One of the biggest barriers to being a stay-at-home mom is making it on a single income.
All moms have different opinions or desires when it comes to whether or not they choose to stay at home with their kids, work from home, or work outside of the home! No matter the choice, there is no right or wrong. Mothers are doing what’s best for their families. But this particular post is for mamas who may have been working outside of the home but now find they want to stay home.
We gave advice for the big things to consider about transitioning to a single-income in this post, but we wanted to take it a step further by breaking down the big steps into little ones. Even after you’ve done all the planning ahead and budgeting, you may still find yourself in a difficult spot trying to live off one income.
Here are a few things you can do:
1. Say “No” to wants and “Yes” to needs.
Wanting things is natural. We are impulsive and see a trendy outfit that’s on sale or we find toys that we know our kids would love. Any mom who walks through the doors of Target can attest to how 95% of Target purchases are based on “wants” instead of “needs.” We go in for batteries and come out with a cart full of tea towels, wall decor, stationary, boots, etc. When you want to make it on a single income, wants are no longer as much of an option. Sure, every now and then you can splurge, but it should be rare. Money is meant to cover “needs.”
2. Shop second-hand.
Most anything that’s not a consumable product can be bought second-hand. Nowadays, there are many online places to buy and sell used goods, and of course, there are thrift stores as well. Before you buy, see if you can find something second-hand. I’ve even known friend groups who swap clothes and home decor on a regular basis to change up their wardrobe and environment. Living in a consumerist nation, most second-hand shops are still full of great quality items because most people don’t keep things long enough to really be considered “used.” You’d be surprised at the quality you can find!
3. Switch grocery stores.
Have you ever shopped at Aldi? When an Aldi store came to my town, my family tried it out right away. My husband and I had a cart full of food and were giddy in the checkout line when the cashier told us the total. We had literally cut our grocery bill in half and had purchased so much more than we ever had! Aldi is super affordable. However, there aren’t as many brand options available. I’m totally okay with that as their food is great! But if you’re a brand junky, you may not have the best luck shopping there. But remember, the brand is just a label and you’re goal now is to save money! Buying the Aldi brand may be just what you need to save more money!
If you don’t believe me, read number one in this article! If you don’t have an Aldi in your area, do your research on grocery brands. Certain stores are known to be more expensive than others, no matter the product, so stay clear!
4. Stream your T.V. shows.
Paying a monthly fee for Netflix and Hulu is a lot cheaper than getting cable or dish. You can stream your favorite shows online and even have a special parental control for your children where they can only login to watch kids shows. What’s even better? You don’t have to wait for certain shows to be on to watch them!
5. Wait for the sale.
I am an online shopper. So something that I do is stay logged into my favorite websites and keep the things in my “cart” that I want/need, but I don’t purchase until I have a promo code of 30% off or more! Those type of codes pop up fairly often, so just don’t let yourself be in a rush. Every now and then I lose something that goes out of stock, but it’s never something I needed anyway. It’s worth waiting for the sale! Also, after several days, sometimes my mind changes on a few items, and I realize I didn’t want them anymore — also saving me money!
6. Cut back on unnecessary monthly expenses.
Go through your bank account and write down every monthly payment you make that’s outside of the basic/necessary budget. You’ll be amazed how many subscription services or monthly activities you are involved in that aren’t necessary. Find other ways to have fun together as a family until you can afford the extra activities. And sacrifice the monthly subscriptions because the stress on your finances isn’t worth it.
Tell us in the comments, what are you doing to help you become a one-income family?