How Ashley Quit the Cube and Still Makes Money.

Transitioning from working in the cubical to Stay-at-Home Mom.

As our last post in this Stay-at-Home Mom series I’m excited to introduce you to Ashely! She has been so kind to share the steps that she took to make her transition work for her and the tips are very helpful.

We have met some amazing Mom’s in this series who have made the transition from working to coming home. I love their determination to do what is best for their family and see how they accomplished the task.

Hopefully you have been blessed too! And now, here is Ashley’s story!!

From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to stay home with that baby. At least for longer than the measly 12 weeks the government would give me. At least for the first 2 years of her life. At least until she started talking and could fill me in on the details of her care.

 

Moms are all a little crazy. Crazy in love with these little people we are blessed to be mothering. I am crazy aware of time, and how valuable it is. I obsessed over her care, as much as any other mom would, but I wanted more time partaking in it. It might take a village, but I was overly ambitious in this arena.

 

Quitting Work and becoming a SAHM

The craziest part of my transition into motherhood is the money situation; I am the breadwinner. My husband brings in a stipend from his scholarship, but technically, I am the only one with income.

 

Working a traditional office job did a lot good. We were all insured, I raked in enough money to pay the bills and treat ourselves, and it didn’t interfere with saving either. But I couldn’t shake those mom instincts that made me want more (or less). Personally, I am one of those that can’t pull off the routine working-supermom role.

 

Getting out of the 9-to-5 grind wasn’t going to be easy for me, but it was going to happen. I set my sights and I made it my reality. Over almost two years, I laid the foundation that got me home with my little lady. Here’s how those two years unfolded:

 

How to Transition Home.

Living below my means

 

I am cheap *ahem* frugal. Always have been, but don’t be discouraged if you are a super-consumer.

 

My husband used to be pretty spendy. I shut that down almost immediately after we were married. I couldn’t help myself. But tell me this: is it really so bad to refuse ordering take-out five times a week after we spend hundreds of dollars on groceries?!

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m nowhere near “Extreme Cheapskates”, but just like everything else, moderation is key. So when I say frugal, I mean my expenses are moderated. If they weren’t, I’d spend $200 at Sephora every other week. This way I spend $200 at Sephora maybe once a year (or over a year). With that in mind, I built the base of our monthly expenses around my frugality.

 

My clothes aren’t trendy. I don’t use heating tools (often) so my hair only needs to be cut twice a year.

 

Quitting Work to become a Stay-at-Home Mom. How one Mom quit and is now making an income for her family.

We drive an affordable, gas efficient car. My RAV4 is by no means a luxury vehicle, but it is more than enough and I absolutely love that thing. Additionally, we are in the process of selling our second, less travelled, vehicle. There’s a month of living expenses rusting in my yard with an extra insurance payment attached. Not on my watch!

 

Our house is a fixer-upper that we bought for dirt cheap. Our mortgage (and utilities) are as tiny as the only bathroom in the house. Finding a golden opportunity isn’t a simple feat, but that frugal mentality we live by made spotting this chance come easy. Again, it is not luxurious, but it gets the job done and paved the way for me to leave work behind. Keeping these bills paid is easy for even the tightest budgets, and that got me one step closer to happiness!

 

Living below my means has not always been easy, but it is the quickest way out of a cube! I have worked to avoid spending money in every aspect of my life. Even my hairstyle and wardrobe is built to last. Good quality and low maintenance is the name of my game.

 

Related Reading:

Groceries for $170 a Month

Budgeting Breakthrough’s for Couples

Trade Your 9-5 for Stay-at-Home Mom

Budgeting

 

Budgeting doesn’t sound awesome, but it’s easier when you can are willing to let go of frivolous expenses. I imagine the people that avoid budgeting are afraid to look their weekly mani-pedi in the eyes. Even for me, it’s scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Once I got a good look at where our money was going, it became even easier to let go of some things.

 

Even after budgeting for necessary expenses, you may realize there are still hundreds of dollars lying around every month. These dollars are usually lost to miscellaneous spending. New clothes, impromptu lunch with friends, going to homegoods and running into the bench that you just have to have. You get the point.

 

We still set aside money for hobbies. You gotta be able to pass the time and stay happy doing it. But those unexpected costs should take up no more than maybe $100 or $200 a month. Budget for those too, and then send everything else into savings.

Related Reading:

7 Secrets to Slashing Your Grocery Bill

2 Apps For Budgeting That Make Life Easier

FREE Download 3 Ways to Save BIG on Your Groceries {It’s the secret I use to spend .62 a person  on meals.}

 

7 Secrets for Slashing Your Grocery Bill

Save, save, SAVE.

 

After budgeting, I was able to throw $700-$1200 a month into savings or what I like to call the “Rainy Day Fund”. And figuratively speaking, working a job you hate and missing your baby the whole time is one rainy day….

 

This might sound like a lot, because it is! I save HARD. But missing out on regular steak dinners and elaborate vacations doesn’t hurt so bad when I see the stay-at-home nest egg I’ve built in under 2 years.

 

Don’t get me wrong, some of those savings are untouchable. And we’ve had to dip into it for some large, necessary spending (like when our fridge and dryer died in the same week…), but the  keeps our bills from getting behind.

 

Being at home with my baby is a full-time job, but, like with any job, a little extra cash on the side can’t hurt…

 

How one Mom quit work to be a Stay-at-Home Mom and still brings in an income.

Pursue a Side Hustle

 

Being the breadwinner, my husband was scared. He still is. He’s scared of our savings not lasting and our lifestyle getting more restrained. I knew I had to get a side hustle going.

 

I began working my side hustle about 6 months before I finally left my job. It still doesn’t bring in full-time income, but the potential is there and I finally have the time to commit to it. I’ve paved an avenue of income with a blog and the services I can provide.

 

The opportunities for freelance/remote work are practically limitless these days. I opened my eyes to the modern workplace and it welcomed me with open arms. I found a way to bring in money while staying home with my little girl and keeping myself sane. Jackpot? I think I hit it.

 

The last thing to keep in mind, everything is temporary. Our lifestyles can adapt over time, but our babies aren’t getting any smaller. Sacrificing reliable income for irreversible time with my baby was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. It only gets tricky when I lose sight of what I have to give up in exchange for that stay-at-home mom life.

 

But like everything, it’s only temporary.

Ashley Dicarlo is a Florida mom with a long distance husband. When she isn’t freelance writing and editing, she’s blogging over at Millennialist Mom and polishing off a pot of coffee. It’s her goal to help working moms and aspiring work-at-home moms with the frequent and infrequent challenges we face in the world of modern motherhood.

Thank You Ashely! Be sure to drop by her site and say hello!

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Quitting a job to become a Stay-at-Home Mom. How one Mom did it and you can too.

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Thank you for stopping by! I’m Holly aka, Mrs Savvy Saver.

If you aren’t a regular member of our Savvy Saver Tribe you might be wondering what the blog is all about. 

We talk about all topics relating to personal finances for busy Moms. Life is crazy, I get it! Between diapers, late nights, school, work, hungry mouths to feed and a Pinterest binge now and then { 🙂 } you are busy!

And all of that takes money, so we talk about awesome ways to save, make money and in general, be savvy with our hard earned dollars.

As my way of saying Thank You for stopping by, be sure to grab your FREE Grocery Guide. It’s how I save money and spend .62 per person, per meal at our house. Enjoy!

 

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