Several years ago I wrote a post over at Money Saving Mom about how we (my family) make it work on one income. My daughter was a tiny tot then (okay she was 7) and we were renters. It's 6 years later and I thought maybe you would like an update.
Back when I wrote that post I detailed how we prepared for me to stay at home with our daughter. When we first got married we had plans for me to eventually quit my job and stay home with the children that came along. We also married with quite a bit of debt between us that we paid off in less than three years using a method similar to the one in the course Debt Free in 18 Months (this course is included in the Master Your Money Super Bundle). Things didn't quite work out like we had planned and the child was only one who came along after a great loss.
As I said it's many years later and I'm still at home with our daughter. Here's how we make it work….
My husband still has the same job as an HVAC technician. He's been blessed in his job and continues to make a good living.
Probably not even worth mentioning, but since it does add a bit to the family incoming, is this little blog Homemaking Organized. I've had it as long as I've been a stay at home mom. I don't make tons of money from it and it certainly cannot replace my husband's income. But it makes enough to tithe to our church, pay for itself (and all the goodies I buy to go with it), and take a good family vacation.
Since I wrote that post for Money Saving Mom we have since purchased a home. I wish I could say we paid cash but circumstances came about that made it smarter to buy than to continue to rent. We pay more monthly for our mortgage than our rent was but somehow it works (I have no idea how). We did get a good interest rate and had a nice savings set up before hand. Our move also put us in a neighborhood only God could have foreseen. We have been blessed a thousand times over with friends that have become like family here.
I still homeschool our daughter and we're part of a great homeschool community in our church.
Apart from the regular outgoing such as housing, utilities, and food our daughter is also enrolled in two sports, we pay for her boxed homeschool curriculum, we eat out a teensy bit more but not much since I still have a food allergy, and we entertain a bit more. We're working on our hospitality thing. And boy are teenagers expensive!
Where we Budget
- We still own the same car that is paid off. It has needed repairs here and there and we have paid cash for those. My husband is very good about keeping it well maintained. How long will it last? Only God knows but we are thankful for what we have now while also planning a bit for what might be. ;}
- To save on groceries I took the Grocery Shopping Bootcamp eCourse and try to shop smart. By really digging deep into what you are buying and where you can shop smarter you can really cut your grocery bill. In our house this meant cutting back to shopping
once a weekonce every other week and paying cash. This was a smart move because then I have to make sure to stick to my list. I also carry a calculator and keep a tally. When my daughter was younger I had her do this for some homeschool math practice. Now she's graduated to actually cooking a few meals so that's another blog post.
- Since moving we also redid the family budget. My husband is really good at this which also includes paying the bills (this was in my hands before we moved).
We use a boxed curriculum for our homeschooling needs. It's not the frugal option but it is the option that works well for our daughter and her future goals. We purchase the core curriculum for the grade and we purchase during sales and from our local rep who gives us free shipping. As a homeschool blogger I am blessed to review items that round our homeschool curriculum. And as a member of Schoolhouse Teachers we have access to an online hub with tons more resources that further bless our homeschool.
Some Frugal Tips
Along with what I mentioned above there are some basic things I like to do as a smart shopper and homemaker to save money and keep a frugal household. I mean who likes paying full price?
- Make a family budget. This is muy importante. Knowing what's coming in and what's going out is a must.
- I use Ebates when shopping online
- I use Ibotta when I buy in the store although it's not great when you make a lot of stuff from scratch but occasionally it's good for a few things.
- As my daughter has gotten older I've been able to buy her clothes and shoes on Zulily for a lot less. I also buy my stuff there too.
- We buy things with cash.
- If things are looking too bleak there is plenty you can do from home to help support your family.
- And, very important, we do our best to keep your belongings in good working order. Such as the car, appliances, clothing, shoes, the house itself, etc.
It's a matter of reducing your debt and living within your means. It may mean sacrifice such as fewer vacations. But it is worth it.
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