Inside: Wondering how to be a stay at home mom, but think you can’t afford it? It may be easier than you think to become a stay at home mom. Read seven surprising ways you can actually save money as a SAHM.
Once upon a time I was a teacher. Honestly, as a teacher of gifted and talented children I had every educator’s dream job. And it was my dream job too.
But then my son was born.
Thankfully, I was able to stay home with my son for the first eight months of his life. I soaked in all those slow moments and dreaded leaving my little one when school started back.
I went back to work in August, just after he started crawling! I absolutely loved teaching these unique, incredible, and interesting kids at school. I loved the creativity that teaching required, and the community it brought me.
But there was a tug in my heart just pulling me back home.
Every day at lunch, I would sit at my desk and dream. I’d see photos of my son playing with his grandma, swinging, digging in the sandbox, and visiting the library.
And I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind…
That should be me.
I should be the one playing, swinging, and reading. I should be the one capturing those moments.
During this time, my husband and I talked and talked about the idea of me staying home with our little dude. And to us at the time it was exactly that.
An idea. A dream.
There wasn’t any substance to it.
But then one night, as we were folding laundry together (Yes, my hubby folds laundry. swoon.) he said, “Why don’t we just plan on you staying home after this school year? We will make it work.”
Y’all. My heart skipped a beat.
I was ecstatic. I was nervous. I was inspired!
So we started running the numbers. What we found is that there was just a $700 difference between my husband’s income and our monthly bills.
Over the next few months, we whittled that down even more. No more new truck, and we traded it in for a nice but used van. I stopped using the dishwasher. We washed the laundry with cold water.
Big and small changes.
We got it down to a $200 negative balance for our monthly budget. Just $200 short.
That’s workable! I was confident I could make up the difference working from home.
And I have! There are tons of legitimate ways to make money from home.
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How Does a Stay at Home Mom Save Money?
Now, since I’ve been doing this stay at home mom thing for a while, I started thinking about all the ways being a stay at home mom saves money!
Whether you’re already a SAHM, or if staying home still seems like a pipe dream, I want to encourage you.
You can make this happen, mama. It’s really not as far fetched as it seems.
There are so many ways that staying home with your kids keeps money in your pocket!
I love staying home with my kids. It’s a challenge at times, and I won’t lie to you and say that every day is perfect. But, I know it’s the right choice for my family for this season in our lives.
Are you looking for that extra push to make your stay at home dream a reality? Have you considered these ways that you’ll actually save money by staying at home? Take a look, then go scribble down your own budget.
You may be closer than you think to your stay at home mom dream!
How I Save Money as a Stay at Home Mom
Many moms who work find it to be too stressful to deal with pumping. Pumping is really stressful, zero judgment here. But because I was able to stay home, I breastfed both my son and daughter for over a full year for free. Formula costs at least $30 per week.
Breastfeeding also boasts so many health benefits for both mom and baby. Healthier babies and moms don’t spend as much on healthcare!
Breastfeeding and pumping is doable if you’re working outside the home. I know plenty of supermoms who do it! But honestly, it’s just so much easier if you can stay home with your baby!
SAVINGS: $1,440 per year
- Breastfeeding Advice for New Moms (5 Must-Read Tips!)
- How to Make Date Night Happen as a Nursing Mom
- Minimalist Essentials for the New Baby
#2 Fuel/ Gasoline
For us this was huge. As a teacher I traveled to several different schools in my district every week. I spent an extra $80 per month for job related fuel expenses.
As a stay at home mom I do enjoy going on “field trips” with my little ones, but I also just enjoy staying home. Our fuel expenses are a fraction of what they were when I was working outside the home.
SAVINGS: $960 per year
#3 Food/ Groceries
When I was teaching we regularly ate out or picked up fast food at least 3 times per week, which adds up to about $45 per week, or $2,340 per year. Eat those three meals at home instead.
If you figure that home cooked meals cost about 75% less than restaurant meals (yes, even McDonald’s) that means you’ll have huge savings! Honestly if you’re not at home, you won’t eat at home right?
SAVINGS: $1,755 per year
Related Reading: Read more about how I save big bucks on groceries here!
There’s so much pressure to be perfectly put together when you’re a working mom. There’s also pressure to be a perfectly put together SAHM, but it’s so much easier to say no to that peer pressure!
I’m notoriously frugal, so my clothing budget wasn’t that big to begin with, around $30 per month. As a SAHM I keep it simple with jeans, casual tees and a cute pair of earrings or necklace. Read about where I find cute clothes online for cheap!
SAVINGS: $360 per year
#5 Home Maintenance/ Housekeeping
Have you ever tried to work a full time job, give your family the attention they need, plus keep a clean house at the same time? It’s next to impossible! Yet millions of moms live with this burden every day.
When you’re at home you can prioritize home maintenance more so that little problems don’t turn into big problems.
An example for me is the simple choice to stop using our dishwasher. Our electricity bill plummeted! Instead of buying a new dresser for my son’s bedroom, I made one out of pallet wood for free during nap time. The list goes on and on. Think of yourself as a homesteader.
Keeping an organized and well-run home ultimately saves me money every month.
SAVINGS: $300 per year
One of the things that helps me manage it all as a stay at home mom is having a predictable routine for my kids. Since my kids have a flexible schedule throughout the day, this means I can get everything done and have time to spend connecting and playing with my family! If you’re struggling in this area, you’ll love my eBook and printable pack: Everyday Calm. I’ll give you practical tips and mindset changes to help you conquer the chaos at home with kids!
Related Reading: How to Make and Keep a Stay at Home Mom Schedule You Love
#6 Medical Care
It’s not a secret that kids who attend daycare get sick more. A lot more. A friend of mine says she takes about four sick days a month just to care for her son, who gets ill from those icky daycare germs.
Co-pay bills add up. Cold and flu medications are not cheap either! Let’s say you buy 4 extra packs of cold meds per year ($20 each) and visit the doc a minimum of 4 more times ($20 co-pay each visit).
SAVINGS: $160 per year
The cost for childcare in the US is staggering. According to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), the average monthly cost is $972. (source)
That’s more than my mortgage, folks.
As a stay at home mom, you’re able to provide high quality childcare for your family. So how much will you save annually by caring for your own child at home?
SAVINGS: $11,664 per year
TOTAL SAVINGS: $16,639 per year!
That number seems crazy big. I get it. But all those little savings really add up!
Being a stay at home mom can actually put money back in your pocket. Consider it an investment in the financial and emotional future of your family!
So what do you think? Is being a stay at home mom just a dream for you?
Share your ideas! Tell us your story in the comments.
If you’re already a SAHM, how do you save money? If you’re dreaming of staying at home, what’s one simple change you can make this dream a reality?