Sunday, August 10, 2014

How to Survive As a Stay At Home Mommy

I never thought I would be a stay at home mom-until I gave birth to my first child. I just could not bring myself to leave my new little baby and go back to work. My husband and I talked it through and we both decided that it would be best for me to stay home. After all, day care costs an arm and a leg these days anyway. But, I didn't just end up being a stay-at-home mom; I became a work-at-home mom. But before I got to that point, we had a lot of preparation to do while living on one income.

I was a nurse and working full time when my husband and I tried to conceive for our little bundle of joy. As soon as we got the great news, I kissed nursing goodbye and took a less stressful job working retail to help pass the time.

I also started this very blog once I became pregnant! I have always been fit (thanks to soccer & track during high school), but I wanted to inspire other women to stay fit-even during their pregnancies.

So, I created Diary of a Fit Mommy and decided to walk the walk before I could talk the talk. I was no stranger to blogging as I once owned a very popular blog called "1 Fit Chick." However, I had no idea that this blog would blow up into something bigger than I could ever imagine!

But, since quitting nursing, my husband and I knew we would have to make a few adjustments. We weren't rolling in the cash like we used to be.

Our #1 goal was to get at least $1,000 in our savings-we followed the Dave Ramsey method. And we did just that. Actually, I was so surprised by how much we saved so quickly and the fact that when we were making more money, we barely had any money. I honestly believe that if you make more money-you spend more money!

I ended up turning my hobby into a business. I loved blogging, but now it is my career! I honestly believe that if you do something that you love as a job-it is not considered "work." You'll never have to work in a day!

But before, I turned my blog into a business, there were a few tips that helped set us on the road to success when we were living on just one income:
  1. Save: Aim to save at least $1,000 in you savings as an emergency fund. This will help you out when you need it the most. Hopefully, you will not need it! But it is good to have it just in case!
  2. Budget: When we went from two incomes to one, we had to make adjustments. No more eating out at nice restaurants 4 times per week. No more shopping for the heck of it. Everything had to be planned and budgeted! But that's totally ok! Make a spreadsheet in Excel or write all of your bills down on a sheet of paper to help you keep track. They even have iPhone apps these days! KNOW HOW MUCH IS IN YOUR ACCOUNT AT ALL TIMES. Track what goes into your account and what comes out and you will be golden!
  3. Pay off debt: You might be thinking, "How in the hell am I going to pay off debt when we have lost an income?" Well, you will be surprised by how much extra you have left when you cut all the unnecessarily costs out! We paid off so much debt in just one year alone by setting goals and following through with them. If you see our debts below, we knocked out around $33,600 in just one year alone. We paid off or got rid of SIX bills! All thats left now is a credit card which will be gone by winter and our two cars. Amazing? TOTALLY!

4.  Save some more: When you have paid off most or all of your bills, start saving some more or until you reach your numerical savings goal.
5. Enjoy: When you have reached that goal, take a vacay and enjoy!!!!!!!
But what if I don't like/want to blog?

Blogging isn't for everyone, I totall get it-it honestly takes a lot of time and a multitude of work. 

However, if you are wanting to become a stay-at-home mommy or are already one, then I have the perfect idea for you to start a business in the diet & fitness industry. 

If you are interested in making some extra cash by creating your own business, check out my 10 Week Blogging eCourse Guide.

Here are our favorite ways to save money:
  1. Groceries: We shop at our local commissary since my husband is Air Force. I have a little app that stores coupons for me to use at this store. This is the biggest way to save on groceries! COUPONING! You can literally find coupons anywhere. Look in your Sunday paper or search online. Buying in bulk also helps with cutting down grocery prices. MAKE A LIST and stick to it!
  2. Cable: When we went from two incomes to one, we cut our cable off and just used Netflix which was roughly $9.99 per month. This saved us around $100 per month! But now, since we have two incomes, we have cable again and I am thrilled! But hey Netflix got us through the hard times.
  3. Phones: If you can, find a great family deal. My husband and I are on a plan together. If you find yourself with much data or minutes left over at the end of the month, maybe it's time to start considering a cheaper package with less options. Staying at home typically means I use my data a lot less so we downsized! After all, I have WIFI here at home.
  4. Electricity: My biggest tip? Cut it all off if you are not using it! Seriously. Unplug your electronics and keep your thermometer around 75 degrees to keep your bills lower.
  5. Rent: We rented and luckily our town home at the time really did not cost much at all! If your paying more in rent than you like, find a cheaper place. Now, we have moved into a bigger home since I started making money. 
  6. Cars: If you have an expensive car, sell it or trade it in for something cheaper. However, we love our cars (our hobby) and did not sacrifice on this part. We did trade our GMC in on a 2013 Subaru WRX as our family car and kept our 2013 Ford Mustang 5.0 because, well, its mine!!
  7. Baby (though he was born shortly after my blogging became my business): I still breastfeed and use cloth diapers. Tons of $$$$$ saved there! When I give my son solids, I make them myself. I also watch my own child so that speaks for itself :)
Surviving as a stay at home mom is totally do-able; depending on the amount of kids you have and the bills you have to pay.

Stay at home mom illusion - only this is what I'd like to do!!! Stay at home mom would be a great job!

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