Living Off Of One Income As A New Stay-At-Home Mom

Friday, April 15, 2011 0 Comments A+ a-

When I decided to become a stay at-home mom, some of the comments I found to be the funniest were those relating to the fact that the hubby & I are rich.

"Must be nice, not everyone can afford to do that..."

"I wish my husband made that kind of money... I'd love to just stay at home and do whatever I want all day..."

Well, I hate to break the news to everyone... but we're not rich. Not even close. We're average. We choose to live within our means. That doesn't make us rich, it makes us smart.

Certain decisions we have made have enabled us to live off of one income easier... but I fully believe it's something that any 2-income family can accomplish. So, here are a few things we did/do to set us up for a one-income lifestyle:
  1. Housing - Rent or buy - choose housing that you can afford off of one income. This is absolutely necessary. Don't go big - big homes cost more to heat, cool, and fill up with crap. The smaller home you have, the less you have to spend to fill it up with stuff.
  2. Stop buying stuff - And, get rid of the stuff you have, but don't use. Just because you see it on sale doesn't mean you need it. Go through everything you own - dishes, clothes, books, electronics, everything. Keep what you use. Donate or throw away what you don't. We only use about 10% of the stuff we own on a weekly basis. Keep that stuff. Get rid of the rest.
  3. Stop Eating Out - We currently "waste"  about $100-$250 a month dining out. And, it will be the first to go once I'm officially off payroll from my job. 
  4. Groceries - Shop smart. We can buy 2 weeks worth of groceries, including fresh fruits & veggies at Aldi's for about $60 a week. Buying the same stuff at chain grocery stores would cost us twice as much.
  5. Buy Store Brands - Give up any sort of attachment to name brands. We're big fans of Target's Up & Up brand for everything! They've got toilet paper, mouthwash, diapers, wipes, vitamins... they've got it all - and at great prices. You're crazy to go there & buy name brand when there's a store brand that's just as good & MUCH cheaper sitting right next to it.
  6. Re-evaluate your utilities - Do you really watch all those channels your paying for on tv? If not, get rid of them. Do you have a house phone & cell phone(s)? Get rid of one or the other. And, if you keep your cell, check out how many minutes you use... we pay $73 a month for two phones (an iPhone w/data package) and a regular cell that use shared family minutes.  
  7. Using Your Second Income: Spend your second-income for luxury activities that can be canceled at the drop of that hat. For us, this was eating out & nice vacations.
Rich, poor, or average, living off of half of your income can be difficult for any family, but it's a challenge I'm looking forward to embracing.

Do you have any tips on how to save money? Leave a comment.

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