You CAN Stay Home Series: Cutting Expenses (Part 2)

 

For women already working who would like to come home, it’s always recommended that they do a financial analysis of what they are currently spending.

Calculate:

  • gas money
  • daycare expense
  • lunch money
  • snacks
  • eating out money (which you always do more of because you have less time to prepare meals)
  • the amount spent on convenience foods (due to lack of time)
  • clothes you buy more of, etc.

Then add to that the money you are NOT saving by being unable to plan, prepare and bargain shop due to limited time. You may be really surprised at what working is costing you. Also consider that the income you earn is taxed; but anything you save is not. So, a penny saved is actually more than a penny earned.

Dave Ramsey suggests that you keep a detailed record of every penny spent in a month’s time. You will be shocked at how much of it “leaks” out. You can see where in your budget changes need to be made.

Then, begin cutting expenses.  Go through your budget considering any expenses that could be reduced or eliminated. Cable, cell phones, insurance plans, groceries, utilities, etc.

It may mean changing your grocery store. We have saved hundreds a month shopping at Aldi and at a “bent and dent” store nearby.

A few ways to save

I am going to be suggesting different ideas throughout these posts for saving money. Here are a few for today:

  • Buy in bulk. Many women are accustomed to buying food items in bulk, but the Internet now provides all sorts of options for bulk-buying. Today, for example, I purchased 12 t-shirts for my husband who works outside and uses them up quickly.  They were cheaper bought new from jiffyshirts.com ($1.74) than I can even buy them at a thrift store, and you can get them even cheaper if you by irregulars from theadairgroup.com by the dozen.  One year I got jazzy, borrowed my friend’s embroidery machine and put his company name on them.  You might consider bulk items for gifts (one year I bought a lot of chenille throws on Ebay for under $2 each) or even for re-sell (more about that later).
  • Homemade Gifts. You may not realize how much you spend in gifts over the course of a year, but you should calculate it. It’s probably more than you think. You can save so much money making gifts! With the ocean of ideas now available through the Internet, homemade gifts are easier than ever. Here are some ideas I’ve posted that you might enjoy:

There is also personalized stationery (super easy and cheap) that can be printed from your computer, homemade food gifts, and so much more with a little creativity.

  • Check Ebay or Amazon.com before you buy ANYTHING. Computer ink, books, gifts, vitamins–just about anything under the sun can often be found cheaper there.
  • Check the Internet for rebates or coupons on purchases you need to make online.  A quick search for “coupons and company name” will turn up available savings.
  • Utilities. See how long you can wait before turning on your air conditioner or heating unit in seasons, then work on keeping it turned higher than normal (we keep our central air turned on about 78 degrees in summer.) Consider turning off central units and using a window unit and/or wood stove.
  • Call phone company. I was on the phone recently with my phone company and she casually mentioned she could reduce my phone bill.  Now pardon me for being dense, but I just assumed that the phone company assumed we would prefer the lowest available rate. Apparently, you have to tell them that from time to time.  She knocked $20 off our monthly bill without changing our service one bit.
  • Water. Take a shower instead of a bath.  Bathe little ones together and less often (consider a “wet cloth bath” on less dirty days).
  • Hot water heater. Your hot water heater is one of the high-energy appliances in your home. Turn it off (or flip the breaker) at night after supper and showers, and leave it off until the following evening.  You will still have hot water to use during the day and will save about $40 a month.
  • Save change.  Put out a jar and have everyone deposit their spare change into it–typically you won’t miss it. Deposit it into savings periodically, or use it for a desired purchase.  It’s even more exciting if you write the purchase goal on the jar.
  • Yard sale. Have a yard sale, or better yet, list some things on Craigs list.
  • Stay home. This one sound silly? Just try it!  You will make far  fewer purchases.
  • Reconsider purchasing mentality. This could go in several directions.  But consider how companies convince us of our need to purchase. You probably own a bottle of shampoo, a bottle of conditioner, soap or body wash for your body and maybe shaving gel, soap for baby, shampoo for baby, and lotion for baby.  Why can’t we use the same soap for body as we use for hair?  Is it really that different?  Why can’t we use conditioner for shaving (the cheapest one)?  Does baby need soap and shampoo too?  I know some things matter (I have to use certain conditioner or I can’t comb my hair out), but we would do well to think outside the marketing frenzy.

One look at what a small change can do over a period of time:

Let’s say you have looked at your budget and just can’t find any “extra” money to save or invest. One of the areas we changed was haircuts for hubby and the boys. Aaron was spending approx. $12/month on a haircut. If he took the two boys, that was an additional $9 or so. All together, $30/month. We bought some clippers and a good pair of scissors, and Aaron showed me how the hairdresser cut his hair. In a few practices :-), I had it. Now if we put back that $30 a month (that doesn’t count gas money saved), that’s a $360 savings a year–not too bad. BUT, if I open a mutual fund, and have them automatically debit our account for $30 a month, we’ll say on a presumed interest rate of 9% in a year, we will have earned $658.87. We almost doubled our money just by making one small change! Imagine multiplying that over several more “a dollar-here, dollar-there” savings! (BTW, if the interest is compounded daily, as opposed to monthly, the amount is even more.)

We’ll talk more later on how to EARN extra income. But for now, I just want you to begin to think about saving. Once you have more time on your hands to think about it, and study the art, you’ll find all sorts of ways to save!

Recommended reading: “The Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyzn  The AMAZING book by a woman who decided she could “have it all”!

In part 3, we will address one of the easiest places to cut the budget–the grocery bill, including some great frugal family recipes. (Get your favorite frugal recipes ready to share!)

Part 1-Living On One Income

Part 3-Cutting the Grocery Budget

Part 4-Paying Off Debt

Part 5-Earning Money From Home

133 Responses to “You CAN Stay Home Series: Cutting Expenses (Part 2)”

  1. Gayle says:

    I am really enjoying this series, Kelly! We’ve already done so much of it, based on necessity, but it’s great to be reminded. I’ll be passing these posts on!

  2. brenda says:

    But….but…I’m going grocery shopping TODAY! 😮

    I am enjoying this too. I’ve been home 3 years now and we haven’t completely adjusted our spending yet. We’ve come a LONG way…but we could still do better. Thanks for all these tips! Oh, and today we are getting a loan, paying off credit cards, and cutting one of them up. (we’re keeping one) Your post yesterday really got us talking last night…after it had already been on my mind that morning.

  3. Diane says:

    Yay! for another awesome post!

    One thing I have learned as well, is the value of patience. I cannot tell you how many things we have been given just by giving the Lord time to provide! Sometimes other folks bought themselves a new whatever and had nothing to do with their old one, so they offered it to whoever wanted it. We have been given beautiful clothing, sewing machines, canned goods, produce, printer/fax machine, porch furniture, craft materials, microwave, clothes dryer (large capacity!)… and oh-too-many things to list here! If I had been in a hurry to fill my own “needs,” I would have rushed out and bought myself the things, but instead the Lord provided. Often times the gifted items were much nicer than anything I could have afforded to buy too! You don’t need a lot of money to live well♥

    I love this old saying: “God saves the best for those who leave the choice to Him.”

  4. Mrs W says:

    I don’t want to argue here, just want to present something I have been wondering about for quite a while now. But before I do that, I have to say that these are some good and simple ideas. I’ve also found that as we are now out of debt (excepting the mortgage where here it is cheaper to have that than to rent) and are making more money, that I am simplifying our lives more and more.

    I save by getting rid of stuff we don’t use. That way, we aren’t buying stuff to store stuff we never use. That has never made any sense to me. I do buy storage items, but only after carefully considering it, making sure it is just right, usually that it serves more than one purpose, and it’s for stuff I use all the time. Simply put, I’m not buying totes and plastic bins to store stuff I never use. If I never use it I don’t keep it. Of course we have to keep the seasonal stuff but you do use that every year. (I mean seasonal as in blankets and winter clothes and coats…NOT Christmas decorations. We just buy a live tree and buy decorations each year cheaply at Wal-Mart as it isn’t worth it to us to buy stuff to store them all year).

    But, here is what I’ve been wondering about, and it concerns “stuff” as well as money. I don’t think it’s wrong to have a few months worth of wages in savings, but honestly I can’t see that God ever intended us to hoard (save) money. The teachings of Jesus even seem to indicate that we are supposed to be content with the things we have, and provide the things we need, and then be generous and give excess money to others…church, missionaries, charities, people in need etc. I don’t see where He wants us to hoard money so that we can treat ourselves, I see Him wanting us to be centered on others, and on serving others, and on helping others in their times of need. I’m not advocating living poor, and I don’t think Jesus does either, but I do believe He’d rather see us give of our abundance than continually hoard money for ourselves.

    • HeatherHH says:

      I think there is biblical basis for saving up more than a few months’ income. How did the Proverbs 31 woman consider a field and buy it? There was excess money. The Proverbs speak positively of having an inheritance to give to one’s children. Also, we believe that the Scriptures are relatively clear that debt is a burden and curse, and so we’ve committed to buying our homes free and clear with no mortgage, which requires some element of savings beyond a few months’ expenses.

      On the other hand, I get what you are saving. My husband and I do not feel a big need to save up $1-2 million, or whatever is being recommended now, for retirement or security or whatever. We are saving up to have some money to help our children get started in their adult years, and some money to cover potential problems, but we are endeavoring to give generously along the way and to avoid stockpiling. Some of the mindset that is focused on saving lots of money in the bank is probably the result of a culture that will typically result in older adults having only 2 children that may or may not feel any responsibility to care for their parents in their old age.

    • Lori says:

      Mrs. W, I’d recommend you do an in-depth study on wealth and inheritance. I’ll give you a hint – wealth is a reward for righteousness – before you accuse me of health/wealth heresy, I stress, *not ALL the time,* but some times, like for Job, both earlier in his life and again after his trial. Look at Abraham, and Jacob, and Joseph, Soloman and I could go on.

      See, for example, Deut 28, and how “increase” comes with obedience, and decrease comes with disobedience.

      Save your money!
      “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” Prov 13:22

      This is merely a brief “heads up,” and not meant to substitute for full study of God’s Word.

      • Tricia says:

        Why not do both–save for emergencies or larger expenses, and tithe, give, or tithe AND give faithfully? You can live simply and still do both, most of the time.

      • Mrs W says:

        Lori, Jesus was the most righteous man that ever lived, and he was not rich. Paul was a pretty good man, and he wasn’t rich either. The only thing that the kind of thinking you have does is cause good people that are doing their best to feel guilty if they are poor, wondering what they are doing wrong. We’ve been there before. People told us if we tried to live right that God would bless us. We had one car that broke down repeatedly that we had to pour thousands of dollars into, stuff falling apart all the time, and no money to pay for it. All what you are saying does is cause much guilt.

        • Lori says:

          Mrs. W.
          Lori – “before you accuse me of health/wealth heresy, I stress, *not ALL the time,* ”

          The LOVE of money is the cause of much evil. Are you saying that passage in Prov dosn’t count? God *shouldn’t* bless w/ wealth as HE promised? ALL of God’s provisions are gifts from God. If he wants you to be poor, then that is a blessing. If is wants you to be rich, then that is a blessing. But wealth is often a specific blessing, and is defined as such by God.

          Jeez, you seem to pay as much attention to the Scripture as you do to other people’s comments.

          • Lori says:

            “you do to other people’s comments.”

            Which is to say, when a hop, skip and jump don’t do the trick, you’ll do a shimmy-twist. What good exercize. You must be very flexible.

    • R. F. says:

      Mrs. W,

      I agree with most of what you said. However, I was given another way of looking at things recently. Our neighbor was over telling of her son’s opportunity to visit and vacation at some millionair’s summer home. After explaining all the things he was able to experience, she shook her head and said, “I don’t see why someone needs all that stuff.” (A common idea many of us have). Without missing a beat my husband replied “to bless your son with a much needed vacation.”

      We can give our money away to bless others, or we can bless others with stuff we buy with our money. It really comes down to a matter of the heart rather than the size of your wallet. I see no problem with saving millions to buy something that costs millions, God can use it.

      One other example, sorry if I’m getting long. I heard a pastor once say, that often people spend, give away, “waste” all their money without saving any. When a lean month comes they are on their knees pleading with God to provide for their needs. God is shaking his head thinking “I already gave it to you, what did you do with it?” We need to seek God’s will with our giving, not just give and give with no thought or prayer.

      • Mrs W says:

        That woman’s son could have still had a nice vacation elsewhere. It was the vacation he needed, not some millionaires summer home. There is no way on this earth that ANYBODY needs two homes. That is frivolous excess and I honestly don’t believe Jesus wanted us to live like that.

        • R. F. says:

          A nice vaction he couldn’t afford? He stayed free of charge. I see no problem with “excess” that is used to bless others.

          • R. F. says:

            I think we need to be careful on claiming someone is being wasteful because they don’t “need” something. In your eyes someone doesn’t “need” two houses. How about the mother in Africa saying you don’t “need” carpeting, dirt floors work just fine.

            It is ultimately a matter of the heart. Blessings come from God. How do you use what God has blessed you with?

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Natalie, Kelly Crawford. Kelly Crawford said: You CAN Stay Home–Living on One Income Part 2 – http://b2l.me/3wn3b […]

  6. Heather says:

    Some good tips here, Kelly.

    I’ve enjoyed Amy D’s tips for years–especially when we first married. Just to play devil’s advocate, though, do you have any discomfort with the gender role reversal in their home (her the “bread winner”–him the home-maker) as you recommend her book? I totally understand that not every family has exactly the same standards and have no problem with reading her stuff or recommending it. Don’t want to get things sidelined, as you’ve got some great advice in the post. But you’ve been quite outspoken here about that sort of thing, so I was just curious.

    Aussiemama said:

    I’m not advocating living poor, and I don’t think Jesus does either, but I do believe He’d rather see us give of our abundance than continually hoard money for ourselves.

    Aussimama, I know well what you’re saying. A while back, my husband and I were convicted of the need to share the blessings the Lord has seen fit to entrust to us. And, when we began to look outside of self, it is amazing how frequently (and the various forms) the opportunities arise. We still are not experts at generous giving, but it has been so much more rewarding than trying to create a “stable” retirement account or build up a savings account that may be wiped out with the next economic blip.

    Kelly can speak for herself, but I’m not thinking the point here was to create a stockpile of money and stuff. As she and her husband have had to climb out from under some significant amount of debt, they’ve had to severely cut spending. Whatever is not spent is “saved” and thus freed to pay off their debt (or have excess funds/ stuff on hand with which they are able to help others 😉 ).

  7. Mrs W says:

    Heather, I know that Kelly was probably just referring to saving to get out of debt and that is a very good thing. I guess I was just addressing the “saving” issue because I know a lot of people that all they do is hoard money. We don’t have a lot, but now that we are out of debt (which is anyone’s FIRST goal with their money) we like to give when we can. I took a meal we really couldn’t afford to make (but God took care of it) to a woman with several children who was experiencing a miscarriage because I wanted her to sit back and relax.

    I just hope we can look outside of ourselves to see there are others who are hurting and could use the help.

  8. Heather says:

    Sorry Mrs W, for mis-addressing you!

    Saw your title and my brain automatically translated that to “Aussiemama” I don’t do well when crossing over between screen names.

  9. Heather says:

    I getcha, Mrs W.

    Sadly, it tends to be the “American way”–or at least the western way of thinking that if we have extra it must be “all for me”. And having lots of stuff and money to throw around makes us look good to our neighbors (pride of life!!).

    My dad has said that our culture of greed-based advertising encourages people to work hard at a job they hate so they can buy a bunch of stuff they don’t really need in order to impress people they don’t even like. Which is exactly the opposite of your point that God wants us to be thankful for what He provides!!!

    Learning to be content and thankful in the Lord are two of the hardest things for us, I think. Learning to be generous with “our” stuff runs a close second.

    You’ve made a good observation–I agree with your main idea!

  10. Word Warrior says:

    Heather,

    Really, I haven’t kept up with Amy D. to know she is a bread winner while her husband stays home. I know in the beginning, her TG got started because she wanted to be a stay at home mom. Either way, I would still recommend her money-saving wisdom 😉 even if I disagree with her family dynamics.

  11. Lucy T says:

    I can’t wait till tomarrow.

  12. Lucy T says:

    The Tightwade Gazette can be checked out from a library also.

  13. Word Warrior says:

    Mrs. W.,

    You bring up an important question. I know exactly what you are asking/feeling and we have discussed the same thing. It seems wise (and biblical) to prepare for lack (and Dave R. would even say we are better able to share if we make provisions for ourselves first). By the same token, we see examples of Christians “selling all they had” to share with those in need and that seems equally biblical.

    We haven’t come to a solid understanding either. I know that the typical family spends what they make. Whether it’s $20K or $200K a year. To say, “we’ll share when we make/save more”….is a trap.

    Very important discussion, though, to have.

  14. Heather says:

    Thanks, Kelly.

    Again, I was just curious, not arguing. Her ideas are great and she and her husband appear to both be retired from mainstream money-making efforts as of the publishing of the book I have.

    I haven’t followed her closely, either. I just happened across indicative info a few times while reading her Tightwad Gazette compilation. It appeared to me her husband retired from the Navy in order to help her with her entrepreneurial Tightwad publishing effort.

    Not a huge deal to me, BTW. I think it’s great when a couple can work together to achieve a goal and don’t personally feel it suggests she is the one who wears the pants.

    I just felt that, being your blog and all, someone ought to bring up something that could detract from the main article. 😉

    • Word Warrior says:

      (Reposting a comment to check out the new “nested comments” I just enabled.

      Heather,

      “I just felt that, being your blog and all, someone ought to bring up something that could detract from the main article.”

      LOL!!! That is great.

    • Julie says:

      I have a copy of “The Complete Tightwad Gazette”. In the intro, Amy D. explains she started the TG as a home-based business to share what she learned while making ends meet as a SAHM (and as a way to help make those ends meet!). Her husband was career Navy. When he retired, he took over the business management end of the TG, as well as taking on some of the housekeeping responsibilities (specifically gardening and marketing, since he liked doing those more than Amy did). When the “Complete” book was published, they both retired from their TG duties. I got the impression that even though the TG started as Amy’s business, it quickly became a joint family venture.

      • Heather says:

        Julie

        I have “Complete” also. My comment was mainly tongue-in-cheek as I really have wondered whether anyone has protested in this way and it seems as though Kelly’s site is a magnet for people who have an ax to grind and who will do so over secondary (and sometimes imaginary) details.

        I really didn’t mean to push the discussion off course. Just was giving Kelly a little trouble.

  15. Mrs W says:

    Heather, both Blogspot and WordPress sign me in automatically, so if I’m a Blogspot blog I’ll appear as Mrs W and if I’m on WordPress I’ll appear as Aussiemama. Sorry about the confusion.

  16. Simona says:

    I live alone. If I didn’t work, I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay the rent, to buy food, to pay for my medication, to be able to do anything other than sit in a cardboard box despairing at the state of my life.

    I work tech support, and I love my job. It pays well, and I have enough money to buy nice things, as well as donate to charities I support. For me, it’s a choice between working and having money, and not working and having no money at all.

  17. Word Warrior says:

    Would love any feedback on the new “nested comment” feature
    I just enabled. Confusing? More helpful?

    • Heather says:

      It can take a little time to acclimate, but I prefer the “nesting” feature as it can help prevent confusion as to who is answering whom–and can more easily identify what they are actually discussing.

      On high-traffic sites, I’ve found it to be especially helpful as it can keep side-trail discussion in one spot while other commenters continue with the primary theme.

      JMO.

      • Mrs W says:

        I hate the nesting feature and always have. You can’t know where you are up to on the comments if you do that and have to go hunting them down. It’s a pain. But I fear I am probably outvoted haha.

        • Beth says:

          I’m not a huge fan of it either, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I can see some benefits to it once we get used to it. If people don’t use the reply button but respond to someone just by posting a new comment then it gets a little confusing to keep a conversation straight. And, I’m used to looking for new comments at the end instead of having to look back through all the comments, but I can probably get used to the new way.

          • Word Warrior says:

            Mrs. W.,

            Do the “recent comments” in the sidebar help you keep track?

          • Tricia says:

            I don’t see the “recent comments” feature, in spite of the fact that I recently commented. Where is it?

            The nesting feature seems like a very good idea; I’ll just have to finish figuring it out. I think I slightly mis-applied it above, in replying to the last replier instead of the original commenter, which was (I think) my intention. But that’s how we learn!

          • Tricia says:

            Oops, Kelly, don’t bother answering. I found it! Sorry!

  18. Kelly L says:

    To me it is good, it will make people go back through
    and read the comments before commenting again.

    • Lucy T says:

      I don’t like it.But I can get used to it.

      • Word Warrior says:

        Lucy,

        Do the “recent comments” in the side bar help?

        • LucyT says:

          ahh,no,still confused.I will figur it out.I might just be to nosy I like to read everyones comments and it is just easier for me to start where I left off.
          I would love a spell check ap. though.

          • Mrs W says:

            No, it doesn’t help. “Recent Comments” only shows the last five, which could be on any post. When there has been twenty new comments on a thread, it would be pretty useless especially with this whole “nesting” thing. Some of us can only read some at a time and then have to come back. Now we won’t be able to remember where we were at.

  19. yongxiu says:

    Kelly, I’m a bit confused. You aren’t a stay at home mom. You work at home, and make a second income for your family. You have this site, and several others, I believe, that produce income. That is a time-consuming business–time that takes away from your family.

    So I guess I don’t understand the criticism of dual career families. Do you wish you could be a SAHM? It must be frustrating, I agree. But it sounds like your family needs two incomes.

    I know you went to college (since you posted about it earlier). Do you feel your education helped you develop your career?

    In any event, I think it’s great we live in a country where we have choices!

    • Heather says:

      So I guess I don’t understand the criticism of dual career families. Do you wish you could be a SAHM?

      SAHM IS a career. Just one that is measured by God’s eternal standard rather than a temporal, monetary one.

      There is nothing anti-biblical about a wife contributing to the family income. Doing it at the expense of her first calling to husband and children is not Biblically supported.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Yes, you are confused. I don’t *wish* to be a SAHM, I actually am.

      I have a home business. See Proverbs 31.

      A flexible hour here and there is far different than a career outside the home, on someone else’s schedule, under someone else’s authority and agenda.

      My college education has little to do with my current home business; a college degree is just that. An education is accessible to anyone for free.

      I’m also grateful for living in a free country. But our choices matter, and many women understand how important the choice to give the best of herself to her family is. It’s a shame you are able to criticize even my desire to encourage moms who want to be home but who are told by most people that they “can’t afford it”.

      After several weeks of your constant criticism, I would suggest you find a more suitable blog to read and interact with. This is probably not a good fit for you.

  20. yongxiu says:

    If you spend 15-20 hours working on your websites, that is still taking away from your duties to your family.

    Someone who choses to do so has little right to criticize other working moms.

    If Kelly put some of these cost-saving tips to work, perhaps she could give up her computer work. But I suspect she doesn’t want to. She gets emotional and intellectual fulfillment from it–and that’s why many moms work.

    She could spend the extra time playing with her little ones–mine are always happy to play! They gain very little from having mom hunched over the computer.

    Kelly choses to work, just as many moms do. It’s OK by me, but it is puzzling to see her criticize other working moms. She’s a working mom, just like them.

    If her full time job was being a SAHM, she’d be working at it FULL TIME

    • Heather says:

      yongxiu,

      I’ve been reading here a while and have never seen Kelly hypocritically “criticize ‘other’ working moms”. There is a difference between what Kelly does and choosing to leave one’s children with another person 8-15 hours per day while commuting to another location and giving the majority of one’s time and attention to those outside the home

      SAHM is not simply about staying at home, playing with the children all day. There is training and involvement, to be sure. But that does not demand that a woman only do things that place her children front and center at all times.

      Using your line of logic would require that we condemn the Proverbs 31 “excellent woman”.

    • “If Kelly put some of these cost-saving tips to work, perhaps she could give up her computer work. But I suspect she doesn’t want to. She gets emotional and intellectual fulfillment from it–and that’s why many moms work.”

      It’s been my experience (and my personal behavior, frankly, as I resisted transitioning from away from home to stay at home) that there is a need to diminish those who disagree with our choices, even when the foundation for the argument is a clear Scriptural directive. Emotional and intellectual fulfillment, as you put it, can’t come from work, in and of itself. It’s a spiritual matter, satisfied only by relationship with God. It’s no coincidence that the current level of job dissatisfaction – at an all time high – is occurring in the age of Career Worship. The answers aren’t in the office.

      There is also a huge misunderstanding of what staying at home/keeping at home means. In my work life, I didn’t hover over my staff nor did I micro-manage their every activity. The point – my purpose – was to enable them to do their work effectively, so that I could do mine. A household doesn’t operate much differently than that. While we all know Mom’s who go behind their kids redoing every chore, or not teaching them skills at all, a huge part of the sahm role is training children to become effective people in the world. That includes mastering academics, practical skills, and yes, occupying their own minds from time to time. I do my bookkeeping and writing while my children do their schoolwork, right next to them. I increase my families income both by decreasing the outgo and increasing the income (Lord willing) – it’s part of a Biblical outline for a woman’s work life.

      I’m not sure what your purpose is in your last comment, Yongxiu, but I don’t see how Kelly/WW’s “computer work” is anything but right in line with the Biblical call to wive and mothers.

  21. Diane says:

    yongxiu you wrote: “Kelly, I’m a bit confused. You aren’t a stay at home mom. You work at home, and make a second income for your family.”
    I’m not Kelly (nor do I play her on TV;)) but I thought I’d chime in here… Because Kelly also engages in some money-making activities while she is at home, does not mean that she is not a stay-at-home-mom. She’s staying at home. She’s with her kids. She’s planning the meals and preparing them, cleaning the toilets and washing the dishes. Being a SAHM, does not mean that you do nothing else… it just means that you’re a mom. Who stays at home.

    “If her full time job was being a SAHM, she’d be working at it FULL TIME.”
    I used to work full time as a Educator/Special Services Coordinator… but that doesn’t mean that I only did that 24/7. I also had hobbies, social and church activities. I was parenting my children alone and I had a small business. But if you had asked me what my job was, I would have said Educator/Special Services Coordinator. Kelly rightfully calls herself a SAHM because that is her profession and calling.

    Does that help you to understand? 🙂

  22. Kim M says:

    yong, I hope you aren’t at work because if you are then you should be doing that FULL TIME instead of making comments on this blog.

  23. Kim M says:

    I know my comment above sounded pretty rude. I didn’t mean it to be.. .just to make the point that whatever we are doing, it allows a flexible moment here and there. How do I know you aren’t commenting while on your lunch break. Moms take breaks too and we can still get things accomplished… especially one who can carry that mobile computer around and type for 2 seconds while your child is eating or doing something else.

    • Beth says:

      Briefly, the point I want to add goes along with Kim M’s comments. Not only do stay at home moms take breaks, but to go even further, I feel I would be doing my daughter a disservice by giving her my 100% attention and entertaining her constantly 24/7. I want her to grow up to be an independent person who can think for herself and not be constantly needing all the attention to be on herself. I want her to learn to think about people other than herself and realize that they are important too. I don’t ignore her when she needs me, but she doesn’t need my constant undivided attention. She know I am here, even if “here” is in another room of our house.

  24. HeatherHH says:

    I love the point of how “little things” add up. I’ve been cutting my husband’s hair for 9 years. That’s probably $720 saved. My eldest son’s hair for 7 years; there’s another $450 or so. That’s $1170 without that much time spent, especially when you consider the time spent going to a barber. Our other son is now 17 months and just starting to get into haircuts, so the savings will accelerate. I also have given my 3 daughters maybe 10 trims between all of them, and I trim my hair myself every few months. So several hundred more there.

    • Kelly L says:

      I also do my daughter’s hair. And while my husband is not keen on me doing the real cut, he is spacing his haircuts out a little more, and I will trim his sideburns and his ducktails. Truth be told, I’d have to listen to God the entire time if he let me cut his hair, because it is so wavy, I’d be afraid! But you encouraged my to maybe get a hair cutting book from the library and check it out. Then hypnotize him to let me do it! Disclaimer: Just a joke, would never engage in that.

      • Lucy T says:

        Kelly L my husband has really wavy hair and it is actually easier to cut than my sons strait hair.It doesn’t show mistakes as much.I have to admit cutting hair is srtessful for me.

  25. Anna B says:

    One person mentioned this, but I’d like to point it out again – the LIBRARY can be a *major* money saver. Why buy your child dozens of books when you can get them for free? Why buy books to learn how to do X or Y, when you can check them out from the library (and get a free look at a variety of methods?)

    I don’t think a person should NEVER buy books, but getting books, books on tape, etc from the library can be a great swap from the “I have to buy it to read it” mentality. 🙂

  26. yongxiu says:

    If two people are earning income in a family, it is not a “one income family.”

    In Kelly’s case, she is earning an income, too. We don’t know how much–it is none of my business. But it is certainly an income.

    She doesn’t have a one-income family, she has a two-income one.

    It’s silly to pretend that one income doesn’t “count” because we want to say we have a one-income family.

    • Word Warrior says:

      yongxiu,

      Sure…use different words than “one-income family”, if it’s a technical problem you have. But you’re about finding fault so even if I get the technicalities right, it won’t satisfy.

      • Mrs W says:

        Actually, so far, this is the only point that I agree with yongixu on. You aren’t a one income family. You have your husband’s income, and your income, and that makes two incomes. Just because you don’t make a full time income doesn’t make it not an income. I feel that it could be deceptive to describe yourself as one-income, I’ve actually wondered about it before but never felt it worth mentioning. But since it was brought up, on this point this person is right.

        • Word Warrior says:

          Mrs. W.,

          I replied to yongxiu about this further down, but after thinking about it, the technicality needs to be defined. My saying “one-income family”, there are several considerations. First, because I don’t work under another boss and my husband is my overseer, we consider any income we make to be our “family’s income”. We would technically call ourselves a “multiple-stream of income” family. He works several side jobs in addition to his regular one, I make a very small amount, and then our children sell something every now and then and they pay us a tiny bit for costs/advertising, etc.

          Extra income made under the oversight of a husband isn’t the same as working a full-time job outside the home, which is what most people think of as “dual-income”. So, if we’re going to get technical, let’s be accurate. I used that title to help readers understand that we were talking about how a woman can come home from her full-time job and still add to the family’s income if she wants. I can hardly belabor the readers by offering that extensive caveat in the title 😉

          • Katie Grace says:

            If you ask most dual-income families if Kelly’s family was a one-income or dual-income, I bet most would consider them a one-income. Every SAHM that I know has something she does to bring in extra money. This extra money is supplemental and unpredictable. It’s usually not included in the household budget but used to fill-in the gaps (clothing, unexpected expenses).

            Kelly’s family runs a lot like the “family farm”. Having grown up on a family farm, both my parents worked to bring in money. My dad took care of the crops, equipment, and most of the animals. My mom took care of the vegetable production, chickens, and fruit trees. We children also had areas of responsibility depending on age and season. All money earned went into the same pot. My mom also took care of all the accounting side of the farm. My dad would work “odd” jobs during the growing season to bring in extra money. He did carpentry, welding, and drove a dump truck. My mom would sometimes sew and bake for the public. In fact, my mom bought all of our Christmas each year with money she earned during the holidays baking homemade cakes and pies.

            We were always considered a one-income family.

          • Mrs W says:

            “Multiple income” = more than one.

            I’m not too worried about it, but anyone who earns money from home has two incomes at least and as far as I know, most people know that.

            But, the articles are still good with great ideas even if you have more than one income. 🙂

  27. Beth says:

    Kelly, I appreciate your blog and these posts about practical ways to make it easier financially for families with stay at home moms to live on one income. Another way my family has worked on cutting spending is that my husband has recently gotten into woodworking and he has built several pieces of furniture to help furnish our new home instead of buying them new. With an initial investement in some decent tools (several of which were used from craigslist) he has made several pieces of furniture for way less than half of what we could have bought them for new. He has done this in his spare time and is enjoying having a more productive hobby than fishing or boating. He bought a couple woodworking books and magazines and learns a lot from the internet. Even for families that don’t really have the option or ability to build their own furniture, buying used items (of all kinds, not just furniture) off craigslist is another way to cut down on what can be big expenses.

  28. Charity says:

    Kelly, About the comment format (since you asked ;)…at first I was a little confused because it looked like all the comments just ran together, but, I think the ‘reply’ option will be helpful at keeping the conversation between a few people going without getting confusing. Anyway…

    I am enjoying this series. Just wanted to throw this out there…one “little way” we save is by not using paper towels or paper napkins. Seems like a little thing, but for us it has made a difference of right at $100 a year!

    • Word Warrior says:

      Charity,

      Ironically, my 8-year-old has spent the morning making cloth napkins in the sewing class we had at our house this morning.

      Another way we not only can save, but teach our children the benefit of recycling old fabric while lending to the family’s economy. Love it.

      • Charity says:

        Kelly, When I read “…teach our children the benefit of recycling old fabric while lending to the family’s economy.”…I had to giggle a little just remembering… When our baby boy was born a little over a year ago and my husband was unemployed, I cut up his old work t-shirts, bleached them, and used them for diapers since we didn’t have the money for disposable diapers OR cloth diapers! I felt a bit like a redneck, but I don’t think it hampered our newborn’s development any! 😉

        • Kelly L says:

          you probably helped him! The chemicals used in diapers, the hot moist environment, make me wish I’d never used them!

        • LucyT says:

          I think that is a great idea.What did you use over the t shirts? plastic pants?

          • Charity says:

            Yes, plastic pants. At first I used the ones I had from potty training our oldest (he is our third baby) since it was what I had on hand. They were, of course, a bit big, but I stitched them up the back to make do until I found some more in the correct size for him at a thrift store. 😉

  29. Missy says:

    Thanks for the great ideas! My friends and family would already consider me really frugal, but I just called my phone company at your suggestion and told them I felt like we were paying too much and they cut $22 per month off! Amazing!! Thank you for the suggestions!!!

    Blessings,
    Missy

  30. Ginger says:

    Haven’t read the comments, just responding to the post:
    I have also learned the simple truth of just staying home. I like to get out and about everyday, but I find that by doing that I am frequently tempted to buy something. Anything. I think of something I “need” just to justify leaving the house. So, now I hit the library again or go to the park. Free places. No temptations there.
    Great ideas here!

  31. Mrs. Lady Sofia says:

    This “nesting feature” is sure nutty, but interesting! 🙂 I don’t think I have ever seen it on blogs until I came here. Since I enjoy coming to this blog, and this is what you want Kelly, I’ll need to get used to the change. 🙂

    At any rate, I’ll have to add my two cents worth about the comment made regarding a person is not a stay-at-home mom because they are entrepreneurs in their own home. I have to say that this is a ridiculous thought. Yes, mother’s stay home in order to care for their children on various physical, education, emotional, and spiritual levels, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help supplement the husband’s income with a home business. Also, it is my impression that all family members contribute to the home business in some way shape or form, and therefore, it’s not just solely the wife’s home business but the family’s home business. Besides, if all of us wives could be “cursed” with the “entrepreneur spirit” that Kelly has, we’d be “sitting pretty.” 🙂 (That last line was a compliment for Mrs. Crawford)

    Okay, enough about that. I’m glad that you started this series, Kelly. I am enjoying it – so far so good. Keep-up the good work! 🙂

    ~Mrs. Lady Sofia~

    • wordwarrior says:

      Thank you, Lady.

      The nesting comments are not set in stone; if it causes too much distraction, I’ll be glad to switch it back. I’m hoping it’s easier for people to follow all the rabbit trails my blog seems to attract 🙂

      Speaking of which, yes, yongxiu’s comments border on insanity, but it’s out of anger she speaks, so I’m trying to remember that. I agree with you and the others who have wisely spoken.

  32. I noticed that some of you are critical Kelly for working at home. There is a big difference between being working from home, or having a full time career outside the home. Many SAHMs are choosing to work from home to supplement the family’s income. My friend chose to work from home after her daughter was born. She worked from 4:30-7:30 am and during her daughter’s naptime.A work-at-home mom doesn’t sit at a computer all day long and ignore her children. A work-at-home mom works based on a schedule that is convenient to the needs of her children.

    Kelly, I am really enjoying your series! I appreciate your honesty!I’ve read so many books where women talk about giving up morning coffees and a designer wardrobe. I like how you geared your series to those that have debt, and other barriers that would cause a belief that staying home isn’t affordable. I’ll have to check out the t-shirts you mentioned. I’ll also be checking out amazon.com and ebay more often. Thanks for the encouragement!

  33. Renee says:

    Love all those practical tips! I’m a SAHM and love it! yes living on a single income is not always easy but trusting God and His provision make it easier not to fear.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this post!

    Renee

  34. Tricia says:

    Kelly, about conditioner: Have you ever tried a bit of plain white vinegar diluted in water? You’ll be amazed how it takes the tangles out! I even read a scientific explanation once of how and why it works. (Just don’t ask me to repeat it!) That can be a big savings.

    You have to leave it on for a few minutes, so I wash my hair first, rinse it, pour the water w/vinegar in it on, wash my body, and finally rinse my hair. Also, a hairdresser friend-of-a-friend told me once that you only really need to apply shampoo to the top part of your head (I apply on the sides and nape of neck, too, but not the rest), because when you rinse your hair, the shampoo will clean the rest of it as it goes down. I’ve been doing it for years, and I think it’s a lot easier on your ends. Works for long hair, too!

    More household savers:
    –Save soap bits, dissolve in water, and put in a dispenser for hand soap.
    –You can get rid of almost ALL your chemical disinfectants and cleaners (which aren’t good for you anyway, can exacerbate allergies, and end up in the water supply which we and our children drink, etc.) by using:
    —-instead of scouring powder: baking soda
    —-instead of other disinfectants: white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. Here’s how: Put white vinegar in one spray bottle and hydrogen peroxide in another. Spray on one, then the other–in whatever order. Let stand a short while and wipe off. I only use this when true disinfection is needed, which I believe isn’t as often as we think. Often soap and water are enough, and sometimes just water, which is a good solvent!

    All in all, these tips can save a lot of money and even simplify shopping!

    And did you know that using disinfectant, believe it or not, can actually contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics? (See http://www.naturalhealthstrategies.com/disinfectant-danger.html if you’re interested in how that works.)

    Sorry for such a long comment, but I hope it saves somebody/somebodies some money!

    • SavedbyGrace says:

      In the spirit of helpful comments, I thought I’d add that coconut oil makes a wonderful conditioner for frizzy hair ( don’t ‘cha love that Southern humidity!). A small amount to saturate your hair to the ends- either sleep in it (shower cap) or leave it in for a couple of hours and then wash it out. Works like a charm!

      Making laundry soap is also a cinch and VERY cost effective. Find a recipe online and have a go at it. Soap making can be a very educational experiment for homeschoolers – mix the lye the wrong way and get an explosion (apparently – I keep planning to try it but you know the plans of mice and men and all that jazz ;))

      If you can find a good one, auctions can be a wonderfun “find” for families and sometimes the stuff is super cheap. I got a whole bin of yarn last weekend for $15. You never know what you’ll find.

      Wonderful topic Kelly. We can always find ways to be more frugal.

    • Tricia says:

      SavedbyGrace, I’m so glad you brought up coconut oil. Did you know it’s a wonderful moisturizer, for your face and any other part of your body? And, since your body absorbs what you put on your skin, it’s another health plus, because you’re doing away with all the chemicals (some of which are very detrimental to your health) in commercial skin creams.

    • Charity says:

      This may be a silly question, but does your hair smell like the vinegar, or does a good rinse take care of that? By the way, it is amazing to me to learn all the this vinegar and baking soda are capable of! And to think that most folk pay at least $4 for a bottle of typical cleaner. Thanks for sharing.

      (I love, love, love this nesting comment thing! I feel like I can ‘interact’ with more people this way without feeling like I am taking over the comment section of the blog. So, there’s a vote to keep it…not that you asked me, Kelly 😉

    • Tricia says:

      Charity, I use white vinegar, and though there might be a slight vinegar smell while it’s wet, there’s none when it dries, nor thereafter. However, when I used apple cider vinegar (which I did when I started out), I noticed that although the vinegar smell went away once my hair was dry, there was an unusual smell when my scalp perspired. I didn’t like it much, so I changed to white vinegar and don’t have that problem at all.

      By the way, I forgot to mention that the vinegar helps get rid of any shampoo or soap residue on your hair, too. Why pay for expensive, toxin chemical concoctions?

      • SavedbyGrace says:

        Hi Tricia,
        I like apple cider vinegar best but if I had a smell from it I’d probably change. I can’t say for sure though ’cause I used sesame oil & olive oil as a moisturizer most of the time, so I’m sure I smell like a salad and just don’t know it. 🙂

        I’ve tried coconut oil as a moisturizer and noticed my hands peeling. I researched it and found that too much can actually be drying. Maybe it has something to do with skin type.

      • Charity says:

        Thanks Tricia, I am looking forward to trying this!

  35. Kelly L says:

    Kelly,
    Maybe for the non-stalkers of this site *blush*, increasing “recent comments” to the last 10 would be helpful. For those of us who check back frequently, we don’t miss much. But for people with less time on their hands, 10 would cover it? Just a thought, obviously, so what you feel led to do.

  36. yongxiu says:

    Hi! If you earn income and your husband does too, you are a two-income family.

    You, Kelly, have a career as a blogger and as a salesperson. A quick perusal of your website shows me that.

    Your website (which helps people trying to become a one income family) provides you with the income to be a two-income family. Ironic, isn’t it?

    Amy Dacyczyn worked out of her home. Her husband stayed home with their kids. He was retired from the Navy.

    • Word Warrior says:

      yongxiu,

      Even though you insist on “trapping” me by being technical, I maintain that no, we would not be considered a two-income family. Our family has “multiple-streams of income”, with my husband making the bulk of it (he has some side jobs too).

      My website earns a small amount and is not a regular-paying “career” as you keep referring to.

      If a woman has a yard sale every week to earn extra money, we don’t consider her a career woman or say they are a dual-income family.

      As many have already stated, earning a little passive income in between my career as a SAHM (I spend about 6 hours a week blogging) can hardly be considered a “dual career”.

  37. Natalie says:

    I see that someone mentioned making your own laundry soap… while I think that is a fabulous idea, and I did that for a while, I do want to pipe up and sing the praises of soap nuts. They are economical (check eBay and find a seller offering free shipping, then price compare to Amazon), and EASY. I have a 1 and 2 year old, and making laundry soap was something I enjoyed doing but was time consuming. The soap nuts just need put in the enclosed bag and tossed in the washer. They work on my husband’s construction clothes, so they work well for our needs. 🙂 Plus I love that they’re 100% natural! 🙂

    Oh, and Proverbs 13:22…
    “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.”

    • Word Warrior says:

      I need to try soap nuts! Here’s another idea regarding laundry that we have seriously considered: a “Laundry Pure”.

      It’s a machine that hooks to the water supply of your washer and uses ultra-violet rays to “oxidize” the water. The benefits are multiple…one, you do not have to use any detergent. But equally remarkable, is the oxidizing effect works like peroxide to remove residue and actually improve the look of your clothes the more they are washed. So consider the savings in longer-lasting clothes and from what I read, it’s worth the savings and benefits!

      • I read about those a while back, and was skeptical. But then I saw them reviewed by Consumer Reports maybe (?) and their claims were found to be true. It’s certainly interesting, since it’s the water that actually cleans what’s being washed, the soap just breaks up the grime.

        I was SHOCKED when I learned how much soap stays on clothes – you could probably get away with using either a quarter of the suggested amount, or skip it all together every few times. The sun being the best disinfectant is true also – a turn on the clothesline is terrific for eliminating odors on things that can’t be laundered (sleeping bags, rugs, etc) and for freshening up items between trips to the cleaners.

  38. Kelly,

    I did a short series on saving money a couple of years ago — ideas gleaned from raising 10 kids on one income. Here are the links for three of the articles. Maybe they will be helpful to some of your readers.

    http://virginiaknowles.blogspot.com/2008/08/simple-strategies-for-saving-money.html

    http://virginiaknowles.blogspot.com/2008/07/saving-money-on-groceries.html

    http://virginiaknowles.blogspot.com/2008/08/saving-money-on-health-care-costs.html

    I haven’t read all the comments on this thread yet, but I’m looking forward to it!

    Blessings,
    Virginia Knowles
    http://www.comewearymoms.blogspot.com and http://www.startwellhomeschool.blogspot.com

  39. Shelly says:

    Thank you Kelly for an enlightening post. I have spent years trying to convince younger women that they do not need to work full time outside the home and that it was doubtful that many of them were making enough money for it to be “worth it”. One important point regarding this issue is that wives should not function under the authority of any man (and God forbid, a woman) other than her father (1st) and then her husband. I have seen numerous marriages that have crumbled because wife has shifted her focus from husband and family to her boss. Hopefully, the information gleaned from you blog will encourage wives and mothers to return to home

    • yongxiu says:

      I didn’t know that the Scriptures said women should have no authority other than her husband or her father (or God, I presume). Could you tell me where that is found?

      Does that mean we are not under the authority of police officers? Does that mean we can’t take a class in cake decorating if a man is the teacher? I just came from a wonderful exercise class taught by a man. Is that wrong? And I guess those of us, like Kelly, who are college educated were wrong also?

      I am not trying to be critical at all, please excuse me if I come across that way. I was mostly wondering about the Biblical basis for that statement.

      • Heather says:

        Don’t you think you’re being just a tad extreme here?

        Does that mean we are not under the authority of police officers?
        All citizens of a society answer to the civil authorities.

        Does that mean we can’t take a class in cake decorating if a man is the teacher?

        Maybe. Our society is pretty messed up concerning the lines between traditionally gender-specific roles.

        Biblically speaking, it is women who were instructed to teach women how to be keepers at home. Considering the present state of things in our culture, cake decorating class may fall into the realm of “if it’s okay with the husband, it’s an acceptable thing”.

        Same with exercise, although you can run into the “mixed-gender dressed down together-wife unattended by her husband situation thing”–which, again, while culturally accepted, may not be biblically supported. There are ways to exercise in a private setting or with a female instructor, if one is necessary.

        And I guess those of us, like Kelly, who are college educated were wrong also?

        Maybe it was a mistake.
        It is arguable that college education (and generalized “liberation”) of women has not been a healthy/productive thing for our society.
        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/the-end-of-men/8135/

        Certainly, I see no Biblical rule against a woman gaining marketable skills. But formal, college-setting training may be a fine-line situation that can be easily crossed.

        From the beginning, women have been bucking the God-ordained structure of society. And, to support our attitude of rebellion, we like to point to passages such as Galatians 3:28 There cannot be Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is no male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. .

        Thing is, just because we are equal in worth, it does not erase the individual roles God has assigned each gender to play. If it did, there would be no references to wifely submission or Christ and His bride as a pattern which we ought to strive to mirror.

        Sometimes, individual circumstances require that a person (or couple) ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance. Other times, the rules are clearly spelled out in scripture. In any case, if someone wants to know the truth, he is to ask the Author of Truth. God doesn’t play games and has promised to give to those who ask of Him.

        • Jennifer says:

          “Does that mean we can’t take a class in cake decorating if a man is the teacher?

          Maybe. Our society is pretty messed up concerning the lines between traditionally gender-specific roles”

          I hope you’re kidding about THAT.

          I see men being the ones to buck from God’s order since the beginning. From Eden, men started men-led societies where-guess who-were the ruling ones and women were almost nothing.

          • SavedbyGrace says:

            According to Genesis, it was Eve who first “bucked” God’s order of things from the beginning. She was the first one to eat the fruit. 🙂

            Hi Jennifer. I wondered where you’d gotten off to.

          • Heather says:

            I hope you’re kidding about THAT.

            No. I was dead serious. And perhaps you stopped reading too soon because I also said

            Sometimes, individual circumstances require that a person (or couple) ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance. Other times, the rules are clearly spelled out in scripture. In any case, if someone wants to know the truth, he is to ask the Author of Truth. God doesn’t play games and has promised to give to those who ask of Him.

            Never once did I claim the Bible teaches a woman cannot take instruction from anyone other than her husband. I said our society is messed up and that we need to take the things that are not clearly spelled out to the Lord.

            From the beginning, God said men are to be leaders. It wasn’t just “made up” by some woman-hater. People can be sinful and are imperfect on their best days. That doesn’t make the God ordained order of society wrong.

        • Jennifer says:

          “to support our attitude of rebellion, we like to point to passages such as Galatians 3:28 There cannot be Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is no male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

          Quoting the Bible, wow. Kind of like how disrespectful men like to call women weaker vessels and abuse God’s prediction to Eve in Genesis to support THEIR rebellion.

          • SavedbyGrace says:

            “Quoting the Bible, wow.” Why wouldn’t she quote the Bible? If it’s what she is basing her life on, it only makes sense.

            • Jennifer says:

              Hi Grace. I was talking about the “order” of men and women and how we’re to treat each other.

              “Why wouldn’t she quote the Bible?”

              She said people who don’t like gender roles quote it wrongly to be rebellious, and my point was that so do those who agree with her own stance. Hope I didn’t sound snarky; it was late at night and I’d had a horrid Internet day.

              Glad to see the conversation’s lively! I haven’t chipped in because this is something I know little about.

              • Heather says:

                When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert to abandon His mission and bow before him as Adam did, Satan quoted Scripture out of context.

                The temptation was basically
                Make things easy on yourself. Buck God’s predetermined plan for your humiliation and suffering and bow to me instead.

                Jesus quoted right back.

                She said people who don’t like gender roles quote it wrongly to be rebellious, and my point was that so do those who agree with her own stance.

                Nope. Those who agree with me will recognize the God-ordained, distinctly different roles within the marriage union. But they also will recognize the biblical mandate for both parties to be self-sacrificing and respectful of one another within the God-ordained order of relationship.

                Those men who would misquote scripture so as to justify spouse-abuse most definitely would not agree with my stance.

            • Heather says:

              Thanks for you input, SavedbyGrace. 🙂

          • Heather says:

            God’s prediction to Eve in Genesis

            Jennifer, I’m not sure what you think God’s prediction to Eve was but this is what He said to her

            Gen 3:16 To the woman He said, I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception. In pain you shall bear sons, and your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.

            And what he said to Adam was
            Gen 3:17 And to Adam He said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it! The ground is cursed for your sake. In pain shall you eat of it all the days of your life.

            (kind of gives the impression that even before the fall, there was an order to be followed and Adam should have stopped his wife and refused to eat himself.)

            What He said to the serpent was

            Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

            (The woman represents Christ’s bride and throughout history, God’s people in both OT and NT time periods have definitely had to deal with satanically inspired worldly abuse. )

            V 15 includes God’s solemn promise that He had a plan for redemption of humanity (in Christ) from the curse.

            And because of his faith in God’s promise, Adam then named his wife

            Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

            • Jennifer says:

              “Those men who would misquote scripture so as to justify spouse-abuse most definitely would not agree with my stance”

              Nope, I’m talking about men who act in dominating ways towards their wives, who even declare that men are the only leaders. They most certainly claim your stance. And yes, women are to be leaders; God said this from the beginning as well.

              “No. I was dead serious. And perhaps you stopped reading too soon because I also said

              Sometimes, individual circumstances require that a person (or couple) ask the Lord for wisdom and guidance. Other times, the rules are clearly spelled out in scripture. In any case, if someone wants to know the truth, he is to ask the Author of Truth. God doesn’t play games and has promised to give to those who ask of Him.

              Never once did I claim the Bible teaches a woman cannot take instruction from anyone other than her husband”

              Yes, I know you said there are exceptions to the awful case of a man teaching a cake class. THAT was what exasperated me, as though that’d be such a horribly unnatural circumstance. Either you found it offensive for a man to be teaching such a class or a bad idea for a woman to learn cake decorating from a man. Either way, rather extreme to me.

              • Heather says:

                Nope, I’m talking about men who act in dominating ways towards their wives, who even declare that men are the only leaders. They most certainly claim your stance. And yes, women are to be leaders; God said this from the beginning as well.

                My stance is scripturally supported. I’m not sure why you don’t believe the Bible is very clear on the teaching that a woman helps her man as he leads. She plays a very important role and he needs to respect her as God’s provision to help provide balance and encourage him to become more mature in Christ–but she isn’t meant to be the “authority figure” in the home.

                God said the woman is to be a helper to the man. She “helps” him lead the family.

                If you don’t like the way Christ set up the physical picture of Himself and His Church, you need to take it up with Him rather than continue arguing with those who agree with Him.

                • Word Warrior says:

                  Heather,

                  “If you don’t like the way Christ set up the physical picture of Himself and His Church, you need to take it up with Him rather than continue arguing with those who agree with Him.”

                  Well said.

                  I’m writing a post right now wherein I express, because I’m seeing this re-interpretation happening in so many others areas of Scripture as well, that we can’t be Christians and then change God’s rules because they aren’t palatable. There are other religions to satisfy our own ideas about how life should be if we don’t like these, but if we bear the name of Christ we owe it to Him to acknowledge that He is right about His own design.

                  • Jennifer says:

                    Typical tactic Heather, telling someone who disagrees and interprets something in a different way that they just have a problem with God. Very old and very typical, and I’m sorry but no one has ever stopped me from challenging/questioning another mindset with that response. I wasn’t even talking primarily about marriage, but about your rather extreme reaction to the cake-teacher. If you’re that caught up in what’s right and what’s wrong for each individual case in gender, I wonder how you can have energy for anything else.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      It’s not about being disloyal to God’s design, it’s about challenging man’s narrow view of it. I think if something that’s been practiced for ages is found to be faulted, it’s put on us to discover the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it might make us. And for the record, this is the closest I’ve come to adapting the typical response others give ME, that “you’re wrong and I’m Scripturally right and you should just obey God now because He agrees with me”. I’ve said before that I don’t care that much what others practice individually, but if someone’s going to consistently give me the opposite treatment and backing-into-a-corner criticism, I’m going to respond less passively.

                    • Jennifer says:

                      Also for the record, I don’t have the least wish to carry this debate further. I just got finished arguing with two of the dumbest ultra-liberals in the free world and I have no desire or energy to argue with ultra-conservatives. There’s a difference between defending one’s beliefs and pushing them in an “I’m right and you are unChristian” manner; I try to do the former without the latter and would simply appreciate the same treatment. I defend my beliefs and I’d like them to be respected as solid convictions from a heart just as Christian as yours, and that’s it. I was probably wise in my initial instincts to avoid any place with severe either left or right beliefs for a while, especialy one where I can’t contribute much. Take care, all

  40. Terri says:

    My family and I – all 11 of us – are moving to Germany and I believe the Lord is really going to stretch me in this thrifty area. I am pretty wasteful and with 9 children I tend to do and use whatever is easiest for me (tons of paper products, lots of throw away items, and storage containers out the wazoo). I have been told that the village we will be living in weighs your garbage. My husband was laughing when he told me that knowing I would break out in hives at the thought of it. While I don’t completely agree with their premise for less waste, I know it will be a good thing for me. Thanks for the ideas – any ideas on how to make garbage weigh less? hehe

    • SavedbyGrace says:

      Terri, if you can do it burn the paper. Then it won’t weigh so much.
      I generally burn all the old mail- junk and otherwise so thieves don’t get it but it’s also quite efficient at decreasing the amoung of garbage in the landfill.

  41. Shelly says:

    I feel that some of my comments were taken out of context. Please allow me to explain. First of all I am not referring to those pursuits which will allow us to contribute to our family’s bottom line, such as a cottage industry where a wife works at home and is available for her family (for example: cake decorating). And, as the Bible says, we must submit to authority, and respect and honor our elected officials, and promote a decent society where law and order (such as police officers)command the highest respect. What I am saying is that it is very easy for priorities to become blurred when a wife and mother spends the most productive part of her day with a man other than her husband, away from her home and family. I certainly mean no disrespect.

    • LucyT says:

      I agree Shelly.I have even seen women spend the best part of thier day putting church functions first at the expence of thier families.We find all kinds of ways to live out side of Gods will.

  42. […] wisdom even if I disagree with her family dynamics. … … See original here: » You CAN Stay Home–Living on One Income Part 2 ← Mandy's Frugal Journey- Saving Money One Deal At A Time […]

  43. Heather says:

    @Jennifer

    but about your rather extreme reaction to the cake-teacher. If you’re that caught up in what’s right and what’s wrong for each individual case in gender, I wonder how you can have energy for anything else.

    I’m not the one who brought up the cake teacher. And if you look back at my original response, I did ask the commenter whether she thought she might be taking things a bit over the top.
    I simply said it MAYBE a problem and it is important to take such things before the Lord.

    If someone is asking such questions, it is wise to turn to the Lord for direction. That’s what we are told in James 1:5. Why disregard such valuable instruction?

    Not sure why my actual response keeps getting brushed aside in favor of a reworking of it.

    Typical tactic Heather, telling someone who disagrees and interprets something in a different way that they just have a problem with God. Very old and very typical, and I’m sorry but no one has ever stopped me from challenging/questioning another mindset with that response.

    I didn’t assume we were in a battle that required the exposure of “tactics”. But if you want to go there, it is also a very old and typical tactic to first question whether God actually said something–and then re-interpret it to suit one’s own imagination. Sometimes the disagreement and different interpretation IS because a person dislikes what God said.

    As of this comment, I still am confused as to why you have such a problem with the instruction that a wife is to submit to her husband and that the husband is acting head of the home under Christ. I’ve seen your challenge, but still not seen scriptural support for your apparent stance that a wife does not need to mirror the order or authority that is clearly spelled out apart from any theological gymnastics to swing things in favor of a male-dominated society.

    I tend to be extremely cautious about foisting my opinion and personal conviction about debatable matters of scripture on others. There are plenty of instances that allow for differences of understanding and I’ve often wondered whether arguments arise in that area simply because both “sides” have a valid point but refuse to listen because both want to be the only one who is right.

    I assume in this context, “ultra-conservative” translates to “narrow minded and judgmental” and I assure you that I prefer to leave plenty of room for the Lord to work in the hearts of others just as He has in mine.

    However, we are told in Scripture that Christ is the head of the church and loves her so much He died to make her His own. The Bride belongs to Him and He has determined the rules of our relationship. And human marriage is a physical reminder of that spiritual reality.

    The Church does not always co-operate with Christ, just as some wives don’t like the idea of accepting that their husbands are to be recognized as “head of the home”. I doubt any human marriage will ever completely measure up to the standard Christ has set. But that does not mean we just ignore the pattern He has given.

    I think if something that’s been practiced for ages is found to be faulted, it’s put on us to discover the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it might make us.

    Depends on who’s finding the fault and why, I suppose.

    Looks as though I’m done here, too.

    If it has been nothing else, this has been an interesting discussion.

    • Jennifer says:

      “Why disregard such valuable instruction?”

      Being so drastic about gender roles that the sex of a baking teacher is a matter needing discernment is just above and beyond to me. That’s like requiring that we ask God what type of milk to buy.

      “I didn’t assume we were in a battle that required the exposure of “tactics”.”

      Nor I, but that was a definite one all right. So is this: “if you want to go there, it is also a very old and typical tactic to first question whether God actually said something–and then re-interpret it to suit one’s own imagination”

      If that’s what you’re accusing me of doing, that I’m using my imagination rather than the deep research I’ve done, then speaking to you in the first place here was a waste of time. I could just as easily accuse you and all comps of doing what you do because you hate women or have a need to let men do everything, but I haven’t. Again, please bestow the same courtesy.

      “As of this comment, I still am confused as to why you have such a problem with the instruction that a wife is to submit to her husband and that the husband is acting head of the home under Christ”

      I DON’T have any problem with the wife submitting, as I’ve said repeatedly. It’s unilateral, hierarchal female submission I hate. I believe sacrifice is submission and that BOTH spouses submit, for the Bible commands it from all of us. And btw, the Bible never says the husband is head of the home; he is head of the wife, but that’s proven a very complex term. I’ll go no further than this, because it will only lead to endless debate, which is why I don’t usually share all my examples of different interpretation on a board full of comps.

      “I tend to be extremely cautious about foisting my opinion and personal conviction about debatable matters of scripture on others”

      I appreciate that, and hope I misunderstood your above comments then.

  44. Heather says:

    hope I misunderstood your above comments then.

    In many areas, you have misunderstood.

    However, as we both have expressed a desire to not drag this on, we might as well end here.

  45. Jennifer says:

    Sounds wise to me.

    Happy Father’s Day!

  46. Jennifer says:

    Yup, got happily sunburnt on an awesome boat ride manned by my dad 😛

  47. Noah Martin says:

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