As a stay-at-home mother, you are at an advantageous position to trim the budgetary fat that is restricing you from building your savings and living a financially-secure life. Compared to full-time working parents, you have better control over your time and energy and where best to allocate them to get tasks done. Whether you are a single parent staying at home to take care of her children or someone who wants to help her husband by saving more money and stretching the single income coming in every month, here are seven ways on how to save more bucks without having to drastically change your family’s lifestyle:
Set a Budget
This is unarguably the simplest way to start saving money. Without a well-defined budget, you can’t know exactly where your income is going and how much you are paying for. A budget is necessary to know the answers to both these questions as well as to start making new lifestyle changes that reflect your newfound financial agenda. Categorize your expenses and specificy budgeted amounts that go to each category every month. Regardless of how you choose to construct a budget, the important thing is to actually start one.
Find Remote Work
Saving money doesn’t just mean cutting back on expenses; it’s also about adding to your current income streams. Luckily, you live in a tech-driven era, where remote work is no longer an exception, but rather a norm. You can find dozens upon dozens of remote jobs online that can pay you as much, if not more, of what the current industry standard is. Find remote jobs on sites, like Upwork and Indeed, to help you filter listings quickly. Some of the sidelines you can pursue as a stay-at-home mother include writing articles and blog posts, developing apps and fixing software bugs, and consulting for companies who need someone of your expertise and skill set.
Cook Your Own Meals
Cooking for the family is not only a cheaper option; it’s also an opportunity to bond with the family. When you compute the cost of a restaurant entree dish, which on average starts at around $13, versus cooking the same dish at home, you’ll notice that it costs at least twice as much to order in or eat out than it is to just cook the dish at home. This is because eating out entails not only paying for the food, but also for the ambience and prime location.
Work out an arrangement with your neighbors or the parents of your children’s classmates to carpool either in your car or their’s. This will save you money as it splits the cost of gas and puts in fewer miles on your car, which results in lower maintenance costs over time. You can carpool every morning and afternoon when you drop your kids off to school and pick them up. It can also work for running other errands, such as laundry or groceries. If you need another reason to carpool, know that it’s a great way to do your part in saving the environment by lowering carbon emissions.
Buying used stuff has always been frowned upon by people. They think of it as a vulgar practice or something that makes them look stingy and inferior compared to those who can afford to buy brand new. But fact of the matter is, things break and your children outgrow their clothes and get tired of their toys. You’ll need to learn how to accept this universal truth and start buying secondhand whenever possible. Sites, like eBay and Craigslist, are a great starting point for finding secondhand items in good condition. Apps, like OfferUp and LetGo, are also good platforms to find and negotiate for secondhand items.
Time Your Purchases
As a stay-at-home mom, you have round-the-clock access to online shopping. Use it to your advantage to save money. Buying on impulse can be detrimental to your finances, especially if the purchase is for something non-essential. Timing your purchase can yield up to 30 percent discount just by waiting an extra few hours or days at most. For instance, shopping before and after the first week of November can reward you significant discounts on select items, form name-brand electronics to household staples. Other times of the year that bring in massive discounts include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the week before Christmas. If you are planning to purchase big-ticket items, like a new television set or jewelry, these are the best times to make a purchase.
Change Your Mindset
People nowadays are wired to consume more. It brings satisfaction and pleasure to buy more stuff, even if you don’t really need it. For any physical changes to take effect, you must first make the mental shift. Learn how to be thankful and contented instead of wanting to climb the social ladder with material possessions. By learning gratitude, any actionable strategies to save more money will be easier to execute as it is aligned with your beliefs. If you don’t make changes to how you think first, you’ll always have some resistance working against you even if your intentions are well.
Stay-at-home moms are the heroines of society, choosing to care for their children over their professional careers. With the help of these seven tips, you’ll be able to run your home more efficiently with more money saved for your kid’s future and for rainy days.