Hello readers! I’m Kim and I blog over at HappyPrettyBlog! I am a wife and mom to 1 funny little boy with a new baby on the way in February. Things are about to get a little more hectic around here! I’m normally more of a lifestyle blogger, but when the cute girl who writes this blog asked me to write a guest post for her, how could I resist? I know her and can confirm that her face is, indeed, very cute!
People often comment on how lucky I am to be able to stay home with my son instead of returning to work after my maternity leave was over but luck has very little to do with it. We worked hard, and continue to do so, to make sure that we are able to afford this for our family. I’m channeling my inner Duggar here when I say “It isn’t always easy, but somehow we make it all work!” My husband has a good government job, but is still in the early stages of his career so it’s not like he’s raking in the big money just yet. He has no debt, whereas I have a student line of credit that I’m still paying for. I’m hoping to knock that sucker out within a few years and as I was reading a few of the blogs of regular commenters here, I know that I can learn a few things from all of you!
Here are just a few simple things that we do that help allow me to be a stay at home mom for our family:
- We do not live above our means. Sure, it would be really nice to have all of life’s little (and big!) extras but it’s not necessary, or smart, for us to do right now. Our priority is for me to be at home so that is what we work to achieve. We could each drive new cars if we wanted to. Instead, we have 1 car (a trusty 2008 Ford Focus) that is completely paid for so we don’t have a car payment to worry about. Why add another payment to the mix when we already have a perfectly good and reliable vehicle?
- We meal plan as much as we can. Every week when the flyers come out, I take a look and make a list of all the things that are on sale for a really good price. After a few weeks of doing this, you’ll learn what is a good price and what isn’t. It helps to keep track of the things you normally buy and make note of the lowest price you’ve seen it for. If it’s been at that price once, it’ll go down again! So wait for it and stock up when it does! We do this a lot for ground beef. When you’ve got your list of awesome deals, take a look in your fridge, freezer and cupboards and see what you have. Then plan your week of meals according to those things! If you know what you’re going to be eating, you’ll be less likely to splurge on those impulse buys at the grocery store. Something else I like to do is double up when I’m making something that will freeze well, like lasagna. It’s no more work for you to make 2 and then you’ve got 1 to put in the freezer for a day you don’t feel like cooking or for when finances get a little tight.
- When you need something, check the Dollar Store! You can get some good shit there! Things like ziplock bags, stationary, kitchen accessories, etc are great to get there and much cheaper than at the grocery or department store! And I’ll let you in on a little secret from my days working for a transportation company. When products are packed into a transport truck for delivery, they are packed on pallets and stacked. Sometimes things can get bumpy and maybe a stack of pallets falls over. If there’s one box on the whole stack that gets scratch, often times the whole shipment can’t be sold to the original retailer as “damaged goods” so it is sold to somewhere like the Dollar Store for a discounted price. That’s why you’ll sometimes see brand name items there for really cheap!
- Make a few extra dollars on things you’re already doing anyway. You may have heard of the app Checkout51 or SnapSaves. There are a list of “offers” each week, and if you buy any of them you just upload a picture of your receipt and your account will be credited. For example, this week on Checkout51, I can get 50 cents back if I buy yogurt which I was already going to buy anyway so why not get some money back? Also on my list, fresh corn for $1 back. That’s actually really good because corn is cheap right now! I also make money from sponsored posts and ads on my blog and I have partnered with Shaklee by sharing non-toxic, concentrated cleaning supplies and healthy nutritional products to make some extra money as well. I don’t include these in our overall income to budget because it’s not the same amount of money every month and we like to use anything that I make for fun extras for our family!
These are just a few tips that help us along the way. I’ve really enjoying trying to gather my thoughts on budgeting and finances and I’m feeling rather inspired to get into more detail about how we deal with money on my blog. It’s been seen as a sort of taboo subject to talk about but I think that maybe part of the problem with young people ending up in so much debt and being financially illiterate these days could be in part due to the fact that we just don’t talk about it enough. Being open about money and being financially in the know could just help future generations plan their own finances more effectively!
Thanks so much for having me today! I’d love it if you’d all pay me a visit over at HappyPrettyBlog so we can get to know each other better!