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

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • I typically only share adorable pictures of my kiddos but these roasted brussel sprouts from last night were too delicious not to snap a picture of 😍

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut brussel sprouts in half 
Toss in bowl with avocado oil, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, toss again
Lay face down on pan
Cook 25-30 minutes or until browned 
Enjoy 😉 .
.
.
#plantbasedrecipes #momof2 #veganish #toxicfreehome #plantbasedpower #plantbasedmeals
  • Hi Beau! I rolly love you big guy! 🥰
.
.
.
#beaumontgomeryg #6monthsold #momof2 #followourjourney #daddysminime #happiestbabyever
  • Caption this 💙💓
.
.
.
#gaskellrascals #brotherandsister #6monthsold #almost3 #oilymama #nontoxichome
  • Happy 6 months my sweet, happy boy. We missed our 5 month update and over a week late on this one but I couldn’t let 6 months pass us by. Beau is literally a dream. He is so content to just be with everyone and be along for the ride. He’s always smiling and laughing. He is such a joyful little boy and I hope he never loses that. He weighed in at 21lbs 7oz (bigger than Teagan at 12 months 🤪) and 28.5in. My big linebacker! He got his first two teeth at about 4.5 months and haven’t seen any new ones since. Today he tried solids for the first time and I wouldn’t say he was a fan! He’s sleeping better but there is always room for improvement there 🤪 this month is when we really noticed him taking notice in Teagan and he is just in awe of her. It’s pretty much the sweetest thing ever. We love you so much our sweet Beau Beau! .
.
.
#beaumontgomeryg #6monthupdate #6monthsold #mysweetbabyboy #rainbowbaby
  • In case anyone was wondering what I do all day as a stay at home mom🤪
.
.
#beaumontgomeryg #5monthsold #mysweetbabyboy #momlifeisthebest #sahmlife #sahmproblems #sahmstyle #selfieswithmom
  • . . . I wanted you more than you'll ever know,so I sent love to follow wherever you go 💙
.
.
.
#5monthsold #beaumontgomeryg #babybrother #babyboynursery #staylittlemybaby
  • “I’m a princess” 👸🏼
.
.
.
#teagankendall #queenofthehouse #toddlerlife #toddlermeals #momlifeisthebestlife #naturalmama #nontoxicliving #chemicalfreehome #internationalwomensday
  • When we first started the process of ditching and switching I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. We decided to switch all our baby products, laundry and then it just made sense to do our cleaning products. When I started researching I found that many of the generic cleaners contain ​Phthalates​ which interfere with hormones and are carcinogens.
.
Thieves cleaner does NOT contain those big bad Phthalates. Instead of Phthalates, Thieves Cleaner by Young Living contains two different sulfates that are derived from coconut oil and sugar. These all-natural and safe sulfates that are considered surfactants, which contain a molecule that loves water and a molecule that hates water. That means the Thieves Cleaner sticks to the surface and grabs the oil and then washes away easily with water.
.
There is also no warning that says “call poison control if ingested” so there’s that! #knowbetterdobetter #plantpower