Does a Wife and Mother Really Need to Work Outside the Home?
How Much Can You Save By Just Staying Home?!

Heaven Ministries


I think many people have been conditioned into believing they must strive for more money and have more things so they can keep up with the Joneses and or just keep up with inflation. But the truth is if you look at some of the aspects of living and how it is done, you can actually save money just by being more creative and industrious in your thinking.

We all have the potential to be more creative “with what we have” or be industrious spending only “what we earn” rather than going into debt. But if the willingness is not there to get out of debt or to stop buying stuff you really don’t need, then my suggestions below are probably not going to help you very much financially.

For those of you who would like to be more industrious with the pocket book and still have stuff and live a comfortable lifestyle, then by all means read on!

Instead of seeing “only” what is inside the box let’s take a peak outside and see what we can do to save money and or have more things without working as much or as hard and long. For example: does a wife and mother really need to work outside the home just so you can have a nice home, and extra money to spend for Christmas? Let’s take a look at the two lists below and find out.

In this example given below a wife may earn $2000 a month but after expenses brings $990 into the home.

Wife/Mother Working Outside The Home Monthly Expenses

Day Care - $500 to $900
Car expenses (insurance, payment, gas, maintenance)- $150 (note with gas prices the way they are, this figure may easily be $200.
Taxes - $200
New clothes for work - $100
Eating lunches out - $60 - $80 

Total Expenses = 1,010

Where does the rest of the take home pay go? Let’s take a look at a typical monthly expenditure. Notice that I add the lowest amount of each expense; many times it is more than the amount I have listed.

Monthly Expenses

Mortgage - $1400 or Rent $700 to $1200
Utilities (phone, gas, electric, water) - $500
Car Payment, gas, maintenance - $250 to $350
Credit Card  - $100
Property taxes - $120
Food - $500 to $800
Miscellaneous (entertainment) - $50 to $100

Total monthly household expense = $2,170

Total monthly wife working outside the home expense = $1,010

Total monthly expenditures = $3,180

Subtract the wife’s take home pay of $990 and it comes to $2,190 still owing in expenses. Let’s hope the husband in this scenario earns at least $3,000 a month or they will always be in debt – working just so they can live.

Let’s take a look at how much a wife/mother brings into the home by working for her husband and family rather than being an employee working for strangers.

Wife/Mother Staying Home Monthly Expense

No daycare - $0
Car Expense (gas, payment, insurance, maintenance) - $100 (this figure is when you consolidate your trips to the store and other errands.)
Taxes From Check - $0
New Clothes For Work - $0
Eating Lunches Out - $0

Total Expense $100

Granted, the wife in this example is not bringing home any income either, and she still has car expenses, but let’s take a look at the monthly household expenditures and see what we can do to lower it so this family can put some money away every month and not feel like they don’t have anything to show for their hard work. Let’s start with the first expense on the list, the mortgage, and then we’ll work our way down.

Household Expense Thinking Inside the Box

Mortgage - $1400 or Rent $700 to $1200
Car payment – (upkeep and gas) $300  to $400
Utilities (phone, gas, electric, water) - $500
Credit Card  - $100
Property taxes - $120
Food - $500 to $800
Miscellaneous (entertainment) - $50 to $100

Total monthly household expense = $2,420

And this monthly payout is on the low side. A family of four or five typically pays out $3,000 a month in household expenses. But what things can you do to lessen the monthly payout load and allow a mother to stay home if she wishes? See below at my findings.

Household Expense Thinking Outside the Box

Mortgage or Rent - $500 to $1000
Utilities (phone, gas, electric, water) – $250 to $350
Credit Cards - $0
Property Tax - $80 to $120
Food -  $300 to $500

Below is how I saved a family of four on their monthly expenditures.

If a family lives five miles or more outside the city, rents are much less for the same size and type of house. Instead of a family paying $700 to $1200 in rent in a stuffy suburb, you can rent a nice home for $500 to $900 with a few acres to boot! Typically you can save around $200 to $300 a month on your rent.

If you are buying your own home, don’t be in such a hurry. Remember that when you buy in a subdivision you will pay subdivision prices. You certainly do not have to live in a run down neighborhood to have a nice home. Again, look outside the city limits or buy a fixer upper. As long as the home is livable buying a fixer upper is the way to go, especially when you can do most of the fixing and remodeling yourself on your own time and budget. Besides, it is fun updating and remodeling your new house just the way you want it.

The other options are buying a foreclosed home or home from the auction. Both of these can save you thousands of dollars. Typically when buying a fixer upper or tax default home a mortgage payment should never be over $1000 dollars.

With the new advent of Skype and or Vonage no one should be paying more than $50 a month for long distance and Internet connection. Vonage is $25 a month for unlimited long distance.

My home has central air and heat, but we don’t use either one. The first year after we bought our home, the electric bill was $350 a month. We got online and researched how to install a wood stove and we don’t even have a chimney! My husband and oldest son Brandon bought a book on putting in a chimney and woodstove and did the whole thing, including making a hole in the ceiling through the attic and onto the roof, in less than one day. We get free wood – our electric bill is now around $160 a month. This just shows that industrious people can do anything they set their mind to.

There are many ways to save on water without lacking in anything. Try not watering your lawn for one month and see how much you save. Typically for a family of four or five the water payment should be around $60 a month.

Did you notice I put $0 dollars on the credit card? One way to not buy things with money you have not earned is to not own credit cards. Buy everything with money you have earned. Only have debit cards, that way, you won’t be tempted into buying things that you really do not need. If you don’t have the cash on hand, don’t buy it, is a good motto.

Property taxes will definitely be less if you buy a fixer upper, even if the home is in a great neighborhood. The only way they would not be lower is if you also bought many acres of land with the home. Also, the housing market differs depending on what part of the country you live in. Typically houses are going to be more expensive in the northwest than in the southern states.

Grocery shopping is an area where you can save considerably just by using coupons and buying non-perishable foods that are on sale in bulk. Buying whole fresh foods is also cheaper than buying processed, boxed, and canned foods. Food prices have gone up in the last few years - the dollar buys less food for more money. But there is ways to work around that.

We have to be very wise and industrious when it comes to feeding our family. Below is a list of things a family of four can do to save on their monthly food expenditure. Take what you can use and leave the rest.

1) Buy sale items in bulk. – Savings? $100’s of dollars in savings every month

2) Stop buying boxed cereals, make your own granola, oatmeal, or eat fruit, eggs and toast for breakfast. Cereal tends to get expensive when the average box of cereal cost $3.50 and only last for two days. For one month if you buy boxed cereal for just two children it will cost around $52.50 a month just for breakfast! Boxed cereals are a waste of money. Savings? $50

3) Use Coupons for only the items you actually use. Just because an item is on sale with a coupon does not mean we should go ahead and buy it. Coupon savings can be made into a gimmick if you are buying stuff you normally would not use, just because it has a coupon for it. Savings? $20

4) Buy toiletries and other non-food items, such as laundry detergent, soap, toothpaste, shampoo, diapers, paper products, etc at your general five and dime store, such as family dollar or general dollar store. Savings? $50

5) Buy whole foods rather than boxed, canned, or processed. You can buy a ten-pound bag of potatoes for $3.29 not on sale, whereas dehydrated instant potatoes cost, on average, about $3 per pound! Convenience foods will typically cost 15 times as much because convenience foods in this rush-rush lifestyle continue to be popular. But when you think outside the box of potato flakes you will see just how much of a savings you will actually have on preparing your own whole potatoes rather than the box variety. Savings just on potatoes! $27.

6) Add an extra one-hour everyday for cooking dinner so you won’t feel rushed, if you have been working all day. Savings over all from cooking whole foods rather than boxed, processed, or canned would be: $100’s of dollars monthly! Not only that, but think about how much more healthy whole foods are for your family. 

What can we do about lowering a car payment? How about buying a good used car, preferably a Toyota, Honda, or Nissan, and not even having a car payment?

Why must we have brand new vehicles, it is such a waste of money. Many people buy brand new cars for some sort of status symbol, But is that what’s really important in your life, looking like a big shot to others? How about looking like a big shot to God – that’s what really matters today. There are ways we learn to be happy and content in this life without going into debt. Peace of mind does not come from having things.

By buying a car a few years older you can save thousands of dollars! If you do have a car payment, shop around and get the lowest payment possible, don’t be in a hurry to buy a new or used car.

And now we come to the last expenditure, Miscellaneous. Well, we have saved so much on the mortgage, utilities, and food, that I say go ahead and keep your entertainment level at $50 to $100 a month. Let’s add the totals now and see what we come up with.

Household Expense Thinking Outside The Box

Mortgage or Rent - $500 to $1000

Utilities (phone, gas, electric, water) – $250 to $350
Car payment, gas, maintenance - $200 - $300
Credit Cards - $0
Property Tax - $80 to $120
Food -  $300 to $500

Total Expenditures = $1,680

Total Savings = $740

Total Savings just by lowering our monthly rent/mortgage, cooking whole foods, and not having a credit card payment, and lower property taxes is: $740.

But wait! This is just the tip of the iceberg - there are so many more ways in which we can find ways to save money every month.

Don’t let the “must have” “need this” attitude trap you into debt with the Joneses. You can appear to have everything and I mean everything the Joneses has for considerably less. You have a creative mind and with that mind you can create so much more for yourself and family without the need to work so hard and long. Stop following the herd – they are going down the wrong road.

Does a wife need to work outside the home? I don’t think so. I think it is far better for a wife and mother to be there for her family then for her to work outside the home. She contributes more to her family by being “there” for them then the money she brings in. A mother is valuable, a stay at home mother is priceless. 

Copyright 2008 Heaven Ministries


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