How to Afford to be a Stay at Home Mom on One Income – The best tips and tricks for how to afford to be a stay at home mom even if you’re living on one low income. Great ways for stay at home moms to find the best ways to help their families stay on budget and how to stay sane.
When I had my oldest in 2010, Pinterest has just opened and there was very little info on how to afford to be a stay at home mom on one income. I remember sitting there with this new baby and wondering how on earth I was every going to be able to make it living on just one income. It felt so lonely.
Luckily for you, Pinterest IS a thing and that means that you can hear all about what you need to do as a stay at home mom to afford to live on one income.
Fair warning – being a stay at home mom on one income isn’t easy.
It’s actually pretty tough. BUT. It IS doable.
You absolutely 100% CAN live on one income and afford to be a stay at home mom. We lived off of $17,000 as a family of 4 – trust me, it can be done.
For me, staying at home was really the only option for my family. Any money that I made working only would have ever gone straight to paying for childcare for the kids so that I could work. That made no sense to me!
We worked hard and saved fiercely to live on one income so that I could be a stay at home mom. And that’s why I’m here today to share with you what you can do to afford to stay at home with your kid on one income.
How to Afford to be a Stay at Home Mom on One Income
1. Make it your JOB to save.
This is actually pretty controversial believe it or not! When you are a stay-at-home mom, your job is to take care of the kids and the house and everything comes between those two. But it’s also super important for you to try to make it your job to save money.
Like you need one more thing on your plate am I right?
But if you look at saving money as part of your job, it’s much easier to be motivated to save.
We’re talking about each time you go to the store you bring a coupon. Or each time you leave a room you turn off the light. Maybe one week you call the phone company and ask about getting promotional rate for your family. Maybe you go through all the subscriptions that you guys have as a family and find some to get rid of.
Those are all things that you can do that makes you huge deal for your family. These are huge wave that you can afford to be a stay-at-home mom on one income. By looking for new ways to save, you’re helping contribute to the family without ever having to go out and find a new job.
Here are some easy-to-use tools to help you save more money as a stay at home mom on one income:
- Use Ibotta when you go grocery shopping (get $5 to start here)
- Start using Digit and Acorns to save money automatically (get $5 bonus for each when you sign up!)
- Sign up for Amazon subscribe and save on groceries to save up to 20% off
- Shop second hand or thrift instead of buying new
- Make your own detergent (2 ingredient detergent that costs me $25 a year to make!)
- Find the cheapest gas using the GasBuddy app
- Do babysitting swaps with friends instead of paying for a sitter
- Don’t throw out leftovers – reuse them into a new dish or freeze for later
- Avoid going out as much as you can
- Turn the lights off when you leave the room
- Shut off all electronics when you’re not using them
- Call your bill companies to ask for lower rates
- Ask your insurance provider what they can do to lower your rates
2. Control your spending
Believe you me. I get this. Being at home is boring. You have to get out of the house! And that’s where the trap of going to Target and getting a coffee and then browsing around the Dollar Spot and then next thing you know you’re looking at Joanna Gaines stuff the next thing you know your cart is full of stuff that you have absolutely no need for.
We’ve all been there in mark but this is where making sure that your job is to help your family save money comes into place. You want to make sure that at the end of the day you are supporting the family. That means no spending money that you don’t have budget for. That means not maxing out a credit card. I mean it’s not going to the mall or to HomeGoods or Target and just spending constantly.
You have to be super aware of what makes you want to spend. Again, I know that staying home is super boring. It’s so easy to say that going to Target gets the kids out of the house and get you out of the house, but is it really worth it?
Just always be aware you need help your family save.
3. Don’t fall for MLMs targeting moms
For the love of all that is good and holy! Do not join an MLM!
MLM, or multi-level marketing companies, are companies like Jamberry, It Works, Scentsy, etc.
They target moms. They know that they’re bored, they know that they’re looking for something to do, and they know that they’re looking for a community.
DO. NOT. FALL. FOR. THIS.
MLMs are just going to drain your bank account. You will not make any money from them. It seems like it’s a great thing that might be able to make some money so that you can still be a stay-at-home mom living on one income, but honestly… It’s going to do nothing but cost you money.
(Don’t like what I said here? I’m ok with that. Statistics are on my side here – virtually no one will make money in an MLM.)
4. Find community.
It gets really really lonely being a stay-at-home. I get that!
That’s why it’s super important for you to find some kind of a community that you can belong to. It can be other moms from a church that you go to your mom’s and play group or just moms that you meet at the library or the park. But finding some kind of a community that you can be a part of will help you in so many ways.
It will help you to feel less isolated. It will help you have something to do without constantly feeling like you have to go and buy things for the kids to keep them occupied or keep you occupied. It will help you not be bored and depressed at home. It will help you find other things to do and other outlets for your creativity and time.
Plus, it’s so nice to not be around toddlers all the time!
5. Find some extra ways to pull in some extra cash.
This goes back to what I was talking about with the MLMs. There are plenty of ways that you can make money from home as a stay-at-home mom living on one income!
MLMs are not one of them. But! Being able to bring in some kind of money for the family to help is huge.
And I am absolutely not telling me to go and find a job! That’s kind of the opposite!
I am telling you that there are plenty of ways for you to make money from home as a stay-at-home mom.
Here are some of the ways that you can make money as a stay-at-home mom living on one income:
- Teach English to kids in China for $20 an hour
- Sell stuff you have lying around the house
- Be a proofreader and make $30k+ working part time
- Transcribe court reports and make money on your own time
- Start a blog talking about what you love (it’s what I did and now it’s my full-time income)
- Babysit or watch kids before and after school
- Walk dogs
- Mow lawns
- Freelance write
- Secret shop (I do all of mine on the phone so I never have to leave home)
- Sell plasma (unsavory, maybe. But it’s good money and you could save lives)
- Drive for Lyft or Uber
- Graphic design and sell mugs, shirts, etc.
- And more!
6. Do at least one thing for you.
I said it once and I’ll say it again: being a stay-at-home mom really is very lonely. Things they don’t tell you when you become a mom, am I right?
But it’s really true! It can be so lonely to be at home all the time. And you could love your kids so much! But it doesn’t change the fact that at the end of the day you need other adult interaction.
Which is why it is so important to do at least one thing for you each week. It’s called self care. No, I’m not talking about spending $500 a week getting a massage and a facial and a manicure and a pedicure.
It could be as simple as having a babysitter watch your kids for an hour so that you can sit in a coffee shop and drink your favorite drink for $3. It could be going grocery shopping by yourself. Or it could be that once a month to get your nails done! Whatever it is that makes you feel refreshed.
And yes, I am encouraging you to spend money on yourself once in awhile. Here’s why! Because if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
And it’s the truth.
As a stay-at-home mom, you set the mood for the entire house. For kids, for your husband, for yourself, everyone! If you are burning the candle at both ends by taking care of everything for the kids and everything for the house everything for your husband and there’s nothing left for you to take care of yourself.
If you are feeling like you are taking care of and refreshed, then you are much less likely to spend your days at Target spending $300. you are much less likely to be bored and to go over budget because you are bored. You’re much less likely to fall for an MLM because you’re so desperate for community.
When you take care of yourself, then you’ll see everything else also falling into place.
It is possible to learn how to afford to be a stay at home mom on one income!
If you have the goal of staying at home with your kids, it truly is possible. Will it require some extra work and sacrifice? Sure! But will it be worth it? Absolutely.
Never feel like you can’t afford to be a stay at home mom on one income. Because if you follow these steps, you can make it happen for yourself and for your family, too.
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