Saving Money to Stay Home

Written by Jill Hart | 0 Comments | Grab This Article Grab This Article

Usually when I write something have to do with working from home, it’s about how to create an income. However, making money isn’t the only necessary ingredient in the stay-at-home recipe. The flip side of the coin is making some sacrifices and finding ways to save money.

When my husband and I first made the decision that I would leave the corporate world in favor of working from home, we knew it was going to take more than just me finding a way to bring in money from home. The amount that I would be making was half – or maybe even less – than I made at my corporate job. We needed to find a way to make it on his Air Force salary and my very small financial contribution.

Get Rid Of Non-essentials

In order to cut out some of our living costs, we sold one of our cars and for the next several years I drove around a lovely (I use that term loosely) car that had been my grandmothers. It certainly wasn’t my dream car, but it got me around town and we also saved a LOT of money when the time came around to pay tax and licensing fees.

We also cut out cable and anything else that we could find in our budget that we could live without. It’s amazing what things we consider “essential” that truly aren’t.

Keep It Simple

Another aspect of our life that received serious cutbacks was eating out. This was a hard adjustment for me at the time. When I worked full-time outside the home, it seemed easiest many nights to just stop and pick up supper on my way home. And once I began staying home every day, I still wanted the ease of fast food.

I wish I could tell you that I found a way to make that work, but of course that’s not the case. Instead I began working on my cooking skills and learning to make easy, simple meals that kept us within our food budget each month.

Get Creative

The next big expense that we had to tackle was gift giving. Christmas was coming up and I had no idea how we were going to manage presents for our friends and family. So, I decided to get creative and give homemade gifts. A friend and I decided candles sounded like a great project, so we did some research and made up a small list of supplies. Once we had those purchased, we got together for an afternoon of candle making (I’m pretty sure the wax spill stains are still on that floor…). We had a ball trying to figure it all out and even got brave and added candy canes into some of our candles.

The experience was worthwhile not just because we were able to create unique, handmade gifts for our family, but for the memories that we created that day.

Next time you think about working from home and begin worrying over how you’ll make money, remember that there are other ways to start preparing for being home full-time. Begin by creating a monthly budget and finding the areas where you can cut out things that are, as my kids would say, “wants not needs.” This will give you a solid foundation on which to build your work-at-home life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Hart’s entrepreneurial career began in her teens when she spent a summer working with her father who ran his own business. When he put her in charge of a Coke machine and allowed her to keep the profits, she saw the benefits of being her own boss. She is the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries (CWAHM.com) and the co-author of “So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom.” Jill has articles published in In Touch Magazine, P31 Woman magazine and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, as well as across the web on sites like DrLaura.com. She speaks to audiences around the country about faith and business topics. Learn more about Jill at JillHart.com and connect with her on Facebook

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About Jill Hart
Jill Hart’s entrepreneurial career began in her teens when she spent a summer helping her father with his vending business, stocking pop and candy machine. When he put her in charge of a Coke machine and allowed her to keep the profits, she saw the benefits of being her own boss. That entrepreneurial spirit motivates her to show other women how to begin and build their own businesses from home. Her website, CWAHM.com (Christian Work at Home Moms) reaches more than 15,000 women monthly and includes the best work-at-home tips and good clean mom humor you’ll find anywhere. Jill is the host of the podcast, Christian Work at Home Moment and co-host of the LIVE internet radio show, The CWAHM Network. Jill writes, blogs and speaks about finding a business niche, creative and inexpensive marketing, and finding balance while working from home. She is a featured blogger in the Guideposts Blogger Network. Jill and CWAHM have been featured in The Wall Street Journal and FIRST Magazine for Women. Her articles have been featured on websites like DrLaura.com and she is a columnist for a number of mom-focused websites. She is also a contributing author in four books and co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom (Beacon Hill, Sept 2009).

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Lessons in Leadership From Women in Washington

Written by Joy Chudacoff | 0 Comments | Grab This Article Grab This Article

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a few days in wonderful Washington, DC with the members of my 2013 Leadership Women community, which is a non-profit organization that develops programs and projects to advance and improve the personal, economic and professional status of women in the United States.

It was a busy two days packed with rich content and learning. I met some of the most powerful women in Washington who are leading the charge on policy and change. These women shared many gold nuggets that were actually comforting and reassuring. What I mean by that last statement is their perspectives were easy to grasp and I could see clearly how to implement some of the leadership lessons into my life. Sometimes when we read about women in power, it can seem surreal or unattainable.

Make no mistake, these women paid their dues to get where they are today and I certainly don’t want to paint a picture that it was easy. The leadership lessons discussed were common themes and today, I’m going to share five rich and relevant nuggets.

1. Connection & Relationships – One of the best investments you can make with your time is to connect with people who champion you and have a desire to see you succeed. It’s important to build relationships with people who can support your growth along the way and help you accomplish your goals. The good news is women have connection and relationship building in their DNA!

2. Go Big or Go Home – Think Big! Have a vision for what you want and make a plan for it to happen. Avoid getting caught up in the small stuff. If you think big and create an action plan that covers all the bases, the small stuff will take care of itself. Create a support system that becomes your safety net at the first sign of turbulence. If you are living a full throttle life, there’s going to be turbulence along the way. Course correct and keep moving forward.

3. Say Yes to the word No – Adopt a policy of saying No more often. This can be tricky for women because we are nurturers by nature, however if you truly want to accomplish your goals and live your dreams, you will need to stop saying yes to everyone and say no more often to reserve your time and energy for your big ideas, dreams and goals.

4. Make Friends with Money – In order for you to build a sustainable business and create a comfortable lifestyle for you and your family, it’s essential that you become comfortable with numbers. This is something many women are challenged by and I will admit early on in my business, I was so focused on the marketing that I too, at times, took my focus away from the bottom line. Having said that, when I began monitoring my profit and expense sheet closely, my income began to soar. If this is an area where you need support, it’s worth the investment to get educated and comfortable with the financial side of your business.

5. Become a Life-Long Learner – Stay hungry for knowledge. The world is moving at warp-speed so it’s essential that you stay connected to learning environments to remain relevant in business.

Leadership isn’t something that happens overnight. It is a decision that will require dedication and discipline. How will you know if your desire for leadership is becoming a reality? Look behind you. You are a leader if people are following you.

Anything is possible. Everything is waiting for you.

*****

© 2013 Joy Chudacoff

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:  Joy Chudacoff, ICF, PCC, is the founder of Smart Women Smart Solutions®, a Professional Certified Coach to 1000’s of women, Motivational Speaker, and Entrepreneur.  She publishes a weekly buzz generating ezine, Reflections On Life and Business for Women Entrepreneurs.  If you’re ready take your coaching business to the next level, get your FREE Tips, FREE Report, FREE MP3 and be the first to hear about my exciting new program for coaches and consultants at Smart Women Smart Solutions Coaching.

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About Joy Chudacoff
Joy Chudacoff is the founder ofSmart Women Smart Solutions® , a Professional Certified Coach and Motivational Speaker. To read more articles by Joy and learn more about her Success Circle workshops, teleseminars or keynote topics, please visit her website.

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