"Stay at home mamas-: HOW do you afford it?!
Especially wondering for those of you whose husbands don’t make that much money. I just don’t understand how it is possible with a mortgage, bills, etc, and I want in!"
RELATED QUESTION: Stay-At-Home-Moms: How Do You Make It Work on One Income?
TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):
“My husband and I have saved and worked hard to get to a position that allows me to raise our children. We tackle the debt with the snowball effect. We pay off smaller bills when we have extra money. We don’t do credit cards and we primarily pay for things with cash. Our house is paid off too. I will say he’s a hardworking man who has always worked 40+ hours to give us this life.”
“If your husband has an average job and you want a super expensive house with the best car, and the newest phones and your nails done every week it’s probably NOT going to be possible for you. If you’re keen on living modestly but still having your child’s needs be met, maybe it is. All about priorities, really. It can also be hard to get out of these things when you have them due to the financial obligations you have already incurred. Add up the amount your husband makes + what you currently spend on daycare and subtract your necessary expenses, and see what you have leftover.”
“Drive an older car, only have one car, don’t eat out, buy clothes at second hand or swap with friends, no nail salons, no cable tv, read books, play games, do crafts, cook, etc.”
“Ultimately, it’s cheaper to stay at home than it would be to pay for daycare.”
“For me, it wasn’t that I could afford to do it as much as I couldn’t afford not to! 2 littles in daycare was going to cost me $360 per week minimum, plus all the expenses of a daily commute. I would have been working just to afford to work AND missing out on that time with my babies. It wasn’t worth it. So we had to buckle down and budget. We’d also always lived practically: small house payment and no car payment went a long way until my youngest started public school and I went back to work.”
“Daycare for 2 was too expensive. It was financially easier to be a SAHM. Now that the kids are in school, I’m happier being able to go back to work. Being a SAHM is not always easy by a long shot.”
“Not everyone can. You have to have a partner that has a good enough paying job to afford to pay for everything alone.”
“So I’m not a stay at home mom, but I’m a single mom with a household to maintain. It all comes down to budgeting and being tight with your money. I carefully plan out how my money will be spent, when I pay bills vs when I get paid, and how to save money constantly.”
“Honestly we just couldn’t afford the daycare it wasn’t worth for all of what I would be making to go into daycare my husband would try and get any overtime possible but it wasn’t worth what we would have to pay for someone else to care for our babies.”
“Been a stay at home mom for almost 20 years now. Can’t say it’s been easy. We live by a simple mantra, A penny saved is a penny earned. Every dollar I save is just the same as if I had a job and paid for it, so careful budgeting and shopping are very important. Also, you don’t have to “have a job” to help put food on the table. I started with a small garden and now have a nice sized one that helps me feed the family. We started with the basics; fruits and berries that would never need replanting, salad stuff, peas, green beans, carrots, things like that.”
“We just don’t live a glamorous lifestyle and aren’t afraid to live in a trailer as opposed to an expensive apartment or house. We have our needs met and save a little each week to be able to take trips after a few months or buy some “wants” (games, clothes we like, decorations, etc) and I do our budget weekly if not more to make sure we stay on track, in the beginning, we made cuts like no internet no phone plans no car payments but now we have all of that because we budget cautiously. It’s doable if you don’t want a fancy life. If you need all the bells and whistles then your husband will have to be able to work a super good-paying job.”
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