Can you really save money and be a stay at home mom?
How can I save money and be a stay at home mom? Most mothers ask themselves this question at some point. Staying home with your small children, especially, feels incredibly important. It’s not in the financial cards for every household, but sometimes you can reduce your bills low enough to offset your family’s second salary.
Here are three ways to prepare your budget for staying home with the baby:
1. Request lower payments on all your monthly bills.
“Haggling” doesn’t have to leave a bad taste in your mouth. Many lenders adjust payment plans based on a customer’s needs. Make a list of your regular bills and call about your options. Say you may be losing your second income and need to find ways to lower your monthly bills. Ask if there’s any way to lower your payments.
This is a great way to find out about safeguards many services write into their policies, like budget billing for utility companies and one-time rate reductions for select cable or internet providers. This is one time you can count on providers avoiding the upsell and directing you toward savings. They don’t want you to lose you as a customer, so they’ll look for ways to make your services affordable.
2. Refinance your loans to save interest.
While lenders for car, home, and student loans can temporarily lower your payments, this could have a big impact on the amount of interest you pay over time. It might be to your benefit to refinance. Just make sure you understand the fees involved and how much you’ll save in the long run.
When you refinance, you pay off an existing loan with a brand new one. The hope is to land a new, lower interest rate. You can also change the type of loan you have, switching from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate mortgage, for instance, to provide more stability in budget planning for the years ahead.
Financial experts recommend refinancing if you can score at least a 2 percent improvement on your interest rates. You’ll be able to lower your monthly payments or the number of payments you make over the life of your loan. Speak with a lending specialist to determine the best options available.
3. Avoid expensive upgrades to housing and transportation.
It’s very common for new parents to look for newer, larger cars when they have a baby. Others buy a larger home in a family-friendly neighborhood. While it’s fun and feels like a natural part of the process, upgrading might not be necessary. Consider how much those upgrades will cost your family before taking the plunge.
What if you need a larger home or car? Look for less expensive options. A minivan typically costs less – in the purchase price and operating expenses – than a 3-row SUV. Certified used vehicles provide you with affordable security without the “new” price tag.
Likewise, it might be more affordable and more effective to remodel your property than to move somewhere else. Changes to your home’s layout can give you more room for less.
If you’re going from renting to purchasing your first property, be sure to ask about local grant programs. These aren’t welfare programs designed for people struggling to find work, but incentives sponsored by local governments and their partners to stimulate local economies and community development. To start, look into the options available through InvestAtlanta. A variety of their lending programs offers anywhere from $10,000 to 3.5 percent of the cost of your home toward a down payment and closing costs.
You may find it takes a little practice to learn how to save money and be a stay at home mom. If you are seeking your best options to get some wiggle room in your budget, a title pawn can help. Call or visit your nearest Title Tree store to find out whether you qualify.