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Two Ways to Impact the Family Budget: Spend Less and Earn More
Like many stay at home moms, I work very hard to contribute to our family’s budget, primarily by limiting spending. There are lots and lots of ways to do that, and make a big impact. A certain amount of money comes in each month; how you spend it can make or break your budget. But there’s a limit to that. In the end, you may find that scrimping and saving isn’t enough; you need to bring in more household income in order to ease those constraints.
(Note: This post may contain affiliate links)
I Needed to Contribute
Until recently, I had not brought in any income. For a dozen years or so, I have been blessed to be able to stay home with our children, and indeed, it was necessary given their needs. So I focused my efforts on cooking from scratch, couponing, hardcore bargain shopping, home canning and the like. It would’ve been nice to have more income, but I truly did not have the time or energy to devote to it, and what we had was enough. And I loved the challenge of it.
Now that the kids are older (they’re all pre/teens now), we’re finding that additional income is more and more necessary. Saturdays with homemade playdough and digging a hole in the back yard have been replaced with extra curricular team sports and opportunities to travel with school groups. As you can imagine, the price difference is significant!
Besides, living frugally for so long, and never really feeling free to buy something that isn’t a vital need wears on a person. I’m tired of being so tight with money. I’m tired of not having nice things. I’m tired of always choosing the cheapest second-hand solution. I’m tired of saying No.
So let’s just put it right out there – I want more money so I can spend it. There, I said it 😉
Oh, also? DEBT. I highly recommend using Dave Ramsey‘s method. We hustled hard in 2015 and paid off a mountain of debt, without any additional household income. It’s now time to step it up and finish the job.
I Needed to Redefine Myself
So in 2016 I decided it was time to start earning an income. The early-years season of life was coming to a close and the children were clearly growing up and enjoying some independence. I was no longer a Mama Hen shepherding her unruly little flock of fluffy-butt chicks. I was a Mama who suddenly found herself less and less needed in the small everyday moments, but who was still required to be on-call at all times. Quite a pickle, in terms of finding time to work and make money.
And I needed something for myself. I was a Mama who had devoted herself fully to raising her brood of babies, and who now needed to find new ways to define herself and feel fulfilled. I needed success that relied only on my own efforts, skills and abilities. Something that wasn’t directly tied to my kids’ performance, or my status as a mom. Can you relate?
I Needed to Reinvest in my Future
My hubby has done a good job planning for our retirement years, but I felt like I really needed to contribute as well. After all, what would I do if something happened to that investment? What if something happened to him? Or to us? Of course, I don’t want to think anything bad will happen, but sometimes it does. And not contributing was beginning to feel more and more foolish. Our financial stability depends on both of us, and I needed to feel like I had some control over my own future, and the ability to provide for myself and my kids, even if the need never really arises.
Multiple Streams of Income
I’m an all-or-nothing kind of girl. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it big. I intend to replace (and multiply) all of our income in the next few years, and I want the bulk of it to be residual at some point. So my side-hustle has turned into about 10 streams of income, some of which are still in development. Some require a lot of hustle now but will be residual income later; some are intended to be temporary, to put short-money in my pocket now.
Over the years, I’ve done a lot of searching for work at home information, and I believe I’ve finally found a few options that will work for me. Subscribe to Crazy Quilt Mama to read about what I’m doing to tackle the last of our debt and help solidify our family’s household income for the future.
You can also check out my main side-hustle by joining me on Facebook here.