Part 4 - Home Management - Living On One Income

We've talked about why women should be homemakers in Part 1, why men should provide for their families in Part 2, and then the basis of being able to do in Part 3 on contentment.  I will do a future post answering all the questions submitted but it will be last in this series.  In this post, we are going to discuss home management, which entails everything that you are responsible for in being the manager of your home.

Home management usually (this may vary) includes the cleaning, meals, clothing and care of the children and some maintenance.  The wife usually takes care of these things as the husband is busy working outside the home to bring in the funds to run the home.  I think it is a good idea to budget a "home management" account that the wife can cover the above things and decide how much goes where and then she can also save and have spending money of her own.  We used to do it this way for years but now I do the entire budget and so I decide a lot more, but for the sake of this post - I will show you how we had done it for years while getting out of debt.

A prior pastor of ours advised my husband that if he wanted to keep his wife happy, he should give her this "home management" fund and let her split it up into the categories of care for the home and then from her hard work of learning to save, she can pocket the rest to do with as she pleases.  At the time, I was very foolish with our money and that may have influenced his advice on this but it did work for us for many years and kept me happy - though, I had to learn contentment with everything eventually as we talked about in Part 3.

We set aside $550 for our home management fund when we did it this way.  It depends on your family size but the $550 was for our family of 3 at that time.  This is how I would split that money up:

$550 Home Management Fund
- $250 food
- $90 necessities
- $30 clothing
- $30 misc.
$150 to save or spend

I sometimes could save more than $150 and I usually did spend it every month.  It was a challenge each month for me to see how much I could save and how much I would have left to have fun with.  That is how I learned to be frugal and make things homemade, etc.  I wanted more leftover of my home management money and I usually had a lot.  My husband stuck by this and only gave me the $550 and I wasn't to ask for more each month and that allowed us to pay off debt quick because he knew I wasn't going to come to him for more for this or that - he had given me a sufficient amount to cover the home needs.

That was an example of how you could do it.  Now, we simply budget categories and even budget "fun" money, so that we have a set amount each month.  I don't spend as much fun money as I used to because I began to want to finish funding our emergency fund and reach our goals, so I learned to curtail my spending to make those things happen.  Some months though - I get tired of that and I just go spend LOL!  That is ok because I'm not doing it on debt and we do have things set up in case something ever happened.

I've blogged a lot about food budgets, so there is no need to repeat all that here.  For necessities that covers things like diapers, toilet paper, shampoo, etc.  The clothing allowance is up to each family and according to how you want to do it.  We buy most of the clothing for the year with our child tax credits and then we set aside a small amount each month for unexpected clothing expenses that come up - new shoes because someone's foot grew, something gets ruined, etc.  The miscellaneous category would cover anything to do with the home that isn't food or necessities.  This would be some of the maintenance like light bulbs, cleaning supplies, etc.

Those are two ways that you can budget these things - either in a home management fund that you get every month or by simply allotting these categories into the main budget.  You know yourself - choose which one would work best for you!