Let’s face it, we live in a dual income household society. Becoming a single income family isn’t always possible for many families. In my line of work, I did not receive any paid time off and went back to work part time after six weeks. I truly believed I WANTED to go back to work. Becoming a stay at home mom wasn’t even on my radar. I quickly realized that I was not cut out for the working mom life. My milk supply dipped, my anxiety worsened, and I spent too many lunch hours looking at photos of my baby on my phone and crying. When we lost our Wednesday babysitter, we made the decision for me to stay home. Luckily we could handle losing my income, but it did take some financial adjustments. Here are some of my top tips and tricks for staying within budget (especially when you’re home all day) and places you maybe never thought of where you could save a few bucks!
1. Hold each other accountable
My husband works in finance, and he brings the same financial savvy that he uses at work into our household. We are 100% transparent and honest with each other about our spending. I know that when I shop, my husband will see exactly how much I spent and that makes me a much more conscious consumer. We are a credit card free home, which was extremely helpful for me! We never have to worry about getting a surprise bill that is more than we budgeted for.
2. Find savings in your daily life
I bet if you tallied up all the things you have on automatic payment monthly, you would be shocked! We really didn’t need Hulu & Netflix & Prime (wait..actually I DO need Prime, that one stayed) & HBO & Apple Music & Pandora & satellite radio & Audible. Yes, we were paying for all of those without even thinking twice about it! We also saved tons by switching our phone plan to a different provider, and doing simple things like shopping around for the best price on internet and negotiating with our current provider. Finally, ask for cash discounts! You would be surprised how many service providers offer discounts, sometimes as much as 20%, for cash paying customers. These are important savings for a single income household.
3. Get thrifty!
I have always loved to bargain hunt! For me, finding that perfect item in an unlikely place is like finding the diamond in the rough. Unfortunately for our pocket book, I definitely have expensive taste. I have become quite the eBay aficionado and am cool with buying vintage and second hand designer items. Furthermore, Facebook marketplace and buy, sell, trade groups make it easy to buy and sell all kinds of things! If you’re willing to put in a little extra work sprucing up an item and are willing to be flexible on colors/styles, you can save a fortune on your favorite stuff!
4. Consider a side gig
If you have the possibility to work freelance, thats a great place to start! I love having the opportunity to still work with some of my favorite clients without being tied to a strict schedule. I have worked in the service industry my entire working life and will happily pick up serving/bartending shifts here and there! It works into our schedule perfectly because shifts are typically at night after my daughter is already in bed and my husband is home. No time lost with my girl, but mama’s making a little extra on the side!