How Can I Afford to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom?

You want to be a stay-at-home mom. You know the benefits and you have your own reasons for making the transition from working outside of the home to stay-at-home mom. But thinking about all of your expenses and what that would look like have you asking, how can I afford to be a stay-at-home mom?

I want you to know that it is entirely possible to be a stay-at-home mom and have your family live on one income. It does require sacrifices, learning to save money, living frugally, and living within your means. None of those things are easy, but it is worth it to be a stay-at-home mom.

Related Post: The Ultimate Stay-At-Home Mom Guide

6 Ways to Afford to Be a Stay At Home Mom

1. Budget

How Can I Afford to Be a Stay-At-Home Mom - Budgeting Planner with Colored Binder Clips

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it seems like the word budget is treated as a dirty word.

Almost as if we don’t talk about it, then we don’t have to worry about it because it doesn’t exist. Sorry to burst your bubble, but we do need to talk about budgeting and it is not a dirty word.

There is nothing wrong with having a budget. In fact, it is imperative to create and stick to a budget if you are going to be a stay-at-home mom. Unless your spouse has a high income, you will feel the loss of having two incomes when you leave your “outside of the home” job.

You won’t have as much money as you did before to work with, so this is where a budget comes in. You will be able to tell how much money you now have to work with, what expenses are a vital part of life that you can’t part with (think your house payment) and what expenses can you reduce or completely cut.

There are many different ways to create your budget. Find the system that works the best for you and your lifestyle.

Then stick with it. Know when I say that, I’m not saying you will be perfect at it. But the better you are at keeping your budget, the more fulfilled you will feel and the less stress you will have.

I think it is also important to note, that your budget should allow for fun. Whatever that means for you and your family.

Have a separate savings account that is just for fun. It is so much easier to stick to a budget when you don’t feel deprived of having fun and living life. Make sure when you budget for fun, the amount is reasonable and won’t undo your budget.

2. Save Money

When money is tight, you want to make your dollars stretch as much as possible. Thankfully, you can save money on pretty much everything and in every way. Saving money doesn’t have to feel like a chore and it doesn’t have to be extreme.

3. Make More Money From Home

How Can I Afford to be a Stay-At-Home Mom? - Spring Bouquet on Desk with Laptop

Sometimes no matter how much you save money, there just isn’t enough to meet your needs. Thankfully, we live in a day and age where it is possible to make money while at home. There are many ways to make money as a stay-at-home mom.

Whether you start your own business from home or you go online, there are many options available to you. Which option you pursue is going to be dependent on your skills, the time you have available or can make available, and the needs of your family.

One of my favorite ways to make money online is by affiliate marketing. When you are starting out with using affiliate marketing or even if you are a seasoned pro, it helps to have assistance getting everything set up.

That’s why I use Wealthy Affiliate. A platform that helps you create your own blog to make money by mainly affiliate marketing, (but you can incorporate other ways as well if you so desire).

4. Pay Off Debt

Paying off your debt would give you more money back in your pocket to help out your finances or allow more money to go into your fun savings account. Knowing you are going to be a stay-at-home mom or even if you already are can give you more of an incentive to pay off debt faster and sooner.

There are different ways to go about paying off debt, but I personally like and use the debt snowball method. This method is typically used for paying off multiple credit cards or multiple student loans. The debt snowball method is a strategy for reducing debt when you have multiple accounts for a certain type of debt.

You start with focusing on the smallest balance and put any extra money toward it while paying the minimum on the larger debts. Once the smallest balance is paid off, then you go to the next largest balance, paying the minimum, as well as the amount paid toward the smallest loan that was, was just paid off. You keep going until all the loans are paid off. (1)

5. Emergency Fund

How Can I Afford to be a Stay-At-Home Mom? - White Piggy Bank on Comforter

An emergency fund (typically put in a separate savings account) gives you a cushion for when emergencies or unexpected things happen. Like the time the battery died on my car while grocery shopping or when my daughter had to go to the emergency room at a hospital where our insurance didn’t cover.

Having an emergency fund allowed my family to pay for these expenses outright, without having to go into debt by putting everything on a credit card. When building up your fund, focus on getting it to $1,000. Then once you have that, work on having at least 3 months of a month’s paycheck in it.

6. Try Living on One Income First

If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, but the thought of losing one income is making you panic because you are unsure if you can do it, then try this out first. Before you quit your job and become a stay-at-home mom, try living as though you only have one income.

Put the second paycheck into your emergency fund, which will help you out when you become a stay-at-home mom. You will have to budget and save money in order to make it work.

But this way you will get a feel of how it would work to have your family live on one income. Then if you decide that it won’t work for your family, no harm, no foul. But most likely you will be surprised at how well you can live on one income.


Going from two incomes to one income can seem scary, but with a little planning, your dream of being a stay-at-home can be a reality.


How did you afford to become or stay a stay-at-home mom? Or what are you going to do so that you can afford it?

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