The value of being a stay at home parent is obvious for both partners in a relationship where one person is working. The parent at home can take care of the children, make sure the house is in order, take care of grocery shopping, laundry, and other household chores so being a stay at home parent is anything but an easy job. However, there are some other added benefits to being a stay at home parent when you look at it from a financial angle. Not only are you saving money by taking care of household chores yourself, but there are unexpected ways that you can save money too. Read on for my top 5 ways to save extra cash when you’re a stay at home parent.
1. No Commuting!
If you’re lucky and live near good public transit you might be able to eliminate one vehicle from your household since you no longer have to commute. On top of that you no longer have to pay staggeringly high prices for gas, maintenance, and insurance every month. Being able to avoid spending an hour or more each way to work every day also gives you more time to take care of other odd jobs at home or spend quality time with your family. If you can manage to drop one car from your life you’ll be shocked at how much money you can save.
2. Wrangling Your Budget
When you’re working all day long and then come home to deal with your other tasks around the house while trying to squeeze in quality time with your family there is little time or motivation left to dig through your expenses and figure out how much you’re spending and on what. With the extra time at home you can find space in your day to take a deep dive into your family expenses and you can discover ways that you might be overspending, areas you should spend more on, and ways to save money every month.
3. Meals and Cooking
Going out to lunch at work is a small daily expense that adds up quick. It’s not uncommon for me to go grab a bite to eat and bring it back to my desk 2 to 3 times a week and then go out for lunch with a coworker one more day per week. All in I’m probably spending $45-50 a week on lunches. Being able to make your own lunch at home can save you a ton of money. Your average lunch cost for making a meal at home is anywhere from $1.50-$5 so that’s like saving at least 50% on your lunch costs every week!
4. Work Clothes
For many professions you not only have to wear nicer clothes, but you have to maintain them. Obviously we all want to look our best at work and so we end up buying new clothes not only to replace pieces that are worn out but also to stay fashionable and on top of trends. When you’re staying home there is much less pressure to dress up and you can wear less expensive clothes and may even be able to sell some of your work clothes second hand as you transition to a more casual wardrobe. Add in extra savings by avoiding expensive dry cleaning bills and you’re saving quite a bit.
5. Daycare Expenses
This is an obvious one but if you take the time to add up the true savings of not having to use daycare every workday you’ll see significant amounts of money begin to pile up. Even if you need to work part time from home or choose to enroll your child in pre-school for a few hours a week you are likely to save hundreds or even over a thousand dollars a month.