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Homemaking and Other Practical Topics

Adding Income to Your Family Budget
By Mrs. Richard Downin
Aug 3, 2006 - 4:47:00 PM

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The Proverbs 31 woman is the ideal woman that many of us strive to become. She was not a career woman, but a woman whose husband so trusted in her financial abilities, frugality, and stewardship that he had no worries about providing for his family. Due to her, they always had more than enough to supply their needs. They even had enough to give to the poor.

Some of us may be new to homemaking, having recently left the workforce to stay home with our families. Some may have been at it a while, but are looking for ways to earn some money. Still others have not yet left the workplace, because they are unsure they can make it without that second income. If you are still undecided about leaving the workplace, many other woman who have gone before can share that it can be done, even if your husband does not make a lot of money.

Most times it takes faith--faith that God who has promised to provide will do just as He says. In Matthew 6:33, God says, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." In context, the verses before talk about food and basic neccessities. God already knows what we need, and He promises that if we seek Him first and His righteousness, He will, indeed, provide our needs.

There are many practical things that you can do to be a Proverbs 31 woman in the area of money. The first one is to look at your finances with your husband and find a way to pay off debts. Too much debt can keep women in the workforce. I personally believe being debt-free is the ideal for Christians. But some short-term debt may be needed for high-cost items like reliable vehicles and a house. It is long-term, high interest debt that can be a burden on us.

If your husband allows, you should also donate a portion of income to the local church, tithing according to Scripture. Many Christians use the 10% as a starting point, and some may give even more, depending upon the Lord's leading. Many times we are tempted to stop tithing when times are hard, but we just have to remember that all we have comes from God and is His to begin with. When we honor Him by giving our tithes, he promises to provide abundantly for us (Malachi 3:10).

The third area is that of cutting back. Usually, this can best be done in the food department. Since so much of what we homemakers spend goes to food, it will pay a return to the homemaker if she does a careful evaluation of how she is spending her money on food and products for the home. Sometimes sales are just gimmicks to get you to go to a different store. Sometimes, though, they may pay off. Count your cost of time and gas money as well.

The fourth area is where a homemaker can get creative. She can actually earn money for her home by doing a variety of things. Some ladies start home businesses to earn money. Others sell things in order to bring money in. Some ways I have learned about in the past are selling unneeded items on Ebay, through a yard sale, or even a resale shop. Most towns have consignment shops. These sell books, household supplies, clothing, and even sports equipment. There may be more in your area; check your Yellow Page listing under resale shops. Many times these places of business actually pay you to bring them items in good condition. They will in turn resell them to the public.

After you have gotten rid of all the unneeded items in your home, paid off some debt, and cut back your grocery bill, there is more you can do to earn and save money. You can pray about which garage sales the Lord would have you go to and look for items in good condition to bring to resale shops to sell. You can also do this from thrift shops when they have sales. If you carefully look, somtimes you can earn a 90% return on your money!

There are many ways in which you can add to your family income. This will do many things to bless your husband. As he sees that you are willing to work hard to add to the income, it may relieve him of some of the stress a man feels as being sole provider for his family. It also frees you up to available to God if He calls you to live in other circumstances. Then you can teach the next generation of Proverbs 31 women that we can, indeed, stay home and even have some change to spare.

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