Saturday, April 25, 2015

Part 6 - Q&A - Living On One Income

I only received a few questions and we will start with the first few in this post and finish up the rest in Part 7.

    Q. What activities do you do as a family for fun?

    A. We are pretty easy to please and it doesn't take much for us to have fun.  We like playing board games (7 Wonders, Funglish, Rummikub, Made for Trade, 10 Days in.., Homeschoolopoly to name a few).  My kids and I watch Netflix (my husband doesn't watch movies).  Things we like on Netflix are educational, documentaries, cartoons, home & craft shows and some Christian films they have like Ace Wonder that are clean.  We do things outside and sometimes go to the park or for a drive.  Church is our big family activity - I guess you could say that is fun but more so, it is the basis of our family life.

    Q. For retirement do you only fund one account in your husbands name or do you both have seperate accounts?

    A.  We have a joint retirement account - nothing separate because we are married and that ends the separate accounts when you join together.

    Q.  Ways you save on household goods!?

    A. I'm not sure what you count as household goods but I'm assuming you are talking about cleaning supplies?  I make my own all-purpose cleaner, detergent and hand soap and have for over 10 years now.  Those are big savings.  I buy the blue Dawn dish detergent or the generic brand of it and it does so many things in the house (dishes, grease, tub, laundry).  I use a steam mop, so I don't need any floor cleaners as the steam is the best, in my opinion, to use for your floors and make them safe for children and it is easy, efficient and kills germs and only takes distilled water!  I use SOS pads for our tubs and sink because they are very old plastic material that is frustrating to clean.  I use a generic window or rubbing alcohol for my mirrors but a friend showed me how I could use a hot water and a microfiber rag to clean them and it worked!  I use a piece of an old t-shirt as a dusting rag by soaking it in hot water and squeezing it out and then I wipe my bookshelves, tables and other surfaces.

    Q.  How do you plan for the unexpected expenses?

    A.  I plan for the unexpected expenses by actually planning for them in the budget.  I usually plan $50-$100 a month for miscellaneous things that come up.  If we don't use it, we put it in savings.  I've gotten better at knowing what to expect each month, so eventually I can lower this because we are finding that unexpected expenses are more expected as I track our detailed budget.

    Q.  Tips on gift giving, please!

    A.  For our family we buy gifts on birthdays and Christmas.  For outside of our immediate family, we only buy gifts as we feel led to do so.  I believe the money that God gives us should be used as He sees fit and I just don't go out and buy everyone I know a gift all the time.  I also limit my attendance to events that expect gifts.  My tip would be to not spend money you need for your family to soothe your guilt in giving gifts as I know a lot of women that are stuck in this trap.  It isn't really a gift anymore because you are giving it out of expectation or guilt.  God does touch our hearts occasionally to give someone a gift and we do so - I love when He leads like that!  It is His money and we want to do our best to use it wisely.

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    Mrs. Chrissy T said...

    I like what you said about joint accounts. When my husband and I got married we just thought the normal was to have one account and pay our bills and share everything. It amazes me how many women I know that have "hidden" accounts and how they have split checking accounts and the husband pays for this and the woman pays for that. It is weird to me. Even as a working mom we have ONE account and we work together as a team to pay our bills. We don't do her money, his money, his bills, and her bills. I am sorry it is weird to me. But I suppose others have their reasons. I shall not judge. :)

    Christian Homekeeper said...

    Thanks Chrissy! ;-)

    Anonymous said...

    i was that person who sent in the question regarding retirement accounts. I am a homemaker and my husband provides for us. My husband and i have always shared everything including accounts. We do not have "hidden" accounts. There is no yours or mine its ours. The reason i asked about do you have an account in your husbands name only or do you have seperate accounts was because when we went to open an ira account only one person's name could be on there. You can put your spouse as the beneficiary but only one person's name is on the account. It is also my understanding that as a spouse you can put 5000+ dollars a year in your own account. My husband and i have a big gap between our ages so we are trying to figure out which accounts is the best way to fund retirement and make it last for both of us with the little bit of money we can save. Although i believe in becoming one when i got married it seems the government or whoever made the rules/paperwork sees it very differently.

    Christian Homekeeper said...

    Hi anonymous and thank you for the question and explaining. I wasn't sure what you meant, so I just put the short response in the post. Maybe an IRA is different than the 401K or Roth and Roth 401K; actually I don't know the details and that may be something I can check into. Either way, we both have access to it in retirement. I would bulk up the one so that you can earn as much interest as you can.

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