Introducing a New Writer to MainstreamMom

by Guest Post

in Change Your Financial Life

It is with great pleasure that I announce we have a new guest writer contributing to MainstreamMom! Someone both informed and passionate about the issues of finance. Amanda Ellerbe will write for us weekly with some new and useful ideas about couponing, raising children on a budget and other money management tools – here’s more about Amanda…

I am an, almost 30, stay-at-home mom of a two year old girl with baby #2 due in March 2012.

I am sure that some of my friends and family call me cheap, but I prefer to use the word frugal. I am not an expert in finances — my BS was in Biology — nor have I had any formal training. I am a real Mom who has found ways to save while still finding time for my family. 

My Frugal Start

When my husband and I started talking early in our marriage about having children, there was no doubt in my mind I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. With this goal in mind, we decided to only live off one salary so that we would not depend on mine when the time came for me to quit working.

We bought a smaller house, drove used cars and saved my salary. Yet, when I got pregnant and the time came to actually be a stay-at-home mom the reality kicked in. We would no longer just be “pretending” to live off one salary… we would actually be living off one salary. One salary that was good, considering my husband is in the US Navy, but by all definitions middle class.

I, being an academic advisor for universities at the time, was not making a huge salary (about $35,000) but the money was always there, just in case. So when it came to handing in my resignation letter I had a moment of panic.

Can we really do this?  How much to children actually cost?  Can we still save for retirement and college?  Will I regret quitting?


Two years later we are not only living off one salary, we save almost 50% of that salary. In addition, we have no other debt or payments except for our mortgage.

People kept asking me how we do it. So, with my experiences, and hard learned lessons in hand, I started teaching and organizing classes on subjects of couponing, raising children on a budget and finances.

Saving money to me is a lifestyle not my life. I would much rather go to the park with my daughter than cut hundreds of coupons, and I don’t want to run to 6 stores to find the best deal. I believe there is a balance everyone must find between the money you want to save and the time it will cost you.

I cannot wait to bring you information every week that will be informative and hopefully bring you one step closer to finding your balance. If you ever have any questions, comments, stories please feel free to contact me at [email protected].


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