Calling all (Work or Stay) at Home Moms

by Melanie Edwards on May 2, 2008 · 12 comments

in Sahm,Wahm

I really want to know how I can stay at home and not have to be scrambling to buy groceries.

I need to hear from those that are successful at doing so.

I see plenty of you moms out there that are able to stay home with your kids and survive on one income.

I see some of you doing this in places like California and New York, where the cost of living is pretty high.

How do you do it?

Are you always coupon clipping and having to second-guess your purchases?

Or are you able to do so comfortably and be able to go shopping every once in a while?

I mean, currently I bring in 50% of our household income, but being home with the monkey for two days (even if I was in pain and recovering from the wisdom tooth fiasco), REALLY made me want to turn in my resignation and stay home.

But, of course, things aren’t so simple.

To lose my income would put a HUGE dent in our lifestyle and budget. I don’t really think we can afford to live off just one income.

So, help me out here.

How do you do it?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 JHS May 2, 2008 at 10:08 am

I wish you luck figuring this out! I stayed at home for awhile when I was pg. with my first child and while he was a baby. I started back to school 2 nights per week when he was 6 mos. old and finished up my B.S. in Accounting when he was 2 years old. I started on to law school in the fall. It was great because he went to preschool so I studied during the day and had class 3 nights/week. We lived on my husband’s income. I did enjoy being able to say home with my oldest and wish I could have with kid #2. Even being a student was great because you have flexibility. If your kid is sick, you miss class and get caught up later. It’s a lot easier than missing work, esp. if you have deadlines, etc.

However, since I finished school, I have worked full-time & could not stop because I have long been the primary breadwinner. So if anyone got to quit, it would be hubby. We could live on my income, but not his, even though he certainly contributes to the household in a major way.

I’ll be curious to see the responses!

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2 Destiny May 2, 2008 at 11:01 am

I wish I could figure this one out too. We could afford for me to go part time, but the problem is my husband owns his own business so doesn’t have insurance so I have to work to carry insurance for all of us. If we had to pay for individual family insurance, then I could no longer afford to work part time because that would bring our workable budget into the unworkable. The jobs that do provide insurance for part time are not in my field of expertise and pay crap.
However, I want to be home more… oh the problems!

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3 katy May 2, 2008 at 2:00 pm

If there is a will there is a way. I live in So Cal, and yes, housing is expensive. So I don’t live in a nice house like my friends. We don’t go on expensive vacations, we don’t eat out twice a week or even eat out for lunch. My husband packs his lunch or comes home for lunch. We have old furniture. We don’t have closets full of latest style clothes.

Is it worth it? Heck yeah. There is only a small window of opportunity for you to stay home with the munchkins, so you have to do what it takes. The joy of being with them is more than any material gain. Along the way, my kids learn what really has true value.

I encourage you to make a budget, look into a part time job (I do substitute teaching occasionally that fits my schedule), look into MLM type of income (if you like that sort of thing. My friend is doing very well selling Jafra). No, it will never be enough to replace what you were making, but that’s just a given. You can make it work. You might even have to move to a smaller house. That’s ok. If your hubby has a decent job, it can work.

You’ve gotta have a positive attitude when you make adjustment in your lifestyle to live on one income. Look at what you are gaining, not what you are losing. What will your children remember? What will you regret at the end of your life?

To me, giving up a “things” is no sacrifice compare to what I gain in satisfaction of being a SAHM.

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4 MAGGIE AT COFFEESHOPMAFIA May 2, 2008 at 7:52 pm

We had a similar problem when my second was born. I ended out watching one child full time for some extra income, tightening the budget and I got (don’t laugh) a paper route. It was a once the month route and I would bring the kids. Once my son entered school I went back to work full time.

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5 Mamita Mala May 2, 2008 at 10:25 pm

I make way less than my partner, who works full time outside the house while I work full time inside as a mami/blogger/writer/tutor.
We live in NYC, but in a working class immigrant hood where our rent isn’t too crazy. We don’t have a good supermarket here but when we have little options, we shop there. When we’re having a better week we splurge on Trader Jo’s and do a full week’s worth of basics (meats/veggies).

Lately I’m pulling my hair out as my toddler is requiring more attention and demanding it.

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6 Daisy Olsen May 2, 2008 at 10:25 pm

I do wish you luck on this. After 7 years I’m still trying to figure it all out. We do live in NY but must share a house with my in-laws in order to survive. This is largely due to our decision to have jobs that allow us a lot of discretionary time.

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7 Missy May 2, 2008 at 10:53 pm

We did several things. We paid off any major bills we could afford to pay. Luckily we were able to. This helped get our monthly debt down. I worked part time teaching at the college. Some part time jobs are worth it. You have to really look around like you’re doing now. I went back to more hours as my son went to more school hours. I cut back on everything. I went through a lower our bills thing right off the bat. I wrote an ehow article on it. You might find the ideas helpful.http://www.ehow.com/how_2224979_lower-your-bills.html
I called my cable and phone companies directly to find the fastest ways to lower our bills. I paid insurance payments all at once for the discounts. I’ve used coupons and really worked hard to find free or cheap things to do with my son. Community pool, library, park trips etc… If you can swing it, you will feel it was totally worth it. Keep your working skills up by working part time or writing online, using software, or volunteering at your church for example. Good luck!

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8 Jai May 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm

I definitely would like to be able to stay home with my toddler. You have to really crunch the numbers and see what would be the least you’d have to bring into the house to see if you can stay home. I’ve been thinking of doing a call center at night so hubby can watch the baby. I pay $800 a month for daycare alone so I know I can afford to bring in about $800 less if I worked PT figuring we don’t have to pay for daycare. You should factor expenses that you’d get rid of by staying home and expenses you might add to because of staying home. I’m not much of a coupon clipper but I do watch the CVS and walgreen’s so I can buy the cleaning supplies on sale. Just last week my local walgreen’s had Bounty for 79 cents so I stocked up. CVS also has those extra care bucks…I love walking getting all this stuff and paying less than a dollar after the extra care bucks. I buy shampoo and other toiletries that way too. It’s good to take a look it, every little bit helps.

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9 ModernMami May 4, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Thanks everyone for the great tips and suggestions! Keep them coming!

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10 Tap May 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Hi,
I’ve been working at home for 5 years now and love it! It’s not easy, but neither was working 45 min away, for someone else, and leaving my son who needs constant attention (unfortunately).

There are some good home based opportunities, based on network marketing. Here’s a great video about making serious money networking:

View a professional explanation about network marketing. Click here to view Brilliant Compensation

It’s a little long, but good (I am paying per view)
Hope this helps

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11 ModernMami May 15, 2008 at 6:38 am

Thanks, Tap! I’ll have to check out that video.

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