You CAN Stay Home
by Linda Jones

I have a story, not unlike your own, about a mom who wanted to stay home with her kids but felt that she coudln't because of finances. She hated taking them to daycare day after day, hated feeling left out of their daily lives, and hated the circumstances that trapped her there. Well, I'm here to say, she found a way out. YOU can find a way out. It isn't easy or without sacrifice but it is possible and will be the best decision you have ever made.

How did she do it? Did her husband get a raise? Did they receive an inheritance? No. The made sacrifices, they cut their spending, and they made it work. It all started with a choice. She chose to stay home and committed herself to finding a way.

The first step was to get educated. She found websites about budgeting and spending, read books about ways to save money, talked to others who found a way to stay home. The more she learned, the more she saw how to reach her goal.

The next step was to record all of her family's spending. Every bill, every run to the corner store, every trip to the gas station, holiday spending, vacations, clothing, insurance, taxes, EVERYTHING! Once she determined what they spent, she figured out how much they would have to cut to be able to live on one income. She was immediately able to cut several hundred dollars in daycare expenses, dry cleaning, lunches, and business expenses she would no longer need. This helped but she was still a long way from where she needed to be.

Her next step was to sacrifice and cut back on unnecessary expenses. For her, this included the cell phone, the newspaper and water deliveries, subscriptions to various magazines, eating out as often, and cutting the grocery bill by using coupons. This lead her to research and shop around for better deals on insurance, internet service, telephone and electric bills, cable tv/satellite, and banking. She was able to save a few hundred dollars a month by switching over to cheaper carriers. 

She was closer, but she still had a large amount in debt that was holding her back. They needed to reduce this or she wouldn't be able to stay home. So, they looked into consolidation loans and home equity loans that lessened the monthly payment. In her case, they received a home equity loan that was large enough to pay off the credit cards and the 2 car payments. This ended up saving them over $500 per month. Once the debt was consolidated, she chose to cut up all but one card for emergencies. Closer.

Her last choice, was to start a home business to provide additional income. She had heard of a lot of scams out there so she researched companies and found one that worked for her. She was able to bring in the extra income they needed within a month or two.

Finally! She was there. She reached her goal. Her last day of work was the happiest day of her life, especially when she picked up her kids from daycare for the last time. Being home is worth all of the sacrifice.

You too can stay home. Get educated. There are countless resources that will show you how to cut spending, get discounts, budget and plan. Cut back. Don't be afraid to sacrifice the unnecessary for the necessary. Shop Around. Find better deals on services and products. Start a home business if needed. Be sure to research all business opportunities before starting to be sure it is right for you, they are legitimate, and it can give you the income you need. 

Where is she now? Well, her home business has allowed her to slowly but surely pay off the equity loan, create an emergency fund, and save for various expenses (such as clothing, taxes, medical expenses, and the like). In fact, she is even starting to put money away for college and retirement. But the best part is that she was able to be there for her kids.

You CAN do it. It all starts with a choice.

Linda Jones is a mom who is committed to helping others reach their goal of staying home. Please contact her at lbgjones@yahoo.com for a list of resources to educate yourself. She also participates in a home business that is flexible, easy, and very possible for ordinary moms to reach their goals. Please see her website at www.momswin.com/lindaj

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