Half Price Living | Mom Blog: written by a teacher-mom, but not just for moms- a blog for everyone

Monday, January 31, 2011

Half Price Living

Half-Price Living: Secrets to Living Well on One Income

The other day when I was at the library I picked up a book called 1/2 Price Living by Ellie Kay. I was hoping to get some new and refreshing ideas on ways to cut monthly expenditures.  Any advice is welcomed advice since we did cut our annual income by about 40% with me choosing to stay home this year. Forty percent is a lot of money in my book, but with a bit of practice I have learned that money can be cut from a lot of areas, and honestly I haven't felt one bit deprived in doing so. I do get frustrated when I hear people say they can't afford to stay home, not even for one year.  The reality of it is, if you really want to stay home, I have learned that it is possible if you utilize a few financial maneuvers. For instance, Ellie Kay points out that you can cut your grocery bill in half by stacking sales with coupons. I actually think you can trim more than fifty percent off with some practice. The biggest money saving strategy you can use is to ask yourself, "Is this a need or a want?" when you go to buy something. She also poses the question of "How much are you really taking home?" Let's face it, if you factor in even just these few things I have listed below, your monthly salary dwindles down to near nothing:
  • higher tax bracket due to second income
  • childcare nearing $10,000 per year for one child
  • working wardrobe
  • the cost of eating out due to being rushed in the evenings - often times 2-4 times a week
  • Grabbing breakfast on the way to work
  • the maid you hire because you are too tired to clean or don't want to take the time away from kids
  • high priced haircuts, pedicures, etc.
  • kids' clothing higher because you don't have time to bargain shop
  • "guilt gifts" that you buy your kids because you feel guilty not being there
  • Grocery bills higher because you don't have time to shave $3-5 THOUSAND off with coupons
  • and so much more!!!
You can find some interesting financial tools on Ellie Kay's website under the tool-center.  I particularly like the Budget Percent Calculator and the Expense Percent Calculator.


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