Ideas to Cut Back Expenses to Be Able to Be a Stay at Home Mom

Updated on April 14, 2009
A.P. asks from San Angelo, TX
12 answers

I have a 17 month and a 2 and 3/4 year old. My two year old is in daycare and my baby has a nanny. The nanny will be starting school and when my baby is 18 months he will go to the same daycare. I have worked since I was pregnant with the first, but have always wanted to quit and stay at home. I have a good job with good pay, but I am itching to be at home with the boys. I plan to be a teacher in the future and I beleive I should pursue this dream now, before I change my career. We will have to cut back considerably and I was hoping for ideas how to make the dream possible. I do have a possiblity of getting a small part time job, that is simialar to what I do now, but we will still be short of money every month. Thank you!

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answers from Houston on

God Bless You!! I have been home with our boys now for almost 6 years. I have LOVED it.

Ways to save/spend less...all good ideas so far that I have read.
Do away with credit cards.
I have found that eatting out consumes much of our budget.
Also, join IT WORKS like magic.
I pick meals for the entire month, then purchase accordingly about every 2 weeks(so that I can get meats on sale,etc)

Get rid of extras on cable, home phone, cells, gym memberships(IF you dont use, but a great "outlet" for adult time when staying home).

Also, I have begun to ask for memberships for the kids as gifts(Houston Zoo, Houston Children's Museum,etc) that way you have things to do. Pack lunches.

What area of town do you live?

I also watch 1 child in my home to help out with expenses.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Shop your home owners and auto insurance to see if you can save anything there. Look for discounts for having all of your insurance with one carrier, burgler alarm discounts. Be up front and ask what you may be able to get a lower price for ie: higher deductibles.

Look at paying off your vehicle or trading it in for an older model that you can own free & clear. Then you can just carry liability insurance on it and reduce your auto insurance expense.

Check the status of your mortgage to see if it's possible to refinance for a lower interest rate and monthly payment. You may also be able to use home equity to consolidate any debt to reduce payments and possibly make the interest deductible on your tax return.

Get back to basics. Get rid of cable tv, bells and whistles on your phone plans, gym memberships you don't use, magazine/newspaper subscriptions etc. Also shop your electricity provider to make sure you're paying the least amount possible. All of the seemingly "little" things that cost $3 to $5 a month really do add up.

We all tend to get used to having things that in our mind become "needs" when they are really just "wants". It all depends on what you "want" more.

Best wishes to you in finding a way to be with your children while they're young.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Hi there,

Actually, it might help you to quit working. People don't take into account all the "little" expenses that you have when you work. First of all, it might put you in a lwer tax bracket. You will no longer need to pay for daycare, lunches (this adds up quickly), work clothing, as much gas. Also, coupon clipping makes a huge difference in your grocery bill. Nothing is more rewarding than being with your kids. I was worried when I stopped working and it was no problem. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Most SAHMs still have a full time job...saving money.
As others have mentioned, getting rid of child care costs will be HUGE. Fixing meals at home will certainly help too. I have found that making what is on sale at HEB work for us has litteraly saved me 50% on my grocery bill and we still eat VERY well and healthy. This has been our biggest savings.
We figured up the savings of child care, the cost of the car and gas to get to and from work everyday, my eating out for lunch and my work clothes and dry cleaning bills, and I only had to find another couple of hundred to be able to stay home. I did that with out bills and grocery shopping. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

If you haven't heard of or read anything by Dave Ramsey, I highly recommend it. Take his Financial Peace University class at a church if you can. He has sound advice for how to manage your finances and pay off debt so that you can live however you want!

I will tell you though, on a more practical level, that we cut our household income in half for me to stay home when my daughter was born. We saved some money in advance so that we would have some income coming in (we invested in CD's that came due every 3 months for a year) during my first year home. We paid off our cars and bought a house that we knew we could pay for with one income. I have been home for over 3 years now and we do a budget every month, have no debt (except our house) and have plenty of money in savings for emergencies and other things that spring up throughout the year (like car repairs, gifts, etc.). It can be done if you are dilligent about your budget and set realistic expectations for what you can and can't afford. Just having my husband take his lunch to work most days saved almost $100 per month! The smallest things (think Starbucks) add up and as long as you cut stuff like that out altogether and track where your money is going, you can do it! Good luck with your decision. I love staying at home with my kids and I hope you are able to work it out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Write down all your expenses for the next month or two. Categorize them and start looking for places you can cut costs. Then start saving. Even if you can't afford to stay home full time, you might be able to get by with just a part time job, especially if you are able to save money before you quit.

Remember if you are at home you will spend less on work clothes, gas if you commute, and of course childcare.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Waco on

Hi A.
Bless you! It is so important for Mom to be at home with the kids when they are young. I applaud you!!
there are so many ways to "cut back" and save money ......even in todays economic downturn. saving on shopping is probably the easiest and quickest way to cut back......I can tell you of a plan that saves lots of money and has an opportunity attached to it that pays very well. It is home based business but I will have to give you the details privately. Not allowed to promote my business here, but if you are interested in finding out more just PM me and we will set a time to talk. No sales pitch- Just information...



answers from San Antonio on

suggestions for ways to save money:
I have used & can recommend these sites - which are all free to use! - Will help you find the best credit card, cell phone plan & gas prices (new) - will show you great local grocery deals (HEB, Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, etc. - it shows you their current sales - no coupons needed) - free acct - they do the work of checking the Walmart / Target / CVS / Walgreens circulars & Sunday newspaper coupons to show you how to combine them to reduce your grocery bill - also do many regular grocery stores - you can create a free acct & then once you give it access it will track all of your bills & income so you can see where you are spending your money

another suggestion: ANYTIME you order something online - ALWAYS open a new Tab or Window & do a search for a discount/coupon code. Ex: Oriental Trading coupon code. There are probably 20+ sites out there that exist just to help people find coupon codes. I always do this.

Good luck & God bless!



answers from Sherman on

Not having to pay your nanny and day care may be more of a "raise" then you think



answers from Houston on

Hi A.! You've received some great advice so far! Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover is also an EXCELLENT book!

Also, have you ever thought of working from home? I found The MOM Team years ago and have been able to work from home and still be home with my kids. You can check it out at

I've also found that since I'm not going to a full time job anymore, I don't have day care expenses, lunch expenses, I don't have to buy nice, business clothes, etc. So, I spend much less than I did when I worked full time.

I also limit how many errands I run during the week. I try to go to the grocery store every other week and stock up. I go with a list in hand and try to stick to it as much as possible. The more I can stay out of the stores, the better!!



answers from Houston on

If your up to it watch a few children. You can definetly find some the same age as your own that would make play pals. Spices up the day with some extra cash.


answers from Austin on

Get to know other families with children about the same ages as your children.

Trading children's clothing is a huge saver. We used to do that here in our neighborhood, cause we had so many girls all different ages and sizes.

We also discovered the best Goodwill in our area. It was in an area of town that had the most upscale homes and many times the kids clothing there still had the tags on them or were barely worn.

The men in the neighborhood share lawn and household tools. They also help each other with house and car repair when possible. At least once a week when the kids were little, we would do a pot luck in someones yard. This took the place of us eating out. If we heard of a really good deal at a restaurant we would share the info with each other, so if we did eat out, it was at a huge savings.

We would trade leftovers with each other.

The men loved going to garage sales on Saturday mornings to look for the active toys for our kids.. Wagons, trikes, bikes, scooters...

If someone was going to a store, we would call around to see if anyone else needed anything picked up or wanted to ride along so we only took one vehicle.

We tried to collect information on free events going on all over town so we could attend, we would take our own snacks and drinks. Our kids knew we would not be spending money at these events.

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