For many new mothers, one of the most difficult decisions that they have to make relates to returning to work or remaining a stay at home mom. This is a financially based decision for far too many women, who would much rather stay at home with their babies or even work just part-time but are pressured to return to work by money worries. Even the most basic decisions of baby care, such as breastfeeding-both very frugal and the healthiest choice-are affected by these concerns. Most work schedules do not facilitate nursing exclusively.
Figuring the Family Budget
By sitting down with a pen and paper and going over the family budget and changing priorities from a perspective of frugality, staying at home to raise children can be a realistic possibility. The first step is to balance the income that would be brought in against child-care costs.
The next step is to take that figure and determine how much of it can be changed by shifting priorities and making budget cuts that reflect these changing lifestyle concepts. If one person is working and the other staying home, is a second car essential? Certainly, in most situations, accommodations can be made, either through carpooling, public transportation or by the at-home parent dropping off and picking up the parent working outside of the home on days that the car is needed at home. Sell the second car, bank the money and subtract the savings in insurance, maintenance and running expenses from the amount of money that needs to be covered.
There are many savings to be found in the household. Eliminating cable television, changing Internet service and adjusting the family diet towards eating patterns that are both less expensive and more healthy are just a few to be considered. More time and attention to all shopping will result in savings as well.
Once all budget adjustments have been made, many families may find themselves within reach of being able to afford to have one parent at home. Others may find themselves with essential income that still needs to be replaced.
Stay at Home Jobs and Income Opportunities
For the frugal and enterprising person, a budget shortfall can be overcome by looking for ways to bring in income that do not conflict with the desire to be at home with the children. The mother who wants to be at home with her child may consider supplementing the household income by providing child-care for someone else.
One of the most popular and successful means of making money from home is selling Avon. While there are many similar opportunities, Avon stands out from the rest due to its low initial investment. Startup costs are as little as $10 and there's wide brand-name recognition. Independently rated and listed as one of the best companies for women, through Avon many people-men and women--are able to achieve real financial success.
Many people find that spending two hours in the early morning delivering newspapers brings in enough money, between pay and tips, to eliminate the need for an all-day second job. In fact, most paper carriers today are adults, and many are single mothers who do so with their babies asleep in the car. It is a relatively easy and often pleasant way to make a significant contribution to the family budget.
In addition to these means of bringing in essential or supplemental income, the creative individual can find further opportunities. Providing shopping or errand services for the elderly, offering homework help or tutoring to students and freelance writing are among the many available options.
In terms of the family, frugality becomes so much more than saving nickels and dimes here and there. As a philosophy and way of life, frugality can provide you with the most important and precious expression of love that you can offer: time together.
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