Choosing to stay at home with the kids, rather than working outside the home, is a decision you can only make with your partner. Whatever you decide, having kids usually mean you’ll need to implement money-saving measures into your life. Luckily for you, there are plenty of ways for SAHPs to save money–and even make a little–each month.
Make a Budget
Budgeting is the most crucial component of saving money as a SAHP. If you’re going from a two-income household to a one-income house, you’ll need to change your lifestyle. Create a list of all your expenses. From that list, look for ways you can cut down or eliminate unnecessary spending. Once you’ve made the budget, be sure to stick to it. Budgeting isn’t useful if you keep spending beyond your means.
Get Rid of Cable
We live in a world of endless entertainment. Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix tend to have children’s programming in addition to programming for other demographics. If you choose to use one of those for keeping your family entertained, traditional cable offerings may not be what’s best for you. Cutting the cable cord has risen in past years, Forbes reports, so you aren’t the only one making the change.
Take Advantage of Libraries
Local libraries are a great source of free entertainment. Whether it’s story time with your children or finding books or movies to rent for a certain amount of time, local libraries have plenty of ways to keep you and your kids entertained at no cost to you.
Grow and Cook Meals at Home
Saving money means cutting back on dining out for meals. If it’s possible, grow as much as your food as you can from home and cook from home. You’ll save money on buying fruits and veggies from the store, and what doesn’t get used right away can be canned and saved for wintertime when Cincinnati weather prevents growing plants. If you feel comfortable with it, let your kids help you with cooking. Cooking can foster a new hobby for them and is viewable as a teachable moment, like patience while cook or basic math skills when measuring.
Create Weekly Meal Plans
Now that you’re eating at home more often make lists ahead of time of what you’ll eat for the week. Creating meal plans each week helps save you money. You’ll have an idea of what to buy at the store. You’ll know you have the ingredients at home and won’t need to run out to buy more. You won’t be tempted to eat out because there’s no food at home.
Use Cash for Purchases
Credit cards may be more convenient, but using cash helps you save. Because you’re physically handing over money, people tend to view it as actually losing money instead of just the swipe of a card.
Use Loyalty Programs to Your Advantage
Most grocery store chains have some loyalty program. Most of the time, these programs are available at no cost. Sometimes, the rewards are a few cents off gas prices. Sometimes it’s free items on your purchase. Everyone wants rewards and perks. Take advantage of them when offered.
Take on a Side Hustle
Side hustles are becoming much more common. Most of the time, you set your schedule. So if you have nothing to do while the kids are napping or on play dates, use the skills you have to take on something you’re interested in. Side hustles are available in every industry, so if you like finance or blogging, you’ll find something you’re interested in.
Like anything new in your life, it takes time to get used to. As a SAHP, saving money and finding ways to keep kids entertained may take some time. But saving the money is going to help you stay on top of your finances.