Many of us are called to be stay-at-home moms, but financial circumstances don’t always allow it. Do you think it’s impossible for you to become a stay-at-home mom? Choosing to live off of one income can be a very difficult decision to make and somewhat scary. Making the right financial decisions and learning to live frugally can help you to live your dream of being a stay-at-home mom. These 5 stay-at-home mom budget tips can help you to live more comfortably on one income.
Create a Budget
The first step is to create a budget, meaning track your family’s income and expenses. You don’t need to use any fancy software to create a budget. Gather all of your bills, paycheck stubs, receipts, and bank statements. Basically gather everything that shows money coming in or going out. Write it all down. Be sure to add a miscellaneous fund to the budget, to allow for unexpected expenses. Once you’ve created your budget try to stick to it!
Cut Down on Expenses
Take a close look at your expenses and see what you can live without. Can you live without cable? Checking out DVD’s from the library is a great way to make up for some of your television time. Are you using all of your minutes on your cell phone plan and is there a more affordable plan available? Check with your utility companies to make sure you are getting all of the discounts you are eligible for. There might be a bundle discount available through your telephone company, or the electric company may offer a budget billing option that will make your bill the same amount each month. Gym memberships are another thing you might consider cutting from the budget. You can probably get the same amount of exercise at home.
Earn Extra Income
Find ways to bring in some extra cash. There are many things you can do to earn money at home, such as babysitting, working as a virtual assistant, freelance writing, web design, and even blogging (if you are one of the lucky few to make money from blogging). Are you good at spotting a treasure from the flea market or a garage sale? Maybe you could set up an eBay store to sell your finds.
Live Within Your Means
Living within your means might mean that you need to rethink your shopping expenditures. Shopping second hand could save you hundreds a year. Check sites like freecycle.org to see what others are giving away. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford. Your girlfriends will understand if you cannot afford to go out to lunch. Instead offer to have everyone over to your place for coffee. The holidays can be a stressful time for budget conscious people. Explaining that you cannot afford to exchange gifts, might just lift a burden from friends and family members who are also on a tight budget.
You don’t have to be an extreme couponer, or go dumpster diving for inserts to save money with coupons. You can save a lot of money by simply matching up coupons with your weekly store circular. If your store offers buy one get one deals and you have also have coupons, you can get items sometimes for pennies or even free. There are many great couponing blogs like Thrifty Jinxy or Mom’s Freebie Blog that do all the leg work for you and post the corresponding sales and coupons.
What budget tips do you have to share?
* Guest post by Genworth Financial.