Usually when I write something have to do with working from home, it’s about how to create an income. However, making money isn’t the only necessary ingredient in the stay-at-home recipe. The flip side of the coin is making some sacrifices and finding ways to save money.
When my husband and I first made the decision that I would leave the corporate world in favor of working from home, we knew it was going to take more than just me finding a way to bring in money from home. The amount that I would be making was half – or maybe even less – than I made at my corporate job. We needed to find a way to make it on his Air Force salary and my very small financial contribution.
Get Rid Of Non-essentials
In order to cut out some of our living costs, we sold one of our cars and for the next several years I drove around a lovely (I use that term loosely) car that had been my grandmothers. It certainly wasn’t my dream car, but it got me around town and we also saved a LOT of money when the time came around to pay tax and licensing fees.
We also cut out cable and anything else that we could find in our budget that we could live without. It’s amazing what things we consider “essential” that truly aren’t.
Keep It Simple
Another aspect of our life that received serious cutbacks was eating out. This was a hard adjustment for me at the time. When I worked full-time outside the home, it seemed easiest many nights to just stop and pick up supper on my way home. And once I began staying home every day, I still wanted the ease of fast food.
I wish I could tell you that I found a way to make that work, but of course that’s not the case. Instead I began working on my cooking skills and learning to make easy, simple meals that kept us within our food budget each month.
The next big expense that we had to tackle was gift giving. Christmas was coming up and I had no idea how we were going to manage presents for our friends and family. So, I decided to get creative and give homemade gifts. A friend and I decided candles sounded like a great project, so we did some research and made up a small list of supplies. Once we had those purchased, we got together for an afternoon of candle making (I’m pretty sure the wax spill stains are still on that floor…). We had a ball trying to figure it all out and even got brave and added candy canes into some of our candles.
The experience was worthwhile not just because we were able to create unique, handmade gifts for our family, but for the memories that we created that day.
Next time you think about working from home and begin worrying over how you’ll make money, remember that there are other ways to start preparing for being home full-time. Begin by creating a monthly budget and finding the areas where you can cut out things that are, as my kids would say, “wants not needs.” This will give you a solid foundation on which to build your work-at-home life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Hart’s entrepreneurial career began in her teens when she spent a summer working with her father who ran his own business. When he put her in charge of a Coke machine and allowed her to keep the profits, she saw the benefits of being her own boss. She is the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries (CWAHM.com) and the co-author of “So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom.” Jill has articles published in In Touch Magazine, P31 Woman magazine and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, as well as across the web on sites like DrLaura.com. She speaks to audiences around the country about faith and business topics. Learn more about Jill at JillHart.com and connect with her on Facebook.