How to Manage a Busy Life on One SalaryPayton Foeller
A couple years ago when I was still pregnant and about to graduate college several people had asked what I planned to do after graduation? My answer: I plan to ride out this pregnancy by taking tons of naps, spend hours sewing cute baby bedding, and prep to never sleep again. Well okay, that last part I didn’t know I was doing at the time, but I’m really glad I napped when I could. Sleep when the baby sleeps, yeah, okay, whatever.
Anyway, I ‘planned’ to plan for a baby in my time off! I had just a few months left to enjoy being childfree
and then I ‘planned’ to stay home and look after that baby!
I gave a similar answer to everyone who asked and one person replied, ‘really? Is that doable?’ Basically asking if we could afford for me to stay home.
Without going into much detail I explained that, yes, it was doable for me to be a stay at home mom. Putting even one kid in daycare would cost about a fourth of any salary at any social work position in the area and it just didn’t seem like it would be worth it to get a job right away. Woo for human services. All the work and none of the pay. Thank a social worker today, they work hard with little credit. Okay, side note over.
Yes, we can afford for me to stay at home and you probably can too – if you want to and if you’re supposed to. Here’s How:
How We Afford for me to be a Stay At Home Mom: 1. We Choose to Make it Work: Yes, there were many factors that went into the decision for me to stay home when the baby came. But really it came down to the fact that we felt it was what we needed for our family. It was really hard on me at first but having been at it a year I’m really glad we chose it. We considered, then we made the decision and we chose to make it work. Daily, weekly, monthly, we continually choose to make it work for our family. It doesn’t always come easily but it does always work out (so far anyway).
If you feel strongly that God is wanting you to stay home with your kids but things just don’t add up consider making the choice anyway and then just make it work. Sometimes you need to take a step of faith (easier said than done I know) and just do what God is asking you to do. If you follow He will lead. Pieces of the plan will make more sense as you go along in faith. Maybe you’ll submit your resignation and the next day your husband will get a raise. Or maybe you’re car will die and you’ll be saving on gas. Doesn’t always come in the form of blessings but God does always make a way.
2. We Tithe: Time after time I have heard preachers and televangelists shove tithing down peoples throats. Give me your money and God will reward you by not letting you go through hard times or ever having financial troubles. NOT TRUE. Let’s get one thing straight, you need to be careful. The bible warns against false prophets and anyone screaming the prosperity gospel isn’t someone you should be following.
However, I’m not saying you shouldn’t tithe; because you should! God never promised He would relieve every financial burden if you tithe but I think that He does help those who obey through tithing! For every crazy televangelist that just wants to take your money, I’ve heard double the amount of stories about Gods grace for those who do faithfully tithe. We’ve experienced it ourselves; we’ll come across an unexpected expense and suddenly we’ll find a check we forgot to deposit in nearly the exact amount. I’ve heard so many variations of the same story. Something comes up and not much later it’s taken care of in a way no one saw coming. There are no coincidences.
One thing that helps make it work is you awesome supporting me and my work in exchange for some awesome gifts!
3. We Live Modestly: We live in our starter home. Granted we just celebrated our third anniversary so it’s not crazy that we’re still in our first home. But we take up the two bedrooms and everyone dreams of having a nice guest room and a simple office right? We also love to entertain and that proves difficult when the table barely seats four in our tiny little kitchen.I’m pretty sure I’ve told you about my dream dining table, haven’t I? It seats 20, beautiful wooden farm table with mismatching chairs and benches. I wanna fit the whole world around one table and to have a table that big we’d have to have somewhere to fit it.We have tried to find a bigger home and sell ours but we haven’t been able to make the finances fit just right. So we choose to stay here because we made the decision for me to stay home. Don’t get me wrong, we love it here! I’ll cry when we have to leave the place where I got engaged, where my baby crawled, said her first words, and did a thousand others things for the first time. But someday when we can afford to have a house with a giant dining room for my giant table AND afford for me to stay home that’s when we’ll move. Because we choose to make it work and living in our starter home is one way we do that. We also have used cars. We still have the car I got from my parents in high school. It’s old and scraped up a bit but it runs great and we can afford the zero dollar payments on it (thanks, mom). Of course, we dream of upgrading; everyone wants a shiny blue jeep wrangler too, don’t they? But right now it’s just not in the budget.
We shop sales and dig through clearance racks. I shop off-seasons. We buy shorts in the fall and pants in the spring. We plan ahead and save money. We accept hand-me-downs. We love our friends that share! They’re a blessing! Baby shoes are expensive considering they wear them for like a week! We only get picky about a few brand names. My husband loves his Nikes and I’m partial to my Fossil purse, that I got for $25 by the way. Thank you Thred-Up (<<<click here to get $10 toward your purchase!). But again, we shop the sales. If we’re going to get picky we do it carefully. Because… you guessed it; we make it work.
We work on and monitor our budget. We cut out weekly grocery bill (including diapers, random Walmart purchases, ect.) to around $100 a week when we started meal planning! A friend that is trying out the meal plan said that the grocery budget for the first three weeks was around $100! That’s pretty great for three weeks worth of dinners.
Now we’re not masters of budgeting and I’m sure we still have excess we could trim but the point is it works! It works because we chose it and because God gives us grace. I know it’s not always easy and I know I don’t always love it but I’m really glad it’s what we chose and I’m really glad it’s what God chose for us. I wouldn’t trade it for all the money in the world. That farm table maybe, but probably not. How do you Make it Work? Whatever It Is: Full-time, part-time, SAHM, WAHM, whatever you do, is it what you chose? How do you make it work?