The decision to stay at home with your kiddo is a tough one… especially if finances are a concern. I knew that when the day came to have children I would want to stay at home, but wasn’t sure what my place would be in life, who my baby’s daddy would be, and therefore, if my pretend husband’s finances would afford me the opportunity to be a stay at home mommy. When Wesley and I found out we were expecting I had 2 of the 3 factors determined… I knew who my baby’s daddy was and I knew his finances. We never discussed daycare versus me staying at home during my pregnancy. It was really just a given that I would go back to work. It wasn’t until we met Lincoln for the first time that I knew there was no way I could go back to work. He was just too tiny and he was ours and there was NO WAY someone else was going to be able to love my son the way that I knew I could and would.

I knew I had to get creative in my approach to Wesley about my plans. So here’s our story about how I’ve been able to stay at home with my son for the past 14 months, how we were able to financially make it work by cutting corners, and some easy things to do if you’re contemplating staying at home or just want to save some money.

I knew my first 3 months after having Lincoln were taken care of by money I had saved during my pregnancy and my maternity leave from my previous employer. As I started to near the end of my 3 months maternity leave I began to panic. Wesley was okay with me not going back to the corporate world as long as I was able to find some source of income. So I decided to look to and seek out a family that would be okay with me watching my son and their child. A fabulous family reached out to me who had a son (Luke) that was only 6 months older than Lincoln and it was truly a perfect fit. I was able to be with my son while he was making dramatic changes daily and I was able to contribute financially to our household by watching Luke. I did that for about 3 months, but it was extremely challenging to watch 2 children under the age of 1.

After a few months of being a nanny, Wesley was able to see how emotionally and mentally drained I was so he told me to take a few months of enjoying just our son at home. Obviously I was elated to officially be a stay at home mommy! Money was still a factor and concern so I started selling clothes, sunglasses, and purses on Ebay as a way to bring in some extra money. In addition, we switched to cloth diapers and I started making my own baby food. These 2 things alone were a HUGE savings! After 6 months of disposable diapering we had spent more than $480. We spent only $200 on our entire stock of FuzziBunz cloth diapers that will easily last through the end of Lincoln’s diaper days and hopefully through future babies as well. And by my $480 6 month estimation, we would have easily spent close to $3,000 on disposable diapers until he turned 3…let’s face it, some boys take longer to potty train. The math proved to be a huge savings on the baby food as well. It wasn’t astronomical, but every bit of savings was beneficial to us. I gotta say, it took me a while to master pureeing my own food and was a bit messy from time to time… especially the explosion of peas…but the savings have been worth it. And yes, this is a terribly embarrassing photograph of me.

After a few months of me staying at home solo with Lincoln, Wesley got used to the finances being as they were and began to fully embrace me being at home. In fact, he loves having us waiting for him in the driveway everyday when he pulls up to the house. I think it brings him joy being able to provide for his family and making me happy at the same time. Staying at home can definitely be a strain on the finances, but if you are creative in saving money and finding unique ways to bring in money the rewards are so much greater than the strains it puts on finances. I have definitely had to make sacrifices…no more pedicures, no happy hours, and definitely no random dinners out; however, I found the Ped Egg for my feet, I have my girlfriends over for Vino that just so happens to be in a box (Big savings there! $14.99 for Bota Box Wine, which equals 4 bottles!), and I have became an excellent chef! So you too can save money while staying at home… you just have to find what works for you!



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      • I get either Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz… both are great! Like I always tell people, if you drink an expensive bottle and then try the Bota Box right after it may not measure up, but if you go straight to the Bota Box it tastes like wine and does the “trick” .

  1. Hey Alison- what a cute blog! : ) I’ve heard good and bad about the cloth diapers because I have been going back and forth as whether or not to use disposables. I have already bought disposables for the first month or two but am already seeing how quickly it can add up. I heard that with the constant need of washing the cloths that it tends to equal out, what do you think?

    • Hey Michelle! We have an HE washing machine that uses minimal water and you don’t have to use much soap since it’s a small load. I think disposable diapers is the way to go for the first couple of months. Even though the brand I use claims they will work for a 5 lb baby, I would still worry about fit and leakage. Once your baby is more in the 8-10 lb range I think they would be a great choice! The diapers are definitely messy until the baby starts on solids, but we’ve seen a huge savings. Personally, I’m always on a tight grocery budget and if my bi-weekly grocery shopping had to include $25 or more worth of diapers, I would have to give somewhere in the food department. We still keep disposables on hand for when we are traveling or sometimes for overnight, but if you’re a stay at home mom, cloth is so easy to deal with and it’s nice to pass up the diaper section in the grocery store. I hope that helps you with a decision!

  2. Allison, i LOVED your blog about staying at home! it touched very close to home with me also, i made the decision to not return to corporate america and great opportunities of medical sales jobs to stay with soon as i saw him for the 1st time i knew i could never leave him!! finances were and are still very tricky for us but praise God we are slowly making it work.. i make my own baby food too and i am still nursing him and that has saved a bunch!! i loved your peas story that happened to me but with blueberries, and they stain when they hit stuff fyi lol! while it is a drastic adjustment for us in regards to spending im sure that all the sacrifices we are making now will be worth it when i can look back and remember that i was there for his 1st steps, 1st crawling moments and all the other things that i can enjoy! i started up my own spray tan business to help with bills so we are hoping that it works out for us. its great to know that we are not alone in this wonderful journey of the stay at home mommy!!

    • Nicole, thanks for the blog love! Yes, staying at home is a huge sacrifice but one so worth making. I’m happy you’re able to do the same and that your family has found a balance in order to make it work. I was so sad to part ways with my collection of “things”, but I quickly realized they were just that… things! I’m sure you’re tanning business will be successful especially come pageant season! Hugs!

  3. You are such a doll Allison!! I loved spending time & getting to know you better the other night for Shailenes Birthday! You crack me up :)!!! I’m totally gonna try the box wine now heehee!!


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