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Stay at Home Moms - Dare Yourself to Save Money

Oct 9, 2007
The budget is one of the big challenges for stay at home moms. In many places it is really tough living on a single budget, and money is one of the biggest obstacles for people who want to stay at home but don't think they can.

But if you challenge yourself to save money, you may be surprised at what you can accomplish. If you're even thinking about becoming a stay at home mom, this can be a good idea, just to see what you can do.

Some people take this to extremes and do a no-spend challenge. That is, for a period of time (anywhere from a month to a year), you spend no money on things that are not necessary.
Groceries, rent, mortgage, utilities and such are fine, but buying new clothes that aren't needed would not be. Better in such a challenge is to get resale clothing, rather than buying new. Cheaper and better for the environment.

Try driving less. If you can walk to it, do so. Gas prices have gone up tremendously over the past few years. I've found that my family can get by almost comfortably with only one car, which my husband takes to work. It limits the activities I can do with my kids, but there are still enough things within walking distance. This has saved us a lot of money on gas, car maintenance and car insurance.

Go through your kitchen cabinets and see what you really have too much of. Sometimes it's very easy to buy too much of something, and then it just sits for years. Start figuring out recipes that will use up your excess.

Stop eating out. If it's a convenience thing, start cooking ahead and putting the extra meals in the freezer. Being able to throw a home cooked meal into the microwave when you're too tired to cook can be a wonderful feeling.

Look at your memberships. Do you really use your gym membership, or has it just been sitting there sucking up money? On the other hand, zoo and other memberships can be a great way to get affordable and fun time out for the family.

Try the envelope system. Put the money for grocery shopping and such into an envelope, in cash. This can help to keep you from overspending when you're at the grocery store. Absolutely forbid yourself to use the checkbook or credit card instead.

There are times where it's really hard to minimize your spending. Sometimes life throws you several loops at once. But as you improve your overall spending habits you can be better prepared to cope.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.homewiththekids.com/ as a resource for moms who want to stay at home. Get more tips on saving money at her site.
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