Many people in today’s society don’t believe that they can raise their family on one income, add to that a larger than average number of children and homeschooling and just surviving may seem impossible.
This week 4 Moms who have lived this challenge are going to share our thoughts on saving, tithing and thriving with a large family on one income.
The 4 Moms are:
I think the issue of saving and tithing are completely different. Saving, while it’s wise, is optional. Tithing is not.
Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
Mark and I have always given 10% of our income to the Lord. There are times when this has taken more faith than other times, but God promises that He will provide for us and He has.
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. Psalm 37:25
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:25-33
We have seen first hand the promise of Malachi 3 and God’s overflowing abundance.
Our first year (and more) of marriage our income was less than $12,000 a year. On this income we not only completely supported ourselves, we moved to a nicer rental home, had a baby and saved enough money for a down payment on our first home.
Our best tip for supporting a large family on one income is to tithe, to seek first God’s kingdom because certainly God will add all these things unto you.
As I mentioned, saving is wise, but I don’t believe it’s required. There may possibly be times when a family is unable to save.
That said, despite the fact that our family’s income generally puts us beneath the U.S. poverty line, we’ve always been able to save a small percentage of our income.
We have chosen to pull out a percentage of our income to save before we begin to budget or spend money because once we start thinking about how much money we’d like to have in the various budget categories, we’d have nothing left to save.
4 ways to save money:
1. Live on a budget.
Living on a budget is simple, but it does require discipline.
First take out 10% for your tithe. Next figure out your necessary, fixed living expenses; housing, taxes, insurance, some utilities, etc. Then divide the remaining income between those variable living expenses; food, clothing, utilities, gifts, entertainment and savings (if you haven’t already pulled that out), etc.
Since these variable expenses can be extremely variable. We’ve learned to live with what we have available for each category. We clothed our family for less than $25/month up until about a year ago (11 people). Mark and I lived on less than $100/month food budget for more than a year. We’ve had times when we’ve had nothing in our entertainment budget and less than $10 a month for gifts.
All of this works when you start with the premise that God has given you everything that you need. If there is not enough money to spend a little each month on clothing or gifts, then then clothing or gifts are obviously luxuries that your family can do without.
2. Be content.
If your family income is $10,000 a year, you are wealthier than 84% of the world. If your family income is $50,000 or more a year, you make more than 99% of the world.
We are rich. You are rich. We should be giving out of our abundance to those who are really in need. Instead most Americans want more, think they need more and go into debt in order to have more. Shame on us!
for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content ~Phil. 4:11
Be content by:
- Staying home
- Thinking of other’s needs before you think of your own.
- Remembering the sovereignty of God – Any complaint is really a complaint against God’s perfect plan for your life.
We are so very blessed and so very wealthy.
3. Buy used.
If you are willing to patiently shop at yard sales you can clothe your family and decorate your home at a standard much higher than you could otherwise afford.
Several years ago, when we were expecting our 6th baby, our neighbors asked Mark how we dressed our children in such beautiful clothing. We laughed because we never paid more than 50 cents an item for children’s clothing.
4. Pay cash.
It’s simple. If you can’t afford to pay cash, then you can’t afford it.
You may also be interested in:
- 7 Simple Money Saving Tips
- Yard Sale Rules
- Feeding a large family on a budget
- Feed your family for 50 cents/person
- Affording clothes
- Simple, frugal birthdays for kids