Being a homemaker or stay-at-home mom or dad comes with a number of rewards, including a more relaxed schedule and time with family. What it doesn’t come with is a paycheck. And that can be a real challenge for many families.
But spending your days at home (or in the car) doesn’t mean you can’t make a financial contribution to your family’s finances. Being a stay at home parent myself, there are many things I’ve figured out along the way. I’ve done a number of things to save my family money and make some extra money as well.
Since that time I’ve discovered some significant ways to make an impact on our finances.
Become a home economist
The term “home economist” conjures up an image of a hopelessly uncool high school foods or sewing teacher. It’s time we updated that image. Today’s home economists are experts on the mini-economies that are their homes and find significant ways of saving their families money.
As a reader of Penny Pinchin’ Mom, you’re already aware of how many opportunities there are to save. And saving money has this big advantage over earning money: you aren’t taxed on the amount you save.
So try giving yourself the title of Home Economist and see how many ways to save you can identify that will work well for your family.
Become a debt elimination specialist
Americans have a debt problem. According to the Federal Reserve, total consumer debt in the United States was more than $12 trillion! The average U.S. household with debt carries $15,762 in credit card debt and $130,922 in total debt.
But your family doesn’t have to be part of those statistics. One of the best things an average family can do for itself financially is to reduce its debt load. Tracie knows that. Her family paid down $37,000 of debt in 27 months and she has started a debt reduction series on this site.
My family paid off over $55,000 in debt in 26 monthsIt’s the best thing we’ve ever done for our family’s finances.
While debt reduction needs to be a team effort, there are ways that you, as a homemaker, can have a positive impact. For example:
- Calling your credit card companies to get your interest rate lowered.
- Researching balance transfer offers and moving your credit card debt to a card with a lower rate.
- Tracking your coupon savings and applying them to your debt as extra payments.
Read more about Getting Out of Debt.
Learn to sell online
All families accumulate stuff. That’s particularly true of young and growing families. They generate a seemingly endless supply of baby clothes, baby supplies, toys, and equipment. If you can teach yourself how to sell on eBay, Amazon, and/or Craigslist, you can turn the items you’re finished with into cold, hard cash.
And learning to sell effectively on those sites can mean the difference between earning some ice cream money or the equivalent of a mortgage payment for your efforts. (Or something in between. One year I financed Christmas for my family by selling pieces of a collectible Christmas village I no longer wanted or needed on eBay.)
What do you need to know to sell effectively?
- Which items sell best on each of the major sites?
- What’s involved in selling on each site (pictures, shipping)?
- How to take pictures and write descriptions that will convert into sales.
If selling online is a good fit for you, you can even begin buying items to sell specifically to turn a profit. But even if you’re just decluttering your own home, your sales can help your family meet it’s financial goals.