Moving to One Income So A Spouse Can Take Care of the Kids – Your Guide

Moving to one income to take care of the kids.

While 60 years ago, one parent staying home to care for the children was the norm, today, having both parents work is the norm. 

According to Pew Research, “Roughly 60% of two-parent households with children under age 18 have two working parents.”  Many families have one parent stay home until all the kids are in school, and then both parents resume working.

Keep reading and we’ll show you if a) living on one income is good for you and b) how to go about preparing for it.

Your Guide to Switching to One Income So One Spouse Can Be a Stay-at-Home Parent

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Do This: Save Money With a DIY Self-Reliance Mindset

Save money with a DIY self reliance mindset.

Although I live outside Chicago, our winters  in recent years have been decidedly mild. 

For example, in the 2012-2013 winter, by January 31st, we had only received 3.5 inches of snow TOTAL.  This year, winter was back with a vengeance.  By January 31st, 2014, we had received 48.5 inches total of snow for the winter.

Add in many days of sub-zero temperatures, and well, it’s been a rough winter.

When we had a 50 hour stretch of sub-zero temperatures (one of those days had a high of -16 degrees), I knew that we should let the water drip to avoid having our pipes freeze.  However, when I went to take a shower, the water continued to just drip even though it was turned to full strength.  I called a friend who told me the pipes were likely frozen.  My husband set up space heaters in the basement where the pipes are, and within 5 hours, our water was flowing again.

That night, I saw on the news that we weren’t alone.

Many, many people had burst pipes or pipes like ours.  I was surprised to see that some homeowners paid good money to have someone else come out to their houses and run a heater by their pipes to thaw them.

This situation just illustrates how far we’ve come from the do-it-yourself roots our grandparents and even parents had.  Now, we work hard at our jobs and call someone else to do everything for us.

Develop a Mindset of Self-Reliance and DIY and You Can Save Yourself a Lot of Money

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Tips to Save Big When Traveling on a Tight Budget

tips to save big when traveling on a tight budget

Just a month into our relationship, my husband and I took a trip to New Orleans. 

Later, we went to Memphis.  Then we flew to Japan.

We did all of this travel the first year we were together.  Simply put, we love to travel.

However, we don’t have the money to travel now as we did when we were first dating.  Since travel now usually includes bringing along our 3 kids, expenses can add up fast.  But we didn’t want to give up travel all together.

Instead, we found frugal ways to travel.

Gone are the days of staying at a bed and breakfast and eating out every meal when we vacation.  Instead, we travel in a much more practical manner, but we still get to explore places we’ve never been before, which makes scrimping all worthwhile.  Because we want our kids to travel and see the world, we’re glad to cut corners to do so.

We’ve learned many strategies for saving on travel.

Here Are Some Tips to Save Big When You Travel On a Limited Budget

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Is Dual Enrollment In High School A Key to Lowering College Costs?

Is dual enrollment key in lowering college costs?

With the escalating cost of college as well as the heavy debt load many students graduate with, parents welcome any alternative that will help reduce the cost

As more and more people come to this realization, there are more and more techniques to help students graduate college more quickly with a minimal amount of debt.

One of those new strategies is taking college level classes while one is still in high school.

For years, high school students have been able to take AP (advanced placement) courses, and if they pass a test, they can often opt out of that class in college.  Some students could easily shave a year off their college education if they were very motivated and not daunted by the difficult level of AP classes.

However, now, some high schools are taking this a step farther.

High Schools That Encourage Dual High School and College Enrollment

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These Big Financial Wins Will Put a Lot of Money in Your Pocket!

these big financial wins put money in your pocket

A look around the personal finance blogosphere will show you a number of different approaches to living a financially rewarding life. 

Some bloggers like Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich scoff at little cost cutting measures like making your coffee at home instead of stopping by Starbucks, arguing that the way to truly become wealthy comes from making more money, not cutting little corners.

Others like Crystal Paine at Money Saving Mom advocate a frugal lifestyle.

She regularly advertises free deals and ways to be frugal such as using coupons when shopping, menu planning, and taking advantage of free summer activities with kids.  While she does advocate having a side gig if you’re able, her main focus is saving money by spending less money.

Of course, these two strategies combined — earning more money and saving money in all the little ways you spend on a daily basis — are important to growing your net worth.

But there’s also another strategy that may be even more important than cutting corners on routine, small expenditures–cutting corners on large purchases that can save you thousands in one fell swoop.

Saving on large purchases isn’t discussed as much because there’s not an opportunity to save as frequently.  After all, you may go to the coffee shop every day, and you may go out to eat a few times a week, but you’ll likely only buy a new car every five to ten years.

Still, the big purchases can save you as much in one fell swoop as a year’s worth of savings by making your coffee at home.

These Big Financial Wins Rock!

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5 Free or Inexpensive Summer Activities to Keep the Kids from Being Bored

free inexpenive or free summer activities for kids

Summer is here and children are out of school. 

If your kids are like mine, they count down the days until school ends, and they revel in their newfound freedom — for a week or two.  Then, the inevitable sibling bickering and the whines of “I’m booooored” begin.

By mid-July at the peak of summer when they’re most bored and the temperatures are soaring, things can seem pretty grim.  Parents may begin counting down the days until school is BACK in session.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are plenty of things you and the kids can do to have a fun, educational summer.  (All the better if they don’t realize they’re learning while they’re having fun!)

Best of all, many of these activities are cheap or free!

Here Are 5 Free or Inexpensive Summer Activities to Help Occupy Your Kids

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The Best Four Companies and States for Family Leave

The four best states and companies for family leave

In our current environment of wage freezes and increased health care costs, one of the features that can distinguish a good company from a great company is the fringe benefits you receive.

While your wages may remain stagnant, fringe benefits can provide substantial bonuses and savings for your bottom line.

Unfortunately, one benefit that few companies have is a comprehensive family leave plan.

Of course, back in 1993, President Clinton signed into law the Family Medical Leave Act.  This act allows a new parent (either biologically or through adoption) as well as those with sick family members to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave from their job within a 12 month period.  The employee is able to retain health care benefits, and they cannot lose their job.

However, not all companies have to follow the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) such as those with less than 50 employees.   Likewise, if the employee seeking to take FMLA has not worked for the company for at least 12 months and worked at least 1,250 hours in the past 12 months, the company does not have to grant the employee leave.

With these contingencies on FMLA, many, many employees fall through the cracks and find themselves back at work less than a week after they have a baby because they do not qualify for FMLA or they cannot afford to take an unpaid leave.

However, there are some companies as well as states that go above and beyond and offer their employees or residents better FMLA benefits than required by federal law.

As a working parent, these are the companies that you want to work for or states you want to live in.

Top 4 Companies to Work for With Great FMLA Benefits

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