How did you make being a SAHM a reality? - Page 4
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  1. #46
    Registered User Budgetmom's Avatar
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    When I left my job we had about a month to prepare for the possibility that it might happen. I was in a very difficult pregnancy, and the DR had suggested that bedrest might be a very real possibility for me. Turns out, at my next appointment, things had worsened, and I was put on bedrest. The appointment was on a Tuesday, and she told me that I could give my employer until that Friday, and then would be on bedrest til the baby came (which ended-up being about 2.5 months later). So, not much time to prepare. While on bedrest, we figured up the costs of me going back to work (daycare, taxes, extra clothes, gas, and meals out) were just not worth the literally few dollars I would end up bringing home. So I never went back.

  2. #47
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    Like the others above,

    live on one income now, it's going to quickly highlight the "leaks" in the plan, plus you can pay down debt.

    Pay down as much debt as possible. Mary Hunt's snoball debt reduction is great. It's in her book Best of the Cheapskate Monthly which you can get from the library. It's a great book btw with lots of good tips.

    If you are planning a move (sounds like you are) try to buy a smaller cheaper home in a good neighborhood (near good schools and lower crime rates) which has access to things like

    Public transit VERY IMPORTANT CONCEPT (I save a ton by us only having one car!!!) (good for rentals of the rooms too )

    Near to WAGE EARNER'S WORKPLACE and shopping, doctor, church, dentist, vet, school or college (this makes for less gasoline used on commuting PLUS MAKES YOU ATTRACTIVE TO THE RENT A ROOM CROWD AT THE COLLEGE)

    Try to make sure the house has an extra bedroom or two with a spare bathroom that you can rent out to students. (hot plate fridge and microwave can be added in)

    you may be hearing a theme here

    so here's the next 2 suggestions (big surprise)

    rent a room or two to college kids leaving them responsible for their own food (but supply access to fridge, stove etc)

    and try to consider owning only one vehicle. I've calculated that over and over and it's the cost of a part time job when all is said and done. Car ownership is expensive.

    See if the wage earner can car pool or take transit or bike to work (near work as above) leaving the stay at home with use of the car.

    However if that won't work, then stay at home MUST have emergency taxi fare stashed in house, never to be spent on anything else and immediately replaced when used for emergency trips.

    Make your house a bit cheaper by buying something smaller and older in a good neighborhood, but in good repair.

    DO CHECK THE HEAT AND LIGHT BILLS!!!! BEFORE BUYING SAID HOUSE!!!!!

    Running a house is expensive and buying into a problem is the LAST thing you need.

    Make sure there are no big repairs coming up or take them out of the offered price and GET THEM DONE

    It's no savings if you have to replace a furnace (or the house burns down) or the roof (or watch water damage destroy your equity) or the hot water tank or pay thru the nose for winter heating bills.

    If you can, run only one fridge, use a crockpot to cook with a lot of the time, and dry clothes on a line both inside or out to save a lot of electricity.

    Save heat by covering windows with plastic in winter, installing a double set back automatic thermostat and cleaning the furnace filter monthly (which is good for asthmatic kids too)

    Vacuum out the ducts in your home to help the air move better and reduce the costs of heating, but also make the furnace fan run full time, with or without the heating cycle, it evens the heat out upstairs and down, and saves about 10% on your heating bill.

    I learnt that trick from neighbors years back who used to rent basement bedrooms to students. Kept it warm enough that the students didn't use baseboard electric heaters to keep warm

    WHICH WILL JACK UP THE COST OF THE ELECTRICITY and eliminate many of your other savings so it's worth doing. (we always felt when we had bsmnet tenants, that keeping them comfy and away from baseboard heaters saved us a ton,

    much more than it cost us. (we always had our thermostat set a touch higher than normal even with the furnace fan trick just to be on the safe side with tenants ) (but you can set the theromstat lower during the day when tenants are gone)

  3. #48
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    shop for a good mtg interest rate by using a mortgage broker. We did that the last few times and it's SAVED US BIG MONEY!!!

  4. #49
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    OH and DO CHECK THE TAX BILL ON THAT HOUSE BEFORE BUYING!!!!

    Yup. important. Any time you are into monthly maintaining costs and taxes, heat and light fall into that, pay close attn to what the current owners are paying.

    Pay close attention to public transit, crime rates, and schools. talk to people, this isn't something you will get from public officials or even real estate agents (they don't care where you end up as long as you buy something they want to sell you which may be in the high crime neighborhood that locals won't touch!)

    Your monthly costs over and above the mortgage will kill you or let you follow your dream.

    Nearness to work is a biggy too. Dh and I figure it's saved us a HUGE amount, for such a seemingly small decision. AS gas prices rise, this may be a bigger and bigger factor.

  5. #50
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    The taxes were the first thing I checked out when we bought this place. It was $27 a yr when we first bought it. The value has gone up a tad because of improvments but it is still under $100.

    Look for a place where the owner is motivated to sell and owns it outright. If the owner owns it lock stock and barrel they are more apt to be willing to bargain.

    We had $500 cash and the owner wanted 10-15% down on $15,000.

    We put the $500 down, paid the rest of the down payment in installments at no interest. Guess who carried the note for the downpayment? The realtor.

  6. #51
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    wow, you got a good deal there! WTG!!!!

  7. #52
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    Default Wishing for SAHM

    I dream of being a SAHM. I even really want to homeschool my girl however, we're not sure we can suppliment my income. I teach highschool and with my dh as a farmer i make almost as much as him. If I quit that means we lose half of our income with 2 vehicle payments, a mortgate, and a house that DESPERATELY needs renovations (i'm talking leaking roofs and rotting walls from then).
    Fortunately my husband can do most of the repairs himself, and I do sell beauticontrol on the side...but i'm just not sure if we can afford it. How do you ladies manage? It would be my dream, and my husband wants to support it but we are both concerned about the financial aspect of it.

    mel

  8. #53
    Registered User celina's Avatar
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    maybe go into frugal black belt mode....and pay off the car payments and such...so you can take the cut....i know i am better off financially sahm then when i had my daycare..i. can afford to take the time to find ways to save...

  9. #54
    Registered User Vannie's Avatar
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    Oh mel,

    I hope you can accomplish your dream. Just continue working torwards becoming debt free.

  10. #55
    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    How we manage:

    * My car turned 17 this year. DH's car turned 12 last month.
    * DH does most of our car and house repairs.
    * We use the library extensively for school materials.
    * We don't indulge in the luxury of eating out often.
    * Our vacations are modest.
    * I shop the 2ndary markets -- garage sales, thrift stores, etc.

    Also, we were savers when we both worked, so we had a nest egg saved up for our down payment. We were able to avoid PMI, have a smaller mortgage, etc. In fact, the last part of our both-working life, we actually did bank one paycheck while living off the other. It gave us a good start when kids came; and when we bought a house.
    Last edited by Early Bird; 05-15-2006 at 10:28 AM.

  11. #56
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    We manage by having only one (paid for) car, using coupons and stockpiling, we NEVER eat out, buy most of our clothing at thrift stores, look for cheap or free entertainment, live in a very small home that is close to DH's work.

  12. #57
    Margery Bob canadian gardener's Avatar
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    Mel, would you two lose health care if you quit? I hear that American health benefits are very very costly and if he is a farmer then he is self employed, and probably you rely on your health benefits.

    This is one of those cases where you have to sit back and work thru what needs to happen and what you can prepare for.

    Maybe figure a time line, and start dealing with some of the urgent things, then when they are dealt with try living on one salary for a bit.

    I supplemented my kids with homeschool material for 2 years before we began homeschooling. You don't have to do a lot for it to make a difference and some homeschool items are really user friendly and quick.

    things like putting history or science tapes on in the car, doing the bathroom unit study (i did a thread on my methods here somewhere in this forum), putting books on tape like Shakespeare etc while she plays legos or such, or books on tape going to bed.

    All painless learning. I also used to use math drill games (operation Neptune etc) by The Learning Company, nothing boring all fun and fast paced to help drill math facts.

    And typing, we used a fun game not Mavis Beacon but a fun game. I mention Mavis because it's used a lot, but it's boring! We used Super Mario brothers Teaches Typing, and it's long out of production, that was at least 10 or more years ago, but it was a nintendo game that taught typing.

    If you do these games, do it with a timer for a 10 to 20 minute period per evening, and that way if it's fun and short, your kid won't burn out and will learn a lot.

    I ditto EB, read aloud and talk about it.

  13. #58
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    Yes, health expenses are quite expenses here. Fortunately my husband double farms. Meaning that while we do have our own land (only about 180 acres that we farm) he works for a university experiment station where he farms as well. We have all insurance through him...and it is quite a good program. Much better than through my school.

    That is a good thought to supplement her education. I figure that if I do as another person suggested and go into frugal black belt maybe in a year or 2 I can reach my goal. Now I'm wishing I hadn't been so impulsive and bout that new truck (additional 350 a month instead of 300 like they lead us to believe).

    mel

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    PS... I used Mario Typing Tutor as a kid and LOVED it!

    mel

  15. #60
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    Default Going from two income living to one income living

    Has anyone here gone from two incomes to a single income? How did you manage?

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