Can You Afford to Be a Stay At Home Mom? (Hint: YES! You can!)

I have been a work at home mom for almost 5 years now, but I remember what it was like discussing my budget with my husband (okay, now my ex-husband) when Emma was born. Could we afford for me to be a stay at home mom? We ended up deciding that yes, I could afford to stay at home, but it wasn’t easy. There are a lot of different things that go into making that decision and unfortunately, it is never an easy one to make. Many of you may be facing the same decision. You might be asking yourself if you can afford to stay at home with your kids. Here’s a hint: Yes. You absolutely can.


I know what a lot of you are sitting there thinking. Does it sound something like “Yeah right. You’re not sitting in my chair looking at my finances?” You are correct. I’m not, but you also haven’t gotten to the meat of this post yet so give me a chance. Being a stay at home parent will be hard because frankly, living on one income isn’t easy sometimes, but it will be hard to do. Not impossible. It boils down like this: to stay at home with your kids, you need to be able to duplicate the income that you would be losing.

Think you can't afford to be a stay at home mom to your kids? Think again! You CAN afford to be a stay at home mom and I'm going to show you how!

I know that replacing income you would be losing is easier said than done, but the truth is? Neither one is very hard. You just have to know where to look and what questions to ask. The first thing you’ll need to do is a full budget. If you don’t have a family budget, you won’t have any clue how much money your family needs to live on each month. Once you have that number, you’ll also want to start looking at cutting your expenses. This can be done quite easily and painlessly when you look at making as much as you can homemade versus buying those same items. If you’re currently working, you’ll want to look at how much income your family will be losing each month when or if you decide to be a stay at home mom. After you’ve done both of these you will know how much income you need to replace each month and can get started earning and saving!

Can You Afford to Be a Stay At Home Mom?

Replacing your income might take some creative thinking, but it can be done and it can be done much easier than you’ve been thinking. To do so though, you’ll need to discuss staying home with your spouse or partner. If the two of you can’t agree on it, then I don’t recommend it. Not for financial reasons, but because it could create unneeded tension in your relationship. I would recommend having a few ideas on hand to show how you can replace the income that you will lose. This might smooth things over for them and make it easier to digest.

Making money from home really isn’t as hard as a lot of people think. There are a ton of different ways you can earn money from home that are all legit and on the up and up. In fact, some of them might turn into a full fledged home business for you. Stranger things have definitely happened. On the saving money end, couponing can be a great money saver. While I wouldn’t recommend going full on extreme couponer, I do recommend that you use them wherever you can. Even a tiny bit saved is a great savings.

Learning from others who lives on one income can be helpful too. Having advice from someone who has been there or currently lives in the same spot can really help you know what works and what doesn’t. Just be sure to keep in mind that every family is different and what works for one family may not work for your own family. The last thing that any of us need is a failed budget.

One very simply way to make money is to work out a system using websites and apps. I personally have a system that I use everyday. I may be a work at home mom, but that system adds a minimum of $225.00 each month to my income and I’m not willing to give that up. I use that money to save on groceries or to pay a bill or to just help build my savings account. It might take you a bit to figure out what works for you personally, but once you do, it’s very simple to earn each and every day.

Another way to make up the income that you will lose when you stop working is to take a side job. Side jobs are generally very quick jobs that don’t take up a lot of time. They’re usually very easy to do and can be very profitable. A lot of them can be done right from your home too giving your the chance to earn without needing a baby-sitter.

If you want to truly stay at home, you could earn money by getting paid to write. Granted, you’ll need to have some writing ability, but writing for a living can pay very well.

Some people make extra money by reselling items they no longer want or things they find for a steal. For some resellers, Ebay is their website of choice. I don’t personally like Ebay for selling these days so I tend to sell my items elsewhere. You’d be surprised at how many Ebay alternatives there are.

If you like to shop, but still need to get paid, you could get paid to help others shop. It’s quite easy to sign up and you can make a very good living doing it. Another great way to earn a little bit of cash to replace the income you lose is to get paid to review websites. User Testing will pay you $10.00 for every 20 minute review session that you work. Just a couple hours a day could net you a very nice paycheck each month. If you can work just 1 hour per day, that’s $30.00 per day and $150.00 per week!

Are you starting to see now? You can afford to be a stay at home mom. You just have to look outside of the proverbial box. It honestly just boils down to two things. After you’ve made the decision to become a stay at home mom, be sure that you replace any income that you’ve lost and be sure that you stay on top of your budget. When both are done? Absolutely anyone can afford to be a stay at home mom (or dad). It isn’t easy, but it may just be the very best decision you’ve ever made.

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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family . By the age of 30, she had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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