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Stay at Home Mums

At Home Mums




One of the questions to ask yourself when you first make the stay at home decision is whether you and your partner can afford it. In my section on Staying at Home, I have included Budgeting, and provided a Budget Template to get you started.

In this section we are looking a bit more at the practicalities. Let's assume you are an at home mum and you have decided you spend too much money. What can you do to cut the budget??

Here are some practical suggestions. If you have any more you think I should add, email me at

  • never buy nappies full price. There is pretty much always a nappy sale on somewhere. Don't just look at the supermarket. Also check out kmart, target, toys r us and your local bulk buy chemist or baby store. The only danger is, you bulk buy and baby then grows out of the nappies before you've used them all!
  • cut out some of the treats and put that money aside for later. This might help your diet aswell!
  • if you buy the kids treats when you are out, try and plan in advance. It's cheaper to take some chocolate biscuits with you, or have mini juices or drinks from the supermarket, than to buy from a cafe, and in my experience, the kids are just as happy.
  • we also have ice cream in the freezer at home, and I buy mini ice cream cones which the children love. They get a very small ice cream, but none of it's wasted. If we buy ice creams out, we inevitably leave a lot of it.
  • make bulk dinners and freeze
  • try not to waste food by planning the week's meals ahead of time. This sounds very boring and far too organised, but if you write down what you're going to eat each day and what you need for that meal, then you will shop efficiently and you should avoid having food in the fridge that goes off before you use it.
  • look at free activities for the kids. There is a lot of pressure to have the children enrolled in various classes from about 6 months. Admittedly it's a good way to meet people, it helps structure the day, and it generally wears them out a bit, which is always a good thing! But the cost of these things add up
  • try a picnic instead of dinner out
  • join the RSL club. They do reasonably priced meals out and cater for the kids, often with a play area as well.
  • buy second hand not full price
  • borrow toys from a toy library
  • get videos and DVDs from the library rather than the DVD store. Our local library lends them for free, and although there is a limited selection, the kids are happy with the same ones again and again, so it's not a problem.
  • If you do go to the DVD store, see if there's one that has a special deal. Our local store does all DVDs for $1.95 on a Tuesday
  • look for specials at the supermarket
  • get the kids to wash the car with you – it’ll be messy but it’ll be fun. Perhaps just go to the car wash once a year for the full wash and blow dry

There’s some bigger things too:

  • Is your mortgage too big, should you downsize?
  • Do you choose the lifestyle or the house size?
  • Do you want holidays with the children (personally we live in a beautiful part of Sydney and have found holidays at home can be fun) Holidays at home means you don’t do things like look at wills or insurance – have days out, take picnics, go to the beach, have dinner out, eat ice creams.
  • Do you want the children to go to private school or public school?

If you can, be careful what you cut back. You want to be a happy mum, and if it’s that 10 minutes with a hot chocolate at the shopping centre while the children have a ride on the roundabout, that helps you get through the day, then that should not be the thing to go.

For me, I have a certain level of guilt about the cleaner and the $75 I spend once a fortnight, but I weigh that up against the stress of trying to get the cleaning done myself, (I struggle to remember the last time I changed the sheets..) and the potential arguments with the other half, who's dirt and mess tolerance is higher than mine, and the cleaner stays. In fact I’d recommend to any new mum that they get a cleaner. It is a hard enough job trying to keep the place tidy, let alone spotless. And you'll be continually mopping up after everyone anyway. Milk spots as the baby waves his cup around, food all over the floor, bathroom floor mopped up every day after the bath, picking up food, paint, glitter etc off the floor

Can you make a bit of cash?

Maybe not full on work from home, but
- sell some toys – use ebay, have a garage sale, join in a car boot sale
- get the kids to join in
- have them choose which things they don’t need
- when you buy something new, sell something
- good for de-cluttering as well






More Practical Help:


You probably have home or contents insurance or car insurance, but what about Life Insurance or Income Protection Insurance? If you're an at home mum or working part time, there is probably one main income earner. If anything happened to them, how would you survive financially? (more)

Making a Will

Everyone over the age of 18 should have a will, but now that you have children it is even more important. You want to be able to say what happens to them if you are not around, and to make sure they are cared for emotionally and financially. (more)



Just because you are not working full time anymore, doesn't mean you should be ignoring your superannuation. There are couple of things you should be aware of that could help with those retirement savings even while the kids are small. (more)

Saving for your Child's Education

The cost of education is going to be one of the main expenses going forward. In order to reduce the burden of education costs, you can look at the options for starting to save right now. (more)

Government Benefits

Are you aware of the Government benefits for families and what your entitlements are now you have children, even if your partner earns a decent income? (more)



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