Budgeting to be a Stay at Home Mom
1. Calculate your costs and create a budget.
See if you and your family can live on the same income. Write down everything you spend this month, including food, rent or mortgage payments, car payments, household items, and entertainment. Then subtract these expenses from your partner’s income.
2. cut costs.
If your partner’s income is not enough to support the family, try to leave him as little as possible. Cut back on food, holidays, and luxury items to cut your budget. You might also consider moving to a smaller home or a cheaper area.
Get creative with what can be cut. For example, if you and your partner have a car, can you sell one and share the rest?
3. Save some money for the unexpected.
It’s always good to have a junk just in case. When planning your finances, don’t forget to set aside some money in case someone’s car breaks down or you or your partner have to pay for medical bills.
To be on the safe side, experts usually recommend setting aside 6 months of income.
4. Plan to save for retirement.
When you leave your job, you are no longer a 401(k). You can also plan to contribute to an IRA or similar account to build your future retirement fund.
If you’re not sure how much you should save each year for retirement, talk to a financial advisor.
5. Balance the cost of childcare with the cost of staying at home.
For some families, the cost of childcare will exceed the wages they earn from their jobs. Check out child care services in your area and compare it to the amount you earn on the job. If childcare costs exceed your wages, it’s best to stay at home.
There can also be long waiting lists for childcare facilities in some cities, which can be a hindrance for you. If you can’t send your kids to kindergarten in a few years, it might be worth it to stay home with them.
6. Pay off the debt first.
Unfortunately, a high debt-to-income ratio leaves your budget with no wiggle room. If you and your spouse have a lot of debt to pay off, focus on spending money on those debts before turning to a single source of income.
To pay off debt faster, pay off the loan with the highest interest rate first.
7. Find a part-time job or work from home.
Some housewives quit their full-time jobs to work part-time or work from home. If you need extra income while you’re home with kids, consider finding a job with flexible hours that allows you to work in your spare time.
Find remote jobs on networks like Flexjobs or our Remote Jobs. Or search for “remote” on your local bulletin board.
If you currently have a full-time job, discuss part-time work or working from home with your manager.
Thrive like a stay-at-home mom
1. Create a schedule for yourself and your child.
Keeping a routine helps keep your days and weeks organized (and stress-free). It’s okay to deviate from the plan from time to time, but in general, try to create a rough schedule around sleep and eating.
When your child starts school, you can plan what to do at home.
2. Go out once a week.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of spending the last few days at home. Get outside at least once a week to improve your mental health and boost your spirits. Take your child to a playgroup, go to the library or sit on a park bench. The more you can talk to other people, the better.
Even walking around the block is enough to clear your mind and feel better.
3. Make friends with other moms.
Being a stay-at-home mom can be lonely, especially when you don’t know other moms. Connect with friends with kids or talk to other moms when you’re at the park or nursery. Share your experience as a stay-at-home mom and empathize with other women who are doing the same as you.
If you don’t know any other moms in your area, try posting on your local Facebook or Next Door Mom group.
4. The house is sometimes expected to be a mess.
When you’re at home, you quickly think you have all the time in the world to clean up. However, sometimes life gets in your way, and that’s okay! Don’t worry if the kitchen is a mess and the laundry basket is full — it’s a normal part of life as a stay-at-home mom.
5. Keep food close at hand.
There will be days when you don’t want (or don’t have the time) to cook every meal. To make breakfast, lunch and dinner easier, a week