Preparing Financially to Become a Stay At Home Mom
Having children is one of the biggest changes an adult can make. Many mothers want to stay at home with their children for awhile or even forever. Whatever you decide, if you want to become a stay at home mom (SAHM) you need to prepare financially.
It would not hurt to plan to be a SAHM mom long before you are even pregnant. Many times though, people aren't thinking along those lines. At the very least start planning as soon as you find out you are expecting. Take a close look at your income and your expenses. You need to figure out if it is even realistic for you to stay at home with the kids. If you are barely getting by on two incomes then it will take some work to reduce your expenses to fit within one income only. But it can certainly be done. If not right away, you can at least work towards it with your goal in mind and you will succeed eventually.
Ideally, you should try to live on your spouse's income only for a few months before the baby is born. This will show you whether it is possible or not AND pad your savings account to help cover emergencies. If you can do this then you can certainly stay home with your kids. Many times it isn't possible right away and then you need to find ways to trim your budget.
Take a hard look at your expenses each month and see what you can drop. Decide what is really necessary and get rid of what isn't. If you have a lot of debt it is time to pay it off as quickly as possible. The less money you owe other people each month the more freedom your family has. If you work hard throughout your pregnancy then you could even pay off some items before the baby comes, which could mean staying at home is more realistic than you thought.
Start trying to find the best deals at the store and don't buy unnecessary items. Play the drug store game and shop the loss leaders at the grocery store. If you are not already doing this you will be amazed at how much money you save. Start stockpiling diapers and wipes now when you can hunt for bargains. Get a good supply saved up before the baby comes and you won't have to worry about buying diapers for awhile.
Staying at home with my kids was a dream of ours before we even got married. I wasn't able to stay at home full time right away, but was able to drop down to just 20 hours a week. This transition period allowed us to get on better financial footing and it only took a year and a half before I was able to stay at home full time with my son. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. If staying at home with your children is what your family wants, it can be done. It will take some work and refiguring the budget, but you can make it happen. Maybe not overnight, but eventually. Good luck!
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