When our first child was born, Jay & I decided that it was important for me to be home full time to care for and teach him. We have continued to feel that my presence at home has been important to our family’s well-being…even more important than a pay check. There have been times over the years when I have taken on babysitting or other part time work, but caring for our home and family has remained our top priority for my time and energy.
Now that our son is attending university and our daughter is about to effectively become a commuter university student, my role at home is changing. As a home educator, I am now an administrator and a life coach rather than a teacher. I keep up with the legal paperwork, proctor the exams for online classes, and serve as a liaison with the university where my daughter is dual enrolled. As a mother, I no longer have to watch my children 100% of the time or do 100% of their laundry or cook 100% of their meals. I do, however, need to serve as a family manager to make sure those things get done, the groceries get purchased, and the house at least stays clean enough to be healthy (and dirty enough to be happy). As a wife, I have to be available to keep things going in the life of our family so that my pastor-husband can get up and go on short notice, something that happens with irregular regularity in ministry. Even though the children are older and almost launched, Jay & I believe our household is more peaceful and our family life runs more smoothly when my primary focus is at home.
So I have a new project, a “side hustle” if you prefer. According to our priorities, my primary job is still being a homemaker, where the pay isn’t great but the benefits to our family are priceless! My new side hustle is working as an online tutor, a job where I actually earn a paycheck. I contract with a tutoring company and my bookings have been building steadily since I began several weeks ago. Because I am just a contractor, I am not guaranteed a certain amount of work and my contract may not be renewed. But since my family is used to living on just my husband’s income, anything I earn is “extra” and can be used to give to the church, fund our upcoming mission trip, save for retirement, or pay for extra projects around the house.
The working hours for this tutoring company are a little unusual since my students literally live an ocean away, but I am adjusting to the new schedule. What I haven’t quite figured out yet is how to squeeze in as many blogging sessions as I once did. I’ll keep working on it!
Meanwhile, I’m still doing the things I’ve always done. I still cook at home most of the time, shop the grocery sales, and check clearance racks for deals. I made the corsage for my son’s sweetheart to wear to their university Junior-Senior Formal and the boutonniere for my daughter’s prom date. I have a batch of vanilla extract and a batch of vanilla sugar steeping away in my cupboard. And I have a menu plan and a grocery list drawn up for Resurrection Sunday since we’ll have house guests and there are family & church events to which I’ll take food.
A friend recently pointed out how blessed I have been to be able to stay home full time. I agree. I am blessed and God has, on numerous occasions, provided for my family. We have also learned, through trial and many an error, to make sacrifices in order to adjust our lifestyle to a single income. Having one parent at home full time is both a blessing and a sacrifice. We very grateful to have been able to manage it.
And yes, I’m still $ta$hing Ca$h in my 52 Week Savings Challenge jar. I’m running a bit ahead since I’ve tossed in a little extra here and there. We’re only about a quarter of the way through the year but I’m very pleased with my progress and excited to see what I can trim from the fringes of our budget to add to our savings.
There are still 38 weeks left in 2017. If you start now and stash $2 per week, you’ll have $76 saved by New Year’s Day. If you save $5 per week for 38 weeks, you’ll have $190. And if you tuck away $10 per week for the rest of the year, you’ll begin 2018 with $380 dollars in your $ta$h of Ca$h. Not too shabby!
What are you doing to $ta$h extra Ca$h this week?
I moderate comments manually but will get them posted as quickly as possible. Please keep your comments kind and if you must disagree please do so without being disagreeable. Rude or inappropriate comments will obviously not be published.