Hey there! My name is Candice, more informally known as Candi. I am 33 years old and have been married for 11 years. My husband and I have 3 wonderful children. Hayleigh, age 8, is the leader of our crew. She has profound love of art and has been known to whip up a mean French toast on Saturday morning. Our 6 year old, Alice, is our little diva. With quite a fashion sense, she sings and dances her way through life. She also has a passion for animals and is extremely caring and empathetic. Our little man, Aric III (or Trey), was quite a shock to our family. He is in constant motion and didn’t think twice about tackling his big sisters by the time he could crawl!
I always thought I would be a “working” mom. Career driven with a degree in Business, I never would have dreamed of staying home with my kids. (As a matter of fact, I actually started college pre-med, but decided my extreme perfectionist type A personality would not allow me to be the kind of Mom AND Dr. I would want to be. Since I eventually wanted to be a Mom, with lots of thinking and prayer, I decided to make a change.) I graduated college and moved to St. Louis to work for a Commercial Real Estate firm. My husband’s job moved us to Kansas City where I continued with the same firm for a short while until accepting a position as a Marketing Product Coordinator for another company.  I remember the day I told my boss I was pregnant and then reassured him I would be coming back…Then I had my daughter …You never really know how you will react to having kids and everyone is different, but , Man, did I miss this one! As soon as I looked into her blue eyes and cuddled her next to me, I knew I had some things to figure out because I did not want to go back to the job that I absolutely adored. I told my husband, who reminded me that we had not planned for this.
With the thought of our spending, our current earnings, and my desire to stay at home with my little girl in mind, I realized some things had to change. I was already a saver, but I had to find a way to save more and spend less. I took a class on how to watch sales, how product prices cycle, how to make some of my own cleaning products, and, yes, couponing! It was amazing when I found out how to get everyday items for free or close to it. I like to go as natural and chemical free as I can, so it has been interesting for me to learn how to do this with a budget.
Running a family on a budget is not always a simple task, but I learn more and more everyday on how to do it better. Being able to stay at home with my kids is such an unexpected, but natural fit for me and has been extremely rewarding. I always tell people that I get paid in kisses and hugs which are worth more to me than money, but don’t pay the bills. So I contribute financially to our family by how much I can save. I am so thankful that my husband and I were able to get creative to figure out how to make this previously unrealized dream come true.

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