After working for seven years as a full time mortgage broker and after the birth of my third baby Shiloh, I decided to stay home and be a full time mom. This decision would require my husband and I to make some changes in our life to make this plan a reality.
Our children were growing so fast and I did not want to miss out on their childhood and having to be a “check in over the phone” mom was not my idea fun…especially having to miss out on those important moments. We had made the decision to do whatever we had to in order for me to stay at home and raise my kids.
It took careful planning and cutting back in order to make this happen. We decided to trim the fat from the household budget and find ways to save money…
First we decided to get rid of the fancy SUV which would allow us to no longer have a $600 car payment every month. YIKES! We then purchased a family vehicle that we could pay for with CASH…This was a huge stress reliever!
We recently realized we have been throwing money away without even thinking about it. After going through the bills, it suddenly hit us that we were spending thousands of dollars a year on cable, internet access, and cell phones. Then we examined the utility bills and credit card statements and were shocked at spending we could no longer justify…like do we really need to spend $22 a month for the weekend newspaper when we can read it online for free?
After completing our spending audit, we trimmed an additional $150- $200 a month without feeling much of a sacrifice.
Here are some easy ways you can save money around the home too:
Cable, Phone and Internet
- Cut the cable! This alone will relieve your budget. We bought an antenna for local channels and now have Netflix so we can watch what we want for drastically lower rates. I could also monitor what my kids were watching!
- Get rid of your land line. If you get good cell coverage at home, you may not need your costly traditional phone line. That can be a huge savings month after month. If you’re not using all of your minutes each month, downgrade to a cheaper plan or if there are multiple cell phone users in the house, consider a family plan.
The average household spends $2,100 on home energy costs per year. A few simple adjustments could save you hundreds of dollars.
- Plug all the leaks around your doors and windows with weather stripping. If you have an attic, lay some new insulation. (The new energy tax credits can even help pay for the insulation update.) By doing this you can save up to 20 percent on your energy costs, or $190 for an average home.
- Even simple changes can cut your expenses. Using a programmable thermostat can save you a cool 20 percent on your a.c. and heating costs.
- Find ways to save money on things that you use every day like doing your laundry. The average family of four spends $750 a year on laundry detergent, hot water and fabric softener. There are different ways to save money on your laundry too. Check out The Laundry Moms Best Kept Secret on saving money on your laundry here!