Editor’s note: With the current state of the economy, many one-income families are especially worried about the security of their employment. We’ve been talking to stay at home moms (SAHMs) and dads a lot lately about the measures they are taking to make sure their families are recession-proofed. In other words, what can you do now to ensure that a possible layoff would have the smallest possible impact on your family’s lifestyle and well-being? This week, Phoebe Hendricks was kind enough to share her tips and strategies with us.
The following is a guest post by Phoebe Hendricks. She is married to the most amazing and supportive husband and is a stay at home mother to three children. You can follow her and her family on a frugal journey to find the Cents to Get Debt Free.
How one SAHM Recession-Proofed Her Family
Every time you turn on the television or open up the newspaper you get bombarded with the latest news of the failing economy. It seriously makes my stomach turn. We are a one income family, so if anything were to happen to my husband’s job, I want to know that we would be okay.
What are Negotiables?
We are currently on a gazelle intense mission of getting out of debt. We have been on this journey since September of 2007 and in the process have cut our bills down to bare bones. This has not only enabled us to use that money towards our debt, but it has given me peace. Currently, other than my home, I have only a handful of bills that I can do nothing about. I call these non-negotiables.
We have cut our negotiables greatly so that we could use the extra money towards our debt. This would include things such as cable/satellite, landline phone, cell phone, entertainment, etc. I have outlined more of this process in my Managing Expenses post. In doing so, I have not only gained peace, but I have gotten a tighter grip on my finances. If something were to happen to my husband’s job at this point, I know that we could get rid of the majority of my negotiables.
Urban Homesteading aka “Grow Your Own”
I do call groceries a negotiable because if I really had to, I can cut the spending down. I obviously cannot cut it out completely, but I can make the number smaller. With all the scares recently of salmonella in our food, I have been on a bigger mission of making the majority of our food from scratch. Not only that, but we hope to be able to raise the majority of our food. I want to know what is in my food, and where it has come from. The only way that I can know these things for sure, is to have a hand in where it comes from.
Not only does this take most of the worry out about food poisoning, but I get added security. Harvesting my own food gives me the ability to store up great amounts of food for future use, on a tighter budget. I am able to store up enough food for one year, on about half the budget of buying all my food for one year! In the event that my husband was to lose his job, I could almost get rid of my grocery budget, and we would still have plenty to eat. I would be able to use my current grocery budget to pay part of my non-negotiables. Talk about security!
Even if you live in an urban area, with not a lot of extra room, you are still able to grow your own vegetables and some fruits. Container and patio gardening, if done right, can produce just as much as a typical row garden. Using your available resources now could grant you a lot of peace and security. Knowing where your food is from and knowing that you will be able to feed your family if something happens to your income is priceless. The added nutritional benefit, is, well, icing on the cake!
What are you doing to recession-proof your family? Have you changed your approach to bill paying, shopping, etc.? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by ellievanhoutte.