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Are you longing to be a stay-at-home mom but not sure if you can afford it?
This is a common fear that most moms have before making the transition.
I was a stay-at-home mom for 8+ years and I’ll be honest with you– It isn’t always easy financially.
However, with a little planning and tweaking, it IS completely doable!
Financial Benefits of Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
In terms of affordability, there are several ways being a stay-at-home mom will actually SAVE you money.
- You won’t have to pay for daycare
- You’ll have more time to cook (and that’s definitely cheaper than eating out)
- No extra $$ for your commute to work
- No social events for work that cost $$
- You won’t need a fancy wardrobe (although comfy leggings are essential)
Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, right?
Your first steps
Make sure your spouse/partner is on board
In order for you to successfully become a one income family, you and your spouse have to be 1000% on the same team. It simply won’t work if you’re not.
So, have you had a long heart-to-heart chat with your spouse? Are you two on the same page?
Do you have the same goals and want the same for your children?
Take a critical look at your family finances
Next, you absolutely need to know how your expenses and current spending habits stack up against your new income.
Whether that means combing through the past 30-90 days of your bank statements or using a budgeting tool like Mint to figure this out.
What are you currently spending money on each month and how much are you spending?
Only after you have determined this can you can see where adjustments need to be made.
Your spending habits will most likely fall within the following categories (give or take):
- Household bills & utilities: Mortgage, electric, water, car payments & insurance etc.
- Entertainment: Services you have such as internet, cable/satellite, etc.
- Credit card/student loan/misc. debt payments: Everything you are making monthly payments on
- Food: This includes all grocery spending, eating out at fast food restaurants, and even convenience store purchases.
- Fun: Anything “extra” you spend money on. This includes shopping, getting your nails done, subscription boxes, etc. These are your wants vs. needs.
- Gas/transportation: All travel expenses for everyone in your household.
Create an action plan
Now, it’s time to make a plan to reduce your expenses.
What adjustments need to be made in order to make this work so that you can afford to be a stay-at-home mom?
Examples of small adjustments you might consider:
- Spend less $$ on groceries and food in general
- Brainstorming cheap or free ways to have fun on the weekends
- Lowering your car insurance
- Lowering or consolidating your debt
- Selling things you no longer need/use to pay off debt
- Swapping to a cheaper alternative to cable
Examples of big adjustments you might consider:
- Downsizing your home
- Downsizing your car
- Becoming a one car family
- Eliminating debt completely
Make a budget and try it out
Next, if there’s one surefire way to see if you can swing it, it’s to go ahead and make a NEW budget only using the income you will have after you become a stay-at-home mom.
If it goes smoothly, great!
If it’s a little rocky, try not to feel too discouraged– This is a trial run and you can tweak it to make it work.
Reminding yourself why you want to be a SAHM in the first place will help keep your head up when it feels hard.
Learn to live frugally
And, of course, always be on the lookout for small ways to save money. Those tiny changes over a period of time can really make a big difference!
Here are a few frugal living tips you can start implementing right away:
- Take advantage of Amazon Prime. You’ll save 20% on diapers, baby food, and more. And you’ll enjoy fast and free shipping.
- Make frugal meals for dinner.
- Invest in a deep freeze so that you can save money by buying certain grocery items in bulk.
- Always use a tool like Ebates when you shop online so that you will receive cash back on your purchase.
- Stop making unnecessary purchases
- Look for cheaper alternatives for fun & entertainment
- Choose the store brands vs. the popular brands
Earn extra income on the side
Finally, another way to make it easier to afford to be a stay-at-home mom when you only have one main source of income is to earn extra income on the side.
Totally optional– But if this is something you might be interested in pursuing, here are a few ways stay-at-home moms can earn extra income on the side:
- Starting a blog is one of my favorite side hustles for stay-at-home moms. You won’t get rich overnight, but it does have the potential to be a solid additional income stream for your family if you are willing to put forth the effort.
- Opening an online store like an Etsy shop is another option that’s perfect for stay-at-home moms. Is there a craft you’re great at making? Are you interested in learning how to make and sell your own printables? The sky is the limit.
- Do you like to fill out surveys? Hey, some people do! There are companies like American Consumer Opinion that will pay you some extra coin to do this. 🙂
Looking for more legit ways to earn a side income as a stay-at-home mom? Head on over and read this post!
Bottom line– Preparing financially to be a stay-at-home mom may feel daunting at first, but it’s completely doable once you have…
- Taken a close look at your family finances
- Created your plan of action
- Tested and finalized your budget
- and are willing to adapt to make it work!
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