Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Decision to Become a Stay-At-Home Mom

For most families, the decision to become a single-income family is not easy. You get used to life with two incomes. There tends to be disposable income every month. Eating out and taking trips isn't such a big deal. Need a new pair of shoes or an upgraded plasma screen TV? Not out of the question. But a single-income family does not have that option.

There are definitely sacrifices that have to be made. For us it was all about prioritizing. What do really need and what can we do without? Sometimes it's as easy as giving up your daily Starbucks or making a dinner out a special occasion. Sometimes it is a much bigger sacrifice.

Our biggest sacrifice was a second car. We traded in 2 cars for one SUV. Now we had to upgrade size-wise with a 3rd kid on the way, but we didn't have to go down to one car. It's taken a while to get used to, but I think we've got it figured out.

Our other big sacrifice was convenience. It is much easier to hit the drive-thru than it is to cook a meal at home. But you pay for that convenience. Since we're not running around like chickens with our heads cut off all the time, we actually have more time and energy to make most of our meals at home. The money we save is amazing.

So I'm curious what other sacrifices you've made for the opportunity to stay home with your kids. Share your budget cutting decisions with others and maybe pick up a few ideas at the same time.

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