The open enrollment period for most companies and for those who buy plans through the Affordable Care Act is about to end. Insurance decisions are particularly challenging for parents. Kids get sick and you never know when your kid will break a bone or have another injury.
Bringing home your baby from the hospital is a joyous occasion, but it’s also scary, especially for first-time parents. You may be even more scared if your child has health issues. For this reason, many parents turn to baby monitors for help. The Owlet Smart Sock 2 is the most unique type of baby monitor on the market. Created by Kurt Workman, Zack Bomsta, and Jordan Monroe, the Smart Sock is getting rave reviews after just a few years on the market. Is the Owlet worth it? Here’s what you should know.
Children of the 70s and 80s rode in the front seat of the car with their parents and sometimes in the back of a truck unrestrained. Nowadays, we know it’s safer to make sure our children are properly restrained. From the time a child is born until the child is between eight and ten, parents need to have a car seat.
Around 16 percent of child abductions each year take place at the victim’s home. Many parents take home security measures but fail to recognize that the children must be involved. While it’s instinctual to impart lessons on how to react to strangers in public, what to do when there’s an earthquake or how to respond to a threat of fire, teaching kids to deal with the possibility of home invasions is not always something that crosses the mind of parents or guardians. Here are just some of the reasons why you need to teach children about home safety and necessary precautions.
Photo courtesy of OpenClipart-Vectors via Pixabay
Your home security alarm system will be useless
You took the extra effort to install a Honeywell home security system. You even scoured the market for the best system available. Yet you could be missing one important detail: teaching your kids how to actually use it.
As much as you’d like to, it’s not always possible to be by your kids’ side. Unfortunately, they’re not always safe, not even at your own home. So make sure they can protect themselves even when you are not home. Explain to your children how your home security system works, and carry out a hands-on demonstration for good measure. Also, take the time to explain what the security system is for, and why it is important that they know their way around it. Emphasize just how they should respond to an emergency situation when you are not around.
If you are subscribed to a third-party monitoring service, make sure your children know the passcode. To ensure that they remember the passcode, have them repeatedly recite it back to you. Don’t forget to properly educate them about the dangers of giving out the passcode to the wrong people. Also, most security alarm systems are connected to a phone. Teach your children how to respond to a buzz from the security company, be it a legitimate threat being reported or a mere false alarm.
Photo courtesy of Neshom via Pixabay
Doors and windows are often taken for granted
Keeping doors and windows locked is one of the most basic and important steps in home security, yet it’s also one of the most neglected. This is especially true now that children are more distracted than ever, what with all the gadgets, video games, and Internet stuff keeping them preoccupied. One of the best ways to ensure they keep doors and windows locked is by helping them make a habit out of it. This way they could have it in their system and start doing it on automatic mode. Remind them as many times as you can to lock the door behind them after entering or leaving home. You should also teach them to constantly check doors and windows while at home.
Unlocked doors and windows are practically an invitation for unwanted invasion. Make sure your children understand this.
Photo courtesy of Maklay62 via Pixabay
The basic concept of stranger danger
While most kids understand that talking to strangers is a major no-no, many throw caution to the wind when they’re in the comfort of their own home. Remind them that the old stranger danger rule applies to people knocking at the door as well. While it’s easy to assume that refusing to open the door to strangers would come naturally to kids, you must avoid getting complacent. It’s actually common for children to open the door without checking who’s behind it, as their first instinct is often to avoid being rude to adults.
Repeatedly emphasize to your children that checking who’s at the door is important before opening it, and that they must never open it to people they do not recognize. Teach them to make it clear to the person knocking that there’s an adult at home. Tell them to also check with the adults first before opening the door, even if it’s someone they know.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels
Children need to know they have 911 to turn to
It’s likely your children already understand what 911 is for. But unless you’ve gone out of the way to talk to them about it, steer clear of assumptions. Take the time to sit down and actually have the conversation. Explain to your children when the best time to call 911 is and how to go about it. Many parents have been saved by their own children, even by really young ones, by a simple 911 call. So make sure the idea of 911 is deeply ingrained in your children’s system.
Photo courtesy of Ongchinonn via Pixabay
Dangers lurk on social media
Dangerous strangers are not always at the door. Sometimes they’re on social media, accessing your home via your kids’ gadgets. It’s easy to assume that kids are on the Internet watching wholesome shows, playing games or simply talking to their friends. But kids are naturally curious, and could easily give in to the attraction of the unknown.
Majority of 10- to 12-year-old kids are already active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, in spite of the platforms’ age restrictions. Predators and burglars alike are taking advantage of this. For your kids’ safety, it’s absolutely important that you stay on top of their Internet use and that you remind them of the dangers online. Make sure that you act as their ally so they do not end up feeling suffocated and rebellious.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels
Security should be a family affair
Your security efforts will be most successful if the whole family is involved. As young as they are, children can compromise your home’s security because of their innocence and vulnerability. So keeping them involved and educated is not optional, it’s absolutely necessary.
Arrange family meetings where you discuss essential safety skills. Make it as engaging as it is somber. Above all, instill the importance of staying secure without instilling fear. Being fearful and panicky will only exacerbate the danger, and that is no way to live. It’s especially toxic for children. So tread wisely when instilling security lessons.
That being said, have regular security drills at home. For one, teach your children not to reveal to strangers that their parents are not home. Set up role playing games that will teach them to respond to situations where they have to talk to strangers on the phone or at the door. Also, make it absolutely clear that they can’t announce on social media that their parents are not home. And take the time to create and discuss emergency plans for situations like home invasions, fires, and natural disasters.
Your home is your place of solace, as it ought to be. But don’t let this lull you into complacence. Teaching your children the value of home security and the ways to deal with possible threats will go a long way in keeping them safe. Your children are your greatest treasure and should be guarded in all the ways possible.
Some people shop all year long for Christmas. Others wait until December 24th. Wherever you fit in that spectrum, you still want to score a deal. Americans spend $830 billion on Christmas, according to a 2013 statistic. If you’re looking for cheap Christmas gifts for kids, then here are five tips that will help.
(Got any kids 5 and under? Here’s a great list of gift ideas for them!)
If you’re a fan of Amazon, especially around the holidays, then check out SnagShout.com. It offers hundreds of deeply discounted products you can purchase in exchange for a review.
How does SnagShout work:
- Browse their merchandise to see if there is something you’d like to purchase. Often these products are marked 60% to 90% off. Some products are even free.
- You’ll be given a specific SnagShout code to enter at check out.
- These are Amazon products, so you’ll be automatically transferred to Amazon to complete your purchase.
- Once you’ve received and tried out the product, you must leave a review on Amazon to complete your agreement with SnagShout.
- After that, you’re permitted to shop for your next SnagShout product.
Giving SnagShout products as gifts is tricky since you do need to leave a review. I’m certainly not suggesting you lie because that’s unethical and could get you banned from SnagShout. The best solution is to purchase the item for your child, let him play with it, then ask what he thinks. You could also purchase an item of which you’re already familiar and leave a review based on what you already know.
Off-season clearance racks
Fall and spring are great times of the year for garage sales. Every changing season brings a deep discount (i.e. end of summer, back to school, end of winter, etc.). If there are huge discounts on summer clothes during the fall, then you could score some big savings on next year’s summer wardrobe and give them as Christmas presents.
If gift cards and online shopping are your preferred methods for finding cheap Christmas gifts for kids, then look up Swagbucks. This is one of the most popular survey + reward sites because it offers a wide variety of ways to earn. They include:
- Searching the Web
- Online shopping
- Watching videos
- Playing games
You could earn points the next time you shop online at Toys R Us, Target, Old Navy, or the Disney Store. Cash in your points for free gift cards for Amazon, PayPal, Walmart, Target, Visa and more.
Click here to sign up for your free Swagbucks account.
Cheap Christmas gifts for kids come in every shape in size. One of my favorite things about Pinterest is that there are so many options for making awesome gifts for your awesome kids. Not everything is cheaper to make at home than it is in the store. However, I encourage you to at least consider this route, especially if time is on your side. I made a no-sew blanket for each of my babies, and could easily work on it while I watched a movie. Fabric stores often have coupons for supplies, so I saved money and gave my kids something homemade they’ll have for a long time from their not-that-crafty mom.
One of the coolest gifts you can give your kids is the gift of experiences. Groupon is a great resource for discounted events and adventures. Search “Groupon + Your City” to find some kid-friendly events happening near you.
Do you start Christmas shopping before or after Thanksgiving? Tell us in the comments below?
Image Credit: Andrew Neel (UnSplash)
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Kids Ain’t Cheap will receive a commission, but we only recommend products that we know and love. Thank you for your business!
Although I’m not sure I remember every car I’ve driven over the years, I do remember the first one. It was big, green, and nearly as old as I was. But, it was mine.
It was my brother’s car first, purchased before he went away to college. Once he graduated and got a job, he bought a newer one and turned the keys, and the car, over to me.
My family didn’t have much money. I was sure I wouldn’t have a car at all until I could save enough to buy one myself. Therefore, even though I didn’t pay for it myself, I still appreciated my car and tried to take care of it.
Not all of the kids I went to school with had cars back then. Times have changed, though, and it’s almost expected now for parents to provide their kids with a car.
But maybe buying your teenager a car isn’t the best thing you could do for them. Here are 5 reasons you might not want to buy your kid a car.
1. They Need to Learn How to Earn What They Get
One of the reasons you shouldn’t buy your kid a car is because they need to learn how to earn what they get. Part of your job as a parent is to teach your kids responsibility.
Of course, you should provide for their basic needs, such as housing, clothes, food, etc. But giving them everything they want in life is not going to teach them to appreciate what they are given.
You could argue that they will have to pay for the gas and any repairs but not the actual car. Even with those financial responsibilities, it may not be enough to teach your kids that they get what they earn for themselves.
There is a saying that if you “give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime”. Applying it to this situation means giving your kid a car isn’t the best thing you can do for them.
2. They may not Take Care of it
Another one of the reasons you shouldn’t buy your kid a car is because many teens are not good at taking care of their stuff. If yours is one of them, do you really think it’s a good idea to spend thousands on a car for them?
Before shelling out a ton of money on a vehicle, consider whether or not your kid is ready to take responsibility for the car. Talk to them about changing the oil, filters, wiper blades, and other regular maintenance.
If it is clear your kid expects you to pay for repairs and give them gas money you can certainly say no to the car.
3. It Could Help Them Build Credit
Putting your kid in debt at a young age isn’t necessarily the ideal situation. For one thing, you will probably have to co-sign the loan. But perhaps it’s a better option than buying your kid a car and paying for it yourself.
A loan could work to their advantage when buying their own car. If they are responsible in making their payments on time, it can help your kid build their credit for future purchases.
4. Is it the Best Use of Your Money?
Buying your kid a car may not be the best use of your money. This is just one more reason you shouldn’t buy your kid a car.
For instance, you might be able to take the money and invest it for your future retirement. Or, pay down debt instead of buying your kid a car.
5. It May Cause Them to Study Less
If your child is given a car, it may lead them to feel like they are free to come and go as they choose. This is especially true if you have not given them strict rules on when they should be home at night.
With too much freedom, your teen may spend less time on the things they should be doing, such as studying. This could cause their grades to drop and threaten their ability to get into a good college.
So, what do you think? Should you buy your kid a car?
Jeanne is a married mother of 2 grown children who works a full-time job, has two side hustles, and also helps out occasionally on the farm she and her husband own together. Her background is finance and medical office management, and she hopes to help others improve their finances and change their futures.
We’ve all read blog posts mapping out our best chance for productivity, right? Ever read one and just think, “Not a chance”? As moms, juggling our kids, errands, hobbies, business, etc. turns our quest for productivity into a search for the Holy Grail. Therefore, we’re going to spend today looking at a realistic daily schedule for stay-at-home moms.
A Daily Schedule for Stay-at-Home Moms – Hot Mess Moms Welcome
The other day, I read a post by a successful online entrepreneur who is also a new father. John Meese structured his schedule around what he calls “The Perfect Day.” Here is a quick overview:
- 6:00 AM – Wake up, exercise, eat breakfast
- 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Work
- 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM – Lunch, rest, recharge
- 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Work
- 6:00 PM – End of Day – Family time
I really do think that would be the perfect day. I mean, a two-hour lunch break to just read a book? Or even nap?
The problem is, this beautiful schedule is simply unobtainable for stay-at-home moms. It’s not Meese’s fault; he didn’t write it for us. But too often, I think we see this as the ONLY option and throw in the towel when we can’t keep up. How can a stay-at-home mom physically get up at 6:00 AM and expect to get something done after waking up three times in the night to soothe a teething baby?
And approximately how many lunch breaks do you get, mama?
How about that “work until dinnertime” notion? Guess who’ll be right at your ankles every seven minutes asking for a snack if you’re not in the kitchen working on dinner?
Hear me out. Til my dying breath, I’ll tell the world that being a mom is the greatest gig in the world. But if I want to find a balance that actually fits my lifestyle, then I need to let go of a few expectations.
Here are a few examples.
Letting Go of Expectations
You can’t expect to function with the same schedule as a breadwinner. If you signed up to be the stay-at-home mom, then your priority lies with the munchkins. Do you still deserve time to yourself each day to recharge? ABSOLUTELY. You just need to find it in different ways. Sometimes, that means swapping childcare with another mom once a week. It might mean establishing quiet time every afternoon if the children don’t nap anymore so you can have an hour to yourself. You could even hire a sitter to watch the children one day a week if that’s what it takes to give you balance.
You can’t expect the schedule you implement today to still work in three weeks.
When I first became a freelance writer, I made a simple goal to write each morning at 6:30. That worked for approximately two weeks until my infant began teething through the night and my toddler suddenly wanted breakfast at 4:00 AM. I was a hot mess trying so hard to stick to my writing schedule. Changing my plans felt like failing, but you know what? It’s exactly what needed to happen. So, I extended myself some grace, slept when my kids slept and started swapping childcare with a friend to accomplish my writing tasks.
Now, let’s take a look at a slightly more realistic daily schedule for stay-at-home moms…
A Daily Schedule for Stay-at-Home Moms to Fit Your Lifestyle
Pre-Breakfast – Tend to yourself – Whether that means to sleep in, read, exercise, shower, or just sip coffee in silence.
Morning – Tend to your family – Spend this time intentionally caring for your little ones: i.e. Make breakfast, get the children dressed, make crafts, go on playdates, visit a library.
Lunch – If you’re planning time in the afternoon for your hobby or at-home business, then find creative and simple finger foods to make for lunch. An elaborate, three-course lunch will zap your afternoon energy reserves faster than a hailstorm. Use wraps to make PB&J roll-ups, for example. The less clean up, the better.
Afternoon – Naptime/Quiet time – Once the kids are down for naps or have a few activities to play quietly in their room, it’s time to clock in. If your kids are anything like mine, then they like to sneak out of their rooms and check if quiet time is done approximately 18 times, no matter how nicely (or firmly) you ask them to stop. If that wrecks your concentration like it does mine, then leave the heavy focus for child-free time. For example, I can email, design social media graphics, or outline during quiet time, but I can’t write a chapter in my book.
Evening – Family time – Maybe your brain is able to function once you’ve cooked dinner, fed the family, cleaned up, bathed the kids, read them stories, and said good night, but I’m absolutely FRIED after 8:30 PM. My best move is to hang out with my husband watching Netflix or read a book. If you can work on your hobbies and interests, then go for it.
By the way, if you’re looking for ways to make money from home, check out these 14 jobs that are worth a stay-at-home mom’s time!
This daily schedule for stay-at-home moms is obviously just one broad stroke of the paint brush. Your life and your interests will look differently once applied to this list. Therefore, let’s hear how you find the most balance in your week.
Share some of your best ideas for a daily schedule in the comments below!
Parents have the greatest privilege in the universe. We have the opportunity to raise kids – to construct important values to teach children and witness the result. At the end of the day, they are individuals – separate from us – who have their own minds, hearts, hands, feet, wishes, and skills. Even so, seeing my kids become the people they were meant to be is a delight.
I love seeing my young daughter spin around in our living room as a ballerina. Then I see my son carefully line up his trains or the way he tends to his stuffed animals when one of them gets “hurt” and needs a bandage.
From a young age, our children show us so many beautiful values they explore. However, kids enter the world with a free will, which means that “Me First” mentality kicks in pretty early. It is our job as parents to start conversations about right living – about healthy values.
Here are a few topics for you to begin the conversation with your child:
9 Important Values to Teach Children
“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ”
― Elizabeth Stone
Understanding that money comes from labor is a fundamental lesson that will stay with your child through adulthood. You can employ him or her to do chores around the house, bring up topics to discuss, or simply lead by example in your own field of work.
Kids are such natural givers. Somewhere along the way, we figure out it’s really fun to just keep what we have and use it on ourselves. Tapping into their young minds and encouraging things like gratitude, contentment, and giving can also stay with your child for life. It may mean letting her see you tip extra for the server or give to a charity or hand
This world is full of cruelty, especially on the internet. Our kids are among the first generation growing where this level of connection and advancement in technology is simply a way of life. Learning to offer a kind word or do something nice at a young age will help your children counteract the ever-rampant negativity out there today.
It’s so easy to take one’s family for granted. As children grow, it’s vital for parents to help them understand the value of keeping family first. There will be a thousand things that will try to take its place – especially when your children reach adulthood.
As kids age, they have more and more responsibility placed on their shoulders. Therefore, they have more opportunities to do things when others aren’t hovering over their shoulders. Whether they’re male or female, what they decide in those moments matters so much more than they realize.
For example, Ellen recently tested her audience members by placing hidden cameras at the free gift booth. Before the show, each member was told she could select one free item from the table. One woman was caught on camera taking multiple items and returning to the booth two more times for more! Ellen not only showed the tape to the millions of viewers of her show, but she then called out this audience member and made her sit on a stool in “Ellen Jail” right in front of everyone.
Sure it’s a light-hearted example, but the message runs deep. Check out Ellen’s reaction to the woman who robbed her booth here:
Capacity to Apologize
My kids’ favorite movie is “Moana.” They love the music and love racing around the house pretending to be the demigod Maui shouting “Chee-hoooo!”
One of my favorite parts of the film is actually toward the end when Maui comes face to face with someone he robbed. At first, he tries to laugh it off until he sees the hurt look in the other character’s eyes. I love what happens next. He looks her in the eye and says, “What I did was wrong. I have no excuse. I’m sorry.”
What a great example for kids to see the power of owning up to their actions. To be held responsible for those choices. It’s another life lesson that would likely stay with them for life.
Try Your Best
Could we please dissolve the old adage “Practice makes perfect”? Talk about setting unrealistic expectations for kids. Now hear me out – I’m not a big fan of participation ribbons or removing competition altogether. It’s important to learn how to win AND lose with dignity and respect; however, walking up to the plate with perfection as the goal isn’t going to fly.
Remind your kids to try their best, and then remind them again. And again. Just keep that flag flying!
So many 18-year-olds graduate with almost no money management skills. Then, they fill out paperwork for colleges and make the largest financial decision they’ve ever made which typically lands them in debt up to their eyebrows. Being equipped with the head knowledge and habits of handling money while they’re under your roof will make their entire adult life completely different.
Caring for the Environment
Your kids may not grow up wanting to major in environmental studies, but educating them about how to be less wasteful should start in the home. Think about your own habits, like not littering and sorting out recyclables. Your kids will see how you treat the world around you. Taking time to talk through those things or initiate something unique like planting a garden or using compost will help them learn skills to better protect their environment.
There are so many more values we could cover. In fact, it may seem overwhelming some days. Just remember these happen one day and one conversation at a time.
What’s on your list of important values to teach children? Is it on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Can moms really afford to live at home full-time with their children? So many families are trapped by student loan and credit card debt, requiring both parents to work full-time outside the home. I’ve been in those shoes. Today, through a myriad of challenges, and a few key triumphs, I discovered how to afford to be a stay-at-home mom.
We’ve covered a wide range of topics centered around finances and SAHMs (listed below). Be sure to check those out if you haven’t.
- 10 Steps to a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom Budget
- How to Afford Your Dream of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
- 14 Online Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms (That Are Worth Your Time)
- 13 Ways for Stay-at-Home Moms to Save Money
- Loans for Stay-at-Home Moms – What Are YOUR Options?
Meanwhile, I put a unique spin on today’s article and have prepared a “SAHM Budget Test” for you.
Throughout the last six years, my husband and I experienced a complete turnaround of our money habits, our careers, and the trajectory of our future together. It started with asking questions.
“Is debt crippling our future?”
“Do we need an emergency fund?”
“How do we talk about all this?
As we answered every question, we discovered something. Every decision you make with your finances is interwoven with your life and that of your family’s.
So it was with my journey toward becoming a stay-at-home mom.
The SAHM Budget Test: How to Afford to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom
Rather than recount the details of how my husband and spent three years working our financial plan that enabled me to stay home full-time, I’m going to ask you some of the most important questions we asked ourselves. These questions helped us stay focused on what would work for our family rather than falling back on whatever society or our peers were doing with their money.
Dave Ramsey calls it “Living like no one else so that one day you can live, and give, like no one else.” I couldn’t agree more.
Do you know exactly what you need to live on each month?
One of the best ways to answer the question “Can I afford to be a SAHM?” is to calculate EXACTLY what your family must live on each month. For example, compile your list of utilities, bills, and essential expenses like food and gas. This list should include what you’ll realistically purchase even if it’s not a need (i.e. money for restaurants or Starbucks), but do your best to trim.
We’re just looking for an honest snapshot.
Can you practice living on your significant other’s income right now?
I don’t recommend anyone quit her job and stay home without practicing a single-income lifestyle for at least 90 days. The reason is my husband and I stunk at first! We needed MUCH more than three months to crack down on our excess spending and to adjust our lifestyle in order to function solely on his income. But the practice was like a life jacket when we swam to the deep end and officially let go of my income.
Will you need to bring in a supplemental income from home?
There is a TON of pressure on moms these days to make money from home. And it’s really a shame. Should they do so if they truly feel that calling? Absolutely! But not out of guilt or peer pressure. I work 15 hours a week as a freelance writer and am so passionate about what I do. However, I didn’t earn a dime until well over a year after I turned in my keys at the bank. It takes time to build a profitable business from home, so do NOT factor that as an income source unless you have an established business!
Instead, read the next question to consider other ways of utilizing more of your partner’s income.
What can you no longer afford on one income?
When you practice the single-income budget for a few months, it’ll become more clear what changes will need to happen in your current lifestyle. This dream of staying home may require drastic action.
For example, do you need to sell your newer vehicle and buy a 10-year-old Honda? What valuables can you sell for a profit? How about downsizing? Is the size of the mortgage payment preventing you from buying enough groceries on one income?
I’m not saying you can’t own a home. Just weigh the opportunity costs. For the first few years of staying home, you may need to make some sacrifices in your lifestyle to achieve your goal. But I can speak from experience when I say the time at home with your kids is a wonderful distraction from the things of which you let go.
How’d your answers turn out? Do you have a better feeling about how ready you are to financially stay home? I hope, more than anything, this didn’t discourage you if the answers weren’t to your liking yet. Educating yourself about your own financial snapshot is the first (and bravest) step toward this goal.
Remember, it took me three years.
If you’re ready to take step two and really begin forming a plan of action toward becoming a stay-at-home parent, I’ve put together a resource just for you. “The Stay-at-Home Mom Blueprint” is the ebook I wish I had when my husband and I first got married. It includes our story of becoming debt-free and finding a way to live on less than $2,000 a month while I stayed home. It also includes 150 strategies to:
- Chop debt
- Save money
- Sell household goods
- Create healthy conversations about money with your spouse
- Make a budget that works for your family
- Start an at-home business
- Maintain a healthy, single-income lifestyle for years to come
If you’re ready to take your next step and access this digital resource, follow this link for more details.
Your Turn: Got a tip for how to afford to be a stay-at-home mom? We want to hear it!
This post may contain affiliate links.
Don’t forget to check out these additional tips for SAHMs!
When I became a stay-at-home mom in 2014, I felt a pang of guilt for no longer contributing financially to the family. Then, as the weeks of staying home progressed, I discovered something incredible. I had a new superpower. I was so much better at saving money! Not to say I was perfect, but by simply spending the lion’s share of my days caring for little ones AT HOME, I saved loads. Let’s take a closer look at some of those practical ways for stay-at-home moms to save money.
13 Ways for Stay-at-Home Moms to Save Money
Since a mom is involved in so many transactions throughout the week, I thought it’d be best to look through these money-saving tips in categories.
Kids and Babies
Don’t buy all new. The minute you become pregnant, you are inundated with offers for bright and shiny things. Everyone will tell you how to keep your baby out of peril. Each piece of advice will be different. Your greatest weapons are:
- Common Sense
Research may show you that buying a car seat new is a wise investment. It may reveal used clothes make a lot of sense for growing babies. Common sense may show you that the French chandelier in your friend’s baby’s nursery doesn’t have to show up in yours, too.
Find out if you qualify for a free breast pump. The government may give you a free breast pump or provide you with a reimbursement. I highly recommend checking it out.
Be strategic about the professional photo sessions. Social media creates so much pressure for parents to create “perfect moments” during each chapter of their children’s lives. Don’t get swept away in expensive photo sessions unless you’ve planned for them and have the budget available.
Load digital coupons. So many stores offer digital coupons. They’re handy and often apply to checkout automatically.
Make your own baby food. I am not a DIY maven. However, when I started researching the health benefits of making homemade baby food (and that getting started wasn’t that hard), I gave it a go.
Once your baby is ready for solids, try mashing a banana or pureeing some superfoods. Freeze them in an ice cube tray for long-term!
Consolidate your trips. Try as I might, I always end up overspending or impulsing buy at the grocery store. Limiting my trips is one way I combat that problem. Another is by ordering my groceries online via ClickList or Shipt. That way, I’m not tempted to overspend and save so much time, too.
Pay extra on your mortgage. It’s amazing how much money people can save on their mortgage by paying an extra $100 per month. For example, if you had a 30-year mortgage of $165,000 at 4.5 percent, you’d pay an estimated $135,971 in INTEREST. By paying $100 extra each month over those 30 years, you’d only pay $105,547 in interest. That’s over $30,000 in savings!
Unplug. You can save a lot of money over time on your utilities simply by unplugging your appliances and shutting off your lights. If the weather is nice, shut off the thermostat and throw open some windows.
Reduce extra payments like your phone bill, cable, entertainment subscriptions. What can you trim back in your budget? Can you drop cable? Can you renegotiate your phone bill?
Build an emergency fund. Having money set aside for the unexpected will save so much money on emergency swipes of the credit card.
Selling and Earning
Sell your used goods. Today it’s easier than ever to sell your household goods to others. Check out these seven apps that’ll help you turn your secondhand stuff into cash.
Earn gift cards to cover Christmas. Swagbucks is one of the most popular sites for earning gift cards. You can watch videos, conduct searches, shop online, or do surveys to earn gift cards for places like PayPal, Amazon, and Target. You won’t earn a living, but it’s a great way to cover birthday presents, weddings, or Christmas.
Start a side gig. If you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for a way to make serious money from home, please check out my recent post “14 Profitable Stay-at-Home Mom Jobs Online (That Are Worth Your Time).” It outlines several cash-generating ideas from remote jobs to becoming an entrepreneur.
I’ve been piling up resources and tips like this for the last three years after my own debt-free journey with my husband. We went from broke and clueless to budgeting and conquering our financial goals – like me becoming a stay-at-home mom – with the steps you’ve read in this article.
If you dream of the day you can stay home with your kids but could use a roadmap like I did, check out “The Stay-at-Home Mom Blueprint.” This eBook tells my story of beating debt and beating the odds to stay home when we only had $2,000 to live on each month.
It also includes 150 strategies to chop your debt, save money, earn from home, and afford your dream of becoming a SAHM.
If you liked this list of ways for stay-at-home moms to save money, “The Stay-at-Home Mom Blueprint” is this plus steroids.
Your Turn: Share with us a few ways for stay-at-home moms to save money in the comments below!
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Are you a stay-at-home mom? Check out these bonus resources created just for you!
Are you a stay-at-home mom? Make sure you bookmark or pin some of these resources for later!
- 10 Steps to a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom Budget
- How to Afford Your Dream of Becoming a Stay-at-Home Mom
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- The SAHM Budget Test: How to Afford to Be a Stay-at-Home Mom
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