Now, I know from the title you're probably thinking this post will be about weddings, or wedding planning, but it isn't. It's more about...life. Bandi is one of my past brides- I show her wedding back in 2009. Here she is with her husband, Clay, looking all gorgeous:
She wrote a post on her Facebook page recently that really sparked my interest, which I'm reposting here with her permission. Bandi is a stay-at-home Mom (past teacher) who I relate to very much! I loved hearing her perspective on being at home, and since I work from home, but also must make an income, Shawn and I use a lot of the same approaches to the way we live life in order to make it all work. With the exception of keeping other kids, I can totally vouch for the benefits of each thing she's mentioned. Enjoy!
So I'm a Cheapskate...There's Nothing Wrong With That!
by Bandi David
People repeatedly ask me how much I enjoy staying home with Karrington, and I always say (and always will say) I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE staying home. Next they almost always say something along the lines of "must be nice your husband makes enough for you to stay home" or "how do you manage financially?" or "I wish I was able to stay home but we can't afford it" or something similar. I understand what I am blessed to do is not for everyone, nor is everyone in a financial place where they can stay home, but I remember my mom telling me something along the lines of families with two working parents average 10% more income than families with one. Don't ask for the research behind that because I don't have it, but it struck a chord with me. I knew we would have to make sacrifices, but I realized I wouldn't have to sacrifice everything to do this!
Here's what we've done to be able to afford me staying home.
1) God blessed me with Clay David who was willing to live differently than anyone we knew, who was willing to take the responsibility of being the only working parent in our home, who was willing to let me have my way and stay home with our Karrington, who is the most fabulous hard working man I know.
2) We got out of debt. God has been so good to Clay and I and our only debt when I got pregnant was my car and our house; with gazelle like intensity :) we paid that car off. We knew we couldn't afford both a car and a house payment so we worked to eliminate one.
3) We got on a serious budget. My budget is an Xcel work of art. It's beautiful. I'm a nerd. We looked at what needed to be paid, what we needed to save for, what things might come up throughout the year. We looked at ways of saving pennies with our bills. We sit down every single month and go back over our budget. We use Dave Ramsey's envelope system and NEVER EVER EVER EVER have to use a credit card. We don't even have a credit card. We pay cash. When we're out of cash we don't spend. If we want something we save up for it. Its pretty simple really. It took us a few months to nail down what our budget looks like now, but its been refreshing/relieving/peaceful to know where every penny Clay brings home will go before the money comes in.
4) e-mealz.com I've said it before, I will say it again e-mealz.com will absolutely change your life. For $5 a month I never have to make a grocery list, I never have to decide "What's for dinner tonight", I never have to spend more than 30 minutes cooking. We seldom have food go bad. We don't end up with random things we never use in our pantry. We don't throw out leftovers because we don't have many leftovers. When we went to e-mealz.com menus our grocery bill dropped $250 a month!! AND we quit eating out as much because I never said "I have nothing to cook lets just go out". If you're my friend and I haven't told you about e-mealz.com I must never see you. It is hands down the greatest invention of all time. If you're curious what I'm talking about, message me. I will SO fill you in.
5) We use cloth diapers. I know, I know, it sounds gross. Except it isn't. Ha! We really only started cloth diapers when Karrington was about 4 months old. We were battling rash after rash after rash and I was solution shopping. Cloth diapers are NOT what your mother used to use. They're fabulous actually. They are just as easy as disposables. We use bumGenius 4.0 diapers and love them. I cannot even STAND the smell of disposables anymore. Cloth diapers cost about $500; the average family spends $3,000 per child diapering them. I'm no genius, but that seems like a pretty good deal. AND we'll be able to use our diapers on any other children we have.
Here's Karrington modeling her fabulous BumGenius diaper :)
The questions I most often get about cloth diapering:
a) Doesn't it stink? answer...NO. Disposable diaper users wrap the poo up and stick it in a smell containing poo pail. I flush poo down the toilet. I don't have to dunk and flush like back in the olden days, I have a sprayer that attaches to my toilet and just sprays the poo down the toilet. My OPEN pail doesn't even stink.
b) Don't you spend as much washing diapers as you would on disposables? answer...NO. We probably will spend $15 A YEAR extra washing diapers. I wash every 2-3 days. I do laundry anyway so there's no extra work. I don't have to do much fancy. There's very little staining, and when I have a stain I sit that diaper in the sunshine and the stain goes away. I'm working to convince my husband to put me a clothes line up so I can dry them all in the sun anyway.
c) Well you can do that because you're home but I can't because i work. Not really a question but I get that a LOT. I know two other cloth diaper parents who work. AND send their kids to daycare. There's no excuse. Just because you work doesn't mean you don't ever do laundry either.
The other perks of cloth diapers:
a) NO BLOWOUTS! Especially with that newborn poo when you're changing diapers every other second.
b) My diapers are cuter than yours and I don't even have the cutest cloth diapers there are.
c) I don't leave my daughter in a diaper FOREVER because I feel guilt about throwing $0.30 in the trash 10 seconds after I just changed her. I'm doing laundry anyway.....
d) We never have to run to the walmart in the middle of the night because we're out of diapers. Ever.
6) I keep children. I listed this last on purpose. There is no way I could be staying home with our without keeping children without doing the first four things on this list. Keeping children was something I decided to do to keep things from being too tight. It gives us money to save for vacations, and the new fence we need, and future hospital bills that may come up, and deductibles, and other things that come up unannounced. We have our budget down to such a science that we are able to put all the money I make into savings and we're able to live more comfortably. God has provided for our every need. He has blessed us with three ridiculously cute boys with great parents who are willing to leave their children with me. Karrington LOVES having the boys here to play with every day. I stay busy keeping up with all of them AND I still get to hold my daughter before every nap, and kiss all her boo boos, and read to her (and the boys) every day, and all the other things I wanted to do.
Collin and Karrington
We've made sacrifices, yes, but I wouldn't want it any other way.
Thank you, Bandi, for letting me share this!