Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How do we live on 1 income with a large family?

This seems to be a very popular question and is one of the first asked when people learn we have 6 kids and 1 income. I'd like to share with you some things that we do to make that happen.

~ Keep your debt minimal. Houses and cars are expensive, so we finance those but we did away with the credit cards years ago and never use any in store credit. If we can't afford it we don't need it. I once read that 1 credit card with a $5,000 limit will cost you over $30,000 if you make the minimum monthly payments! Also, split your monthly payment into two and pay half every two weeks, this will cut an entire payment or more off at the end!

~ Research larger purchases. We plan for larger purchases such as furniture and vacations 6-12 months in advance. We research the items we are interested in by reading reviews at places like www.epinions.com

~ Shop in bulk. Costco and Sam's club are a great resource if you have a place to store dry goods.

~ Call restaraunt food distributors. This is a little unknown to most people, but if you have a large family and shop big, you can get your own personal account with food distributors and have the food delivered TO YOUR DOOR for what restaraunts pay! Call your favorite restaraunt and ask them for the contact information to thier distributors.

~ Use only half the recommended amount of laundry detergent and put in a cup of baking soda. Your clothes will be cleaner than ever before. Also, use Vinegar in your downy ball or fabric softener slot, it removes soap residue and smell from your clothes for pennies per load!

~ Plan your trips. Make lists and plan your meals. This cuts down the number of grocery store pit stops during the week.

~ Have a big family? You can get group discounts at some amusement parks, movie theaters, and other entertainment. If you are short on people, plan your outings with another family.

~ Turn your heat/air down when you leave the house, seems like a no brainer but i'm amazed at the amount of people who don't do this.

~ Get creative! Hate hand-me-downs? Turn old clothes into something else! A pair of jeans with holey knees can easily be turned into a skirt with just a pair of scissors, a sewing machine, and some bargain lace!

~ Save money on air fresheners by putting yummy smelling dryer sheets in your heat vents just under the grate. You can freshen and make your house smell great for months on just one box!

Do you have any tips not listed here? Please share them in a comment!

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