I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I didn’t know until I was probably around 26 years old that if I ever had kids, I wanted to be able to spend as much time with them as I could, especially when they were little. I knew I had to figure out how to financially prepare to be a stay at home mom.
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I also knew that I didn’t want to be living paycheck to paycheck and that I wanted to be able to still contribute to my family’s income. I didn’t want to solely depend on my husband to foot the bills even though I would be saving us a fortune on child care by staying at home.
In order to be able to afford to be a stay at home mom and still be financially independent, I started saving as much as I could so that when the time came for me to have kids, I would be ready.
I started saving as much as I could when I was around 26 or 27. I had my daughter when I was almost 30 years old and I was able to save up 2 year’s of my salary by that time.
I was able to save that much by living within my means and preparing to be a frugal stay at home mom. I didn’t deprive myself of anything, I just focused on unnecessary things I could cut back on.
I have always been responsible with money so this wasn’t very hard for me to do. I just kept living like I did in college, on a tight budget.
You may be wondering, “Can I afford to be a stay at home mom?”, and I am here to tell you that it is possible with a bit of preparation.
How to Financially Prepare to be a Stay at Home Mom
I got into couponing after college when I was trying to get my own place and pay off my student loans. I came across the site, Hip2Save, and fell in love with how easy she made couponing seem.
I started doing meal planning so that I would eat out less and matched sales with my coupons to really save. On average, I would save 60% or more on my grocery bill and that really adds up.
I got a weekly paper and used sites like Coupons.com to get savings for pretty much everything I needed. I didn’t extreme coupon, but I did stock up on things that I used all the time when I could get it at it’s lowest price.
It’s just one of the ways I’m able to lower my grocery bill by 75% week after week.
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Shop Sales and Clearance
I only bought items that were on sale or clearance. I did this for groceries, clothes, makeup, shoes, home decor, pretty much everything.
I shopped second hand places like ThredUp and Schoola for my clothes. I never payed full price for anything!
It is really not that hard to do, it just requires patience. Once I started using coupons, I was able to see what the stock up price would be for certain items, I would stock up so I would have enough to get me through the next sales cycle.
The same thing is true with clothes, I would stock up at the end of every season when things were on clearance and I would be set for the next year.
Cut Out Non-Essentials
I gave up as many luxury items as I could without feeling deprived. I still had a Starbucks frapuccino but I cut it back from once a week to once a month.
I needed to get used to being a frugal stay at home mom so that I could make my savings last.
Instead of spending money on magazines, I learned how to get free magazine subscriptions. I also did things like getting free movie tickets, birthday freebies, and more.
I was even able to get credit to stores or products that I would buy everyday just by referring my friends. They would save on their purchase, and I got a credit. It was a win-win for both of us!
If I ever wanted to treat myself to a spa or manicure, I would always check sites like Groupon first. I’d save at least 50% on these kinds of services and still get to feel pampered.
I was able to still live the lifestyle I wanted while being able to save as much as I could. You can still treat yourself to luxuries, you just have to put in a little work and be creative.
How to Afford to be a Stay at Home Mom
An easy way that I made some extra cash to help me financially prepare to be a stay at home mom was by taking online surveys. There are a lot out there (and some are scams) but the ones I used and loved were:
Ipsos ISay, Inbox Dollars, MindsPay, Pinecone Research, and Vindale Research.
I would normally make anywhere from $30-$50 per site every month. They don’t take a lot of time. I would spend about 30 minutes to an hour each night taking them. I would do them while I watched TV.
I also joined Swagbucks where I got paid for doing searches, watching videos, taking surveys, etc. I earned about $30/month with this.
With most of these sites, you can cash out for gift cards or Paypal. I just used Paypal and then sent everything to my savings account. It’s just an easy idea for how to save money to be a stay at home mom
During this time, I also got really into entering giveaways. I was able to save so much money by winning products, gift cards, and even cash by doing this.
I would mainly enter blog giveaways because they don’t have as many people entering them as big sweepstakes do so your chances of winning are a lot higher.
I would find different ones to enter on sites like Giveaway Promote, Online Sweepstakes, and Sweeties Sweeps. If there was a particular item I wanted, I would do a Google search like “Visa Gift Card Giveaway” or something like that.
I would spend about an hour a day on average entering different giveaways, it only takes a minute or two to enter each one. So I would enter about 30-40 different ones.
I would win a couple a day on average. Some would be small prizes like a free product coupon while others would be worth a few hundred dollars.
I kept this up when I found out I was pregnant and entered for everything baby related. We were able to win a lot of baby supplies and even diaper prize packs! This is great for any of you frugal stay at home moms out to stock your nursery for free!
More Ways to Financially Prepare to be a Stay at Home Mom
Paid off Debt as Fast as I Could
When I finished college I had $17,000 in student loans and I needed a new car, mine was on it’s last leg, so I had a car loan for $10,000.
I knew that in order for me to be able to afford to be a stay at home mom, I had to get rid of that debt as fast as I could. I payed an extra $100 on my student loan and an extra $70 on my car payment every single month.
I just had my payments set up so that was the amount that would be deducted every month. In my head, that is what I owed and I wasn’t going to pay any less.
By paying all that extra, I was able to have both of my loans payed off by the time I was 29. I think they were both payed off within a couple of months of each other and it felt great!
This is where finding the right side hustle for you come in. I was able to make money on the side in addition to my full time job. All of that extra money when to paying down my loans.
I took those payments, I think they were $500 total, and instead of spending it I just had that amount go into my savings. I just kept living like I was paying the loans but was actually paying myself.
Keep Maintaining It
I was able to save up 2 year’s of my salary by doing all of the above and just living within my means. If there is ever something that I want, I save for it. I still live frugally so that I can keep staying home with my daughter.
I could have gone on nicer vacations or bought a nicer car. But being able to stay at home with my child was more important for me and I never regret that decision.
I started my blog before I was pregnant but only treated it like a hobby. Since then, I have treated it like an actual business and I am making an income off of it.
I also became an Amazon FBA seller and I love it. I pretty much get paid to shop for bargains which I love to do anyway. It is something that I do when I have extra time. It is a great source of extra income for me.
By finding ways to work from home as a stay at home mom, I have only had to use about 1/4 of my savings. Everything else has been paid for by the blog and my Amazon selling business.
My daughter is 5 now and I can still afford to stay home with her until she starts kindergarten, maybe even longer! It’s more than I ever could have imagined.
You Can be a Frugal Stay at Home Mom
I just want this to be a resource for anyone that wants to be able to stay at home with their kids. I know not everyone is able to but it is possible with some planning and hard work.
I have had to make sacrifices and I don’t have the fanciest things but I am OK with that.
My life has changed so much since I had my daughter. Not only have I become a parent to an amazing kid but I have been given the courage and confidence to start my own business.
Something I never thought I could or would do!
If you want to save money to be a stay at home mom or buy your first home or just go on a nice vacation, use some of the tips above. You should reach your goal in no time.
Ariel @ Frugal Mermaid says
I have never heard of the sweepstakes sites! Definitely going to be trying those! What a fun and simple way to earn a few bucks.