Homemaking Can be More Than a Dream
Whenever I talk to people about how I’m a SAHW (Stay-at-home-wife), they always mention today’s cost of living and how it’s just not a realistic option. I couldn’t disagree more. If homemaking is not your cup of tea, that’s fine. But many women would love to be homemakers, and either feel ashamed to admit it or think it’s just not possible. Firstly you should never be ashamed to want to be a homemaker. And if it’s something you and your husband think would be best for your family, there is always a way. It really is all about priorities. And I’m going to show you how you can do it!
There are many reasons young women today feel that homemaking isn’t even an option that’s on the table. I talk about some of the backlash these women face in my post, “How to Survive as a Traditional Homemaker in the Age of Third Wave Feminism“. Besides getting over the societal induced shame, there’s the real fear of living on one income. There are two ways we can address this fear; find a way to make some income from home, cut your expenses, or both.
Before we discuss the how we should first look at why someone would want to be a homemaker. Let’s also address another component of why people are against homemaking. The husband. I’ve heard it before, “Women who want to be homemakers are just lazy”. Or, “The poor husband works all day and she gets to lay around the house and do nothing”. First off, if a woman is embracing the true role of a homemaker, she is usually working just as hard as her husband. And if she has children at home, I sincerely doubt she gets two 15’s and a 30. The role of a homemaker is exactly that, to make a home. This means providing a welcome and clean environment for her family, making nutritious meals, ensuring that schedules are kept, and being the nurturer of the home. As well as many other duties too numerous to list.
The decision to be a homemaker is usually something a woman discusses with her future husband. It is so very important to talk about what you expect from your married life before you walk down the aisle, this will definitely prevent any surprises or arguments later. How you will live as a couple and later as a family is different for everyone. And there are a lot of factors that play into the decision. To be honest it’s really nobody’s business but the couple involved.
Being a homemaker is just as noble as being a nurse, a businesswoman, or any other job. And in my opinion, it is one of the most difficult and important jobs out there. As much as I loved being a librarian, I felt like I wasn’t able to provide Aaron with a home he wanted to come back to after a long night at work. Because our hours were slightly overlapped I wasn’t able to be home with him at dinner. And that really bothered us. So we made the decision together that my small paycheck wasn’t worth the time together we were losing. True, there were other factors, but this was a big one. And providing a better home life was more important to me than what we could buy with the extra money.
The first thing you have to do to make being a homemaker possible is deal with the budget. You might be surprised when you break it down that you actually have more money than you think. When Aaron and I did our budget last year we discovered almost $800 just going to useless crud we didn’t need. Those lattes really add up! So, you take whatever income your husband brings home and put it at the top of your budget. You can usually get a rough idea by using a low estimate for the month from past pay stubs. Then you write down every bill you pay, how much you spend on food, transportation, clothing, etc… EVERYTHING for the month! Subtract this from your income and see what you end up with. If there’s a surplus, awesome! If not here’s where the two-pronged approach happens.
It’s really up to the two of you how you’re going to implement your plan. Also, what you choose to do is going to be determined by how much money you need to live comfortably. Here’s where I’m going to give you some tough love.
Cutting the Fat
If you find that you’re not quite comfortable with the amount of money left after the budget’s been done this is where you have to define your priorities. The biggest reason people don’t think it’s possible to have a one income family is because of the cost of living. I say it’s because people have misplaced priorities. It also depends on what type of job the husband has, how much he makes, and where you live. Living within your means is the key to having a home with one earner be successful. If your husband’s income allows you to live comfortably with minimal debt and you own two new cars and a big house, awesome! You won’t need to cut anything. But if you’re like Aaron and I and live off a modest income, things can get uncomfortable real fast if you’re not trimming the fat.
Things to Get Rid of Or Cut Back On
- Cable TV: Trust me you won’t miss this one. It is such a huge expense! We got rid of cable tv over three years ago and I can honestly say I don’t miss it at all. Really all it does is suck your time. And most of the shows being aired these days are just awful. If you can’t live without your favorite show you can always get a streaming service, this option is way cheaper.
- Cut back on trips to the coffee shop: I know this is a hard one for us. And we really have no excuse because we have an espresso machine.
- Eat out less: Make more meals from scratch. Another great way to save on food is to meal plan. It’s been proven that meal planning saves money on the grocery bill.
- Switch back to a landline: Think about how much your cell phone bill is. Depending on your area the average cost of a landline can be as low as $25 a month. You can read about our experience with switching back to a landline in, “We Got Rid of Our Smartphone Service and Here’s What Happened“.
- Do you really need a new car with payments, or can you get a nice used car and own it outright?
- Can you downsize your home? Many people live in homes that are much bigger than they actually need, especially here in the US. A smaller home cuts costs in many ways besides your mortgage payment. It takes less to heat and cool a smaller home. Lighting is more efficient in a smaller home. And it’s usually much cheaper to do repairs.
- Have a garden or chickens: Raising your own food or chickens is a great way that Aaron and I cut costs on our grocery bill. It is much cheaper to buy seeds than it is to buy produce. Raising chickens is actually not that expensive and you get fresh eggs or meat from them.
Contributing to the Family Fund
So you’ve cut back on expenses but you’re still coming up a little short. There are plenty of ways you can make money from home. And thanks to the internet it’s even easier than it was 15 years ago when I was looking for ways to do it. There are now many legitimate companies online that are looking for people to fill jobs. Or maybe you want to be your own boss? Here are some resources for working from home.
Virtual Assistant Jobs
A virtual assistant is pretty much what you’d imagine. There are many different types of virtual assistant jobs. They can range from graphic design, social media manager, and even secretarial type work. The websites listed below are legitimate businesses that hire VA’s for their clients.
Proofreading is also a great option if you have a knack for editing or translation. I will say that sometimes these sites require certain degrees depending on the type of proofreading needed. But if it’s something you think would work for you it is a great remote job opportunity.
Teach English Online
This type of job has really gained a lot of popularity lately. I think it’s because it doesn’t require a huge amount of education to do it. And many at home moms or wives find it very rewarding.
Online Writing Jobs
These jobs can be pretty varied. And you really have to watch out for websites that are like content mills and don’t pay nearly enough for what they expect. The ones I’ve listed below I’ve either used myself or have found them to be proven legitimate opportunities.
So, as you can see there are plenty of great ways to work from home. And with the flexibility of most of these jobs, it could be a seamless fit into the life of a homemaker. And of course, there is always the old standby of having an in-home daycare. But be sure to check the legalities of doing that with your state or local government.
This is an option, you can earn an income from blogging. But don’t be fooled by big-name blogger’s income reports. That’s a little like winning the lottery. It can happen that bloggers end up hitting big in six months and start making six-figure incomes. But it is a rarity. And comes with a lot of long hours, focus, and being in the right situation at the right time. Most bloggers earn modest incomes after about a year and then with dedication and the proper mentorship usually start doing well around the 3-year mark.
Knowing what class to take can be a huge stressor as well. In order to be taken seriously as a blogger, you can’t just throw up a website on Wix and expect the money to come rolling in. There is a process to being a professional blogger and you MUST self-host to own your content.
How Do You Start?
So, I have looked at so many blogging courses and even spent well over $1000 on setting up my blog. But you don’t have to. See, you can learn from my mistakes. If I had to do it all over again I would have taken Lisa Bass’ “Create Your Dream Blog”* course. The price is amazing for what she teaches you. I’m not just saying that because I’m an affiliate. I have been blogging for over a year and I still bought her class because I LOVE her website! And as they say, emulate someone you love who is successful. I have already learned things my $1000 course didn’t teach me.
Blogging is an investment like any business. But the return on investment is the best of any startup. If you have a passion, do it!
Don’t Believe the Hype
As you can see it is very possible to live and even thrive on one income. It ultimately does come down to priorities. Would you rather have that flashy new car or be able to ensure your children aren’t being raised by someone else? For me, it has always been a no-brainer. Providing a home for my family to feel safe and nurtured is definitely more important to me than keeping up appearances. I have always felt more fulfilled as a homemaker then when I was working outside the home. Our families need us, especially in our current cultural climate. So don’t ever feel ashamed for wanting the best possible life for you and your family. God Bless!
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