How can I afford to be a stay at home mom

How can I afford to be a Stay At Home Mom?

I’ve made another life changing decision in the last few weeks. Since I don’t have to be available for customers during set working hours I am taking my children out of aftercare at playschool. So how can I afford to be a stay at home mom?

I shared 2 weeks ago about my decision to close my online store and just start blogging instead and you know what? It is the right decision for me!

They have been in aftercare until nearly 5pm every day and I have felt so much guilt about this, my son is two years old and my daughter is four years old. It is not that I wanted them in aftercare, it is more that life doesn’t go as planned.

My daughter was 4 months old when I launched Kaboutjie and the plan was that I would have her in creche and by the time she turned one or maybe two years old I would have grown my business to a place where I could have her half day in playschool so she could socialize in the mornings while I got some work done. In the afternoons I would be a SAHM. Fast forward four years… this is not my reality is it?




Turns out my business was a lot more labor intensive and I felt more tied to work than if I had a full time job. At least when you work for someone else and your child is ill you can take the day off and just focus on your child (and you will be paid for it too if you have family responsibility leave left!). I had to still run my business… even when my daughter was in hospital for a week I had to somehow also run my online business. Christmas holidays were anything BUT a holiday. I couldn’t leave my products and I couldn’t ever relax entirely.

So this week marked a wonderful change for my family. From the first of March I have had my two children home in the afternoons and it feels incredible. My children are so happy and relaxed and my husband is pleased that we are all able to be home together in the afternoons (mingled in with some jealousy that he has to be at work of course).

So now here comes the crunch… I am not yet earning a full time income from blogging, so this truly is a big of a leap of faith. Yes there is some income coming in and I am feeling so positive and excited about the future. However in reality this doesn’t put food on the supper table tonight does it?

This got me thinking, surely I am not alone? Surely there are millions of moms all over the world that are stuck with the same problem. On my Facebook page I have seen so many moms saying that they would love to be a stay at home mom but they can’t afford it.

So this post it for you, mommies.




How Can I Afford to be a Stay At Home Mom?

Here’s the way I see things. We are all in charge of our destinies and our futures. I told my husband last week I have just had such a strong vision lately and it goes like this:

I blink and suddenly we are at our children’s graduation ceremony for school. I look at my husband and I say to him “Honey, I really did intend being at home more with our kids….”

How Can I afford to be a Stay At Home Mom with my Children

And you know what? This is what will happen if I don’t make this decision now. I intended to be home with my daughter, suddenly she is four years old and I have another child that is already two… both in aftercare till 5pm every day.

So yes, this is my now and I am taking it.

Here’s what I see each of us women are strong, we have skills and we can work hard if we choose to. I believe each of us mommies have the ability to make this change if we set our minds to it.

Here are some ideas I’ve thrown together that could help with finances so you can afford to be a stay at home mom:

First things first: Get rid of all extra expenses

Evaluate all of your expenses and see what you can chop out. I think you will be surprised at how much money is wasted.

Have a maid once a week? Well start doing the housework yourself, you will be home more and you can also get your kids involved. It is good start them with chores anyway!

DSTV? Personally I don’t even like television. I enjoy the odd movie or series every now and then but I think it is a huge waste of time. I prefer reading. And for kids, well come on they can play outside. For the cost of DSTV for one month you can buy your child a really nice bicycle!

Also take into consideration the cost saved by not sending your child to aftercare. We will save nearly R2000 a month by having our children home in the afternoon. That is a big saving already!

Eating lots of chips (and yes my kids and I must raise our hands) – cut out luxuries like this. Not only will it save your pocket but it will lead to everyone being healthier too.

Extra phones? Who needs a landline these days when we’ve got Skype and mobiles right? Yes I have just cancelled our Telkom landline. I don’t like Telkom anyway, so this felt great. There’s another couple of hundred bucks saved each month. I did purchase a smart phone and installed Whatsapp… so now I can contact everyone much cheaper!

Baby in nappies? Use a cloth instead of wet wipes and use cloth nappies instead of disposables. Yes it may not appeal to you, but do you want to stay at home with your little angel or not?

Smoking.. yes, oh dear I’m going to go there too…. I quit smoking last year and it is was well worth it! Not easy but it will be good for you and it will save you a fortune. Smoking cost me about R1000 a month. So I have saved R5000 since October last year just by quitting smoking.

Cut costs to be a stay at home mom

But there is only so much you can do by chopping all unnecessary expenses. You still need to put food on the table and that costs money right?

Grow Your Own Veggies!

Yes some food costs money, but there is still a lot you can do to save!I spent R40 on a butternut a few weeks ago. I got the shock of my life. Yes it was a big butternut, true, but since when does a large butternut cost that amount? If I spend R40 on a butternut I expect it to come with its own trolley because of its size.

So I’ve heard that you can feed a family of four on a piece of land the size of a door. So get out there and start digging up a veggie patch. There are so many benefits for doing this.

Not only can you save a huge amount of money by growing your own food, chances are you’ll have surplus food. You can sell extra food for some extra income… and the best part is that homegrown organic food is like so the in thing right now!

grow your own veggies to be a stay at home mom

Another major plus is that this is something you can do with your kids. Children love being outside, they love getting dirty in the sand and mud. They also have such a fascination with growing things. This is a real life skill that you can teach them.

And remember you’ll need to keep them busy and entertained if there’s no Disney or JimJam channel anymore…

If you don’t have your own garden don’t worry, you can grow a lot of food in pots! My sister grows mushrooms in one of her cupboards and she grows her own sprouts in jars on her kitchen window sill.

Here’s how to grow cherry tomatoes in pots!

So get creative, get researching and have fun! I grew up on a small holding and we had a compost heap and a huge veggie garden. There is nothing better than growing your own food.

This is something I am going to start with my kids very soon and I am so looking forward to it. We rent so we will have to go with the pots. I’ll be sharing about these escapades as soon as our crops start producing!

Kids might enjoy getting dirty with gardening, but I’ll be honest here I love nothing more than sinking my hands into sand and picking veggies fresh from my own plants!




Start A Lift Club

You must have noticed the huge price of fuel and servicing of your vehicle right? So find some a few moms in your area that have kids in the same playschool and start a lift club. You might land up only having to drive to the playschool two or three days a week instead of five. This could make a massive saving on travel costs!

Sell Sandwiches In Industrial Areas

Ok so I haven’t tried this before myself but I have spoken to a number of people that have told me they have done this and it is a great way to make some extra income. We have a small industrial area on my way to the kids playschool. It wouldn’t take long for me to whip up a couple of great sandwiches and drop them off on the way.

If you want to try this I would suggest first scouting out the companies in the industrial area and asking the people there if they would like this service. Start off small with only a few sandwiches and see what the demand is. Remember that every little bit of extra income will make a difference.

Make Home Cooked Meals

Make some home cooked meals and sell them frozen and fresh. I think this is a great thing to try and as with the suggestion above you can start off slow and see what the demand is. If you are a great cook why not give this a go. I know for myself that when I was working full time supper was always a trial for me. Knowing there is someone that can supply a nutritious meal for my family a few times a week at a good price is awesome!

Online Surveys and PTC sites

This won’t make you rich but it can add up nicely over time. This year (up to March 2016) I have made a total of R701.44 from the following sites:

It may seem like you are not getting anywhere with them but I head over to all those websites every morning while I drink my coffee and quickly do whatever is available. I spend just a few minutes every morning and I use that for savings. I am planning on using that money for a family holiday beginning of next year.

I recommend all of those above websites, just be careful with others. I have honestly tried loads of them and most of them are complete time wasters or scams. The above ones work, they pay out and they are legitimate.

Here is a Youtube video I published on how to use Clixsense:

Don’t expect to see results overnight with them, but if you use them regularly and consistently you will start to see that it is a nice and easy way to build up a small nest egg with your free time. All of those are free to use so you won’t spend any money!




Sell Your Crafts

If you do crafts why not make some things and sell them? I have seen lots of moms doing this, it gives you a creative outlet and earn you some extra income.

Hand knitted jerseys? Hand-made cards? Crochet goodies? Baking? Jewellery Making? Pottery?

I had someone taste a lemon meringue I made a few years back and she asked me if I would make her a good few so she could sell them…..  maybe I should give her a call now?

Sell crafts to afford to be a stay at home mom

Sell Your Skills

We all have skills, we all have passions so think about this one and use it.

Teach yoga? Give horse riding lessons (I did this as a teenager, I taught little kids and made great pocket money)? Extra lessons for school kids in bookkeeping, accounting, maths… ?

When I was in primary school my friend’s mom gave me lace-making lessons and I loved it. She had a small class of girls from the school that she taught every week.

If you are good at something (which I guarantee you are) think how you can utilize that skill to make money!

Start Blogging

Yes of course I have to add this one in, this is what I am doing now and I am loving it! I am earning an income from all three of my websites now and although it is not a full time income yet it is growing each month.

I recently started earning affiliate income from Amazon which is really exciting!

I am also earning a small income publishing online marketing training on the Wealthy Affiliate website.

If you want to learn how to make money working online then I suggest you check out this post that gives you an insiders view on the best online marketing training you will ever find.

I also wrote an ebook about my addiction and I am selling it on Fiverr, check it out here.

So How Can I Afford to be a Stay At Home Mom? Well really the question I have started asking myself this year is how can I afford NOT to be a stay at home mom?

We live our life only once. Our kids grow up so fast…. if I don’t take a leap of faith now I know I will regret it for the rest of my life!

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46 comments

  1. As long as you find peace in what you do. I think it’s absolutely ok to be a SAHM. I am one and I love it.

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hey Prerna

      It is the most important job we do in our lives! Don’t you also blog? How do you find that working out for you?

      • Lynne
        also give this affiliate site a try –
        they have plenty of local websites that need exposure and some of the banners you get paid per click that someone goes to check it out and others you get paid only when they make a purchase or register.
        I just signed with them recently and so far so good
        Unfortunately i havent had the courage yet to break ties with the security of employment although I have been thinking about it more and more lately and hopefully before next year Ill be good to go.
        http://office.affiliate.co.za/signup/6311

        • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

          Hi Rosetta

          Thanks, yes I signed up with them about a year ago but I have not really found anything exciting on their website I want to promote… I go and have a look every now and again but nothing shouts out to me.

          I have spoken to them about companies I want to promote that don’t offer affiliate programs and asked them to try and get them on board. I am waiting eagerly for them to get to that!

          They are lovely and open, very approachable which is great.

          Thanks for sharing your experience and giving me a tip! Always appreciated.

  2. Nicole Barkhuizen

    This is a very good article, actually so good I am in tears right now staring at my computer screen. My biggest wish is to be a SAHM (I guess this is most moms’ wish), but as life goes we need a second income. A day doesn’t go by that I wished I’d rather study something more “mom-friendly” (I studied engineering). Don’t get me wrong, I love the technical challenging aspect of my job, it’s just the lifestyle that gets to me. The deadlines, traffic (2-3hrs a day), immense work pressure, long working hours, peoples ego’s, retrenchments, the constant rush (I’m also always in a rush), but most of all the fact that I leave home so early in the mornings that I do not even get to see my son (now 15 months old) before he goes to crèche. And then in the evenings it’s a rush to get him fed, bathed and to bed, and still prepare a meal for my husband and myself. My husband is a great help with our son, but I just wish I had more time with him, especially at this age they grow up so fast and learn so many new things that I miss half of it and then on a weekend I see something he does and think “o wow, when did he learn to do this”. Thanks for this inspiring article. This definitely got me thinking about alternatives.

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Nicole

      Yes of course, I know the feeling and that is why I just decided to change everything while I still have the opportunity. If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to pop them down here.

      I’m glad I could help to inspire you. Being a mom is the most important job we will ever have and I am really starting to feel like I must put this first. Just like you said though, this will also come with challenges.

      I know exactly what you mean when your child comes home and has learned something new and it’s not something you taught. I remember the first moment when that happened with my daughter. I felt such a sense of loss because until that moment absolutely everything was something she started doing with me, usually something I had taught her.

  3. great site 🙂 you had a good idea choosing this niche and your information are very helpful. I am sure a lot of mums:) will love it and if they take in consideration your advice will be helped:) waiting for more and i will recommend it . thanks

  4. That’s a great list Lynne. Especially the about quitting smoking. My wife is 2 months into her cessation and I couldn’t be more proud. What a save financially and for her health. We recently cut our land line also. It’s amazing what you can save in a month going over every expense.
    I also struggle with the time it takes to build a business and blog. It does seem to take longer than an offline job at times.
    Personally I think you made a great decision to stay at home with your kids and work on your dream. You can do this and I know you will be successful. Never give up. All the best to you
    ~Peter

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Peter

      Thank you! Let your wife know that the smoking cessation journey will be rocky for a while. I found 3 weeks the worst time and even now 5 months down the line I am craving cigarettes. Well done to her, it is really hard.

  5. Hi Lynne,
    Great decision! Just the ones who try it can succeed.
    I did the same one year ago. I quit from a boring job that takes my time a minimum of 9 hours a day Monday to Saturday to try to make a living online and be able to stay more time with my little son.
    Business still didn’t give me a living, but I can take my little boy to the swimming pool every other morning and to the playground almost every afternoon.
    If you want my advice (I learned after making some mistakes), stay focus and concentrate on one or two things. Some activities that provide you a small income but take time from your main business.
    My best wishes.

    Carlos

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Carlos

      Thanks for the tips, I will need all the advice I can get from others that are in the industry so thank you for taking the time to share this with me.

      I have already noticed that trend. There are so many things that take up a huge amount of time but really amount to zero money in the end or so little it is not worth the amount of effort!

      Enjoy your son Carlos!

  6. What a great site! I also own my own business but I only work part time. 4 kids later and I am still doing it. I do love it but like you said, no one else can do it for me. We also got rid of the landline, grow veggies in the summer. Started blogging about a month ago and doing okay. I love this site and I would have loved to have something like this to go to when I was a young mom! Nice ideas!

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Kelly
      I hope the blogging is working nicely for you, I really enjoy it!
      Thanks for your compliments, it has taken a while to get this website to where I want it to be and now I am going to be changing it all over again! I love that you are already doing a whole lot of the things I suggest. It just goes to show that it works.

  7. What a great read!! And very encouraging. I’ve been hating going to wk everyday and missing out on my little boy growing up. I always thought or I guess wanted to be home with him at least the first 5 years but unfortunately due to financial reasons I had to work. But I have started a small business that has not quite picked up yet but being hopeful. I do handed stuff with wood, mosaics, tiles and I make delicious cupcakes.
    Reading your post has encouraged my to just perseve!
    Thank you!!
    Christina

  8. Hi Lynne,

    As a full-time SAHM mom, I can relate to the points that you have made. Unnecessary expenses have to be minimized (or even chopped off completely), cooking my own meals is almost a daily affair, doing online surveys (I wish I am more diligent in this, though) and recently I started blogging. I don’t have space for an outdoor garden as I live in a high-rise apartment, but if I have one, I will certainly learn to grow my own veggies as I cook a lot.

    I have yearned to return to the workforce for years but now I realize that money cannot buy back the lost time with my family if I work. So, there is a sacrifice being a SAHM for sure, but it will be worth it. Also, I do not want to look back and regret that I did not spend enough time with my kids and loved ones.

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Yvonne
      That’s it exactly, the time goes so fast and I don’t want to miss any special moments with my children! I see your website is souperdiaries.com which I had to go and stalk… I’m always after nice recipes to try out for my family. I’ll be honest I’ve never tried any Asian recipes before, those sweet and sour prawns look great! Best wishes for your blogging, I hope you find great success!

  9. I am not a mother, but I am a blogger.

    I can definitely relate to some of the suggestions you posted in this article.

    I have actually sold my own crafts in the past, although I never did think of trying to do home cooked meals and selling them.

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Ryan
      I know of a few people that have done this and they have done quite well. I know a good home cooked meal being prepared for my family is something I enjoy, especially when I don’t have to prepare it!

  10. Hi Lynne that was an amazing post. I’m glad you took that big step to work from home so you can spend more time with your children, they really do grow in the blink of an eye. I have two children as well and sometimes I wish time can slow down just a bit because I don’t want them to grow so fast. I love all the ideas you’ve given, especially the idea of starting your own lift club. Gas isn’t cheap in some places and there is nothing better than saving some extra money, especially if your doing the work from home kind of thing. Thank you so much for sharing your life story.

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Jaime
      It is a pleasure, and yes I’m sure that fuel and the cost of maintaining a vehicle is costly everywhere in the world… it not only saves money but a lot of time in the morning and afternoon which can be used to get a little more work in or housework!

  11. I definitely agree with you. I have 2 kids of my own, one that was just born in December so like you I have made some big changes to being a stay at home mom and have also made a few changes! As long as we are happy that is all that matters!

  12. Hey
    Well I came on linkin to check for updates on jobs lol
    So me and my hubby have just relocated to durban to start a new life due to me getting a job but things have been so stressful since and so much in change of life for our family.i was a stay at home mom for about 6 months but finacially it was terrible yet now that i am working our lives have some what gotten worse than before .hubby has decided that its best we move back to our home town again and me be at a stay at home mum again.i have felt alot of guilt watching my 7 year old son in grade to having to do hime work at half 7 and be so sleepy half way through his home work and still having to wait up to eat dinner before hitting the bed.it is a big step to have your wide being a stay at home mum with the father being the provider.The leasson i just learnt from reading this now is that nothing is impossible if as a family we work together in making it work through the points that you have listed and well life ia always a changing thing.A big thank you for this and i really hope to read more about inspiring things from your blogs.

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Chantel

      I’m so sorry to hear that things have been stressful, I think that every family goes through their tough patches, but like you say it is about pulling together and working together to make things better when things get tough that counts.

      I hope to be able to inspire you in the future, I certainly plan on bringing some great posts out in future!

  13. Lynne,

    Beautiful sentiments. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you are doing this.

    I’m a “stay at home dad” and my wife is a “stay at home mom”.

    Our kids have been very lucky that for the last 10 years this has been our reality. However, our affinity was tested because over time, even though I worked at home, I became obsessed with work.

    The only thing that mattered was trying to make the business hum! The cost, 4 years where I can’t tell you what happened with the most important people of my life.

    It’s cool though, because that experience became an effervescent lesson and caused the flavor of those things that are truly most dear to be truly appreciated.

    I wish you 3500 days of good fortune and based on this very well written post, I’m certain you’ll enjoy at least that much and more!

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Jack

      It is not the little mistakes along the way that matter most, it is how we deal with them and learn from them that really count! It sounds to me like you worked too hard, became obsessed with work and suffered the consequences… then made some changes to your life. This is what it is all about and what counts.

      Congrats on being a stay at home dad, your kids truly are lucky having both parents close!

  14. Thank you for all the ideas and sharing what you’re doing! I find it so inspiring that you’re just going for it! Hooray for leaps of faith!! xo

  15. This is a great article! I am glad you are able to do exactly what you want. I too am a sahm and have just launched a blog in hopes that in time it can be a source of income for my family!

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Lauren
      Congrats on taking the leap to start your own blog, that is awesome! You should really check out my other website, which is about making money online 🙂 You will find great tips and tools to get your website ranked there 🙂 Smallonlinebusinessopportunity.com

      You can also grab my free eBook there. Let me know if you need any help with anything, I’ve been blogging for a good few years now so I might be able to give you a hand!

  16. Thanks for this article Lynne. I’m a stay-at-home mom for 5 months now due to my pregnancy and thank God we still have savings right now for the expenses. However, I am almost on my due date and I am pretty sure having a new baby will use up all our savings. My husband’s working but still not enough. I am really hoping I can get money from our 7-month-old blog soon. As for your advice about crafts, I run online business selling my work but you’re right, it requires lots of time so I might not be able to continue working on it even months after I deliver my baby.

  17. Hiya,

    Well done and good on you for taking that leap!!!!
    I am too scared to do that, we have so many expenses we can’t cut out right now so being a SAHM isn’t an option for me right now. ?

    I am certainly feeling inspired though and I would like to thank you for that!

    Sindie

  18. Ek het eers vreeslik skuldig gevoel dat ek by die huis Bly. Veral noudat my dogtertjie nog kleuterskool toe gaan maar ek sien duidelik die verskil in my kind. Geen bediende, en my huis is my trots. Geen tuinwerker en my groente groei mooi. My man kom elke aand by die huis en kry n ordentelike bord kos. Ek nooi sy kollegas ook vir etes en dit help hom besigheids gewys. My grootste bydrae is die feit dat ek tyd het om letterlik al ons klere, kos, skoonmaakmiddels op special te Koop. Checkers se reduced, woolworths se R50 sale.. Mens spaar so baie!! Ek sny uit op luxuries soos on my hare en naels te laat doen. Ek doen dit sommer self 🙂 mens moet onsettend dankbaar wees as jy n tuisbly ma kan wees en ophou worry as iemand vra wat doen jy heeldag. My antwoord deesdae is kyk net tv en le 😉 want ek en my man weet wat ek doen en hoe baie dit vir ons dogtertjie beteken!

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Hi Danielle

      You have summed it up perfectly. What I am finding is that time goes so fast. I’ve had my kids home in the afternoons now for about 4 months now and it feels like just yesterday I decided to make the change. I am so grateful that I did this, I have no regrets. Yes it is not always easy and I am struggling to find the time to get everything done that I need to… but it is all worth it isn’t it?

      Thanks for sharing your tips! Lovely that your are growing veggies too. We’ve just done our first veggie pots on the weekend! Looking forward to our first crops!

  19. Wow Lynne, this was a great post, it totally resonated with me. You totally get me!! Haha. I was interested in certain products, but so scared to start manufacturing or even retailing because I was scared it would take so much of my time away from my kids!! I had them in playschool till 5pm for about 8 months after i gave birth to no.3, and I felt so guilty. Now they are all at home with me. (aged 5, 4 and 1) I have started a blog, and am with them most of the time except for 2 hours per week, i teach out of the house. I have many crazy ideas, that I hope I can slowly monetize one by one : )

    • Profile gravatar of Lynne Huysamen

      Congrats Natasha 🙂 That is great and yes I can see exactly how my post resonated with you.

      Crazy ideas are great, they get noticed. Are you on Youtube yet? I have found this really beneficial not just because it creates more engagement and conversions but hey you can also monetize your channel.

      Check out my other website which is focused around online marketing which might help you with reaching a wider audience and helping you rankings. When you start working online the sky is the limit to what you can do. Creativity pays out big time.

  20. I fully support SAHM. This is why I founded Career Mums Club.
    I wish to help more mothers out there with young kids to achieve their dream to be SAHM so that they can spend quality time with the family and children.
    Drop me a message and I am willing to share.

  21. I would love to be a stay at home mom but with hubby studying full time i will have to go back even if i cut all these expenses.
    The baby alone takes R2000 a month

  22. Profile gravatar of Nonhlanhla

    Good ideas only when you willing to follow the steps

  23. Profile gravatar of vhutshilo

    I would like to stay home but the expenses are too much and I don’t believe in getting everything for free from hubby i like to contribute but I need some rest also so I will be looking on those tips and see what could help

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