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18 Jul 2008   ·   0
Money Saving Mom

Keeping it simple!

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It’s Frugal Friday over on my other blog today. If you’ve not had a chance to stop

by there yet, you’ll want to check out all the wonderful links and inspiration posted by fellow frugal zealots. I’m talking about taking a break from bargain shopping today. If you’ve ever felt burned out when it comes to coupon-clipping and deal-scoring, you’ll want to read what I wrote.

By the way, have you picked up on the fact that I like to keep things simple? If you really want proof that I’m an all-out minimalist, check out my recently-reorganized closets. Sometimes I wish I weren’t so ruthless when it comes to clutter, but most of the time I’m thankful for the time and energy it saves to keep it simple!

Graphic from AllPosters.com

17 Jul 2008   ·   82
Money Saving Mom

Donating items for a good cause: Share how you’ve blessed others recently!

Toothbrush

Have extra brand-new toothbrushes lurking at your home that you’d like to donate to a good cause? Go here to read about an opportunity to donate them to a dental outreach for children in Honduras.

And while we’re on the the topic of giving, I’d love to hear what opportunities you’ve had recently to bless others with your free and almost-free coupon bargains. Tell us about your random acts of kindness and generosity in the comments section and let’s all encourage each other to take time to help out those in need!

17 Jul 2008   ·   0
Money Saving Mom

Work-at-home opportunity

Polly emailed me and asked if I could post her income-earning opportunity. Since I am familiar with Polly and know this is a legitimate position and because I know that many of you are looking for ways to work from home, I’m glad to post her email. If you are interested in this position, please email Polly personally.

My husband is a consultant for a company that assists small business
owners who wish to sell their business. We make our own leads through
telemarketing efforts.

We would like to increase the number of leads we can work. If
anyone has telephone experience or would like to learn, we are in need of people to help.

The
position pays a 10% commission on the sales my husband makes. His
average sale is $6-9,000. This is a commission only position.

Some
things that are helpful: having a telephone with unlimited long
distance or a cell phone with a lot of minutes; email (since this will
be our main mode of communication); and a good attitude.

This
position is not for the faint of heart, but is very lucrative. We are
asking for at least 5 hours per week but would like up to 15 or more.
You will be calling businesses on the west coast during business hours
(7:30am-5:30pm PST).

I would very much like to speak to anyone
interested in this as soon as possible. We are in desperate need so I
would like to get started on this ASAP. I have good Dunn &
Bradstreet leads ready to be emailed to you now along with scripts and
forms. I will offer all of the support you may need.

Thanks so much for your consideration!

Polly Stankuviene from Nevada
stankuviene @ yahoo.com 

16 Jul 2008   ·   58
Money Saving Mom

The Debt Avalanche: What Do You Think?

I read an interesting article by Consumerism Commentary last week (hat-tip to The Simple Dollar) on "the Debt Avalanche":

If you have a certain amount of money available to pay off a portion
of your debt each month, even if that certain amount changes, there is
a mathematically correct way of paying off that debt. You can call this
approach the Debt Avalanche. It is similar to Dave Ramsey’s popular “debt snowball” method, with one small but important detail: With the Debt Avalanche you will pay off your debt faster and pay less total interest to banks and lenders.

The simple calculation for the Debt Avalanche
requires only the interest rates for each debt account. This assumes
that all debt accounts have the same tax liability, but if that’s not
the case, determine your interest rate after taxes for this calculation.

Read full article.

When my husband and I got married, we purposed to stay out of debt if at all possible while he went through law school. Now that law school is behind us and we’ve avoided debt this long, we’re really determined to completely avoid debt in every way, shape, and form for the rest of our lives.

We’ve sought to debt-proof ourselves through a number of means: living on less than we make; living on a strict budget; building a six-month emergency fund; communicating openly and honestly as a husband and wife about finances; and investing in good life, health, and disability insurance. Only God knows whether we’ll be able to completely avoid debt our entire lives, but we are quite determined to do everything we can to keep from being enslaved to it.

While you all well know that I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan, since I’ve never been in debt, I personally can’t say what works or doesn’t work with regards to getting out of debt. And I don’t necessarily think the same exact steps will work 100% perfectly for each and every person and situation.

So, what do you think? I know a number of you readers are seeking to get out of debt and I’d love to hear what is working for you. Do you think that Dave Ramsey’s "Debt Snowball" method is the method for debt reduction? Or would you agree more with Consumerism Commentary’s proposed "Debt Avalanche"? What has worked for you?

15 Jul 2008   ·   33
Money Saving Mom

Review: Children’s Orchard

Childrensorchad_logo

I’d heard rave reviews of Children’s Orchard from various friends for a number of years, but I’d always sort of let them go in one ear and out the other thinking that a store specializing in name brand children’s clothing, furniture, accessories, and toys was likely well out of our budget, especially when it came to used clothing.

However, since I’m always willing to try something once and the girls were in need of new clothes, we decided to stop by our local store a few weeks back. And was I ever in for a shock!

Fellow frugal friends, I’ve been missing out all these years; Children’s Orchard is a goldmine! While there were some like-new Tommy Hillfiger and Gap clothes which I quickly passed by as the price tag was near $10 each, there were boat loads of nice clothes for $4 and less! In fact, I found a number of nice tops for the girls for $2 each.

The store we stopped at was well organized and offered an abundance of clothes from newborn to size 10-14. The average price seemed to be around $3 per item and the majority of the clothes were in great condition. Not all of the brands were name brand–I saw a number of Wal-Mart brands sprinkled throughout the clothing racks–but there were also lots of Gap, Children’s Place, and Gymboree items to be found, almost all of which were very reasonably priced.

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[See those adorable almost-like-new matching shirts my girlies are wearing? I found them for $1.99 at Children’s Orchard!]

We had a budget of $25 per girl and I was thrilled that we were able to stretch that to buy enough to last them through the Fall with some extra month left over (well, if Kaitlynn doesn’t up and grow two sizes in two months like she’s been known to do!). A few of the items we purchased were brand-new and still had the tags on!

For those of you in need of 0-12 month clothes, I would especially recommend this store as I noticed most of the prices on those clothes were $1.50 or less–which I consider to be a great price for like-new, high quality baby clothing. Judging by the quantities of clothing at the store we shopped at, you could easily buy your baby’s entire wardrobe for a year or more for less than $50 (or more like $25 if you’re a minimalist like me!).

Children’s Orchard often has storewide sales which would net you even greater savings! You can sign up for their email updates here and be notified of when the store nearest you is holding their sales. In addition, Children’s Orchard will buy back your gently-used children’s clothing. More details on that are here.

14 Jul 2008   ·   24
Money Saving Mom

Becoming a WAHM: What Are Your Passions, Skills, and Gifts? – Part 4

Once you have determined you’re willing to put in a tremendous amount of effort in order successfully work from home and you’ve streamlined your life and developed organization, and started living on a budget, you’re now in great shape to pursue planning and preparing for setting up your business.

There are thousands of possibilities out there so where do you begin? I recommend you spend some time praying and seeking the Lord for direction, talking things carefully over with your husband, and doing some in-depth evaluation of your own heart.

What are your goals for working from home? How much time do you want to invest? What kind of income would you realistically like to be making?

After considering your basic goals and guidelines, take a few weeks to map out your ideas. Don’t worry about being thorough and organized at this point, just get your ideas down on paper. Just for the fun of it, I encourage you to also write down what your dream WAHM job would be.

Hopefully by the end of a few weeks of thinking through this, you’ll have a fairly large list compiled. Take this idea list and think about it in terms of what your life goals are, what your abilities are, what you are passionate about, and what your likes and dislikes are. If you are married, ask your husband for his counsel and input. Also, ask your close friends for their thoughts and ask other home business owners for input.

It is very important you take your time when thinking through all of these things. The last thing you want to do is to be hasty in your decision-making and end up rushing into something which you quickly find out was not at all what you enjoy.

At the same time, though, don’t get so caught up in the planning and preparation that you never do anything. You’ll never go anywhere if you never do anything, so don’t get stuck in a rut of spending months or even years planning your new business venture and then end up never doing anything. A month or two of planning and thoughtful decision-making should be plenty.

For those of you who currently work from home or own your own business, how did you first decide to do what you are doing? What has been your greatest source of inspiration and how have you meshed your passions and gifts into a marketable skill or business venture?

11 Jul 2008   ·   12
Money Saving Mom

Super Savings Saturday: CVS (and SEVEN winners!)

Thank you, friends, for your kind comments on my earlier post. It’s been a long week and I’m feeling rather worn-down and worn-out, so your encouragement truly lifted my spirits. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people!

As promised, I’m going to share the winners of The Couponizer and Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom. However, instead of announcing two winners, Amy Bergin said that so many people entered that she wanted me to choose an additional five winners. So, folks, without further ado, the seven randomly chosen winners are:

Laura (rolamarfarm@)
Jana Kelley
Amanda (davidgolf@)
Jenny Cooper (jennylcooper@)
Laura Cooper (any chance you’re related to Jenny above? I promise I randomly drew winners here!)
Kristin (kashley628@)
Darlene (dstone728@)

I’ve emailed all of you with further instructions but if for some reason my email didn’t come through, please get in touch with me ASAP. Thanks!

And now for Super Savings Saturday

I had a fairly productive shopping trip this week but I failed to get a picture of everything I bought since we had to leave shortly after I got home. However, I did get a picture of my CVS run:

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I just did the Olay deal and bought some Pert shampoo for $0.50 since we are running low on shampoo (yes, can you believe that?):

Pert – $2.50, used $2/1 coupon
Olay – $4.99, $5.99, $5.99, $5.99, used $3/1, $1/1, $3/1, and $3/1
Used $3/$15 Face Care coupon
Used $10.50 in ECBs
Paid $1.32 out of pocket
Got $10 ECBs back

Not the best CVS run ever, but considering that I only bought stuff we need and will use, I was happy with it.
——————–
How’d you do this week? Post about the deals and
bargains you were able to snag this week on your blog (with pictures,
if possible!) and then come back here and leave your link below.

11 Jul 2008   ·   171
Money Saving Mom

Living like no one else

I just got a less-than-nice comment from someone about our van situation. The basic gist of the comment was (I’ll edit the part out calling me a liar, etc.): "Why on earth if your husband is an attorney and you make money from home can you not just go out and get a new vehicle??"

Since there are quite a number of people who read this blog, rude
comments are pretty normal and I’m pretty used to it–it’s part of blogging in a public forum. However, after I deleted the comment, I got to thinking…

You know, we could go buy a vehicle. We could take our emergency fund money and go buy another used vehicle or even a new vehicle. We could take our house savings and go buy another vehicle. We could even do what most normal Americans do and just go take out a loan for a new car.

But here’s the deal: while we have money in our bank account, we don’t have money saved or allotted for a new vehicle or even a used vehicle. And guess what that means? We aren’t buying a new vehicle or even a new-to-us vehicle. Not right now at least.

We had money to pay for the car repairs, we don’t have money to pay for a new vehicle right now. We’re very hopeful that the mechanic will have our van in good working order by tonight and we’re very hopeful that after replacing just about everything there is to replace on it, the van should run beautifully like it used to.

What we thought was a small problem with the van has mushroomed into weeks of work. Just when we thought it was fixed, something else would go wrong with it and we’d have to take it back to the mechanic again. It has been a much longer and costlier process than we were ever expecting and yes, it’s been frustrating, but that doesn’t mean we just throw in the towel and go buy another vehicle.

Have we considered buying a new vehicle? Absolutely! Do we wish we had piles of cash sitting around without a name on them so we could just go buy a new vehicle and forget all the hassle of trying to get our much-used van fixed? You better believe it!

But you know what? Waiting until we can afford to buy something and trying to make do with what we currently have is how most people used to live. We’re learning patience, we’re learning flexibility, and we’re learning to be content with what we have.

We still have one running vehicle and if need be, we can go back to being a one-car family again. It’s not my first choice, but we did it for a few years and I’m willing to do it again.

Yes, we’re "living like no one else". Yes, a lot of people think we’re really crazy. Yes, sharing what I share on my blog means that some people aren’t going to understand, are going to question why we’re doing what we’re doing, and some people will say rude comments about our life choices.

You know what, though? While I don’t like car problems and I’d not have chosen the kinks in our plans they’ve resulted in the last few weeks, I’d much prefer to wait until I can afford something before I buy it. I much prefer not having to live paycheck-to-paycheck. And I much prefer not being slave to the bondage of debt.

We’re living like no one else so that someday we can live and give like no one else!

11 Jul 2008   ·   17
Money Saving Mom

Happy Frugal Friday! (And so much for dressing up like cows!)

Well, so much for our Chick-Fil-A pictures! Our van ended up not getting fixed like it was supposed to, so we are car-less again today. Oh well, I’m sure you all weren’t that anxious to see me all dressed up like a cow anyway! 🙂

While I’m disappointed we don’t get to have a fun and memorable outing with the FishFamily, I’m counting my blessings that at least we have electricity and air-conditioning today. Yesterday, the electricity went out on our whole block for a few hours. So we had no electricity, no A/C, no internet, no car… we sure got the house nice and clean, though!

Life has been interesting around here recently. You just never know what the next day will bring–or even the next hour!

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Instead of Chick-Fil-A, the girls and I are walking to the library. It’s a nice free and fun place to hang out for a few hours and they love it!

Don’t forget to check out Frugal Friday over on my other blog. I’m sharing about foraging for mulberries and there are a host of other great tips left, too.

9 Jul 2008   ·   27
Money Saving Mom

Financial Shape in 2008: Monthly checkup

It’s July and time for another Financial Shape in 2008. The year is halfway over! How are things looking for you financially?

Here’s our update:

Short Term Financial Goals for 2008

1) Have our fully-funded emergency fund in place (6 months’ worth of living expenses) by the end of April. As of March 11, 2008–DONE!
2) Switch health insurance plans and open an HSA. We
were approved for our new health insurance plans in April and have also
set up our HSA. Done!

3) Start up an IRA and invest at least 5-10% of Jesse’s income in this. Started in March. (We plan to increase this to 12-15% of Jesse’s income as soon as we purchase our home.)
4) Open up a mutual fund for each of our children and invest $50 per child per month in it. Started in March.

5) Save up and invest $30,000 this year towards paying cash (100% down) for a house in 3-5 years. Now
that Goals 1-4 are finished, we’re working super hard on Goal #5!

It seems like the story of our life recently has been unexpected expenses! Between medical bills, increasing costs, and car problems after car problems after car problems (oh and did I mention car problems?!), it’s been a little mountainous here and I’ve had to fight the urge to feel frustrated. I know God is allowing these things to teach me patience and perseverance.

At any rate, I am here to tell you that we put a whopping $0 in our house savings fund this month. I’ll be honest and tell you that I’ve struggled to not feel incredibly discouraged about this–especially because I had high hopes for this past month. However, I am trying to learn to turn my would-be frustrations and discouragement into gratitude.

While we ended up spending a lot more money than we’d planned on and we didn’t save anything like we’d hoped, we have so many things to be thankful for: a nice rental home with air-conditioning, plenty of food to eat, an emergency fund, steady income, two beautiful daughters, one running vehicle (currently!), good friends who’ve encouraged us so much recently… the list could go on and on. We have so much more than we need; we are truly blessed!

Hopefully next month I’ll have some savings to report, but for this month, I’m trying to focus on counting my blessings instead of calculating our lack of savings.

———————————–
How did you do in June? Whether
or not you posted financial goals for 2008, please take a moment to
post about your financial successes and failures in June and the areas
you hope to improve in July. Then, come back here and leave your link
below. If you don’t have a blog or would rather share anonymously, feel
free to leave your update in a comment. Let’s all keep each other
accountable to be better stewards of
our resources!

9 Jul 2008   ·   21
Money Saving Mom

Reader Tips: Family Dollar, All You Subscription, Wal-Mart School Supplies, Aunt Millie’s Bakery Outlet

Family Dollar: $5/$25 – From Richael:

In
this weeks family dollar ad (which came in the mail on Wed. here, NC)
there is a $5 off $25 coupon. My CVS says they honor competitor’s
coupons (but not sales ads), so I’m going to try and use it this week.

All You: Magazine Subscription Deal – From Jana

I’ve been reading about how you and others really enjoy the All You Magazine, so I finally picked one up.  Now I love it, so I searched online for the cheapest subscription I could find and I found one that is a great deal!

Get 2 years (24 issues) for only $20 (most others had that price for only one year!). I found it here. I clicked on "shop now", then it even let me pick my local school to receive 40% of the cost for their fundraising.
It was very simple, and I’m hoping all goes well and I should receive my copy in 8-10 weeks!

Operation Smile: Help Children Around the World Through a Simple Click – From Bethany:

Oral-B will donate one foot of dental floss to Operation Smile for every
visitor that clicks through this link on their web site. No strings
attached, no personal information required.  It takes less than 5
seconds. Operation Smile is an organization that helps repair facial
deformities in children throughout the world. 

Wal-Mart: School Supply Deals – From Margaret and Sarah:

 

I was at Wal-Mart this morning and they were busy setting up school supplies. Even though the sales flier hasn’t come out yet I could already buy supplies at sales prices and beat the crowds. I couldn’t resist the 24 pack Crayola crayons for $0.22, RoseArt washable markers
11 count for $0.60, 10 count PaperMate pens for $0.50, etc. -Margaret

I went to Wal-Mart this afternoon and they had school stuff out and on sale!  Here are the few things I remember:

Crayola Crayons (24 ct.) were 25 cents
Rose Art crayons (24 ct) were 17 cents
one subject notebooks were 5 cents
2 pocket folders were 15 cents
Elmers school glue was 22 cents
Crayola colored pencils (12 ct) were 88 cents

-Sarah

Aunt Millie’s Bakery Outlet – From Dawn:

I have been shopping at the Aunt Millie’s Bakery Outlet
for quite some time and feel the need to share. Aunt Millie’s brand has
bakeries in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and Ohio. Where
there are bakeries, there are outlets or thrift stores for their
bread. The ones near me in Ohio have "Monday Madness" and all their bread is 59 cents (this includes packages of:  donuts, bages, english
muffins, whole grain loaves, sub buns, hamburger/hot dog buns, potato
bread, onion rolls, pita pockets, etc)  All of their food freezes
exceptionally well and is so worth the drive! It definitely helps the
grocery budget when I can spend $4 and get enough bread for several
weeks if not a month if I do it right!

So, from what I could find on the internet, there are bakery outlets in
Indiana: Muncie & Warsaw
Illinois: Bolingbrook
Michigan: Bay City
Ohio: Sidney, Greenville, Celina, Dayton

7 Jul 2008   ·   35
Money Saving Mom

Becoming a WAHM: Budgeting – Part 3

Once you have determined you’re willing to put in a tremendous amount of effort in order successfully work from home and you’ve streamlined your life and developed organization, you’re not quite ready to jump headfirst into beginning your business. There’s one more thing which you need to have in place in order to have a strong foundation for a successfully working from home.

What is that one thing? It is that you need to be operating on a workable written budget. I’m not speaking of a budget for your business here, I’m talking about you personally living on a budget.

Why is this so important? Well for one, I’ve seen a lot of families who think they have an income problem when really they have a disorganization and self-discipline problem. You see, if you think you can’t make ends meet and you need to dramatically increase your income and yet you don’t even have a plan in place for your money, how do you know you can’t make ends meet? Perhaps the ends would meet just fine if you’d buckle down and start giving every dollar a name.

There will never be enough money for those who lack self-discipline. Increasing your income won’t fix the problem if the problem is that you aren’t willing to work hard and wait until you can afford something.

As I wrote earlier:

Why am I such a big proponent of living on a budget? It is because I know
that were it not for our budget and the grace of God, we would very
likely be up to our eyeballs in debt right now, barely making ends
meet–just like pretty much all the rest of our law school friends are.
We wouldn’t be living comfortably well below our means, we wouldn’t
have an emergency fund of six months’ expenses in the bank, and we certainly wouldn’t be on a savings plan to pay 100% down for a home in 3-5 years.

Yes,
we’re frugal (I came into the marriage frugal, my husband has learned
to be out of necessity!), but we would be miles behind where we are now
without a written budget. I know this because we’ve done the math and
we know without a doubt that having a written budget, giving every
dollar a name, and putting it on paper, on purpose (to quote a few Dave Ramsey lines) has saved us literally thousands of dollars over the last five years.

Setting up a cash-flow plan is imperative before you start a business because it enables you to make your money work for you. Instead of you being a slave to a mountain of ever-increasing bills, you are at the helm of the ship with a written plan in place for every dollar you make. Your money will go farther, your stress levels will dramatically decrease, and you’ll be in great shape to become a WAHM!

Note: If budgeting is new to you, start with this post. Then go get yourself a copy of The Total Money Makeover. Dave walks you step-by-step through a plan to revolutionize your life and experience financial peace. In addition to The Total Money Makeover, I highly recommend this DVD on Cash-Flow Planning (this DVD was one of my first exposures to Dave Ramsey and it completely won me over! If you are a visual learner, this will especially be helpful.)

Just for fun: How many of you live on a budget? What has been the single greatest benefit your family has experienced by living on a budget?

2 Jul 2008   ·   8
Money Saving Mom

Reader Tips: Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program, Bank of America “Keep the Change” Program

Barnes and Noble: Summer Reading Program – From Jenny:

If your children (Grades 1-6) reads eight books this Summer, they can earn a free book from Barnes and Noble. Details here.We did this last year with the kids. There is a list of books to choose from and both of my children were both able to find a book they enjoyed. 

Bank of America: Keep the Change – From Lena:

Bank of America offers a program called Keep the Change. It’s
where anything you spend gets rounded to the nearest dollar and that
extra change gets put into a savings account. So, if you spend $20.01,
then $0.99 would be transferred to savings.

Here’s the cool part:
For the first three months you are enrolled, Bank of America will match
what you transferred to savings. So, you get FREE MONEY just for
signing up for the service. I already banked with Bank of America, so
I don’t know if it would be worth it if you don’t already bank there,
but I thought maybe someone else could use the tip!

1 Jul 2008   ·   26
Money Saving Mom

My Top Four Tips For Those in Financial Despair

1) Put God first and recognize that all you have is given to you by Him. He is the Creator and Sustainer of life, we owe everything we have and are to Him. The least we can do is give back the “firstfruits” of our earnings to Him in gratitude for all He has given us. (By the way, if you are unfamiliar with your Creator and would like to know more, please email me. I’d love to tell you more about how I’ve found true peace and contentment in my soul for Eternity–something which all the money in the world can’t buy.)

2) Have a positive, grateful attitude. I cannot tell how much a can-do, cheerful attitude can affect your finances. As the saying goes, “Can’t never did anything.” If you sit there and sulk about how hard things are for you financially you’ll never get very far. If you instead seek to be thankful for what you have, to make the most of your situation, and to be creative with what you have, you might just be surprised at the possibilities.

3) Become a Dave Ramsey “junkie.” I know I talk about Dave a lot and some of you might get tired of me plugging his stuff till I’m blue in the face. I was once there, too. My husband had started listening to this “Dave guy” on the radio and kept telling me I really should listen, too. I didn’t get what the big deal was but I finally heeded my husband’s encouragement and I’m so glad I did! If you feel financially hopeless or like you are stuck in a hamster wheel, go get yourself a copy of The Total Money Makeover. You can thank me later. 🙂

4) Get on a budget. Read Dave’s book first, he’ll walk you step-by-step how to do it and give you all the motivation you need. You can also download a FREE budget spreadsheet here to help you out. And here’s a free 5-day Jumpstart Your Budget Challenge.

30 Jun 2008   ·   30
Money Saving Mom

Becoming a WAHM: Prioritization and Organization – Part 2

Last week in our Becoming a WAHM series, I talked about how
working at home is just that—it’s work. If you are not prepared to put in lots
of hours and lots of effort, there’s likely no point in starting in the first
place since I can guarantee you that it won’t be easy. Building a successful
business takes time, diligence, and lots of plain ole’ hard work.

Once you are determined that you’re willing to exert the
energy it will require, you’re not ready to start working from home just yet. First, you need to
take some time to examine your life. Step back and ponder
how organized (or disorganized!) your life is.

Do you feel like things are running smoothly most days and
that you have extra time to devote to a new endeavor? Or do you feel like you
are running around like a chicken with your head cut off barely keeping your
head above water?

If the latter describes you, then now is definitely not the
time to be adding something like working from home to your plate. Instead, I
recommend that you take the next month and evaluate your priorities, schedule, and activities. Are you willing to cut activities from your life in order to
focus part of your time and energies to starting a business? If so, what can
you start cutting back on today to free up more time for entrepreneurial things?

Don’t just think about cutting back or paring down—do it! If you’re
really serious about becoming a WAHM, it’s going to mean some temporary
sacrifices in order to achieve your long-term goals.  You can’t do everything so in order to say “yes” to something, you invariably need to say “no” to something else.

I also highly encourage you to spend a few months
developing a good routine and solid organization into your life. Running a successful
business requires organization—not only
on business pursuits, but also when it comes to home management. Balancing
business stuff with your much more important priorities of being a wife, mom, and
home manager mean you must have a plan and you must have order in your life.
Otherwise, you’ll become slave to the tyranny of the urgent.  Ask me how I know. 🙂

If you are struggling with time management, I wrote a series
on this subject on my other blog which you can read here (I’ll warn you, it’s rather long–start at the bottom of the page to read the posts in order!). For those interested, I also recently did a series on Successful Home Management with Toddlers.

Please know that I’m
still sorting things out myself and we definitely have days when I run around
in circles and accomplish next to nothing besides putting out fires; however,
by purposefully committing to develop organization and routine into our home,
things run much more smoothly. And it’s most assuredly only the grace of God and purposeful organization that enables me to be a wife, mom, homemaker, and blogger.

Just for fun: For those of you who work from home or have quite full plates, what’s your biggest time management tip or helpful idea for those who feel like they are drowning? I’d love to hear!