Remember as a child making a wish before blowing out the candles on your birthday cake? Maybe you still do… I remember as a child really believing that my wish would come true. After all, didn’t Tommy really want to go with me to Sally’s party anyway?
But now, I sometimes, no, oftentimes, doubt that my wishes will actually come true. I’ve learned that things take time, but it’s so hard to keep wishing hard when day after day, week after week, month after month goes by.
What am I wishing for? Home. I have a house, so it’s not that type of home that I’m wishing for. I’m wishing to be at home, full-time, with my children. I worked full-time before having them and didn’t think it would be hard to return to work…but it was, for me. Now, I’m wishing for home.
It’s not everyone’s wish, but it’s mine. I don’t try to impose it on others or make excuses for it. It’s my wish…my prayer, and it’s okay. But working towards it, the time it takes…that’s hard. That’s not okay. In this age of instant everything, this wish it taking so long to be fulfilled. If only I could blink my eyes and it happen…
But, everyday, I work towards it. I whittle away the debt, I look for the right home-based business to help replace my income, and I work on changing my lifestyle. If you are wishing for home, like me, then you might benefit from what I learned about working towards it.
Whittle away the debt.
The first step to eliminating my debt was to track my spending. I wanted to get an idea of where my money was going and to see where I could possibly cut corners. According to an article in Suite101.com , the best place to start is with your dining out and grocery expenses. Try tracking these expenses for one month. Keep your receipts and write down these expenses or track them using an Excel spreadsheet. If you have money to invest, there are also bill-paying software packages that automatically track these expenses for you.
At the end of the month, review your report to see where you can trim expenses. Could you eat at home more often and save on dining expenses? Can you consolidate your trips to the grocery store and spend less? Look for frivolous expenditures and eliminate these from your spending. Next month, track another expense or two and work your way through all of your expenditures. You’re sure to find areas you can cut and save.
Once you know where your money is going, you need to tell it where to go. You do this by creating a budget. Itemize your expenses by level of priority and establish how much you can spend for each area. Be sure to include payments for all debt. Allocate all of your money on paper before paying any bills or spending any money. Stick to your budget every month and you’ll see progress. Some resources to help you in this area include the Family Budget Guide Ebook and Afford to Stay Home.
Find a home-based business.
With thousands of work-from-home opportunities available, it’s challenging finding the right one. The best way to begin your search is by identifying your strengths, skills and passion. What are the things you do well with little or no effort? What can you spend hours doing without realizing the passing time? What skills have you gained in your current or previous jobs that can be transferred to other positions?
Now take this information and match it to available, legitimate, work-from-home opportunities. Are you good at organizing, coordinating, scheduling? Then you might consider working as a virtual assistant. Is writing your forte? Then a job as a freelance writer might interest you. For additional help in finding the right business, review the Mom’s Talk Ebooks for ideas on businesses that might interest you.
Changing my lifestyle has probably been the most challenging of the three areas. That is because it requires the most discipline for me. I know that for me to be able to stay home with my kids, losing my current income, my family will have to make some major changes. For one, I would have to cut out the frivolous shopping trips. We would have to eat more at home instead of dining out. Leftovers will need to become tomorrow’s lunch. We may have to downsize our home or go down to one car. I continually look for ways to begin living the life that I’m wishing for.
One of the greatest resources I found was Goodbye Boss, Hello Kids. This audio guide and eBook shared valuable tips on how to gradually change your lifestyle in order to be able to afford to stay home. When I begin to get discouraged or off track, I listen to the audio guide and get refocused.
Putting it all together.
The bottom line is to keep your goal in mind, know why your goal is important, and stay on track. Don’t try to run a marathon in a 30-second sprint. Just be consistent and persistent. Make the decision not to give up until you reach your goal.