"How do you stay-at-home moms make it work financially?
My husband works so hard, long hours, and has a side job that he does in evenings and weekends. My maternity leave is up in Jan, and we would like me to stay at home with our girl, but we just can’t afford it.
I know it depends on what the husband makes. We used to do so well I don’t know what happened. We only buy essentials, cut out a lot of unnecessary spending.
And I did the numbers, and once my maternity pay stops, there is no way we can make it on just his income. Which sucks because daycare is so expensive if I have to go back to work."
RELATED QUESTION: I’m Thinking of Putting My Toddler Into Daycare: Advice?
TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):
“My husband and I always worked opposite shifts. For example, he worked 6-2:30 and I worked 2-10:30. We made sure to have one day off together each week but it worked out so we only needed a babysitter for an hour. It’s hard but you can make it work.”
“Honestly it takes a large single income and a lot of cutting corners and bargain shopping. I’ve been a SAHM for almost 13 years now. We follow a pretty strict budget, meal prep, stock the pantry and freezer with taxes. We buy bulk beef and pork right from the farm, have our own chickens for eggs, and a decent size garden.”
“When you get two incomes you ger used to spending two incomes. You will have to take a harder look at budget. Even to the point of selling off the second vehicle or something that will take care of a big chunk.”
“SAHM here! It is by no means easy. At all. But honestly, what it came down to for us was: 1) Child care would be too expensive that me working wouldn’t have made a difference. 2) We thought it was more important for our child(ren) to be raised by their parents. But at the end of the day, it comes down to what you think is best for your family as a whole.”
“Whatever you do, do NOT join an MLM (multi-level marketing program). The Huns may say it’s a good way to make money look at income statements the company puts out themselves please if you’re tight on money do not spend it on an MLM. They prey on people in hard situations.”
“If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t give up my career completely or at all. If you can somehow figure out a way to keep a foot in the door with your employer, I would, whether that is working part time, working from home, whatever.”
“I was a stay at home mom as much as we could afford, in the end I worked jobs around my ex husband’s hours, so we limited daycare costs. So if he worked 9-5 I would try to find a job that was 6-2, it was hard but we managed.”
“Budget and plan your groceries/meals. Don’t eat out. Buy meat in bulk and repackage at home in ziplocks and freeze. That’ll save you tons. I’m also a huge fan of keeping a well-stocked pantry. Make from scratch. And while you’re home, watch electricity and water usage. It’s not easy. But you can do it!”
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