It’s a common concern. In a day where it is extremely common for both parents to be working full time jobs, the question frequently arises. “How in the world can you afford to be a stay at home mom?”
I never considered working outside the home. I always wanted to be a stay at home mom, and even after we got married I stayed at home instead of getting a job. We knew we wanted a family right away, so three months after getting married we found ourselves expecting our first child! It was an exciting time, but finances were very, very tight our first few years of marriage. During the most difficult times I offered to go get a part time job, but Sean was insistent I stay home with our children.
The answer of how I afford to be a stay at home mom is pretty basic. It’s because we make that choice, and always have. We make sacrifices so I can be a homeschooling mom. We didn’t enter marriage and base our house and car expenses on a two income family, it was always based on getting income from my husband.
Things we choose to do without:
~ We have never had a brand new house. There is nothing wrong with a brand new house, it’s just never been in our budget.
~ We don’t drive brand new cars. We have made the decision to not drive super old cars either though, after realizing we spend a lot of money in repairs.
~ We don’t have cable.
~ We don’t eat out very often. When we do go out as a family it is normally to Chick-Fil-A. Our oldest child has been somewhere like Olive Garden 2-3 times in their life. The food court at Costco is a favorite (wow, that sounds really uptown doesn’t it?)
~ We don’t have nice furniture. Seriously. Right now our couch is falling apart (like, one of the cushions has a hole in it and every time you sit back it shoots batting into the air!), our fake leather chair (“pleather” they call it) is literally shedding itself all over our living room floor (a toddler stuck a fork in it and things unraveled from there), and our dining room table is a mix-match of wood and painted chairs that are really sad looking. We hope to get newer furniture when we move, but for now we just are trying to be content.
~ We don’t go shopping all the time. My husband is hard to find clothes for in his size, so we buy all of his clothes brand new. I like to get my clothes from Deborah & Co., thrift stores, ThredUP and department store clearance and sales racks. The children’s clothes come from local Kid’s Closet Consignment sales and ThredUP.
~ We don’t go to the movies. If we actually want to see a movie that has come out (which is rare to find a decent one), we wait until it is on DVD and get it from RedBox or the library.
~ We don’t have expensive hobbies. We keep our hobbies on a cheaper scale. For example, I’d love for my boys to take bow and arrow classes, but weekly classes and investing in a bow is not cheap.
However that doesn’t mean we don’t spend any money at all. We just carefully think through if it is a good investment for our family.
Things We Do Spend Money On:
Music Lessons – We have our daughter in violin lessons. I feel this is a good skill for her to learn, and she seems to be learning it fairly well. This is an investment in her life, as she could possibly teach lessons when she is older.
Good computers – When we first were married we didn’t even have a computer for a year or two. Now with my husband in graphic design, the only computer he will buy is a Mac. They are not cheap, but they have held up extremely well.
Homeschool books – I know some people don’t spend much money at all on homeschool materials. You can’t spend it if you just don’t have it. There are ways around buying curriculum, but I make it a point to find the money for the curriculum I want. I don’t spend $1000 a year on materials, but I know I spend around $400-$500 a year on curriculum. I love to use Heart of Dakota with my boys, and while I find it used it still isn’t cheap. Then I have new math workbooks, etc. and it all adds up. I look at places like Ebay, HomeschoolClassifieds.com and local used book sales.
Food – Ok I know everyone spends money on this! We are not purists, but I try to buy healthy food for my family. We shop at Aldi’s and Costco a lot. I avoid the processed food at Aldi’s (besides cold cereal), and I get fruit, veggies, and dairy products there. I also get my canned food like beans, tomato sauces, and pasta there. I get my lettuce and organic carrots and spinach from Costco, and get greek yogurt and organic hamburger at Costco as well. I’m not an all organic shopper (we just don’t have the budget for it) but I pick and choose what is most important to me.
There are times that no matter how badly you want to be a stay at home mom, it’s just not possible. Your husband might be ill, you might be a single mom, or your husband lost his job and you have to work. Those are valid reasons, and this post is not meant to discourage you.
However there are many other families who say they could never afford to let the wife stay at home, yet they have brand new houses, drive brand new cars, and want the very best of everything. If you want to be a stay at home mom, you have to sacrifice something!
I’ve been blessed to stay home, homeschool my children, and still be able to earn some money to help our family out. Besides Deborah & Co., Lilla Rose has been an amazing blessing to our family! If you are needing to earn some money from home, don’t miss out in this chance to join a very unique company and earn up to 45% each month. The only requirement is to sell or purchase $29 a year. There are no monthly party requirements or inventory that you are required to purchase. I love this company, and love the owners and people that work for them! The free shipping special ends July 31st, so don’t delay!
I’d love to hear how what sacrifices your family makes so you can be a stay at home mom!