SAHM: How to make it happen?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
SAHM: How to make it happen?
15
Wed, 05-05-2010 - 11:53pm

Literally ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to be a

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2007
Thu, 05-06-2010 - 10:08am

Christine--My only advice would be to make a budget listing all income and expenses, and see what you could cut down on and what you really can't. There are lots of ways to live frugal and cheaply, but in the end it comes down to the bottom line, KWIM?

Once you start working again, maybe you could find a way to save a good portion of what you make so that you could stop working again sooner rather than later. Mostly, hopefully DH's company will have everyone up to full salary soon! :-P

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Fri, 05-07-2010 - 10:05am
Well Christine, I know it's going to sound ugly, but I think once you've made your budget and set a frugal lifestyle, it all comes down to how much money your DH earns.
But try to cheer up, things might improve at your DH's job, and then you can SAH!!
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2007
Fri, 05-07-2010 - 1:26pm

It's awesome that you wouldn't have to pay for childcare cause that would be all profit but I could see how you would want to stay home with her. A strict budget goes a long way. We only allow $50 a month for "fun" money, which means eating out or renting movies, etc. We eat casseroles a lot and DH takes leftovers for lunches. I buy groceries with coupons and take advantage of double and triple coupon weeks. We set out house warmer in the summer and colder in the winter to save on energy bills. Use vinegar and water to clean instead of expensive cleaning solutions that aren't healthy to be around your daughter anyway. If you can go down to one car, you would either have one less monthly payment or the extra money from selling one you own outright.

You can also do things to help save on money every month in terms of what you buy for the little one. Get hand-me-downs from friends and family or buy at consignment stores/sales. You could do cloth diapers and flannel wipes. It saves us about $60 a month to do that. The cost is high initially but saves you every month once they pay for themselves. If you're breastfeeding, that already saves you the cost of formula and later regular milk.

I stopped working when my twins were born. My DH was lucky enough to get yearly raises ever since then and we bought this house knowing that I would eventually be a SAHM mom and that he would have to afford the payments by himself. I also tried to bank my entire salary before I got pregnant and during so that we would have money in savings, but that was gone by the time the twins were 6 months old. We're just getting by now and would love to have me working to make money, but with 2 in daycare, I wouldn't make hardly anything.

Good luck! I hope you can make it work out. I know how hard it would be to be away from your baby.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Fri, 05-07-2010 - 2:37pm

It was never our plan for DH to be a SAHD. But I am very frugal by nature so luckily we were able to do it. He didn't want to bc of the "stigma" but ultimately it was what was best for our son (we were having issues w/the daycare).


- we purchased a t/home instead of a house to save $ on mortgage


- we share one vehicle and DH & I will walk places instead of taking the car when possible.


- I take boxed lunches, we read the weekly flyers and buy what is on sale/when on sale.


- We go weeks of buying NOTHING outside of food & basics. I'll write a list of things we *think* we need. Then at the end of the month when we've met & exceeded our budget, I take the extra money and look at the list. Often we find we "got by" w/o things and dont' really need them. If we do, we'll buy them then or they wait till next month if we don't have the $.


- I pay cash for everything and never use monthly payment plans. I have all our yearly expenses in a savings account and earning interest until they are due.


- I sell whatever I don't need on craigslist and purchase lots of my items from there.


- I save electricity by unplugging theatre systems and things that suck energy when

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Fri, 05-07-2010 - 8:16pm

You've gotten a bunch of good response, and I want to respond on two fronts.

First, it is really hard to imagine going back to work when you have a 2-month-old. It's still tough even at 3 months. But by 4, and even better 6 months, it gets lot easier. Especially if you can go back part-time, that's great.

I'd always wanted/expected to be a SAHM. But, when the time came, I was torn. We've been saving for a house, and I actually like my job. So when my boss was willing to be super-flexible about me going back part-time I decided to give it a try, and it's worked out really well. Being home with a baby is harder, and in different ways, than I'd even anticipated. And I actually like his daycare more than I ever imagined I would. So, I think I've actually ended up happier not being a SAHM right now.

Otoh, when I think about having #2, I don't know what I'll do. I wonder if I'll regret it if I never try staying home fulltime. And I do get those pangs of jealousy when I talk to women who do. (Meanwhile, I have a lot of friends who would, unfortunately, be judgemental if I were a SAHM, but that's a whole nother issue...)

So, there's that. As for making it work, the big things really come down to housing and cars. You can cut a lot of coupons, and that's great, but nothing compares to a smaller house with a smaller mortgage and smaller maintenance costs. (Or, even better, a place with cheap rent where you're never going to suddenly have to pay to replace a roof or water heater.) And getting inexpensive, used, reliable cars and keeping them in good shape and driving them until they die.

Right now we're buying a 1200 sq.ft. 2-bed house and it's killing me. But, it's 2/3 the price we were considering paying, I know that we will make it work somehow, and I know I'll have the option of staying home with #2.

~Lorien





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~Lorien





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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-17-2007
Sat, 05-08-2010 - 4:44pm

ITA with Adrienne, you need a very strict budget and you may have to give up some things you may find essential right now.

We're living on DH's grad student stipend and student loans. When I quit my job, that cut our monthly income by about 1/3, and we weren't paying for daycare before either. It is really tough, but it's what we have to do. Ry has 4-5 appointments a week every week, and it would be impossible to accommodate that schedule if I was still working.

You just look at what you have and what you absolutely need to survive and you make it work. It's hard, and it's not for everyone, but if it's what you want, I believe most people can do it if they are willing to make the big sacrifices.

GL!!!

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wttg
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Wed, 05-12-2010 - 10:13pm

Thanks ladies for all the great suggestions! We are doing a lot of these things already (I'm

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Wed, 05-19-2010 - 10:32am

I never wanted to be a SAHM - it just wasn't in my plans.

new siggy

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Wed, 05-19-2010 - 11:01am

Christine, I just wanted to share a story from my EC. One of the ladies there said that being a SAHM was important to her and her DH, and her first pregnancy was twins. In order to allow her to SAH, they rented a BEDROOM for the twins first year or two of life, and that was their whole living space. It was obviously hard but it had to do with what their priorities are.

I just wanted to point out to you, as others have, that there are options out there, but as Lorien said, really saving money has to do with cutting MAJOR expenses--I'm not sure if you rent or own, but selling your house and getting a cheaper house (or, as Dee pointed out, a mobile home), or moving into a place with a cheaper rent is REALLY what would make this happen for you.

I just wanted to share the story of my EC-friend because PERSONALLY, I couldn't do that--but for you, facing the fact that you do have CHOICES might be really good for you. You aren't FORCED to go back to work, but maybe you would rather go back to work than give up some of the things in your life (like your house), and that is okay, especially considering that SAH might work out a little longer down the line.

(((HUGS)))

Silly Expecting Siggy


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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Wed, 05-19-2010 - 11:23am

Thanks Kim and Adrienne!


The biggest obstacle (in addition to the whole money issue) is that my DH keeps making comments about me being lazy (mainly, I don't clean the house as much as he would like - our house is always tidy but not spotless, but he's going to work on his attitude with his therapist because I told him it needs to stop)

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