You can read Part 1 here, but I left as:
We always had in the back of our minds that if our parents could no longer watch the kids, that my husband would quit his job. However it never happened that way. I was left torn for months, waiting for a “sign” that he should stay home with the kids. I never got that big “sign” I was looking for, but I did get some small inclinations that it was time to make a change in our lives.
My husband and I seriously started considering him staying home with our kids about 9 months earlier. Some of our compelling thoughts included:
- When the kids get sick, the stay-at-home parent would be able to care for them and not waste vacation days.
- We wanted our almost kindergartener to be able to get on the bus and come home on the bus and not to have to worry about before and after care. This was a compelling argument for us, since we both had stay-at-home Moms growing up ourselves.
- Are we being selfish with wanting to make more money when our kids really just need our time? We were at a point in our lives where we were settled in our home, had two decent cars, and had completed most major home repairs.
- Do we really need two incomes?
- Who is going to help the kids with their homework? That is our responsibility not their grandparents.
- Our parents are getting older and how long will they be able to care for our kids?
- Even though they wanted to watch our kids, we felt as if we were taking advantage of our parents and asking so much of them. They didn’t have to do all that they do for us.
- I was beginning to dread having to wake up two sleeping children to get them dressed and off to Grandma and Papa’s. I felt guilty. Plus the fact it was making me late for work.
About 4 months before my husband was to officially leave his job, we put a plan in place to reduce our spending and see if this one income set-up could actually work for our family. By then I had already been heavy in couponing and the drug store game and had seen our grocery bill get cut in half. This gave me encouragement. Other steps we took to financially prepare included:
- Continued to use coupons and play the Drug Store game to see how low we could get our grocery budget.
- Cut our eating out down to one time per week.
- Aggressively paid off our last car loan.
- Completed our bathroom renovation and paid cash (our last major house renovation).
- Watched spending on our credit cards
- Read Dave Ramsey’s Book The Total Money Makeover
To be continued in Part 3...