By Melissa Batai
I was employed full-time outside the house when my son was born. Though I desperately wanted to be a work at home mom, I was the sole breadwinner at the time and quitting my job wasn't an option. I didn't actually get to become a work at home mom until six years later when my third child was born!
Had my husband and I had a better handle on our finances from the beginning of our marriage, making a career switch and potentially facing a temporary reduction in salary would have been much easier.
If you're interested in leaving your current job and beginning to work from home but finances are an issue, consider using one of these programs to get your finances in order.
Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University
Ramsey has a no-nonsense plan that can be easy to implement and includes slashing your expenses to the bare minimum, taking extra jobs temporarily, and digging yourself out of debt as quickly as possible. If you follow his plan, you will be debt free, likely sooner than if you followed another financial expert's plan.
Depending on how much debt you have, following his plan and living a bare bones, workaholic lifestyle can be very difficult if you must do so for longer than a year. The stress may also wreak havoc with your personal relationships.
You Need a Budget
You Need a Budget is a software program that helps you plan your financial goals and achieve them. Through their instructional videos and blog, learn how to live within your means, save money for upcoming expenses, and create a buffer. (A buffer is at least a month's worth of living expenses sitting in the bank so you can pay this month's bills with the money you earned last month, ending the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.)
This is an accounting program, so if you forget to enter your expenses and reconcile your checking account, you may need to spend some time reconciling the program with your bank accounts.
Also, most of the assistance with the program is through e-mail or instructional videos, so there can be a steep learning curve in the beginning.
If you need to get a handle on your finances to work from home, one of these two programs may help.
What program do you recommend?