I knew for a long time that my desire was to be a stay at home mom when we had kids, but taking that leap of faith was very hard. It was important to our family to be home with our children especially during the early years. I wanted to experience all of the joy, fun, pain, and amazing times with them. I wanted to be there for all the firsts. But most of all, I felt it was my responsibility to raise our children. But when I became pregnant with our first child we didn’t plan for me to quit work right away. We actually planned for me to work until we had a second child. But plans changed, and after my 10 weeks of maternity leave I only went back 3 days a week, then 2.5 days a week (same amount of hours though). Eventually, due to babysitter problems we decided to take a hard look at everything and when my baby was 9 months I took the plunge to stay home full time. I hated leaving home to go to work. I even bought a home security camera for apartment just so I could keep check that everything was ok at home. I’m so much happier now. This post is not to make you or anyone else feel bad if they are not staying at home, or desire to stay at home but are unable to at this time. Rather, I’m sharing our experience and ways to help you figure out if staying at home is possible.
You may have the desire to stay at home, but how do you know it is even possible?
Can You Afford to Be a SAHM?
- Start keeping a budget. Seriously. It’s one of the most important things you can do! You can’t tell if you can stay home if you have no idea how much money you make and how much all your bills cost. So start budgeting and see. Keep track of all our your expenses and all of your income. Look at home much it is going to cost you if you continue to work and what you will save if you stop working. Check out this post on How To Budget On A Flexible Income. I even share our real life budget with you.
- Can you live off of just your signifiant other’s paycheck to see if you can handle it? Then take your paycheck and save the whole thing. Yes the whole thing… work on paying off debt or do both. Not only does this help see if you can make it on one income, but this also establishes an emergency fund. If you can live off of one persons income, but literally have nothing to spare what happens if something goes wrong?
- Make some sacrifices. We had to make some drastic cuts and figured out how we to save thousands of dollars monthly for me to be able to stay at home. Yes you read that right… thousands of dollars. We were not extravagant people to begin with either, but by choosing different healthcare, penny pinching, and switching my cell phone we saved a ton (you can read 90+ Ways We Save Money and How We Saved Over $500 A Month On Our Budget).
- When there is a will there is often a way, but how can you make that happen? What if you can almost stay at home, but you still need extra money to pay the bills or just some extra cushion to feel secure? For example, what would you do if something happened which you hadn’t have budgeted for such as a termite infestation? All you have to do is call up someone like Termite Control Kansas City, but if you haven’t budgeted for it, or saved up enough then you’re going to be struggling. You can always take on part time work in the home. I always know someone looking for a babysitter, virtual assistant, cleaning houses, just extra help, or you could always start a blog (this may take a little awhile to start earning an income). I’ve recently decided to take 2 part time jobs. One is a seasonal job working 8 hours a month and the other is helping a friend meal plan and prep 4 times total, plus I get to bring my baby. Both are temporary and I get to do what I love, working with food and children. Perfect timing because our air conditioner went out and even though we have an emergency fund established this will help restore it. See it’s nice to have a little cushion!
- If all else fails and you hate staying at home or something else unexpected happens, you can always go back to work full time or part time.
Making the leap of faith to become a stay at home mom can be really difficult. And it’s only a decision you and your partner can make. But hopefully some of the advice I shared today will help you figure out if you can stay at home. What has your experience been staying at home?
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I’m not a financial professional. I’m just a stay at home mom that loves what she does and want to encourage other moms that wish to also stay at home. Staying at home is a personal decisions and I am not responsible for any actions you do take.