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Controlling the bills you CAN control

You can control your bills and add quality to you life

The efforts to control the bills is a daily job. Being a stay at home Mom I can do that job easier than if I were working. Some bills are not controllable. Your mortgage for one is not entirely controllable. You may be able to refinance and get a lower interest rate but once you have that mortgage amount you can’t do anything to lower it each month. You can however pay additional on you principal and reduce the length of time you will be paying your mortgage-which I highly recommend. Now back to controlling the bills you can control.

Most bills you can just plain get rid of. It took my husband and I five years to get rid of all our credit card bills and another two to pay off old medical bills and clean up our credit report. We looked further into our bills and decided I did not truly need a cell phone, and we could go without internet at home and utilize the wireless service from our library. We cut $500.00 from our monthly budget by eliminating credit cards, cell service and internet. That is a total of $6,000.00 a year! Yes there was some frivolous spending attached to having those little plastic cards. What is left is our mortgage, land, student loans, car, music lessons, gasoline, utilities food/clothing/household, insurances and savings. I cannot express what a good feeling it is to not own a credit card and not have bills constantly filling my mailbox. It is a true feeling of financial freedom.

It hasn’t always been crystal clear to me on how two income families with children work so harmoniously. We tried it for a while because, well we thought we had to, and besides everyone else was doing it. Finally after exhaustion from running a home and a classroom and not being able to be really good at both I looked closely at what my goals were and why I wasn’t reaching them.

Goal #1) Have extra money to save

Goal #2) Be a quality Mother, Wife and Teacher

Securing a $20,000.00 a year salary job, let’s call it $1,200.00 a month take home. Can I save $1,200.00 a month? When I was teaching I spent: $800.00 a month on groceries, purchased work specific shoes and clothing at the thrift in addition to regular clothes, extra expenditure $100.00 for the year. I paid for childcare for my two youngest at $240.00 a month in addition to special convenience items and clothes for school which I estimate at around $300.00 for the school year. Gasoline consumption was way up. Not only am I driving to work but I was also carting children around. My monthly gasoline bills were $160.00 on average. I do not want to forget to mention the carelessness that went along with me being a working Mother. Things like cooking from scratch all the time, spending a Saturday thrift store shopping for recital clothes and just turning of a light when I leave a room… forget it I was too tired, didn’t have the time or just plain forgot. Estimating the monthly money spent for being too tired and forgetful $200.00. Adding up the numbers offers a grand monthly average of a little more than $1400.00 a month and I was bringing home only $1,200.00. Wait, now there is some subtracting to do. I still by groceries and gas, however my monthly food budget for family of 4 is $300.00 and my gasoline budget is $60.00 a month. The real bottom line number is $1,040.00. It cost me $1,040.00 a month to make $1,200.00 a month. A gain of only $15.00 a week! No fancy math just plain numbers.

Expenditures for me as a working Mom bringing home $14,40.00 yearly and $1,200.00 a month

$9,600.00 groceries
$100.00 work clothes
$2,400.00 childcare
$300.00 convenience items and school clothes
$2,400.00 too tired and forgetful expenses
$1,900.00 gasoline for car

TOTAL $16,700.00 yearly and $1,400.00 a month

Comparative expenditures for me as a Home schooling Stay-at-Home Mom

$3,600.00 groceries

.00 work clothes

.00 childcare

.00 convenience items and school clothes

.00 too tired and forgetful

$720.00 gasoline for car

TOTAL$4320.00yearly and $360.00 a month

A DIFFERENCE of $1040.00.

When I was working 40 plus hours a week I was basically working to bring home $60.00 a month/ $15.00 a week…which could be argued as wear and tear on my vehicle.

This scenario may not play out the same for every working Mom. There are certainly other factors to look at. I was working at a private school and there was no retirement benefits so I did not have that consideration. For me it was clear that when I am home I spend less…a lot less than when I work. I can tell you that the value of my time is much a better quality. I have more energy and time to spend with my family and friends. I feel good about the food I put on the table each night and our savings account actually looks better now than when I was working.

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