Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stay At Home Mom Budget

Going from always being employed to being completely unemployed has been a huge life change for me. Hubby and I don't have joint checking and have always been very independent financially speaking. This is what works best for us so going from that to being dependent on each other, especially me being so financially dependent on him, is weird.

Staying at home with your kids is definitely a luxury, even though it doesn't feel like it at the end of the day when Hubby comes home and the house is filthy, I still haven't put on a bra, brushed my hair or teeth or put contacts in. The truth is I never made much money in my career. I'm not a big baller in the spending department anyway so it worked for us and I also provided health benefits to our family. After paying for daycare for the twins, I brought home some money but not a ton, it was all gone each pay period, so that was a huge factor in me staying home.

Before I was on a budget but a rather loose one. Now my budget is very tight. People keep asking me how we do this, am I rich, what a luxury, etc.

Well, here it is . . .

1. We have no car payments. There are four cars (one to be sold soon) sitting in our driveway and not a single one has debt related to it. When we sell one of the cars it will help reduce other debts we have and our ultimate goal is to be debt free aside from a mortgage. Our cars need to get us from point A to point B, they are not designed to give us a thrill or keep up with the Jones. We have what we can afford in car payments which is nothing. The vehicle that Hubby uses for his heavy driving is also a fuel efficient vehicle.

2. I am currently very thrifty in the shopping department and spend only about $130 maximum a week to feed us all each day, every day. That means no eating out or eating out very rarely. Most meals I make come from the crock pot because that requires very little cooking and a lot of the time it is chicken because that goes on sale a lot in the frozen section. Soon the downtown farmer's market will get going and I will be able to buy a boat load of produce for cheap. The smaller farmer's markets are more expensive than the store, but the one downtown is so huge that there is lots of competition. I have the Target debit card so I automatically save 5% on my groceries plus a few coupons if I am shopping there.

3. I have a dumb phone with no data plan and no intentions to upgrade anytime soon. This is absolutely stunning to people and they say HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT INTERNET ON YOUR PHONE?? The answer is, I've never had it, so it's easy.

4. There is no cable in our house. Even when we had the money we didn't have this because I am cheap and can't imagine spending hundreds of dollars a month just to watch television. If you spend $120 a month that is over $1400 a year on sitting in front of the boob tube. We spent less than that on our one week vacation to Kauai (we admittedly got a ridiculously amazing deal). I would much rather take a vacation than watch TV and it is easier if we don't do both. I will admit I mooch cable from my grandparents and go watch at their house when the Walking Dead is on.

5. I have never bought any item of clothing not on sale. Ever. For any reason.

This sounds like pure torture to some people. It's only slightly different than the way we have always lived. When others were buying houses and cars and paying things off we were spending all of our pennies making babies, which I actually can't think of a thing that money could buy that is better than the twins or the attempts we had to make to get to the Butterball so money is an arena that I'm just not bitter about it. We use it for what we need to use it for and that's it. As I said, we already had a tight budget but we are definitely making more sacrifices now than we were before and that's ok. So yeah, there are five of us living on an undisclosed amount to you, but know that it isn't a ton of money.

One splurge that we do have now that is new is a gym membership. We belong to a gym that is income and family sized based so with five people and one income that isn't a lot and it's a great deal for what we get. It has daycare so that means I can get some time to myself and the twins get to socialize. It also has cable so I can watch the Real Housewives while I run a few miles. It's a really nice thing and something that I chose to sacrifice some of our food budget for and I am happy with that.

So there you have it (in case you wondering, as many people seem to be in my life, no we did not win the lottery, yes, we still don't have much moola around here). I think it's awesome for the ladies that can stay at home and still afford everything! In our home though, it took some serious cuts. Also, if I made more money, I would probably still work so don't look at this as you should do what I do, it is merely an explanation of how we afford it.

Smooching on my boys.




  1. Thanks for your incredibly kind words on my blog the other day, it meant a lot! We're with you on pretty much all of these since I've become a SAHM too! We're so used to no cable now it's always funny how shocked some people are when we say we don't have cable.

  2. The budget is totally the key! I am trying to slowly get us used to living on Dh's salary only and sock away all mine (my sad sad pitiful salary). He's not on board with this all yet because he hates to budget.

    Oh, and I go without paying for internet. Yup. I HAVE it, but it's free and has been for the last 2 1/2 years. Someday, my free cable will go away and I will be sad.

    Oh, and clothes! Right with you! Never pay full price! I am the same way with appliances. Floor model? yes, please. Dented? yes please.

  3. I hear ya. We live on a budget also, daycare for the twins is way too much so staying home makes sense for me. Our cars are also paid for and we take advantage of coupons and such. It's doable and worth it ;)

    That being said... I wouldn't mind winning the lottery lol

  4. We couldn't do it all without my mom helping us with daycare. I broke it down once and I think she makes about $2/hr off us. We coupon together, though, and split all the groceries. We're trying to garden and hope to start canning this year. I'm with you, I HATE myself when I buy anything that's not on sale or I don't have a coupon for.
    Hubby works for Time Warner, though, so free cable! Yay!

  5. stumbled across your page when i googled "stay at home mom budgeting". lol. like you, i am a mom of two ivf miracles (ages 4 1/2 and 17 months), and am currently pregnant with a freebie (due dec 2013)!! holy cow! also like you, a small full time income plus childcare for 3 kids is pretty much adding up to us right now to mean i should quit my job. the only things i wonder though when i read blogs like this is a) where do you live (cost of living is so variable, you know - i live in suburban chicago) and b) how much does your husband make? (you don't have to answer that, but understandably, that's sort of a huge factor. living on 80k vs living on <60k like we would have to do makes a big difference...)

  6. Thanks for the post. My husband and I are working towards budgeting so that I can stay at home with our kids... something I've wanted to do since my eight year old twins were infants and am hoping to do before my youngest turns one (he's four months old now).

  7. I have to tip my hat off to you after reading your budget "secrets." I'm amongst the people who can't live without internet on my phone. But what really impressed me is your conviction to stick to these spending habits. A lot of people who are having financial problems can learn a lot from you. Thanks for sharing! -Jaden @ Irving Burton LTD


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