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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on February 24, 2004
What I liked best about this book:
1. The chapter on contingency plans. Yes, it's obvious that it's a good idea to have a backup-plan in case the working parent gets laid off, there's a large unexpected expense, etc. Nevertheless, I found it helpful to read the authors' experiences regarding such emergencies which happened in their families and to consider the various ideas and options presented. My own contingency plan was that I worked fifteen months longer than I wanted to and progressively worked up to putting my entire paycheck in savings; by the time I quit, we had enough money set aside to pay our living expenses for an entire year, if that became necessary.
2. The chapter on stay-at-home blues. I appreciated the authors' candor in describing the pros and cons of staying home. A humorous (but true) example they give is that you won't necessarily fall in love with cleaning the bathroom and once home, you may do it more often than you did before. Most importantly, they're honest about the feeling of isolation that can creep up on a stay-at-home parent and how one can deal with it.
3. They "tell it like it is". As they say, unless one of the parents' incomes is completely disposable, it is going to be necessary to make some sacrifices somewhere. Something will have to go in order to keep the family's financial boat afloat. My family experienced this period of adjustment while saving for our emergency fund; by the time I left work, we were already used to managing on one income and it wasn't so difficult.
I address the chapters on the "cons" of staying home specifically because if most people pick up a book like this in the first place, it's probably because they already want to be home with their child(ren). What they want to know is how to achieve that goal and what to expect along the way. I found this book a terrific primer on how to get off the fast track in the smoothest possible manner.
The reason I recommended this book in conjunction with Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy is that I feel the latter book presents a larger share of nuts-and-bolts information on how to reduce expenses. Jonni McCoy once worked as a senior buyer for Apple Computers, among other firms, and you can see this real-world experience in how she analyzes and approaches the issue of frugality.
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on August 22, 2001
This is the perfect book for Moms (or Dads) who want to be home with their kids but really believe they cannot afford the loss of the second income. The book is written well, with straightforward advice about how to 'run the numbers' and offers simple suggestions of easy budget cuts you won't even miss. In addition, there are ideas in the book about what to do with the kids all day once you do quit work and stay home (which, personally was one of my biggest fears.) If you have the slightest inkling that you would like to be a full time mom (or dad), I would recommend that you read this book-- and be completely honest about the section that has you detail your spending for a month. Once you see how little you are actually bringing home, you may be even more fed up with the rat race!!
I was also quite impressed with the 'stay-at-home PARENT' philosophy found throughout the book. So many books are written to moms, with a more feminine side, yet this book would be good for men to read as well. This would be a great book for hubby--whether your husband is the would be parent at home, or you would like to suggest some reading to help convince him that your decision to be a full time mom will not lead to financial ruin.
Most of the 'homemade' craft ideas are great. There are lots of things to do for rainy days, etc. (I still prefer storebought 'Play-doh' to their homemade variety, but that's just me, and it doesn't cost that much more.) In addition, there are games and activity ideas that turn your errands into adventures for the kids (and it may as well be fun, since the little darlings will be going EVERYWHERE with you!!)
Check this book out, but I warn you: by the time you finish this book, you are going to be wondering why in the world you are working outside your home at all. Once you see your $50K+ salary turn into way under $20K, your professional attitude may slip a bit....
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on January 8, 2001
This is a great book! I got it last night and have finished it today (and I have a 9 month old baby and a full time job). Obviously, the book is a quick read. Perhaps part of the reason that the book is motivational is that it is not so huge and full of detail that you are overwhelmed, but not too frivolous and silly, either. I loved this book! It was inspirational to a person who is afraid of change. You will find good advice here whether you are planning on quitting your job cold turkey, or shifting gradually away from the workplace. The authors don't sugar coat what staying home will be like, but give you a lot of the tools you will need to overcome the trouble you are in for!! This is a good book for those of us who have been in the workplace full time since becoming independant and have very few homemaking skills as a result (our family eats microwave dinners or eats out, all but one meal a week at most). I must emphasize that this book has taken some of the fear out of cooking by explaining what to have in your kitchen, and how to use it. I have read books that dealt separately with personal finance/budgeting, quality family life, cooking, organization and cleaning (all are topics covered in this book), but all of the lists, steps, and goals of the other books seemed so overwhelming when I thought about adding them to my other obligations. This book is exactly what I needed to make a start at getting my life and my family together.
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on September 6, 1999
You Can Afford To Stay Home With Your Kids is a book packed with no-nonsense advice for getting by on a smaller income - the idea being for one parent to stay home and manage the household while the other parent works full-time. It is written in a direct, non-apologetic, and entertaining style. You won't be bored while reading it, but you might get your feelings hurt just a little bit (when you're chastised for buying aubergine towels or some other frivolous item, for example). Which you won't mind if you're serious about converting from two incomes to one. Along with money-saving techniques (which are great even if you aren't planning on trying to stay home), you'll find some terrific tips on what to do with bored kids, neat birthday party ideas, even some recipes for novice cooks. I recommend this book for any mom or dad who is trying to stay home full or part-time - even if you think it would surely be impossible, You Can Afford To Stay Home With The Kids will give you hope. I read it with no such plan in mind - and I've been inspired to think about trying to stay home and see what it's all about!
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on December 15, 2000
If you can't stay home with your kids perhaps it's because of your addiction to $50 haircuts and weekly manicures. That's what these authors would lead you to believe.
Although the book did contain some practical advice, it was overshadowed by the authors' condescending tone. They seem to believe that most women are working to buy the latest color in bathroom towels. Their call to action is a whiney, "We're sacrificing life's luxuries to stay home with our children and you should to."
Although the book featured some recipes and advice on cutting your expenses, most of the information was very basic. For example, cook from scratch, buy things second hand when possible, etc.
A much better book on the subject is, "So You Want to be a Stay at Home Mom". It was much more compassionate toward working moms who are considering leaving their jobs and contained useful advice on how to handle the emotional and financial consequences of such a decision.
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on February 28, 2002
The title of this book caused me to snatch it off the shelf. I'm just glad it was a library shelf rather than a bookstore shelf.
I found the information extremely obvious and learned very little.
Basically, if you want to stay home, cut the extras. If you buy a... coffee, pastry, eat out and shop every day, well, then, cut it out. And if you normally buy convenience foods at the grocery, get a manicure every week and buy expensive clothes, then stop. That's the basic summary of the book.
I have already made these obvious cuts, as well as counting in work-related costs such as transporation, dry cleaning, etc., so it taught me absolutely nothing new...
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on November 30, 2001
unfortunately i am a divorced mom of two and being a single parent now i have to work...but i do agree that it is better for the mom to stay at home with the kids when they are quite young if you are in a good have to be married to a man with a good or at least stable job to do this and be in a stable marriage...with hope he does not get laid off...but it can work and it actually saves money and enriches family life. two working parents actually have a lot of 'stuff' they don't need... ...i love these stay at home books because i am still a mom and they give me excellent tips on how to save money and organize my time...
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on October 5, 2001
I bought this book after thinking about staying home with my 3 yr old. I read it and loved it. I wish I would of read it a long time ago. It gives you lots of information, cleaning tips, saving $ money tips and everything. I now am staying home with my son and wish I would've done it earlier. I missed out on so much. If you're a mom or dad who is wanting to stay home with your kids, you have to read this book, it will help you make that transition to being a stay at home parent.
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on October 15, 1999
I have always believed that a parent should be home with the kids. Why are you having kids if the 18 y/o at daycare is going to raise them for you? This book gets down to the nitty gritty of financial survival on one income without being "preachy" or boring. I find myself referring to my copy constantly. My only complaint with this book is that it was not avaiable in January when I quit my job! This book will be my baby shower gift from now on! Thank you !!!!
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on May 4, 2000
I picked up this book because my husband and I are planning to adopt in the near future and I want to be able to stay home and raise my children. I have worked for 15 years and not because I enjoy it, because I had to. This book offers good, practical advice on how to make adjustments so that you can stay home with your kids. I am much more aware of the sacrifices (monetarial and otherwise) that we are going to face, but I'm ready to do it. Thanks for a great book!
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