I am a stay at home mom. I work one day a week as a play therapist, but I stay home the rest of the week. I blog for a living, at yourmodernfamily.com, so that provides extra income, but we save that money. We live off of my husband’s salary.
Here are 10 ways that we make it work:
1- Do not buy the best.
Can I tell you how long I have wanted a new van? A van with a DVD player, a back-up camera, remote doors and leather seats? Yes, I want it. Yes, we can afford it. Why aren’t we buying it? I have other goals- we want to pay off our house sooner. We want to pay it off in ten years, instead of the thirty year plan that they have us on. So… we have a used 2008 minivan. It works, it does its job and it gets us from place A to place B… so for now, it is what we need. This applies to everything- You don’t need the best vacations. Try a Stay-cation instead!
2- Build up your savings account.
Even contributing a small amount each month can make a huge difference in the long term. Start out with small, attainable goals. Even if it’s $20 a month, that will add up.
3- Be prepared.
It always happens that just when I think we are “doing well”, something comes up… like my husband saying “Hey, Beck? I think we need to get new tires.” Be prepared for the what-ifs. Your savings account can help with this.
4– Have kids give gifts from the heart.
We tell our kids to give each other gifts of service instead of spending money on one another. We love to have them make things for each other.
5- This counts for you, too!! Make gifts for family.
This DIY wooden birthday calendar is absolutely adorable and it is cheap to make. You can really get creative and make anything. My favorite gift from my husband is always a love-letter. I don’t think that will ever change. His words and know how much he cares will always mean more than gifts.
6- Make money from home.
You can sell things online, take surveys, even start a blog. Get creative. TOTS: Business has some great ideas on how to do this. Including How to make money from home (outside of your business).
7- Your kids do not need everything.
Trust me that your presence means more than presents. Tessa wrote a great post about this here on TOTS: Family. Check out her post here.
8- Make a menu plan and stick to it.
This will save you so much time and so much money. You won’t buy things and then not use them, letting them go to waste. I use e-meals (you can get two weeks for free!)
9- Follow these tips when you want to go out to eat.
It will save you money. Eating out can cost a small fortune, especially when you have a big family like mine.
10- Get free baby items
(ex: free baby leggings, free carseat carrier, free sling). Yes- free (while the supplies last).
Did I miss one of your favorite ways to save money as a stay at home mom? Tell us about it!