Tips to Afford to Become a Stay at Home Mum
You may be contemplating how you could possibly walk away from your career, steady income, and employment entitlements, in order to become a stay at home mum (SAHM). I would like to share some tips with Inner West Mums that have enabled me to afford to stay home. Not necessarily forever, naturally the time will come when my child doesn’t need me in the same capacity as she does now and I will feel ready to re-enter the workforce.
Sad fact: Heading off to work every day is expensive.
Pre-baby, I did a mock-up of our budget to include day-care fees. It was grim. But I conceded it wouldn’t be forever, our earning capacity would increase and hey, if we couldn’t afford day-care, we probably couldn’t afford a child. So I accepted the additional cost and proceeded with the family planning.
I loved maternity leave, I loved having all the time in the world to dote on my baby and fulfil her every need and not having to cram a whole life into two short days on the weekends. I overwhelming felt I couldn’t return to that demanding job and relinquish the daytime childcare to someone else. So I found ways to slash and burn our spending and it was quite the revelation.
The Big Expenses
- Refinancing your mortgage to a lower interest rate;
- Transitioning to principal interest only in the short term;
- Consider down-sizing;
- Moving to a more affordable suburb;
- Making your house earn its keep by letting out a granny flat or spare bedroom;
- Frequently search for and switch to cheaper utility and insurance plans;
- Learn to DIY to save on maintenance.
- Consider renting in a cheaper suburb.
Cars are a big one.
- Consider doing away with a car and save on loan repayments, petrol, registration, insurance, maintenance, parking fees and the inevitable, occasional parking fines.
- If you’re not close to transport, downsize the car. Buy a cheapie, outright so you have no repayment on a rapidly depreciating asset.
- Save all your errands for one day and stay out of peak hour traffic, you’re free from that now.
Trim the luxuries.
We happily sacrificed:
- Foxtel, landline and the latest Apple products (however husband wasn’t on board with that one) and found a cheaper data plan.
- Ditched the clothes dryer in favour of a drying rack, and started paying attention to electricity bills and usage, only washing full loads.
- Restaurants and entertainment. Surprisingly when you’re not working so damn hard, you don’t need to console yourself quite so much with restaurants and entertainment.
- I axed my gym membership, oh what a shame… Hubby downgraded his to a no-frills gym.
- I stopped going to the hair salon for a year. This saved me almost $50 per week!
- Once we went down to one income, sadly no cleaner.
- Ditch the credit cards if you’ve even been an over-spender. You have to adjust quickly when going down to one income. Spending more than you earn using credit is an absolute disaster waiting to happen.
- Embrace generic brands, cheaper shopping outlets like Aldi and Kmart and avoid magazines trying to sell you stuff.
Read Part 2 of the series here