How To Be A Stay At Home Mom or Dad And Not Go Bankrupt

How to be a SAHM or SAHD without being financially broke
Would you like to learn how it is possible to be a stay at home mom or dad and not go bankrupt?
There are many women and/or men who would prefer to be home with their children but work an outside job only because they believe they have to financially.  I am here to show you how that might be wrong and how to actually do it.  I was one of those women until my own Father (my boss at the time) fired me and told me to raise my family.  I had a 3 1/2 year old who my mother was babysitting for me  (I paid her) and a baby due in about 6 weeks.  We were into debt up to our noses and we didn't know the first thing about being frugal.  To make matters worse, there was not another job close to home that I could do.  It sounds like my dad was being mean but he knew what I have learned since, that you can make it on one salary and still live well.  Times are hard financially for many people and it is more important than ever to learn wise money saving tips to help with the family budget.

We did make sacrifices over those years but none that were horrible for us and we still lived well.  We just made choices and the benefit was getting to raise my children myself with our values, and belief system. I also never had to fear they were being mistreated or abused.  My children came home to their mom not an empty house and not some other person with different values.  I am not ragging on those moms who do make this choice. I am just saying that if you want it to be different then you can be a stay at home Mom or Dad.

I know some of you may be thinking that I raised  my family in a different time and I don't really know how hard it is in today's economy.  I answer that with, "I do know how it is even today."  Despite the fact that we are making more money than we have ever made in our lives, we are experiencing financial hard times. It isn't because we are poor money managers but because we are choosing to help some other people in our lives who are struggling.  We have had to tighten our own financial belts in order to do that. I could go into all the spiritual benefits of giving but I don't want to start with that today because I know that you need to see the practical side before you can go there.

The first step will take some time and effort but a payoff will be reaped at the end.  This is important, just guessing or estimating is not going to work so do this step with diligence. Gather your credit card bills and bank statements for the past year and make a list of all your  income and in another column list out all your expenses (everything!).  You can do this with pencil and paper or you can do this on a spreadsheet. Make sure that everything fits into a category. List everything even the small things like snacks and fees, newspapers, etc. Your categories can be whatever you want them to be.  Some good ones to start with are:
  1. Housing
  2. Vehicles (License, inspection, maintenance, repair, etc)
  3. Child Care
  4. Giving/Tithe/Terumah
  5. Groceries
  6. Utilities
  7. Gas (Travel, work, etc)
  8. Home Repair
  9. Clothing
  10. Personal Care (haircuts, color, pedicures, massages, spa, gym, etc)
  11. Medical
  12. Library (anything you read)
  13. Entertainment
  14. Taxes
  15. Loans (Home, Vehicles, all loans)
  16. Credit Cards
  17. Education
  18. Dues/Memberships/Fees
  19. Hobby
  20. Home Decor/Furniture/Appliances
  21. Vacations/Travel
  22. Gardening
  23. Tech Items (TV, Computers, Phones, etc)
  24. Snacks (Cokes, Starbucks, chips,candy, not purchased at Grocery Store)
  25. Pets
  26. Gifts
  27. Miscellaneous
The main idea is to see in black and white how much you made and what those sources were (I know that is easy) But you also must see where your money is going.  This is the first step to saving money and to convincing yourself as well as your husband (usually the hardest one to convince) that you can afford to stay at home with the kids. Making this list will help show you in black and white.  By the way, you can find a great filing system + a Free Printable to get you organized here. I bet you will begin to see some places as you add up the totals in those categories (Hint Hint! Childcare!). Do this step and don't get depressed. That will be very tempting because all those expenses may seem overwhelming but I promise to show you places you can save and still dress nice as well as have a beautiful home and even nice cars. Stay tuned for next Thursday when we will begin to look at places you can save money and be one step closer to being a SAHM or SAHD.

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