Being a stay at home mom or homemaker is a job. Taking care of your home and children is a lot of work. If you decide to work outside of the house or have a career and work from home, you now have TWO full-time jobs.
Today, I’m going to focus on the at-home job. Here are some financial tips and ways to save money as a housewife and stay at home moms.
One of your responsibilities might be to manage the finances. It is for me. And so when it comes to making ends meet or saving money, it can come down to where that money is being spent. There might be room for improvement and ways to make those dollars stretch a little bit further.
My Husband Makes All The Money
I understand. I was once there. When my boys were little, this was me. I was very grateful to be able to stay at home with those babies and take care of our home.
But, when you hear someone talk about their money, meaning they earned it and worked hard for that money, it gives you a sense of determination to make sure that money goes as far as it can to make the life that you both want.
My husband made all of the money for years until both my boys went to school. Then, I went back to teaching part-time. So I understand the struggles.
Here is a big old list of things we, as CEO’s of our home, can focus on to make those hours that our husbands are away earning money serve us.
Now, before we go on, I’m talking about traditional roles. But these ideas can apply to whatever your values and roles in a home are. These are money-saving financial tips for homemakers that anyone can get value from. I’m speaking from my point of view and what I know.
How To Manage Joint Finances
Communication is critical when being on the same page financially. You must know where each of you stands with money. Who’s better with all the numbers? Who is better at making sure bills are paid on time? Are your finances and debt a priority?
Sit down and plan your finances together. Designate all of these tasks, and each person needs to know where the money is going.
Set Goals Together
Long term goals and short term goals are equally important. Make sure these goals include money goals like saving for a Disney Vacation in the fall and Retirement goals.
These could also include career goals and dreams for the future. If you want information about goal setting, check out this post.
Know Each Others Money Mindset
Understand Each Others Money Mindset. If you understand where teach others’ thoughts and feelings come from, then you will know how to relate and empathize with those ideas.
I am frugal. My mom and grammy were also frugal. I was taught and shown never to pay full price and always search out a bargain.
Understand your money mindset
Otherwise, no amount of financial tips for homemakers will help you reach your money goals.
If your spouse grew up with parents that always spent money and fought about it all the time, their money mindset might be unpleasant.
If their ex-wife was a spender who had to have the best of everything and put it all on credit cards, their mindset about credit cards might be negative.
Decide On Blow Money
Each person should have a little bit of cash to be able to spend on whatever it is that they chose each week. You can call it a wife’s allowance or husband’s allowance. We call it “blow money.”
The amount can be whatever you decide: $20, $40, $100. It can be used to go out to lunch with friends or coworkers, out for GNO or to watch the game and have a beer, or just coffee at Starbucks while grocery shopping or a Target run.
No questions asked, but when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Tracking your spending is a great tool to see where your money is going. An excellent budgeting tool to show where the money is being spent, so one knows how much to designate to a specific category.
Create A Budget
This is a challenge at first, and nobody is perfect, but a reasonable attempt is so much better than no attempt. As you continue to use your budget and allow for tweaks, you will get better.
But, don’t stop using budgeting tools. You might think you don’t need the app or the budget printables, so you stop using them, but you will soon find out that it all goes down the tubes fast.
Raise your hand if you know what I’m saying here!
Understand Health Insurance
Decide which plan is best for you. Do your research and understand that anything medical is not cheap. From glasses to significant surgery, know what your insurance covers and how much needs to be paid out of pocket.
Make sure that money is set aside in an emergency fund or special medical fund. So many people find themselves buried in medical debt.
Keep putting money away for retirement. Even if its 1%. Don’t stop. Utilize your husband’s 401K if offered. Otherwise, educate yourself in IRA’s and growth stock mutual funds.
Online Savings Account
It’s the best and easiest way to save money automatically. Every payday, money comes out of our main checking account, and I don’t pay too much attention to it.
Soon enough, you could have an emergency fund, a home improvement fund, or anything that you have decided you want to save for. Here is my blog post about it.
Pay Off Debt
I never imagined what a drain on my emotional well-being debt actually was. There is an absolute calm that you live with when all debt is paid off.
Work together on this and get super excited about where you could be if you didn’t owe anyone anything. There are so many theories on how to become debt-free, including my own, here.
Financial Tips For Homemakers
Around The House
We are the keepers of the home, and with the popularity of Pinterest, there are people out there who can help us with everything. From cake decorating to budgeting. The internet has you covered. There are places to save all-around your house.
Cook Frugal Meals
It is possible to cook cheap and healthy meals. You might not have the money to shop 100% organic in this season of life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do the best you can to give your family nutritious and tasty meals on a budget.
Sometimes there’s a place for dirt cheap meals.
Stay On Top Of Expenses
This includes the cost of cable/internet, car insurance, homeowners insurance, electricity, and cell phones. Make phone calls and negotiate the prices on these things at least once per year.
Shop around for economic alternatives when necessary. Different cell phone providers or cutting cable all together would be more extreme, but its an option.
Make Your Cleaners
There are a bazillion ideas on the internet for homemade non-toxic cleaners that you can make with items you might already have in your house. Here are mine – including wood polish and leather cleaner. Stop buying all of those cleaners that you don’t need.
Heating And Cooling
Pay attention to the comfort of your home. Could you turn down the furnace two degrees and put on socks and a sweater? Could you be alright with the air conditioners set on 75 during the day? Or even 78? How far could you push it?
Unplug things that are not in use. Turn off the lights during the day. Switch to LED light bulbs. Phantom power is a real thing, and you are paying for all those appliances, electronics, and chargers that are not being used.
According to How Stuff Works, phantom power can account for as much as 10% of household electricity.
Really. Do it yourself. Car oil needs to be changed. The shirt needs to be sewn. The lawn needs to be mowed. The kitchen sink has a drip. We live in an age where knowledge is at our fingertips.
We can learn to do just about anything with the help of Youtube. Save money and do it all yourself.
Thrifty Shopping to Save Money as a Homemaker
This can be a huge budget buster for me. If I don’t meal plan and shop carefully sticking to my list, I can fall into the food trap of grabbing things I didn’t plan for.
Also, sometimes the convenience of shopping at a higher-end store like Hannaford where I can order my groceries online and just pick them up (or DELIVER!) sounds amazing, but there is a price for that.
I can spend $75 to $100 more than just going to Aldi, renting a cart, walking through the aisles, bagging my groceries, and bringing them to my car. Yes, it’s going to be more work. But as my husband says, we have more time than money!
Consider once a month grocery shopping.
Stay Out Of Target
I’m so guilty of this. I plan on one trip to Target per month. I have a printable of the things I usually buy
there and a budget of $80 per month. This might be my greatest financial tip for all homemakers.
When I go, I get a coffee and take my time. I browse through everything and get only what I need. There may be other items I need that month like a new rug for in front of the door or fresh bath towels.
But those items are budgeted for. There are no spontaneous splurges.
And I try hard only to go in once a month.
Let’s go back to Target. Use their app to save some money potentially. There are other great apps like Fetch and Ibotta. I use both.
Also, stores like Dollar General, Family Dollar, CVS, and Walgreens make it so easy to get coupons and deals in their stores are a dew more easy ways to save money as a housewife.
Take Advantages Of Coupons
I’m not a fan of coupons, but if you have time and love a good game, check out my blog post all about couponing.
Most of us in this house are done growing. Some of us might be shrinking. Clothing is something we all need, and when you have littles, you will need it more often.
Facebook Marketplace is a GREAT way to get children’s clothes. They don’t wear them that long so that they will be in great shape most of the time. And at a fraction of the cost of brand new, its a win!
I went to visit my mom last week, and she has a store called Savers. It’s like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. For $25, I got two shirts, a coat, a glass water pitcher, and a book.
All clothes were name brand and on shirt still had the tags on it -priced more than what I paid for all of it.
This works for grocery stores for online shopping. Sometimes Amazon can have it cheaper than Target. Sometimes Walmart will be more expensive than those fancier grocery stores.
If you know how much you usually spend on American Cheese, then you know a deal when you see one.
Shop With Intention.
Know why you are at the store, be mindful, and get what you need. Shop with blinders on.
Basic Money Saving Tips For Homemakers
Think Ahead On Transportation
You know that like gas needs to be refilled, registrations come due, brakes wear out, and oil changes must happen.
You also understand that at a specific time, cars will need to be replaced. Plan accordingly for all of these expenses. I have a sinking fund for transportation because it will be needed. Not if, but when.
When you have a lot going on, it is easy to forget things. Stay organized, whether this is an app, a binder, a planner, or sticky notes all over the refrigerator.
It is vital to have a clear picture. Knowing when bills are due will save money as a homemaker and save on late fees. Knowing there is a birthday party coming in two weeks will allow you to grab a gift bag at the Dollar Tree instead of Wallgreens.
Specifically, pay attention to areas of overspending. Where are your weak spots? Are you lonely, so you take the littles to Target to interact with other adults? Find a MOPS Group.
When you get tired, do you find refuge in online shopping on your phone? Unsubscribe to those shopping emails and try Candy Crush or Tik Tok (not just for teens anymore).
Know what your weaknesses are and practice redirecting when you get the urge to spend. This is an excellent mindset financial tip for homemakers.
Understand Want Vs. Need
I like to keep a notebook or list on my phone of all the things I want. This way, I can decide whether I really want it and then find the best price.
I did that with my coffee maker. I wanted this auto-drip coffee maker. I waited for MONTHS to find a good sale. It wasn’t a need because we had one that was just fine.
It was a Keurig, and it cost us a lot more than I wanted to spend in K Cups, but it worked. So I waited. Had that one broke, it would have quickly turned into a need…more or less.
Keep Your Health
Stay healthy. Brush your teeth to avoid cavities. Eat your veggies to protect that immune system. Drink your water, take your vitamins, and wash your hands. Avoid the cost of cold medicines and going to the Dr as much as you can.
Avoid Restaurants And Take Out
Plan and cook from scratch. Now…disclaimer. If a frozen Stouffers Lasagna or a couple of frozen pizzas are going to save you from ordering delivery, then go for it! $15 is better than $40. But know that made from scratch pizza is so cheap!!!
Always Research Everything
From the cost of the cable to a new vacuum. Make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Even Birthday Cards can be purchased cheaper at the Dollar Tree than Target. Know this information.
Consider A Side Hustle
If your financial goals are more significant than just the concept of saving money as a homemaker can give you, then it’s time to make some money.
There are oodles of ways to make money in the information era. From going to garage sales or getting extreme deals online and then reselling them in an online shop or Facebook to babysitting or blogging. The possibilities are endless.
Final thoughts on how to save money as a homemaker
Can a homemaker save money?
In my experience, you betcha!!! You have all the resources you need with you every day. You are the keeper, the CEO, the queen of your home, and saving money is your game.
Keep it honest and intentional and these financial tips for homemakers will serve you in your money goals.