Don’t Revere the Pioneer

Well, isn’t that an intriguing title?  And maybe not exactly what you expect at LAF.  After all, are we not often accused of “living in the past” of “clinging to the past,” even?  So what could an article like this be doing here?

Now, let me start by saying that this is not an article to put down pioneer women.  They did not have an easy life, and they worked hard to raise their families, doing their best with very limited means under very challenging circumstances.  So often when we feel put upon or worn out, we try to admonish ourselves by thinking of our pioneer foremothers and what they had to endure to remind ourselves how lucky we are.  However, sometimes in looking back, we become intimidated. We start to believe in–dare I say it?- -Superwoman.  After all, these women did backbreaking work, birthed children, lived in isolated conditions, dealt with livestock and made what they wore, ate, used and sold.  Wow… one would get intimidated by less.

Continue reading “Don’t Revere the Pioneer”

Time Management 101: Stop Trying to “Do It All”

From Crystal over at MoneySavingMom.com — one of the best posts we’ve ever read on being REALISTIC about how much we can do. Thank you, Crystal! In the past year, I’ve received numerous emails from women begging me for my “secrets” to time management. They ask me to please share how I manage to seemingly “do it all”. Every time I get an email like … Continue reading Time Management 101: Stop Trying to “Do It All”

Making Memories From Mayhem

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It was a nondescript, rainy February morning. I had two hours before I needed to get ready to leave for a pediatrician appointment. I had nothing I needed to do as far as housework was concerned, so I decided to can four pint jars of Meyer lemon curd. Meyer lemons had been a fantastic deal at our local wholesale club for weeks, and I’d found an unbeatable steal on eggs, so I had both waiting for me in the fridge. Continue reading “Making Memories From Mayhem”

You CAN Stay Home: Earning Money From Home

So what to do if you have saved all the money you can save and it still seems difficult to stay home on your husband’s income?   In a Proverbs 31 fashion, you can add to the family income and be a huge blessing to your husband; it can also be a valuable teaching tool as your children learn first hand the nuts and bolts of finance, profit and work ethic.

The same principle applies here as to saving: a little adds up to a lot. So don’t neglect the day of small things!  And remember, if you have debt, paying that off as intensely as possible will greatly relieve the strain of the finances.  For your inspiration…

***I just read a sentence from Dave Ramsey’s book about building a $1000 emergency fund as fast as you can before you start tackling debt.  He says:***

Continue reading “You CAN Stay Home: Earning Money From Home”

You CAN Stay Home: Part 3–Cutting the Grocery Budget

(Be sure to check the end for a special for LAF readers!)

The kitchen is one of the most flexible areas of finance to a stay at home mom. As we consider our many duties at home, we need to understand the importance of balancing resourcefulness with variety and nutrition–a task that calls for serious study and practice!

In this post I have two lists of money-saving tips and then two cost-efficient menus.

Please add any advice you may have in this area as it will benefit us to learn from each other!

Continue reading “You CAN Stay Home: Part 3–Cutting the Grocery Budget”

You CAN Stay Home: Living on One Income–Ways to Save

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 (again, 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, go through your budget considering any expenses that could be reduced or eliminated. Cable, cell phones, insurance plans, groceries, utilities, etc.

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

Continue reading “You CAN Stay Home: Living on One Income–Ways to Save”

You CAN Stay Home: Living on One Income Part 1

Aren’t we spiritually schizophrenic, just like the psalmist, David? One minute we’re shaking our fist at God, the next, we’re repenting and praising Him for his sovereignty.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

He so often echoes the cry of my heart. If you will look at the chapter just before this well-known 23rd Psalm, David is pleading, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

As we step into this exciting series about living on one income, we will often need to hold close to our hearts, the truth that the Lord is indeed sufficient.

As I was sleeping/thinking (I do the two simultaneously!) last night, I felt like I should share with you, briefly “our story”…humbling as it is, I think it might prove encouraging. Continue reading “You CAN Stay Home: Living on One Income Part 1”

Home Brings Us To Our Senses

To me, one of the most important jobs about being a mother and wife is the power we have to help form bonds between the members of our family.

Not only does our attitude toward our job matter immensely (How do we view our role?), but to the extent that we are deliberate about making a home, we have tremendous influence over this generation growing up under us.

Last night the smells rolling out of the oven were particularly tantalizing. It wasn’t a grand meal–just three dishes, but the aromas hovered invitingly over the kitchen.

I thought about how strongly our sense of smell is tied to experience–you know how it works. Years later, a familiar smell can bring memories surprisingly real back to you.

And I wondered if I realize how privileged I am–we all are–to use these senses to build stronger family ties? Are they just little things, or do the senses of home play a bigger role than we think? When combined with repetition, the senses can really have a powerful effect on the feeling of security and familiarity, a very important part of a child’s life. Continue reading “Home Brings Us To Our Senses”

Don’t have to measure up

I sometimes hear stay-at-home mothers proudly saying that they “work just as hard as women who also have a job outside the home” or that “their days are as packed as anyone’s” and they have no time or space to breathe.

I believe, however, that the point of our staying home isn’t to measure up against those who try to successfully juggle family life and career. After all, a large part of the joy of home is opting out of the rat race, right? And what have we done if we can say that our days are as hectic as if we also held a job outside the home? Continue reading “Don’t have to measure up”