This isn’t one of those, “15 jobs you can do from home posts.” I think those are great, I think Etsy is a fantastic way for women to be “momprenuers”, and I am extremely blessed to have a very part time flexible job I can do from the comfort of my family room. However not everyone has a talent to craft and sell, have access to a part time job, or has the desire to work part time while having a full time mom job. Instead this is a post about some things you can do to make money by saving money. I’m sure these are all out there somewhere on the internet, but I thought I’d share some of the ways I have found to stretch the budget. We subscribe to the old philosophy that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” So here are some ways you can earn pennies by saving them.
Hang dry all your clothes. Yes, it will take you an extra 20 minutes or so, but in the long run it will make you money, I promise. I have hung dry all my girl’s clothes besides pajamas and I have been able to sell a lot of them for good prices because although we wore them quite a bit we never dried them so many look like new. Also hang all your clothes. They will last much longer, they fit better, and just look so much nicer.
Sell your clothes regularly. If you haven’t worn something in a year or two, sell it. If you don’t plan to have more kids in the near future (2 to 3 years) and you’ve already gotten a couple kid’s use out of items, sell them. This is a radical piece of advice, I know, but you will get more money for items if they are not out of date. The way I look at my kids clothes is; if I buy them used in the first place and I consign them after two kids I will basically only have spent a couple dollars on each outfit. I keep my absolute favorites and I keep pretty much all of my GAP and POLO clothes because they are pretty timeless. Just this week I listed some of my old dresses, Ellery’s first Easter dress, a necklace, and a couple pairs of jeans on our local Facebook Garage Sale site and just like that I made $100. Literally $100 in the matter of about 15 hours (an hour of work maybe). And every one of these items I hadn’t worn ever, or since before Ellery.
Unsubscribe to temptation. We gave up spending for Lent….you wouldn’t believe how much money we’ve been able to put on our student loans this month. I didn’t think I spent much money to be honest. I’m a very frugal person in general, but then I see a cute pair of shoes for Ellery or a sweet outfit for my Vaughn and just like that I’ve spent completely unnecessary money. I also find that opening e-mail advertisements make me think I NEED this or that and honestly I have everything we need for the next few months (besides a pair of shoes for Ellery in the next size….but she can wait to get those until after Easter). So I started not opening e-mails from stores that I like and unsubscribed to a lot of them. I once heard a woman say she was completely satisfied with her stay at home motherhood until she went to the mall, and then she saw everything she had to sacrifice to stay home, she quit going to the mall, problem solved.
Cook Your Meals. Holy cow, eating out is expensive. A Jimmy John’s sandwich is between $6 and $10 (doesn’t mean I still don’t get them on occasion). I can bake homemade bread for a MONTH for the cost of one sub. I don’t like to cook, but Pinterest has been very helpful, and seeing how much money I can save our family by making our meals is very motivating. We could EASILY spend $150 a month on eating out and that did not include any dates, so that money just disappeared without any kind of planning. I think about how much we are willing to spend on food out and how ludicrous that would seem if we saw that price at a grocery store. Even buying a banana at Starbucks is like a $1. You can buy a bunch, literally, of bananas for $1. Another way I cut down on things like spending $1 on a banana is carrying snacks in my bag. I make poor money choices when I am hungry. When the girls and I are out running errands instead of driving through some place, I whip out some snacks. $5 here and there adds up very quickly.
Cloth Diapers. If you are willing, I would do cloth diapers. My size small set of cloth diapers is still in REALLY good condition. Granted you only use that size until they are like 10 weeks old, but still I could use them on two more kids and they would still be great. I was able to replace the velcro on my medium gdiapers for free (they give you a set of replacements for free if you request them) and new plastic pants are only $22 for 6 (they last 100 washes each) so if I was REALLY diligent with diapers, which I’m not, at this point into baby #2 I could have only spent about $35 total for the 6 new rubber pants and one bag of diaper detergent. When babies go through 12 diapers a day at first you could spend that in the first week or two! Also to extend the life of your diapers you should line dry the outsides.
If you are looking into whether or not you can afford to be a stay at home mom I encourage you to really consider it. I know not everyone wants to stay home, but if that is your heart’s desire, I seriously recommend not letting the money aspect stop you. You will have to make sacrifices, but for us it’s been worth it.