9 Helpful Tips To Go From Working Mom To Stay At Home Mom

The ideal for almost every mother is to be able to leave work and stay home with her children. As women we long for it every time we drop our little ones off at a sitter. Never knowing what we'll miss that was new that day.

Many couples think its far beyond their reach to lose an entire income but, for most, its entirely possible. You have to be disciplined and willing to sacrifice but remember, you are only sacrificing the material goods.
Here are a few helpful solutions to get you closer to your goal.

1 - Don't be in debt

HUGE number 1. The only reason that I have to work, is to pay off all our "stupid debt." Then again all debt is stupid. A mortgage should be the only thing you owe any money on and if you can get rid of that, you're golden. If you want to stay home and are in debt, work your butt off to clear it out! A few months or so of craziness will have the greatest pay off. Like Dave Ramsey says, sell everything in the house so the kids are scared that they might be next. Really get after it and kill it. Ebay will be your new best friend.

2 - Add up daycare and other work expenses

Unless you are making $75,000 a year on your own, daycare is killing you. Even more so if you have more than one child. Add up daycare, eating out for lunch, gas, the extra car, work clothes, and anything else you can think of that is related to you working. Then subtract it from what you make. You may start crying. Fair warning. Also take into account the fact that since you are home, you will have more time to cook meals and make things from scratch. No need to order pizza or take out like you did on those nights you were too tired to cook.

3 - Thrift stores

I LOVE thrift stores!!! Between friends and thrift stores, I don't think my children have owned a "new" piece of clothing in years. Thrift stores are better than any store you could possibly go into. The variety is HUGE and the prices are crazy. I remember a friend of mine being excited because she got her kids new blue jeans and paid $60 for 6 pairs at a retail store. I about choked. I could buy my kids an entire wardrobe for $60. If you are opposed to buying used, seriously, just get over it. You can buy really nice, clean stuff at second hand stores. Especially for little kids. They barely wear most items before they grow out of them.

4 - Work from home (if you must)

I know this is a huge enticement for lots of moms. Let me tell you from experience, it pretty much sucks. At my peak I had 6 work from home jobs. Now I have 3 and one super flexible part time one away from home about once a week. At least when you go to work and come home, you are done. I can't tell you how many nights I've been up till 3am working on a file only to then have to get up at 7am with the kids. One of my jobs is in direct sales. If you choose to go that route, make sure its something you love and doesn't put you into debt. My favorite work from home job was when I sold my excess breastmilk to a pharmaceutical company that made a fortifier for preemies. I had extra milk anyway so it wasn't like I was doing anything I wouldn't have already been doing. And the pay was great. Man do I miss that money..... If you are crafty, make things. Etsy is an awesome avenue for that. Or set up your own ecrater shop. Just remember, you are going to have to go nuts promoting it. Make sure its something you are passionate about.

5 - Cut out unnecessary expenses

We haven't had cable in years. I thought I would miss it but I really don't. (Husband kinda does though.) We live in the middle of nowhere and I got an antenna on Amazon for about $35 (aff link http://amzn.to/1RTYs55.) Even being 80 miles from any major city, we still get about 20-30 channels. Neat stuff too. All the network channels, PBS and lots of other original stations you wouldn't even get with cable. We also pay for Hulu so we still get lots of great new shows. Research your cell phone bill. We were paying $180 from AT&T for 3 smart phones and 1 dumb phone. Switched to Cricket (owned by AT&T so no change in service) and pay $100 for FIVE smart phones with tons more data. If you can ditch your smart phone all together, that's always the better option, but with my work from home stuff I needed internet access on the go. And of course the hubby wanted his gadgets. Two of the phones are for my parents. I don't care how poor you are, always help out your parents, they are broke because of you. Do you buy coffee at Starbucks? Just stop that nonsense. If you have two vehicles you may need to get rid of one. Definitely if you have a car payment. Even if its just for a little while, you can always save up to have a little beater car to run errands while your husband is at work.

6 - Coupon and comparison shop

If you can devote the time to it, couponing can be a HUGE money saver. I'm talking on the extreme level. I used to be an "extreme couponer" (geez I hate that term) but after the birth of my latest baby I just didn't have the time for it. Check out websites in your area that focus on your stores, you can really learn a lot. Aldi is a great alternative to couponing. Their prices are incredible and their food can be healthy. Just remember to have a quarter in your purse. Man is that ever aggravating.

7 - Budget!

Give every dollar a job. There are TONS of budget sites out there. Its really a matter of finding one that works for you. I personally love Gail Vaz Oxlade's site. She has great resources for debt and budgeting. Visit Gail's site here. My favorite is her interactive budget worksheet which you can open in Excel Interactive Budget Worksheet. You can save it on your computer to tweek later if you like. If you want more info on her budget style, you can search You Tube for her show "Til Debt Do Us Part." I don't think its on the air anymore but you can still watch pretty much anything online.

8 - Be prepared to do everything

Being a stay at home mom means the housework is your job. The children are your job. Take all that to heart and make sure you are doing your jobs well. Get dressed everyday (no pajama pants.) If you have to change your clothes to go to Walmart, you need to rethink what you wear. Take pride in keeping a beautiful home and please don't expect your husband to do half the household chores. You have the time now, make sure everything is done and done well.

9 - Be content to be at home

Its a pretty big culture shock to go from talking to actual adults to watching Dinosaur Train and Curious George during the day. Many women can begin to feel unhappy and laziness comes from discontentment. Safeguard yourself from this by being prepared. Find some friends, other mommy groups, and be content in the work you are doing at home. Choose to find joy in the everyday stuff. One of the keys to my sanity is to get up before the kids to plan my day and get everything in order. It can be too chaotic to wake up at the same time as the littles. I'm just not ready to be at someone's beck and call as soon as I get up in the morning.

There's a book called Women Leaving The Workplace (link in right margin.) Its my absolute favorite book on this subject. Larry Burkett was a brilliant Christian and has written many successful financial books.

"The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down." Proverbs 14:1


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