If you want to be a stay at home mom you need to prepare now in order to do so!
Having a baby is such a wonderful thing, but also can be a huge stressor. Your life will change and never be the same again.
Now this definitely isn’t a bad thing because that beautiful blessing is so worth it!
When Erik and I found out we were pregnant we knew that we had many things to get in order before our baby came. The major thing that we needed to prepare was our finances.
I knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but that meant that we needed to make some sacrifices before we could make that happen.
If I wanted to stay home we had to pay off some of our debt before I could even think of staying home with our little boy. I knew if we buckled down we could pay of majority of it by the time our boy came.
So how exactly did we do that?
Learn what you are spending your money on
This is HUGE! Most people have no idea where some of their money is even going.
I frankly didn’t. We had enough money for all of the things we wanted and needed.
If I wanted to order something online for myself or our puppers I would just look at our bank account and order it.
I didn’t realize how many things we were wasting our money on!
We had subscriptions to things we didn’t even use. I know it was dumb right! You may even be in the same boat as we were though.
I didn’t know how much we were spending on groceries, going out to eat, or random stuff that I wanted.
This is why you need to sit down, pull out a notebook and write down EVERYTHING that you spend your money on.
Separate these things into two categories. I would write on one side of the paper how much we were spending on bills and necessities. On the other side I would write down the amount of money I was spending on wants or desires (this includes going out to eat).
Then look at where you can save money, this may surprise you!
Areas you can save money
I asked many of my mommy friends that stay home on how they budget and manage to stay with their babies. So you will receive tips from not only me, but many stay at home mommies.
I wanted y’all to have many ideas and resources so you can achieve what I have been able to!
Most of these tips are for before your baby comes, but you can utilize them while you baby is here.
Have an emergency fund
This is the most important tip I can give you!
Dave Ramsey wrote the book,“The Total Money Makeover” If you have not read this book you need to! It helped me so much with our budget and helped us to even pay off debt when money was super tight.
He has helped so many people get out of debt because they had to change their mindset about how they were spending their money.
In this book one of the things he mentions is having an emergency fund of at least $1000 dollars. This may seem like a lot, but I have a PDF below on how you can save $1000 in a year. Or you can double the amount each week to save it in 6 months, whichever works best for you.
If you want a plan on how to save $1000 in a year download this PDF:
We have had to dip into our emergency fund many times and it has saved us every time! I don’t know what I would be doing if we didn’t have an emergency fund.
When you have a baby there are so many unexpected things that come up and when you have a savings in place already you won’t feel so overwhelmed and stressed about where you will even get the money from. It will already be there for you.
Now if you ever have to dip into your emergency fund make sure that you rebuild it back up to at least $1000. That way you will have it in the future for emergencies.
Use a finance tracking app
Mint is such an awesome website to use! They even have an app if that works better for you.
It’s a free service that helps you track your finances.
You put in your bank information and set up different categories in your budget. Then when you use your card it automatically tracks where your spending your money.
It will also notify you when you are over budget and how much you have left in your budget
It was really easy to use and it helped so much when my husband and I were starting our budget.
Pick up a side hustle
Many of my mommy friends have little side hustles to cover small costs. Now days its so hard to live on just one persons income so a side hustle is great to utilize. Check out this post for jobs that you can do from home.
Me personally I blog as a stay home mom as my side hustle.
Before I started to blog though I looked up on Indeed.com for remote jobs in my area. Surprisingly there were a ton! So there is always something you can find if you want to stay home badly enough.
You can also ask your friends on Facebook for any stay at home jobs.
First if you have two cars see if its do able to go to one car. If it is not another great thing you can look at is your car insurance.
We have an insurance broker that finds us the best deal on car insurance. One of our cars, since its older and doesn’t get driven much, has only liability on it. The one my husband drives has full covereage.
We only pay $112 a month on two cars for our insurance. Which is a crazy small amount because we are both still so young and we’ve only had car insurance for a few years.
Having an insurance broker has been so great for us because I don’t have to try to find the best deals, really who has time for that! Plus you always get a ton of phone calls from sales people.
We also don’t pay our insurance broker, the insurance companies pay him when he refers someone to their company.
If you don’t have someone that does this for you I would highly suggest finding a broker because they could save you a lot of money each month on your car insurance.
Look at your phone an internet plan
People spend WAY more in this area than they need to!
I was talking with my brother the other day and he was spending $120 a month for his phone plan for one person!
This is crazy!
With your phone plan look at the details of it. Check what extra things they are charging you and see if you can eliminate some of those things. With your phone maybe its cheaper to get rid of unlimited data. You’ll be home most of the time so you can use the wifi at home.
Can you eliminate insurance on your phone or even eliminate the payment plan you may have on your phone?
With your internet plan you can look at different providers and see if something is cheaper out there.
We even called our internet provider and asked if we could get the same deal that new customers were receiving. If you mention that another provider has a better deal they may lower your price so you will stick with your current provider.
We saved an extra 20 dollars with our internet from doing this!
It’s hard to save money here because most people are already doing money saving tips in this area.
One thing I mainly wanted to mention in this category is do a monthly rate. Most power companies will have a plan where you have a set monthly rate that you pay.
They track your last year and base your bill off of the average that you spent on electricity each month.
At least if you have the same rate each month you can plan for that way easier than a random number.
Downsize your home
I know this is not something people want to hear. Its hard to live in a smaller place especially when you have kids at home.
Erik and I already live in a small place. We have always been in a 1 bedroom place so we didn’t have to downsize. But I can tell you it has been a huge reason that makes it possible for me to stay at home.
Downsizing can save you a couple hundred a month. If you already live in a small home you can always move to an area that has cheaper housing.
We live in a small town thats around the larger towns because the rent is way cheaper. So maybe you might have smaller areas around you. Just take a look around and see how much you can save in this department.
Check this category often!
My husband tends to sign up for free trials a lot and then once the trial is over we get charged the monthly amount. Most of the time I can catch this once we get the first charge and cancel it, but don’t be that way!
Get rid of the subscriptions that you don’t use often. Don’t keep ones that you will “potentially” use.
Do you have a Hulu, Disney Plus, Netflix, and Amazon Prime tv subscription? Do you really need each and every one of those? Maybe you only use two of them heavily. Get rid of the ones you don’t use.
This applies to an subscription that you have.
Eat out less!
This one is so hard for many people now days! Eating out is so much easier and when you are already out and about its so convenient.
If you want to be a stay at home mom you most likely need to start eating out less and cook more at home. It doesn’t matter who is doing the cooking, but someone needs to do it.
If your husband works outside of the home have him take a packed lunch. You will save SO much money if he doesn’t go out to eat for lunch everyday. Even if he only eats out once a week you will save at least 50 dollars a month having him take a sack lunch every day.
Plan your Grocery shopping
Only buy the necessities and maybe a couple extras! 🙂
Make sure that you have a list and a specific amount that you can spend. I bring a calculator as well so I know that for sure I wont go over budget. If I do go over I will put a couple things back or rearrange dinner plans.
So you can buy store brand items to save a little extra, most things you cant tell if it’s store brand or not.
Just stick with a budget on this one because it’s really easy to overspend in this department.
I have so many friends that love couponing and actually save a ton of money!
If couponing seems daunting to you The Krazy Coupon Lady is a great site that helps you understand couponing. She also posts almost daily when there are good deals and goes into detail on how you can get those deals.
Going out of the house
Lets face it no one wants to be cooped up inside every single day with their kiddos! Im a home body and it would still kill me to be inside every single day all day!
When you do go out find free activities to do in your area.
Some things that you can do are:
- Go to the park
- Lake or nearby pond
- Home Depot has free activities (I think its only during the summer)
If you are bored of those things and you have extra money in the budget you can check out discount days for certain places like the aquarium or zoo.
Our zoo will occasionally do free zoo days. Follow your local zoo or aquarium to be updated on free events.
You can also check on Facebook for free events near you it may surprise you whats happening in the community.
Your kids will grow out of things thats a guarantee! When this does happen look of Facebook marketplace, thrift stores, or clearance racks for clothes or items. You can find so many things for a great deal!
When you are looking around make sure that you have a budget for yourself and no matter what DON’T OVERSPEND!
Overspending can be so hard when you see so many cute things out there, but if you want to stay home you need to make sure you don’t go over your budget.
I have been guilty of this several times and it bites me in the butt later, so learn from my mistakes!
Comment if you have more ideas below!