How to Save Significant Money as a SAHM
Tips to Save Money: Significant Savings for Stay-at-Home-Moms
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Learning to save money has made it possible for me to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) and to Homeschool. Here are some of the ways we have saved money. As our children have grown up and left the home, we’ve made adjustments, and I don’t have to do some of these things any longer. I have found new and additional ways to save money (I guess I need to write another post!). I’m sure you have wonderful ideas and ways to save money and live a frugal lifestyle, and I would love to hear them! Leave me a comment below!
As a stay-at-home mom, you can be a huge asset, pun intended, to your husband and family! Here are ways you can save money and contribute significantly to the financial status of your family without getting work outside the home.
I. Do It Yourself (DIY) To Save Money
In other words, don’t pay someone else to do what you can do–or learn to do–yourself.
A. Learn to Cut Hair To Save Money
By learning to cut your family’s hair yourself (especially your men’s) you can save a substantial amount of money each year. Over the years, and in large families with many boys, this savings can really add up! You can also learn to do your daughters’ haircuts–layering, etc., though it’s a little trickier.
Invest in Proper Tools: Make It Easy and Save Money
Buy a few basic tools: you’ll need a good pair of scissors, a cape, a brush for cleaning up, a spray bottle, and a good rat-tail comb. You’ll quickly make back that investment! Take out a book from the library or look on YouTube for instruction on cutting hair.
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Cutting Monthly Expenses Will Save Big Money
I learned by watching our stylist and by trial and error, and have been cutting my husband’s hair, and I used to cut my son’s hair also, for years. If I can do it, anyone can. I never cut my daughter’s hair. But, I know many moms who do.
A friend once arranged for her stylist to come to her home and teach a group of women and their daughters how to cut girls’ hair. If you have a young daughter, you might consider this!
Calculate the savings and think what you could do with the money you will save per month. Try this! With more than a couple of children, the benefit is huge, especially as the prices for this service just seem to go up and up.
B. Train Your Children To Save Money and Build Character
It may be that you, like me, have wished at times that you lived in Bible times, because they often refer to one’s “servant girls,” as in Proverbs 31. It seems a lovely idea, and in your part of the world, there may be girls who routinely come into your home to help you.
For a Homeschooling stay-at-home-mom, housecleaning must be done, and though you may not be able to afford outside paid help right now, there are ways to get help, if and when you really need it.
- If you ever wonder how a mom can Homeschool, perhaps you should visit a home, and see how much work is done as a team in that family. Cleaning the home is one of the weekly jobs where Homeschooled children can be a wonderful help to the family and keep the home running smoothly.
In the process, your children will be gaining in character, and learning valuable skills they will use forever, plus be trained in a good work ethic. Your family can work together, and you’ll have a great working team. You will still have much to do, but your children can learn to clean the house completely, themselves, eventually.
Even if you don’t Homeschool, though, it’s an area where the savings can add up fast.
Save Money By Getting More Organized
I have hired housecleaning help in the past, but because it cost me a lot to have someone else clean my home, even once in a blue moon for help with spring cleaning, for example, when my children were small, it was a motivation for me to become more organized, and do it myself.
Note: Now that my children are grown, and out of the house, and I still have a large home, I have budgeted for some help. Each family must choose what their priorities are, and not feel bad about it. It’s your choice and priority. These are just suggestions of ways you can save money, if you choose to implement them.
You may decide that it is an important enough area to hire out some of it: for instance, if you have a large home, or perhaps you or a family member has medical issues, or it’s just a time of life that it makes sense.
You Make Choices and Set Priorities To Save Money
We each make choices what to prioritize. So, don’t feel bad if you choose to hire some of these things done for you. There may be other things that you choose to do without and this one you choose not to!
Here are some other ideas for getting the help you need.
If you do need some extra help now and again, see if there’s a young Homeschooled girl that you know of who would be interested in a ministry to another family. I know of a number of young ladies, who, alone, or with their sisters, go to help other families by doing a variety of “services” such as helping with the younger children, cooking, and cleaning. They may go on a regular basis for a few hours a week, or they may go and stay at the family’s home, especially if it’s a distance away, for a few days or more, and help in many ways.
Try Bartering To Save Money
This is especially common after a baby is born. Bartering for services is a great alternative: It may be possible for you to do or give something other than money for this service.
Be creative, and you will find many ways to save money.
II. Eat at Home As Much As Possible To Save Money
A. Save Money By Eating Home-cooked Meals
When you’re just starting out, collecting excellent basic recipes, and following them precisely, is your first step. You may enjoy the many fun cooking shows, books, videos and online tutorials available! So, jump in and learn. The better you become at cooking, the more you will enjoy it, and you’ll find many inexpensive ways to give your dishes pizazz!
Note: I have learned to use home grown herbs in my cooking to flavor foods, rather than using bouillon cubes or flavor packets. My daughter grew an herb garden, which my husband now tends, and he dehydrates the herbs and onions which we use all winter. Look for a future post on ways to use, and recipes in which I use herbs.
B. Combine Trips To Save Money
When you go somewhere, plan your trip in order to accomplish more than one thing. Think of the area you will be traveling to and businesses you will be passing by.
Are there other errands you could get done, with very little extra effort?
Try not to have to run out and make a special trip, to get or do some small thing, that can wait for a time when you will be out already.
How Much Money Can You Save on Gas
Do you know how much you are driving, and how much you’re spending on gas?
We keep a small spiral-bound notebook in the glove compartment of each vehicle in order to record gas purchases. My husband prefers pen and paper, but you could choose to keep your record in an Excel spreadsheet on your phone. We have these headings at the top of the columns: date, location, odometer reading, cost, number of gallons and MPG for miles per gallon. You can then calculate how many miles per gallon your vehicle is getting, and see how much you’re spending on gas. You might be surprised!
Track Car Maintenance
Remember to figure in the cost of maintenance to the car when you’re thinking about how much it costs to go somewhere.
You can keep track of maintenance done on each vehicle, and the cost of parts, in the same notebook where you keep track of gas expenditures. Keep a separate notebook in each vehicle, or a spreadsheet, and teach your family members who drive to use it. If you don’t know how much you’re spending a month in this area, definitely calculate it–you will be amazed!
Fix It Yourself To Save Significant Money
Speaking of the services that can be eliminated by doing them at home, if you have a husband who is able to fix your vehicles himself, thank him with a big hug and kiss tonight! I am extremely grateful for my husband, who received two years of training at a tech school in auto mechanics, because he has saved us thousands and thousands of dollars over the years in automotive repair costs!
But, even if your sons don’t have the benefit of tech school training, all young men should learn to do some basic car maintenancethemselves, for it will help the budget immensely.
We stay-at-home-moms seem to be away from home an awful lot! This is one area that we can make a significant difference in the family budget, because cars and gas have become such a huge expense.
Lastly if your family can consider a reduction in the number of cars you own, this will result in the most savings!
III. Thrift Store Shop While Still Getting Name Brands at Discount Prices To Save Money
“You can save money if you are willing to buy your clothes at thrift stores, and garage sales.”Wendy Gunn
Goodwill, Salvation Army, (Clothes Mentor has been a favorite in recent years, and my daughter loves Turnstyle) and other local thrift stores (though technically Goodwill isn’t one) often have name-brand and like-new clothing that others have outgrown, or tossed aside, for a fraction of the new price.
Also, try networking with other families at church or in your local Homeschool circle, and hand down the clothing that your children have outgrown. Let it be known how grateful you are to receive these hand-me-downs, and others may think of you the next time they have a bag or box to get rid of. Do the same for others.
Trade Clothing With Friends To Save Money
At our church, there is a table in the back where families can place items which are free to all. This is a blessing to both giver and receiver.
Look for larger household, family and baby items such as furniture, appliances, and tools at garage sales and thrift stores, too.
Use Amazon Prime, so you’re not running out to the store, and tempted by impulse buying. A run to Target or WalMart for diapers and you can easily drop $100 on things you didn’t plan to buy. (They know their marketing:)
Have you ever heard the saying, “Penny wise but pound foolish”? I think when I’ve bought very cheap (in every sense of the word) clothing and items, thinking I was saving money, but they broke, or didn’t last very long at all(!) I was being pound foolish.
Buy The Best Quality To Save Money
I’ve learned to buy quality when I buy new products. I read reviews, and ask others what they love, and buy the best I can afford, for the cheapest I can pay! This is the way to have a FEW quality items that last, and not a LOT of junk that always has to be replaced!
A Note for New Moms
If you plan on, or hope to be blessed with, a few or more children, invest in quality items, such as a carseat, stroller, highchair and crib. You will use these every day for years!
You may be able to find some of your needs at garage sales, because so many people these days have only 1-2 children, and think nothing of buying everything new for the baby, and then, just a short time later, selling their barely-used items. Drive around and look for new developments that have a lot of young families. Read the reviews, find the best one for your family, and look for the best price. When you buy new, watch and wait for end-of-season sales and when 50%-90% discounts apply.
Additionally, Craigslist has become a great resource for connecting with people who want to sell just what you’re looking for, and with persistence, you can usually find items at the price you want, too.
(Disclaimer: Though I have used Craigslist in the past, I do not advise you to do so, unless you take precautions, and if you do, you are doing it at your own risk.)
IV. Learn skills which will save money, and teach your daughters so they can stay at home with their children, too.
A. Learn to sew
One of these skills for young (and older) ladies to learn is sewing your own clothing and household items, such as curtains, pillows and decorative items.
Many women make beautiful gifts using this skill, as well, Again, a class, book, friend or online tutorial can help you. Necessity is the mother of invention, they say.
When I had a picture window to cover and found out how much buying a new valance was going to cost, invention kicked in and I was surprised to find out how really easy it is to make one, and I was very pleased with the results.
B. Save Money: Make Gifts and Home Decor
Whether it be by painting, knitting, crocheting, sewing, handwork, calligraphy or some other means, making gifts is a way to bless others and save money.
It used to be true of every “accomplished” young woman that she could do beautiful handwork. Now, it is a skill which a woman can use to gift her friends and family with and still stay within her budget. By resourcefulness and thrift, she will be able to make some items for almost nothing which will be treasured forever.
Write Letters and Notes
The cost of greeting cards has risen astronomically in recent years, and yet showing love to others through a note or letter on their special occasion, or just as a means of comfort or encouragement, is still a very needed ministry.
Making your own cards is one way to make this ministry possible on a limited budget.
Other ways to practice the ministry of letter-writing and sending cards and notes of encouragement inexpensively, are to buy your cards at thrift stores, to buy your cards from others who make them, to salvage and re-make cards, and to buy cards at half-price or less, as in the case of Christmas cards, at the end of the season.
I hope these tips have sparked your creativity to think of many other ways that you can save money, for I have only listed a few, using the creativity that God has given you for His glory!
When you save money in these ways, you are speaking volumes to your children and influencing others around you more than you know. You practice good stewardship making thrifty choices which contribute to your home and family financially. You will experience the rich feeling of satisfaction, as well, when your actions result in significant savings, thereby multiplying what the Lord has given you, and you are able to stay at home.
Have a Great Day Making Your Home For God!
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