I love staying at home with my daughter but it does come with some financial hardship. Like this morning I had a full-out panic attack when I was balancing the checkbook. It is hard when you have big events coming up like Birthday’s, Christmas etc. Tis’ the season of blowing all of your money 😉 I have never claimed to be a math whiz but I have learned some strategies to make those dollars stretch until they break 🙂 The first tip I learned was to use those coupons! Now I am not an extreme coupon-er, I only use coupons for things that we use or need. At Target for example they have this wonderful app called Cartwheel. My advice to you USE IT and use it often. You can combine your Cartwheel with one manufacturer’s coupon and one Target coupon per item. For example I have my allergy med on my Cartwheel and I have a Target coupon for it as well. Sometimes when the Gods look down upon us items that are in Target’s ad are also in Cartwheel. Than the saving gets crazy 😉 Another awesome savings to us is the grocery store we go to. The store we use gives what they call “pump perks” So some items that are on sale also give you savings on gas. Your perks are good for one month so you can save them and get a huge savings at the pump! If you are lucky enough to have a grocery store like this in your area you are truly blessed 😉 Now another tip is those coupons they call “piggybacks” they print out at the register when you check out. Always pay attention to those I have found some great deals with them. One more tip is to stock up! On things you use, not on 100 razors that will sit in your closet for the next ten years. For example I go through a lot of cream soups.(My husband nicknamed me the casserole queen.) It is so nice when you go into your cupboard and one of those things you use everyday is there and you have lots of it. So by now you are probably picturing me in a dark room clipping coupons, my hair a mess and with stains all over my clothes. But that’s really not me. It does take a little work but it’s not like I have a binder that I pull out at the checkout. Usually I sift through my coupons before I go to the store and I go through the Cartwheel app when Avery is taking a nap. Always look through the clearance racks. I have found some great, name-brand clothes in those racks. If you go to the end of almost any aisle at any store they usually have items on clearance or on sale. Go through them, look at them but don’t get into a pushing or shouting match. I almost had a confrontation in the Lego aisle a couple of years ago with a very mean lady while trying to get the last box of Sponge Bob Lego’s for my step-son. I am happy to report I did get the Lego’s and he has now outgrown Lego’s so I don’t have to risk my life anymore 🙂
If you are one of the lucky ones that knows months in advance that you might have the chance to stay at home when your baby is born, do yourself a favor and save those pennies! My advice to you is to pay something off. Whether it be a car, school loan, or credit card bill. Whatever you have to pay off to get those monthly payments reduced. It is amazing what you can do to a loan when you pay a little extra every month. It will also help you to get used to living on a budget. Maybe you are one of those people who I believe were made in some kind of factory somewhere that are really good at saving money. I give you props 🙂 I have met some of you and I am jealous.
I have tons of other things I try to do to save money. Some work some not so much. It all depends on what works for your family. Sometimes you will have those little angels from Heaven that give you a bag of clothes that their kids outgrew or other items that they don’t use anymore. Thank them maybe even bake them some cookies.
If you are able to stay at home I wish you luck:) It is wonderful to stay home but it does come with some stress. If you do chose to work or have to work you are awesome! I did it and it is hard.
I am no expert at this or really anything in life but I have learned some hard lessons in the financial department and other life departments so if I can help anyone I am glad to do it 🙂