Saturday, June 7, 2008

Making the transition to home - Part 3

Last time I talked about how important it is to have both spouses in agreement on this. If you missed part 1 and 2 you can read them here and here. To be able to move forward it is important because without your husband being on board you will be fighting an uphill battle.

This time i'll be talking about setting some goals and touching on making that money stretch. Of course, even if your husband isn't in agreement you can still apply some of these things now that will help.

Most people know that setting up goals are an important part of any really big decision we make. We just have the tendancy at times to get excited and skip this part. For example, if our husband agrees that it is important to be at home we give our two week notice at work the next day without planning at all.

The problem can be that in a few months without any true goals or vision for your family the newness wears off and you're faced with issues that you should have addressed beforehand. Like, if your bills are more than your husband makes in a month, how are you going to make up for your loss of income? Usually faced with that reality a few weeks after quitting, the stress builds up and mom is back at work a month later saying that they just couldn't make it work in this case.

I have heard many people say that God will bless them for doing what is right and provide for them. Yes, it is true that God will provide for his people. The Bibles tells us He will. Look at this scripture passage. Luke 12:22-34

22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on.
23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.
24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds?
25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest?
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things.
31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

I'm sure we can all agree that God has provided enough monthly income to feed us, clothe us, and provide a modest shelter for us. The problem comes in when we have extra money going out to loans, credit cards, extracurricular activities, and various other items that takes away money that we need for our basic necessities.

While these things aren't necessarily bad, they can be what keeps us from living on one income effectively. Yes, I do believe in stepping out in faith and trusting God. Scott and I live by that every month. I do also believe in preparing though.

There are a few ways that you can go about this. One, you can cut outgoing expenses below your husband's income and then come home. This would mean cutting out all extras, like cable, your gym membership, or extracurricular activities that cost money. These are only examples. You would of course have to tailor it to your family according to how much you need to cut back. You could also start selling things like a second car to get rid of a monthly payment, an extra insurance payment, and gas expenses.

If you were like my family, even cutting out extras we still couldn't really make it. We were close, but we just needed a bit more. So, what do you do if you find yourself like us? You have to find a way to bring in extra income. This is what most people are doing when they have 2 incomes, both mom and dad work. For the family who wants mom to be at home if you can't cut expenses low enough you still have to bring in enough to pay your bills.

Since we wanted me to be home, we chose to have Scott do a few side jobs to bring in the extra that we needed. He paints on the side. What started out as a few hundred dollars extra a month has turned into something much bigger. God has blessed us enough to where Scott's side income is getting close to his regular income. We could have said no to this much extra work, but we feel that it is necessary to get completely out of debt.

Do I just let him work extra while I contribute nothing? Of course not. In my next post I want to share how, we as wives, can help our husbands. We have the ability to far more than we think, even while home.
It has not always been easy decisions that we've made, but God has taught us so much along the way. I hope that you will be encouraged as I share our journey. I would encourage to keep praying.


Dani said...

Keep these posts coming, it is very encouraging for me!

Kathryn said...

Wonderful post! My husband just graduated from college and is looking for work. He got a BS and also took EMT training, so he has a back up for some weekend shiftwork if needed for that 2nd job.
I plan on working for a little while yet, maybe a year, to pay off student loans, but then coming home to be with my son. I have some ideas for a home based business that I am working on, and planning to set in motion for a little extra cash.
I am really enjoying this series. Thank you for the time and effort you spend to write these. Hope everything goes well with the birth of your new baby!

Krista said...

Thanks for posting this! I found you off a link from another blog, but this post was so encouraging to me. I was just experiencing a time of stress about our finances (I stay at home too, just recently), and this was the Lord's way of reminding me that He is our source. What a blessing you have been!

Niki said...

Thanks for posting this. I just gave my notice after the birth of my second child. I wrote a post on this as well and my struggle with my identity. Glad I found this.