if anyone got sick my husband or I had to take off. I started selling the idea that if we moved from Allen to Arlington I should stay home!
We ended up moving during the last three weeks of my pregnancy and my husband began commuting. I have to say that everything that has happend since that time has been sheer luck and grace. At first the whole family struggled with the pay cut. We almost cut our income completely in half! We moved from a five bedroom to a four bedroom so the two youngest daughters had to share a room and we were cramped. The children often joked with us that they were being punished for our mistake (the baby wasn't planned. I traded in my awesome car for a used mini van and we just did it. I will say that the main person to sacrifice was me. The kids still wanted designer clothes and they were harder to succumb to the "simpler" lifestyle, but I figured since it was my decision to stay home I should sacrifice anyway.
After living in Arlington for a year and a half my husband was offered a job in Ft. Worth. This job would increase his pay quite a bit so we took it. After working at the job for almost a year we started looking for a house in Ft. Worth to buy. Since then he's been made GM of his company and he's had subsiquent pay raises and I am now going to school full time and we just closed on a 5 bedroom 3 1/2 bath home. I will have my master's degree in about a year and by then our baby (who is now 3) will be in school.
So we went from $122,000 to $78,000 and supported a family of 7! It can be done. My husband now makes around six figures on his own and we do live more comfortably. My mini van will be paid off next month and because of the hail recently I will be getting a pretty decent check from the insurance company. I'm already trying to spend it on a new car...my husband is trying to talk me out of it. I might just lease until I'm finished with school but I need a smaller vehicle that drinks less gas. My oldest daughter is driving and we bought her a 02 Ford Taurus last year.
You will have to prioritize and stick to a budget. I use to get so mad over not being able to have and do the things I wanted but it was worth the sacrifice. One thing I will say...we haven't taken a family vacation in almost three years. I do miss that. Hopefully in fall my husband and I can get away!
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H.M. answers from Dallas on June 12, 2008
I decided to leave my career as a teacher and become a SAHM 7 years ago. We decided to cut back and down size. With a lot of prayer and changing our entertainment budget we managed. 1 1/2 ago a friend of mine introduced me to a company called Melaleuca. Now we are doing even better. I switched stores to a help with my eczema and my sons asthma. We are all healthier and on top of that I have been receiving a paycheck from the company ever since. I don't even have to distribute products! How awesome is that. I used to shop at Walmart all of the time. We are on a budget and when I decided to switch stores I didn't have to change it. Let me know if you would be interested in learning how you can have a healthier home for you and your family and bring in some extra income if you would like.