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Can't afford to be a sahm...what can I do???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I go back and forth between being stressed and overwhelmed to hopeful about our financial situation now that I am a sahm. My dh's salary does not cover expenses and every month we are in the hole $200 for groceries, and this doesn't include other stuff (car repairs, clothes for ds, etc) We have a bit of a savings, but it seems to be draining fast. Our long term plan includes moving where the cost of living would allow me to sahm. I also have big ideas on wahm business, but I need time to start it up and we need more income now. I'm just not sure how to get by for now. I don't want to work outside the home, but I'm starting to wonder if I have a choice.
post #2 of 13
childcare in your home? Nanny (bring dc along)? House cleaner (again, bring dc along).

I'm sure other peoplw will have ideas
post #3 of 13

I know where you are coming from.

I felt the same way when I first stopped working. We sold a few things and it is still a little tight but DH picks up as much OT as he can and I pick up the occasional babysitting job that comes along. I have been SAHMing for 18 mo and I won't go back unti my DC are in school and I will only work during school hours. My sister and her male partner work opposite shifts so their DD doesn't have to go to a sitter. I am not sure what your area of expertise is but that may be a viable option for you. Good Luck
post #4 of 13
And there is a part-time job at night (or sometime when your dh isn't working and so can hold down the fort). If you need to make 300 a month (200 for groceries, 100 to save for emerencies) than a part-time retail job should cover it. Supermarkets are open late. Barnes and Noble is open untill 11:00. Target until 10.
post #5 of 13
I am about in the same boat. I am working right now though but hate it and wish I were home. We can make it with DH income but only by the skin our teeth yk. I wish us both luck in finding a solution
post #6 of 13
How old are your kids? Could you do a babysitting trade with a friend one or two days a week so you could work part-time? Even in retail it might be hard to find a job that fits YOUR schedule rather than theirs--typically there are shifts already established and you have to fit them. (though in the holiday season they probably take as many warm bodies as they can find!)

A trade can work out great because it's very flexible (you're not stuck in child care contracts, you don't have to drop them off at a certain time, etc.), you can be reasonably sure your child is getting great care, and they can develop nice friendships from spending a lot of time with the other kid (s). And, of course, it's also free.

Just don't work in a fabric store if you want to sew as a WAHM...you will spend every cent before you even get home .
post #7 of 13
Cut down on luxeries like cable, internet, ect. Drop down two one car, start buying cheaper groceries like more beans/rice and less meat. Keep the energy bill lower buy using energy saving bulbs ect.

We lived in the Seattle area on $1600 a month gross and we didn't get any public assistance at all. It was tough, we had to give up a lot of things but it was so worth it to be able to have one of us stay at home. Now we live in an area where the cost of living is less and we have the same income.

For awhile we were both working opposite days but it had a very negative impact on our relationship. So not worth it.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharlla
Cut down on luxeries like cable, internet, ect. Drop down two one car, start buying cheaper groceries like more beans/rice and less meat. Keep the energy bill lower buy using energy saving bulbs ect.

We lived in the Seattle area on $1600 a month gross and we didn't get any public assistance at all. It was tough, we had to give up a lot of things but it was so worth it to be able to have one of us stay at home. Now we live in an area where the cost of living is less and we have the same income.

For awhile we were both working opposite days but it had a very negative impact on our relationship. So not worth it.
LOL, that explains us to a tee.... we cut down to one car, we don't have cable, we buy most of our food generic, bulk and a lot of rice/beans, etc... We use 40 watt bulbs, we make our own cloth diapers, we make a lot of our own clothes, cloth napkins, cloth papertowels. We live a very frugal and simple life... We live in Columbus, Ohio where the cost of living is not that high but we plan on moving in 10 years to a smaller town where the cost of living is even lower then it is now but for now, we have to stay here to be close to my step-children's mother since we have shared custody. We have plans for buying a house and more extravagant things once we are no longer paying child support -- which will be enough for our house payment per month and since we aren't used to getting that anyway it will be like a free house, lol.-- but for now, I almost enjoy living our frugal life. I enjoy finding ways to cut down on the bills by using my imagination.
post #9 of 13
We both have cars but they are from the 80's and have over 100k miles on them. I shop around for the cheapest car insurance every 6 months, next month when we switch again we'll save $20 a month. I cut down on extras, even though we still have the satelite we don't have any movie channels on it so it's cheaper then cable. I downgraded my DSL. We get WIC and food stamps so that really helps . There's also the food bank if things get really tight. Comparison shop for groceries, see if you have a grocery outlet or similar store in your area, we have one and it's basically a bunch of food that is close to expiration or bought from stores that are going out of business. I also go yard saling every weekend during the summer. I pay .50-$1 for clothing most of the time.

I also buy things to re-sell on ebay. I was making a nice second income doing that this summer but I ran out of stuff to sell now that yard sales are done for the winter. I've also found a few things at thrift stores to re-sell but it's harder. I've sold avon door to door in the past. If you can't take care of other children from home you could look into working at a daycare and bringing your child with you, I had a friend who had an arrangement like that.

If your car needs repaired try getting the parts used, we usually save half of our money doing it that way. My dh can usually fix it but if not we ask around and find someone who's willing to do it cheaper then the mechanics downtown. Oh and finally we set limits for spending money for each of us so we don't go over. We never spend what we don't have, no credit cards, we pay as we go.

HTH! It is possible, where there's a will there's a way mama!
post #10 of 13

also check out

the frugality and finances board for more ideas
post #11 of 13
What about your dh looking for a better job? We were in a similar situation until dh started a job that basically doubled what he was making.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks mamas for the input. I was able to forget about the finances over the holidays but as soon as we came home and got hit w/ our gas bill and an unexpected dr bill I freaked. I panicked and cried and dh thought I was losing it. I've been somewhat depressed lately and your suggestions were just what I needed, a reminder that I can change things and be in control (even if they are not ideal situations). Since we have cut our expences down to a min already the options I have are to look for a job to take ds or work opposite shifts of my dh. i really hate the idea of working at different times than dh because I'm worried about our relationship now that the baby is here. We seem to get on eachothers nerves a lot lately and I know $$ is partly to blame. I'd like to find a daycare to work at, but I'm concerned about the income. I've seen a couple of ads that only pay $5-6 hr which wouldn't hardly seem worth the gas and dragging ds along all day. Any suggestions on finding children to watch in my home? newpaper ads seem to expensive. The mom group I go to is not near my home so I don't think I'll find mom's there. I have a couple of gigs cleaning homes, about one a week. It will be an extra $100 a month but it was tough w/ ds. I wore him in my wrap and put him down a bit, but he's still pretty needy (5 mo) Do you think it'll get easier or harder the older he gets? I'm waiting to see how it goes after a month and decide if I want to get some more customers. I need to stop worrying about a yr and two yrs down the road and just focus on now, I guess. Thanks again mamas for keeping me afloat, emotionally speaking.
post #13 of 13
I totally know where you are coming from. You could have been writting about my own situation. Only we have to come up with an extra $600 a month.

Not sure where you are at but often school bus drivers are allowed to bring their kids with them and you will only work mornings and afternoons. And lots of places will pay for the drivers exam you have to take too. The only catch is your driving record has to be just about perfect (at least here). I think the ads said they pay around $1400 a month or something too.

We're trying to cut back on grocery costs (NO junk allowed...only necessities), heating (saving up to put in timed thermostat..until then just turning it down manually) and power bills (using compact flourecents), and DH is taking in horses to train (which he loves to do but we always thought he couldn't make money doing...as it turns out he can...so its true what they say "do what you love and the money will follow"). As for getting children to babysit in your home I would just make up some posters to put up at the grocery store and post office and spread the word. Also...if you have the facilities you may want to consider taking in laundry...not sure how much you could make doing it but I think it would be a good thing to do in your own home...again I would just put up posters and spread the word. Or if you are a cook offer ready to cook meals. And I've thought about taking a plastic bag along and collecting empty bottles on our walks (my husband would DIE of embarrassment but thats what we did for extra money when we were kids) and I guess thats assuming you live somewhere that has a bottle deposit refund policy. Oh and if you use long distance much a great way to save money on that is to buy the phone cards that they sell at 7-11 and other places...plus it has the added bonus of being money that you pay up front so you never get a shocking phone bill. The only down side is its a pain in the butt having to call an 800 # and enter a PIN every time you call long distance.

It sounds like you in a better place now actively trying to work things out and your attitude really is the most important thing. I hope that some of my random suggestions have helped

Casey
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