What do being a homemaker and saving money have to do with each other? Well, we are the keepers of the home, and we often have control of saving and spending. So, it is part of our job to keep the finances in check and stick to that frugal lifestyle. Here are the qualities of a homemaker that go hand in hand with frugal living.
I have been at home with my children for over 21 years. I have a college degree. I majored in Liberal Arts at the associate’s degree level and English at a four-year State University.
I am a traditional homemaker in all definitions of the word. I have some great tips for the homemaker (or anyone who wants to learn what I do) to improve their role. And also to enhance the qualities of a homemaker that we should all aspire to have.
Even though you may be working outside of the home or have your own business inside of the home, being a homemaker may still apply here – just not in that traditional sense of the word. You may pick up some valuable tips here if you are in charge of the house and family.
What Is A Traditional Homemaker?
Call it a homemaker, housewife, or sometimes even a stay-at-home mom if children are involved, but for the most part, the roles are the same.
They are keepers of the home. They take care of housework and meals. Sometimes, they take care of financial management and scheduling, taxi services, and errands. They are many times, the heartbeat of the home and the qualities of a homemaker are distinct.
Traditional homemakers were not that much different than we are today. Their lives were simpler as we have “advanced technology” that helps enhance our lives (maybe just sometimes). But the personality characteristics are the same.
Qualities Of A Good Homemaker
Although nobody is perfect, I see these qualities as things that I strive for in managing my home and family. I even see these qualities as things to strive for as a human. They aren’t bad qualities to work on!
Being patient with everything and everyone that comes into your home. Be patient with your children and your husband, of course. But also be patient with the random knock at the door or the UPS delivery that is running late. Even the cable company that seems to be overcharging you. Remember, you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Compassion for others and modeling this behavior for your children (maybe even your husband). Understanding that not everyone has the same life that you do, and we all deal with our struggles. Deciding not to pass judgment on others who are experiencing different experiences makes you better.
I am grateful that my husband gets up and goes to work daily for us. He has supported the need for me to stay home with our children. I am also thankful that I have a home to keep and a family to love. Remind yourself multiple times a day of the blessings around you. Being grateful for what you have should apply to more than just the qualities of a homemaker.
Work on keeping that joyful, positive attitude. I understand that sometimes it’s a struggle, but if you decide to adopt optimism and joy, it will come. Now, I am not saying that you have to be happy all the time. Life doesn’t work that way. But it sure is a great outlook to strive for.
Yes, please, and no, thank you aren’t just words to teach our children. They are words that we should practice using every day with our family, friends, and strangers.
You would be surprised at how well a phone call can go with a customer service representative when you ask them how they are before you get into your issue. I did this with the Financial Aid office at my son’s college, and she wasn’t sure what to say. I assume she doesn’t get asked that question often enough.
And remember to be polite to your husband.
I greet my husband the same way every day when he gets home. Usually, in an over-the-top cheerful way, I say,” Hi, honey. Welcome home! How was your day?” Included are a big smile and a high-pitched voice. It’s a bit of fun and makes him smile.
Gentleness could present itself in many ways, from the tone of your voice, in your eyes, to your mannerisms, and even in your words. Having a gentle soul is one of those virtues that I could surely work on. I tend to be a bit loud and forthcoming. I blame it on the loud Italian women in my family. But I am working on it- specifically, the part of me who forgets to think before she speaks. Let me tell you, it is NOT easy work.
This quality of a good homemaker comes with time and experience. Knowledge and good judgment will come with practice and age. I am still working on my wisdom muscle. Thank goodness, my husband is a patient man.
Please remember that you could be better at this job. There is always room to improve. Your work is essential and does have value. But there is no need to remind those you love – they know. They might not say it or show it, but they know. Go away for a few days to remind them every once in a while. It’s good for everyone.
You can keep these people fed, clean, and content. You are capable. The sooner you realize this, the better. You can then go on to tweak the smaller subtopics of housewifery. The sooner we, housewives and stay-at-home moms, know that we are capable even when we don’t feel like it, the smoother our homes will run.
You are confident in the role that you are living in. You can scrub a cast iron frying pan like a boss! You can fold a fitted sheet as well as Martha Stewart. And you can roast a chicken like Rachel Ray. You are a homemaking rock star. And you have that confident swag to prove it. You know you have this quality of a homemaker, right? (say heck yeah!)
Must-Have Characteristics Of A Modern Day Housewife
Productivity In The Home
There is so much to do when running a home. You must use your time wisely and not get distracted by the computer, phone, or TV. Time management is a must-have skill. If you were not born with it, you need to learn it.
Typically, specific tasks need to be done. Cooking and straightening up need to happen. Laundry needs to happen. Sometimes, it’s daily; sometimes it’s not. But they all need to get done. I know we get busy, but seeing the same pile of clean laundry on the chair day after day is not successful homemaking.
Use those things that you love to do as a reward when your to-do list is finished. Or reserve an hour before the kids get home to sit and have a cup of coffee and watch The Office as your self-care time.
Creativity As A Housewife
Creativity can show itself in your cooking and decorating, as well as in planning a party or entertaining kids on a snow day. Everyone is creative. You need to dig down (maybe a little deep) and pull it out. Nurture what you do find. Love the creativity that you do have and feed it.
Nobody wants to eat the same four meals over and over again. While having coffee and planning your meals, take some time to search out a new recipe.
Rearranging the furniture can keep us from feeling stagnant. Making new curtains or throw pillows can add a punch of color without spending too much money.
Making Christmas gifts will not only help with the Holiday Budget but will let us feed our creativity.
Flexibility For A Home Manager
We all know that life is not always precisely the same. Things will come up that need to be handled, and changes will happen. Expect the unexpected, always.
You have to be willing to do a 180 if you need to. Someone might get sick. An unexpected expense might pop up. A surprise dinner party for your husband’s business partner may need to happen.
Stay on your toes, learn not to let the unexpected get to you, and go with the flow. And know that it will all be just fine.
Organization As A Stay At Home Mom
You are the keeper of the stuff. So you will be the one everyone comes to when they need something (or better yet, can’t find something).
I can’t deal well with unorganization. It gives me anxiety when I can’t find anything. So, I am pretty organized. Right now, my basement is a mess, and I lay in bed at night thinking about it. I’m moving it to the top of my to-do list.
A place for everything and everything in its place. As old and cliche as it is, that’s my motto!
Martha Stewart has some great organization tips. I have her book, The Homekeeping Handbook, which is packed with everything you might ever need.
Also, the organization goes further than just the glasses in our cupboards and the state of our messy holiday decor in the basement. We also have to be organized with our lives and the lives of the ones we love.
Frugality As A Homemaker
As you guessed, this is my favorite characteristic. I live to be frugal. I am the frugalist.
If we want to stay home and be that housewife, homemaker, or stay at home mom, we need to make the numbers work. We need to cut corners where we need to and save money where we can. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, there is only one paycheck coming into the house to take care of a lot of bills, so this is where our superpowers come into play.
Let’s look at the top 5 places to save the most money.
Lesson 1: Save Money On Groceries
In my opinion, the very best way to save money on groceries is to cook from scratch. Refrain from buying prepackaged foods and especially stay far, far away from those individually packaged treats.
Making your own Salisbury steak is so much cheaper than Stauffer’s.
You can even grow your own or try farmer’s markets.
Meal planning will also be your friend when you make your own food. That way, you can spend less money at the store, which is also one of the best ways to reduce food waste. The best part is you get to spend a little time researching those recipes!
Lesson 2: Cut Back On The Cost Of Utilities
I like to include so many things in this section. Not only electricity, natural gas, propane, and phone. But also cable and internet, any other TV type subscriptions, cell bills, and insurance.
There is a little wiggle room here. You can call cell, cable, and car insurance providers for a lower rate or discount on your service.
Sometimes, if you suggest that you have looked into canceling or changing providers (after researching the competition), they may be willing to work with you if they think they might lose you as a customer.
It’s never a good idea to lie to get a deal, but if you would like to try an alternative company and have researched their rates, you could attempt an honest negotiation with your current provider.
Also, items like power strips, timers, or LED lightbulbs will all help with cutting the cost of utilities.
I have a post about how you can save money on utilities here.
Lesson 3: Find Alternatives To Expensive Fun
We have free activities often in our area. In the summer, there are plays and concerts in the parks. The city library offers movies outside.
Speaking of libraries, there are so many classes offered at the more extensive libraries. Our local library provides storytime and board games as well as rocket building. Libraries are great resources for free fun.
Many museums have a free day. A few years ago, we went north to a museum for the day. They offered free entry for anyone who lives in the Adirondack Park. It was a fun day, and the boys had a good time.
Although not free, asking for season passes for places you enjoy for holidays is an excellent way to get those experiences.
Lesson 4: Shop Used
So many friends throw their used clothes up on Facebook marketplace. From children’s clothes to adults, there are some super great deals. We all know how quickly babies and kids grow. And rarely do they wear clothes long enough to wear them out. Why not check out used clothing stores, a local thrift store, garage sales, the marketplace, and consignment shops for some deals?
The same could go for furniture. I am on the hunt for a round table for the dining room. I have kept my eyes open and am determined to find exactly what I want. Patience is a virtue, right?
Used is the best practice when it comes to cars as well. A new car depreciates immediately after purchase. But a new to you car that’s only a couple of years old could cost thousands of dollars less than a brand-new one. Especially with the popularity of leasing – which is a no-go in these parts, you can get a previously leased vehicle with low miles for a great deal.
Lesson 5: Keep A Budget
Consider the peace of mind you would have if you knew where all your money was going, and everything was paid on time.
Imagine when your husband says he needs new tires, and you already have the money because you have a sinking fund for that.
There it is. We talked about what a homemaker is and what qualities we should have, and we also chatted a little about how we can cut back on spending and practice being frugal.
What do you think? Are you the kind of homemaker who stays home, works from home, or works outside of the house? Do you have these smart qualities of a homemaker?
Final Thoughts on Being a Frugal Homemaker
From avoiding that credit card to shopping for the best deals at the grocery store, there are lots of ways that you can obtain financial freedom as a homemaker. Having control of your personal finances and that of your family means, in the long run, you can all become frugal people and reach your financial goals. The homemaker can be the foundation of frugal living and teach your kids the art of frugal living that will also stand them well in the future. It can be a powerful tool!