J.B. asks from Taylor, MI on December 20, 2008
Question for SAHM'S
How do you do it?? I know there are some of you that are blessed to have a spouse with a wonderful, high income job. But I also know there are some of you like me, middle class, trying to make ends meet! My husband and I talked about my staying home for a year, but no matter how we juggled it, we didn't see it working without using credit, something we've completely avoided. Any suggestions? We still discuss it every time we pay bills, as I would love to even start planning now and stay home when my daughter is a toddler. Even cutting out all the "extra" stuff, going out to eat, impulse buying...just our main bills come so close to what my husband makes there is no way we can find! Since I see the SAHM label quite a bit, I had to ask!
D.D. answers from Detroit on December 22, 2008
Maybe you could look at working part-time. I work 2 and a 1/2 days a week. This allows my daughter to have interaction with other children her age at day-care and allows me to have some 'adult time' at work. It is still hard financially but it works for us. I admire the mothers who stay at home but it's not something that would work for me, I need to get out and work for my own sanity. I love my daughter and am pleased that I don't have to work full-time and that I can spend quality time with her 4 days out of 7. It's a compromise.
S.S. answers from Detroit on December 21, 2008
In our culture, it is a sacrifice to stay home to raise our children. I am constantly reminded of that SACRIFICE. I do much the same as your other responses, buy second hand, stock up on good deals, use coupons, cook from scratch, be mindful of unnecessary outings (cost of gas), drive older cars, almost never eat out or go to the movies, get great hand-me-downs, drink water instead of pop or juice, use a little less laundry soap, use foaming soap dispensers instead of straight soap for washing hands or baby soap, use both sides of paper before tossing it, plan meals ahead, lower you thermostat no more than 5 degrees during the day, have garage sales and buy at garage sales, go to the park or zoo for 'family vacation" instead of going to disney, buy diapers only when you have a coupon, shop CVS for their extra care bucks reward system (you can get things for pennies or even free from thier ECB program), go to www.hillbillyhousewife.com for other good ideas.
I do try to sell things on ebay for extra income. It is minimal but so is the time and effort. I earned about $600 this year selling things that I had around my own house that I was not using or just wanted to get rid of. Most of which were books and coupons.
Let me tell you about the coupon thing - if you are not using formula.... you can sell the formula coupons/checks on ebay and get good money! If you are using formula buy the coupons on ebay!
I had a coupon that was a $9 value for Enfamil. It sold on ebay for $7.52! I came to my mailbox for free and it only cost me .42 cents to mail it - I never even had to leave my house to ship it out.
It is time to get creative and think frugal. Allow your husband bring in the money and you do your best to cut corners in other ways.
Also know that your decision to stay home is the right one. God gave your baby to YOU for a reason. She needs YOU.
I hope this helps. Hang in there and treasure every moment with your little blessing - even the difficult moments.
1 mom found this helpful
E.W. answers from Detroit on December 22, 2008
I'm a medical transcriptionist. I type medical reports from home for hospitals and doctors all over the U.S.A. It is a wonderful skill to have because you can do it at home or in a hospital or doctors office. Also, there are companies you can work for that do provide insurance benefits and paid days off, which is really nice if you are a single mom, or if your husband does not get really good benefits or no benefits for some reason.
I am NOT a certified teacher, but I have been doing this job for 9 years, so I do know what I'm doing, and I'm offering to teach people how to do it on-line (after the New Year). The course is about 6 months and costs $500 (much cheaper than college). If you are interested, e-mail me at ____@____.com for the full course information.
1 mom found this helpful
A.K. answers from Detroit on December 21, 2008
I went back to work for a few months after having my daughter and I would come home and sometimes my husband had already put her to bed. My job was really demanding but important to me and I really never dreamed of quiting, my income was the same as my husbands at the time. We had to refinance our car and play with our tax deductions and 401k contribution, but we finally did it. I really felt like we would be a mess financially, but we have gotten by while still indulging in some things (my big spending is on kids shoes--I by the $45-$60/pair). I do confess to having a wardrobe mostly made up of Target clothes, but that was an area that I spent a ton of money on while I was working. Also, you will pay less income tax so your husband can claim 3-4 so his take home every month is higher (just make sure you check with your accountant to make sure you aren't claiming too much and then you would owe). My husband is glad I'm home because it lets him focus on work and not worry about leaving on time to pick up from daycare or who will call in when baby is sick. for us it is great--almost 4 years of being jobless.
K.S. answers from Detroit on December 21, 2008
My daughter will be 3 in March and I have been a SAHM since she was born. We are also very middle class and we live generously and no credit cards. I am very good with money, I spend when I can and don't when we can't. It is very hard some days, but I have to say watching my daughter change over the years has been worth everything. I do work PT in the evenings not as much anymore but I did do it 5 days a week for minimum wage. It was great extra money for the extras, if you can try and find something on the weekends or in the evenings it is worth it to stay home if you can. On the other hand if you and your spouse are stressed about money that can only hurt the child so you have to weigh your options. Sometimes you overlook the things that cost the most, my suggestion is to create a spreadsheet and write down everything that you spend money on (including the pack of gum) and track where you can cut - you will be surprised! Good Luck and enjoy every minute you have with her smiling face
C.L. answers from Detroit on December 22, 2008
Consider working opposite shifts from your husband a few times a week... that's what we do. I work from the house teaching piano in the afternoon/evenings when my husband is home. I work 4 very busy days a week.
The downside is we only have family time for 3 days a week, but it works well.
K.A. answers from Detroit on December 22, 2008
Honestly...sometimes it can't be done. Some households (actually most) have to have two incomes. It sucks I know...you want to be home with your kid(s), but reality is...it might not be possible.
L.N. answers from Benton Harbor on December 23, 2008
Sometimes it's tough. My husband makes a good living, but we could always use more money. I was blessed to be able to go back to work part time because my daycare provider happens to be family. It offers me the best of both worlds...I can 'do what I do' and know that my children are with somebody I trust explicitly, in an environment where they are able to interact with other children, as well as forming a strong bond with their cousins b/c they go there, too. I realize not everybody has that situation, but if you have to work don't feel bad. It is what it is and sometimes you can't change it. We don't use credit, either. I am SO against it and so is hubby. It's not worth it. We have friends who are so deep in credit debt that they can't even take a day off of work b/c the need every dollar just to make the min. payments. Sounds like a miserable life to me.
Don't beat yourself up for working, esp. in this economy. Instead, feel blessed that you can provide for your family and still give your kids the love/time they need!
C.V. answers from Grand Rapids on December 22, 2008
As one of the other moms suggested, work a couple of days outside the home opposite your husband. I was a full time SAHM but the economy we were never getting ahead. So I found a job and work 3 days a week opposite of my husband. That way he gets some time to have with the kids and we don't pay a sitter. On average its about 300 dollars a week so it helps us get ahead a little bit. One thing we did when I didn't have a job is we went down to 1 car for awile. It was quite an adjustment because we had to plan ahead to see who needed the car. My husband works really close to our home so it was something we could do. Good luck.