4 Ways to Financially Survive Stay-At-Home Parenting

by Tania Dakka · 1 comment

Are you part of the growing population looking for more and more ways to survive on one income?
After generations of working moms, more families are starting to feel the financial and emotional price of daycare when it come to raising kids. This expense often doesn’t lend itself well to balancing a budget. But more costly is the distance created between parent and child in those early years of separation.

One solution that families are utilizing is stay-at-home parenting. No longer is it just mom at home, but dads, too, are making that sacrifice. Living on one income can be difficult, but it isn’t impossible either. With these tips, families can make the most of their one income budget while raising children who will be close to them for a lifetime.

1. One vehicle.

While the kids are small, it’s a easier to function with one car. Do it as long as you can. You want to be able to stay in the black while you’re riding on that single income and this is the most budget-friendly way to do it. Without that second car, you don’t have the expense of upkeep, gas, insurance or parking. However, it also means that you’ll have to dance around when it comes to scheduling things…a small price to pay for what you are going to save in the long run.

2. Plan meals.

Ideally, planning all meals and snacks should span the time between your paychecks. And when you do plan, make sure you stick to it. If you find the rigidity of a daily plan too stifling, at least plan 28 meals with 28 snacks so you can shop for them and have the items on hand for any day.

3. Go out with a plan.

Never leave home without a plan in mind. With one car and limited time outside, as a family or alone, plan before you walk out the door. Random spending creeps up faster than you realize when you don’t have a map in mind. A quiet trip to the mall for some sightseeing or playtime for the kids can turn into lunch outside, hitting an unexpected sale, and even rides on the dollar-trap toys.

Discuss the day’s plans with everyone in the family and make sure the kids know what to expect. Lay down the ground rules, let them know what is allowed and what isn’t. They’ll appreciate knowing and won’t be disappointed if they ask for something and they can’t have it.

So even if you’re just planning a nice family day out, make sure you know where you’re going and what you will do. And stick to it.

4. Look for free.

Utilize the local library when looking for activities. Kids love picking out their own books, playing with the toys and meeting other kids. And you’re not limited to just the library. Most cities have a publication that’s printed to let parents know what is coming up each month in their area in terms of entertainment and outings. If your city doesn’t have such a newspaper or magazine, make friends with teachers and librarians in the area or keep your eyes on the local newspaper. Events are usually listed at least a week in advance.

This gives you a wide variety of activities to look forward to and keeps boredom (and often unnecessary spending) at bay.

Putting these tips to work for you will save your family loads and give you hope that staying at home doesn’t mean staying broke.

What other ways can you save while being a stay-at-home parent?

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Melissa O. May 10, 2013 at 10:23 am

There are ways to make a little money while still being a stay-at-home parent and remaining focused on your kids. My aunt gave piano lessons, and I do babysitting for working-mom friends as well as dog-walking. I have three regulars in my neighbourhood with well-behaved and well-socialized dogs, so I pop my youngest in a Mai Tai on my back, and have leashes in one hand and my preschooler’s hand in the other! She loves getting to pet the puppies and a daily walk is a fun activity that’s helped me shed that pesky baby weight.

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