I originally wrote this as part of the “frugal living” series a long time ago. However, I believe the principles apply whether you’re a stay at home mom or not!
There are a few principles necessary for most of us to make it on one income. Here are some that come to mind.
Yes, you read that right. You can’t out-give God. We shouldn’t give so He’ll bless us, but the bottom line is that when we give, He gives back–abundantly. I’ve seen Him do it! Start with a tithe (10% of your income) given to your local church. Beyond that, look for ways to give money, time, possessions, talents, and resources to others. Even if you don’t receive a tangible blessing as a result, know that you’re laying up treasures in Heaven where it really counts.
Obviously our culture is designed for the lifestyles of two-income families. For those of us who have made the choice to be homemakers, it takes a good dose of thriftiness to manage our families with today’s cost of living. We have to learn to be frugal mamas!
In our materialistic culture it’s difficult to differentiate between wants vs. needs. If we are going to successfully live on one income, we must learn to be content with what we have. The Apostle Paul learned this lesson. In Philippians 4:11 he said,…I have learned in whatever state I am to be content.” We don’t truly need as much as we often think we do.
Thankfulness goes hand-in-hand with contentment. When we are grateful for what God has given us, we don’t always feel compelled to have more. Let’s remember that if we own a home and a car we’re richer than 95% of the world. That helps put it in perspective!
Patience saves a lot of money. It’s hard to get past our culture’s must-have-now mentality, but when we do, it’s worth it.
We have to let go of feeling entitled to certain possessions, luxuries, opportunities, and even our own time. We must put the wants and even sometimes the needs of others before our own.
When we are unselfish, sacrifice isn’t so hard, and in this wealthy nation I remind myself that my “sacrifices” aren’t that significant anyway. Try to keep the big picture in mind.
Frugality doesn’t have to mean spartan living. Be creative! Don’t settle for the bare minimum. Find simple ways to make your life beautiful.
Joy and Laughter
Your family will love having you at home when you are full of joy and make home a fun place to be.
If you make the choice to stay home, the only way you’ll succeed is to be absolutely committed to it. Stay the course, even when it’s hard!
Remember, even if these are qualities you don’t have, God can help you develop them…And the discipline of becoming a homemaker may be the catalyst He wants to use!
Here’s a little rhyme that was popular during the Great Depression. It’s a good reminder of how to make a little go a long way.
Use it up, wear it out,
Make it do, or do without.