Before my first child was born, I never thought I could afford to be a stay at home mom. To be honest, I didn’t want to be a stay at home mom. Then my son was born. My whole world changed and I did not want to leave him to go to work.
Unfortunately, we live in a high cost of living area and the idea of living on a single income was scary and didn’t seem attainable. I went back to work part-time, but I was miserable. So miserable that my husband and I made a plan. We planned to change our finances so we could afford for me to be a stay at home mom. Fast forward 4 years and 2 more kids and we are still making it work on our single income.
Here is how you can afford to be a stay at home mom:
Live on a Single Income Before You Are on a Single Income
This means you will have to jump in head first to cutting back on the non essentials. Use the other income to pay off debt and build up an emergency savings.
Drive Older Cars
Although you will have to budget for regular maintenance, not having a monthly car payment saves a lot. You will also save money on insurance and registration fees.
Factor in the Cost of Working
This is a huge one! The cost of working can actually be quite high. You may be paying to commute, purchasing expensive work clothes, paying for dry cleaning, buying more prepared foods, eating out more often, and paying for day care.
Cook From Scratch
Being a stay at home mom means you will have more time to cook from scratch. Not eating out or buying prepared foods can save your family a lot of money. Even if you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen every day, you can dedicate one day per week to freezer cooking so you have meals readily available for your family. Bonus: home cooked meals are also healthier for your family!
Make a Realistic Budget
If you don’t already have a budget in place, track all of your spending for a month and write it down so you know exactly where your money goes. Then determine what costs are necessities and which you don’t actually need. Make sure to leave yourself a little bit of wriggle room in case an unexpected cost arises.
Cut out Cable
Thanks to Netflix and Hulu, lots of people are doing this anyway. If you are trying to cut corners and still have cable, this may be a bill you may want to consider cutting.
Not ready to cut the cable? Call your service provider and see if they have a more affordable plan they can offer. Also do this with your internet, cell phone, and insurance providers.
Purchasing clothes second-hand can save your family a lot of money. There are so many great resources out there, that thrift shopping does not mean you or your family has to wear poor quality clothes. One of our other contributors, Cindy recently shared her tips for finding cute clothes at thrift shops.
Are you living on a single income? How do you make it work?