In today’s culture we tend to have the mentality of “you need two income to survive.” But unless your children are old enough to be in public school, one of you is basically just paying for childcare. But aside from that, do you really NEED two incomes to survive?
Do you NEED a fancy house, brand new technology ALL THE TIME, the latest car model or to go shopping every week? Those aren’t needs, those are wants. You need a house, you may need a phone, need a car and need clothes. But do you need the best of everything? I’m gonna be harsh, no. No you don’t need the best of everything.
My husband and I don’t live in a fancy house and we have nice cars but they aren’t brand new. We may have iphones but they aren’t the newest model, we wait to upgrade until they are $0.01. As far as clothes, we buy them when we need them, otherwise our children’s clothes come first, when they need them. We also have a budget and try our best to stick to it. But there are some tricks to being a stay at home mom.
1. Get out of debt. Easier said than done, I know. And we aren’t completely debt free. First thing to do to get out of debt is to pick your smallest debt and pay a little bit extra a month to eliminate it. Then move on to the next smallest and so on. You will always have a mortgage, and you may always have at least one car payment if you need to upgrade for family space. But you can eliminate credit card debt, student loans and medical bills by paying just a little bit extra one at a time.
2. Stay home. You don’t need to go somewhere all the time. You don’t need a fancy vacation every year because that costs a few hundred dollars, minimum. Not saying vacationing is bad, but pay attention to how much it costs and maybe find a cheaper option until you can afford that BIG vacation. Also, stay home more in general. You don’t always need to run around town. Stay home, play home and if you can, walk more. Every mile burns gas.
3. Cook at home. Before Michael, Nathan and I used to eat out all the time. It was so easy and it didn’t leave any dishes. Then one day we looked to see why we had “no money.” Well, fast food adds up fast. It’s so much cheaper to buy groceries and cook at home, plus, it’s healthier too. If your family likes going out to eat, budget for a night out once a month.
4. Shop Smart. It’s not bad to find deals, but make sure those deals are actually worth it. Don’t just buy it because it’s on sale or you get 3 for so much money because it could be cheaper to just buy the 1 and you may not even use it. Shopping at groceries stores or Wal-mart may sound like a good idea, but you’re actually spending more money. Bury your pride and go to Aldi’s. You get the same food for less, just a different brand. Not everything can be bought at Aldi’s but if you get the majority of it there, you will be spending a whole lot less at Wal-Mart.
5. Cut Back. You don’t need to shop at fancy clothes stores, second hand clothes are fine or even find a cheaper clothing store in general. You don’t need cable, in fact, we don’t have it all. My family watches DVDs and Netflix. Do you need that gym membership or can you workout at home? Do you need to get your nails done professionally, or can you paint them yourself? Every little bit counts.
6. Turn a hobby into money. There are ways to make money staying home. Blogging is one way as long as you have the followers. Another way, is turning a hobby into money. Do you like to craft? Etsy is a perfect way to sell your crafts. Do you like taking pictures? Why not become a photographer, that’s what I did.
It is definitely possible to be a stay at home mom as long as you get your priorities straight.