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How are stay at home moms making it?

I desperately want to stay home with my son, especially now that I am pregnant again. I was just wondering how you stay at home moms manage to make ends meet. Do your husbands or SO's have really great jobs or are you secretly financial wizards? How do you manage? We both work full time and still have troubles at times. Tell me the secret. Thanks.

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Asked by greenfairy9 at 1:31 PM on Sep. 1, 2009 in Money & Work

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Answers (30)
  • We don't have any secret. My DH makes enough money to afford the life we have now with 3 kids and if I had worked, what I earned all had to go to daycare or nanny since 3 kids are more costy than one. I use coupons and buy sales on things we need/use/eat so we can save here and there to cut down costs. If you're not sure that you could live only on one income, just give it a try for a month or two and save yours, you'll find ways to reduce expenses and you then will know this is doable.

    Answer by ocsosomom at 1:38 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • My hubby doesn't have a "great" job but a good job and it's enough so I can be home our kids. We struggle but we make it. Wouldn't have it any other way.


    Answer by Anonymous at 1:41 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I'm a SAHM and we live on just one income. My husband worked two jobs for a while when finances got incredibly tight and we had a newborn. And once when things got really tight I took on a bar job in the evenings just for a small bit of extra cash for only a few hours once the kids are in bed.

    There's not really a secret to it though, it's all about budgeting, saving, saving, saving. And doing as much as you can to save money. We try to save every bit we can, literally by doing anything, ordering our shampoos from free sample sites etc.

    And we get by quite well, in fact we have extra left over after all our cheap spending during the month so we try to have family night's out with that money!

    Good luck.

    Answer by mommatomanyy at 1:43 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • m-avi


    Sure.  I have created a series of work at home articles on eHow.  They contain excellent resources, ideas and information.  Also, I have a Blog about computer jobs sorted into those that pay via Paypal and those that pay utilizing other means.  You can check them all out at my website:



    Answer by m-avi at 1:45 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • There is no secret for us. My DH makes enough money for us to live alright, not great but okay. We'll live better when we get our medical bills debt paid off. Daycare would eat up my entire check and I don't see working for free just to have my kids in a daycare where I don't know for sure they are even being taken care of. I buy clothes on clearance, take very good care of what we've already got, am careful with food and refrigerate leftovers. We don't take vacations often at all, don't have too much namebrand stuff here, and I don't typically run around during the day so that I can save on gas. It's all about deciding what's important and what can be done without.

    Answer by wildflowers25 at 1:58 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I'd shop costco or sams club for big deals on food to save money.Shop at garage sales or thrift stores for clothes or anything else.Don't eat out, or buy anything that's not on sale.Have one credit card or try to live without them.Take the bus once in awhile or train to save gas or walk , and ride bikes.Avoid malls or window shop only,don't shop if your bored.Wear your best outfit going clothing shopping,so you'll think you don't have to buy another.When I dress like a slob and I shop for clothes I always buy more.Drive by your neighborhoods and pick thru their trash I've found loads of deals,brand new things.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:04 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Before I quit work to SAH we did a practice run. For three months we deposited my entire paycheck into a savings account and lived strictly on dh's pay. We both took this very seriously and set up a strict budget - there was no tapping into my pay at all. At the end of three months we'd settled into a routine that included coupon clipping and eating at home more and no "instant gratification" purchases; everything we spent money on we put thought into. So I quit my job and we had a nice little savings tucked away for any emergencies that might come up. I've been a SAHM for almost 7 years now and we have continued to live easily within our means (NO credit card or other debt rather than our mortgage); in fact we live better now than when I was working because we do think about our expenditures more rather than just frittering away money on crap.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:23 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • My husband works really hard for me to be able to stay home and then I do odd things like sale the scentsy candles, which helps give us income so that I am able to stay home.  And then I am really big into having money saved up for every little bill that there is i like to have enough income saved so that just my husbands income can pay them for a year.


    Answer by patchthatpays at 2:28 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • I'm incredibly frugal. It's not like we live a deprived life, we still ski all winter and vacation at Lake Powell in the summer, along with other fun activities. I just prioritize and spend money only where it is needed. Most people spend hundreds of dollars each month on things that provide little or no pleasure, or do little to increase their standard of living.

    According to Andrew Tobias, a penny saved is equal to two pennies earned. Between state, federal and sales tax, your tax rate is probably close to 50%.

    You may want to read Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez or The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn, along with Andrew Tobias's book The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need.


    Answer by mancosmomma at 2:38 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

  • Here is one thing that really helps

    Buy next years clothes on clearance except a size bigger. For instance I buy my son's clothes for next summer, NOW, when everything thing is 70 to 90 percent off! Then next summer I won't have to worry about buying any thing. This fall I already have his clothes because last fall I bought all his clothes at next to nothing prices.
    Also stock up on sale items and go through your grocery adds and stock up on canned foods and only buy food and other items on sale. Shop thrift stores. garage sales.
    When you get a tax return buy a 1/4 or a 1/2 side of beef. Your meat is pure and natural and costs less then the store. For example.....I buy my beef from a local farmer he charges me $2 a lb. for everything from hamburger to t-bones...yep I pay $2 a lb for t-bone steaks and boy are the tender!
    some farmers even sell chickens for $3 already to freeze. If you have space for a garden I recommend it.

    Answer by wheresthewayout at 2:45 PM on Sep. 1, 2009

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