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In case y’all didn’t know, being a stay-at-home mom can be a struggle. Trying to adjust to living on one income can be tough, especially when you’re used to 2 full time incomes.
But as a stay-at-home mom, there are certain things we must give up, in order to have the lifestyle we dream of. Whether you have a new baby or have decided to homeschool, being a stay-at-home mom is a blessing, even when it doesn’t seem that way.
Days at home can seem to drag on, while you count down the hours until your husband gets home. In fact, he may be the only adult voice you even hear some days.
Being stuck at home with kids day after day can seem like a drag but it’s really not. It’s especially rough when you’re trying to stick to the budget but just want to get out of the house for a bit.
We’ve rounded up 3 easy ways that staying home to save money can really fatten your pocketbook.
With gas prices rising, yet again, it’s no wonder Americans always feel strapped for cash. A quick trip to the gas station confirms that our gas-guzzling society is spending a LOT of money on gas. The average American spends between 5-7 hours in a car and spends about 50 each week! That’s over $2,500 for fuel in one year!
As a stay-at-home mom, you can save gas by combining your trips. Try to run all errands and do your grocery shopping in one day. Make sure you return your library books while you’re already out and about. Take a few extra minutes to ensure each errand is ready and waiting for you, when you decide to go to town.
Make it your goal to only use your car one day a week. On the other days, when you just need to get out of the house, try to go for a walk, bike ride or hitch a ride with a friend or neighbor. Find friends who have similar goals and plan a play-date at a park within walking distance. Having a planned day out will give you something to look forward to on the days at home.
Less Temptation To Spend:
I’ll be the first to admit that I have about zero self-control when it comes to spending money on frivolous items, like dining out. In fact, I even schedule both mine and my kids’ appointments around lunch times. (Hello, 11 am appointments. How convenient that I can now drive right by Mickey D’s and grab some lunch on my way home! Someone tell me I’m not alone.)
When you stay home, you reduce the temptation to swing by the Dollar Tree, coffee shop or fast food restaurants. Those quick, unplanned trips can wreak havoc on your budget. If you blow $20 a week on stuff you don’t need, it adds up to almost $250 a year! That’s a big chunk of money that could be better spent elsewhere.
If you are going to be out and about, be prepared. Have a plan of action, with a pre-planned route of where you need to go. Avoid making unnecessary stops and your impulse buys will be less frequent.
If you know you’ll be out during lunch time, grab a loaf of bread and some PB&J. With under 5 minutes of prep work, you’ll be able to skip the drive through, saving you $10-$20 each visit.
Another huge money-suck in our family is drinks. We like to hit up Sonic Happy Hour and it adds up fast. There were months where I would drive 15 minutes, just to grab my Dr. Pepper. (HELLO, major gas-waster!) Keep a bottle of water handy, for both you and the kids. For under a buck, you’ll easily save $5 by avoiding gas station fountain drinks and drive-thrus.
Wear and Tear:
As a stay-at-home mom, you rarely change out of your yoga pants. When you do leave the house, you have the sudden urge to change out of your yoga pants and into your LuLaRoe leggings. And we all know that those puppies ain’t cheap. At $30 a pop, you know you need to keep them in the best shape as possible. Hand washing and hanging to dry just ain’t gonna happen, so why even pretend.
The less you get dressed into your “going to town” clothes, the less wear and tear they’ll take.
But your clothes aren’t the only thing that is taking a beating. The more you drive your car, the more likely it is to show wear and tear. New tires, oil changes and an increased chance of getting your door dinged while at the grocery store are all great reasons to keep that car safe at home. After all, your driveway has way less crazy drivers in it than the Wal*Mart parking lot. Hopefully, anyways. 🙂
When you ditch your job, you trade in your hours in the workplace for hours at home. It’s no doubt that being cooped up at home all week can be frustrating. Sometimes, you just have to get out of the house. Even when you’re broke, you need an escape from the long days at home. It’s easy to get out, without spending much money.
Save your sanity while you’re staying home to save money:
Walk to the park:
Toss your kiddos in the stroller and head out for a fun day of slides and swings. Make arrangements to meet up with other families that live nearby.
Play ball in the backyard:
A $10 soccer ball will provide hours of play for kids of all ages. But don’t stop at soccer. Use the ball to play hot potato, kick it around on the trampoline or learn to head butt it.
Host an outdoor game day:
We love to grab our favorite board games and head outdoors. Games like Forbidden Island and Battle Sheet can easily be played on the patio table, even when the wind is blowing. Save games like Uno for less windy days, unless you like chasing lost cards. 😉
It’s amazing what you can find in your own yard. From worms and rollie pollies to gorgeous leaves. Give the kiddos a magnifying glass and allow them to explore the yard, finding small creatures and bits of nature.
Go for a bike ride:
Once your kids are old enough, bike rides are a great way to get out of the house without breaking the bank. If possible, bike to local hiking trails, then take a walk and return to biking on your way home. It’s great exercise, free and produces great memories!
Chalk up the sidewalks:
Kids love chalk. Work with the kids to transform your sidewalks into a gorgeous work of art. The best part? Chalk is super cheap and lasts darn-near forever. The kids will get hours of fun out of one measley pack of chalk.
My kids LOVE reading outside. All we do is throw a blanket down under our shade trees and indulge in our current read-aloud. Kids will love it and the fresh air is always welcome.
When money is tight, a great place to start saving is right at home. And it couldn’t be easier: simply save money by staying home. Challenge yourself to stay home for an entire week, without using your car for any driving! You’ll be amazed how much money you’ll save and you’ll also find a new love for a simple life that allows you to slow down and enjoy the days.