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Being a stay-at-home mom or homemaker is a demanding job for sure. It takes a lot of effort to raise children and maintain a home. Working inside and outside is like having two full time jobs. Living on one income can be tough, especially in today’s economy.
So how do you save money so that you can get by on one income and be home with your kids (or without kids too)?
Living on One Income – You Better Prepare A Budget
Budgeting is the first step of every financial plan. Be it a working mom or a homemaker, everyone of us needs to set a budget to achieve the desired financial freedom.
A good budget should include the details of your net income and total expenses. It should also consist of your short term and long term financial goals.
Being practical with your target and creating a stringent yet realistic goal is also important.
Cook Frugal Meals
Make DIY Cleaning Products
DIY cleaning products are a great way to save money as a homemaker. It is possible to make many DIY cleaners for less than $1. With most store-bought products costing approximately $5-$10 per package.
Making your own toxin-free cleaning products is not only affordable, but also beneficial as they can be made with natural ingredients.
Be An Intentional Shopper
When living on one income, a penny saved is a penny earned! Sounds like an old-school money rule, right? But it isn’t really an outdated one for sure. Even if you earn a lot but spend mindlessly or unintentionally, all of your earnings can soon become your spending.
Having a shopping plan in advance can help you save a lot of cash on groceries and clothing every month. Create a precise plan for all your shopping categories and stick to it when you actually visit the store.
This way, you will not even look at the extra stuff that you don’t really need, and can save some good cash on every shopping trip to a supermarket or any other retail store.
Wants vs Needs
The things you want aren’t always the things you need. When you are able to differentiate between your needs and wants, you are enabled to prioritize your needs over wants.
Always keep your wants or wishes as a lower priority, but it does not mean to compromise on your happiness. A homemaker needs some self-care and you may want to get pampered too. Hence, saving for a spa day isn’t really a bad idea; but only if you save some money by cutting back on a few other wants or desires.
Avoid Eating Out
You may want to have a no cooking day. And eating out is always the first option that comes to mind when you are tired of cooking for the family. But instead of opting for eating out, how about cooking in advance and getting a break from the kitchen the next day?
You can make your meal plan and prepare some dishes in advance which can save you a day from making food and can give you ample “me” time.
Save On Energy Bills
Saving energy will not only save our planet but also will help you save a lot of money on energy bills. Whenever you are not using electric equipment, turn it off. Replace the energy depleting equipment or get them fixed.
Use your washer less frequently and only when it can be fully loaded. It will not only save your time but also will save a lot of money on electricity bills.
Same with the dishwasher. If you can wash dishes as they are used during the day you can save on running the dishwasher later. I don’t know about you but my dishwasher runs a LONG time. That is alot of energy and water.
Having beauty treatments can be soothing and, as an esthetician I can tell you that facials are incredibly beneficial for your body’s largest organ; the skin. But they can be expensive too. Instead of going to the salon you can try some DIY beauty treatments that are not only natural but also economical.
Making a face pack at home or doing your own manicure or pedicure can help you save tons of money and still look and feel elegant every day.
You can also seek out cosmetology schools. The students have to have so many hours (depending on the state) of hands on client work to graduate and get licensed. If you get your hair done or your facial at a school, you can not only save a LOT of money (it is a fraction of the cost of some spas and salons) but you also help a student reach their goals.
Put Change In A Jar
Whenever you have some change in spare, put it in a jar. Try not to use this money and let it grow by adding every single spare coin you have.
Over a period of time you shall collect a decent amount that can be deposited to your savings bank account and earn some interest over it.
I know if you look at the bottom of my purse, you will find plenty! Even though people use cash less nowadays, if you use the envelope system (see below) you will have some cash to use and can save those coins!
Shop the Outlets
Speaking of purses, if you have a penchant for them like I do you can find AMAZING deals at the outlet stores.
I have not purchased a bag at any one of them for less than 70% off retail! I only ever shop the outlets for them and usually its for some special occasion that my husband takes me there to treat me, like Mother’s Day or a birthday.
It is also a great way to find shoes, clothes for the kids (or you) and other things you may need without paying retail prices.
Invest Your Savings
You may save a lot of money as a homemaker with all these saving hacks, but if you want to increase your savings then you need to invest it wisely. Look for some investment options that can help you grow your money with medium or little risk.
Stock market investment can be a great option for you to start small and earn big. Make sure you do your research and take advice from an expert who can guide you on your investment plans.
Cash Envelope System
How does envelope budgeting work? Paying your bills quickly and efficiently with the envelope budgeting method can save you a good chunk of cash. Prior to allocating money to each envelope, you create a spending plan.
It is a good idea to keep track of your money by keeping it in designated envelopes per category of your budget each month. If you look into your envelope quickly at the end of the month, you can know how much money is left in it. In this way, you won’t spend more than an allotted amount on each envelope category.
No, you don’t have to be “extreme” but couponing CAN save you a ton of money! I (Diane) did couponing on a regular basis and I saved a bunch and had plenty of products on hand like pasta, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner and much more.
And, to be totally honest, it was fun! The kids would get involved and loved helping me cut and organize the coupons each week so it was not only saving money but it gave us some fun family time too.
To be effective with couponing, you really need to be familiar with your local stores, their weekly circulars and follow really good couponing sites like Krazy Coupon Lady.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
This rule is good not only for our planet but for our home budget too. Reduce the usage of expensive things, try to reuse old stuff or repurpose it and recycle the old products and create something new from trash.
This is a very good method that helps you follow minimalism and save a lot of money as a homemaker.
People feel living on one income means you cannot have enough savings because there is only that one income source. But being a smart woman, you can surely research and know living on one income can actually save you money on things like childcare and other expenses.
With these practical and realistic money saving tips, while you may technically be living on one income. it will be like having two because of all the savings you will be incorporating in your home.
Let’s face it…sometimes the more we make, the more we spend. When living on one income and needing to find areas in your day to day life where you need to cut back (like on meal prep instead of eating out when the kids have sports practice) you may just find more money in your “pocket” at the end of the month than before.