I have a beautiful 8 month old daughter who goes to daycare in the day, while I go to work. I've been back at work from materernity leave for about 4 1/2 months. It's killing me! I feel like I'm missing out on so much, and even though I love the woman who is taking care of my daughter, she isn't me!! I work in a very stressful professional job, and between work and the baby, I feel like I'm torn in two! My husband works, but I don't think that we could survive on just his paycheck. I know that a lot of the wonderful folks on here are SAHMs. How do you do it, financially? Any thoughts or hints would be greatly appreciated. Also, lots of prayers!
07-10-2008, 08:42:49 AM
Hi Jennifer. You've joined the right group! In no time, you will be saving tons of money and stocking up on items your family needs so that you will, hopefully, be able to live one income. You'll be surprised at how much of your "needs" suddenly become "wants" and are no longer necessary when you make the decision that you just HAVE to stay home with your baby.
One of my goals was to stockpile at least one year's worth of non-perishable items (HBA, paper products, laundry products, etc) so these items wouldn't strain our budget. You could set a goal to stockpile diapers, wipes, etc as well.
My suggestion is that you set goals and objectives and discuss this with your DH and keep that dialog going on a regular basis. Maybe it's not feasible to stop working right now, but you could set goals together to enable you to do so in the near future.
Good luck to you, and congratulations on your DD. I will keep your family in my prayers- it really does change things!
07-10-2008, 08:48:16 AM
I'd be very interested in this as well. I would love to be able to find a job that I could do from home but everything that seems to be profitable, also is one of those "too good to be true" scenarios.
I want to start my own photography business. It is a hard field to break into.
Any suggestions on legitimate at home employment would be appreciated. Surveys and mystery shopping wouldn't do it for me as I am the breadwinner of the family.
07-10-2008, 10:15:39 AM
It is hard giving suggestions without seeing your budget and knowing more about your specific circumstances, however here are a few that might help.
1. You won't need to spend much on clothes for you if you are no longer working. Most women have enough in their closet that they could get by for a couple of years buying NOTHING.
2. You might be able to get by with 1 car. Does dh work close enough that you could take him to work and pick him up one day a week so you would have the car for shopping/fun stuff?
3. You might have to move to a less expensive home. Not only would you save money on the mortgage/rent, but utilities would likely be less if the home were smaller.
4. If you are not working you don't have daycare expense, you will likely eat out less, you will save gas by not driving to work. Figure in all those savings when you run the numers.
5. Most people have a lot of things they can cut from their budget if they want to badly enough. Only you can figure out what those things are for you.
Babies grow up so fast. If you want to do this, make it happen because you won't get another chance.
07-10-2008, 10:25:58 AM
Babies grow up so fast. If you want to do this, make it happen because you won't get another chance.
Thanks for this! I think that my husband and I will have to look at things, and see what we can make work. We have been committed to getting out of debt for several years now. At this point, we have no credit card debt, and both of our cars are paid off. The only things left are school loans and our mortgage! Maybe we are closer to me being able to stay at home than I think.
07-10-2008, 10:26:24 AM
I too longed to be home with my infant and finally made the decision to leave a high stress job and stay home with him. We thought we would never make it, but I was able to pick up a job doing the same type of work I was doing in an office from home.
We also cut out a lot of "needs" that became "wants". We stockpiled a year's worth of nonperishables, and filled our freezer when great deals came along. I do work part-time outside the home now, but its a week a month.
A lot of these suggestions have been great and were right in line with the things we considered when I left my outside the home job to start working at home.
07-10-2008, 11:33:27 AM
I would also take a look into the ways you can lower your monthly expenses. One of the things I did was call my cell phone company and go on a shared minutes plan. I saved $100/month doing just that. We also went from having a satellite bill, phone bill, long distance phone bill, and internet service to a group plan. Our cable company has a package deal. For $150/month I have high-speed internet, phone with unlimited long distance, and digital cable. That easily saved us over $150/month.
I really hope you can accomplish your goal. Its well worth it.
07-10-2008, 12:09:05 PM
My kids are in college now but I have been a SAHM for most of their growing up years. It was hard many times but has paid off amazingly! I would do it all again in a heartbeat!!!
There are sooo many ways to save money if you think outside the box!!! As has been mentioned above....when you think of all the money you spend BECAUSE you work...office gifts, Avon and other temptations, lunches out, more hair care, tanning, nails, make-up etc (not that SAHM don't look nice but I know it is less than with all the "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality") the "I deserve this cause I work" splurges, extra gasoline, tithing (if you do this) and taxes and daycare....the list goes on and on!!! I bake most of our bread at 20 cents or so per loaf and it's much healthier.
The Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunt and frugal living type sites will give you more ideas. Do if it you can! You will be so glad you did!!!
07-10-2008, 09:01:22 PM
I don't have any advice to offer at this time,(except to say keep hanging around here and you will learn how to save money for sure) but just wanted to say that we also made the decision for me to stay home with our kids. Like the PP, both of mine are now in college and I am so glad that we made the decision that we did and would do the same thing all over again. Good luck and God bless.
07-10-2008, 09:20:05 PM
Congratulations on your beautiful baby!
One suggestion - make a budget based on just your dh's income. Then try living pretty closely to it for a couple of months. It will be hard because you will still be working during that time, but it will give you an idea of what your money situation will look like. Plus, you could put most of your income for those two months away to use as a little padding for your first real months home as a SAHM.
07-10-2008, 09:23:51 PM
don't forget your dry cleaning bill will be a lot lower, too!
07-10-2008, 09:35:51 PM
First.. congrats on your beautiful baby girl.. :wavehi:
Second: I agree with pp's... figure out how much you are spending because you work.. and you'll be amazed !! I was working in retail.. with no children (mine are grown).. and when I figured out how much I was spending just because I was working.. I realized I didn't have to work.. just cut out all the extra things.. like picking something up for dinner every night because I was already at the store.. instead of planning and buying groceries weekly... the money I was spending on pop and snacks at work.. those things add up quickly.. and now that I've found HCW I have even more money in my pocket...:giggle2: I hope you can do it.. you won't regret it !! Good luck :wavehi:
07-10-2008, 09:56:55 PM
I can so relate to your heart breaking every day. I thought I was a horrible mother and a horrible manager, nobody got my 100%. I was given the same advice as others here..get out your budget, live like you are on one income for awhile, pay things off, etc. I have to tell you I didn't follow any of it. I was too afraid that I would never feel like we were secure enough or that the timing would be right. I will tell you what I think are the biggest things that determine if this is the right decision: Is your husband on board with you staying home? Can you survive on hubby's paycheck if you only paid your mortgage power and food? Can you look back 20 years from now and live with your decision? If the answers to those 3 are yes, then quit. Stay home. Love on your baby while she's a baby! I am not a religious person but I did pray that I would be shown what to do and that my family would flourish. I quit my job 2 years ago with half our income and I took my 401K and used that to supplement for the first 4 months. We thought we were gonna go broke and then my husband was promoted. We had another baby and thought we were gonna go broke and he got a raise. Hubby lost his job along with the great money and thought we were gonna go broke and I found HCW with all these amazing women to guide me. If you and your husband are a team in this and you are following your heart, you will overcome any and all obsticles. I promise I have not one regret over my decision.
HTH (sorry so long winded)
07-11-2008, 07:41:43 AM
Wow! You guys are all so great! Reading the last couple of posts brought tears to my eyes! Thanks for all the great advice, suggestions, prayers and encouragement! Just, wow!
I always wanted to be a sahm. My husband's income really did not support that at the time I got pregnant...We took a job as a resident manager or "super". Where our apt & utilities were free, small salary. My d was born with cerebral palsy so in my mind working was not even an option anymore....
Fast forward 8 years...we got divorced. I was panicked I would have to return to work and what that would mean....Well when all was said and done I ended up better off financially then when we were married. The money was still the same (not much) but the "way" I handled things now was much different. I paid off over $10,000 in debt WITHIN the 1st year of divorce among putting other things in place... A big issue was my boss picked up paying our medical insurance. I wanted a leather couch/needed new couch) so I searched on craigslist and garage sales until I found one for $300 instead of paying $2,000. I shop at garage sales and am now proud of how I provide for my family. I never bothered with coupons before...now I save....I watch the store sales and shop for christmas in June instead of waiting for the last minute. I negotiate with the dentist on his fees because I don't have insurance and when I get another car it will be used not new and not a lease...
So yes, you can do this....
08-25-2008, 03:13:16 PM
Wow! I know how you feel, OP. I loved being a fulltime SAHM. While I still am one, for the most part, I do miss the fulltime part. I have a part-time job as a tutor a few days a week that doesn't steal much time from my children or husband, but does affect my energy and enthusiasm a lot. I second what most of the others have said. Savings from driving less, buying less clothing, make-up, etc, less eating out, less of this, less of that, less, less, less: generally adds up to cheaper to stay at home!
My husband calls my couponing a part time job. I figured out one week that I earned about $20 per hour of coupon deal preparations. I'd say my average savings with coupons is anywhere from $15 per hour to $25 per hour of work. That is tax free money since it's savings and not income! I'm really hoping that by next year, I will have become such a proficient couponer that I can drop the tutoring job all together.
Another thing that is very helpful for us (besides couponing, of course) is hitting yardsales, sharing hand-me-downs from and with other families at my church, and shopping at Goodwill or consignment shops. Reminding your family of all the good things that you do have instead of focusing on all the areas that you have to pinch really makes a difference.
If I may suggest, those of us who are SAHM's, remember to thank your husbands for all the effort they put in to letting us do that. Think of ways to appreciate your man in front of others too. It'll give him that boost and motivation he needs to keep going when the job gets draggy. Take the extra time you have at home to prepare your house so that it's a haven that he just can't wait to get to at the end of the day and week. Coupons are important, but remember that it is for your family, so don't let them get lost in the clippings. Keep your marriage tops!
08-25-2008, 03:20:50 PM
I don't really have advice except to say if you want to make it happen one way or another you probably will. We decided I would stay home and we lived in a tiny apartment until our second child was a few months old and we were transfered. We don't take vacations, really, and do without a lot, but no one else was there for my babies' firsts and the relationships I have with my grown daughters and our memories are worth more than dozens of vacations and nice things. It is hard, but if your heart is there with your baby it will be easier than you think. You don't really notice what you are missing. At one time my dh was making minimum wage (1982) and we were supporting my sister & her son in groceries, too. Read all you can about budgeting & saving and follow your heart (using your head). All I want to do is share my experience of being a SAHM and the successful feeling at the end of the road (my dds are college age). Hang in there!!
08-26-2008, 08:20:01 AM
I'm in the same boat. I am the breadwinner and have to carry the insurance (DH's insurance for the family would literally be almost half his pay) and I've run the numbers every which way and cannot make it work because DH is not on board with cutting back to such bare bones. We'd have to sell our house and in this market it doesn't really make sense - not to mention DH would never agree. DH makes just enough to cover the mortgage (and it is NOT high by most people's standards) but has his dream job. So even with the expenses of working I bring home enough to pay for everything else. I would love to stay at home (or work part-time) but it's just not doable.
11-07-2008, 12:33:16 PM
Well, my husband just got laid off again for the second time this year. We're thinking about starting a family very soon so we came to the conclusion that he would be a stay-at-home-dad. While I would love to stay home with our babies, it's just not doable since I have never had problems finding good jobs. Our challenge right now, though, is to make our budget work well enough so that we can put some money in savings. Good luck to all you ladies working to be SAHMs!:BigHand: