Becoming A Work From Home Mom

10402444_10152513761944576_8837897643593524145_nWorking from home is a very popular topic! Especially for busy parents who want to treasure every single moment they can with their kids. In this day and age though, more and more parents are finding they need to return to work to be able to support their kids, even though they would give anything to stay home with them. I was the same way!! I went to college full time while raising two young kids, and once I graduated the bills were piling up. But if I went back into the work force, I would never see my 3 year old and 2 year old. Plus the cost of childcare in my areas was super expensive so It wouldn’t be helping us too much. Thus began my exploration into how I could do both, be with my kids and help my husband with the bills. It took time, research,  trial and error, lots of hours of work, getting outside of my comfort zone, and being willing to work my butt off. But now, 2 years later I make a full time income spending my day with my 3 kids! Its an amazing opportunity and something anyone and everyone can do, but you have to be willing to put in the work.

Learn more about how I got started, my recommendations, and balancing it all on a special PodCast Interview with the wonderful Jim and Teresa Adams of Family Matters First

http://familymattersfirst.org/podcast/99/

Feel free to email me with any questions on how you can become a work from home Mom!!

Dana

Blog Link Parties

11404_10205621130676317_4834179443480644860_nHappy Monday!!! Call me crazy, but Monday is actually one of my FAVORITE days of the week!! I know, I know, I’m weird haha. The reason is though my family has a flipped schedule from everyone else as my husband works Fri-Monday. And night shifts! So he sleeps all day, works all night. Come Monday I’m so excited because it means I have help putting the kids to bed!! Let me tell you, putting a 4 1/2, 3, and 7 month old to bed by myself would make for a fabulous episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Especially on nights like last night where it is super windy so my oldest two did not want to sleep. Extra coffee for me today!!!

I’m using my coffee time today to mingle on some great blogs!! I highly suggest everyone go check out these fabulous blog link parties!! It’s a great way to spend your Monday Coffee Time!!

Monday Link Parties:

Create With Joy

 

Moms The Word

Strangers And Pilgrims On Earth

The Modest Mom Blog

What Joy Is Mine

A Proverbs 31 Wife

I Should Be Mopping

Flour Me With Love

The Life Of Faith

A Blossoming Life

 

Tuesday Link Parties

Time Warp Wife

Time To Sparkle

Our Home Away From Home

Cornerstone Confessions

http://timewarpwife.com/

http://www.growinghomeblog.com

http://www.astrollthrulife.net

http://www.adelightsomelife.com

http://www.hopestudios.blogspot.com/

http://teachingwhatisgood.com/

http://www.stonegableblog.com

http://letmetelluastory.blogspot.com/

http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com

http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net

http://funkypolkadotgiraffe.blogspot.com/

http://myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com

http://www.carolynshomework.com

Wednesday Link Parties

Handy Man, Crafty Woman

Ginger Snap Crafts

Ducks ‘n a Row

A Peek Into My Paradise

We are THAT Family

Milk And Cuddles

To Love Honor and Vacuum

Things I Can’t Say

Whole Hearted Home

Mama Buzz

Thursday

A Handful Of Everything

The Crafty Blog Stalker

Have A Daily Cup Of Mrs Olson

A Glimpse Inside

Saving 4 Six

Bloom Designs

Domesblissity

Jordan’s Onion

Graced Simplicity

Serving Joyfully

Living Well Spending Less 

FRIDAY

http://christianmommyblogger.com/

http://www.sarahtitus.com/

http://www.answerischoco.com/

http://romantichome.blogspot.com/

http://www.atkinsondrive.com/

http://www.thejennyevolution.com/

http://whipperberry.com/

http://www.kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com/

http://tidymom.net/

http://www.sunscholars.com/

http://www.123homeschool4me.com/

http://b-inspiredmama.com/

http://www.simplysweethome.com/

http://www.dearcreatives.com/

http://www.thepinjunkie.com/

http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/

http://thebestblogrecipes.com/

http://lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com/

http://www.myturnforus.com/

http://www.craftyspices.com/

http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.ca/

http://too-much-time.com/

http://www.iheartnaptime.net

SATURDAY

http://faithalongtheway.com/

http://www.pamspartyandpracticaltips.com

http://www.littlemisscelebration.com

http://cookingwithruthie.com

http://www.raisingmemories.com

http://piecedpastimes.blogspot.com

http://www.classyclutter.net

http://howsweetthesound.typepad.com/my_weblog/

http://tatertotsandjello.com

http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/

http://www.thirtyhandmadedays.com

SUNDAY

Pams Party & Practical Tips

Silver Pennies

Barbie Swihart

http://www.onemoretimeevents.com

http://www.bystephanielynn.com/

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com

http://www.flamingotoes.com

http://www.niftythriftythings.com

http://www.lifeonlakeshoredrive.com/

http://www.pinkwhen.com

http://2crochethooks.com/

http://arkansaswomenbloggers.com

http://www.reasonstoskipthehousework.com

http://boogieboardcottage.blogspot.com/

http://www.3littlegreenwoods.com

http://www.creativejewishmom.com/

Dana

Tax Writes Offs For Small Business Owners

tax write offsFor many small business owners, tax time can be very scary!! It was for me when I first got started, until I did my research and learned how easy the IRS makes filing taxes for small business owners. Plus, many things you never would even think of, can be written off at tax time. When you own your own business, remember that any expense you put into your business, is a tax write off. Whether it is training, supplies, work meetings etc. Make sure to always save your receipts though and keep documentation of what you are spending and bringing in with your business. And never be afraid to ask someone for help in filing your taxes. Its always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Here are a few expenses you can write off at tax time:

  1. Home Office. No matter if you rent or own your home, if you have a designated space where you do your work, then you can write that off at tax time. Keep in mind it needs to be a true office space, not your kitchen table or bed. You can write off $5 per square foot of the office area for up to 300 square feet. So if your office is 150 square feet that is $750 you can write off! http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Home-Office-Deduction
  1. If your office is at home, you can also deduct the cost of utilities. You need to figure out what percentage of your day is your work time though to get the cost you can write off.
  2. Internet used for your business can also be written off at tax time. Like utilities, you need to figure out what percentage is used for work vs leisure.
  3. If you have a car payment, and use your car for doing your business, that can be deducted. This is tricky though in that you must be driving to meet a client, pick a client up, or delivering products. Going to get coffee or groceries does not count.

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p463/index.html

  1. Retirement Plans- If you have set up a plan for retirement that is tax deductible. Even if you only put in a little bit each month.
  2. Office Supplies- Items like paper, pens, ink cartridge, work computer, work printer, work fax machine, mailing supplies, business cards, thank you cards for business, etc are all tax deductible
  3. Health Insurance- If you pay for your health insurance yourself and are a small business owner, that is tax deductible
  4. Child Care- If your kids are in child care at anytime while you are working, that is a tax write off
  5. Training- If you attend training events for your business, that and the cost to get there is tax write off
  6. Start Up Costs- If your business required money up front to get started, you can write all of that off at tax time
  7. Hiring an accountant to help you with your taxes!
  8. Advertising for your business
  9. Websites, domains, and maintenance that promote your business and company

Remember, when in doubt at tax time, always ask for help!! This is not something you want to mess up on. I personally do my own taxes as a small business owner and while its time consuming and tough, it can be done. If you aren’t comfortable doing them yourself, hire someone to help you!

Great Sites to Check Out For More Information:

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed

http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Deducting-Business-Expenses

http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/2013/10/22/10-tax-tips-for-owners-of-a-home-based-business/

Dana

How I Save Over $1000 Per Month

save er monthFor many people, money is tight right now and especially for those families on a single income. When our family grew and we needed a new car, I found that we were living paycheck to paycheck with not a single dime extra. My husband couldn’t work more as he was a full time student, and with 3 young kids it would not have made us any more money for me to return to work as the childcare for 3 kids is crazy expensive. So I began to look at how we could save money each month. You actually have lots of ways to do this and it can add up to quite a bit of money over time! First and foremost, make a budget and stick with it!!!

 

Groceries:

This was where most our money went each month. We were spending about $250 per week for a family of 5, plus eating out at least once a week. My goal was to reduce this down to about $400 per month giving us a savings of $600. Here is how I did it.

*I planned out our meals for the entire month, wrote them all down on a notepad on the fridge

*I made sure that we had a veggie night at least twice a week (meat is expensive, but you can get protein in the form of beans)

*We had a leftovers night once a week to clear out our fridge and pantry

*I switched up where I was grocery shopping. We have an Aldi’s about 25 minutes away and I go there twice a month. I save a lot this way!

*Freezing foods! I buy cheese and meat in bulk and freeze it. 10557459_10152408716339576_1367961862174007812_n

*I stick with canned and frozen veggies

*I always buy the generic brands of foods

*I cook from scratch things like spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, biscuits, muffins etc

*For my kids, I make a huge batch of muffins for them for breakfast and keep them in the freezer

*Fruits are either bags of apples and bananas or canned fruit

*For seafood, we go with frozen swai. Very cheap and delicious.

*Make a list for the grocery store and stick with it. If its not a necessity, don’t buy it

*Use cash!!! We take our grocery money out of savings each month and put it in an envelope. When that money is gone, we are out of luck. This helps us stick to our budget!!!

Check out my Healthy Eating on A Budget Plan to get meal plans, recipes, grocery lists, shopping tips, saving suggestions and more!!!

 

Utilities

WATER

Where we live the price of water is VERY expensive. It is 5 times the price of at our previous home so this took some getting use to. Here are tips to cut your water bill

*Take showers not baths

*Only run the dishwasher when it is full

*Do not hand wash dishes, that uses more water

*Never leave the water running

*Make sure your washer is full when you do a load of clothes.

ELECTRIC

Electricity is where many people spend a lot of money. Here are some ways to reduce your bill.

*Unplug your appliances such as computers, TV’s, coffee pots, toasters, etc when they are not be used

*Only keep the lights on in the room you are in.

* Add weather stripping to any doors that aren’t sealed tight.

*Use natural light from the windows whenever possible

*Turn your air off during the summer and open the doors and windows

*If you have a fireplace, use that as often as possible during the winter

*Skip all the Christmas lights during winter and go with non electricity using decorations. Use battery powered lights in your windows for a classic Christmas look without the high bill

*Use curtains and blinds. Keep them shut to help cool the room down, and keep them open to allow the sun to warm it up.

*Use your washing machine on the cold mode as it uses less energy

*Dry your clothes, towels, blankets on a clothes line during the summer instead of using the dryer

*For small meals, use your toaster oven or microwave instead of your oven as this will consume about half the power

 

cut cableCable/Internet/Phones

Cut the cord on cable! You can spend less than $20 a month by subscribing to Hulu and Netflix. Netflix provides ton of shows for kids plus full seasons of shows for adults. If you want to watch current shows, Hulu posts them the day after they air on TV. Great way to still watch your favorite shows but save money each month.

Check out different internet providers in your area for the BEST deal. Sometimes switching a provider can save you a lot of money. If you don’t use internet daily, consider cutting that all together and instead visiting the library or an internet café when you need to.

Phone bills are very expensive, especially if you don’t look at the fine print. Many providers charge you insurance and other fees you did not agree too. Make sure you are using all your minutes, if not reduce your plan or consider switching to a provider with a cheaper plan. Check into cutting your data usage too as that can save a lot. Many plans charge one price for the entire month.

Clothes/Toys

Consider shopping for your kids clothes twice a year at Consignment Sales. Most large cities have them and you can also sell your used clothing and toys there too. Another option is online yard sales. I use this for selling my kids clothes and usually will put one size in a giant trash bag and sell the bag for $20. That gets someone an entire season of clothing for $20!!! We usually buy all our clothes new from Kohls, with two boys we pass them down. I always look online for a 30% off and free shipping coupon. Using those allows me to spend about $100 for all 3 kids each season.

For toys make sure to check out local consignment shops. We have quite a few in our town and most the toys in there are still in boxes totally unused! It’s a great deal and then we just donate the toys after they are done with them or re-sell them

Cars

The truth of the matter is, cars cost a lot of money! You have gas, insurance, plus upkeep on your vehicles!

*For insurance, make sure to check out all the different providers for the best deal. Pay your payments twice a year vs monthly to save money.

*Don’t buy a new car! Always go with used and instead of trading yours in, sell it outright as that gets you more money. If you can get by with using one car, downgrade! That will save you a lot of money each month.

*Gas is expensive, especially if you drive a larger vehicle and drive often. Consider the costs when you are going places and carpool whenever possible. budget your life

 

More Ideas To Help You Save

*Start a garden

*Grow your own herbs

*If you family has land and enjoys eggs, consider having chickens

*Skip going to the movies and use Redbox

*Sell extra books and clothes on ebay

*Cut your families hair yourself (I do this for my husband and three kids!)

*Use dish soap and vinegar for cleaning instead of expensive products

*Make your own soaps, cleaners, and detergents

*Use up items in your pantry and fridge

*Use coupons

*Order items like diapers, wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels from Amazon

*Have money from your check put into your savings account automatically each month

*Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page

*Don’t use credit cards

*Make one extra house payment a year and reduce your mortgage by 8 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dana