Fit Mom, Mom blog, Mom life, Nature lover, Toddler Life, Uncategorized

How Did you All do it???

Within the next month or two, I hope to…no…I WILL transition from a full-time working mom to a part-time or full-time stay at home mom.

I’ve never really been a “career woman”, but have always had to work because of bills. You know how it goes.

I’ve had an especially hard time because I used to be a nanny and I feel like I’ve raised those 3 children more than my own daughter. I hate that I have to drag her out of the house every morning, both of us exhausted, just to drop her off to strangers. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the daycare, but.. it’s not… ME.

So anyway, I’m currently emotionally and financially trying to plan for the change and I need advice!! What are ways to save on bills, save money, etc.? Keep in mind, our finances will be TIGHT on one income so I don’t care how minute/silly the advice may seem.

I’m excited about this journey and change, but I need all the help I can get 🙂

Also, this book has helped a lot for anyone else in the same boat!

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77 thoughts on “How Did you All do it???”

  1. In the exact same boat. I was never a full time employee, but I managed a physician office so my role was integral to the practice. I left work a year ago to raise my daughters, now age 2.5 and 1. I don’t regret it, although i miss the outside life and getting coffee, and my coworkers. But my commute was 50+ min and i just wasn’t ready to put my kiddos into daycare, all the money i made would go into paying for childcare.

    Staying at home is a blessing but it aint cheap. We had to cut back in certain areas to make it work on one income. We now eat out only once a week, and it has made a tremendous difference in our finances. We cut extra costs wherever possible: most of it is food/coffee runs, Redbox movie rentals, shopping and unnecessary expenses.

    And I find that creating a spreadsheet of all our spending, all the credit card bills and bank accounts has helped me to keep an eye on where our money goes. I made categories such as Food/Shopping/Grocery/Bills/Gas/Donations/etc. and this way I know where and how we can make some cuts.

    It isn’t easy, but it is very much possible so stay positive and be strong. Raising kids is not easy and it’s not a job for the weak! Wish you all the best 🙂
    -Sumra

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I had a very similar thought just today. I realized that my kids’ teachers and the after school workers see so much more of my kids than I do. I would love to be at home more. It’s great that you will make that transition!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I agree with sweetdreamer, making a spreadsheet of all of your in and outs can really help you figure out what you are spending your money on.

    Vegetable and fruit gardening can be a money saving and good learning experience for the kiddos. (One bag of carrot seeds may cost $5 but it can make 30 carrots!! My kids love eating them raw from the garden and cooked too.)
    Cooking more and going out less, and remember you are going to save all the money you’ve been spending on day care.
    Pay off your car if possible so you don’t have to worry about the no they payments.
    Good luck!!
    I worked from home part time after the first child, but didn’t really need it except for my sanity. I couldn’t do it with two kids, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m getting on the spreadsheet tonight!! Starting with organization and getting everything in order will help.

      We have a vegetable garden, but I would love to add more to it.. carrots are a great idea 🙂 and yes daycare is the biggest expense we would be saving on thank goodness! It’s definitely doable!

      Thanks for your advice 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have stayed home for 14 years now. I was the bread winner so leaving work was a big change. We didn’t choose it for the exact time it happened, I was put on bedrest at 26 weeks pregnant, so it was sort of forced. However, we have made it work. I know so many moms who wish to stay at home, but I believe due to the way our society is, they don’t want to make sacrifice. They want to have their cake and eat it too, which of course we all would but in reality, you have to make sacrifices. We went down to one car. We didn’t have cable for 7 years. Once netflix came out we had that. We had “at home dates” after bedtime. I was on a strict budget for groceries. We bought thrift or kids clothes, which surprisingly you can find brand name clothes at good thrift stores! LOL! I used coupons. We did lots of little things and it really does add up. Plus when you think of how much you are paying a daycare? You’re saving that! I mentioned yesterday to you that I have always watched kids. If you have been a nanny, you can totally do this! Up until recently I was making $1600 a month watching kids. You can do it!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. We don’t really practice good money saving techniques because we’ve never had to, but my sitter provides in home care. It’s $60 a day to take my son to her and he’s the only one she keeps right now. We just do part-time, so 2-3 days a week, but it ends up being a decent chunk of money for it. Maybe you could do that? I know she watched a nurse’s daughter before too, so only 2-3 days a week then too. But I’m sure it helps out! I found her on Facebook Nannyshare groups in my area!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks so much for this advice!! You’re right, the little stuff really does add up. It seems so small and insignificant, but it really does add up. I’m definitely going to be doing all this budgeting and everything. And wow! That’s impressive ! I have to look into watching kids.. just have to network and find people 🙂 thanks so much for the advice

    Like

  7. Hi, I’ve stayed home for 22 years now, with four children. We saved money by shopping consignment, selling consignment, doing “staycays” (day trips) rather than traveling, making homemade playdo, buying legos rather than big fancy playsets(children like to manipulate in their play, so chunky mega blocks work. Mega blocks and legos resale are great) using paper and crayon/markers, chalk, using packs of hanes tshirts and boxers/ hanes sweats for sleepwear- jammies cost ALOT! Making healthy soups and salads, cutting jeans for shorts, and any pants, really- of course hand me downs, friend book and toy borrowing swaps, watering down juice, bulk buying, (BJ’s) sharing buying a whole cow for beef from a local butcher, hunting/fishing own meat, raising chickens for eggs, (and selling) fruit trees, gardening, carpools, movie/game board nights renting dvds from library, getting a Target credit card- 5% off purchase- it adds up, making bread, walking instead of driving,….. the only new big item you need to buy is a carseat, unless you know someone with a very new one.. borrowing from friends and trading..
    GOOD LUCK and God bless!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. GROCERIES! ive really cut back on having a strict budget (i make my own spreadsheet) and groceries and points are a savior! I wrote a blog about it (if you search my site) on the helpful apps. ive saved lots of money!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Good luck with the transition!!! I don’t really have any advice as a student, but budgeting is always the answer!!

    Just nominated you for the Liebster award! Deets on the blog! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m not a SAHM (yet), but I’ve had to take a lot of unpaid time off to have my kids so we’ve learned to tighten the purse strings a bit. I agree with the advice above to monitor your income and expenses. One thing I’ll add is that being home can get expensive because you’ll always be looking for things to do! I’m a teacher so summers off are awesome but expensive. Try to plan ahead on activities and watch for deals or free days for local attractions. We ask others to gift our kids practical items (diapers!) or experiences/gift cards rather than clothes or toys, which we get second hand. This year my in-laws came together to buy us a zoo membership. We have sometimes gone to the zoo 3x/week this summer. It has been awesome! Cooking together, crafting gifts (I bought blank cards, let my son paint on them, then added “thank you” or “happy birthday” later), and scavenger hunts are some of my favorite free activities. Pinterest has gobs of ideas of course! I also have standing play dates with other moms and sometimes we watch one another’s children for appointments and such. You’ll find what works best for your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these ideas! You’re right, you think you’ll be saving all this money by staying at home, but then you get bored and want to pay to do things!! Haha. So it’s a great idea to plan ahead and plan your income/expenditures. Thank you for the advice again!

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  11. Try and lay out all the things that you MUST pay on a spreadsheet (i.e., bills, gas, insurance, rent, etc), then looked at how much you would like to allocate for groceries per week. My husband and I keep track of our spendings and it helped us see where we over spend and where we should save. Also, we tend to buy a week’s groceries ahead of time and laid out a meal plan for the week. We looked at what we have home and what we lacked- that way you can get rid of things in your fridge and pantry and also save some money. Don’t forget to allow some budget for entertainment/ shopping though! You need to be rewarded for all the hard work you’re doing time to time! Good luck! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes groceries are indeed expensive! Another method for me to save is buy bulk that I know I eat often. Sometimes I buy a bulk of meat (i.e., chicken breasts) and then freezes the rest that are unused and thaw them for later. It really helped us save in the long run 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Aww good luck, I stayed at home with kids till littlest was nearly four. It kinda drove my cuckoo wondering whether I’d have a career ever again but now I run my own business. You can’t get those years back, they’re so precious. Best of luck xx

    Liked by 2 people

  13. You don’t have to make a budget from scratch, there are tons of budget sheets available in many formats. Many banks now offering budgeting tools in their Web site.
    Lots of great suggestions up there, especially cooking and stay-cations. The number one thing to make it work is having a plan for income. If you don’t need the money, you probably need the sanity!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I quit my high physically demanding job to do IVF and some big things that have helped is planning meals out 2 weeks at a time…using coupons… and I freeze all left overs to make additional meals with so when I plan out meals I check my freezer and see what I have to work with

    Liked by 1 person

  15. For us meal planning is our biggest money saver. I go grocery shopping one time and for the entire week. I shop at a very cheap budget grocery store for most and get what I can’t or refuse to buy there at another store. Good luck and try not to go crazy! I tend to clean way too much home all day lol

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I went from being the breadwinner to working part time when my little one was born almost 5 months ago. It has definitely been an adjustment! I love YNAB for keeping track of my budget. They have lots of great videos, etc to get you started (referral link below). We mostly just cut everything we didn’t need: coffee, expensive clothes, groceries that weren’t getting eaten. Also, before I buy anything for the baby, I have to sell something else. That helps keep the house from being too cluttered with things she’s outgrown too! You got this, mama 🙂

    https://ynab.com/referral/?ref=QqgJ0q4wILoLf4Lh&utm_source=customer_referral

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yup, I agree with the other ladies–meal planning and budgeting using spreadsheets. I am also a HUGE ebayer. Not always for pre-loved items–I get many new items for great prices. Last–my husband and I pretty much do everything ourselves that we can–home dec, home reno, photography, vehicle maintenance, gardening, etc. Takes more time but we have gained great new skills through the years, saved thousands, and now we are spending time working on projects with our kids as well to teach them those skills.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I became a stay at home mom back in June and our budget is tight!! A few things we’ve done include:
    -Not eating out at all except for the occasional papa murphy’s pizza when we have a coupon.
    -setting a very strict grocery budget and shopping carefully. I cook almost everything from scratch (including baking bread) which saves us a ton on food.
    -Do you have a Costco membership? It costs something each year, but the savings on stuff like TP and dish soap make it worthwhile (especially with an executive membership where you get cash back each year). And their gas prices are great.
    -Using rewards programs, coupons, getting on email lists for your favorite stores so you know when sales happen.
    -Fixing/building/up-cycling stuff yourself instead of buying it or paying someone.
    – We also don’t have cable or satellite TV. We have high-speed internet with Netflix and Amazon Prime. If you want the news, everything is online and there is no need to watch it on cable. You can get an antenna and get the local broadcast channels.
    Living on a tight budget is hard sometimes, but if you look at it like a fun challenge it helps. Also, find a way to stash a little cash away so you can do something fun on occasion. It helps you stay sane. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I did the stay at home thing for a bit but recently have gone back to work when we couldn’t make ends meet. It was a devastating decision. I wanted to be home with our daughter so bad. I tried the at home job thing but it didn’t work. I ended up working in child care so I could get paid to be with my daughter. I’m not even kidding- I got paid while breastfeeding! It’s not a huge income but it’s nice that I don’t have to miss out on her milestones. I do have to split my time with other kids but I like that she’s getting the social interaction young. Hopefully staying at home works better for you. My only advice is to make sure you find a social outlet- it can be very lonely. Good luck! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  20. You stated you were a Nanny before, why not babysit another child (or two) around your daughters age? For a mom who has to work. You could offer her a cheaper option ans make some good extra money and your daughter would have the company. You could structure you days in a sort of “preschool” kinda way. I wouldn’t take on a bunch but just one or even two could be a great option. Just a thought. Good Luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Hi, I transitioned from being a full time working person to being a stay-at-home mom two years ago and it was very hard for me. I found that I often defined myself by my job and who that made me. Starting my blog helped as did taking on a very part time job. It took a while but I made new mom friends who I could meet up with during the day. As for saving money, we collected our receipts for a while to see what we were spending our money on, I shopped at Aldi and planned recipes based on what was in the cupboard. I have always tried to live frugally so I just stayed with that mindset. Good luck, I hope it is going well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. My husband and I made that transition 2 years ago and it’s been amazing! Meal planning helps us a ton with saving money. I also only buy groceries for 3 days at a time to prevent wasting money on GOP that doesn’t get eaten!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi! Considering that thos post was written a few months back, how are you? How was the transition?
    I’m also a stay-at-home mom. Actually more of a work-at-home mom since I work online. Have you considered working remotely? This way you can still earn an income while staying with your kid.
    To quickly answer your question, “How de we do it?” of course I can only speak for myself, while practicality plays an important role, gratitude, contentment, and trust in the Lord are key elements in this journey.
    I hope everything works for the best for you and your family. You are not alone. We’re here for you. Thank you for the honor of your follow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Thanks for checking in 🙂 I actually just started the new job this week. It’s great- everyone is really nice! Haven’t gotten to feel the effects yet of the right paycheck, but I will soon lol …
      I have thought about remote work (I might look into something I can do just a couple extra hours to make up for the difference), but I didn’t really have much luck in finding anything that was decent pay. Like I said, I’m gonna see if there is something remote I can pick up just a few hours a week (10 or so) to help fill in the money gap a bit.
      How do you like working remotely full time?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I like working from home very much since I don’t need to spend for daily commute and I get to be with my kids. But of course, it has its challenges as well. For me, the “switching off” from work back to the family mindset is one of the most challenging parts of working at home. Feel free to reach out if you have questions or need emotional support. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  24. I returned from mat leave in January. I returned to work full-time, because I am career driven and it was always our plan that I would go full-time and my husband would go part-time because it was his dream to have a family. I have just gone part-time, because it turned out that my professional ambitions have lessened and ambition to be the best mum I can has grown. It turns out I have become very attached to my son and committed to his happiness. Unfortunately, my husband has found that part-time didn’t suit him and has suddenly found career ambition. He has found that the stay-at-home life isn’t what he thought it would be; I have found that the return-to-work life hasn’t been what I had thought it would be. How much is going part-time reflecting my desire to stay at home, how much is reflecting my husband’s lack of desire to stay at home. I don’t know, it’s tough to figure out my feelings on this one

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