How To Afford Staying Home With Baby When You Are Pregnant?
Affording to be a stay at home mom is one of the biggest financial decisions a person can make when they are expecting. It will change the way you look at your money and your work. If you found yourself here you may be thinking:
“How can I afford to stay home after baby is born?”
“Can I make money as a stay at home mom?”
or even “Can we survive on one income after a baby”
I hope that I can help answer some of those questions today and help you as you make this big decision.
I know it feels difficult right now to try and see how you can afford to stay home with your baby when you feel like you can barely afford to live with both you and your partners income.
We’ve been in your shoes and many others have gone through this too – it is time to look at a few things you can change in order to stay home. Living below your means doesn’t mean you don’t have nice things it means you start to live more intentionally and cherish the moments you get with your baby.
Talk To Your Parnter
Before even considering becoming a stay at home, sit down with your partner and talk to them about this decision. It is a big decision because for some time you will be living on one income, and in charge of your home instead of being entirely equal.
Verify Your Finances
While you and your partner are talking – keep tabs on your finances.
You want to have a list of everything you pay month to month, and how much money is coming into the household.
You can easily go through your bank statements and see how much you pay for:
- Mortgage / Rent
- Bills (lights, gas, trash, water, etc..)
- Car payments
- Entertainment (music, movies)
- Food (groceries, eating out, dinners etc..)
- Misc. (shopping, clothes, crafts, etc..)
After you know how much you spend a month and how much is coming in next you’ll want to start a budget. That way you can learn to afford to live on one income.
How To Plan Financially To Be A Stay At Home Mom
Create A Timeline To Follow
Once you have your monthly expenses calculated – you’ll want to verify how long you can keep working until you can stay home with baby.
It will be different for each couple. For me it was 1.5 years after my son was born that I was able to quit my job and stay home.
This way I was able to work until a lot of our debt was paid off making the transition to stay at home mom easier for my partner.
So think about what debt you can start to pay off right now while you are still working.
Think about what you can cut off on your month to month expenses – that way your partner has less to worry about when you feel you are ready to stay at home.
How Can I Afford A Baby On One Income?
1. Buy Used
Buying used doesn’t mean you have to do all your shopping at thrift stores (some of those places have really inflated prices actually). It means if you are offered used baby clothing, gifted items that you can use at home – TAKE IT.
2. Use Ibotta & Rakuten
These two online apps will help you save a few bucks every month which in turn can turn to a nice little extra at the end of the year. Especially if you use them consistently and every time you shop.
Ibotta is an app that you use when after you have gone to the grocery store. What it does is give you money on certain brands you have purchased.
I like to check what brands are having deals on the app before going shopping. For example if you need to buy toothpaste and Ibotta has a specific brand of toothpaste for $3.00 cash back – that is the one I’d purchase.
After redeeming your receipt you can transfer the money to your bank account or to your Paypal account. Super easy. Who else gives you money for buying things you already need.
Rakuten (formerly Ebates) is an app (and online website) that gives you cash back for shopping your favorite stores.
The way it works – if you are going to do some online shopping – check Rakuten first and then see if the store you wanted to purchase from is one on their list. Then you click the store – and shop normally. They give you a certain percent cash back just for checking if the store is one of their partners first.
Related: 25 Ways To Save On A New Baby
3. Shop The Sales
Use the holiday sales to your advantage. Black Friday, cyber Monday, Labor Day sales, and every holiday you can think of. As well as season changing sales.
For example most coats, sweaters and boots are on sale during the spring and summer and swim suits, sun block and summer items are cheaper during the fall and winter months.
4. Do Cheap Entertainment
No need to strain your entertainment to live on one income what you can do instead is keep cheap entertainment.
- in home dates
- window shopping
- going to the park
- finding city museums
- swimming at a center
- reading books
- concerts at the park
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun and be entertained. You just have to change the way you look at entertainment so you can enjoy the little and simple things.
5. Stop Monthly Subscriptions
You want to try and decrease the amount of outgoing expenses – you can do that by cancelling, stopping or switching certain things that you spend money on month to month.
- Monthly makeup subscription – if you are getting charged a few bucks every month to receive makeup products (you have enough already) just end the subscription. You are going to need every extra dollar.
- Magazine Subscription – if you have this I bet you don’t even read them and they are just taking up space and your money.
- Gym Membership – work out at home, watch YouTube workout videos, I can bet that you haven’t set foot in the gym in the last three months. Cancel it.
- Streaming Service – you don’t need every single streaming service. If you have Netflix, Hulu, YouTube Red, Amazon Video, Disney+ etc.. try to remove all but the one that you use the most.
- Theme Park Annual Pass – finish paying it off for the year you have left and then let the annual theme park pass go. Unless you are going a few times a month it is not even worth it. Most will be charging you a good hefty fee month to month.
6. Check Your Phone Company
Give your cell phone provider a call and ask them “What can you do to lower my monthly bill?”
They will work hard to keep you in their company and lower your phone bill. Just doing this one thing saved me $50 / month. That’s $600 a year!
7. Learn to Live below your Means
It comes at no surprise but if you ask a lot of stay at home moms they will tell you that they don’t do a lot of those amazing lavish things that maybe a double working couple will do.
You’ll start to find joy in other things. Like bonding with your child, learning how to be a homemaker, going to places and vacations that will be worth sooo much, for instance.
When a new phone comes out you do not have to go buy it. When the latest version of (insert your favorite thing here) comes out you do not have to go and buy it.
I know fear of missing out is real but you do not need to have the latest makeup palette that is $70 and you do not need to go out every time you get invited to an event. It is ok to say sorry I can’t make it, I’m really trying to save money.
Learning to live below your means is extremely hard. If you start now, while you are expecting and still working you can see and feel a big difference. That way the money you would have used going out can help your baby budget.
8. Breastfeed For As Long As You Can (Or Pump)
By trying to breastfeed and pump exclusively you are saving thousands of dollars a year that otherwise would go to formula. I know not all moms can breastfeed or pump but if you can I highly suggest you do it as long as you can to keep costs low on baby food those first few months of life to your newborn.
You’ll Want To Check These Out:
Everything You Want To Do Before Baby Arrives (nesting guide)
Items You Can Save Money On By Not Going To Work
This may be the biggest cost that you will save on. Child care now for a newborn / infant can start as LOW as $300 a week (and that is on the cheaper end).
By staying home you will be able to avoid this cost. After my husband and I had our financial talk we realized that my paycheck would go directly to child care – which made no sense. Why was I going to go to work to afford paying someone to watch my son. When we could avoid that time at work and not have to pay anyone to watch our son.
By staying at home you can live on the clothes you already have – and buy cheaper clothes that don’t require to be worn weekly for work.
Being a stay at home mom means you have more chances to cook at home and eat in. Instead of eating out for lunch at work and eating out dinner when you get off work (because you’re to tired to cook).
This alone can save you anywhere from $300-$1,200 a year (depending how much you already eat out).
Think about it, really think about. When you are at work you are going to be taxed on everything, state, federal, SS, disability, 401K, etc.
By staying home these expenses are no longer applicable to you.
Transportation / Gas
Depending how far you live from your work you can easily save a lot of gas money, miles on your car, wear and tear on your vehicle and insurance.
By staying home, you may use your car less often and thus save on all those items above.
You can also change your insurance to reflect the new mileage you drive (which should be less since you are not commuting to work) and you’ll save.
Diapers & Formula
If you stay home you can try to prepare to breastfeed and use cloth diapers to keep the costs lower on your month to month expenses.
Breastfeeding your baby while you are home can easily save you THOUSANDS of dollars a year.
A can of formula can run anywhere from $20-$40 bucks. Most newborns will go through a can a week and the bigger baby gets the more they will go through cans of formula.
If you want to breastfeed you should start doing your research now – because it doesn’t come naturally to most new moms and it is much harder those first few days than you may be thinking.
Free Baby & Pregnancy Items You Can Grab
Grab yourself a few freebies while you are pregnant and also some freebies for baby. These items will help you along to make sure you keep things budget friendly.
- Grab a Free Pregnancy Pillow – Use Code: Solutionsmommy
- Get baby a FREE Nursing Pillow – make breastfeeding a more comfortable experience for you and baby. Just use code Solutionsmommy @ checkout
How Can I Be A Stay At Home Mom And Make Money?
Work At Home Mom Jobs For The Stay At Home Mom
If after cutting your costs down, starting a budget and crunching the numbers you see that you can’t no way afford to live on one income. You may want to start looking into ways to work from home that can earn some monetary value for your family.
What you are reading right now is a blog. I started this blog in order to help first time moms understand pregnancy and postpartum better. You can literally start a blog about anything.
The great thing about blogging is how you can have the potential to make thousands a month (if you work hard for it).
Start A Day Care Home Center
Do you have the space? Make taking 2-3 kids will be able to support your family for the income you no longer bring in when you decide to stay home. Plus this give your child a chance to socialize with other children.
Start An Etsy Shop
Are you super creative? Crafting is one of your hobbies? Don’t let it go to waste use that skill and turn it into profit. Market your Etsy shop on Pinterest and Facebook to quickly get people to buy from you.
Sell Your Items
Do you have a lot of clutter. Things you may not even use anymore or find value in can have a great value for someone else. Try to sell your things and turn a profit on places like Offer Up or Let Go!
Those are just a few ways you can start to make money from home. I highly suggest you go and read this: 25 Legit Stay At Home Mom Jobs That Pay
How Much Do Stay At Home Moms Get Paid?
Great question, I wondered the same thing. But here is the catch, if you are not working from home you are not making money. Maybe if your partner gives you some sort of ‘allowance’ which is awesome.
Or if you are on short term leave (disability, state paid, social security) then you will get a certain amount.
I know that was a lot of info to go through and yes it will be a hard road to get your finances, your mentality and your partner and home ready for you to be a stay at home mom. But I know that you can do it and if you have any questions just leave a comment and I’ll help as much as I can.
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How To Afford Staying Home While Pregnant
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Rosaura is the mom blogger who helps first time pregnant and postpartum moms find the solutions to their everyday problems. From first finding out you’re pregnant to giving birth and baby care, she has you covered.