SAHMs... what is YOUR monthly budget compared to the amount budgeted towards baby?

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  1. We keep track of where our money is going each month and also set loose "budget constraints" to try to stay within for each category. (Categories like: Household/Food/Baby/Auto, etc.) If we go over our monthly budget number it's not a huge deal persay, but DH is a numbers person and likes to have things in order... so having them be as realistic as possible does save from potential meltdowns over "we're spending too much money this month". :biggrin: And by we're... he means me. LOL!

    For other SAHMs out there, who are either budgeting where money is allocated each month or even if you just have a rough idea off the top of your head - What is YOUR personal budget compared to the amount that you budget for baby expenses?

    For instance, would you say you spend 25% of the amount budgeted for baby expenses, or two times the amount budgeted for baby expenses? That sort of thing...

    And by personal budget, I mean the amount of income each month that is going specifically to only Mommy's upkeep, so it could include items like: getting nails done, pedicures, new clothing, new shoes, purses, cosmetics, hair styling products, etc. etc. Things that are not community household property, not used by DH, and not used by the baby. :P What are the items that you would include in your personal budget every month?

    And if you would be comfortable sharing approximate amounts, that would be great too. Since I'm at home now, I don't need to have the same amount of "stuff" as if I was out working... but I'm having a hard time figuring out what is essential and what isn't. So whether you spend $5 a month on yourself, or a greater amount than that... I'm interesting in hearing from you!!

    (I'm interested in hearing from SAHMs that have a single income coming into their household, but working mommies are welcome to participate if you have or maybe even haven't had a change in what your percentage personal budget is compared to baby budget... it might be interesting to compare. Please note if you have a PT or dual income.)
  2. Interesting thread. We have a dual income household and we share all of our finances. We do not have a set budget or anything really planned out. I have a certain amount that I put in savings every month, a certain amount that goes to daycare, etc. So it's hard to guess how much I spend on myself.

    I'm pretty low maintence in terms of upkeep (my husband would probably disagree). I don't get nails done very often and my hair cuts are free (mom is a hairdresser). I buy clothes when I feel like it and shoes when I feel like it for myself and the entire family.

    I think you will find that once you are at home you have much less you need. Budgeted things like shoes (heels), clothes (work stuff), and nails (manicures get ruined too) will go down a lot.
  3. We're a single income family and it's actually DH that stays at home :biggrin: He's pretty low for a scratcher daily, round of golf every month, bowling every week...probably about $250 a month.

    Baby has budgeted monthly, $40 for diapers, $120 for formula (but this is going to go down BIG time because we're in the process of switching him to milk), $100 towards savings, $25 for solid food/snacks. Then about every quarter I have an extra expense of $125 for clothes, ressuply of wipes...and then the occassional toy or something else for him.

    I don't really have an allottment for DH because sometimes his will vary (for example, if he doesn't golf that month), but definitely for baby because I know that there are things I have to constantly buy KWIM? I just make sure I have money set aside for those "extras". :biggrin:
  4. Thanks for the responses. I talked to one of my friends that lives in Chicago that recently decided to stay at home today and we were able to compare notes... and she agreed with what you all are saying, some things will go by the wayside while others will just be occasional items. So it's a little bit of a harder category to "budget" for.

    DH in particular likes to have a rough of idea of how much money we're spending and saving every month, so I think with the things I've been able to consider today - I'll be able to come up with a guesstimate amount to start out with.

    Oh, and just to answer my own question - because I wasn't sure when I wrote the post... I think my goal amount to spend or spend under each month will definitely be less than the baby budget and be about 25-35% of the monthly amount we have allotted to baby expenses.
  5. Maybe you guys should start with how much you want to save a month. Say you have 500 left at the end of the month, if your DH wants to put 250 in savings, then you have up to 250 to spend that month. Anything you don't spend can be put into savings or added to the next months spending.
  6. I'm a SAHM, but we don't budget. Our expenses are definitely on the high side.

    I'd anticipate that baby expenses may go up over time as you want to do more with your baby. Moms' group (by me, the good ones were facilitated and you had to pay), baby music, play centers, sign language, art class, visits to zoo, children's museum, etc. In my area, I'd factor in at least $100/mo. on that type of thing, easily more. And believe me, if you are a SAHM, you want more options than just the park all the time.

    I will say that there is no way that my own expenses overall are 25% of baby expenses. I buy a lot fewer clothes now that I'm home and not working, but my jeans or whatever are a lot more than baby clothes, so proportion-wise, it's definitely not that low.

    The other thing I'd say is that, if there is any way you can afford it, budget in at least 4-5 hours a week of babysitter/drop in daycare time so that you have a little "you" time. Honestly, I think this is a near-essential item -- I know a lot of people get by without it, but everyone I know who does it says she'd be a wreck without it.
  7. baby definitely spends more (excluding my bag expense :P) approximate figure below:

    - haircut every 4 months $40/ trip,
    - clothes & shoes $25/ month,
    - personal care including make-up $25/month,
    - no mani/pedi
    - girls night with friend $25/month and i think that's all

    - formula $100/ month,
    - clothes & shoes $30/month,
    - toys & activities $100/month,
    - diapers $30/month,
    - personal care $10/month
  8. I am a SAHM and I retired 5 1/2 years ago from a lucrative career. I am very blessed that my husband makes a good salary. I think I save money because there are no daycare expenses, clothing allowance, and transportation costs. Plus, personal maitenance is a minium compared to when I worked. I get my hair and nails done infrequently. I do however go shopping but try to get everything on sale. My bag habit is my biggest larger expenses. My kids are well fed happy and clothed well. Education funds are set aside for them. My husband prefers I stay home because it is easier with young children...
  9. This is a very good thread ladies! I'm leaving my job when the twins arrives. It's going to be a big adjustment (especially shopping wise) and plus I never stop working since I graduated in 2001. But some of the tips here are such a big help.

    Initially we are thinking about daycare, but as soon as we found out that we are having twins, DH doesn't have heart to put them both at daycare and not to mention the cost will be double too. So he asked me to stay at home at least for first few years and see how it goes then.
  10. #10 Sep 30, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
    well, i am a SAHM but my daughter is no longer a baby. she will turn 11 in november, but i will add my 2¢ regardless.

    as far as personal expenses towards myself, i'm not really high maintenance as far as nails or hair goes (thankfully). i got rid of the manicures/pedicures when i found out i was pregnant and haven't had them done since. i do it myself and i have to admit, they look pretty darn good. i'm really anal about my nails and chipped nailpolish (thanks, dad!!! LOL) so that's something i would have to allocate for myself either way, or it would be too expensive to get them professionally done elsewhere.

    i only get my hair cut once every 6 months since it's long and healthy.

    for me, once i stopped working, i realized that i didn't need to take clothes to the dry cleaners anymore and i didn't have as much of a gas expense as i did when i worked.

    clothing i don't buy much for myself unless i see a cute pair of jeans or something that i just HAVE to have, but lately i've been shopping a lot at the thrift/vintage shop because i love one-of-a-kind items instead of going to the gap or places like that.

    so that saves me money right there.

    since i have been unemployed since february, we HAVE to adhere to some sort of budget or we'd just go insane otherwise. it's tough sometimes, but for the most part, we do OK.

    my priorities are my daughter and her soccer expenses—and boy are they expensive! oy!

    food and gas of course, and regular bills. i have everything i need right now so i don't really need to go out and spend tons of money on designer purses, et al. but believe me, i didn't used to be like that. it was a tough pill to swallow every month when we'd get our cc bills. as a result of that, we don't use cc's anymore. only cash—that helps a lot, believe me.
  11. Thanks for all of the responses ladies! A very helpful thread! I was feeling kind of selfish that I wanted to do all of these things for myself, but I think talking to other mommies about it on here & IRL has helped me to put it into perspective.

    I think it's still hard for me to think of DH's income as "our" money - I still see it as "his" money, since I'm so used to paying for my own things. I also think from a few of the responses, that I'm buying way too much clothing for my daughter. :P So I'm making that a new goal as well, to not buy excess clothing for her. (Which is a problem I've already been tackling for myself.)

    We have a set amount that is automatically deducted from our checking account every month to go to savings, and then whatever is leftover from the "fun money" goes into savings as well. Unfortunately, we're used to having a bit more leftover from the days when I was paying for all of my own stuff, LOL! (And to be fair we also have a decent amount allocated towards home renovations that we are doing right now.) But I think like everyone has mentioned, as long as I'm doing things in moderation (I don't need a pedicure every week or anything!), it's okay to do things for myself every now and again.

    I really wish I could find this! We're in an area where we don't have any family nearby and don't know a ton of people to even get references for babysitters... we're planning on doing a trial run with a babysitter for when the next Harry Potter movie comes out (I know, that's so dorky :lol:) - but DD didn't really seem to take to the person we had in mind, so I'm not sure how that is going to go!

    ms p - Thanks for posting your approximate figures! It helps to have a comparison.
  12. I really don't work a budget for myself or the babes, more of just buy things as they're needed.

    2 boys, both born in Feb/March, so all of the older boy's clothes automatically go to the younger. The older sometimes gets clothes from my dad/his grandpa. My clothes w. being preggo/nursing so often, having wild weight swings, I try to only buy on sale after I've exhausted other options in my wardrobe. I've saved all of my maternity duds from before, so I'm working w what I have. (and got lots from friends, too!)

    No nails in a loooooong time, rarely eyebrows, haircuts spaced at least 4 mo apart...

    We do activities through a group that is free... playdates and gettogethers. DS1 is in free half-day public pre-k... I cloth diaper and breastfeed, so those expenses have already been paid for. :P We don't have cable... Our biggest expense is 2 cars, but hubby won't budge on working together to get down to one car.

    So our biggest expense is food, car repairs (lately), take-out food and Starbucks (ok, that's a mommie-expense that has expanded to buying a little treat for them too when we're there!). If I could afford it more, I'd have a cleaning lady come every 2 weeks. That is a MUST when mama and baby are in the house most of the time... you don't want to be doing all the dirty work instead of hanging out w your baby!

    I was spending lots more before until the last year or so... but have had to "hunker down" and spend less to make do on one income w another baby coming! I think you'll see after a bit how little you really need to spend to stay at home w a babe!

    And try for babysitter recs in your area. They do background checks on most members.
  13. I know that we are not the typical one income family at all but I would like to share.
    I am expecting my fifth child and only the oldest is a girl, so the clothing budget is close to 0 since I have a warehouse of boy clothing. I have breastfed/pumped all of them up until switching to cows milk, so the formula cost has always been quite low as well. DH has a good income, upper middle class I guess but we do have 4 almost 5 kids so we try to get involved in church, etc, things that are social but not costly.
    I spend probably 300 per month (averaged out through the year) on myself. I like a new bag here and there, and stock up on a few shoes etc each season. I would say I spend 200 or so per month on clothes/stuff for my 12 year old daughter and 8 year old son as well. The younger boys between diapers (tried cloth diapering to save but no patience), toys, other items is around 100-150. I do not have anyone in daycare because my DH is off on Fridays and I don't get too stir-crazy since I am only home alone 4 days a week.
    We also homeschool so that provides lots of opportunities to get out and socialize with homeschool groups and avoids the going to the park every day problem.
    I know I am not the typical member of a high-end purse forum so I wanted to add my perspective. (I am really not a total earth mother lol, at least I don't look the part). You can really raise kids for so much less than you think if you don't buy into every gimmick that you are made to think you need. I have never had a changing table, a bottle warmer, a fancy stroller, etc etc etc. As long as you love them and look out for them they will turn out fine.
    And good luck because staying home with your baby is a great decision even though it can be scary and difficult.

    eta: no budget for anything.....I just try to be careful and buy non essentials in moderation and those amounts are where we tend to end up each month.
  14. oh, one thing i will recommend that was really, really helpful for us when our daughter was a baby was join a price club like sam's club or costco for items like diapers and formula. you wouldn't believe the money we saved in the long run by buying those items in bulk. so much cheaper when you equate it to what it would cost at target or even walmart.

    it's worth the $25/year for membership. believe me.
  15. no problem glad it helps :smile: i've come to realize spending more on dd reasonably on toys & activities save my sanity which is priceless :lol: