Becoming a one income family...
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  1. #1

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    Default Becoming a one income family...

    In just three months, we're going to become a one income family. I've very excited to stay home with DD and the new baby. Part of me is also very nervous. I know we can do it but money will be very tight. I just need to sort out some thoughts on how we're doing. If anyone has any advice or insight, please share!

    How we ARE prepared:
    -We have the shrink wrap plastic for the windows and will put it up probably Friday.
    -Putting foam insulation in the outside wall outlets and light switches.
    -DH and FIL put stripping up around each door. Sealed them pretty tight
    -We have flannel sheets, thermel blankets and down comforters for each bed. There are down filled throws on the couch, loveseat, and computer chair. Everyone has plenty of sweatsuits and turtlenecks to wear around the house. My mom bought us an early Christmas present...really nice slippers from LLBean. They actually stay on DDs little feet.
    -My pantry is pretty well stocked. We could eat for at least a month, maybe a little more, with only having to buy milk. I recieved a deep freeze for my birthday.
    -DDs Christmas presents are all purchased. DH and I don't buy for each other. We'll only exchange with FIL and my mom because we decided with Dad and MIL that none of us "need" anything and money's tight for all of us.
    -I was given 30 infant cloth diapers for the new baby. I've purchased 2 newborn and 5 small covers so far. We have everything we need clothing wise for at least the first 3 months. If this is a boy, we'll have to purchase clothes beyond that. I saved all DDs clothes so if this is a girl, we're fine. All the other baby stuff we still have from when DD was born.

    What we NEED to do:
    -I'd like to be able to eat for at least two, preferably three, months with out buying anything but milk.
    -I need to look over my paper/personal care products and see what we need. I want to have at least three, preferably six, months worth.
    -Purchase (or have DH make!) wooden drying racks to cut down on dryer use. I already have my clothespins and line for when spring comes.
    -Pay off CC1 that is no interest until 3/06 ($200 balance)
    -Put aside hospital co-pay for when baby is born ($250)
    -Pay off CC2 that has higher interest rate ($500 balance)
    -Need to finish purchasing baby related items and set aside some money for clothes in case this is a boy.

    Other thoughts...We're dropping to basic cable this week which will save $30 a month. I'm picking up a few shifts at work and those will bring in enough to pay off CC1 at the least. Because of when paychecks fall and insurance billing cycles, we'll have an "extra" $120 coming in February. DH's sold a lot these past few weeks so we should have some good paychecks coming in soon. March is a three paycheck month so right off the bat we'll have an "extra" check.

  2. #2

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    Hello Jasmine. It's nice to see you'll be able to stay home with your babies soon.

    It looks like you've got a good plan to achieve your goal. I'd like to suggest that even though you'll have two pays for another 3 months, why not try to live off one pay now. You can use your pay to do all those things you've planned, like stockpiling and paying off the CC. Living on one pay while you still have a few months to go will get you used to the reduced income before it starts and you'll be in a comfortable position when the new baby arrives. Good luck!

  3. #3

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    I don't know what you do for a living now, but you won't need much of a wardrobe. I just have a couple pairs of pants to wear "out" and then hang out at home in sweats or work clothes that were "retired" long ago.

    Yard sale. If you can get along with the baby clothes you have until spring, you can pick up nice stuff very cheaply at yard sales. It is a bit harder around here to get stuff for boys, but it can be done. (People tend to buy more stuff for girls.) And a boy CAN sleep in a pink onesie under a sleeper and survive the experience.

    Also, if your kids are small you can get nice used toys for their gifts. My kids are 1 and 2 years old. Most of the Christmas gifts are gently used and they won't know or care.

    Take advantage of free things for entertainment. Church activities, public library (we go each week for story time, craft, and they have a play area), local parks, Christmas parade. Get the word out to get involved in a play group. You will also need social interaction going from working to being at home. Find things to do for free.

    Find someone to trade babysitting with. So you can get out.

    That's what I can think of now. Good luck!

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    Registered User SHOPGIRL's Avatar
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    I agree with Rhonda, start now by living on one income. My dh's job will be ending Dec.31st. He wants to have his own business, but even if everything goes great, receving payment can take up to 3 months. So, I'm really focusing on living on just one income too.

    It sounds like your already off to a great start.

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    Registered User pammy's Avatar
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    I thought the transition from a two-income to a one-income would be rough. Now I wonder exactly what I did with my income, as we are now getting by just fine on dh's income alone. Hope you'll be as pleasantly suprised as I was about getting by in a one-income family.

    Sounds like you've got a wonderful start going there. I agree with Rhonda, too. Why not start now and use your income to get rid of that debt. Also add to your stockpile.

    Have you looked into making homemade baby wipes? The recipe is in the Tightwad Gazette (and highly recommend this book, if you haven't read it already). I made some with the instruction on the container for my sil who's got infant twins for Christmas, gonna throw in a case of paper towels with it. You can stockpile paper towels pretty easy. I mean, who really cares if you got 6 cases of paper towels under your bed, right?

    And yes, yard sales are gold mines for people with small children. Do they really care if a toy came with a new tag on it? Nope. Or if there's a tiny stain on a onesy that the baby can wear round the house? If it's clean, who cares. It's not like babies never get any more stains on them.

    And I'm with Renee, too. I used to spend a lot on work clothes (I had to wear scrubs in the hospital), shoes and keeping up appearance. I love wearing my track pants, old tennies and a long sleeve shirt. Just have some other clothes for when I go out. Those will last me a long time, as well.

    Best of luck in the upcoming months!!

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    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    Sounds like you've gotten some great ideas here already. I just wanted to say "way to go" on making the transition, planning for it well ahead of time and staying home to care for the little ones. It's not an easy job, but so well worth it.

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    Registered User Early Bird's Avatar
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    The only other thing I'd recommend is cooking ahead a bit. That way, when you have a rough day at home (and they DO happen!), you'll be able to avoid the too-tired-to-cook-let's-eat-out trap.

    I think not eating out was one of the biggest changes when I left the workforce.

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    I just want to congratulate you. I don't think anyone ever regrets being home with their children. And you sound like you have a well thought out plan. Good for you!

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    Registered User Mom23boys's Avatar
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    I think you have received some great advice already.

    Good luck on your new job.....SAHM.

  11. #10

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    Congratulations to you! A new baby is so exciting. DH and I made the decision for me to stay home and raise our 3 Sons. I have never regretted this decision. They are now 23, 25 and 29. We have been a one income family for more than 29 yrs. My best advise to you would be to try your best to stretch your food budget. Buy in bulk, make your own cakes and treats, it saves a ton of money and tastes better. Also work on you emergency fund for the things that come up and bite you when you least expect it. You sound so excited to be a SAHM! You also seem to have everything well planned. I'm sure you and your family will do great.

  12. #11
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    Sounds wonderful and Congratuations! I agree with Rhonda and to live off one income now and put aside the rest. It's great knowing you can make it with a little planning.

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    Thanks for all the ideas and encouragement. We are trying to live off my income as much as possible already. I've got very few work expenses left. I might come back and update how I'm doing occasionally. The accountability would be helpful in keeping me on track.

  14. #13

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    I can't believe two more weeks have gone by already. This is going to happen sooner than I thought! We're going pretty good getting ready.

    -Made a list of meals we could make with what we have on hand. Right now we could eat for 1.5 months with using up leftovers
    -Made inventory of personal/paper products. We can get through at least 3-6 months on everything. Some items we have up to a years worth.
    -I asked DH and FIL to make me an indoor drying rack for Christmas.
    -PAID CC1 in full 12/13

    Still need to:
    -Put aside hospital co-pay for when baby is born ($250)
    -Pay off CC2 that has higher interest rate ($500 balance)
    -Need to finish purchasing baby related items and set aside some money for clothes in case this is a boy.
    -Continue to stockpile items while we have the money.
    -In Feb. start doubling meals to have "fast food" in the freezer.

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    You know, around the house, a boy could wear the girl hand-me-downs. He won't care, well, unless you tell him when he is older. Just make sure he would have a few "nice" outfits for pictures and to wear into public. All three of my kids were born in February and I dressed them in sleepers all of the time. They were warm, cheap, and they fit in the carseats.

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    Christmas has really helped out! I recieved $50 GC to Aldi and $50 GC to a local grocery store I like to buy meat at. My mom gave me a huge box filled with 12 rolls of paper towel, 2 bottles of dishsoap, freezer bags (a couple sizes), aluminum foil, a box of tissues, and a 76 ct box of trash bags. What a useful Christmas gift! We also got some fast food and TGIFridays GCs that we're going to save for after the baby's born. While I plan to stock freezer meals, these will come in handy on the roughest of days.

    I found an indoor drying rod in my basement last night. It's in the unfinished part and is probably 8 foot long. I need to put some hangers down there to try it out. I'm curious to see how long it takes for clothes to dry. The finished part is heated and the unfinished area doesn't get too cold.

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