I am a 34-year-old SAHM/WAHM (stay-at-home and work-at-home) mom to a 7-year-old (well, 7 in less than 2 weeks), and a 21-month old, both boys. I am a part-time medical transcriptionist (MT) and I relish the luxury of being able to work from home - a HUGE money saver! The company I work for is wonderful in that they allow me the flexibility to work around my kids schedules and no set-in-stone hours. I am generally typing midday, when my little one is napping, and then for a few more hours after the kids go to bed. In addition to MT work, I help my husband with his small business at his golf store. I generally go for a couple hours every morning and tidy up, restock, take deliveries, and other miscellaneous things. I've been known to take a shift here and there, but I try not to do that too often.
Pertinent history that got me to this point:
Three years ago my husband opened a golf retail store in our small town (pop. 3000). The goal at the time was to do mostly internet sales. However, in order to carry the selection of brands we needed, those suppliers required a "brick and mortar" store, and so we opened up a small shop. With the economy in the tank it probably just wasn't the best time. Internet sales were okay and local foot traffic was dismal. It really felt like the world was crumbling around us. We went from stable life in the the military, where all needs are "inclusive," to investing all our time, money, and energy into this business. Things just were not moving along well enough to meet our everyday needs. I had been trying to be optimistic, thinking "things will be better in a few months!" Next thing you know, I am preggers with #2, we have no money, empty cupboards, and no health insurance. It was a pretty low time in my life. I had to act like everything was just dandy not only for my son, but also for everyone in town who didn't know our "real" situation and just saw us as business owners. It was immensely humbling having to have to apply for food stamps and Medicaid. Even with those benefits, that doesn't buy clothes, personal hygiene items, laundry soap, etc. I spent a lot of time browsing the internet trying to find ways to do everything low-cost and homemade. I made a lot of discoveries and learned a lot about making do, and really just realizing how unimportant material things are and what a big role marketing has in making us think we "need" certain things that frankly we really don't!
Finally, last summer it was getting to the point that we were so far in the hole that we were literally a few weeks from closing the store doors and filing for bankruptcy. However, my husband has a very determined personality and decided to move our shop to the outlet mall a few miles up the road just off the interstate. It was a last desperate attempt at making the store a success. And guess what, it's working! In the last year, we have dug ourselves almost completely out of the hole we dug over the first 2 years of business. Don't get me wrong, we are not even close to easy street. We are still functioning on a very low overall income with very little extra, but we are able to breathe a little easier.
Why a Blog?
Frankly, I'm not sure. Seems as good a place as any to get it all off my chest, perhaps share a few ideas and tips that have helped us over the last few years. Being in a dire financial situation is NO JOKE and we seriously would not have made it through without the help of government assistance, family, and friends.
To be completely candid about our situation. Though many times it feels very isolating, I know there are millions of people who