I Couldn't Be More Excited!

Last night Andrew called a family meeting.
Family meetings are rare at our house so a sudden drop in my stomach followed by a severe dragging of my feet are always my first reaction.
Turns out this was a good kind of family meeting.
Over the past two years, magnified when Josie came home, Andrew and I have been praying for God to give us clarity and financial ability as to me staying home with Josie full time.
For as long as I can remember my main goal in life was to be an excellent wife and mother. Sure, I knew I wanted to go to college and I have a bunch of other goals as well. But underlying all the things I do is an intense desire to be the CEO of my house.
Since Andrew started Waffle House, we knew that once he promoted to District (the next step from where he's at) I'd be able to stay home without affecting our lifestyle at all. In fact, he'll be making more by himself then we currently make together. So we were waiting on that.
Andrew starts his 40 day fast on Thursday (he does one every year to seek clarity for our family for the upcoming year) and so he has been gearing up for that with increased time with God. And yesterday God revealed something to him.
Our lifestyle could stand to go down a couple notches.
I don't need to go to Target every week (which always results in at least a $20 expense!). I don't need a Starbucks just because I'm driving by one. Andrew doesn't need to download every song they put on I-Tunes. And we could stand to eat the groceries we buy instead of being lazy and going out to eat.
We live a good life, but we are choosing possesions and ease over reaching our goal.
Looking at our budget, it's easy to see that if Andrew makes more, we'll spend more. And that will never get us to where I can stay home.
So Andrew began to call our utility companies and the companies we are in debt with and made some pretty amazing negotiations. Turns out there was a way cheaper cell phone rate that worked great for us, our insurance premiums were about to drop by over $60 a month, and he was able to lower our credit card payments by quite a bit too.
The result? We can afford for me to start staying home now!
It will be tight until Andrew promotes (which will hopefully be within the next 6-10 months), but totally manageable.
We'll have to cut off our TV, but we've done that before and actually were way more productive without it. I won't be making any trips to Starbucks (I almost backed out at that!). But all bills will be paid, groceries will be in the fridge, gas in the car, and I'll be home with Josie.
Right now she spends about 10 hours a day at daycare, 3 hours awake with us, and 11 hours asleep. And I hate it.
I want to be the one spending the day with her. I want to teach her and watch her grow.
Plus, the lifestyle cut will be temporary. Andrew is pretty much guaranteed that he will promote within a year.
So when it comes down to it, it really is a choice of if we'd rather have the material things that we desire or have me raising Josie. Put like that, the decision is easy.
We are going to test our budget for 2 months by immediately sticking my check in savings every week and just living on Andrew's check. I'll pay daycare and my gas out of my check since those expenses won't be there once I'm staying home. If all goes well, I'll be done working when we go on vacation in February.
I was a bit apprehensious at first. It's a big move. It's a big sacrifice. But today, I'm totally excited!
We will go to using cash for groceries and gas and I will be in charge of that. Any money below the weekly budgeted amount will go into a savings envelope for us to do fun extra things with. So my new goal will be to come in under budget in each area every week. I love a good challenge!
I'll still be able to go home and to my Dad's, I'll just have to budget for it. And now when I go, I can go for longer then 2 days!
I've spent pretty much all night weighing the benefits verses the cons and while there are some cons, they are outweighed by the good I feel this will do for our family.
Not that all families want this. But we do.
So I'll be sure to keep you updated on how it goes. These next couple months will be a challenge, but the hope is that we'll be used to living on less and when the time comes to make the move we'll be used to it.
I am so so excited. Except for the part where I have to tell my boss. Pretty sure I'll be putting that off until the very last minute!


Kameron said...

Congratulations! I wish one of us could stay home with our little man. You have inspired me though to spend less money. I think a few things could spare to be cut out of our lives. It is ridiculous how much we spend. I was looking at our budget when we made less and we did just fine. You are so right, once you make more, you just spend more. We can be budgeting buddies and help each other be accountable!! Good luck to both of us. :o)

The Henrys said...

We made the same decision a couple of months ago. We've been saving a lot of my current salary and paid of credit card debt and are about to pay off some graduate school debt. We've also been saving and our plan is for me to start staying at home this summer. I'm a teacher and wouldn't want to leave my school in a bind by walking out of my contract. I'm so happy you are finding a way to be at home. I totally agree with how frustrating my kids being in daycare way more than they are with me!

The Glover Family said...

Hopefully your boss doesn't read this blog-lol

Anyway, good news. Kids need their parents as much as possible and it is so sad that today we have created a society where both parents almost have to work to live above psuedo-poverty.

Hope all goes well for ya'll.

Missy said...

I'm so very happy for all of you!

Love you guys and hope to see you soon.

bri said...

Staying home with Josie is of course the best thing you can do.

WE are definitely not "well off" by any means.. sometimes we wonder how anything gets paid to keep the lights on and food in the fridge. But it always works out. God watches over His sparrows. It is frustrating from time to time when you see the stack of bills come in but to be home with my boys; well it is the best thing I can do for them. I am raising them with our values and Godly principals.

You are definitely making the right choices and you will reap all the benefits that come with it!

Brooke said...

What great news! I agree with Kam in that when you make more, you simply spend more. I'm sure it will be challenging at first, but once you are in the swing of it, you won't even remember some of those small things that you had to cut out.