Calling All SAHMs- Need Info - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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#2 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 02:21 PM
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at first, your daily costs will probably go down. babies can be pretty cheap. i have 3 and have never purchased a crib. if you don't go the hyena route, cloth diapers can run about $700 for the entire diapering years. you don't have to buy them all at once either and you can sell the smaller ones to cover some of your costs for the next size up. or trade for the next size up on the trading post. breastmilk is free. family and friends like to give lots of clothes...
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#3 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 05:02 PM
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I ended up being a SAHM but not of my own initial choosing, right after discovering I was pregnant I lost my job 2 weeks later (this was last year) and have been home since. So we did not get the benefit of saving up money during the pregnancy. The largest regular expense we have is diapers- I tried cloth and it wasn't my thing so we do sposies which average about $18 a week. The next largest expense is clothes, we come from small families (both grandmas deceased, dh only child, me w/much younger brother) so there are no free clothes. However a buddy of mine found some good 2nd hand stuff for me and I use ebay and consignment shops to get stuff. In my case I cannot say baby is super cheap (my earning potential is high when I work so even w/childcare costs we would still be better off financially) but it all balances out considering we no longer go see movies, eat out, so really those extras have just been shifted to the baby.

I'd say save as much as possible and realize that babies can be as cheap or expensive as you want.


Mothering since 1992...its one of the many hats I wear.
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#4 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 05:11 PM
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Disclaimer: I am a WOHM.

When I was pregnant with our first baby, we saved my paycheck, giving us a little (and I mean little nestegg). We had no debt, just our rent, electricity, phone and car insutance).

All baby loot was given to us (crib, car seat, stroller, Snugli). The baby in and of itself was not expensive, I nursed, but used disposables. But its the loss of income that really can get you (with us I already cokked all our meals and we never ate out and only went to the ocasiional movie).

I stayed out of the stores and malls and we lived paycheck to paycheck. I went back to work when our first was almost a year, and she was then cared for during the day by my beloved grandparents (my grandpa would peel her grapes, then cut them in half).

Its now that my kids are older that they themselves are, size 12 basketball shoes, hockey).

I am thinking you will be just fine. My husband got a second job when It got really tight.

Good luck!
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#5 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 05:41 PM
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After my 3 month maternity leave, I went back to work for 3 months... It took us a little extra time to sort out the finances. I was miserable. I was a retail sales manager, so if you only work 40 hours a week you are a slacker. A typical week was between 55 -60 hours, but busy times I could easily be at the store 70+. Not the best situation if you have small children.

My husband & I refinanced everything we could to get lowered interest rates, cut down on unecessary expenses to make it work. I made about $15 thousand a year more than DH. It was very hard to cut our income in more than half, but we didn't have the expenses of working at a department store (lunches, coffee, clothing, SHOES!).

Write down ALL of your daily expenses (gas, food, clothing, dry cleaning etc.) it is surprising how much you spend just going to work everyday. Then start calling daycares and find out how much having an infant in day care will cost. All of a sudden it seems very reasonable to have someone staying at home. We have had some tight months, but we are still swinging it.

Also, depending on what you do, there may be a possibility of freelance or part-time or part-time at home. I worked for a year a merchandiser. I was able to work evenings after DH got home.

So after all of that ... what I'm saying is that it is do-able. Be creative!
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#6 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 05:48 PM
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At baby showers I was given enough diapers and wipes to almost last a year (BTW I wish I had gone w/ cd's). Didn't need a crib or bassinett. Buy clothes at seasonal consignment sales. Bfeeding costs nothing...

Still, things are v. tight, but I would not trade this past year w/ ds for the tea in China. DS is on medicaid, and I used WIC for a year (although I hated it). The pay for sahm stinks, but the benefits are priceless.

I sometimes sell stuff on ebay for extra money, and dh does extra work when he can get it. Staying at home is worth it for us!
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#7 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 05:55 PM
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I think with everything including diapering supplies and carriers I have only actually spent so far on DS2 about $200. A lot of stuff was given to me from friends and family members, a lot came from freecycle, but the best thing I did was turn in my maternity clothes (most I bought off marked down clearence racks or thrift stores) at the second hand baby store and got a lot of store credit for other things. I now really don't need to buy anything at all for the baby for a couple years.

I got a lot of diapering stuff for free but I spent about $50 total on the stuff that I actually bought and I have plenty of diapering stuff to last until he's about 30 lbs (although I will be buying more prefolds later, but even though I got used for $1 each for the really big ones)

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#8 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by noorjahan

What should I expect interms of expense? Like sudden baby related expense?

Please share anything that you wish you had considered before being a SAHM that you didn't think about then.

If you are living in tight financial situation any tips to manage the household without worrying too much about $?
What a great hubby to offer to plan for that! In terms of planning for expenses, there is no way to say for sure. I had a 100% healthy baby but broke my tailbone during labor. I am still suffering from that 2.5 years later and see a massage therapist and chiro monthly. Insurance covers most but copays add up. My dd started having some neck issues at a few months old and went through PT and now sees an osteopath which is pricey but works. So, there is just no way to plan for what might happen.

We thought we could get by having very little toys and baby gear. We ended up buying all the stuff we thought we would not want. Baby got bored being in the bouncy seat so we got a swing and then an exersaucer, two things I swore I would not want. But, the 10 minutes or so that she was occupied there every few hours a day was ten minutes or so that I could have a rest or eat or just sit. Holding a baby is lovely but tiring for your back and arms.

I never knew about resale and consignment stores or craigslist before dd but now I am an expert on these things. I sell and buy a lot of stuff there. That saves a lot of money. One thing I wish I had done differently is doing elimination communication with dd. You can find info on that here on the diapering forums. It would have saved a lot of money on disposable dipes, which we still use at age 2.5. Also, I had no clue about all the choices of cloth dipes and chose not to use them. I wish I had known more. That would have saved money.

Nursing saves a lot of money as formula is expensive. We did not really buy any special baby food, either, just mashed up what we were eating.

We have also cut out a lot of things that we had previously thought of as necessary like magazine subs and newspaper delivery. We have a small cell phone account. The one luxury I lobbied to keep was high speed internet. We have our photos developed at as that saves money. We buy in bulk for the first time ever. And, we meal plan one week at a time. The frugality section of the mindful management forum is an excellent place to find ideas.

Good luck!
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#9 of 10 Old 12-04-2005, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by boongirl
I never knew about resale and consignment stores or craigslist before dd but now I am an expert on these things.
Yes, craigslist, craigslist and craigslist! People use baby things for such a short time and then want to get them out of the house. A lot of people want brand new everything for baby #1, which is understandable but gets very pricey. You can get everything used so inexpensively from Craigslist or even your local mom's club.

Make your own baby food! It's cheap, easy and so much better for the baby. All you need is a food processor and an ice cube tray.

Borrow, borrow, borrow. If you have friends or family who are between babies, see if you can borrow their maternity clothes, baby gear, baby clothes, etc... People are so happy to share what they have.

We did not intend for me to be a SAHM, but crunched the numbers when I was pregnant with ds1. It has been the best thing for our family! Good luck!

Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds

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#10 of 10 Old 12-09-2005, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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