I’ve had several women reach out to me telling me their desire to be a stay at home wife and mom if they could afford to be a homemaker. While I know that not everyone will be able to make this lifestyle work on a single income, it is more affordable than many people think! Sometimes, it just means sacrificing a few unneeded luxuries to prioritize what really matters – family!
As wives and mothers, our first ministry is to our family. Unfortunately, the truth is if you work full time it’s almost impossible to be the number one influence in your child’s life. Influence often comes not only with quality time spent together but also the frequency and regularity.
That’s why being a homemaker and SAHM is such a blessing to the family unit when possible. If you have the desire, there are ways to make it work financially with some budget-cutting and planning.
Create a budget & Monitor expenses
This is the first step you’ll want to make when seeing if staying at home is an option. Budgeting is a great way to monitor any unnecessary spending habits that may be inhibiting your ability to stay home.
It’s extremely easy to think that our monthly necessities take up more of our monthly salary than they actually do. Go through the last 3-6 months and monitor your spending habits. Add up how much you are spending on groceries, coffee, takeout, and any unnecessary apps and services. You may be shocked by how much you are spending on things that are by no means a necessity! Adam and I recently got rid of any monthly subscriptions that we don’t need or use and we are saving more than 150 dollars a month. That is 1,800 or more in savings over the course of a year!
Meal planning is an exceptionally effective and relatively easy way to save money. The fewer trips you make to the grocery store the less likely you are to make impromptu and craving related purchases. Plus, by having meals for the week planned out you can prep them in advance if you know you’ll be busy on certain days. This is great if you always find yourself grabbing a quick bite while you are out of the house!
A few additional money-saving tips when meal planning is to use as many of the same ingredients throughout the week as possible and limit expensive meats. Whenever you can buy things in bulk you are always going to get a better value. So, try to condense the variety of veggies, starches, grains, meats, and anything else when meal planning on a budget.
Be Your Childs caretaker
Childcare is so expensive! If you and your spouse are both working, don’t forget to factor in how much you will be saving by not having to pay for childcare. Even if your children are school age, consider how things, like packing lunches and not paying for after school care, could save you money.
In the U.S. we are privileged enough to live in a very rich and comfortable society. Even the people below the poverty line are richer than the majority of the world’s population. Unfortunately, this reliance on comfort makes us think we need things that we actually don’t need.
One of the best ways to afford a one-income salary is to downsize. Think about you and your family’s necessities, and the things that you have that you don’t actually need. Do you need two cars? Do you need a guest bedroom? Does every child need their own bedroom or can they share? Do you need the latest iPhone? Questions like these are great discussion starters to have with your husband and bring forth to the Lord in prayer.
Plan Ways to Supplement Income
Even after all these things, sometimes your income just won’t be enough for your monthly expenses right away. That doesn’t mean you can’t make being a homemaker work!
Brainstorm with your husband ways that you guys can supplement your income. This can be by your husband taking on more work, you starting a small family business or whatever interests you! I know many mamas who have part-time work from home that they do to achieve this lifestyle. With some creativity and planning, most people can afford to be a homemaker even if it’s not an immediate transition.