I don’t have any more “tips”, but I did want to share some of the words of encouragement and advice that I got from the married ladies who had “been there, done that”. These are pretty much their words as a direct quote – emphasis mine though.
“I learned early not to look at the Sunday ads. If I didn’t look, I didn’t shop. Desires which we call needs are created by advertising.”
“Dare to live the truth that your material possessions are not an indication of how successful you are. Make a decision that you will resist the pressure of your peers (unbelievers and Christians alike) to have the material things they have. Don’t chase new technologies that you really don’t need; buy new furniture slowly. Prepare yourself to be in the minority. It’s important to do this from the get-go; your children must see your attitude of thankfulness and confidence in your choices. You will give your children a deep and abiding enjoyment of the true gifts of life that are priceless, but inexpensive from a human viewpoint: books (from the library!), music, ice cream, conversation, a hike in the park. And best of all, they will have a mom at home!”
“I don’t necessarily think it’s right to delay children to try to get “financially stable”. The right moment might never come. If God is leading someone to have kids, then they need to have the kids, trusting in His provision then. The same argument goes for limiting the number of a children in a family solely for financial reasons. If God directs, then God will also provide.”
“Yes, if you have to, live in an apartment instead of a house, if that is more affordable and makes staying home possible. Your children want time with YOU, and if you are proud of your home, they will be, too. Never get used to living on two incomes …. If you can work at home, great, but be sure you’re not short-changing your family. I used to write when the children napped; when they gave them up, I stopped writing. I didn’t want to be pushing them away from the computer, and I didn’t want a divided focus.”
“Don’t ever get used to 2 incomes! When we were first married, yes, I worked…but we never budgeted that money into our running budget. It ALWAYS went into savings. When the girls were about 3, I went to work 1 day a week…still….the money was never counted on. I firmly believe that the husband is to be the provider…and any income the wife brings in is “bonus”…Proverbs 31 kind of income…so she can dress her family in fine linen! I used to tell young girls…”sure, you’re free to work…if you don’t HAVE to”!! When a wife’s income is expected/needed…then she’s under pressure to keep that job, no matter what comes their way, to make ends meet. Just don’t ever start counting on that money…even to pay the slightest bill!”
There ya go. Those are tips from women who have been there, done that. I’m currently writing a Budgeting 101 series that will probably be published after the new year…so look for that if you want some guidance in setting up a budget.