Making seemingly ridiculous sacrifices can not only help you afford to be a stay at home mom, but can secure your family financially for years to come.
Some of these solutions are going to sound pretty extreme. In reality though, if you told someone you were going to take your income, cut it in half, AND add another person to your household, I’m pretty sure that would sound extreme. I can promise you that if you do even just one or two of these things, you’re going to notice significant savings that will push you closer to your goal of staying home with your kids.
Yep. Seriously. Consider selling your house or leaving your current apartment and moving to a cheaper place. When my husband and I first started living together, we took this to the extreme. We sold our house, bought an RV, and put it on my parents’ property. We saved $1000 a month in housing costs.
While I don’t expect you to move into an RV with a newborn baby, I do encourage you to look into cheaper options for housing for your family. By moving just a few miles outside of town, you could potentially save hundreds of dollars per month in rent or mortgage costs without sacrificing much in the way of convenience.
If you do consider buying a different house, don’t write off one that has a well and septic system. This will save you a water and sewer payment. That can be a really big utility cost that you no longer have to worry about.
Share a Car
Are you one car payment away from being able to afford to stay at home with your kids? Try to sell your car or use it for extra income. Check out the Turo app. You can rent your car for the day, week, or month for extra income that can offset the cost of one of your vehicles. Carpool with your significant other.
My husband and I dropped down to one car for a while and it really wasn’t so bad. If I needed the car to take the baby to a doctor’s appointment, we just woke up early and drove my husband to work and dropped him off. We’d do our errands for the day and then go pick him up again in the afternoon. It saved us a lot of money in car payments and insurance.
Build a Registry
If you haven’t had your baby yet, consider registering for necessities like diapers, wipes, bottles, and clothes. Forego the expensive gadgets and novelties. You probably won’t use them and you’ll end up spending money on things you do need because other people bought you things you wanted but didn’t really need.
Register for diapers in various sizes. Our first son was in 1s for a very long time while our second son seemed to skip right from newborns to size 2. Our oldest is currently very comfortable in size 4 and is going to be starting to potty train in the next few weeks.
While every baby grows at a different rate, if I had it to do all over again, I’d register for diapers in sizes 1 through 4.
“If you watch your pennies, your dollars will watch themselves.”
Let’s get really ridiculous for a minute. I get that some of these things will sound completely insane to you, but they really worked for us.
I mix my foundation with a cheaper-by-the-ounce face lotion to make my foundation last longer.
Use half of the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash that you currently do. Use conditioner for shaving cream instead. Depending on the brand you use, it’s probably way cheaper.
Write the date that you started using a product (like shampoo or toothpaste) on the packaging with a sharpie. When it’s time to replace it, take a mental note of how long the product lasted you. Try to beat that with your next container of the same product.
Grow a small garden instead of paying for produce.
Most Americans eat huge portions. Switch to smaller bowls and plates so you are less tempted to take so much. Leftovers are usually even better the second day and that’s a whole meal you don’t have to pay for again. Divide your meal and put half away before you even start eating to make sure you’ll have leftovers.
Stop getting your nails done. I’ve talked before about how my husband colors and cuts my hair for me. We save $100 every 6 weeks this way. Bonus points if you go au naturale and don’t color your hair at all. I can’t do it, but maybe you can.
Consider using cloth diapers instead of disposables. You can save a ton of money. It didn’t work for us – but I know tons of moms who swear by cloth diapering and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Here are some things I sacrificed in order to afford to be a stay at home mom.
A Word of Warning
Be extremely cheap – but don’t neglect your health. Go for regular checkups and dentist visits. Letting these things fall by the wayside will only catch up to you later. We’re currently learning this the hard way as my stubborn husband finally tends to some dental work that is long overdue. It would have been far easier for us to afford to take care of things like fillings as they came up instead of dealing with them all at once when faced with a dental emergency. Learn from our mistakes.
What drastic things have you done to save money in your house? Are there any things that others think you’re crazy for doing? Let me know in the comments!