Teagan's Sandbox

Mom Life

How I Afford To Be A Stay At Home Mom

Quitting my job to stay home with my daughter was by far the best decision I’ve ever made. Like I’ve said in previous posts, making that decision wasn’t easy though, financially that is. I wasn’t just working to pay for daycare and pocket $500, I was contributing to our lifestyle. A lifestyle that consisted of eating out probably 5 times a week, doing fun stuff on the weekend, going shopping when we wanted and deciding to go on vacations at the drop of the hat. We never thought about the price of things; because we didn’t have to.

Going from two incomes to just one was a huge adjustment for us. The first month it seemed easy because it’s like shocking the body but as time goes on you fall back into your old ways and old mindset. It’s not until you move money from your savings that you are like ‘wait, no…we can’t live like we used to’. Then you get yourself back on track and make a stricter budget and stick to it.

Since I now have a few months under my belt of being a stay at home mom and living off one income, I feel like I can actually sit down and write this post. If I continue staying home for a few years, I’ll be interested to see what continues to work for us and what we tweak as we go.

  1. STOP EATING OUT

Prior to quitting, this was by far our biggest sucker of money. Really sit down and look at your spending; I think you’ll be shocked at how much money you spend on eating out, coffee, snacks at work, happy hours, etc. Looking at that number honestly made me a little sad; we were literally eating away Teagan’s college fund. I find that being successful in this is meal planning. Sit down every weekend and make a list of at least dinners for the week. Add a little bit more to that so you can have leftovers for lunch. I shop twice a week because it just gets me and Teagan out of the house but whatever works.

I use coupons when I happen to have them but I’m not at the point yet where I’m actively looking for deals and clipping coupons. Maybe one day but for now meal planning and picking the brand that happens to be on sale seems to work out for us.

  1. BUY SECOND HAND

85% of Teagan’s clothes have come from consignment sales since before she was even born. The other 15% have been gifted by family or friends. Frankly, I can’t wrap my head around buying brand new clothes for young children. I want Teagan to look cute, of course, but not at the expense of our bank account and savings especially since she grows out of them so quickly or ruins them. You’d be really surprised the quality of the clothes you can find at consignment and yard sales. They are typically in excellent condition. If she REALLY needs something, then she needs something but I think it’s about changing your mindset about what’s most important.

This goes for home goods too. Always look online at yard sale sites or second hand apps first. You’d be so surprised what you find. Some of my most favorite things in my home are second hand.

  1. CUT BACK

Cut back on everything. Stop getting your nails done. Stop getting your hair highlighted. Stop going to stores without lists because we all know how a trip to Target for ‘just one thing’ ends. I haven’t had my nails done in probably a year. I’ve been home now for almost 6 months and I’ve only had my highlights done once; I just can’t justify that every 6-8 weeks anymore. I don’t have expensive hobbies anymore. If our cable bill wasn’t wrapped up in our HOA fee, we would 100% cancel it. Basically, drop the non-essentials, make your husband give you that massage.

  1. SHOP YOUR HOME

In the past, I’ve gotten myself into a Pinterest coma and felt like I needed to go out and buy all this stuff to decorate my house more. In reality, we have more than we need here it’s just a matter of moving things around. It’s shocking how fresh and new your home feels when you simply move things around within your house and you save money. It’s a win-win.

In writing this, I am by no means saying we never eat out, buy something new or spend money on something dumb. We absolutely do from time to time but it’s become a question of needs versus wants on a daily basis. Do I want a new pair of sandals? Yes, yes I do. Do I need a new pair of sandals? No, no I don’t. At the end of the day, Cary makes enough money to allow me to stay home with Teagan and completely support us and I know we are so blessed for that but what I am saying is it doesn’t go without sacrifices and these are super easy ways to start saving money today. We don’t live the same lifestyle and we go without a lot of things we want but I’m living the life I never knew I always wanted. Seeing that sweet little smile all day long makes the fact that my roots are three inches grown out totally okay!

If you asked me a year ago if I thought being a stay at home mom and surviving off of one income was realistic I would’ve said absolutely not. I am now a believer that we make the life we want. If our situation changes financially, I know we would downsize our lifestyle even more to continue this journey.

    2 COMMENTS

  • Mfon July 17, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for sharing really encouraging.

    • jennw076 July 17, 2017 Reply

      Of course! It was intimidating to even think about before but definitely worth all the sacrifices! <3

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  • Peace ✌🏼 out, Virginia! That’s a wrap on this beautiful chapter of our lives. We are so grateful for this home and the amazing memories we have been able to make. We brought both of these sweet babies home to this house so it is bittersweet. .
I’ve spent my entire life in Virginia but so excited for this new adventure and to be back in Cary’s home state! I can’t put into words how much we will miss our sweet friends that have become family and of course, my parents! But we can’t wait to host you all in our new home!! .
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Thank you, VA! 💕💕
#movingday #movingtoaustin #movingtotexas #goodbyevirginia
  • Packing up a weeks worth of supplements so I can pack all the bottles up for the big move next week. I know people (including my family) probably think I’m a complete whack for how many supplements I take daily but there is a method to the madness. My hope is that filling these little containers and taking good quality supplements daily to support all areas of my body will mean that later in life I’m not having to fill them with medications to stay alive and healthy. We are only given one body and I’m trying my best to keep it as healthy as I can so I’m here for my family longer! I’m curious to know, what supplements do you take daily to support your body?? 🥰
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#dailysupplements #nontoxichome #nontoxicliving #oilymama #girlmama #boymama #healthymotivation #healthymomlife #dailyroutine #dayinthelife
  • Today was Teagan’s last day of preschool in her 2 year old classroom. I’m not sure how the year flew by so fast but I’m even more shocked at how much she has grown and matured since the start of the school year. I wish so badly that I could freeze this age and bottled it up forever. She is such a kind, smart and beautiful girl and I pray she never changes or loses her joyful spirit 🥰 Swipe to see our first day of school picture 😂🤦🏼‍♀️ #teagankendall
  • This view will never get old. Seeing them play and laugh together has been the greatest joy of my life. I know it’ll only get better with time. Life might be chaotic with two young kids but I know without a doubt the greatest gift we could have ever given Teagan is this built in best friend 🥰 we hope everyone has a great weekend ❤️
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#teagankendall #beaumontgomeryg #gaskellrascals #almost3 #twoyearsold #toddlermoments #terrifictwos #8monthsold #babyboy #girlmama #boymama #momoftwo #oilymama #nontoxichome #builtinbestfriend #growingupwithsiblings #siblinggoals #brothersisterlove #siblingsbelike
  • Home of the free because of the brave 🇺🇸 We will never forget that freedom is never free and we enjoy these days with family because of those that paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedoms. Our hearts are with those families today! ❤️ #memorialday2019 #godblessamerica #freedomisntfree #homeofthefreebecauseofthebrave #teagankendall #toddlermom #terrifictwos #almost3
  • Not the prettiest picture but this is our current reality. It hit us this morning that we only have 2 weekends left here in Virginia. We officially sell this house in a few days. It feels like a dream. I never imagined time moving so quickly. Things have been so busy and chaotic we haven’t really had a chance to even process the emotions that go along with closing a beautiful chapter of life. It’s bittersweet. I feel sad to leave our family and friends. I feel sad thinking Teagan won’t get sleepovers at my parents house. I feel sad we won’t be able to just pop over to a friends for a play date last minute. But I feel so excited to watch Teagan and Beau frolic around in their big backyard and have quality time with their aunt. I feel excited to explore a new city. I feel excited to make new friends and host our old ones in our new home. What a rollercoaster of emotions moving can be. 🌀
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#movingday #movingtoaustin #movingtotexas #packinghacks #packingtips #oilymama #nontoxichome #toddlermoments #honestpost #vulnerabilityisstrength #momof2 #momlifebelike
  • 8 M O N T H S🌈 I’m not sure how that happened. Still a big massive baby, still the happiest, sweet boy! Crawling around all over the place. Into everything. This month he really became obsessed with Teagan and everything she does. Has 4 teeth up top and 2 on the bottom. I wish I could say he was sleeping through the night but he still wakes up at least once. But I’m releasing myself from stressing over it, babies don’t keep so I’m just going to enjoy the nightly snuggle sessions while they are here. We sure do love you, baby Beau 💙
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#beaumontgomeryg #8monthsold #babyboy #rainbowbaby #boymom #momof2 #momlifebelike #monthlybabyphoto
  • Our current life situation is leaving me feeling like 🥴 most days but my heart sure is full!! Such a fun morning hanging out with our besties and picking strawberries 🍓 .
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#momof2 #8monthsold #toddlermoments #toddlermom #terrifictwos #strawberryseason #nontoxichome #oilymama