My story is different than other moms who have been able to be SAHM on a low income. And if you aren’t interested in the story, you can go ahead and scroll past it and get to the amazing tips I am sharing with you. I won’t be heart broken 🙂
Growing up I knew I wanted to have children and I knew I wanted to be able to stay home and take care of them and the house. But life didn’t work that way for me. When I had my first born, I was working at a retail store and when I came back from maternity leave, I did switch my schedule to night shift so that we didn’t have to pay for child care. But I was working and I was getting up all times of the night to take care of my baby (the dad never got up during the night).
Then I had my second baby girl. Once again I was working the same retail job, pregnant, and no hope of being able to be a stay at home mom after maternity leave. I was tired, depressed, and really feeling like my life wasn’t where I wanted to be.
I even got written up for not cleaning up an aisle that was assigned to my co worker that night!
But I had no choice and went back to work, now with 2 kids under 2 yrs.
Let’s fast forward years later! I’m no longer with baby daddy and I’m now with a wonderful family man. My kids are in school full time and I STILL was working retail (different job), I was STILL not moving up in the corporate ladder, I was STILL tired when I got home.
I knew something needed to be changed.
Step One: Find where you can cut costs! In order to become a stay at home mom, even if it didn’t seem to be in the budget, I really worked to find it in the budget. So really look into your income vs your expenses and figure out how to make your expenses cheaper. Got cable? Cut it out and switch to only internet and netflix/hulu/amazon. Do you have a phone provider such as Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile? Find a way to get out, buy a cheap smart phone at Cricket, or even a pre-paid phone and pay for the lowest monthly plan. I have more information > here < about how to lower your bills.
Step Two: Live below your means. Now you don’t have to go looking for the cheapest, crappiest, roach infested apartment to save money. Trust me, I been there, done that, never again! But the good news is you can live below your means that is still the right fit for your family! For an example, we now live in a 3 bedroom apartment (moved out of roach infested two bedroom) and we still can make it work. Does it cost more? Oh yes, but we knew a nicer home was a priority and so that’s what we did. More about this coming up, keep reading:
What cars do you have? If you have a car with a payment every month, maybe consider trading it for a car that has a cheaper payment per month or find something you can own out right. Or if you are really wanting to stretch that dollar, become a one car family. My SO has a car payment but we knew it was a good deal, it’s a used smaller car, low payment, and it will be paid off in about 2 years. We would be a one car family but my car has been paid off for several years (before I did the stay at home thing).
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Step Three: Do your research! I cannot express this enough, don’t just dive in, you must research and search and stalk at times lol. How do you think we found an amazing deal on our 3 bedroom apartment? I searched and checked out every possible site to find it. You can go to any apartment complex’s home page and look at the prices and think, “Hmmm that’s the cheapest they have?” And I’m here to tell you, keep looking! 😉
I did look on actual websites, I used Trulia, Rent.com, Zillow, etc. But surprisingly I found my place on Craigslist! The thing is, not ALL apartment units are the same price, where I’m at, the same unit says it costs $1500/month, but they were having a special on the same kind, just not in the best location in the complex for only $1219/month! So I went right down, put in an application, put down a deposit and voila, we had a new home for cheap! Also, don’t exclude places that are based on low incomes, you may think you don’t qualify but go look anyways, and you may be surprised and find a good home for a little cheaper because you qualify for their income variable.
Step Four: Start an at home job that you can do virtually! A lot of stay at home moms still want to be able to bring in some income for their families. And now these days, you can find a job or even a career that you can do from home, online! Find out which may be the best fit for you, because there are tons of jobs to choose from! I have a whole list > here < to help you get started in your search. If you feel like you need to start making an income now, you can go for Virtual Assistant, or if you aren’t in a hurry and looking for a more passive income later down the road, you can start a Blog. I don’t have much to say on this as I chose to do the blog thing and I am currently working on it 🙂
Step Five: Create a meal plan! Another way you can cut costs drastically is creating a meal plan for your family. No one realizes just how much they spend on food a month and the average is usually $400 +. So if you haven’t already, start with choosing 1-2 stores and check out their weekly sales. If something is on sale for a great price, stock up! And then figure out what meals you can make with it. An example is at my Kroger, a brand of noodles is on sale – Buy 6 like items, save $3 instantly – making these noodles .49 cents! I know I can buy these and a few other cheap items and create multiple meals. I can buy spaghetti sauce for a dollar and have regular spaghetti, or I can buy a can of alfredo and buy some chicken while it’s on sale as well and have chicken alfredo.
I know that five tips don’t seem like a lot when it comes to becoming a stay at home parent, but these are the exact five tips that parents have used over and over again to find a way for this lifestyle. So remember to do your research, have patience, and find a way to make it work. Every family is different such as my family pays more in rent but it was something we agreed on for this life. With that said, don’t forget to write down what your priorities are, look for the best deals, and enjoy the life you create.