So you’ve made a decision to be a stay-at-home mom. Despite all efforts to balance work-life, 24 hours just doesn’t seem enough for both family and career. You know that there are many other jobseekers waiting to take your job, but there is only one person who can best take care of your kids – and that’s you.
The whole idea just sounds liberating, but there are worries that go with the life ahead. You know that giving up your income means cutting down your savings too. Well there are always ways to balance income and spending. Here are 10 budgeting hacks for stay-home moms.
1. Income vs. Spending
Logically, the income you gave up from your career must equal your cuts in spending. Fortunately, not having to go to office has already saved you some money effortlessly – from transportation to designer clothing and commercial food. Now all you need is to find a few more sources of potential savings. Try searching in your credit card bill. You might find some habitual purchases that aren’t necessary after all.
2. Be creative
When cutting down on unnecessary purchases isn’t enough, it’s time to cut down on the basics. This doesn’t mean a complete turnaround in your lifestyle. It may only entail a little creativity, like redesigning your home to conserve energy and water. Consider these simple ways of achieving sustainable home designs:
· Insulate your home. Insulating acts as a barrier to prevent heat from passing in during summer, and passing out during winter.
· Use energy-efficient lighting, like LED and CFL bulbs.
· Choose efficient appliances with positive product reviews.
· Turning electrical appliances off, instead of leaving them in standby mode also saves on energy.
· Collect rainwater for your plants.
3. Downsize a bit
You may also consider downsizing your house to a townhouse or condo. Find one that provides the right living space for your family. It can provide you the same comfort while saving on mortgage/rent and maintenance costs.
4. Do it yourself
As you spend more time at home, you may discover that there are services you formerly paid for that you can now do yourself like housekeeping and babysitting. Aside from saving money, you’ll see that sometimes, nobody can do the job better than the big boss.
5. Home cooking
Even a budget meal in a restaurant could not compare with the taste (and cost) of mama’s home cooking. This also allows you to choose the right food that satisfies your family’s nutritional needs.
6. Plan ahead
Of course, you don’t want to miss on birthday celebrations and family vacations. When big expenditures like these come along, it’s best to plan ahead. This keeps you from splurging, while keeping the occasion as special and memorable as you intend it to be.
7. Garage sale
Budgeting is not all about cutting on costs, but finding additional sources of income too. Why not try having a garage sale. As your kids grow, you’ll find lots of stuff that they’ve outgrown that are still worth selling.
8. Create and sell
Your old stuff may not be only thing worth selling. It’s time to look into things you can create that others cannot, or simply don’t have time to do. Beaded jewelry, arts and crafts, cakes and cookies – these may just be some things you can make and sell for extra income.
9. Online selling
Well it doesn’t have to be your own creation. You can source products worth selling to your neighbors and friends. Selling online further expands your market without requiring you to leave your home.
10. Establish a career at home
Being a stay-home mom does not necessarily mean the end of your career. As your kids grow, you’ll also find the need to grow and expand your horizon and establish a career at home. Good thing, there are home-based jobs, such as online careers that allow you to keep your talents useful.
As moms, we are always willing to make the necessary sacrifices for our kids’ physical and emotional wellbeing. But this doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice on our budget items and personal growth. It only takes a few adjustments to shift from career woman to stay-home mom. Once you’ve overcome the adjustments, you’ll be amazed to see that with the same 24 hours a day, attending to your kids, balancing you finances and using to your talents to earn extra income are all possible.
by Jona Jone
Jona Jone is a Washington Times Communities writer and a mother of 2 (going 3) kids.