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How to Avoid Common Budget Mistakes Stay at Home Moms Make

Aug 17, 2007
When you decide to make the sacrifice to be a stay at home mom and raise your family yourself, one of the first concerns is how to handle the budget. Everything can add up so fast, and it's easy to make mistakes.

But what are the most common mistakes?

The first is to quite simply miscalculate how much money your family needs to get by. If you think your family can get by on a single income, but get it wrong, your finances can head in the wrong direction quickly.

This makes it very important to figure out how you will cope with only one parent working outside the home. If you want to stay at home, you need to know if you will still need to be earning money or not.

Make sure your budget still allows your family to save for emergencies. You cannot be living paycheck to paycheck. Your ability to save will be decreased, but you need at least something of a safety net.

The next mistake is to allow yourself to use credit cards too much. Unnecessary credit card debt can eat into an otherwise solid budget. You need to accept that one of the sacrifices you are making is the extra spending money.

On a related note, you have to make sure the entire family is on the same page about money. Just because your husband is the primary wage earner does not mean that he should splurge freely.

Do not assume that the only place you need to cut is at the grocery store. This is an easy target since you spend money there often, but there are other places you should focus on saving.

This includes how often you eat out. Meals away from home generally cost quite a bit more than cooking at home.

It also includes looking at what you really need in your home. Depending on your budget, cutting back on or cutting out entirely things such as cable television, telephone and cell phone bills, electricity and so forth can be far more important than just saving money on your groceries. Make sure you're on the right plan for your needs for your phones, for example.

Another major budget issue comes around birthdays and holidays. Many parents still like to go all out, and many times this is simply not the best idea.

If you find that you are having trouble living on a tighter budget, you need to think of solutions before things get out of control. There are many ways a stay at home mom can try to earn money - daycare, a home business, a work at home job. The options out there are amazing, and a huge help to a tight budget.
About the Author
You can learn a lot about being a stay at home mom at http://www.homewiththekids.com/ which is run by Stephanie Foster. For more tips on budgeting visit her website.
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