I’ve written extensively here about the economic advantages of a woman who well-manages her home.
I’ve discussed the hidden costs of working outside the home, earning money from home, family economy, cutting the grocery budget, paying off debt, and a bit about our own personal journey of my leaving work to come home. One of my first ebooks, which now helps supplement our income, spawned from one of the darkest times in our lives.
For this post, I’d like to do more of an ‘inspiration overview’ of what it looks like when the home is the center of economic affairs, one of the characteristics of home that began this series, and how a woman, together with her family, can live life with home as the source, not the sacrifice of it all.
We’re One Family
Understanding the economic dynamics of a healthy family is crucial to even begin working toward the goal. First, members must all see themselves contributing to one “purse”. It’s not my money, his money, their money–though saving for personal goals has its place, but for the basic functioning of home life, we are a family and we all work together to that end.
So all should work together to save and to earn, to use money wisely and to be resourceful. It is my opinion that children should be involved, not shielded from the monetary responsibilities of running a household. They should grow up with a good sense of what bills look like and understand the cost of living. The earlier they learn the “work for pay” model, the better prepared they will be for real life. (This, as opposed to simply getting an allowance.)
While children shouldn’t necessarily be required to contribute directly to the paying of bills, they should be required to be good stewards of utilities and the consumable comforts of home. A pattern of wastefulness may be countered with monetary consequences until he learns the value of resourcefulness.
Multiple Streams of Income
Kevin Swanson calls his family a “seven-income household”. In a typical, American home, the children are largely financial liabilities, with parents spending to provide them with many wants and desires outside of what is reasonable. Giving gifts is a good thing; going bankrupt to help your children keep up with the neighbors is not…not for a family and not for the child.
We encourage our children to find ways to make money to spend on items they want. But occasionally, they also offer to pay for their part if we eat out or chip in on something the family is saving for, etc. It’s only logical that we should be helping them develop healthy saving and spending habits. I think it’s safe to say that a poor practice of financial control by individuals has morphed into one of our nation’s biggest problems.
As children get older, it is reasonable that the family would benefit from everyone’s income–if everyone eats, uses electricity, enjoys vacations, etc., why shouldn’t everyone pitch in? It’s counter-culture, perhaps, but something families of the past understood made it all work.
Time = Money.
Frankly, the more time we have, the more money we can save and/or earn, which is an important aspect of having a manager at home. She can use all the powers of her mind and all the facets of her gifts and abilities to reuse, create, produce and multiply her resources. We may think of a woman coming home as “reducing to a one-income family”, but a woman who understands her potential can continue creative income-earning opportunities in addition to saving and stretching the money they make.
God Blesses Family Economics
I have lived through turbulent economic crises, we have been the scorn of those wondering why we would be so “irresponsible” to have children on such a tight budget, we have been to the desperate place of, “What are we going to do?” and I have seen God do the unthinkable and miraculous on our behalf. He is a faithful Father, and though hardship can and will come, I have never seen Him forsake the righteous.
When we give to Him what is His, He promises to take care of our needs and I think we need a grass-roots return to that fundamental truth in a way that causes us to live out our faith in shoe leather.
And beyond His provision, I believe He wants our homes to be beacons, even financially, providing enough even to always be ready and willing to extend our hands to the needy around us.
“Father, help us to resist the fear and temptation around us to forsake Your promises for what the world tries to offer. May we be good stewards, wise, resourceful, creative, and above all, acknowledging that it all belongs to You.”