stay at home mom
It is no secret I am a huge fan of stay-at-home moms. I know the choice is not the right one for everybody. For one thing, staying at home is often a thankless job and it’s also much more stressful than many jobs out there. However, there are plenty of benefits as well, chief of which is how much money you can save. Let me share with you some of the money-saving benefits that I have experienced from staying at home.

More Home Cooked Meals

Working 40 hours on top of taking care of my kids all day was stressful. Dinner was not getting cooked because who has time when you have to go to an office plus spend more time commuting? As a result, we were constantly running out to get fast food. I was constantly trying to stay awake and alert with Starbucks runs too. When I did go grocery shopping, I was so stressed and sleep deprived I wasted money on food that eventually was thrown away. Why should I bother working so many hours if I was just going to waste all of that money (and my precious time) on food costs? I ended up drastically cutting my work hours and all of these expensive food costs automatically disappeared.
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We can all agree that living paycheck-to-paycheck is not an ideal situation. And it’s just as obvious that individuals doing this still need to save their money and build a financial cushion so they can finally feel secure.

Unfortunately, the basic rules of saving money are simple but not easy – particularly if you’re already behind the financial ball.

Here are three reasons why it’s so difficult for people in poverty to improve their situation:

1. Lack of Opportunity

There’s a reason for the term “banker’s hours.” Most banks are only open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm. For many of us, that’s a minor pain in the neck, but not a big deal.
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retire earlySpend little, save a lot, achieve financial independence and retire early. It’s the dream of many to be able to exit the traditional nine-to-five workforce and spend the rest of their days living a life of leisure. Early retirement is certainly a popular goal, but it’s one I quite honestly do not share.

There are several reasons why I wouldn’t retire early even if I thought I had the funds saved up to do so:

My Job Rocks

I wake up each and every day excited to go to work. I could count on one hand the number of companies in the world at which I could do the kind of work I do as a software engineer. It’s exciting, I get to work with rapidly changing, leading edge technology, and it’s always mentally challenging.

I also don’t live within the structure of the traditional nine-to-five workday. Because much of my team resides in India, working at least part of my day overlapping my teammate’s work day is actually encouraged. I have the flexibility to work from home and I am free to come and go from my office as I wish (within reason). I can leave to attend my kids’ school events, go to the gym, or even run errands. As long as I get my work done, my employer is absolutely OK with it.
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Raise your hand if you know you could be doing something to save a nice bit of cash each week but for some reason or another, you just don’t. Maybe you have a hard time getting your act together to pack a lunch each week or somehow you never find the time to look for a cheaper auto insurance plan. Don’t be embarrassed if this is true for you, as almost everyone I know has these little, seemingly easy things that somehow just don’t wind up happening. If you’d like to conquer one of these items on your list, try my three step method for making a change in your habits.
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new homes
The American dream is a goal we’ve all heard of at some point in our lives. This dream involves raising a family, building a successful career, and (most importantly some would have us believe) owning a home. Everybody dreams about owning a home and it’s marketed as the biggest asset in life.

But is owning a home really the biggest asset in life? You start paying the mortgage and equity begins to build, but you have to remember that the typical mortgage spans 30 years. Who really stays in their homes long enough to reach that 30-year mark to have their house become a full asset nowadays? With house maintenance and the fluctuating value of the housing market coupled with how long someone stays in their home, a house can actually be a liability on the balance sheet and an expense on the income statement.

Think about it. The upkeep of a house is a constant. A good rule of thumb is to estimate maintenance at roughly 1% of the value of a home each year. Until the house is paid off, you have this huge debt called a mortgage along with sunken costs of maintaining a functioning home such as water heater replacement or kitchen appliance replacement. That’s money down the drain to increase the value of the home minimally if not downright just maintaining the value of your home.
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money talk
Words like “budget”, “bills”, or “expenses” can instantly raise the stress level in some marriages, but the common family spends and receives money on a weekly if not daily basis. At the end of the day, the more communication about it, the better. Here are some helpful tips on how to get on the same page with your fellow significant consumer (err…other) in your life.

Recognize Each Other’s Strengths

Recently my wife said no to an impulse buy she’d been eyeing. Sometimes it’s possible to spoil, but other times I have to remember the bills and expenses and have to say no. My wife does a terrific job at watching what she buys. Instead of just noticing, I’ve found it helpful to praise her for such self control. As a mother of toddlers, she needs to shop quite a bit. This means giving her trust in our finances and me taking the time to acknowledge and thank her for handling our budget well. If your spouse is particularly gifted in a financial area, acknowledge it! Don’t let strengths go unnoticed. This will help as you both plan and prepare for financial goals.
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