The decision to become a stay-at-home mom was by no means an easy one. As my husband and I sat down to look through our financial situation, we realized that by me quitting my job we would need to express serious self-control with our spending if we were going to make it work. If I am being honest, needing childcare was what more-so put us in a tight financial position because before my son was born we did not have any child or childcare expenses meaning that my paycheck was actually able to benefit our home.
However, once he was born, about 80% of what I made was going to childcare making it not only not worth it, but just plain silly for me to continue working. With all of this in mind, I knew that I could not and did not spend every day at work away from my baby, especially not for just 20% of a paycheck. We unanimously agreed that it was best for him, and for me, if I was to stay home with him.
Nonetheless, when those paychecks stopped coming and our bills started piling up, we realized that 20% of a paycheck actually made quite a bit of a difference. We re-visited the stay-at-home mom vs. working-mom discussion again and without hesitation we both agreed that it was still best for me to stay home and to instead look for different ways to earn some extra income and to stay above water financially.
Here is what we came up with:
The first and most financially productive avenue that I found was to work for Fiverr.com. Fiverr is essentially a commission based website that allows individuals to work doing anything they know how to do at a base rate of $5. You can add extras and eventually earn more money and you can work at your own pace and produce as much or as little income as you would like. Even the $200 a month I made at first was enough to offset me not working and has built to be a huge saving grace for our family.
While it seems redundant, couponing is truly free-money that many of us pass on because it seems daunting or irrelevant. Download the Cartwheel app on your phone for Target, cut coupons out of those annoying ads that show up on your doorstep, and stock up on whatever offers are relevant to you.
Eliminate Brand Names
Another huge way my husband and I worked together for financial independence to allow me to continue to be a stay-at-home mom was eliminating the need and desire for brand names. If you have an ALDI grocery store in your area, do your best to only shop there. Go for off-brand when you can and only purchase brand name of products that do not offer an alternative.
Budget & Cash Envelopes
Make a budget and stick to it. Pull out cash for your allotted gasoline, groceries, and free-spending money and keep them in separate envelopes. Take your envelopes with you to the store and keep in mind that when the cash is gone, it’s gone. This will help you to eliminate unnecessary spending.
At the end of the day, I get to be the one making memories with and taking care of my little instead of someone else and that is something I will be thankful for my whole life. I know that I will always be able to go back to work when my children are grown, but I will never be able to get their childhood back. So, for me, it is worth every bit of struggle involved to make ends meat.