5 Money Moves Your Middle-Class Family Can Make To Support a Stay-at-Home Parent

The number of families with stay-at-home parents is increasing, and it looks like it’s more feasible than previously thought. In fact, in a 2023 report from Motherly, a quarter (25%) of respondents identified as a stay-at-home parent, up from 15% in 2022.

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Erin Odom is a stay-at-home mom and the founder of The Humbled Homemaker, an outlet which offers advice to others desiring to do the same. She contends that wise financial management is key for homes that want to have a stay-at-home parent, starting with the concept of contentment. Odom wrote: “Practice being content with the simple things in life so you can be happy with living with less in order to stay home with your kids. You’ll never regret it!”

If this lifestyle is a goal for your family, you might be surprised at the many ways you can make this dream a reality. Here are some tips to get moving in the right direction. 

1. Create a Budget 

A budget is simply a spending plan that directs your money to the goals that matter most to you. If you need to decrease your debt, beef up savings or spend less on other discretionary items to support a single-income household, a budget can help. If you need help creating one, check out this step-by-step guide to creating a budget.

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2. Avoid Debt

Adding high-interest debt to your list of household expenditures can prevent you from saving enough to meet your financial goals.

As Odom explained, “A family can avoid debt by living within their means. This means they don’t spend more than their paycheck pays each month. They avoid using credit cards because this is how the slippery slope of debt can start.”

She added: “This is important because a family saddled with debt will not be able to spend as much time together because they will be stressed with working to pay off the debt.”

3. Reduce Your Expenses

Lowering your expenses in different ways could give you the wiggle room you need to make your single-income household work. Cutting cable, subscriptions, expensive outings and other discretionary spending can help you fund what matters most to your family — having one parent stay home with the children.

4. Reconsider Your Living Situation

Housing costs have increased for the average family due to inflation and higher interest rates. Since housing is the largest expense, it only makes sense to explore ways to reduce this expense.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • Downsize to a small home or apartment.
  • House hack with a multi-family property.
  • Consider renting until there’s a better time to buy.
  • Move to a less expensive area.
  • Combine your household with others, i.e., parents, in-laws, etc.

5. Add a Side Hustle to the Mix

If you still have trouble making ends meet, consider taking on a side hustle to increase your income. The good news is that there are plenty of options, from providing services to selling products — sometimes without even having to leave the comfort of your home.

Final Thoughts

Creating ideal circumstances for a stay-at-home parent may seem difficult in this day and age, but it’s not impossible. Odom offered another piece of advice to those who don’t yet have children, but believe they’ll want one parent to stay home when the time comes.

“Don’t wait until you have kids to start living on one income. Begin living on one income as soon as you get married to get used to living on less,” she advised.

Erin Odom delves into more detail about how she’s been able to maintain her home on a single income for over 18 years in her book, “You Can Stay Home with Your Kids!

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 5 Money Moves Your Middle-Class Family Can Make To Support a Stay-at-Home Parent

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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