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Sometimes it is well worth it to have two incomes in a household. Sometimes it is financially draining.
In my life, I have realized something about time and money. The fact is that sometimes time is more valuable than money.
Here are some things you can do with your time that are more valuable than working a low-wage job:
Taking the time to make grocery shopping lists and clip coupons can cut your grocery bills in half. It’s not always fun, but it could save you several hundred dollars a month.
Shopping frugally takes a lot more time than shopping on impulse. Still, I have found that I can purchase a full season’s wardrobe with only $100 if I take my time going through clearance racks at discount stores and thrift stores. The clothes I find are good quality, too.
Stop paying childcare costs.
Childcare costs often equal one half or more of the money a second parent (usually the mother) makes at work. If you bring home $400 a week and pay out $200 a week on childcare, then you are only losing the $200 a week if you quit your job. Perhaps this amount of money can be made up with careful shopping or a home business.
Cook from scratch.
You can cut your food costs dramatically by cooking meals from scratch. You can be more creative with meals this way and learn to recreate leftovers into brand new meals.
Do your own dry cleaning.
Most “dry clean only” clothes can be hand-washed, just be sure to hang those items to dry, and iron on low heat. For suits, you can remove stains with a damp sponge and freshen in a clothes dryer in between dry cleanings. This may take a little extra time, but doing your own “dry cleaning” can save you $25 a week.
Do your taxes.
Once you have determined how much money working can cost you, and how much you can save by not working, then you will know how much money you need to make as a second income in your home. You may be surprised to find that your job only adds $100 a week to your household. You may even find that having that job actually costs you money — especially if it causes you to cross into the next tax bracket. You may find that it makes more sense to quit your job or to trade your full-time job for a part-time job that you work in the evenings after your spouse gets home from work.
I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future — which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.