The Floor Is Yours

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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • Looking for a nice family bibie to give as an Anniversary gift. Would like to be able to buy this online. Thanks!

    Posted on Jan 8th, 2013 at 5:57 AM by Lynn

  • Our family is looking at all possible ways to cut spending. We've already hit on a lot of the common tips out there, but I'd love to hear your ideas for cutting the family budget. After being a working mom for almost 7 years, I quit my job in August. I'm home with my 1 year old and my 2 older kids are in a Catholic elementary school. I'm trying to find some work to make up for our shortfall that will be minimally disruptive on the kids' schedules--not an easy task. I'd appreciate your advice!

    Posted on Jan 8th, 2013 at 8:08 AM by Kim

  • Kim ~ I recommend the book "The Two Income Trap." It addresses this topic directly with numerous interesting points! Myhusband and I loved it.

    Posted on Jan 8th, 2013 at 8:48 AM by Jen

  • P.S. ~ I realize you aren't doing two incomes; please don't be turned off by the title of that book. It addresses the "trap" of two incomes and why one income is actually BETTER for the budget than two! And it give lots of points about budget cutting that would never have occurred to us!

    Posted on Jan 8th, 2013 at 8:49 AM by Jen

  • Kim, Perhaps working as a teacher, teacher's aide, or substitute at a mother's morning out program is an option for you. I know several mom's who put their children in such a program and teach in another classroom. Such programs usually are only in the morning for two or three days a week and follow the local school calendar. As bonus, your one year old would have someone to entertain him other than you for a couple of mornings a week. Another option is to see if a local non-profit has a paid position for part-time work that you could do from home. This will vary from group to group but usually it is secretarial work and thus doesn't require too much brainpower just organizational skills which we moms use everyday. Good luck with the job hunt and remember no one ever died wishing they had more money but lots of people regret not spending more time with their family.

    Posted on Jan 8th, 2013 at 1:10 PM by Jenny

  • Kim, maybe do inhome daycare if you are wanting to earn money. You could always just take teacher's kids so you wouldn't have to work over breaks. We do the normal cutting of not eating out, only basic cable for internet service, just no extra spending most of the time. Our kids still get to play sports which is the only activity they are in that costs. Write down everything you spend for a month and look at what can be cut. It's those little things that add up. Also you could look into donating plasma. In our area you can make as much as $200/month and there is childcare available and it usually only takes 1 1/2 hours. Good luck! I have been home for 12 years and have loved it!

    Posted on Jan 8th, 2013 at 1:39 PM by Christy M.

  • Kim, my sole advice, other than what people have already mentioned, is to ignore Jeanne (and any other trolls) who insist that you should "think money" instead of thinking of what is best for your family. :-)

    Posted on Jan 8th, 2013 at 5:39 PM by Anna

  • Kim, another thing to consider is that if you do childcare out of your home, you can deduct at least some of your energy bill as a business expense. (That deduction really helped a friend of mine when her husband was out of work.) I don't know what the requirements are for your state, but I looked at the laws for about 10 and college hours were not required for in-home daycare providers.

    Posted on Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:00 AM by Alice

  • Kim, You could see if there are any openings with Hauser to be a mail tracker (decoy) -- This is a legitimate work-at-home job. I did it for years and finally stopped because I lost interest and couldn't keep up. Basically you will start getting all kinds of junk mail sent to your home address but with a code name; then you log into the Hauser website and record the date you received it and the condition it was in. That's it. It takes a while to make any kind of money and you will never make a lot, but it's extremely easy and mindless. You also have to hang onto every piece of mail you get for 6 months and that will mount up after a while. The best thing about it was I used to get People magazine that way! (That stopped the minute I quit, bummer!) Good luck!

    Posted on Jan 9th, 2013 at 11:48 AM by Anne in NC

  • Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Unfortunately the laws for in home daycare in our state are very strict. There are some part time jobs out there that would likely work for me and we are continuing to look for ways to cut spending.

    Posted on Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:11 PM by Kim

  • Kim, there are some online tutoring (or you could do it in person) opportunities. That might be an option, especially if you have a particular skill set (math, foreign language) that is in demand. Or, if you sew, you could do alterations or something like that. Is being a one-car family an option? That's what my brother and sil do.

    Posted on Jan 9th, 2013 at 12:29 PM by Anna

  • Not sure where you live, or what spending you've already cut. I've heard that the medical billing jobs are legit. One of my neighbors said he gets 10% of each invoice (from a plastic surgeon with obviously high invoices). His brother owns the billing company. If you sign up with one of those online billing training things, you're likely to get invoices from regular doctors so the invoices would be lower, so you'd make maybe 10-15/hour. If you live in an area of the country where the living expenses are lower then you could try that. As someone who works from home part time, I find it difficult to do with a toddler. Maybe your older kids can entertain the little one while you work for a couple hours in the afternoon. Tutoring sounds like a better option, and more money per hour. Are you sure that it's considered day care if you just take 1 or 2 kids from the same family part time? Remember if you are self-employed and not working under the table you need to pay the >15% tax plus all the rest of the taxes.

    Posted on Jan 9th, 2013 at 2:12 PM by MMH

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