In addition to our family duties and responsibilities, each week:
- I spend 45 hours exchanging my knowledge for money.
- Val spends 5 hours considering all the ways our family can be saving money.
When we say saving money, we don't mean simply not spending .... we mean that we were going to spend $x on this or that, and she managed to get it for $y (where y is less than x).
This approach has worked out very well for us. Not only does Val stay home with our children, but she aggressively and successfully saves us money. Every penny she saves us is noted and counted as money Val brought into the family. Every hour she spends on her job is also noted. Please understand, this is her job. Our family expects her to do her job well.
Why is noting this important? Before we had children, Val was a professional and an entrepreneur. She has an MBA and was quite adept at bringing home the bacon! She needed to continue to contribute and by chronicling her efforts and successes, we can quantify her time and value on the money acquisition front.
Every penny she saves is post tax money, so it is actually more than just the face dollar value.
Here is an example. I come home from work and I proclaim, "Okay everybody, tonight we are going out to dinner. Let's go to Outback!" The kids scream and Val says, "Great! And I have a $5 off coupon!" The decision for Outback wasn't based on a coupon, Val is just good at her job and knows our trends. Other example was the Sony HD video recorder that we bought this year. We wanted one for our trip, so I picked out the model. It cost $799 on every website we visited. Val watched the prices for 2 months, and one day Best Buy listed it for $499! She snatched it up. The price has since gone back up. That was a $300 savings!
How successful has she been? Very. Not only has she been able to stay at home and raise our daughters, but she saved our family $5,325 in 2009! Plus, many of her actions in 2009 will result in savings in 2010. 5 hours a week, on her schedule, and she saved us 5 thousand dollars of post tax money!
We could get crazy here and also add on more money for things like childcare and such, but we don't. We made an agreement before kids that one would stay home, so it doesn't count in the figures.
Way to go Val!