So a lot of people ask me if I work. Well depends on what you mean by work, but no, I don’t have a 9-5 type of job. Most of them say, oh you are so lucky, I wish I could afford to be a stay at home mom. For the majority of this people this thing is possible, but if you ask me, can I be a stay at home mom and maintain the same lifestyle as with two full incomes then the answer is .. no, you can’t.
For a lot of people who have parents or extended families to help them with looking after their kids while they are at work at least for 2-3 days per week while paying for the remaining days for a nursery, I can see why you would go to work. For the rest of us, when the childcare cost is double then a mortgage coming to just over £900 per month (per child) I prefer to make myself busy around the house while doing the one job that I love the most, being a mom.
Because my husband is working a full-time job and we have a stable monthly income, together we took the decision that it is better for us if I were to stay at home and take care of the house and BabiAbu
Having said that, before you start living off one income, you will need to do certain assessments to the changes that you are willing to make in order to make staying at home possible for you.
Below are some things that helped us along our way and hopefully will provide you with some insight and help you make the best decision.
Try to own rather than rent
Yes, I know how this sounds as a first tip for saving money but bare with me.
You can get on the home ownership ladder and become a home owner with the shared ownership scheme. If you are not familiar with this, it means that you start by buying a share of your home and pay rent to the remaining. In time, you can increase the percentage of your mortgage to 100% (depending on your housing association). For first time buyers, a deposit of only 5% is needed from the percentage that you want to buy. Even by paying mortgage and rent, the overall amount is still considerably smaller than living fully in rented accommodation. Often this houses are brand new homes, built for first time buyers and families, and are coming with years of building warranty giving you the peace of mind that your new home is not a money pit and you won’t have to deal with leaking roofs and mold.
Save on groceries
- One thing that always works here is, don’t be spontaneous. Plan ahead a menu, write down the shopping list and stick with it. Don’t go shopping hungry and try to avoid bringing kids with you.
- Switch to cheaper meat cuts, for example instead of chicken breast, buy chicken drumsticks. You can also use your slow cooker to bring out even more flavor from your meat. Cheaper cuts like beef skirt have an incredible flavor when stewed for 8h and can be 25% cheaper than beef steak.
- Buy in bulk and calculate per 100g when comparing products to make sure that you are actually getting a deal.
- Store food correctly so it doesn’t go bad before it’s meant to. Don’t overstuff the fridge so you forget what you have inside.
- Don’t cook oversized portions. This is something I had to learn over time, I was putting way to much food on my plate, in my toddler’s plate, and was all going in the bin.
- Beware of the “offers”. Stop being brand conscious. There are many products with same quality costing much less. If it is an offer at something that you always buy, might be worth it, if not try and buy supermarket own brands for a change, those pennies do add up.
When shopping for cleaning products or other household items check first with your local Poundland. There are many branded items and all cost just £1 comparing with the supermarket, which can be even more than double for the same product.
Distinguish needs vs wants
You will need to have a goal, a purpose for why you want to save money to keep you on the right track and motivated otherwise is easy to just go and splurge on an impulse purchase.
Don’t go in shops if you don’t need something specific
I always come out with something even if my intention was just to see what’s new. Replace the mall with a walk in the park or find places that won’t tempt you into buying things.
Wait for sales or buy second hand
Children clothes can be very expensive. By buying second hand you can find big brands at a fraction of the price in immaculate conditions while supporting your local charity shops. People also sell a lot of children bundles on eBay, gumtree, Spock and you can get them on a very good deal.
Plan ahead your budget for eating out as well as days out
Here is why meal planning is so important. Make sure that you have your week covered, minus one or two days when you decide to eat out. Allocate a budget and don’t just be spontaneous on a Wednesday night when dinner time comes and you forgot to defrost meat, and all you have in the fridge are some wilted vegetable.
When eating out, check apps like voucher cloud for discounts, and try to visit places where kids eat free with every adult meal.
Ditch the credit card
Don’t use the credit card for everyday expenses. If you like to shop online, add the desired item to the basket and leave it there for 24-48 hours. If you still feel that you need it make the purchase after.
If you really need a credit card try to get one with interest-free and don’t spend more than you can afford.
Become a minimalist
For this one you need to assess how far you are willing to go for saving money. You can make cuts in your budget like eating out less or take it to the next level where you break up with your shampoo and start using bicarbonate soda.
De-cluttering your house and getting rid of duplicates can also help you get some money back by putting them on the eBay or even doing a car boot sale.
DIY rather than buy
Have a look around your house before rushing to the stores if there is anything that you already have and can use or something that you can sand and painted to give it a new lease of life. Pinterest has lots of ideas of refurbishing furniture or creative decorative DIY.
Share with me are you a stay at home mom looking to save some money or dreaming of quitting your job and spending more time with your family?
Check out some of my other articles:
- Turn your picky eater around once and for all
- Do you get frustrated with your children? 10 tips to help you with this today!
- How to beat the stay-at-home mum blues