Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!
Just out of curiosity, why do you homeschool? Is it for religious reasons? The quality of schools in your area? A personal preference? Just curious 🙂
There are somewhere around a zillion reasons that I like to homeschool my kids, actually! But I’ll limit myself to a few.
I like to homeschool because I can:
-infuse all of our learning with our Christian worldview. Incidentally, this does not mean that we just write Bible verses on each page. (not that, you know, any Christian textbook manufacturers do that. Ahem.) It means that we teach our children to look at the world through faith-colored lenses, if you will. And it means we teach them that we can glorify God by doing our math just as well as we can glorify Him by reading the Bible.
-train, teach, and discipline my children as they learn.
-choose what curriculum and learning methods are right for each child.
-be free from grade levels. My 3rd grader can be in 5th grade math, 4th grade reading, and 3rd grade science if need be.
-have my kids work at their own pace, whether that’s fast or slow.
-skip stupid, pointless busy work in our textbooks.
-teach without a textbook if I want.
-set our own schedule. I â™¥ this aspect of homeschooling more than words can say.
-give my children more time to play and more time to pursue their interests, because homeschooling is usually very time-efficient.
-enjoy my children’s company during the day. I would miss them if they were gone all day!
-take my children on field trips whenever I want.
-take our school anywhere…outside, inside, down at the pier, at the park, at the doctor’s office.
-make decisions and change things without having to form committees and get approvals. I love the simplicity of it.
-free my kids from homework.
-give my children the freedom to learn without the distractions of cliques and peer pressure.
Of course, I don’t enjoy everything about homeschooling. It’s a lot of hard work, and there are definitely days when think having children gone for 6 hours a day is a good idea! 😉 But on the whole, the good aspects of homeschooling outweigh the bad for me and for our family, and I’m grateful that we are able to make the choice to homeschool.
(for the record, I know homeschooling won’t work for everyone, isn’t the best choice for everyone, and isn’t even a choice for everyone. But, I think it’s the best choice for us.)
I don’t need specifics because it is quite personal, but you live quite the frugal life (obviously) and you as a family appear conscious of money, my question is – how much does your family make per year? Like I said, I do not need exact or details. But more like, $30,000-$40,000 or something general like that. the reason I ask is that I want to be a stay at home mom and I am trying to convince my hubby that we can survive! But he doesn’t believe me!
I actually tend to be very un-private about money (I think it’s odd that our culture considers it to be such a private matter), but Mr. FG is not quite as open as I am.
So, I will be respectful of that.
But, here’s what I can tell you. For many, many years our family lived on an income that was far, far below the average income for our area. In fact, when my husband and I first got married back in 1997, after taxes we had about $400/week to work with.
Happily, we’re now in a higher income bracket due to my husband’s career change from warehousing to IT. Even with the increase in salary, though, we’ve not reached the median income for our area (this income level feels more than comfortable to us, though, because for the most part we have not increased our spending).
So, it’s not as though our ability to save is the result of having a massive income. Instead, it’s more attributable to our habit of living beneath our means.
I know of so many people who make far more money than we do but who are in dire financial straits, and each time I hear of another person like that, I become more and more convinced that how much you make is not nearly as important as what you do with what you make.
Even when my husband and I had $400/week to live on, we still managed to stay out of debt and we even saved up a down payment for our first house purchase. When our income was that low, spending control was definitely key.
If your husband needs convincing that you can live on, say, $35,000 a year, see if you can make it work on paper. Or even better, see if you can make it on $35,000 before you quit your job (and just save the difference!). Seeing it on paper or in real life will probably be quite convincing to him. And even if you can’t cut all the way back to $35,000, perhaps you can cut your expenses enough to warrant you switching to a part-time job.
This may be too personal, so feel free to answer as you wish (or not answer!). I was just curious what kind of money you (or other bloggers) make with your blogs. I love your blog and appreciate that you have very little advertising and that the advertising you do have is family friendly as well as relevant to your topics. I also hope that you are making money off you blog as I know you put a lot of time and effort into it – which is valuable.
The amount of money I earn on my blog varies from month to month. For the first 9 months, I was actually in the hole from blogging because of the $100 I spent for a year of hosting services. After that, I added the BlogHer ads to my blog, and that’s when I got out of my hole. I was so excited when I had $15 in my account! 😉 And when I got my first $100, I was equally as thrilled.
Now I have a few more streams of revenue going, I have more than $15 in my account, and paying my hosting fees is not putting me into the hole (yay!). I wouldn’t say it’s making me rich (though I’m know the really big bloggers are getting rich from their blogs!), but my blog income has helped me to make some progress on my van savings account. 🙂
If you’d like some real number examples of how much bloggers are making, check out the comments section in this post on Blogging With Amy.
I’m not sure if this is the reason you asked the question, but when people ask me if they should quit their job and blog instead, I’m always a little bit hesitant. Blogs can make money, yes, but in most cases, it takes months and months and months of work before a blog is even remotely profitable. I’ve been at this for more than two years now, and as recently as last December, my blog was only earning around $150/month.
But, that was totally ok with me. I blog because I have a passion for the topic and a passion for helping people to see that the frugal life can be the good life. Any money that I make doing it is icing on the cake.
Readers, the first and third questions are sort of hard for you to answer (unless you know another reason that I homeschool!), but do you have any advice for my second questioner? (I lost her name somehow!) How would you go about figuring if the switch to a single income was doable?
Today’s 365 post: Breakfast on the deck