How To Afford To Be A Stay At Home Wife Or Mom – Tips For Living Off One Income

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The opportunity to be a stay at home wife or stay at home mom can be a dream-come-true for many women. But it’s only a dream if your finances are under control.

Without financial stability, your time spent as a stay at home wife or mom could turn into a nightmare.

So to be sure you create your best life at home, follow the proven tips below.

1. Do A Financial Checkup

Before you decide to leave the workforce and become a stay at home wife or mom, give your financial health a checkup.

You’ll want to figure out:

  • your monthly income
  • your monthly expenses
  • your net worth

If your monthly income is greater than your monthly expenses, and you have a positive net worth, then you are sitting pretty, my friend. Congrats!


Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please check out my full disclosure for more info.


Income – how much you earn

Expenses – how much you spend

Net Worth – the value of your assets (things you own) minus your liabilities (things you owe)

To figure out your monthly income and expenses, I’ll give you access to the budget template I use. It’s been my secret weapon for conquering all of our money goals, starting with paying off $48,000 in student loans in less than 3 years as a teacher.


My budget spreadsheet is one of the many resources in The Common Cents Club Freebie Library. You need the secret code to get in, sign up here or at the bottom of this post to get my budget template, worksheets, and more tools to help you achieve your money goals.

And to calculate your net worth, this net worth calculator will help you determine if you have a positive net worth, or if you own more than you owe.

If your net worth is negative, or you owe more than you own, then you and your spouse will want to put a plan in place to increase your financial stability. Being a stay-at-home wife or stay-at-home mom may actually be a burden to your family if you’re creating a financial mess that you’ll have to clean up later. And The Common Cents Club is all about helping you confidently take control of your finances, your future, and your freedom.

It doesn’t mean you can’t be a stay-at-home mom or wife, it just means you may have to figure out a way to cut your spending, save some money, or make money working at home.

2. Get On The Same Team With Your Partner

Becoming a stay at home mom or wife is something that affects your entire family. Hopefully, it’s a goal that everyone in your family has so you can more easily work together to make it a blessing for your family.

Some key things for working together when it comes to your money are:

  • honesty and transparency
  • equal power (even if only one will be earning an income)
  • respectful communication
  • clear responsibilities (including work, housework, and childrearing)
  • value for what both provide
  • shared responsibility for managing finances
  • open discussions about money and how you use it

If you have these things, you may have small but manageable disagreements about money, but it’s much less likely you’ll end up in counseling or divorce. If you’d like to how my husband and I learned to work together with our money, including how we learned to live off one income so I could be a stay-at-home mom, you can watch my live video where I spill the beans.

3. If Money Will Be Tight Living Off One Income, Try These Ways To Save Money

The biggest areas to save money are on your:

  • housing
  • transportation
  • food
  • recreation
  • interest, service charges, fees
  • insurance

Housing – You can save a lot of money on housing if you’re willing to downsize, move to a cheaper area to live, or rent out part of your home through Airbnb, or buy a duplex and rent out half the property to help cover your rent.

Transportation – Downsize to get rid of your car payment. Drive a smaller car that uses less gasoline. Save for and pay for car repairs versus trading in for a new one. And my favorite way to save money before we went down to one income: carpool to work. The amount we saved on gas and car maintenance added up fast!

Food – Meal planning, cooking at home, and shopping at Aldi are my top 3 tips. Those save the largest amount of money over the long haul. For smaller savings that are super easy, use apps like ibotta, Fetch, and Raukuten for rebates and coupons. Also, growing your own food in a garden or pots can save a lot of money and add healthy food to your diet.

Recreation – Find free recreation. Public libraries, businesses in town, and nature are fabulous places to find fun things to do without paying a dime. Sign up for Redbox and you’ll get promo codes to rent movies and games for FREE. Then pop some homemade popcorn and you’ve got yourself a nice date night without the expensive price tag.

Interest, Service Charges, and Fees – Stay at top of your budget and tracking your spending. This way you’ll know exactly how much is in your account and avoid overdraft fees or late payments. Also, getting rid of your debt ASAP with my book and debt thermometer will help you minimize the amount you pay out in interest. The loan calculator tool on my resources page will tell you how much you’re paying in interest an any of your loans. Paying off my student loans as fast as I did saved us around $30,000 in interest. Seriously, this one is no joke.

Insurance – After years of just letting this one ride out because I didn’t want to look into it, my husband and I finally decided to look at our insurance. After finding a way to get better coverage AND SAVE $700, I’m glad I did. Check out the insurance section in this post to discover exactly how we saved so much.

Read More Ideas For Saving Money:

4. Stay At Home Wives or Moms Can Make Money Working At Home With Flexible Online Jobs

There are so many ways women are finding to make money working from home now, myself included.

I have a resource library full of cheat sheets, templates, printables and how-to guides for women who want to take control of their money and create their best life. You can sign up for instant access at the bottom of this post.

Here are some of my favorite ways for a stay at home wife with no kids or a stay at home mom with kids to make money from home:

Ways to Make Extra Money From Home

Virtual Assistant – There’s a huge demand for virtual assistants and the starting pay is typically $20-$75 per hour. This can be a totally flexible job and fit into any stay-at-home mom or stay-at-home wife schedule. Virtual Assistants might manage social media accounts, proofread, manage email accounts, manage projects, or a variety of other things based on what a client needs. I gathered all the resources you need to learn how to become a virtual assistant and listed my favorite tools for virtual assistants.

Freelance Writing – With the online world, everyone and their mama has a blog, website, or some content that needs to be written. Some freelance writers are even hired as ghostwriters to put someone else’s book idea onto paper. Ghostwriting is lucrative for those who are excellent writers. If you want know how to make money as a freelance writer, Gina Horkey is an excellent teacher.

Online Teaching / Tutoring – If teaching is your thing but you don’t want to teach during the hours of 8-4 every day, I’ve talked a handful of women who enjoy online teaching. If you’re curious about online teaching, the pay, and the requirements, you’ll love my interview with this work-at-home mom who earns more than $20+ per hour with this side gig.

Freelance Proofreading – Remember all that writing I mentioned blogs and websites need? From articles to ebooks, video transcriptions and podcast show notes, there are a lot of words (and mistakes) out there that could benefit from a good proofreader. Check out this post if you’re curious how to get started proofreading for money.

Flexible Remote Jobs – If you’re not sure about starting your own freelance business, there are lots of remote jobs out there. One of the best places to find legitimate remote jobs you can do from home is FlexJobs. All job listings are screened and verified before they are posted, so you don’t have to worry about scams. Plus, with the search tool, you can find exactly what you are looking for, such as the type of work, part-time or full-time hours. There is a small monthly fee of less than $15, but FlexJobs is the fastest and easiest way to find legitimate work-from home jobs.

Blogging – Whaaat? You can make money from blogging? I know, I thought the same thing. Well, first I didn’t even know what a blog was…then I was clueless how a blog could earn money. Lifelong learner here, people. But for real, you can earn money through a blog with ads, recommending products, selling digital or physical products, and partnering with brands to name a few. If you ever start a website or blog with the intention of earning money, you’ll want to follow this step-by-step guide to starting a self-hosted blog (for beginners).

Take Surveys – Taking surveys can be frustrating if you don’t choose the right ones. That’s why it’s important to point out the survey sites survey takers report give them the best results:

Taking surveys will not replace a full-time income. Think of surveys more like a way to earn extra cash while watching Netflix that can buy another pumpkin spice latte or six.

Multi-level marketing company – If you don’t mind selling products and hosting parties, you can do direct sales to earn extra cash. Here’s an interview with a work-at-home mom of 4 who homeschools and earns thousands per month helping families remove toxins from their life.

Read More About Making Money From Home:

Becoming a stay-at-home mom or wife can be an absolute dream-come-true. But if your money is not in order, you can create a vicious cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck, or worse — burying yourself in a massive pile of debt.

Create Family and Financial Freedom

The keys to creating your best life, whether you work at home or live off one income are:

  • You’re on the same team with your spouse, including money matters.
  • Do a financial checkup. Know your numbers: income, expenses, and net worth.
  • Create a plan for spending less, saving more, or earning more if your finances are too tight.

Then enjoy living your best life as a stay at home wife or a stay at home mom.

Cheers To Your Family & Financial Freedom,


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Val Breit

Val Briet helps women create a life they love with money hacks, productivity tips, unique gift ideas, and honest reviews to find products that are worth it!

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