Kids are pretty awesome. And now that the iHB household has one, things have definitely changed a bit. Michelle has transitioned to being a stay-at-home mother and homemaker, which puts me as the sole provider for our family. This is a noble task that I was more than excited to accept, though there is definitely an added weight to my responsibility to make sure I am bringing home the bacon (mmmmm….bacon….). Getting pregnant prompted us to purchase life insurance, as well as go in depth on our budget plan and look at ways we could save enough money so we could continue to pay our bills. One of the cool things we came to realize as we went over our budget is that Michelle being at home was actually going to save us money in a few different places.
Here Are 5 Ways Being a Stay At Home Parent Saves Us Money
- Grocery Budget. Our grocery budget used to be a bit out of control. We were young, newly married DINKS (double-income-no-kids) working in fancy-pants-ville with a taste for good food and good wine. We also both worked full-time jobs and didn’t always have time to make lunches. I got free food at work, but Michelle did not. Our food budget was a bit higher due to lunches out, as well as more dinners out because we were both too exhausted to cook at the end of the day. But, now that Michelle is at home and we are using eMeals (<- affiliate link), most dinners are planned, Michelle has lunch at home and I get free lunch at work (as per usual). We are definitely saving money on our grocery budget, and eating healthier too!. Overall, we save about $50 a month on the grocery budget because of our kiddo.
- Diapers. Michelle posted about how we save money by using cloth diapers. If Michelle was not able to stay at home, we would not have been able to get started using cloth diapers, and therefore the savings would have been lost. Daycares DO NOT allow cloth diapering and require disposables be used, so this is not an option to do full-time without a stay-at-home parent. We could have done part-time, but we would have lost out on any savings. Overall, our savings by doing cloth diapers is about $35 a month.
- Gas Budget. We used to drop about $250 a month on gas for us to both drive to work and back. We were able to carpool a little bit, but not always. Now that Michelle is at home, our gas budget has dropped to about $150 a month. And, now that I am carpooling, I expect it to drop to about $100 a month. WooHoo!! So, overall, we’re going to be saving about $150 a month on the gas budget alone.
- Daycare. If we had to put our little guy in daycare, it could cost us upwards of $2,000 a month. YIKES! Heck, even J Money over at Budgets Are Sexy just posted that staying at home with his kid 2 days a week is saving him $900 a month! With Michelle at home, not only do we get the benefits of mommy raising our little guy, but we’re saving about $2,000 a month by having her stay at home.
- Taxes. Not only are we getting a sweet tax credit (and exemption) for the little guy, but Michelle being at home means we are bringing in less income than if she was working, therefore lowering our tax burden. I haven’t crunched the numbers, but I think it’s ballpark somewhere near $1,200 in tax savings just for removing her income. So that’s $100 a month savings by having Michelle at home with our extremely cute baby
I don’t think is an exhaustive list by any means, but just some of the areas we realized that we are able to save money because Michelle is staying at home. Our decision to have her at home raising our kids was not based solely on financial reasons, but finding out that it would cost over $2,000 a month if she kept working definitely reinforced our decision.
Overall, we are saving $2,335 a month by having Michelle at home!
Comments: Have you considered the cost savings of being a stay-at-home parent? Are there any other cost savings that you can think of that are not listed here?
Note: Things are definitely tighter financially in the iHB household, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Like I’ve always said, managing your money is always about priorities, and Michelle being at home with our son is right up at the top. If you want some insight into the reasons we chose this, Michelle found a great post that she feels explains these reasons really well.