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Old 05-20-2002, 12:07 PM
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blushing There's no place like home - so why am I still working?

I'd love to hear some advise from some SAHMs who made the leap of faith!

I'm a working (full-time) mom with 3 lovely but challenging children g 7, g 4 and b 20 mos. I have been toying around with the idea of staying home even starting my own business - which would just be another full-time job. I have a variety of skills and can do almost anything with a computer. My own business would allow for a very flexible schedule.

The big hesitation - I make more than dh and I'd have to bring home some income to pay off our commitments. With an odd market, I'm afraid to take the leap of faith and quit. My company downsized 55% - I volunteered for layoff but they don't want to lose me. In fact, I received a big raise. This is not making my decision any easier.

DH is supportive, whatever I do - he just wants to keep me happy. What a dear! Without my income, we'll pay less taxes, won't have daycare expenses and commuting and clothing costs will decrease. I've worked out a budget but it will be tight.

I want to be home with my kids - I've already missed so much. Work is so stressful - I'm tense all the time and it's drifting into my home life. I'm answering my own question here - aren't I?

How tough is it to stay at home and live on one income?
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Old 05-20-2002, 05:58 PM
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I hate to be honest here, but...staying home will be harder than you imagine financially! When you are used to spending $X, and they aren't there anymore, you will notice it!

However, the nonpaying benefits are better than you can imagine! But it can be lonely...do you have other SAHM you can talk to or a way to meet some?

Just remember, good parents can work or stay home. Is a reduced work schedule an option? Check all options throughly, and be committed as a couple whatever you decide.
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Old 05-20-2002, 07:39 PM
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I appreciate your candor. The financial drain is a big concern and so is the strain that can put on a family. I don't want to swap one stress for another.

I do have a close friend who is a SAHM and moms that I'd like to get to know better from my daughters school. I've chatted it up a bit with both working & at-home mom's. Most say they are happy with the decision to stay at home because of the other benefits you mention.

I'm not too concerned about the adult-contact factor. My dh works shifts and is often home during the day. I love the 'net and have a few friends to establish play dates. Our church also has Mom's mornings out once a week.

I approached my current place of employment about a reduced hours work week and was first approved for a 4 day work and then they resinded it and gave me the raise. This is not stopping me however, I'm interviewing for part-time job tomorrow.

Thanks for replying!
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Old 05-21-2002, 06:43 AM
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I don't consider myself a sahm mom, my kids are in middle school and high school so they are a little bit older than yours, but I felt more of a need in this time frame to be closer to my kids. I don't want to work all day anymore because of the various activities my kids are in plus you never know what happens to them afterschool when they are alone. I got a job at a nearby elementary school. I can take my kids to school go to work and then pick them up after school. I'm off in the summer and all the other holidays. It's not the money I'm used to make for sure but it does take any strain off the financial aspects.

This may not be an answer for you, but it was for me. Plus I can keep an eye on my kids and I know who they are with and don't feel like I have to worry so much.

Good luck with your decisions.

Kris
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Old 05-21-2002, 12:18 PM
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I've been a SAHM for ten years. If you want to do it, it won't be any problem! You're right about the decrease in clothing costs, gas, daycare (and convenience foods/eating out). We really haven't had any problem meeting our financial obligations (and we have no credit card debt). You'll have more time to cook from scratch. I've really enjoyed having the time to help in my children's classrooms and to be here afterschool when they arrive home. I hope it works out for you.
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Old 05-21-2002, 01:19 PM
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I'm like colospringsmom and work the same hours my kids are in school. I have 3 teenage boys in HS and a daughter in college. I work as a preschool teacher with the same holidays and summers off. I have found that the older my children get the more they need me. You know where your young children are, but with teenagers they come and go more often and peer pressure is tough. The trouble they get into can be live changing ex. getting pregnant, drugs,etc. So I make less money but I can be there for my kids. They really do like that I'm available for them. I really would like to quit all together. Maybe someday.

Take care. Maybe working less hours would help and you can go slowly with this idea.
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Old 05-22-2002, 07:09 AM
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There's no place like home

One year ago I took the leap of faith and quit my job and I haven't regretted it one day since. I brought home twice as much money as my husband and I was quite concerned we couldn't make it. I thought our lifestyle would change dramatically but it really hasn't. We are much happier and less stressed and no amount of money can change that.

If you have worked out a budget and you can make it on one income............even though you say it will be tight, I say go for it. I did that same thing. We started living that budget for a couple of months to see if we could do it. The most amazing thing to me is how much money I DON'T spend by not working. I had anticipated the obvious things like you have but there are so many more. The most surprising to me was when our accountant told me that my husband could now bring home most of his paycheck each week. We went from the highest tax bracket to the lowest!

My decision to stay home was the best thing for our family. I have more time to do things with my kids, I have time to save even more money than I thought with coupons, homemade cards and gifts, and service. It's hard to make that transistion but I am a much more fulfilled person than I ever was working my high-profile corporate job
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Old 05-22-2002, 07:49 AM
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SAHM's

When I first got pregnant, my hubby and I decided to have me stay at home. I made more than he did and it was going to be a big sacrifice. We used up all our savings the first six months. Dave Ramsey came to town and we went and heard him speak. After that, we had a plan. Within a year and a half, we bought a house, got debt free (including family loans ), and had $1000.00 in savings. It was a matter of a vision and team work. That was four years ago. I am still at home with my two children, debt free (except for the house) and loving it! It was the best thing we could have done. Oh yeah, God had a major part in it, too. He answered many, many prayers and gave us incredible peace. I did work about five hours a week cleaning an office and putting that straight on our debts. It wasn't easy but it was a synch. Now, we get help others to get out of debt and on a budget. It's great.

You should pick up his book Financial Peace. It's easy reading and I'm the one with the "free spirit."

Later Gater!
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Old 05-22-2002, 06:15 PM
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Never want to go back to "work"!

Hi Merry Mom,
I am a SAHM of two (almost 3 &1). I am also a miltary wife of a husband who is constantly gone. My enlistment to the Army ended 10 days before oldest came a long - God's perfect timing!!! Before we got married I told my husband I want to stay at home until at least the youngest was in school - now I don't think I will ever leave - hee, hee. Anyway, neither one of us had much to speak of debt wise when we got married and kept it that way. We paid $50 extra a month on our car to pay it off early (9months) and have been without cable for 5 years. We did get antenne service at one post since we could not pick up anything without it, but it was under $20/month. I don't have call waiting/id/forwarding etc - services I don't use and add up quick.
Enlisted Military do not make a lot and one thing in our favor is that we can live in military housing, where we don't have to pay rent/morgage/utilities. But before moving on post we had a 2 bedroom apartment and a commute. It was a little hard the first few months, but once we were able to see what we didn't really need everything was okay. We put a good chunk of money in savings, go on little vacations in the area, eat out every now and then, even go on dates - church babysits.
My advice is to simplify your life, see what you can do about paying down debt - $25 extra makes a big difference! - and rely on God. He will provide. Make sure you build a little nest egg when you can, that way if something comes up you will not go into debt or much into it. If we want something, for instance we need a new TV, old one is on it's last leg, we save until we have the money to buy it. While we are saving it also gives us a chance to research and buy the best for our money. The current TV is so old you have to get up and change the channel!!! Hubby has had it since long before we got married.
Don't know if this helps any. SAH is the greatest thing and your children will appriecate it later. Though when you SAH it seems you become busier than you were before - managing your family and home takes a lot of work. Oh, also my husband doesn't have to worry about when or if the bills are paid while he is on a trip because I do all that, so it makes his life easier and less stressful. SAH is a freedom all it's own!!!! www.mah.org is a great group to connect with, they produce a magazine each month that is uplifting and refreshing when I am having a bad day, and they support families who choose to stay at home.
Good Luck!
Betsey
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Old 05-23-2002, 05:53 AM
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Excellent advice, Betsey!

We have only ONE phone line. I shopped around for a reasonably priced ISP for our Internet connection (need it for my writing). I use the library as much as possible instead of buying resource books for our schooling. We do not have caller ID or forwarding or any of those perks on our phone - no cell phone either. No cable - if there's nothing good on, we turn off the TV. We rarely go out to eat, I buy groceries in bulk when possible and stock up on sale items if I know I can use the item. We do not go to movies, since just about everything is available on video within a year of release, and it will eventually come to TV if we're patient.
Oh, and I buy generic/store brand on many items, too.

There are lots of ways to cut back - you just need to adjust your lifestyle.

Kelly H.
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