So, you’ve decided to become a full time stay-at-home parent. Re-evaluating your budget is one of the hardest first steps to letting go of that second income because it means you are going to have to let some things go. First, realize that just because you have to cut down on some indulgences does not mean you are living in poverty. You will survive. Start by taking a look at your credit card statements, your cell phone bills and your other spending habits. This will give you some clues where to cut first. Lower your cell phone plan minutes, brew your own coffee, use the library to borrow books and videos. Consider how often you use your gym membership and if your physical activity can be replaced by taking the kids for a walk or joining a weekly stroller strides group. Start a ‘swap’ group in your community and rotate things like videos, toys and books. Instead of meeting friends out for drinks, which now includes the price of a babysitter, invite them over for game night. Let go of your season tickets and watch the games on TV for free, or check your local listings for community events such as free concerts in the park. Most likely, you will begin to enjoy the creative activities that you are able to come up with as a family. On the rare occasion that you are able to hire a sitter and get out with your grown-up friends, it will mean more to you than it ever did before.
Self-employed Parent Enthusiast Ally Loprete is the Founder of OurMilkMoney.com, a nationwide online business directory of self-employed parents, and the host of This Little Parent Stayed Home, a live weekly radio show which is a part of the Her Insight Group on Toginet.com. Ally is on a mission to help others deal with the sometimes overwhelming prospect of leaving a full time job to start a new business, while running a full time household and raising kids. She is resolute about creating a haven in which parents across the nation will continue to thrive and obtain the support they need in their personal journeys.