“You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make.” – Gordon B. Hinckley
Growing up, my mom was a stay at home mom until I was a junior in high school and she decided to get out of the house and she worked at a Hallmark store.
When my husband and I started talking about having kids, I knew that I wanted to try and stay home like my mom did. I had no idea what it would take, how we would afford it, or just how much work it would be but I truly wanted to give my child the same experience I had.
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So, shortly after my daughter was born, we sat down and tried to figure it all out. It wasn’t easy. The day she came home from the hospital, we were living at my parent’s house and my husband worked at a pizzeria as a delivery man.
Unfortunately we really needed more income so I took a job at a doctor’s office as a receptionist, which wasn’t ideal but you have to do what you have to do. I stayed there for only a few months until we could make it work, and we did.
It took sacrifices. Lots of them.
It took patience. It took not spending money like our friends were. It set us back a few years financially and we are just now getting ahead since I am working while the little one is in school.
But, I can tell you one thing, it was worth it. I wouldn’t change our decision for me to be a SAHM for any money in the world.
Yes, I wish we could have bought a house already. Yes, being a stay at home was the hardest thing I have done and was draining more days than I care to admit. No, we haven’t gone on vacation since we were married 9 years ago.
Even with all of the things we had to give up in order to afford for me to stay home, if I could go back, I would make the same decision over and over again.
If you are like me, and know that you want to be a SAHM but aren’t sure how you can afford to live on only one salary, I want to share with you some of the things we did to make that dream a reality!
Cut excess spending.
This is so hard to do and we still struggle with this to this day. Seriously, it stinks.
When I say excess spending I mean eating out, shopping unnecessarily, going places that cost a lot, etc. Yep, all the things I personally love to do! When I first quit my job and we were living on one salary, we sat down and looked at what we could cut and what we could change about our lifestyle.
Without our budget, we wouldn’t have made it work. It literally saved us financially. My husband is good with money, thank goodness because I am horrible, and he created a spreadsheet for us to use. (We still have the same spreadsheet today!)
It maps out all of our bills, when they are due, and how much we have left over each month. If you are just beginning the journey to living on one salary, I promise you a budget will make such a HUGE difference.
Stick to your budget.
Okay, this is so important that I felt it needed its own section. It is all well and good to create a budget but if you don’t stick to it, it won’t work.
Trust me, I know from experience. Once you decide on your own personal budget, follow it to the penny!
Free is your best friend.
A park. A library. A lake. The beach.
There are so many things you can do with your little ones that won’t cost you a thing. When I was a SAHM, I became an expert in finding free and fun things to do!
We almost never did something or visited somewhere that we had to pay for because quite honestly, we couldn’t afford it. But, we have still made so many memories and had amazing experiences as a family! Free is your friend! (That is my motto in life!)
Find a way to make money from home.
I don’t have many regrets but if I could go back in time to when I was a SAHM, I would 100% have started this blog sooner and found a way to contribute to my husband’s salary while I was home.
If you search the Internet right now, there are a ton of different ways that moms (or dads!) can make money while they stay home. I wrote a post recently that goes in depth into the ways in which I fit my blog into my busy schedule as a mom. If you are a writer, there are websites that will pay you to write for them! Check out Flexjobs.com, I have used the site for years and they have some really great jobs on there. There are so many options available to you!
Learn to say no.
I have said no to so many things since my daughter was born that I can’t even count them all. No, I can’t come to that birthday party. No, I can’t grab coffee with you because it isn’t in my budget. No, I can’t go to that aquarium because that is an extra tank of gas. It’s okay to say no when you can’t afford it.
I used to be so embarrassed to say no and always worrying about letting other people down. But when you are living on one salary, especially if you are like us and are on a very tight budget, you need to learn to say no!
The moral of the story is this: if being a SAHM is your dream, even if there isn’t a lot of money to go around, you can make it work. I am living proof of that! It may take some time and it may be stressful but if we can do it, anyone can do it!