Updated: Jul 20
Hello my sweet friends!
After I wrote the first part of this series, I received such an outpouring of love, messages and support! I recently shared my blog site statistics on social media. My readers have increased 189 percent recently and I'm so thankful to each and every one of you! It actually brought happy tears to my eyes reading how some of you now feel inspired to go after your dreams after reading my last blog.
I love that as modern women, we can choose what dreams we go after. I also love that we all support each other's choices- whether you're a stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home mom or a work outside of the home mom. The "mommy wars" are a thing of the past. In this day and age, we can all celebrate each other.
Over the past decade, I've learned so much as a homemaker and stay-at-home mom. Today I am going to share the philosophy behind being able to afford this vocation. This is the final part of my series. I will cover the mindset shifts to make your dreams of being a homemaker and stay-at-home parent a reality.
I've heard people say, "I wish I could raise my kids full-time, but I can't afford it." Never assume that families with both parents bringing in income are better off financially. It is a misconception that you need two incomes to raise children in today's society.
The single income family can be better savers and careful stewards of the money that they have. Two incomes aren't better than one when it comes to being financially secure. If one person in a two income family lost their job, they could just as easily be financially devastated as a one income family. A one income family could be more prepared than a two income family to weather life's storms. Or vice versa. What it boils down to is financial intelligence.
Here is the truth of the matter: true independence is financial freedom through wise stewardship of the money you have. Financial security starts with living below your means. We live in a society that views many luxuries as necessities. If you have to finance something, you are not living below your means. In a world of "buy now, pay later" be smarter than that. As Dave Ramsey says, "Act your wage." Becoming wealthy is not from being lucky. It is the little, ongoing smart financial decisions you make over time.
One income or two incomes- it doesn't matter if you aren't saving and building wealth. Meaning, it's not how much you make but how much you save. Once you change the way you look at money, you will be able to take action to achieve your dreams. Not only as a homemaker and stay-at-home mother, but also living a life of financial peace. It is life-changing!
As the saying goes, "Waste not, want not." Embrace the art of frugality as a way to enhance abundance. Take good care of your possessions. Enjoy what you have. Mend or repair items that need fixing instead of just throwing them out. Eat at home. Cook from scratch. Breastfeed. Cloth diaper. Shop off season. Bring a shopping list with you and stick to the list. Buy generic when possible. Price compare. Learn to make your own household and beauty products. Take a do it yourself approach instead of outsourcing. Don't lease or finance your purchases- pay cash. You'd be amazed at the better prices you can get when you pay cash, including your cars.
Research free or low cost events in your community. Utilize your local library. Get out in nature. Have friends over for a meal instead of going out to eat. Avoid poverty consciousness. Cultivate a grateful heart. Look for ways to bless others. Count your own blessings. The practice of gratitude makes you rich. Seek contentment in life's simple joys. The more you appreciate what you already have, the happier your life will be. True wealth comes from within.
Don't waste money on frivolous purchases. Benjamin Franklin's quote applies here, "Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship." This is not to say that you can't buy nice things. Being smart with money doesn't mean being cheap. Just make sure what you are buying is really worth the price and you are paying cash for it. Is what you want really worth the price compared to a good quality, less expensive option? Can you pay cash for it and it's within your budget? As Dave Ramsey says, "If you can't pay cash, you can't afford it."
Have at least 9 to12 months of living expenses saved in an emergency fund. Yes, this will require financial discipline to save up for. It's very important to have this fund for peace of mind. Fully fund your family's retirement plan. Automate your saving account each month. Have a budget and carefully stay within it. As Dave Ramsey says in The Total Money Makeover, "A budget is people telling their money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Your choices will influence your family's future.
Avoid the lifestyle creep. If you've never heard of this term, it means when someone starts making more money they start spending more. They think that now that they're making more money, they should get new house, a new car, more, more, more! Do not feel tempted to "elevate" your lifestyle. Have the wisdom to save and invest that extra money. Think long-term on how you spend your money instead of using it for immediate gratification. The best way to give yourself a raise is to reduce your expenses.
Living debt free supports your ability to be a full-time homemaker and stay-at-home parent. In the Bible it teaches that borrowers are slaves to lenders (Proverbs 22:7). Too many people are living paycheck to paycheck. This means they are a few paychecks away from financial ruin.
Choices like having car payments, having credit card payments, not having a substantial emergency fund, not saving for retirement, spending frivolously- these all put your entire family at risk. These are huge red flags that someone is living above their means. Practice discernment. Differentiate between wants versus needs. Avoid consumer debt at all costs.
People that finance their lifestyle are setting themselves up for failure. Financing a lifestyle is neither impressive nor luxurious- literally almost anyone can do that. As the saying goes, "Wealth is quiet, poor is flashy." There have been multiple studies showing that millionaires tend to drive reliable, mid-priced vehicles (think Honda or Toyota) and live in middle class neighborhoods versus McMansions. I recommend, The Millionaire Next Door for more research on the subject.
People that choose to finance their lifestyle demonstrate a lack of financial maturity. You know the type- the "all flash, no cash" people. We see this a lot in California. Don't be like them. As a homemaker and stay-at-home mother you can create financial stability through wise financial stewardship. Having independence from payments, from financing, just pure freedom to invest in time with your family. Stephen Swid once said, “Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.” Having the time to be with your family starts with financial maturity.
Through this journey, we stopped wasting money on the unnecessary so as to have room for what's really important. We started prioritizing experiences over things. Now our children get to experience the joy of having so many family memories together. Children grow up so quickly. We value quality time together over materialism. Our family is our priority- not trying to impress others with material items. We live a content, financially peaceful life because of this. We are able to joyfully raise a large family on one income. Yes, even in expensive California.
Having a mindset shift around finances will allow you the freedom to achieve your dreams of being a homemaker and stay-at-home mom. Adopt this philosophy and watch your life become abundant. The best investment you'll ever make is time with your children. If this vocation has been your lifelong dream, I want you to know you CAN do this my friend! I am here cheering you on every step of the way! If you haven't already, you can subscribe this blog so you never miss a post.
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