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Ways to Plan Ahead Before Children so you can be a Stay at Home Mom

Updated on July 30, 2014

Planning ahead so you can stay home with your children

It is admirable that you want to stay home and be the person raising your children. I have been lucky enough to be home with my sons the past five years and feel I have been doing the right thing for our family. I do realize this is not the right thing for every family, and in some cases both parents have to work. It takes planning and sacrifices to be home with your children. Here are some of the things my husband and I did to plan before we had kids.

Stay out of debt. We agreed to never put more than we could fully pay off each month (never carry a balance) on our credit cards. Luckily we had a good start because both of us believed in this before we met and we did not have any credit card debt to start with. If we wanted something we saved until we could buy it. Granted, our house is not paid off and although we currently do not have a car payment we have had car payments off and on throughout our marriage. We agreed house and car payments were reasonable debt to carry.

Start living on one salary before you have kids. I’m not suggesting the one staying home quits their job before kids. My suggestion is that you put the entire paycheck of the secondary income in a savings account you don’t touch. This will serve two purposes. First, it proves you are able to live on one salary. Secondly, it gives you a savings cushion should you need a new appliance, or have an emergency something happen you’d need to pay for while actually living on one salary.

Consider how to keep costs down. My husband and I looked at some beautiful homes we loved and could easily afford on both of our salaries before we had kids. Knowing we wanted children and that I was going to stay home we decided on a small house. It fits our family (some days barely) but we can easily afford it on just my husband’s salary. We chose reliable, but certainly not top of the line cars to stay in budget. We don’t have state of the art phones or other gadgets. We don’t have a home phone or every cable channel. We also don’t go out to eat as often as we used to. I don’t buy clothes for myself unless absolutely needed and even then I look for sales. I’ve been able to buy a lot of various items at yard sales. Childrens clothing can be like new (they outgrow clothes faster than they can wear them out) and cost a fraction of the new price. We’ve purchased scooters and other outdoor “musts” for active boys for next to nothing and in great condition. Sometimes you have to sift through junk to find the gems at yard sales, but for me it has really paid off. There are many ways to save money with a little thought and creativity.

If money is still an issue, consider other options. If all of this still isn’t enough, decide how much more than the one income you still need. Maybe it is possible for the second income to be earned from working at home, or working a job opposite hours your spouse works so one of you is always home with the kids. Once you know how much more you need, with some creativity and prioritizing you might even be able to shave that much money from your budget.

The early years of your child’s life are filled with a lot of firsts and opportunities to instill values and trust. By living a more simple life you can ensure that you will be the one experiencing all of the firsts and teaching all of your values. If you have more than one child you can raise your children together rather than separate rooms according to age in daycare. If you want to be home, the earlier you plan for this, the better.

© 2013 HeatherH104


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    • HeatherH104 profile image

      HeatherH104 4 years ago from USA

      Meg, it's great your husband was home with your kids. It sounds like they really benefitted from it. It creates a strong family bond for the kids when they are raised at home.

      Thanks for sharing your beautiful story.

    • HeatherH104 profile image

      HeatherH104 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you James! I think it is important for kids to have a sense of family and know their parents are there for them. My kids don't have everything the other kids have, but they go to a good school and have everything they need.

      Thanks for your comment. Have a great week.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

      We did it the other way round, I went out to work and my husband stayed home. It suited us better that way. Living on one salary from having 2 can be a HUGE drop. I wish I could say that we had planned ahead but we didn't, still we have made it through and both are now retired. I really think the children benefited. If one of them was ill, there was no problem trying to find emergency childcare or pushing them out when they weren't fully better and there was always someone in the house for them. Children feel much more secure that way, I think. But again, each set of parents must make their own choice. I now see my daughter and son in law BOTH working part time, so their child gets some good time at home. I would not criticise any family where both parents go out to work - sometimes that is necessary or better for the children.

    • James-wolve profile image

      Tijani Achamlal 4 years ago from Morocco

      Thanks for sharing with us your experience.The tips are useful.I agree with hawaiianodysseus it s a beautiful way to live!

    • HeatherH104 profile image

      HeatherH104 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you Joe! I have been enjoying every minute with them. :)

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      You have made wonderful and prudent decisions in advance of having children so that, upon their blessed arrival, you could give more of yourselves and your resources to them. This is a beautiful way to live, and you've managed to do very, very well by it. Blessings and aloha from someone who respects you and what you've done and are still doing...