Monday, April 04, 2011

Thirty Days of Smart Money Choices -- Day I:

(I'm beginning with the assumption that if you are a follower of Jesus, your spouse and you have already decided what you will give in your heart and that you take this money off the top of your gross income.)

1) Try to live on one income, even if you currently have dual incomes and both of those incomes come from outside the home (not from a home business). Sometimes, a wife will move in and out of work outside the home over the course of her married life. Perhaps, as a newlywed who has not yet had a child, she will work a 9 to 5 job. Perhaps, if her husband cannot work for a season, she will work, instead. Perhaps, she will take a part-time, temporary job in order to earn a little extra. Perhaps, she will stick her toe into the work-force waters from time to time just to keep her skills up.

If you and your husband become dependent on two incomes, it's harder to manage if you decide to become a full time keeper of your home. It's also harder to manage if one spouse loses their source of income for some reason -- such as the economy or poor health. However, if you give a certain amount of your second income, use your second income for an occasional big-ticket item, and save and invest the bulk of your second income, your savings may help you to realize your goal of being a full-time keeper at home. Your savings and investments may also help if your husband is laid off for a time or when you both reach retirement.

I realize that this is not always possible, but doing your best toward this goal can go a long way toward helping you be financially secure.

2) If you want to be a full time keeper at home, be content to sacrifice toward that goal. For example, you might live in a smaller home, drive an older car, be more frugal with your clothing budget, etc. From my point of view, it's worth it. Keeping up with the Jones' as they used to say is not as important as keeping up with your family!

3) In order to be a full time keeper at home, if that is your goal, you may want to consider home business, work at home jobs, etc. These can bring in the supplemental income you might need in order for you to be home and to take care of your family. Also, they can help you to develop and maintain certain skills or passions. Two caveats: a) You can become so busy with a home business that you end up being neglectful of your family and your household, which are the very things you are staying home for in the first place. Sometimes, a home or family business can be even more consuming than an outside job. If you are wise, though, you can manage a home business without it taking over too much of your time. b) Avoid work at home scams. Make sure that any work you do take on from the home is legitimate.


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