Being a stay at home mom often comes with a drop in income, as mom decides to stay home to raise the children.
As a stay at home mom of almost 3 years, I’m always looking for ways to save more money.
And more and more mamas are choosing to drop their corporate jobs and go full-time as a stay-at-home mom.
As a mom, you’ve probably felt your share of judgement from those who aren’t in your shoes.
“She’s probably incapable of work” or “she probably lives a boring life” are the worries that I have felt in the past. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that other people feel like you don’t have (or deserve) your own money.
Being able to stay home with your kids instead of going back to work is a choice, and a collective decision made between you and your spouse.
According to a study, 60% of the American population say that the progress of a child relies heavily on one parent being at home.
So by staying home with your kids, you’re doing a great thing. Your kids are getting a lot out of you being at home.
Only difficulty is, and I totally understand you on this one, you’re might be having your what-ifs of how much you could be making right now if only you’ve continued to live the boss babe life.
So in this article, we’re going to show you the most practical tips on how to save more money and even make your own! Don’t lose hope, mama. We got you!
Get Clear on Your Goals
Being really clear about what you want is an important step.
You can be as shallow as you want as to the reason why you want to save more money.
It doesn’t need to be such a big and heroic act such as wanting to buy house. Although that is a good long term goal, it’s great to have realistic short term goals as well.
You want to buy a designer bag? There’s nothing wrong with that! Use that as one of your motivations to save more. Be as detailed as possible!
Figure Out How Much You Need to Save Each Week
Once you have your goals set, it’s time to put a price on it!
Now that you know how much you want to save, you can break it down into weekly amounts.
It’s less pressure on you if you save per week.
A good place to start would be a $50 goal for every 7 days.. Doesn’t matter where you get this from – an allowance, a paycheck or a side business. Just remember to prioritize setting it aside every week.
Shop Around for a Better Deal
If you’ve been a mom for a long time, then you know that negotiating is a skill.
We spend hours upon hours of looking for the best deal because we don’t want to have buyer’s regret. And the reality is, there are countless of discounts being offered online – all you need to do is to scour the internet for it.
It is worthwhile to call your service providers and simply ask for a better deal. Often times, if they think they are going to lose your business, they will have a better plan for you. Or possibly there is a cheaper option that you haven’t been offered. It’s worth the phone call!
If you’ve seen those videos on YouTube where people go crazy over coupons, yep, it’s somewhere along those lines. And, no, you don’t need to go that far. All you really need to do is to make better decisions.
For example, instead of buying a 1 carton of milk, why not buy by the gallons instead. Bulk buying is always cheaper!
Review Your Bills Every Month
Are you reviewing your bills each month?
It’s worthwhile to create a spreadsheet and look back at each month to know how much you are spending and if that amount is increasing or decreasing.
Paying attention to your bills is often forgotten ,especially if they’re automatically being deducted from your bank account.
There are some bills that don’t fluctuate at all such as your Netflix subscription or your internet bill. While there are some that blow up if you’re not careful such as your electricity or phone bill. So look for simple ways on how to cut down.
The smallest changes like using natural light on your living room instead of artificial lights, turning off applicances at the wall, taking shorter showers, or cutting down on game console hours for your kids can lower down your electric bill dramatically.
Track Your Money with a Personal Finance App
You’re probably always on your smart phone anyways so why not utilize it as a tool to track your finances.
Personal finance apps have several features that can help you save. It allows you to input your expenses real-time. They can help you track your savings as well and you can even set alarms when it’s time to pay for certain bills.
The best thing? Most of these apps are free! Make it a habit to use these so you don’t miss out.
The effect of using a tracker is that you become more conscious of your spending because it becomes itemized. And when you see your list of daily expenses getting too long, it won’t be so hard to say no to a tempting manicure that you. don’t really need.
Start a Savings Challenge
If this sounds familiar, this is because the savings challenges flood our newsfeed around New Year’s each year, and you’ve probably seen so many people break a piggy bank by the end of the year with lots of cash inside!
Create a calendar, either weekly or daily, and commit to a scheduled contribution. This is called a challenge because it requires a certain level of discipline. This technique helps you stick to the habit of saving before spending which should really be your mantra from now on.
Another type of savings challenge is a no spend month. I love these! They’re so simple and a great way to understand how much money you are spending unneccessarily. A week or a month is a great place to start. You simply spend nothing for the whole period.
Obviously you set your own rules, but I have found that cutting out all discretionary spending – that is, on things that are no necessary – makes a big difference. For a whole month, you won’t go out for coffee or lunch, choose to park in free spots instead of paid, and seek out free activities for you and your kids.
The first week can be quite hard but it quickly gets much easier – I promise!
Pack Your Own Lunch and Cut Back on Eating Out
The reason why we love eating out so much is because it’s convenient – no preparations, no washing of dishes and cleaning up. But you know that convenience has a price, right?
Yes, eating out is really expensive! When you think about the markup on the meals you like to eat plus the drinks, it’s really staggering.
So practice preparing your own meals to save money and still eat delicious food.
Since the Coronavirus lockdowns, we’ve all become amateur chefs!
You can start simply by making packed sandwiches not just for you but for your whole family. This is a great practice so they can also see the benefits of spending less on take out food.
Plus cooking your own food has great health benefits, with less salt, sugar and additives.
The more you can cook with whole foods the better for you, and your wallet.
Skip the Takeaway Coffee
It can be pretty easy to get addicted to gourmet coffee such as Starbucks. But, this is a habit you need to kick ASAP if you’re hell bent on saving money! Imagine each day buying a $4 cup of coffee for 5 days a week — that a total of $1040 over a year!
Over 10 years, that’s $10,400 – which could be a house deposit!
But it gets worse still. If you put invested that money into a dividend paying Exchange Traded Fund or dividend paying stock, by 10 years it would have grown to $15,000.
$4 each day doesn’t seem like much but it definitely builds up over time.
Why not develop a knack for making your own instead?
You can purchase a pretty sturdy French press for as low as 20 bucks on Amazon.
You can even go as far as grinding your own beans. Imagine all the craft recipes you can create from so many syrups and milks available at your local grocery store. Hazelnut brew for Monday, Iced Americano on Tuesdays, and the delicious possibilities are endless!
Decrease Your Alcohol Spend
An occasional girls’ night out is okay to keep you sane. But if you find yourself restless every night, then you can’t spend on a bottle of wine daily. That’s just too much even for the cheap kinds.
There are cheaper AND HEALTHIER ways to induce sleep. You can use essential oils, take a nice bath, meditate and a personal favorite for daddy, get intimate! An orgasm has proven to make most people sleepy and we don’t even need any data to back this up; you know this already.
Find Free Things to Do
We know how life-giving hobbies can be. But before enrolling on yet another yoga class that you probably won’t attend anyways, take a deep breath and consider looking for a hobby that costs little to no money, or better yet, one that you can monetize.
Consider something crafty like phone photography and creating your own family albums for memorabilia. Another would be to start gardening which has been proven to make a person happier. Who knows, you might even start growing your own produce like tomatoes or basil which will do your money-saving goals good!
A hobby like sewing or knitting can be turned into a side hustle by selling your items on an online marketplace like Etsy. If you start a business around your hobby, many of your hobby related items will become a tax deduction. Win-win!
Automate Your Savings
An automated savings plan can help your family to save money, by automatically transfering money to your savings account without it ever reaching your spending account.
You can start by making automated transfers from your payroll account to your savings account every pay day.
You can also do the same with your bills. The way that I have this set up is that payroll gets split into 3 accounts. One is savings, one is for bills payment and the third is for weekly spending.
The great thing about automating your bill payments is that you never forget to pay and you don’t end up with shouldering pesky penalties.
When people talk about paying yourself first, this is what they mean. Put your money directly into your savings account and then decrease your other areas of spending.
Ask for a Pay Rise
If you’ve been working hard to impress your boss, whether this is a paid project gig or a full-time commitment, then you pretty much know how much you’re worth.
Asking for a raise is reasonable at this point. Just be sure that if you do, you step up your game so your boss won’t regret it.
Sell Your Excess Stuff
Have you fallen into the pit of obsessively watching Marie Kondo? She makes a good point, doesn’t she?
If you adapt to a minimalist lifestyle, you don’t only save a lot of money, you also end up having a more peaceful disposition in life because there’s less clutter around you.
You don’t need to go full minimalist to take the opportunity to destash some of your things. There are countless FaceBook groups, as well as gumtree, ebay and craigslist in your location where people sell their used clothing, shoes, bags and just about any other item at home that doesn’t serve them any purpose anymore.
Boost Your Savings with a Side Hustle
A lot of stay at home moms have taken their hobbies to a whole new level by making an income out of their interests.
Say for example, you belong to a home schooling community and you’re into arts and crafts.
There are mamas who are generating income by making creative educational and visual aids for other mommies who also home school their children.
Or possibly, you can start your own business at home by selling clothes, makeup and other things that you are personally interested in.
Besides, it’s easier to sell if you are well-versed about your inventory. This is the perfect example of knowing the market because YOU ARE THE MARKET.
Being a stay-at-home is a life-long struggle but it does yield a lot of benefits. If you learn how to manage your time and change your perspective about things, then being at home shouldn’t sound so much of a burden. You actually have the liberty to do more of what you want and make more money in the process!
I hope these tips have been helpful in getting you to think more about how you can save money as a stay at home mom.