Being a stay at home mom has a lot of benefits. The big one is being there for your kids. But it also has a lot of disadvantages, of which the biggest is usually living on a single income. The financial stress can be tremendous.
This naturally leads to wanting to live a frugal life. But just what is a frugal lifestyle, and how important should it be to you?
Just what is a frugal lifestyle?
How Do You Define Frugal?
Everyone has a slightly different idea as to just what constitutes a frugal lifestyle. Most people don’t mean a lifestyle where they go to extremes, denying themselves all extras and most simple comforts in life. It’s also not about living as though you’re poor or completely broke.
A healthy frugal lifestyle will be comfortable for your family.
A healthy frugal lifestyle will be comfortable for your family. You shouldn’t feel completely deprived all the time. You should have different things that are priorities for you, such as preferring to take a family walk to spending $50 or more for a family night at the movie theater.
Frugal Isn’t the Same as Cheap
It’s easy to think of frugality and cheapness as the same thing. They do have similar motivations in some respects. But when you really look at them, they are not the same thing at all. I consider frugality to be more deliberate.
When you’re being cheap, quality isn’t a consideration, as a general rule. You buy the cheapest. You decline to spend money even where you should.
When you’re frugal, you’re making more deliberate decisions about how you will spend your money. Sometimes you’ll pay more for quality, because it will cost you less in the long run. You’ll have thought out your priorities.
Frugality for Stay at Home Moms
How frugal you need to be when you’re staying at home depends on the needs of your family and what your family’s income is like. Some will need to take extreme steps. For others, simpler steps will be enough.
The advantage you have is time.
The advantage you have is time. You have the time to do frugal basics such as cooking nearly all meals at home. You have the time to do coupon clipping. These simple frugal activites can make a big difference.
Whatever choices you make when it comes to living your frugal lifestyle, there are a few basics you should always include:
- Living within your means
- Bringing down any existing debt
- Limiting waste
- Knowing your priorities and sticking to them.
There’s no simple frugal path that leads to comfort with a change in your lifestyle. It’s quite likely that some of the changes you make will be a little uncomfortable for you at first. If they’re important enough to you, you will become comfortable with the changes in a short time. It’s much easier to be frugal if you don’t feel as though you’re denying a lot of wants.