Can I Really Afford To Be A Stay At Home Mom?

Have you been dreaming of being a stay at home mom but don’t think it’s truly financially possible? Do you feel #momguilt torn between staying home or working outside the home? 

Before having my girls, I used to question if my place was in the home as a stay at home mom or working outside the home. I am very ambitious, total overachiever, and I have dreams and goals I wanted to accomplish for myself. On the other hand I desperately wanted to be the one fully raising my girls. I didn’t want to entrust them with other people, didn’t want to miss major milestones, quality time, and just peace knowing that their littles ones are safe in their care versus being cared for by someone else. 

How to afford being a stay at home mom.

But this was a lifestyle, I didn’t see growing up as a first generation Antiguan American from The Bronx. I didn’t see images of black stay at home moms on any television show. I always thought “we” (meaning black women) worked outside the home. 

I also didn’t think we could afford to do so. Could we really live happily on one full time income? Could you? 

Before I jump into the how, let me share some insight with you about affording being a sahm. 

Things you don’t realize about SAHM Life

  1. You save a lot of money when you do not work outside the home. 
  2. You save in other areas like childcare and food. 
  3. You can make up the difference if you need to by working from home

The average salary for American women is $45,097. That breaks down to $3,758 gross monthly income for women in the U.S. 

$3,758 gross monthly income for women in the US

-$533 in taxes

-$2,232 daycare costs for infant and older child

-$345 for commute-related transportation

-$199 in additional food costs

-$35 for clothes

-$178 for Diapers and Formula

Sis, I bet you didn’t realize that the cost to actually go to work is eating up almost all of your paycheck! Between the commute, childcare, wardrobe, hair, makeup, lunches etc. most of your paycheck pays for you to have the privilege to go to work…funny right? So why do we work outside the home again? 

Please note, these numbers are estimates and will vary depending on your salary, the city you live in, and your personal preference for such items such as private daycare vs public or store brand diapers vs name brand diapers.

Now that you have a better understanding that working outside the home isn’t as financially beneficial as it seems on the surface. Let’s actually work through how to afford being a stay at home mom. 

Here are my 4 actionable steps to affording SAHM life:

  1. Decide why you want to be a stay at home mom
  2. Adjust Your Expectations 
  3. Adjust your budget
  4. Work from home

Decide Why You Want To Be A SAHM. Making the choice to become a staying at home mom is easy but really thinking about why living this life is important to you will help you do whatever you have to do to make it a reality and also keep you motivated on the same where it’s tough. 

Journal what you would hope your day will look like as a sahm to visualize and manifest it into reality. 

Lower/Adjust Your Expectations. After you’ve journal what you want your day to look like, throw that paper out of the window! I learned very early on that my days weren’t going to be what I had hope at first. It takes time to get into a rhythm and learn how to balance being a stay at home mom especially when you are so used to working outside the home. So by lowering your expectations you will reduce some of the stress, overwhelm, and mom guilt that will come from being a stay at home mom from time to time. It’s all a part of the lifestyle that you will learn how to manage and thrive in over time. 

Adjust Your Budget. This is when you learn where you can cut the cost of living by cancelling unused things like your cable. Or calling around and shopping for a lower cost on things such as your car insurance. Then you create a new livable budget that reflects only 1 income.  And you stick to it as best you can. Learning new skills like couponing on shopping smartly also helps with budget management. Using a simple online budgeting tool such as Pigly.com to help you reach your budgeting goals.

Pigly.com offers interactive tools and calculators ranging from savings, budgeting, mortgages, personal loans and more to teach you about finance. 

I love all the educational resources and articles about how to budget, how to save, and how to make the most out of your paycheck

Look for Work From Home Job Opportunities. After doing all the above and you still can’t see how you can afford being a stay at home mom, there’s always the work from home route that many moms take these days. Myself included! You can become a blogger, a virtual assistant, or freelance any other skills. You can read all the different ways I earn money from here in my recent article here. 

Lastly, I want to leave you with this, Philippians 4:13.

If you can’t get the tug out of your heart to be a stay at home mom (whether your baby is 1 or is a teenager), have faith that you can do it and check out the free tools, resources, and opportunities available to you.  

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