It’s time to continue with my SAHM series. Being a SAHM has kept me busy, so busy, that it’s taken me awhile to write about these experiences. I am learning so much that I don’t want to forget – and that I want to share with others.
After you’ve made the decision to be a stay at home Mom, you need to plan ahead. For some, this planning takes place over a number of years. While for others, it is a matter of months or only weeks. As much as you are able, plan ahead to be a SAHM.
My husband and I made the decision early on that I was going to stay at home with our children. We had almost 5 years together as a married couple before our son was born. During that time, we lived frugally, paid off our debt and saved for retirement. We are two responsible individuals. Still, I occasionally find myself wondering if we could have done more.
We had cable for a time. We took vacations. We went out to eat. We did a couple of major house projects (although spending several thousand dollars as a result of flooding to our newly finished basement wasn’t the most fun of those projects). We paid off my husband’s college loans but still have part of one last loan remaining on our Tahoe. We were more frugal than some but not as frugal as others. Could we have done more? Yes. Did we still do a lot? Yes. Do I regret our choices during that time before our son was born? No.
We bought our house knowing that it was a house we could afford on one salary. This was one of the most important aspects of our planning ahead. We worked hard at paying down our debt, and our remaining car debt should be gone within the year. This was also important in our planning ahead journey. We saved for retirement, knowing that this would be much harder to do once I stayed home. Right now, I’m not contributing to my Roth but I can let it sit there and accumulate interest. These were personal financial decisions that we made as we planned ahead.
It is important to plan ahead financially so when you transition to one salary, you have less financial burdens that constrict you. Pay down as much debt as you possibly can and start living on one salary, if you are able. We didn’t do this to a full extent but partially as we used my salary to do home projects, invest in retirement and pay down debt. While finances are one of the most important areas in which to plan ahead, I also believe you should plan ahead in other aspects of your life.
Start now learning how to be a good homemaker. Spend time with children and gain experience for the day when you have a child of your own. I was a teacher (and an early childhood one at that) so spent lots of time with young children. I am very grateful for those years of experience! Most importantly, pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as you plan to be a stay at home mom.
In what other ways did you plan ahead? Any advice to share with those Moms who are just starting to plan ahead?