How To Become A SAHM (Part 2): 4 Steps To Become A SAHM
We have been a SAHM, one-income family for 6 years. Over that time, we have paid off $30k in debt, had 3 kids, moved twice, and bought a home. Yes, on one-income. We made the decision we felt was best for our family, and have thrived both as a family and financially. I tell you this to let you know that it is possible.
Still unsure if this is the right choice for you? Check out part 1: The Biggest Question Every Mom Asks.
The decision to become a one-income family is not an easy one to come to, in most instances. There are quite a few arguments against it, and sometimes the benefits are not as easy to see. But if you are reading this, you already know you want to transition to one income and are looking for a way to make it happen. Lucky for you, I have some steps to help you start down that path. But before we get to them, you need to know a couple of things.
- A one-income household takes hard work. Not just from the working out of the house spouse, but for the SAH-spouse,too.
- You must both be on board, 100% on board with what is going to take place. Discuss it in depth and make sure you both feel it’s best for your family, or it will lead to tension, arguments, and resentment.
Okay, now that you are both in this together, let’s move on to helping you get working on that big transition.
- Cut the budget.
I’m talking, get out the chainsaw and cut every limb to the size of a twig.There will be really easy things to cut like cable, and there will be things you will want to fight for like your extra spending budget you like to allocate your hobby items to (hunting or fishing expenditures or shopping trips and hair coloring appointments for example).
This is where you will need to set up a budget meeting each month, where you both sit down and figure out what needs to be cut out to lower your monthly expenses.
- Pay off debt.
We have all heard this. We know debt is the #1 reason we aren’t able to do the things we want. Monthly payments for the next nicest item to store in the driveway won’t help you get there. So it’s time to get rid of it. Depending on your level of debt, selling your most expensive vehicle and paying cash for a replacement can make it happen quicker.If you are truly committed, you have to be willing to give up the things that make you look nice, so you can have a life that actually is nice.
Keeping up with the Jones’ will never get you home, but it will keep you in piles of monthly payments and debt. We used the Dave Ramsey method and paid off $30k in 18 months on one income. If we can do it, so can you.
- Live on one paycheck.
I know, after making the decision to be one-income, you just want quit your job and come home. But that will send your husband into an anxious frenzy, no matter how much he is on board. He feels that it is his job to provide and take care of the family, but seeing the income drop off suddenly may cause him to abandon ship.
So take it a step at a time. Take a few months and live on his paycheck. After cutting the budget and getting rid of monthly payments for debt, you should be able to do this. After a few months of seeing that you can survive on this, moving to the next step is not as scary.
- Become a SAHM.
This is a huge, scary, amazing step.
This is the culmination of all the hard work of these months leading up to this.
Many jump right to this step and feel happy only a short amount of time before the pressure of the debt and sudden drop in income gets them. I’ve seen many families where they switched back to two income because they didn’t prepare enough before taking this step. If you followed this, you can breathe and enjoy this moment, knowing you are doing what’s best for your family. If not, go back to the beginning and work through it in order. It’s worth it for your family’s happiness.
After you become a SAHM, your work doesn’t stop there. You are just as responsible for the finances as your husband and can make or break the situation. You do the shopping, the planning, and are responsible for the schedules of the whole family. It’s not easy, but it the benefits of being at home with your kids and being there when Hubs walks in the door makes all your responsibilities worth it.