For those of you that don't know me, I'm a stay-at-home mom or SAHM. I wasn't always. From the time I was 16 I worked and earned a paycheck. If you want to get really technical, I started working way before then in a family business. But for the official record of earning an income, I was 16. I worked p/t during high school, f/t in the summer, and worked my way through college. I had a variety of jobs like we all did at that age - retail clerk, babysitting, waitressing, hostess at a restaurant, scooper at an ice cream shop. Within one month of graduating college I had a full-time job in a law firm. For about 10 years I worked as a legal assistant/paralegal, first in private law firms and then in a corporate setting for a regional health insurance company. Before I had my son, I did the 50+ work week. Even after Bug was born, I kept doing the 50+ work week taking into consideration the time spent telecommuting. I did this for over 10 years.
When we decided (my husband and I) that the daily 2 hour commute for Bug and I just was,n't working for us as a family anymore, I went to work for a small local company as an office manager. It wasn't what I wanted to do or the type of business I wanted to be a part of, but it was close to home, that really was the only plus to it. That lasted for about 2 years. When we - and my husband can deny this all he wants but it was a WE decision - decided that I would stay at home so we could try to have another child, it was a huge adjustment for me.
I tried my hand at various freelancing and telecommuting opportunities and, for a while there, I was successful at contributing something towards the household finances. During this time our second child, Monkey, was born. Then the economy tanked. I still kept husstling doing what I could when I could to bring in some sort of income and help with the household finances. Then by last fall, we realized the inevitable, I was spending more time trying to find ways to make money then really taking care of and spending time with our kids - the whole reason for staying home in the first place. So I came to the realization that I wasn't going to work and focus on my kids. There is one small freelancing position I still do but it only amounts to 2 - 4 days a month. But for the most part, I spend my time spending time with Monkey and volunteering at the kids' school.
So what's the point of this post you may ask? Even though I'm now a SAHM there are ways I can contribute and "make" money just doing my Mom/Wife job. My plan is to track the "savings" I earn every month from everything to grocery shopping to fill-ups of gasoline. Just about everywhere you shop these days will show you your savings on the receipt. I'm going to track these savings on a spreadsheet and report back on a monthly basis just how much I'm "earning".
My hope is that I can share some tips with you and vice versa. I'm even going to attend a "Coupon Party" in a couple of weeks and hope to have some great tips to share with you by the end of the month!