Being a daughter at home doesn't mean being a financial burden. A creative, hard-working daughter can be a blessing to her family (yes, financially as well) while developing the techniques of spending less and stretching every penny that will be very useful someday for a stay-at-home wife and mother. Here are a few humble ideas I have been practicing for a while:
* Ever since I realized I'm good with numbers, comparing prices, finding the best deals and so on, I have taken hold of all the grocery shopping. I don't just scribble a shopping list hastily before going to the store – I keep it near me all the time, and whenever we use something up or run out of something, I put it on the list right away. I also made a list of items we always need to have in the house, so I can compare my weekly list with the big list.
* My mother has excellent skills in cooking, baking and canning, but she doesn't always have time and strength to do it all. Her knowledge and my energy make a great combination, and I've learned to cook and bake from scratch, so we only buy basic products. We make our own marmalade and can our own vegetables. When we do sometimes buy cucumbers in brine, I recycle the brine – just put fresh cucumbers in it, and in a couple of days, voila – they are salty and crunchy.
* Don't waste! I use old jars for storing home-made marmalade, old supermarket bags for our trash and old clothes for dusting. I wash dishes by hand and I dry all of our clothes on an old-fashioned clothes line. In the evenings, rather than turn on the lights in all our rooms, we sit together in one room. It saves electricity, and it's great family time!
* Being humble and keeping things simple is the best, and most obvious, advice I can give. I never waste much money on clothes. I replaced expensive personal care products with cheaper ones (baby soap works just as good for my skin as pricey "cleansing gel", and petroleum jelly is a great moisturizer); I keep my hairstyle simple, so my mother can cut my hair when needed.
* Last but not least, earning money can be an option without tearing oneself from home and neglecting one's duties. I have been tutoring young children since I've been a teenager. I also take translating and typing jobs when offered. Of course, this is an area where every young lady can be creative and play to her own strengths. I'm not saying a daughter can't be a blessing to her parents if she doesn't earn anything, but if she has skills or talents she can easily turn into money, why not give it a try?
Any young lady can be creative and think of many different ways to help her family while living at home. And I don't mean only young girls, either. Personally, if I get married late, or if marriage is not in God's plans for me at all, I intend to continue living with my mother and helping her in every way I can.