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so what did you have to "cut out"

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im working on a life style so i can be a stay at home mom!

we are so use to 2 incomes so i have been trying to live off just one and saveing money where we can

did you have to cut out anything to make it work?
give anything up?

how do you make it work.

i need all the tips i can get

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Budgeting really helped. When we first sat down to see if it was even feasible for me to stay home, we came up with a very detailed itemized budget. Working off of that has made a world of difference.

I have a budget for the groceries and all house related expenses, as well as an "allowance." By becoming a very frugal shopper and a better cook, I've saved a lot of money. DH has been amazed.

We also turned to internet banking-saved the cost of checks & stamps. We're hardly ever late either because of this.

When I no longer needed a "professional" wardrobe, I consigned those items. I continue to sell off clothing as the dc grow out of it.
We went drastic!
We relocated from DC to Louisville--our house payment here is substantially less than our rent on a 2br apt there--and we only have one car. (DH takes the bus to work).

We cloth diaper, BF, and once she was starting solids we made most of our own baby food. DH has a big extended family, so we took all the hand-me-downs we could get, and were lucky to get a lot of baby gifts before DD was born.

I would also sell the formula coupons I got on ebay. (I'm still convinced my SIL signed me up with enfamil, since they just started showing up before DD was even born.)
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Just subscribing because I'm in the same boat, I REALLY want to stay home, but being single makes it tricky, so I need to start brainstorming ways to make it work. If not now, definitely in 2 years when I start my MBA program.

Thanks for any tips you guys have - I need to do some major fat-trimming
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I am considering quitting my job this summer and staying home for a couple of years until DD is in kindergarten.
We bought our house on one income. It is the smallest, least expensive one on the block. We drive one small car that has low gas needs. One car increases our time together and requires communication, though, so that is good. We do not eat out on weekends and never on weednights. Then of course, Bf and cd. We buy most of the kid's clothes used. We don't pay a thousand dollars a month on childcare.
Let's see if I have anything to add...

We, too have only one car. No TV. Love handmedowns. Use freecycle. cloth diaper... i don't know, we just really buy very little. and we are living on less than one salary right now -- dh is getting ready to start a doctoral program and is working parttime while we prepare to move from Northern Indiana to Denver. (before that he was getting his master's degree for three and a half years) and i work very parttime at the public library.

I'm sure there are other things I'm not thinking of....we use the library and
One car--you save on the car, plus you save on insurance, reg, etc., cut out stuff like coffee from coffee shops, etc.--make it a treat instead of a daily thing. Eat home more, less meat based meals. Rent movies instead of go out to movies...Buy stuff secondhand, for clothing, I try to make trips once a week and gradually stock up on stuff for the kids. They also have a free coats program at the salvation army--saved a ton on coats. Get a bike if you can and trailer, and you can run errands etc. and save on gas, plus get lotsa fresh air (only if you live in an area where this is safe, of course!).

We live pretty cheaply and it makes me happy this way. I enjoy saving money, most of it goes to the mtg, which to me is an investment. Good luck, it's a huge change of lifestyle, but it can be fun if you make it a "saving adventure".
A lot of the cuts were things you don't need when you are not working, nice car vs paid for used car. Gas is less becuase I drive less, no drycleaning. I cook almost everything from scratch and rarely shop the isles of the store (the baking isle of course) but then these things are things I couldn't do when I worked.

It wasn't as tight as I expected due to the tax savings. Check out a second income calculator to see how it will go down. Google "Second income calculator"
When we calculated out how much it would COST to have me work, the numbers just didn't add up.

My Salary MINUS

professional clothing
more meals out (this is very realistic with time at home)
more convenience items


Me making virtually NO MONEY

So for us we just cut those things out. Now I wear mostly jeans and tee shirts. I don't drive very far. We try to cook as much as possible.

Best of luck!
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Make a list for grocery shopping and STICK TO IT! That is one of the hardest things for me!

We also got rid of cell phones and cable (have since added cell phones back in when we could), keep our thermostat set at 77 in the summer and 70 in the winter, and take defensive driving to lower your auto insurance premiums.
We are starting early with trying out how it will be on one salary by using all of my salary to pay off debt and buy supplies ahead of time (clothes diapers in all sizes, etc.) so we won't have much expense later on. By the time Duncan arrives the debt should be paid off and hopefully we will already be used to living frugal.

Originally Posted by KBinSATX
We are starting early with trying out how it will be on one salary by using all of my salary to pay off debt and buy supplies ahead of time (clothes diapers in all sizes, etc.) so we won't have much expense later on. By the time Duncan arrives the debt should be paid off and hopefully we will already be used to living frugal.
this is why I'm back at work. our insurance declined to cover alot of things so we have around $2,000 in medical debts. I'm going to be paying those off, and putting a bit back toward our vacation this summer. After vacation, if I'm blessed enough to still be working {my 'temp to hire' period is over right after the company shut down, so if I'm still working it will be as an employee
} is going into savings. I am praying to be able to keep this position while I'm getting my business stocked and ready to launch. in my dreams, I'll be making enough from the business to cover the difference between V's income now and his income from the apprenticship program {learn and earn with the local electrical union} to at least keep us in our current level, if not improve things a bit..
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We only lived on dh's income from day one of our married life. We were young...19 and 20...and didnt have anything at all then. It was a decision we made before we got married, that we would do it that way...and then when we had dc...I would stay home. It took 5 yrs for the dc to come along. My only regret is that we didnt put my income into a savings account...we spent it rather frivolously.
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I would add that you might want to come up with a plan of what free things you will be doing during the day. IRL I know a bunch of people who sah and mention saving on the very real costs of working (such as daycare & commuting), but who spend MUCH of their "time at home" at the mall, McDonalds, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc. IT must cost a fortune to SAH if you increase the amount of time spent shopping - we are big on the library as it fills our need to go somewhere/have something new without being hard on our budget or the environment.

Good luck!
Barney & Ben
We walk everywhere, rarely drive.
We also meal plan for 1-2 weeks at time, using as much produce as we can. "box dinners" are not necessarily worth the convenience - we use them sparingly (they ARE a godsend from time to time).
We do our laundry at our folks' house - we would otherwise have to use a coinop.
We made our own baby food. That helped a lot. Prepackaged baby food is expensive. Also, instead of getting the Gerber baby snacks, we'd get Dole canned fruits or dried fruits and that sort of thing. We found out that just because it's marketed for babies, certain companies will charge more for the same thing!

Hope this helps!
I cut out:

- my car - took insurance off it and just let it sit in the driveway, now I carshare with some friends

- eating out, and most of my buying of convenience foods

- buying new clothes - I do ALL thriftshopping now, and I love it

- got a roommate

That made the difference for me when my income took the drop from working to SAH. Good luck!
We cut:
*Internet (until DH started working for a company that reimburses him for DSL, due to his telecommute)
*Cell phone (we have our old brick that is now on a pay-as-you-go thing--basically budgeted out we spend $6 a month on it)
*No new clothes
*All Credit Cards but AmEX (cuts the temptation)
*eating out limited to 1Xmo.
*Most activities (no Gymboree, ect.) except low cost through parks & rec.
*Most processed snacks/unnecessary grocery items

Proactively, we:
*shop only at thrift stores and outlet sales (if they dip below ts prices)
*have potluck parties instead of dinners out with friends
*do as much from-scratch cooking as possible
*cloth diapered at least part-time
*exclusive breastfeeding
*bought baby equipment/toys as needed, not 'just in case'. And preferably borrowed.
*budget EVERY month, put every dollar to paper.

My husband until recently was a stay at home parent too. It was a tough year and a half, because we were on a fixed income and really had to watch it. Now that he's working again, it's interesting--we have a little more money in the bank on a regular basis, but our habits haven't really changed--except for we are going on a vacation this summer, and flying out to visit east coast relatives this fall.

Amy Dacyzcyn's books are good places for ideas, though she's a little hard core for me.
Dave Ramsey is unabashedly Christian (and a bit annoying besides) but he explains budgeting probably the best way I've seen--and this is how we do things (cash only, no debt) though we went about it slightly differently.

So there's two names thrown out to pull ideas from. If you google them I'm sure you can find some websites, and probably get their books from the library too. Keep what you want, toss the rest.
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Originally Posted by lovebug
im working on a life style so i can be a stay at home mom!

we are so use to 2 incomes so i have been trying to live off just one and saveing money where we can

did you have to cut out anything to make it work?
give anything up?

We cut out a ton because I didn't even think we could afford to have me stay at home. Then, when Andrew was born we knew there was no way I could go back! I cried and cried because we could "never afford it" and dh, the "crazy" one out of the two of us, told me to just do it!! So I did and we are making it work. We cut out:

1. One of our cars. Even though it was paid off, the gas and insurance cost $$ PLUS the money that selling it brings in can be used toward other bills and expenses
2. Cable TV
3. All telephone "extras" like Caller ID, Call Waiting, etc. We cut down to just a basic line where we pay per call and our bill is like $15/mo.
4. Our cell phone minutes--slashed from 700 or so a mo. to 500
5. The newspaper down to just Sunday
6. $100-$150 off our grocery budget
7. Less expensive dog food. Not Alpo or anything, she's still eating very well, but if our grocery budget gets slashed, so does hers

8. Paid off everything small and piddly, like our $41/mo furniture payment, etc.
9. Line drying the clothes in the basement and using drying racks instead of the dryer (this saved $40/mo on our gas bill alone!)
10. Turned the heat down to 65
11. Electricity--started being more mindful of how much we were using and started being more diligent about turning lights off, etc.
12. Selling tons of stuff from our house on eBay each week.

Then, of course, we are also saving money by breastfeeding and using cloth diapers and cloth wipes.
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