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How does one go about living on one dependable income in what seems to be a two income world? It's not easy. Budget, budget, budget, and cut every corner possible. Hmmm, sounds like prison, right? WRONG! It takes some adjusting and getting used to, but it can be done, and fun!
Our family primarily lives on my husband's income. I sell on various internet sites to supplement, but that is our "extra" cash to pay extra on a bill or two. Before marrying my husband, I always worked at least one (sometimes two) full time job(s). When I was pregnant for our first child, we decided to ditch my income so that I could be a stay at home mom. It hasn't been easy, but here are a few pointers as to why (and how) we did it.
- Daycare: We didn't want to put our child in daycare, which costs approximately $400 per month (I've heard it's a lot more in some areas) and deal with constantly having a sick child. With me staying home, we were in the doctor's office about twice a year, usually for a check up.
- Diapers: Now, at first we used disposables. This put a major strain on our budget, so we switched to those fancy all in one cloth diapers. While they were expensive to buy, we saved a load of cash every month. My favorite brand is Fuzzi Bunz. No plastic pants needed, just snap em on and you're good to go.
- Meals: We hardly ever eat out. I've taught myself how to cook some really tasty meals, and having my kids 11 months apart, I'm in love with my crock pot. When the babies were little, instead of those expensive jar baby foods, I simply took my cooked meals and ran them through one of those mini chopper food processors.
- Telephone costs: We both have cell phones, but living out in the boonies, signal is not all that great. We have a very basic local line (we live too far out for vonage). If I want to talk to someone long distance, I usually send them a text that says something like "hey, call me at home when you get a chance".
- Couponing: Ok, so I'm not one of those "extreme" couponers, but I do use coupons here and there. I use A LOT of online coupons and deal sites, but I also use manufacturers coupons for everyday items. One of my best coupon tips is for Dawn dishwashing liquid. Proctor and gamble will put a coupon for $1 off 1 dawn dishwashing liquid in the sunday paper. The original formula Dawn is usually on the bottom shelf of Wal-Mart for 0.97 cents. Viola! Free dawn! And guess what? The cheap original formula works JUST AS GOOD as the "new and improved" stuff.
Now, that's pretty much the main stuff in a nutshell. I will post more tips as I think of them, but that's the basic 5 we started with. Do you have tips? Questions? Need more tips? Please leave a comment, I'll be happy to help you!!