Friday, September 25, 2009

How Do I Know How Much I Really Need To Live On?

When most families beginning to think about how they could possibly live on one income, they usually take their current income and subtract mamma's money and throw up their hands in defeat. Afterall, "You can't make it on one income these days." Never mind millions of families are doing just that. The mantra from the media is so loud most people really don't realize that their are people out there with stay at home moms anymore. If the media does acknowledge stay at home moms, they make it sound like a privilage of the rich. The fact is that rich families are more likely to have mamma working than poor families.

So what gives? How do you know if you can do it?

First list all your real expenses:

· Rent or mortgage.
· Food
· Utilities
· Clothes
· Gas for errands around town
· Educational expenses

Don't get discouraged. Let's look at these expenses;

· Educational expenses; You wouldn't have daycare costs of course. For any older children, strongly consider homeschooling. I have heard of several families that found out that homeschool was cheaper than "free" public school by the time they figured in book fees, gym fees, band fees, bus fees, and keeping their children fashionably clothed enough they didn't get beat up.
· Remember you won't need commuting gas anymore. Nor will your car need tires, brakes or tuneups as often. You only have to account for hubby's commuting gas and errands, maybe a little extra for fun stuff.You may consider selling any vehicles that have payments still on them and buying used cars with cash.
· Clothes; Work clothes cost more than stay at home clothes. When I am home, a cheap skirt or jeans or sweat pants with a T-shirt will do. At work you need "nice" clothes which come with a "nice" price. Also children in daycare need better clothes than children at home, as do children in school.
· There are often some things you can do to reduce utilities too, though utilities may go up a bit. Right now you are paying to heat your own home and, through daycare fees, lower wages, or taxes, paying to heat your place of employment and your children's daytime homes. You will have to make this up when everyone is at home. On the other hand, more bodies in the house all days will generate more heat than an empty building.
· Food; Stay at home moms have the ability to cook more foods from scratch not only providing healthier meals but cheaper ones, too. For example, a loaf of one-hundred-percent whole wheat bread will cost two to four dollars at the store. I can make the same loaf at home using healthier honey and butter (instead of sugar and hydrogenated oils) for about fifty cents. Also, a stay at home mom isn't going out to lunch with the girls every day, nor having to contribute to office gifts and parties.
· Rent; I know I am talking about your home, but you may have to choose between that nice house and what is best for your children. You may have to downsize. But think about it this way; right now you are paying for space that isn't used the vast majority of the time. Everyone is gone to work and school all day instead. If you are home, even in a smaller home, you will be using more of the square footage and getting more of your money's worth out of your home.

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