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Surviving with one income

by naomi Cassata  
1/29/2010 / Family

Contact: [email protected]

"How do you do it?" my husband and I hear this quit often. We, like most families, have monthly mortgage payments, diapers, groceries, clothing, electric bills etc. Yet, as a family of four (with another on the way), we manage to survive on only one income, in a high cost of living area, earning less than 40K a year.

When I became pregnant with my first child, I knew I wanted to stay home. I wouldn't have it any other way. I was working 25-30 hours a week as a bookkeeper, and the thought of not being home full-time with my child brought tears to my eyes. When my sweet daughter came into the world, the nurse immediately laid her on my chest. She didn't even whimper as I looked at her little eyes staring straight at me. That moment confirmed my desire to be a stay at home mom.

According to's "Cost of Raising Your Child" calculations, our daughter and son will cost us a total of $200,052.00 each from the time they are born to the age of 18, (this doesn't even include saving for college). I'm not sure how they came up with these figures, but I do know the cost of living seems to be rising. We can't always increase our paychecks to fit the rising costs, but there are actions, as moms, we can take to lower our monthly expenses.

Living with one income has its challenges, but it is well worth the sacrifice. Every time someone asks, "How do you do it?" I can't help but smile, and wonder, "Do what?" The choices we made have become our lifestyle. We don't feel like we're missing out on anything. We are never late paying our bills, we have enough money for groceries and gas, we have two vehicles, we go on a yearly vacation and we even put money into our savings account. Because of making wise choices, we are able to do all this while staying under budget.

One area I have learned to save in is the laundry room. By making a few adjustments, you will see the difference as well. Here are a few money saving tips, in the laundry room, that will help lower your monthly bill.

1. Do you want to know how you can wash 640 loads of clothing with only $2 worth of laundry detergent? Check out the Duggar Family's laundry soap recipe from their website. There's only 4 ingredients and you can buy them from your local grocery store. Here is the link to this cheap soap By the way, I've tried the soap, and it works wonderful!

2. The temperature you wash your clothing in can help make or break your wallet. According to General Electrical Energy Cost Calculator's configurations, there is a major difference in energy cost when using hot or cold water. Thirty loads of laundry washed and rinsed in cold, will cost approximately $3.64. While thirty loads of laundry washed in hot with a warm rinse will cost approximately $22.16.

3. It may be extra work, but try hanging you clothes outside the old fashioned way. You can find a wide range of clotheslines at Home Depot and Lowe's. They range in price as low as $6 and as high as $100, depending on your taste. This will take at least $10 off your monthly electric bill.

These are just a few changes we moms can take in order to help our family save. It may be a bit more work for us, but we as well as our family will benefit from the savings.

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