Saturday, August 25, 2012

10 Best Decisions of our Married Life... #4 Live on One Income

Recently I began to share something I composed some years ago to be part of a document for a niece as she got married in June 2004.  That document was created as a compilation of entries under the title:  
The Wisdom of the most important women in your life.  
Each woman who submitted an entry chose her own subject matter.  I promised to post my entry on this blog.  This is the fourth of our top decisions in the list of:
The Top Ten Decisions Guiding Our Married Life
By Uncle John and Aunt Linda Worden
4.We will live on one income when our children are pre-schoolers and longer if possible.

Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Becoming a mother was the most exciting event in my life after marriage.  We had delayed starting our family until I finished my undergrad degree and Uncle John finished seminary.  (This was also an important decision.)  So when our first child was born, I was very ready to stay home and be a mother.  I have never considered it a sacrifice.  I have always viewed it as a wonderful privilege - both to be a mother and to stay home while the children were young.  I did not go back to teaching until our children began college.  Then I was able to work half time in a job sharing opportunity until we had more than one child in college.  We felt strongly that our responsibility as parents was to give our children quantity and quality where our time was concerned.  We have absolutely no regrets for having followed this decision throughout our lives.  Being home with the children allowed me to be involved in home Bible studies as well as give support to Uncle John’s career.

Update in August 2012:

I wrote the original document before we started going to Moldova on CERI mission trips.  Since starting those trips, we have decided to sponsor a number of Moldovan children who are in need of emotional, spiritual and financial care.  This summer, one of the girls we sponsor asked me this question after she learned that she was one of three girls that we sponsor.  
"How are you able to (financially) sponsor 3 girls?"  
My answer to her started this way:
"My husband and I decided when we got married 
that we would live on one income as long as possible."  
I went on to explain that "we were able to do that until our children went to college.  I then became employed.  After they completed college and all were on their own, I was able to quit my full-time job and work part-time.  Working part-time has provided the means for sponsoring 3 girls and being able to travel to Moldova each year to visit those sponsored children and others as well." 

This is still advice I would give a couple who choose to have children.  I am fortunate because I loved being a homemaker.  That was and is my favorite personal career choice.  How wonderful that many young mothers/fathers these days are recognizing that being in the home is a great choice which is not a punishment but a privilege.  Some couples are sharing one career or have a stay-at-home Papa.

In order to live on one income, here are some of the ways we made this possible:
  1. shop at Thrift stores and garage sales / read want-ads for many items
  2. mend clothing 
  3. iron clothing yourself rather than send to cleaners
  4. create meals from scratch - not from prepackaged choices
  5. save / use leftovers
  6. buy second hand items - cars, appliances, furniture...
  7. say "no" to a number of things
  8. make your own gifts
  9. do without at times
  10. don't grant every wish of family members
All of these things could be described in further detail but this is enough to express how this decision worked in our home.

Living frugally is currently a more popular choice for people than when we were younger so maybe we were trendsetters that everyone is now following!!

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