Not Spending vs Saving
Creatively not spending money is not the same as saving it. When I think of saving, I'm putting aside the extra money that I saved when I bought something on sale. In the business of not spending, I am creatively doing everything I can to not buy the item in the first place. Creativity is vitally important in this endeavor. Without it, the business of home can become just a job with no pay. With creativity we find joy, excitement and fulfillment in our own business at home.
Living simply is probably the first step in not spending. In our society there is a lot of pressure to have too much. Too much stuff takes our time, our energy, and our money. Living simply is freeing and healthy. Too much furniture taking up space in the home so that children don't have space to play and too many toys that they don't even play with are a common problem. Too many dishes make it difficult and frustrating to function in the kitchen. Too many channels on the TV or too many choices in any direction can be a nuisance to the family function. Keep it simple makes it easier to keep it clean, more pleasant to be around, and healthier overall.
The idea of not spending as a way to financial success is not new. Making money + not spending it makes sense. Successful people use this all the time. "During an interview with Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno revealed his secrets to always making sure he had money in the bank - don't spend it." (blog.mint.com, Mary Hiers) Leno's strategy is to always work two jobs, living off the income of one, putting away the income from the other and pretending it doesn't exist. He has never spent his money from The Tonight Show, living off of his car dealership and side shows of stand up comedy even while he was doing the Tonight Show.
This is the same premise I advocate for SAHPs. While your spouse is making money, YOU are not spending it, taking advantage of every opportunity to put it away. Creatively doing without day care, the gym, the 2nd car, and unnecessary clothes, for example, can add up to major dollars. Then there is less expense for gas, less car insurance, fewer doctor visits, lower grocery expenses that all add up to money in your pocket. Can you 'not spend' $100 a month? That's $1200 per year and it's not income so it's not taxed. Put it away. Pretend it doesn't exist and try for $2400 or more the next year.
There are lots of ideas in my book. Upload it and read it today! Then start the journey of a creative not spender! About the Book
How do we contribute as SAHPs?
"Is home a business? Most of us don't make money taking care of our own children and our own home. If making money is the definition of a business, then I suppose stay at home moms are not in business. After much frustration about my own contributions to our finances, I finally realized that I wasn't contributing by making money. I was, however, contributing by not spending money.
If one person can focus on making money and one can focus on how it is spent or not spent, it makes for an excellent team. Sahps work hard. It would take a lot of money to pay for all the things that we take responsibility for at home. There are hundreds of ways to not spend money. Day care is often the biggest expense that can be eliminated. But you can contribute to every aspect of household expense by strategizing in the direction of not spending.
Not spending is not the same as saving. When I think of saving, I'm putting aside the extra money that I saved when I bought something on sale. In the business of not spending, I am creatively doing everything I can to not buy the item in the first place. Creativity is vitally important in this endeavor. Without it, the business of home can become just a job with no pay. With creativity we find joy, excitement and fulfillment in our own business at home." (page 2-3 A Way to Stay Home by Anne Kruse)